Here is a photo of an interview some of us students at Maine College of Art had this summer with Sina Najafi, editor-in-chief of Cabinet Magazine. We wore my animal masks.
I am now the official Artist in Residence at ATSU School of Osteopathic Medicine. Look forward to new work in the upcoming weeks.
I think everyone deserves the right to be happy.
Will the audience be willing?
to give to me?
to commit fully?
because I am fully committed
and only as committed as you are.
While I leave it up to chance,
but give them all of the tools
really, it’s all a lie.
I am learning to let go.
I am willing to be vulnerable.
Ultimately, I am the real audience.
After my last cinematheque class of the year (which, we watched a really, really great film tonight—more on that in a sec), I went for a run. Now, I’ve wanted to go on a run for a while now, but haven’t had the time. Running when it’s 91 degrees, even at night, after months of not taking it seriously was a pretty dumb idea. I made it up State Street, which is a fairly steep hill, around the corner and embarrassingly gave up after I passed a large bar crowd. Thinking about this failure drew up a few ideas that I can talk about for my critique in two weeks that I honestly have nothing to show. I guess I can talk about the spelling bee that I am organizing and the small gallery that I’m building. On top of that, my other working ideas include a maze of failure designed for ants, a series of photos of me wearing ornate and intricate hand sewn headdresses of flightless birds at airports, continuing on my palmistry, and my interests in noetic psychology. I also demonstrated to a friend tonight how I am able to continuously do heel clicks (happy kicks) with duality on both sides of my body for reasonably an hour. She suggested that I turn that into a street performance piece. While that could work, I don’t want that kind of a reputation in Portland. That would mean competing with electric-guitar-on-bike guy, the whistler, and retired-sailor-look-a-like-turned-jewelry-salesman guy (if you’ve been in Portland for one day, you would know exactly who I’m talking about).
The film we watched was called WR: The Mysteries of the Organism. Let me list a basic synopsis:
-Dry, hysterical, witty humor
-border line pornographic
-cult like protagonists
-like able characters
-crazy and uncomfortable doctor/patient scenarios
-fake military man
-a really fantastic ending
It got me thinking that I would really like to visit the Wilhelm Reich Museum in Rangely, Maine. Possibly this weekend or next. One of my professors for the class, Kenneth White built a orgone energy accumulator, which he donated to the MFA office, based off this film and the teachings of Wilhelm Reich. I can’t wait to try it out.
If you’re interested in watching 80 minutes of enlightened absurdity, I highly recommend checking this film out. I might watch it a second time.
Again, this isn’t the usual forum for me to post this kind of thing, but now that this marks two personal blog posts, it is becoming the usual thing for this site?
I feel like I am a different person—meaning, I suddenly am feeling like I don’t want to leave Portland. I am a month through this 8 week summer intensive, and I’m feeling stressed out that there are still so many things I want to do in my art, etc., especially while I am here. Right now, I’m feeling more “Joyce” than I have in a really long time. I’m really liking it. This feels right. And good. But perhaps, I think I’m just living off the high of having Sina Najafi wear one of my animal masks during an educational interview.
—Updated CV, July 9, 2011.
—I, along with many New England Non-conventional artists, will be participating in an independent art show in early August. If you’d like to help out or support, please consider making a small donation to insure that this show happens, or send positive thoughts my/our way. Check us out at: New England Independent Art Show.
I started today off, not wanting to be in my studio. I hadn’t been feeling very productive since I’ve been in Portland, whether in or out of the studio, but I knew that I would rather sit outside and see people go about their day while I worked, than to sit at my computer screen avoiding my other (silk) screen.
As a kid, I was obsessed with fortune telling, palm reading, astrology, and astronomy. I would check out dozens of books from the library and spend afternoons at Waldenbooks and Borders reading about the mysteries and connections between the body, mind, space and time. I remember lazy afternoons, where I’d hang out with my parents who would go around interpreting everyone’s facial features and what they had in store for their futures. I loved all of it. But I kind of pushed it all into the back of my head, writing it off as false sorcery because the practices were a little too outlandish for my friends.
This afternoon, and honestly the last few weeks, I’ve felt like I’ve been lacking something. A human touch. A close connection. Holding hands. I wanted to hold someone’s hand. I wanted to connect with people, beyond a passing smile. I wanted to be as vulnerable as I felt. So I set up a little blanket outside of MECA with some of the work I’ve been letting linger on my desk, and a little chalkboard that read:[ FREE PALM READINGS
Accuracy Not Guaranteed
However, Acceptable Donations:
-Life Stories ]
My intent, while it included wanting to hold a stranger’s hand and talk to them for a few minutes, was also to see if anyone was willing to give themselves to me. As a complete stranger, I wondered who would stop and allow me to touch their hands, which is such an intimate and powerful gesture. Right off the bat, I had three willing customers. I rarely sat idle. In the six hours I conducted this experiment, I had twenty-one visitors, and many who stayed in line for as long as they could, until they had to catch a bus or get somewhere quickly. I was so fortunate to spend this time with these people. The people that I met ranged from students, to business men, to a burlesque dancer, and an aspiring politician. The whole experience was so draining—I was giving myself fully to all of these very real people. I engaged in conversations that went beyond their hands, cried with them, laughed with them. There was some unease when I was asked for love advice and personal soul searching. While I wanted to help and solve these personal problems, I emphasized that I do not tell the future, but read the past. Your hands collect and grow with what life deals you and what fate gave you. I did give some advice, and shared my opinions, talked politics, and hugged people that somehow didn’t end up feeling like strangers. I devoted myself to these people who wanted to talk to me, because I wanted to talk to them so much, too. Some, I spent ten minutes with, others I spent forty. It all depended on the moment, and how long they wanted to be with me.
I was very honest with my palm reading. It was the first time I’ve ever done it. Oddly enough, I was praised for being creepily accurate. I think there is something very real and committed to holding someone’s hand. There is a barrier that is being crossed where you’re allowed feel someone else’s presence and (for me) luckily saw blindly who they were.
Because this, like a lot of my work, was a social experiment, I needed to have some element of identification. In order to document this experience, I took photos of my visitor’s faces, hands if they were shy, and wrote names to connect and remember. With my horrible memory of names and faces, I surprisingly remember almost every one I met today. Here, I chronicle the people I read starting from the very first hand.
Additionally, while I wanted to really badly to record all of my readings in audio, I didn’t. I consciously decided not to because of how personal and fleeting each reading was. The only one I recorded was Ellie Ga’s. I justified it because she also recorded it. Maybe one day I’ll upload the audio.
I often find myself feeling like I’m always left behind. It’s really difficult to connect with someone because we’re all these self-conscious, emotional bodies, and no one wants to sacrifice their ego to reach out to someone else. I felt like for a few minutes, I gave people a more communal loneliness when I held their hand. Somehow, we were all connected.