Englyph stencils to create a gift for a guest

“What I’d Like To See….”

Many people seem not to like making a plan. Instead, they prefer quick and short-term decisions.

Editing a video
Editing a video

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

Perhaps people always want to leave their options open, so they don’t make a decision until the last minute? Is this why I couldn’t get any commitments, to my game, last week, or maybe people felt that they couldn’t be good at the game? In any case, another guy posted on Facebook at the last minute, offered $30 and got what he needed. Should I have paid? Who knows? I’ll try again, soon, with a different tactic.

I’m headed uptown later in the day, today, as I spent the morning and afternoon editing and preparing my videos for a visiting critics session. Today the visitor is a prominent African-American artist. I’m honored to have her visit! I have no idea of how the session will go but I’m always trying different things. My “different thing” today is to offer her a postcard with her name in Englyph on it. Just as a welcome and “remember me” gesture. I’m not at all nervous. I simply don’t know what to expect and am experimenting.  I do think, however, that it’s apt for me to show my new work from the school. I like the pieces and want to make more in that series. I also want to keep showing pieces on two screens, to stress the serial nature of and the connections between  the pieces. I guess its rush hour, as there are a lot of people on the train. Of course, I prefer it when there are fewer. I found a seat and started typing.

Postcards to etch a guests' name in Englyph
Postcards to etch a guests’ name in Englyph

Now I’m sitting in my neatened up studio waiting for this prominent artist. It’s so strange and unpredictable, this process: Will she be on time? Will she be fresh or funky, or funky-fresh? Whatever it is, and for better or worse, I can only be myself. I’m happy with the set up, in here.

Studio space prepared for visit
Preparing the studio for a visitor

I got two screens instead of renting them from the AV cage because I wasn’t happy with the extra connections with media players I had to make and the incompleteness of the set of equipment. I don’t know how to handle these people but I’ll do my best! Now I’m waiting. The meeting is due at 7:05 pm but she could be late.

Englyph stencils to create a gift for a guest
Englyph stencils to create a gift for a guest

All turned out fine as the artist was only about ten minutes late, and our session lasted forty minutes as it should have. I somewhat enjoy the critique sessions, although there is a part of them that is quite absurd. The absurdity lies in the fact that each person has his or her own viewpoint and they impose what, as they say, “I’d like to see,” on the student’s art work. If the student were to fit the work to concede to every different person’s arbitrary desire, then the artwork would be a muddled mess of viewpoints. I’d actually love to see an artwork that looks like this, although I simply suspect it looks like most contemporary artwork. Maybe I DO have it wrong (wink, wink). I’m not changing my work, so to suggest what one “would like to see” is ludicrous. I personally would like to see her work be less mediocre and standard, but I can’t affect that change, since someone in power liked it and swept it up into the mainstream art system.

The visitor insisted that she wanted to see “more” in my works. She wanted a “way in.” I was perfectly pleased that she couldn’t easily digest the work, which of course for her translated into “losing patience. ” only when I described the work as “haikus” did she warm up to actually concentrating on the pieces. What I’m not sure of, with these types of critiques, is if I made all the changes this particular person desired, would the pieces be “complete,” then? Would she do more with me than critique the work, like become my friend or mentor?

The woman did give me some suggestions for residencies and grants:

Real Artways
Art In General
Artists in the Marketplace at the Bronx Museum

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