Saturday, December 25, 2010

I'm writing this post on a plane!

I'm very happy to find out that there's free wi-fi on this plane for the holidays! (although typing on my iPhone i'm sure will produce god-awful typos due to autocorrect) I am coming back home from visiting Austin and San Antonio. Honestly SanAnty was my favorite because we got to walk to every single art institution alongside the river! There is still construction going on, but regardless how commercial the downtown area may seem, I think a lot of cities are going to be jealous of the ease tourists and locals have making their way around. One can walk or water taxi from their school of arts and crafts to the museum and then a longer but worthwhile trek to the repurposed warehouse art areas (awesome folk art gallery in that Blue Star area) and Artpace San Antonio (They brought out two large volumes of articles on Maurizio Cattelan just because I asked!).

Leigh Anne Lester's show at San Antonio School of Art and Crafts

Also the 'Natural Bridge Cavern' was AMAZING.

Yelp told us that this trailer has the best Asian food in Austin, you can't read it, but it says Me So Hungry.

Austin was very comfortable as well, less cowboy hats, more beards and a lot of delicious food from trailers, we ended our trip with kickass barbecue that was more than we could finish. My highlight of the trip however was a tarot card reader in the 'Weird Museum' that was more of a historical storyteller than a hack and I enjoyed hearing about the stories behind the illustrations, the story of the swords cards involves a lot of manipulation, someone could easily make a movie about the story that runs from the two of swords up to the king.

See? A Scott Hocking piece just sitting there.

As usual I had my eye out for any michiganders and found quite a few traces! I saw a photo by Scott Hocking on the ground and leaning against the wall at Champion gallery and found a postcar for D Berman gallery that had some of Beili Liu 's work. They were kind enough to show me a wonderful layered burned paper piece and give me some postcards as well!

Beili Liu's work on vellum

Shawn Smith's work also at D Berman Gallery, all of his work is pixelated, this one is a great rendition of human lungs.
He knew how to get sh*t done, even how to bring the country back together as his approval rating rose after pulling out of Vietnam and not seeking another term. Stupid Vietnam war, can you imagine what he could've got done if that hadn't overshadowed everything else?
We didn't have enough time to see as many art museums in Austin but the Lyndon B Johnson museum was possibly one of the most inspiring places I've ever been that was political in nature, it really capped off a conversations me and my dad were having about cooperation in politics (my stance is to unite far left liberals with tea partiers by having both sides realize that the common enemy is crony capitalism, which should be taken care of as a priority. Kuchinich vs. Ron paul 2012!) while he believes Obama just needs to grow a pair of moderate balls and ditch Pelosi and Reid... But some things just baffle me about what we complain about politically. Although liberals are all about climate change and eating organic foods it's an ultraconservative that created Whole Foods. While inside the flagship it seemed like a total vegan liberal heaven... I wanted to eat everything! Also the city was celebrating that building the nice trails next to the river was built on time and under budget... Go figure, reminds me of republicans angry about 'socialist policies' like regulations on clean air and Medicare and giving to the poor (welfare) when they actually donate a ton to charities (currently more than democrats) and are sometimes in dire need of or making good use of those very policies. It just makes me feel like sometimes the things we love might very well be run by or are a product of those we think we're supposed to hate. So I for one am more open to looking for the good in republicans, Christians, liberals and others as long as we don't just rely on 'good intentions'. Be critical of everything, but be open to any possibilities of hope because I'm sure they can come from ANYWHERE.

Kind people in Texas, or is it just simply southern hospitality?

Monday, December 6, 2010

I have my moments... (warning do not open if you visualize everything you read.)

So I just came up with my 4th grossest idea for a work of art...

1. To learn mold-making, create intimate, detailed and realistic molds of animals from roadkill.

(I really was plotting how to do this out of porcelain... it still may happen someday.)

2. Find really disguisting imagery applied decoratively to a novelty plate and have food served only to reveal the imagery underneath when the food is finished or scraped away.

(I came up with this idea a long long time ago and then told someone else to do it instead.)

3. While in a sculpture class thinking about reality television and the internet, I was going to make a Plexiglas box with fake furniture in it and some walls with a couple of web cams setup in the corner so that it looks like cockroaches and spiders are in 'The Sims'.

(The big concept was that 'nature' was far more interesting to watch, but I think that cockroaches are possibly one of those things that makes me nauseous just thinking about them)

4. For some reason I became curious what the hell '4Chan' was, only to find that it's an easy way to find  porn and other ways to waste time, so I just imagined drawing myself or hiring someone to illustrate a hentai comic where their entire dialogue is either "The Investment Answer" by Daniel Goldie and Gordon Murray so that banal useful information could be disseminated to a wider audience! 

(Our band the He-Bops keeps my mind thinking about mash-ups all the time)

Also I realize that putting these art ideas out there make it so that someone may steal these ideas and make the piece... but I really want someone to make it, so I don't have to. Anyone else have any really revolting ideas for an art project they need to get off their chest? Set it free!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Getting into gear for teaching!

Well, I can trust that I'll be inconsistent with this blog since I've got 3 big things I'm juggling right now, working on website, preparing and thus far psyching myself out for teaching and keeping my head around where my art is... which is... all over the place. And I had to even cut out 2 shows I planned to do... I feel a little stupid. Stupid because I'm having so much trouble with doing Less with More, working on quality instead of quantity...

The one thing going well right now though, is my teaching! I had my first class (albeit co-substitute teaching) but it went AMAZING! I was trying to not to overthink everything so I kept repeating to myself, all good college classes involve only two elements: Structure and Inspiration.

I don't know how exactly I came up with that simplification, I'm sure it involves a whole lot of ability to understand 'flow', how long things take, knowing how to test their comprehension, being honest with the them, balancing their needs and expectations, balancing what is a challenge for each of them, when students are attentive, when they're waning, when to take a risk and do something completely different, when to just relax!

So I told myself to relax and take many many deep breaths and make sure the apple cider is hot.

This is a glimpse from Dylan Spaysky's workshop which was 1/3 of the whole class, but badass nevertheless:

Dylan Spaysky Workshop from Cedric Tai on Vimeo.
During Time and Digital Media Class

So that part wasn't what I planned, I just took everyone on a little adventure and tried to keep a structure and flow to everything and I'm just happy that it seemed all so natural to get along with Mike Smith's students.

It really makes me feel like I'm getting what I've always wanted: mutual research for bigger dreams and quality work.

Ok, coming up next is my performance art workshop where I channel the inspirational Guillermo Gomez-Pena workshop I had at Michigan State! I also prepared for this class and the upcoming one by having a riveting conversation with Aku Kadogo from Wayne State!