It appears as if I can best achieve a rhythm by typing in my blog thoughts on my train rides up to and back from Columbia.
We’ll call it the “Train of Thought.” Ba-dum-pum.
This being NYC, of course, I’m risking that my iPad could be snatched from my delicate, “obviously not from NYC” hands as I’m typing, but it’s a risk I’ll take. What do I have to lose? Well, an expensive iPad actually…. As the title of the piece says, though, life is a game of chance.
I was thinking about the strategies it took for me to reach where I am, now: Like Drake, I “started from the bottom now I’m here,” defining myself as a digital artist in order to both distinguish myself in the field and do work that was both close to my previous jobs and easier to store in the absence of studio space or experience as a traditional artist.
Digital files are easier to store than paintings or sculpture and I was able to get into shows and build a reputation without taking up much space. It seems that it will still serve me well in New York, the city where there is only space to bathe in the kitchen and S#!t in the closet.
Now, I’ve entered in the New Genres department at Columbia and I’m offered the opportunity to expand my practice in a place where eyes will be looking at and critiquing my work – which is both exciting AND daunting.
This is the third full day of orientation. All of us first years are experiencing orientation burnout. I know I’m going to appreciate and interact with every remarkable faculty and staff member at the school, but at points their titles and offices seem to blur into ASSOCIATE-ASSISTANT-DIRECTOR-REPORTING-TO-THE-DEAN-OF-THE-DEPARTMENT-OF-VISUAL-ARTS-IN-THE-SCHOOL-OF-ARTS. It’s a bit confusing, but manageable.
Finally — and quite importantly — we have the studio lottery!
It’s difficult to be particularly enthusiastic about the lottery, only because our studio selections will be arranged according to the whims of fate and chance. It’s better than your average corner store buy-a-ticket-and-hope-to-win-100-million-type lottery, because we actually get something out of it. It’s just that no one knows where they’ll end up in the selection hierarchy and if they’ll get anywhere near their first choice of studios.
A lottery is, of course, the most noble and fair of procedures, as no favoritism is shown. We get what we get, at least in terms of order of choice. I wish the best to my classmates, and myself!
On other fronts, I was selected as the Social Media Fellow with the Office of Communications, which means I’ll be handling the social media accounts for either the School of the Arts or the Visual Arts department.
I hope to leverage this opportunity by being creative and getting the word out there for Columbia University! Next week I also have to choose a working artist in the Mentor program. All of the participants are accomplished people, and they seem to be dedicated to helping the students on their journeys.
My classmates and I survived the first year studio lottery. We convened in a room in P****** hall and wrote our names on post-it notes, which we then folded and placed in a bag. An administrator then pulled the names randomly from the bag and each. Successive person picked could then choose a studio. As the only reasonable thing to do, I resigned myself to the hands of Fate. I was pleased and relieved when I was chosen third, and selected what seemed to be my best fit in P****** hall.
It wasn’t the most comfortable experience, at least for someone concerned. With others. And being as kind and thoughful as I am — really! — I was concerned. I could breathe easy relatively early after making my choice, but the anxiety among some of the others grew as they waited for their names to be called. Ultimately, with perhaps a few exceptions, most everyone was pleased with their selection.
Now, it’s time to get to work! Oh, right. Actually more orientation is forthcoming. Sigh….