It’s really all about power, right? Not that guts & glory road. I’m talking amps, volts, watts. For me, this weekend, it comes down to a matter of 295 watts. That’s 295 watts running on 120 volts, pure American USDA/AC. But because I want to run my NEC video projector completely off the grid via a gasoline generator. Getting the generator proved easier than I’d feared. When I posted my need on FaceBook I received two quick responders. My next problem was that many people cautioned me about the unstable power source off of a generator, even after passing through the power inverter. Not wanting to fry my projector, I opted to buy a UPS. They’re those fancy surge protectors with a built-in battery, so when the electric company yanks your juice for failure to pay just as you’re putting the final touches on your proof of Fermat’s Last Theorem into, I dunno, your EXCEL spread sheet, you will still have time to hit “SAVE” before your brilliance is lost to the ages.
The UPS is a mid-priced appliance. I picked one up for forty bucks. But because I hadn’t researched the wattage needs of my NEC NP500 3000 Lumen projector, I found that the device I got wasn’t up to the task. The battery output topped at a miserly 250 watts. So, back to fucking Office Depot. I shelled out more than I care to admit for a robust 450 watt machine. This should accommodate the projector, and another small device or two.
This is all for Noche de Recuerdos, tomorrow night’s event put on by Proyecto Locos (AKA Erik, Deborah, and Ramon). Please, stop me from ever doing something like this again. Don’t get me wrong. The event’s a great idea. Hell, I see no reason why tomorrow night won’t turn out to be a wonderful experience for everyone. But one of the reasons that the three of us decided to put this event on was that we’d be able to pay ourselves as organizers. There had been talk early on of maybe a thousand bucks apiece (a conversation strictly among ourselves, I should point out). This might have been possible were it not for the fact that each of us sucks at fund-raising.
So, not only am I not getting paid, but I decided to create my own illuminated, floating altar. Once all the receipts are tallied up, it will have cost me about $250 for supplies and such, just for my project, let along stuff I’ve bought for the event itself.
Okay. That’s it. I’ve got it out of my system. No more complaining.
And for those not keeping up with this blog, the event in question, Noche de Recuerdos, is an evening of floating, illuminated altars constructed by local artists which are intended to commemorate important people no longer living. These personal altars have become common this time of year around San Antonio’s art and cultural centers. Dia de los Muertos has quite a hold on this town.
Tomorrow night (Saturday, October 23rd) the little intimate casting pool across the road from Woodlawn Lake will be host to at least two dozen floating pieces of art. But because we’ve put out the word that anyone is welcome to come and bring a floating altar, we really don’t know how many pieces to expect.
Personally I need to concentrate on getting my own piece together and functioning properly. My initial plan was to do a float-test this afternoon at the site. But I was too busy rushing around. It’s all going to happen tomorrow. My altar is a PVC frame which will hold a video projection screen. I’m hopeful that the six 26″ bicycle inner tubes will support my screen. I’ll have three extra tubes as a backup.
The generator I’ll be borrowing tomorrow is a monster, or so it has been described. I think Richard said it has an output of 2,500 watts. This means it’ll be obnoxiously loud. I’ll have to address this issue before the event begins around 6-7pm.
So, please, come on out and check out the altars. We’ll start things off with a Native American blessing. There will be poetry. Indian drum and flute music. I’m also hoping that a certain high caliber actress/writer/performance-artist will treat us to a personal monologue. I suspect there will be a few other surprises.
Drop by and witness the birth of a new San Antonio tradition. We’re financially strapped, so please BYOstuff. This is a family event, so bring a picnic dinner, and hey, don’t forget the kids. And even though the event doesn’t begin until 6pm, feel free to come early and keep the friendly folk who call themselves Proyecto Locos company. I mean, really, we’d love to share some of your BYOetcetera. But, remember, this is the west side, so be discreet, we don’t want la chota shutting us down.