Wednesday, November 19, 2008

My soul is just a whisper inside of a tornado

So I took the plunge and committed to a new house, which I'll move into on December 1st. I'm getting pumped for living in a new place, in the Mission, and more in the thick of things. Genevieve is coming down here tomorrow from Portland and it'll be fun to do a little show-and-tell around the city, gossip about mutual friends and see her again after the 6 months since last being in the same place.

I've been working on this zine about all the places I lived in Portland and have been thinking about that really exciting head-space I go when I'm about to start over or try something new. It's exciting because it's fraught with potential and anxiety. It's been great with Timber and Pam in Bernal Heights, but it's time to try a new place and feel like I'm still choosing to be there instead of sticking around because it's familiar.

I met with Glen on Monday and we talked about this new artist statement that I just wrote and all the things it's accomplishing, confusing, overstating, and missing out on entirely. It's hard to summarize a body of work that has departed like a cancer from an original idea. It's hardly isolate anymore. Some of my drawings are about family history, some are completely autobiographical memory, some investigate the social construction of memory, some are renderings of what exists, some are rendered inferences of things that are missing.

I'm figuring out, more and more everyday, that authorship and ownership are diffused in the context of the world. How, when I walk into a thriftshop or garage sale there is an overwhelming sense of familiarity even if I don't know the people, what the things are, or care to invest in them. Having grown up, and up and up and up, and with two younger brothers, I have seen things that were once so entirely mine become so completely not mine and someone elses. Everything from Iowa, New Jersey, Ithaca, Middletown, Boston and Portland has the potential to be in someone elses home and, I suppose, has the potential to find me again in San Francisco.

If the thread of my work is the concept of positive and negative space, in that existence is directly dependent upon the fact that an object doesn't not-exist, then the concept speaks much more largely than the nature of things. It's about this weird space between me and you as visual interpretations of each other-- it breaks down the idea that I am the seer and everything else is seen-- it's that weird trance babies enter when they see their own hands and bend back in on themselves.

Of course, when I start talking like this, I lose track of all the different components, which I suppose makes sense because I'm talking about how components are losing their separateness. My writing starts to read melty and high. But I'm not. So it's important to bring it all back home to say that perhaps this project is about adaptability-- the idea that we are formed and affected by our environments in both a physical and mental way. Physical in that we define objects in relation to how our bodies use and perceive and feel their presence, and mentally in how we define ourselves (our identities, who we are) by how our bodies and daily routines use those objects. "I am a carpenter" also means "I am passionate about woodworking" and "my house is full of tools" and "my friends ask me to fix things for them all the time" and perhaps "I used to be a sculptor, but this makes me more money" or "my father was a carpenter" and perhaps even"I hope my daughter will be a carpenter."

So I'll say it again: I'm 24, and I've been moving moving moving around my whole life. This informs why when I enter a thriftshop it feels both new and familiar. I don't have a lot of things, I do have need for them, I used to have things, I do have things I don't need. I define my need, my need defines what I need and makes me needy. My need changes as I move from one place to another, as the people in my life change, as those people themselves are changing, as I change them, as they change me, as I am changing too.

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