Time To Preblog

After reading Hawking’s A Brief History of Time, my aunt Linda’s recent death, and the subsequent re-connection with family, I have been spending much of my energy thinking about cycles, relationships, temporarily, directionality, and scale.

Convergence, overlap, pattern, and sequences also draw my attention. I will be releasing my writing in the order it was written starting on August 24, 1993. The works will be available inside hypermodern.net organized with relevant categories and tags. Individual spiral volumes will also be grouped in series. The format will likely change as I discover the optimal way in which to make individual entries navigable.

The purpose of Preblog is to take longitudinal data that wraps around August 1997 and to discover a paradigm shift around public/private, young/mature, and pre/post Internet access that started when I got a laptop, left for college, and was granted access to the Internet. For a complete project description you can find the initial proposal to Rhizome which unfortunately did not lead to a grant.

Encyclopedia Britannica states that a memoir is:

History or record composed from personal observation and experience. Closely related to autobiography, a memoir differs chiefly in the degree of emphasis on external events. Unlike writers of autobiography, who are concerned primarily with themselves as subject matter, writers of memoir usually have played roles in, or have closely observed, historical events, and their main purpose is describing or interpreting those events.

Preblog skates the line between a memoir and autobiography in a few key areas, specifically addressing the following:

    artistic maturation
    digital crossroads
    interpersonal relationships
    family life
    athletic performance
    development of self
    goal setting
    positive self-talk (affirmation)

For many pioneering artists and scientists, impactful research begins with experiments on the self. I intend, in both a qualitative and quantitative manner to evaluate these writings to create a data-set that will be MINE (personally) and that I will MINE (data). Essentially hypermodern.net is becoming what I have always intended it to be: a reflection of the lived intuitive artistic experience to be culled for inspiration and understanding. After all, we have nothing to lose but our illusions.

Nothing To Lose But Our Illusions: An Interview With David Edwards
by Derrick Jensen

Originally published in the U.S. in The Sun magazine, June 2000

If what’s wrong for me, on a fundamental level, is wrong for the planet, then saving the planet isn’t about trying to be righteous and green; it’s about saving your own life, and the life in the world in the process.

Read the entire article at medialens.org.

Rhizome 2010 Commission Proposal “Preblog” by Pete Ippel

Preblog: Time capsule to Midwestern Teenage Life Before the World Wide Web – Blogging as a 15-Year-Old and 30-Year-Old at the Same Time

San Francisco based artist Pete Ippel travels to rural Illinois to unlock the fire-proof safe that’s been buried in the closet of his childhood home since 1997. Ippel investigates and interprets nearly three years of the pre-web, Midwestern teenage experience of the middle 90s contrasting it with his technology-laden life in Northern California. Ippel will “Preblog” his journals and images systematically posting a transcription to http://hypermodern.net/tag/preblog/ three times daily.

Project Description


The Atlantic magazine has asked the question “Is Google making us stupid?” Don Tapscott in his text Grown Up Digital argues that “If you understand the Net Genration, you will understand the future”.

My personal history has a fortunate crossroads in it that is incredibly stark: life experience pre vs. post Internet access is divided and recorded.

In “Preblog” I will be simultaneously blogging as a 15-year-old boy and 30-year-old man.

The core concept of the “Preblog” is to explore the following dichotomies: childhood/adulthood, private/public, rural/urban

Transcribing and analyzing nearly three years of daily writing (30 months Dec 1995-August 1997) in one year will be a challenge. I take solace in author Jim Collins’ statement that, “Creativity and discipline go hand in hand”.

Each Preblog post will be composed of the following:

1.) A tagged and linked WordPress entry of the handwritten text
2.) A scan of the actual journal document in .pdf format
3.) Access to a downloadable .doc transcript of the journal entry
4.) Accompanying analog photos, rephotographed or scanned
5.) A contemporary response to the text by the artist
6.) A community comments section

Content will be released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 Unported License

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Preblog entries are located in a Sentry fireproof file safe in Morris, Illinois.


Artist and athlete Pete Ippel lines up for a race in Morris, Illinois, April 1997 Photo: MCHS yearbook staff


Production Timeline

1.) January 4-10 Fly to Chicago, drive to Morris, Illinois. Document surroundings photographically.
2.) January 11-17 Gather analog photos, prepare for transport of documents.
3.) January 18-24 Fly to San Francisco, California. Document surroundings photographically
4.) January 25 – December 31 Actively transcribe, preblog, analyze, share, and reply to comments.


1.) Journal pages will be removed from their spiral binding
2.) The frayed edges will be cut off
3.) Supplemental inserts (playbills etc will be unfolded and unstapled)
4.) Utilizing the Fujitsu ScanSnap, both sides of the sheet will be scanned in one pass
5.) Each page will be placed in a sheet protector and clipped into a three ring binder
6.) Each journal entry will be given an accessioning number
7.) A corresponding transcript will be typed for each handwritten journal entry
8.) The text of the transcript will be posted to hypermodern.net with the downloadable .doc file and .pdf scan

The Preblog process will be successful because I have great familiarity with the tools I will be using, and I have the discipline to transcribe three entries a day. Each entry to the original journal is one hand written page which translates into approximately 150 words, so three posts a day at 35 words per minute typing speed plus formatting, analysis, and scanning will take approximately 1.5 hours per day.

Project Budget

1.) Round trip airplane tickets San Francisco to Chicago $500.00
2.) Fujitsu ScanSnap S1500M for document .pdf file creation and analog print photography digitization $500.00
3.) Artist Fees 13.30 dollars / day for 300 days. $13.30 / 3 posts a day = 4.4 dollars per post. $4000.00

Total commission $5,000.


After being dumped at the holiday dance when I was a sophomore in high school in 1995, I was searching for answers…I wanted to figure out why it happened and to grow from the experience. I took to writing. I updated my journal every night before bed. If I was away, I wrote on napkins or hotel paper. Ticket stubs and playbills were stuffed between pages. I wanted to document my thoughts to grow.

I recorded events in order to better understand my world, when I left for college in upstate New York, the hundreds of pages of documents were packed in a fire-proof safe in my bedroom in Morris, Illinois.

Two days before my departure for college, I received a Compaq 1535DM as a gift from my parents. I didn’t sleep for the next 36 hours because I was exploring my new Pentium 133mhz laptop and how to use it.

A few days later during Cornell University orientation week’s, “Travelers of the Electronic Highway” course, my journaling practice would be forever altered. It was the first exposure I had to the Internet.

I received a network id and an email address in August 1997. The computer replaced the hand written pages of my journal as I began to think of my emails as a flowing life record that I could index and search. My behavior changed, and I frequently scrutinized my new college friends’ status on Instant Messenger.

By 1999 I was hand coding HTML documents and posting my art to the web. I explored broadcasting live videos online through my web cam, and delved into Yahoo Personals with the thought if I was doing this and posting as my “real self” I’d find people with the same commitment to authenticity online and offline. At this point, meeting people online still was perceived as socially dubious.

In 2001 during a graduate seminar on human computer interaction I was introduced to social networking and created a profile. This was a key moment as the personal vs. public social space continued to merge as peer-use of social networking sites exploded.

In 2002 my undergraduate studies culminated in a thesis presentation that presented sexualization of technology, questioned romantic distance relationships mediated by the Internet, and explored instant creation and sharing of experiences both online and offline (Priorities).

Graduate studies in art took me to San Francisco the following August, a drastic change from the rural life in Ithaca and Morris. It was here I discovered the blog. In fall 2002 I made the switch from a standard hand coded HTML, to Blogger. I began questioning issues based on the commodification of objects (Obay), as well as the anonymous gift (Free Memory), and began quantifying social networks (Age Hotness Correlate).

In spring of 2003 I purchased a Nokia 3660 camera phone that could upload images, video, and text instantly to the web thus making mobile and “studio-less” art creation a reality. That summer I also began working as the residence manager for the San Francisco Ballet School, and started to become very aware of the way young people create and consume media.

Presently I run WordPress and have benefited greatly from the open source community. I am confident that there is much insight to be gained from looking back at both sides “being digital” and critically analyzing the texts from December 1995-August 1997.

Over the past twelve years I’ve experienced profound changes in the way I live, think, and navigate in the world as my experience has become more connected, more open, and more collaborative. I intend to combine curiosity with disciplined research. By sharing my data, it is my desire to gain a greater understanding of the longitudinal effects of Internet use.

Curriculum Vitae View long version or Download Pete Ippel’s resume

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE, San Francisco, California
M.F.A., New Genres, 2004

B.F.A., Combined Media, 2002 (photography / digital art)
B.A., Psychology, 2002 (perception, minor concentration: cognitive science)

City College San Francisco, 2005-2007 (advanced classes in conversational Spanish, culture, and civilization)

Student Leadership Award, 2004
Board of Trustees 2003-2004
Graduate Council 2002-2003

Dean’s list, spring 2001, spring 2002
Edith and Walter King Stone Memorial Prize for Promise in Art, 2001
National Dean’s List 1998-2001

Academic Talent Development Program, summer 2008

Art instructor, Fall 2004

SAN FRANCISCO ART INSTITUTE, San Francisco, California
NASA Space Practicum Teaching Assistant, spring 2004
Video Editing Teaching Assistant, spring 2004

Cornell Adult University, instructor, website design, summer 2002

ICTHUS GALLERY, San Francisco, California
2008, The Fantastic Solution to Global Warming and other Conundrums
2006, Metaphors Be With You
2006, Hypermodern Art Show

EXPERIMENTAL GALLERY, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York
2002, Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia

GARAGE BIENNALE, San Francisco, California
2008, Weather Reconnaissance
2008, 100 Performances for the Hole
2004, Party for Benevolence

2005, Art and Spirituality

2004, Yuk Video Screening

NEW LANGTON ARTS, San Francisco, California
2004, The ‘How To’ Intensive

FORT MASON CENTER, San Francisco, California
2004, San Francisco Art Institute MFA graduate show

2004, e Bay–Buy or Sell or Buy

YERBA BUENA CENTER FOR THE ARTS, San Francisco, California
2004, Playshop

CELL SPACE, San Francisco, California
2003, San Francisco Art Institute Print Show,

2003, Creative City

BOOM TECHNOLOGY FAIR, Cornell University, Ithaca New York
2002, Sound Thinking: computer as creative audio tool
2001, Fine Art Applications of 3D Internet

SAN FRANCISCO BALLET, San Francisco, California
Residence Manager 2003-present

UNIVERSITY HIGH SCHOOL, San Francisco, California
Coach (Basketball, Track & Field) 2005-present

HYPERMODERN.NET, San Francisco, California
Independent Contractor, 1999-present

Darkroom Assistant, Photographer, summer 2002

Production Artist Intern, summer 2000

MOTOROLA, INC., Arlington Heights, Illinois
Web Design Intern, summer 1999

Assistant to the Director of Collections, 1997-1999

Work Samples

FREE MEMORY (2002-Present) Launch FREE MEMORY Project

The Free Memory Project from Thorsten Claus on Vimeo.

FREE MEMORY is an event created to open a dialog between what memories consists of in terms of ephemeral human thought, and that of a data driven memory model of a computer. The event is initiated by the anonymous gift of a floppy disk to passers by and concludes when the box of disks is empty. Unbeknown to the receiver, the artists memories, documented in photographic form, are present on the disk thereby transferring both ephemeral, and concrete memory.

OBAY (2002-Present) Launch OBAY Project

obay.info screen capture

Obay.info screen capture

More About Obay, the legal battle, anonymous late night phone calls, and Canadian bus stop mystery. For certain individuals Ebay has become a lifestyle, an extreme use of the service where people are a slave to their auctions, so dependent on checking up that it interferes with daily functioning. According the DSM-IV, the manual for diagnosing psychological disorders, this would be a criterion for a type of obsessive-compulsive behavior. Commodiphilia, diagnosed as assigning value to valueless objects in the off chance that it may be worth something to another disparate individual, is an artist coined term that references both the commodity, and the sexual perversion of pedophilia. Obay.info critiques the mega-consumerist culture that surrounds Ebay, and is both a visual pun and a cautionary piece that succeeds when the user questions why they are so involved with buying and selling of the most mundane possessions.



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Sound Thinking DJZN TBA Album limited edition of 10 disks,Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia. Pete Ippel Bachelor Of Fine Arts Thesis Show. Cornell University, May 2002.


Love Box exterior installation view,Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia. Pete Ippel Bachelor Of Fine Arts Thesis Show. Cornell University, May 2002.


Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia. Pete Ippel Bachelor Of Fine Arts Thesis Show. Cornell University, May 2002.


Chatting installation view, Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia. Pete Ippel Bachelor Of Fine Arts Thesis Show. Cornell University, May 2002.


DJZN and Cynical music and video webcast,
Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia. Pete Ippel Bachelor Of Fine Arts Thesis Show. Cornell University, May 2002


Love Box interior installation view,
Priorities: Installation, Audition, and Digitalia. Pete Ippel Bachelor Of Fine Arts Thesis Show. Cornell University, May 2002


So Much to Think About

I started my day with a nice breakfast and went to the library at the end of Market Street. Very striking interior. I went up to the 6th floor after I got a new card (from a women who had the biggest midsection I’d ever seen. She was incredible and helpful and I looked at Thrasher and Track & Field news. I checked the U.S Nationals, I’ve jumped against 4 of the competitors. C. Clinger, N. Leaper, T. Harris and D.Olson. Leaper won at 7′ 7.5″ or so. He’s 25 which makes me wonder if I could still get in the game. I would need to find a coach again and a place to work out, but it’s so tough to give up something you love. I hate even writing that down….”give up”. I love high jump and I was to be part of the track and field community, but I’ve not work out for nearly a year. I stopped last November.

Anyway I went to 3rd street via 7th, 16th and 3rd it’s fretty fast. I was extremely disappointed to find out that class has 38 students in it we spent the entire time working out when we would have review. I am generally upset that SFAI has given so many half-truths not even the teachers know how big their classes are going to be.

I’ve been in San Francisco for 10 Days

…and it’s amazing how much has happened in that time. I’d first like to say that I’m pretty bummed that I’ve fallen off so much in the journal writing as the last two years have been SO exciting. Now I’ll try to recap my last few days time but I know I’ll be missing out details all over the place, but suffice it to say, I’ll be working on giving as many details as possible.

So after I was up for two days packing…I went to Katie’s house in Long Island. We spent the days chilling and enjoying each other’s company. One day we went to the beach, and I have to say it was Sooooooo much fun. I body surfed and got sun burned, the whole bit.

I also went out a few times to hang out with Tizz’s friends they are much cooler than her folks at CU or at least I felt that they were more sincere…imagine that, on Long Island too!

Our last day together we left plenty of time for dinner and the drive to the Kennedy airport, but after a lovely Italian meal, Katie was getting out of the parking lot and she crossed the stop line. She checked to see if there was anyone in the mirror, seeing no one, she pulled back and CRUNCH…We backed up into a Toyota Corolla.

The guy was from New Jersey and was a real pain because he wouldn’t let us leave without first filing a police report…Because of the 50 min delay or so we got caught in traffic, and then I got to the airport with 40 minutes to spare, however there were no redcaps on duty at 8:40 and my flight left at 9:30pm. So I tried electronic checkin, but for some reason it failed. I should have kept trying that, but I waited in line, and I missed my flight because the line was so slow!

The woman said the gates would open again around 4AM and I could fly the next flight out on standby. I called Katie back and she met me at the airport around 11 because she got stuck in traffic again. After a little while we decided to try and get a hotel room, my bags were REALLY heavy, but we got them back to the car with a cart and I unloaded and went to check into the hotel. There was no sign but when I asked the clerk, there was no vacancy…So I replaced the stuff, and went to the next hotel. It was a courtyard Marriott and the room was $200.00 a night and we were kinda desperate, I though about staying at the airport, but Katie was with me…

We got into the room at 12:30AM and the woman waived the parking fee. David called at 1am and woke us up…but that was fine he was going to pick me up at oakland airport. At 2:30AM the fire alarm went off, there was such a shrill piercing sound and two strobe lights. The fire alarmed raged and we left our room. It was a false alarm luckily, but our sleep was still disturbed. In order to keep the alarm from going off, a microphone button was depressed, the talking and flashing light didn’t stop till 3:22AM when they finally figured out how to fix the system. I woke up at 5AM for the flight at 8:30 and so it was $50.00 an hour to sleep. OUTRAGEOUS!

I forgot to mention that on the way out the airport, the gate didn’t open, so we had to back out into oncoming traffic which was very scary for both Katie and I because that was how we had gotten into the accident earlier in the day.

Upon arriving to the airport the first thing I was was an Asian girl puking near the entrance of the concourse…The service men for the airline put a cart over it so no one would step on the vomit.

I spent the morning in line, and then got told I couldn’t carry on the box but I asked security and they said it would be fine.

Tizz and I ate a nice breakfast and we said our goodbyes which went surprisingly well considering the last few tumultuous hours.

-Slept on the Plane-

I Don’t Think I Have A Best Friend

This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Green Cycle Notebook

…but some of my friends are: Casey Matteson, Jeff Geiger, Ryan Bennett, David Taylor, my Dad + Mom + myself. Casey would do anything for me, almost. Jeff I can talk to. Ryan and David make me laugh and are just good friends. My family give me lots of support. I am my best friend? Well I don’t know. I get along alright, I don’t really have any friends that are girls, but I’d like a few.

09 09 1993 Pete Ippel Preblog

09 09 1993 Pete Ippel Preblog

It Bugs Me

This entry is part 11 of 12 in the series Green Cycle Notebook

…when my family fights mostly my brother and sister (both Rob’s kids). It also bugs me when I go to a store and buy something and then a week later it is less expensive. It bugs me when store clerks treat me as an idiot with no money, I’d like to be treated with the same respect as adults. It bugs me how the world is going into depression, anarchy, and destruction of our homes and neighborhoods. It bugs me how there are so many killings and gangs.

09 08 1993 Pete Ippel Preblog

09 08 1993 Pete Ippel Preblog

Gay Daddy

This entry is part 10 of 12 in the series Green Cycle Notebook

Topic of the day was a father being denied his child for being gay:

It’s a hard topic to decide. It’s not normal to be gay so I would probably side with the grandma, but as long as there is no abuse, I can’t see why not. I would predict that the courts would side with the grandma.

09 07 1993 Pete Ippel Preblog

09 07 1993 Pete Ippel Preblog