An opportunity came up to speak at an Arts and Technology conference in
Cleveland called "Notacon" in April 2004, so I started compiling some
information to give a one-hour presentation about it. During this time, I
discussed some details with RaD Man of ACiD, who I interviewed twice and
who has become a good friend and colleague in research. He floated the idea
of coming along to the convention, and I floated back the idea of us doing
the presentation together, and the plan was solidified.
This in itself would have been a great weekend, but it also allowed me
the opportunity to slip one more important interview under the wire.
RaD Man had been renewing ties with Ebony Eyes (Lora Ruffner), who had been
one of the bigger-name ANSI artists of the late 1980s before the ANSI
"Art Scene" became the unstoppable juggernaut it was in the early 1990s.
Even though he'd found her and she was open to being interviewed, I didn't
know the next time I'd be in her area in Ohio. This presentation and con
attendance, combined with RaD Man's coming along, sealed the deal.
Our presentation went well, and the Sunday after the convention, we travelled
by car south into Ohio, having a great time discussing plans and ideas,
and preparing for the interview. We'd left it open with Lora as to the exact
time and circumstances, and she confirmed us for 5pm on Monday, including an
invitiation to go out to dinner. We spent the next day driving around the
area, playing Miniature Golf, and generally enjoying the vacation.
Lora was naturally concerned about how helpful she would be in an interview
about such an old subject, but that concern quickly went away when we started
covering history. She answered many questions about the nature of working
with ANSI at the time, how she felt about the whole Art Scene that rose after
her, and gave her opinions about ANSI as an art form in general. One of the
more striking answers was about how many screens she did over the years;
very likely hundreds. And by the time she hit her peak, she could essentially
do the images once-through, starting at the top and just creating the artwork
straight down to the bottom... and being finished.
This was an excellent addition to the artscene episode, and a great interview
in a general sense. It always makes me feel good when pioneers are recognized.
RaD Man took additional photos of me setting up, which are included in this
photo collection, and we got a couple shots of the three of us, a documentary
maker and two subjects.
After the interview, we went out for dinner and talked about the nature of
forums, our various projects and documentary plans. I took a couple shots,
although the lighting was weird, and besides, I was hungry!