Today I came to the studio for a bit, firstly to reorganize for the next shoot, and then to clean the studio floor, which was filthy.
Saturday, October 8th, 2016
I have been waking up about the same time each day, which stands whether I have gone to bed later, or not. I also went running this morning, up half the High Line and back down to 14th street. It will, hopefully, be an enjoyable and productive day.
Now I’m at the Skowhegan School New York branch for a symposium on feminism. I’m interested in what the panelists have to say. I saw the director of the program numerous times. She smiled nicely. I really wanted to get in her face and tell her that I had applied for her program four years in a row, to no avail (although I don’t really want my Summer taken). LET ME IN! I wanted to scream, but with her being busy, I couldn’t connect. My other problem was that there were other things I wanted to do than hear people talk so verbosely about their work and not really having the good work to support it. This is an art world malaise, of course, so what can one do?
I saw a few of my classmates at the event, along with a woman I know from the School of Visual Arts. It was nice to see her. She is the head of the Summer Residency program, and I am forever grateful for the opportunities she has offered me, including writing me a recommendation for Columbia. Even though I have already done so, of course, I feel like I want to thank her, again!
Sunday, October 9th, 2016
So I braced the very grim and rainy day to got to an “activation” of a sculpture in Jackie Robinson park in Harlem. The Studio Museum put on the event, and as I’m a supporter, I wanted to go and “support.”
I’m also doing a new experiment in trying to see if I can get people to “discover” me. I find that any time I approach a person about my work – with the rare exception of one independent curator in San Francisco who also ended up writing me a recommendation – they reject me whole-handedly. I think that people want to think that they have “discovered” or “chosen” an artist, rather that by the artist approaching them. But how in the fuck do I create THAT illusion? I need to create an aura that “gets to” the important people, and I need to do it fast. Well, I need to keep starting with social media. In a way I hate social media, but I still need to GET INTO IT! Which is why, of course, I’m writing this blog.
Again, I’m maybe a month and a half into the program, and it’s still not too early to think about AFTER school. Things like a studio and the ever important connections. A lot to think about.
Later in the day I bought some new shoes at the Dr. Martens store on Spring street. I figured it was time for some new shoes and boots, and I’m very loyal to that brand. I like the way the shoes look and feel, and there is forever a degree of coolness attached to them – perhaps some times dubious by their associations – but I don’t care. I noted to the shoe sales person that I had bought my first pair of “Docs” in 1992. He probably wasn’t born by then, so he was nonplussed.
After purchasing the shoes, I bolted back uptown to meet my friend Peter, from San Francisco. He is in his mid-sixties, and lived in New York in the 1970s, so he enjoyed walking around the West Village and reminiscing about bars and various locales. We had a nice pineapple-flavored drink at a place called The Happiest Hour on West 10th street, and then parted. I’d like Peter to see my studio at the school, as he is an alum of the School of Journalism at Columbia, but we’ll see if that can happen, given my “Mentor Week” activities.
Later in the evening, I went to the IFC Center to view director Ava DuVernay’s documentary, “The 13th,” about a clause in the 13th Amendment of the Constitution that she argues was used as a loophole to permit “servitude” amongst African-Americans if they were convicted of a crime. The film makes a very powerful argument for this theory, and it is a devastating and sobering historical account of how the U.S. holds 25% of the world’s prison population. I enjoyed the film – to the degree that it’s possible to enjoy a testament to long-standing historical cruelty – and may revisit some points, later.