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Keepitrail

Travel Log - Hunting, Hitchhiking, Painting & Getting Dirty: Traveling Across America

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After the burn, the main build team and I gathered together to start some new schenannigans. We were approached by a team from MX to join on a coral reef project south of Cancun.

 

Basically we design and build massive steel structures that go underwater and create coral reef systems in the shape of artistic sculptures. We were offered a place to stay and accomidations for a month during a massive music festival in Tulum, MX as we orchestrated the infrastructure.

 

We were stoked and caught flights to MX on new years day. We bungled up in hostels the first week and rampaged across the countryside. I split my time between designing the sculptures and painting murals to raise awareness. I linked up with a super talented writer down there, "Frase", from Guadelajara, IG @honghikuri or LINK: https://www.instagram.com/honghikuri/ who showed me around and planned out some walls (give him a follow, seriously, not only as a great artist but also he kept me alive, literally).

IMG_6291_zpsfvai35ox.thumb.jpg.1380bebda63288926781427e1d5b6bd0.jpg

 

The house we were provided with was at once an artistic delight, and also an architectural nightmare. I was the first to arrive, and sent my three incoming partners on the project the following message, verbatum. "this house is beautiful, but someone is going to get seriously injured or killed here." What a fucking self fulfilling prophecy. There were no railings on any of the stairways (imagine a SPIRAL STAIRCASE with nothing to hold on to). There was two lofts which had no railings, just concrete floor straight to the edge of a 10 ft drop onto more concrete. No rail, no wall, not even something to stub your toe on. Just straight 10ft drop offs throughout the house.

The whole place was like a wildstyle piece with no outline. Every letter was just a fill. It made no sense. This dude was putting highlights on his sketch and saying I'll outline in a few months, then buff the backround if I have time. But it was all we had at the time and it was free, so we kicked it.Some DJs stayed there, some film crew, all goofballs from around the world. There was a "stairway" type metal ladder to the 3rd story roof, which started at the end of the 2nd story floor-. Going down, the last step was a 15ft drop. Also the stair was on a hinge, so don't move too much or oops. I could go on for some time but I'll spare yall the ridiculousness of this house.

 

Well, everything went great for a while. We painted constantly, toured the mayan ruins, sketched like madmen, and spent many nights feverishly designing and debating. The Government of Cozumel provided me and Frase with an all inclusive tour of the island, snorkeling, beach tours, bus trips, scooters, and all sorts of nonsense. I'd have more pictures, but as you'll read I lost them through cunning mexican thievery...

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OOPS! Went too fast. Tragedy of time-based editing on forums.

 

After Burning man.

 

In late November I was contacted by my homeboy Skippy about working with Swoon, the street artist from NY. He had worked with her on a crazy boat made of garbage idea (epitome of my life) http://nymag.com/arts/art/features/57181/ as well as BUILDING HOMES IN HAITI. And now she was coming to SF to do an installtion for Facebook at their new headquarters in palo alto, CA. Skippy had already booked himself solid with an astronomical amount of shit so he contacted me. " YO KIR Do you wanna work with swoon on an install at the facebook hq"? OK I GUESS. Holy fuck. I dropped everything I had the next couple weeks and rode in to meet swoon at the Facebook HQ.

 

Now, this excitement was not without boundaries. I'm not a fucking whore. I had questions. Initially I was swayed by the big-namery of Swoon. Deep down I fucking dug her work. But also I had complications of the dichotimy between "street art" and "graffiti". Street art is for weiners, right? Pure graff is honest, right? Letters, right? If you can't do straight letters or catch mad tags then you aint shit, right? Add that onto doing something for fucking FACEBOOK?! I mean David Cho got his rocks off before it went viral but to link up with that corporation NOW!?

 

(There's a reason she took this gig, and it overshadows all this pretnetial bullshit, which Is why I joined on, but that will be explained later)

 

That being said, I can talk freely now about this, as it's done and done - I hate, detest, and cannot stand facebook and its monotheistic internet enterprise. I fucking hate it. I hate zuckerturd and his ploys to expand nonprivacy..Not gonna alienate anyone with that. However. What I don't hate is the people who spend their days working for this company in a giant glass and metal warehouse buried deep in the south bay swamps. They're doing their thing, even if it's for someone or some thing I don't agree with. But the point is they are there every day and that environment is surrealistically depressing. you can't judge a soldier of the opposition as you're exchanging fire. You judge their commander.

 

What implications I had, the toenails that snagged me in indecision, they were abated within a few minutes of meeting Callie. I'll spare the details and drama for the book, but holy fuck. I've never met anyone like Callie. Immediately disarming, relentlessly inquisitive, unquestionably honest. Being brought up in this machismo ego fucks all environment, I was pretty stunned. It was hard to shut my ego down and be open to new ideas, it really fucking was. She wrecked my graff life higher-than-thou ego into a thousand pieces and said hey, let's sweep this mess up and make some art together. So we did.

 

More soon.

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Nice update!

Love the temple.

Good to hear you're apparently doing well after shit that happened.

Curious to see the fb piece - also you're writing a book?

Finally!

: ]

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KIR if you ever see this, please do write the book.

 

The sampling of your earlier writing that you shared with us was awesome.....I would definitely want to buy/read.

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KIR if you ever see this, please do write the book.

 

The sampling of your earlier writing that you shared with us was awesome.....I would definitely want to buy/read.

 

I second this!

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@Keepitrail love the photos! Heading back to the black rock desert?

I'll be driving up through Reno next thursday (pre event) to help build the Space Whale, you comin out tto the desert??

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I'll be driving up through Reno next thursday (pre event) to help build the Space Whale, you comin out tto the desert??

 

I wish! No time. Maybe one year. Looking forward to the photos. Maybe we can grab that beer, if we happen have time to meet up before or after.

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I'm moving out of my apartment tomorrow, a good friend loaned me his RV for a few months.Leaving Oakland, California to pick up the RV in Nevada, then heading who knows which direction. Most likely DEATH VALLEY, Nevada, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, then back to Oakland via the Northern route. Estimating two months travel time. Gas is going to destroy me.

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