Thursday, April 1, 2010

The ambidextrous brain

Oh, how I wish this was a blog post with a picture of new work in progress. Rather than my dog Riley relaxing near two ailing Macs splayed open on the floor. Prepped and ready for a few hours of clay making earlier this week; remnants of dried clay and glaze wiped from the workspace, clean tools, a bag of new porcelain ready to be used - all was right in the world. Until my trusty five year old Mac laptop which streamed hours of endless music from Pandora failed me. Fortunately, it wasn’t the hard drive, but the internal AC port (the thingy that powers and charges the laptop) that was shot. Ever since I dropped it at an airport last year, it’s been a dance of jiggling the power cord just so – to keep it powered.

It was clear; no music, no art. The day of reckoning had come to fix it for good. Shifting from right brain to left was not in the plans. Nor was the delicate task of performing microsurgery on a laptop. Especially one that requires an entire toolkit to remove a hundred or so miniature screws of varying sizes known to mankind. The logical solution was to perform a transplant: remove the hard drive and install in a spare (problematic but fixable) laptop. Normally, in situations like this I’ll advise my clients, mostly artists, to just buy a new laptop and be done with it. In the long run it will save everyone much time and expense to start fresh. But, personally I hate to spend extra money on stuff that can be fixed by my hands… besides it was a challenge. As it turned out, the spare had the wrong blood type (hard drive connector) and I’m left to put everything back together and figure out which screws fit in which holes. Maybe I’ll just transfer the data from a backup and be done with it. And listen to an audio book or NPR in the meantime. Recently a client asked me, “How do you manage to be creative and technical at the same time - and what do people do without someone like you to fix their computer problems?” The first part of question was easy; most artists are problem solvers requiring the analytical left brain. The second part of the question left me thinking what you blogging artists do when technology fails. I wonder…..

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