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Trigger Warnings

I’ve heard a few anecdotes about people not surviving art school with their practices intact.

Tuesday, October 4th, 2016

They become so overwhelmed with the feedback, negative or otherwise, that they can’t make work anymore. That will not be me. I’m far too proud of, and protective of my work to allow someone else to dictate how it should be or appear — that is, of course, unless they offered me something valuable to me in exchange.

Avery Hall Library
Avery Hall Library: Very Stately.

I think that I need to be very careful with how I apportion my time, which is why, for instance, I resigned from my Social Media Fellow position. I don’t have the mental energy for that particular job, given that it demands a lot of chasing after people for feedback etc. I would say that I’m “bad” at chasing after people for this or that, but that wouldn’t be entirely untrue, either.

Computer and iPad: Studying at Avery Hall
Studying at Avery Hall

I also need to attend to my own writing and projects. I need to look for an exhibition / lecture space and get that going, as well, for the Spring time. I’m past the 5 month mark, so it’s important that I make most of the time, along with my projects.

Art Criticism Class
We have a guest today (in the plaid).

Today we have a guest in our Art Criticism class. He is a German artist and scholar who has a particular interest in the artistic collective called Art & Language. At some point, he brought up director Kathryn Bigelow, who, oddly, was a member long before she made such an interesting career shift. Her film, The Hurt Locker, is one of my favorite movies, ever. It was one of the few movies that I both thought was the best film of its year and won the academy award for Best Picture, accordingly.

Critical Issues Class
Warning: The subject matter of this class may cause embarrassment and discomfort.

It’s interesting to hear the talk about “trigger warnings” at school. Google defines them as such:

Trigger Warning (noun):  a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content).

I suppose that last week, our Critical Issues instructor gave us one, about this week’s reading, as today we read writings by Frantz Fanon, specifically “The Lived Experience of the Black Man,” from his book, Black Skin, White Masks. The instructor said that the first line was shocking, but that it was a gateway to a good essay. He was correct on both counts. The class was engaged and the subject complex and fascinating, but it was a tad uncomfortable. The teacher handled the discussion well, and aspects of the author’s arguments were, perhaps unsurprisingly, still pertinent to today.

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A test for my Facebook Cover Page photo: Inspired by Ai Wei Wei

I’m being a little bad. There is an optional screening of a film in place of the Visiting Lecture Series session that usually occurs. Since it’s optional, I took advantage of that option and am now headed downtown. I’m opting for drinks and food instead.

Tomorrow is another critique, this time with my student peers. I find this whole critique thing to be very annoying. I really need to meet someone at the school who can give me the real low-down on how all of this works. I also need to switch things up, in terms of what I’m making, come first year show time.

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