So in the beginning of December I started a three month residency at The Wassaic Project. Bittersweetly, Wednesday night I’ll be back in New York City.
I’ve made the most of my time here. In the beginning I allowed myself to not do anything, which is basically impossible for a man of my temperament. As such, gratefully that didn’t last long. I now have a notebook full of ideas and have started production on new bodies of video and collage work. Both of which I’m quite excited about. And concepts for new performances are in the heavy brew phase. For now I’m holding on to most of it. Pulling the rubber band a little back further, so to speak.
One thing that has continued to arise in my thinking is that I want the ideas, and the experience of them, to require as little physical production as possible. A reduction of means. Because after all, portability is a critical factor in the impending apocalypse. Haha. No really. But seriously, not to get all RA on you, but there is something to be said about minimizing the physicality of a work in service of the experience of the idea. In service of the dwindling resources of our planet. And finding ways and/or new ways to still turn those ideas into an aesthetic encounter that doesn’t feel overwrought in theory or frigid minimalism.
But I digress… Back to Wassaic: I quickly grew to love this hamlet. And that love hasn’t waned one bit. The locals here are so kind and good-spirited. The air is fresh. The other residents are talented and generous. The folks that run the program are stellar human beings. And so much more. But the city pulls me back. Literally and figuratively. So, see you on that side.
So, as I alluded to the other day, I was recently commissioned to create a piece whereby the funds from it were implicitly intended to pay my rent. It was inspired by a part of the last Hennessy Youngman video where he talks about the different types of performance pieces the new performance artists can make. Mine was the “sit in your studio making new work while listening to music and occasionally checking your FB/Twitter/email” piece. Thx Hennnessy! Thx anonymous collector!
But on a more serious note, what I found is that I felt liberated knowing I was essentially working as a laborer as that time was paid for. It felt like free time. Pressure-free time. Yet I was constantly aware that I was on camera. And what resulted is unplanned new work that excites me. Some initial observations:
The beginnings of bridging the circle drawings to the collage work. It’s also related to something I’ve been working on quietly for the last few weeks in my residency at The Wassaic Project.
Fusing my love of that shape to the fucked up time in American Might (the images in these are all from 1959 and 1961, I think). And despite this being well-trodden territory (hello new Mad Men season), to me it can bear the weight and continued perversion.
Ok, that’s probably more than enough. I’m writing this on the train back to the city for the Art Fag City Long Title Rob Pruitt Auction Thing. See some of y’all there I’m sure.
P.S. If you’re still here: While making this video I also posted to my Instagram feed, which is currently being occupied by all things circular, and to my tumblr for my ongoing #collagehunting series (in which I post images that probably won’t make it into collages but that I find interesting nonetheless). Process production process production process production…
I’m at the laundromat near Wassaic. There is WiFi, so I figured what better time to draft some letters.
Over the weekend, from Friday to Saturday, for 24-hours I presented a silent auction for a collage. I was curious to test the model, and happy that it sold. I had 268 visitors to the auction page during that 24-hour period. Which isn’t bad considering it was the weekend and I gave no lead time or warning it was happening. More surprising was the fact that people spent an average of almost four minutes on that page alone. In web terms that’s a century. And it led to a lot of traffic on other pages. I am grateful for any audience that I have, but an engaged audience is truly priceless. And it is what I want to be with many of you as well. So, thank you. Sincerely.
I’m hoping to find the right next durational performance soon. I miss those, and you, that way. They also fill something in me that is otherwise missing. I’m moving beyond “just doing shit to do shit.” That doesn’t benefit anyone. So to that end I want to make sure things are in place as I feel they should be. Whatever that means.
In other money/work related news I was recently commissioned to create a “rent piece” (see this vid). Which is pretty awesome and hilarious. I’m still working out the details of what exactly it will be. It’s actually proving kind of tricky conceptually. But more on that soon. It is arriving just in time. Literally.
I’ve been thinking A LOT up here in Wassaic, not all of it good, but most of it productive. Filling a notebook with words, ideas, concepts that are outside of my normal social media blather. And I’m steeped in a new body of work that I’m reluctant to share with anyone. It’s not my normal way of working, but it is a new way to challenge myself, and that I’m always looking for. But to that end, it leaves more time to look at all the other work out there. Which is overwhelming, really. I don’t always care about what other people are doing but I like to know. I like to know as much as I can about everything, actually. Regardless of where I am, what world I’m in, etc.
Oh, I still owe you a post on $’s acquisition by the awesome David Carson. Haven’t forgotten about. There’s not much to say but it deserves proper acknowledgment!
Ok, dry cycle is coming to a close. Surprised at how crowded this little laundromat gets. Amazing folks around these parts. I love you, New York, but Wassaic sure has a hold on me.
Obviously a little to this one, but just came across it as part of research for the upcoming #ArtsTech panel I’m moderating. The takeaway for me is this: “It’s about conducting actions with very little resources at your disposal, reaching out into the abyss and somehow finding a community, however anonymous the on-line audience might be.”
I just took a gander at this piece from the NYTimes. Normally I reserve my art thoughts for ART THOUGHTZ, but hey, I ain’t really have naught to do, so I decided I’d briefly share a few thoughts on the matter of Live Performance Art™ vs. youtube/internet/”mediated” (what a nefarious word!)…
“…I’m really into absurdity; I’m not a sentimental person at all. For me, sentimentality reinforces the illusion, and good absurdity, for me, strips the layers, the filters, the assumptions that we have away. I think that, in a way, approaches good comedy: taking an overview and looking at the absurdity of things.”—Tom Friedman (via ARTINFO)