Friday, November 28, 2008

Before Failure & After The End Of Failure

As we reach The End of Failure--surpass and supplant one end with another--in a space that seemed to hold a promise of suspending deadlines at a fixed distance (one that is always, needless to say, located on a theoretically saturated, emotionally charged, and perpetually annoying horizon line) which proves at closer proximity to be the same size as it was in the distance.

See notes: 1. Badlands wallboard and Yves Klein blue.

1. Badlands camping trip 99. Return without fear; you will not fall into the bottomless crevices or encounter hostility from the bison... nor will any of the 6 or 8 campers following your lead think anything of the fact that there's no one else in the park and no potable water within a day's walk.

2. Return to the Walker for an Yve's Klein retrospective.

Don't look at anything for long enough to see what you're looking at. Now read how you should look at it through my directions:

So past the foam flowers and a few things on walls (in frames or on shelves), there will be that horizon again. Formed this time by the excess of color and repetition, and then the lack thereof--lack of any thing but falling up the short-cut set of longer stairwells, trying to get past the rest of more of the too much, but the remodel made it almost impossible to skip part of an exhibit.. inevitably have to walk through one extra gallery and then another-- probably most likely almost approached by a gallery guard but the almost-approached was sufficient re-direction: past gift shop and then trapped back in some other room. The horizon line becomes the fill-to-here-line. Too much.

Yellow blue burning or not burning; Yves Klein's tape lends less melancholy here.. industrial mix+match leftover bin of blues... Klein's blue wasn't even "Yves Klein blue," in like the dye to match sense.... though the variation, fading, decay became some mark of the artist, museum crew. As the tape becomes the only thing to guide you along a narrowing corridor, even this kind of trace of the artist's hand becomes something of a companion. It doesn't occur to you to think about anything except the feeling of infinite isolation for so long, no possible connotations--from your own life or about the art--attach themselves to this duration-based act; and somehow anything that could have caught hold of you then and didn't is now lost forever.

This is what it means to lose an ability to play, I think. To be inhaled with a movement toward and propelled by a sub-matter quantity; cavities and interspliced synccopated lapses of nothing.

I forgot about Harold and the Purple Crayon. Oh and then the rock&roll version--children's theater sequel. With a whole box of colors and electric guitars.

This is the kind of cliche that it sort of seemed like a preferable thing to forclose on in the time between deciding against pursuing financial success and getting lost in an alternative trajectory. (Alternative in the side-by-side comparison sense).

So since you didn't go along to any of those things, with all luck you will have saved a fair amount of time, money and energy but will have followed my directions re. how to feel and relate to those experiences closely enough to agree that we are now in an immediately and already passed present future shared moment. One that has nothing to do with taking the time to fail repeatedly again, and thus requires nearly-immediate agreement and quick planning. I for one hope most to avoid success at all costs. Are we in agreement: yes.

How does such a sentiment, or goal, translate to an era that doesn't question such an obvious premise. Without some sort of glorification of failure, the symptoms are couched in a standing room only section with enough room for a sprawling shanty town for one.

St. Paul James J. Hill Library, Feb. 2012: directed toward the surplus woman corner at a literary Valentines dating event, I just couldn't get over how much cooler I was than anyone else in the room. There was a pretty good book selection in that corner-- a Santa Cruz book on permaculture or micro farms or something, and the little bit of smugness that comes from not partaking in something and having a really long complicated story to make it the place everyone wishes they were. Not really, actually. This cat vet kept mentioning my income. Apparently my number was that of a tax form or something.

Despite the glamor of the thing, I made a real effort to avoid letting the failure diva persona kind of continue to overcode the more realistic kind of isolation and rejection that's wrapped up with most social exchange these days... Maybe time to return to Welcome To The Desert Of The Real? (Zizeck, post 9-11).

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

how to survive art school

a string of text-mail push-pulls, ending with something to the effect of: "Thanks A Lot, Nice Walk To 16th And Mission Instead." 

....The kind of raw, miserable, aching feeling that such conversation produces, even when you see it coming from miles away, and have stockpiled enough supplies to get you and all the neighbors through the next natural disaster, if and when it strikes. 
Be it known: I am someone that carries a first-aid kit in addition to having a first-aid kit at home, and enough (not obsessive amounts of anything) on hand to get through at least a couple of days. water (usually.... ), band-aids/bandages, ointments, candles, matches, emergency fuel pellets + metal containers to light fires in, warm clothes, flashlights, painkillers, tuna, hot chocolate, etc. 

A fellow student at the glasgow school of art made a survival kit for emotional heartache. I wish I could find a picture of it. She carved a box, lined it with velvet. The contents fit perfectly, but I can't quite remember what they were.... A journal with a finite number of pages to "work through it," some chocolates, a compass, tissues; a condom was in there as a punch-line: Get over it, kiddo. 
At thirty-five, Vicki was one of the older students in the program, and seemed to me to be quite middle aged, and I was sort of awe-struck that she was pursuing life doing art, not just art, but this kind of art, instead of doing something more practical or raising a family; she was markedly from or out of punk rock, but dressed down, and though her body was spry and young, her face had this strange kind of rubbery quality. She had at one time been in a relationship with the guy I had a desk next to, Jim. Jim lived in the towers (the projects, where a number of artists lived), introduced himself to me by drawing a cartoon bug on my notebook with a speech bubble: "Wanker." I cried, actually, not on purpose, and he never did anything to tease again. When we took a class trip to London, Vicki and Jim adopted me for an afternoon to Brick Lane... They took me to second hand shops, sex shops, music stores, galleries; stories told through the lenses of previous trips to London shared when they were lovers. 
Post emotional-healing, Vicki composed a new list: "How To Survive Art School." 

"How To Survive Art School."
1. Ignore bullshit but learn how to use it, it will buy time.
2. Delight in all ideas no matter how shite.
3. Look at the work of other artists and try to understand, do not try too hard.
4. Remember art is a matter of personal taste
5. Ignore anyone offering advice if you do not like their work.
6. Try to accept ideas.
7. Do only that which stimulates and interests you.
8. The tutors do not always know best.
9. Drink and smoke, but not to the extent that you damage your health.
10. Laugh wherever possible.
11. Cry if you want to.
12. If you are lost in the world of concepts return to aesthetics.
13. Never ask "But is it art?" Anything is if you say so.
14. Try to get on with the other students, they are human too.
15. Mix with non-art people and allow them to take the piss.
16. Have a personal strategy (like Steve Mqueen in Papillon) and stick to it.
17. If you are confused concentrate on the craft and skill of good presentation.
18. Don't go for big statements until you know how to work.

Earlier today, I received a mass e-mail from a favorite curator-esque-person with the header:
"thank goodness; its NOT another folk thing :)"

A link to a video by Ryan Trecartin.