Saturday, May 24, 2008

Can Project Update

 Last week I sent a follow-up email to my contact at the Market. She responded that she had been really busy and that she hadn't had a chance to show my images/project to the right people yet. She thanked me for the follow-up and assured me that I was on her "to do" list. -- I forget how much time you need to allow for other people's schedules and lives when you are collaborating on a project/anything. So, it's almost another week later and I still haven't heard from her. My concerns about timing are looking apt. - So... I have set in motion plan "B". - There is a local non-profit art gallery/housing coop where a few of my friends live. I have inquired about putting on a show there in the month of July. It turns out they have the entire month open. I know several of the people that live there and I'm fairly certain they'd be supportive of my project.  I wouldn't really be able to do all the performances that I've been thinking of, but maybe I could pick one and then just do sculptures and drawings of the rest. Is it a sculpture if what you are making is a fake commercial product? I think so. It's kind of like Warhol's product pieces, except different. Warhol took art constructs and coated them with a commercial skin: the Brillo Boxes were plywood boxes silk-screened with the "Brillo" label, The Campbell Soup Cans were on a canvas, the ultimate art construct. These are commercial products made nonfunctional, ushered into the realm of contemplation. Whereas my "products" use the convention of commercial exchange to invite the intangible, the abstract, and the personal into the functional, accessible realm of daily life. - I'll email my contact again on Monday. This will be the 2 week mark since I sent her the info and the 3 week mark since my initial contact. In this Monday's follow-up I'll mention my timeline. - I think the gallery is a good option though. It might be nice because I could have a big opening and it could simultaneously be a sort of going away party. It would be the best kind of going away party because I could show people what I've been working on so they'll have an idea of where it is that I am going. It's also a great space to take slides in.

 In other news, the group studio of which I am a part put on an extravaganza last night. There were three bands that played, vaudeville skits, and a preview from a local theater company. It was a lot of fun. I didn't do too much of the planning for the event but I did come up with the name and I helped make a stage set. It was called "The Big Bad Box Extravaganza" (our studio is called "The Box" ; my original name was "The Big Bad Box Bonanza", I love alliteration). The stage set that we made had a sci-fi clown theme, at the request of one of the main bands. So my studio-mate and I made a giant robot clown to sit behind the drum kit. It was kind of ridiculous but it looked great.

Thursday, May 15, 2008


From the sketchbook:

This is the same tulip I wrote about in March.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Can Project Pitch

So, I have two major focuses right now. The Can Project and school related busy work. On the art front: I made contact with someone at the market. I left a voicemail, and then she left a voicemail, and then I called her back. I was nervous to describe my project to her over the phone. I like to think that, in person, I am capable of infecting people with enthusiasm so they'll be excited about doing a project with me. On the phone I have to appeal much more to people's intellect, and that can be tricky. Our conversation went well, though.  I did a good job of explaining what the project was about, what it would look like and how it would function. She was interested and told me that she'd like to talk to some other people about it. She asked me to send her some images that she could use to help explain the project. Well, my initial reaction was positive and excited. I planned to get together an impressive proposal email and send it off right away... then I got distracted by life. So, I procrastinated for a few days. I still got the info to her on time though. I sent her three pictures and my resume. I wrote descriptions for each of the photos, and a summary of the project. At this point, I'm still waiting to hear back from her (fingers crossed). I'm beginning to have a few doubts. I do think that I can convince the market to support the project, what I am concerned about is our timelines matching up. I'd like to do the piece at the end of June. When I was on the phone with my contact she casually mentioned that organizing this sort of thing would take quite a bit of time... we'll see. I'm going to focus on getting the project to a completed state anyway. I have so much work that I'd like to finish before I leave. I'm planning to move out west during the month of August, so that's only a few months. I have moved many times and it is my experience that my artwork shifts profoundly when I relocate. Maybe the muses change, maybe it's the resources, maybe it's the context, maybe it's my mental state. Whatever the reason, it happens consistently. I switch gears in the new locale, the projects I was working on begin to collect dust and my attention is drawn to a new pursuit. I don't know if it will happen this time or not. The thing is, I really like the ideas that I have right now, and right now is my opportunity to make them real, venue or no venue. It's hard to be disciplined without a deadline, and without the security of knowing your work will get out there into the world. I guess one just hopes, or trusts, that if it is the right thing to be working on (and your heart tells you that) than one just needs to do the work and something will come of it. Something will reveal itself and confirm for you that you have used your energy in the right way. This is the same sort of idea as Joseph Campbell's "Follow your Bliss". Your heart knows what to do before your brain can translate it into a communicable, or logical format. And you know that you are on the right path because when you begin to take those steps it is as if there is a wind pushing you from behind. There is not so much friction. You feel lighter, your effort accomplishes more. The difficult thing is to trust. Not to be afraid. When we are constantly battling in our lives, when we are always up against friction, a lack of friction can feel like falling. And that can be scary. But we do need to trust and to try and get used to movement without friction.  And when we do than we can enjoy the reward that comes with that freedom, the "Bliss".
On the school front it is a financial whirlwind. I am determined to get savvy with numbers and money. I don't believe in the idea that an artist has to be inept when it comes to business or the financial world. It's all about having the information, and it's out there. I just bought a great book: On My Own Two Feet: A Modern Girls Guide To Personal Finance (Interview),(review). It's approachable and super helpful. It addresses the main areas of personal finance and gives simple, clear-cut advice for getting the system to work for you, instead of the other way around. It is definitely geared toward ladies but numbers are numbers, they work for everybody. 
So, there's the money piece and then there's the moving and housing piece. I don't have a place lined up yet but I want to be living in CA in august. Crazy. I'm mostly looking on Craigslist but my school has an online bulletin board as well. I'm also going to email some of the Realtors in the area with a short bio and a description of what I'm looking for. I'm aiming for the best place ever! We'll see. 

Thursday, May 1, 2008

May 1

The first day of May (in this time zone). It's cold in the house. my feet are cold, my toes are cold, the table that my arm is resting on is cold, my arm is cold. But I don't mind. My heart is warm, the blood flowing through my veins is warm, my coffee is warm. Today is my Sunday, although it is Thursday for the majority of people in my zone. I'm doing busy work today, and I'm working in the studio. Today I will attempt to arrange a meeting with the person in charge of the space I need, to do the installation I want to do. This is part of the "can" project. I want to  set up an installation and create an event in our local grocery store. There is a good chance of this happening because the store is a co-op. When I was a kid, I used to go with my mom to this same co-op and help fulfill her "worker hours", the co-op member obligation. I would do simple tasks like filling bags of nuts and weighing out dried pineapple. The Co-op has since grown and expanded and is now more integrated into the city as more of a central market. It gets a lot of traffic so it's an ideal space to incarnate this art piece, which, in addition to centering on the theme of communication, refers to the consumer/product dynamic and the marketplace. It is very "grocery-store". 
This co-op is very community oriented, they even have a "Member Art Gallery" where they let members of the co-op display their paintings and drawings and other 2-D media. I'm hoping they'll let me set up the installation there. It's right by the registers, so it gets a lot of traffic, but hopefully it's out of the way enough that I wouldn't be a disturbance. I want to blend in and look natural. I want people to wonder whether I'm a normal grocery store fixture or not. So, we'll see what happens, I'm optimistic. It's going to be a great piece, and who can say no to greatness?