Thursday, February 23, 2012

A proposal I just sent to another artist.

I'd be interested in meeting other artists in Glasgow for sure this way, but I think I was also interested in just hanging out maybe more than once a month to talk about whatever things are going on and brainstorm with other people how to make the process fun somehow, or perhaps it's just a mind-clearing exercise (art jam) and some artwork is made in the span of 2 hours that is a quick thing... 

actually! what if we made it like a show and tell of different art processes or disciplines and the point was to bring someone in that can talk about something they know really well and then it's paired up with someone/something completely different with the goal to see how could you cross both disciplines... 

There was a lecture series at a college where they would get 2 speakers to talk about their particular topic that would be seemingly complete opposites in terms of content. There were be both presentations for about 15-30 minutes, and then a discussion afterwards. Almost every time there were uncanny similarities even though neither presenter knew of what the other person was going to present on.

Also in my own practice the most fun thing that I do is actually take two different modes of working and combine them in ways that people have never really done before... 

This is something I'd really love, the question is, that a concept like this is dependent on a place that has 1. diverse people with a particular expertise that someone in the group would know about what they do to know what to invite them for. 2. Appropriate facilities and more technicians so that if we wanted to try, oh say, jump right into testing a Polaroid transfer onto a ceramic stone and then carve it, somehow we'd be able to jump right into this.

Or perhaps I'm forming the dreams of a future school that I'd like to be in...


So I talked about doing this at BRIEF where there is a theme and people try to make new work based on that theme so that there's some kind of structure to work with, but the one key element that I realized was that I am affected by labels, if this "school" was to work, it would need to actually NOT be called an art school, we could still be artists and make art, but what we  wouldn't call everything we made there "Art", somehow that seems like I would continue to work and learn happily if I didn't see it as reflecting on my entire practice...

Sunday, February 5, 2012

5 websites I would be a part of if they existed:


Using current news headlines as an anchor, the public can create and vote on the most critical questions burning in our minds and tracks the kind and difficulty/complexity of questions created over time. A Socratic approach to find out what questions do we share?

With our minds firing on all cylinders rarely are we actually creating interesting projects that would be the right idea for our own artistic practice. This site built on open source software destabilizes the private nature of creativity and offers a way for people to share how they would go about a project if they were the right one to do it. A lost and found perhaps of clever strategies.

Supposedly this site site already exists in a way on as a Japanese website and there were many more that were featured on a show called Ito-ke no Shokutaku, but it's about time there was a single database and we can all benefit from each others household wisdom.

Inspired by the book of the same name title, a database of community-based organizations and artists to communally discuss lessons learned, share resources, archive and track past and future inspirational models.

A skill sharing site that works like where people can vouch for people that barter or give services out for free that can be requested or offered. Dentists who will do dental care for art, rich men who want to take out girls to help pay for their student loans exist so why not for getting home cooked pies in exchange for helping someone learn how to code in JavaScript?

Homesick reminders

I was depressed this morning and talked about it with Rachel as we were just getting out of bed at 2 pm...

What is it that makes being in a new place, in Glasgow, that is so difficult for me to find ways to have fun/meaning that seemed so easy in Detroit? I boiled it down to the feeling that you had a place to chase opportunities the way you wanted to go about it. There are people passionately working towards social justice or creating a community of ones own, and in many more ways one felt needed. And the pay off was always apparent, it was more than rewarding, you got access. Access to rooftops, to space to work, to people that are famous in their own right, access to get involved either more in depth and a lack of pressure to keep doing it out of guilt or need.
Friends didn't just share struggles, they shared joys of making, the joys of challenging work and the joys of doing it on your own terms or to show that you don't care what others think. Actually the biggest part was that you could prove to yourself that you could do it. You could be celebrated as an introvert and celebrated for doing things that don't make you any money and celebrated for still doing it even though you really needed the money. There just wasn't any commercial pressure, just lifes pressures, no expectations that you have to worry about anything other than your own survival, not worrying about if you got invited to a party. You were proud of the weirdest dorkiest things that you did with your friends and you didn't have to go to far or wait that long to hang out with those people. You were proud of who you could associate with because someone in your close circle of friends gave you hope and you knew that nothing in particular is your responsibilty. There was comfort when you wanted to only be among friends and excitement was just around the corner if you were bored and adventure if you decided to go somewhere on your bike. The funny thing was that as a city something really exciting didn't happen every week. If anything, really fun magical days of non-stop fun happened in 2 unexpected days out of the year, and usually in the summer. There was too much to do when all of the other days were awfully slow and uneventful, but life seemed to go at the right pace and I got to know so many amazing people that I can't believe we were all in one place and I was appreciated for exactly who I was, not what I had accomplished, but what I wanted to do. I miss you friends in Detroit.

But I also reminded myself of two things this morning/afternoon.

1. I came here to challenge myself in ways that takes away all the supports that I made myself and all the support I took advantage of in order to try something different for a little while, because even if I hated it (which I don't I'm just lonely), change is inherently a good thing. The biggest problem I have right now is not knowing what I like to do here for fun, because at least the solution to that is just figuring it out and it will take care of itself.

2. This is the best time I could have with Rachel. The difficulties I'm finding here are only equal to what Rachel had to put up with in Detroit, as a city it seems to take at least a yer and a half to get settled. So maybe it's not about pushing myself to achieve anything new here, but to just enjoy my time with Rachel because she is having a great time here.

Ok, stop putting so much pressure on yourself Cedric, just do the work that needs to be done, let it fail like it inevitably should if it's a bold new risk and enjoy what you know is working out just fine, the rest wasn't meant to be. A little pep talk never hurts.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Verbatim from a recording of Rachel to me...

So I got a great explanation from Rachel about what my art practice may be like after I suggested that I haven't been able to express what it is that I'm interested in since I thought it was generosity, but most of those conversations steered towards economies and models where I was possibly more interested in keeping myself feeling present, as if it's normally a struggle to feel like things are real and that I can have conversations with people to the point where both people feel like there's a real moment. But I was having trouble picking apart what it meant to consider what is 'real'.

Here's a transcription of the audio that is here: 1 31 12 12 54 PM

"So you might want to think about the terminology you use to describe the things that you are interested in, so last night we were talking about how you're interested in generosity but generosity doesn't have to deal with honesty or vulnerability, it has a bit more to do with exchange, which you might even be more interested in something a bit more personal than that. So we came up with the word, the 'real', but then we realized you weren't really necessarily interested in the 'real' because that can be conflated into ideas that come through in cliche films like the Matrix in which other people are asleep and only one person sees reality as it really is and it posits that there is one truth to our lives and there is one reality, and for example that could be, right, a nihilistic person trying to get all the religious lemmings to wake up and realize that there is just no existent of god, so you're not interested in that, you're not interested in someone being prophetic for others, you're interested in the complexity of human emotion through experience and relationships. Because you're interested in what makes people vulnerable and where those vulnerabilities come from, so it makes me think of good films where there is a complexity of humanity that is shown, and by complexity I mean that usually there's no morality or one morality that's posited, the characters are not simply good or evil but there is an entangled situation in which you realize literally the nuances of... and often the fact that morality is kind of shit, really in a way, and there is just no right or wrong and that situations are more complex than we often portray them to be. And I think I kind of mentioned how this makes me realize also why I love Anthropology, because it  looks at patterns and ways in which our societies create ways of working for us that allow us to  survive and how structures allow us to survive, but how structures are also those things that kind of keep us from often expressing those intimate vulnerabilities we have , but when we get vulnerable it's a show of how us acknowledging the chaotic nature and the uncertainties we have about life and our acknowledgement that life is made up of this things that we do repetitiously to survive and to make it in this life and to stay sane. And vulnerability comes down to those moments where we do feel like a lack of control and realize that our structures can fall apart. And those are very beautiful moments where we're honest with ourselves and yet we make choices to be the people we want to be so that we can continue to be vulnerable in a way that we find fulfilling, in a way that allows us to be intimate with others."

"'s interesting that structure I think is very important to you, and your paintings could about structure, and that you're interested in vulnerability because you're someone who's very aware of the fact that you need particular structures in order to feel normalcy in your life and to feel like your life isn't chaotic or upsetting or depressing or out of control whereas other people those things come more naturally to them. Like, memory or they literally just don't worry about being fulfilled in a way that you have high expectations of life and so you want those things to be immediate. I also think it's why you don't really do drugs. You know what I mean? You don't care to lose yourself, which is what I love about you because you don't seek that kind of escapism in a similar way, you very much so want to know what these things are that confront you. But yeah that goes back to you needing particular types of structure in your everyday life that also makes you interested in generosity but also in these moments of vulnerability and intimacy with others because it's something that's always very immediate to you. And others don't keep those kinds of things so immediate to themselves and I think that might have something to do with their expectations of life and of themselves and just their personalities, but I think you very much have... it's part necessity for you that fuels a desire in others, you need that structure to live your daily life and then you want to experience and have these types of conversations with others to feel fulfilled."