Thursday, November 6, 2008


been less than inspired to do many of the things that i hold dear. actually, held? this has been coming to a fore the last few years. basically since i left baltimore. in particular, reading, writing, and making collages. i used to spend hours on these activities, now not so much. i am still passionate about these subjects, and that passion may be in part why i do not participate as much in them.

my last big project was KEVIN IS RUNNING LATE BUT WILL BE IN (available for download here, reviews here, here, and here). it was an easy project for me to make. i did it at my day job. i have a tendency (work ethic) to throw myself hard at whatever is occupying the majority of my time, so as this project came about, i simply allocated resources from managing my department into making this project. now i am teaching, and i am throwing myself at it full-tilt. but i don't think this explains my drop in production.

the majority of the work i make is extremely personal to me (even if it seems it is simply documenting). last week on the walk to school, when i initially was going to write this post (see what i mean about delays and lack of motivation), i was listening to my ipod on shuffle. one of the tracks came on. at first i was shocked (hearing my own voice). then i giggled. then i was left with this absolute feeling of distance. this was so much a part of my life (9 hours a day at the job, then the self-identification with an art object) for so long (2+ at my day job, countless hours with nick recording it) and now that is over. not completely over, as the object attests, but in many ways, a relic.

let me back track. when i was in baltimore i wrote a book, made many collages, was active in mail art, and was making poems regularly. none of that has been the case in the last few cities i have lived in (buffalo, dc, seoul).

it isn't that i haven't made *anything* just that the size and scale has been drastically reduced. a few weeks ago i bought collage materials. and that night i was cutting things out, coloring things, and thinking about organizing things on the page. and then, nothing happened. i was also working on a new transcription project, that too has fizzled.

post-baltimore, i was invited to perform in many cities (nyc, toronto, milwaukee, chicago, dc, baltimore, buffalo, etc) but even then, my work was always made to order. it seems that shy of having 'an order' i am unproductive. i have written or conceived numerous things in my head, but i never follow through. this has left me in a peculiar situation.

i don't mind not producing, i am quite content focusing on teaching, but there is something about this challenge to identity (tho, perhaps i am still an artist) that i think about. it could be very well that i am incubating, or i am on hiatus, or i am done, or tomorrow i begin another period of production.

the only real 'conclusion' i've reached is that without a community (define that abused word, at least in american poetry) any way you will, i am simply not active enough on my own. or perhaps it is that now i am a fan of various communities (including the art scene i have found in seoul, which is quite active, and great), more of a fan than an active participant, and that the free-time i alot to art is spent taking things in. it is, i repeat, not a bad thing at all to be absorbing. nor is this a woe is me post. it is simply something i wanted to put out there, no matter if i am sharing it with the same six people i could simply email this to, or if it is read by hundreds.

okay, time to shower. gotta teach tomorrow, after all.


Ryan W. said...

right there with you on the apathy. tho mine extends to not being much of a fan of poetry lately. I've recently acquired poetry books that I think are particularly well written, but even then it's like... why do I read this stuff again? I'm just not under the spell lately, I surpose.
I blog but that's a biological compulsion. maybe biological compulsions count. I don't read other people's blogs very often, but have been the last couple days out of curiosity re: what people might or might not be saying about the election. I may be trending toward reading blogs more often.

Ryan W. said...

tho I guess I can think of some recent good poetry reading experiences. now that I think on it!

one good thing about poems is they're often short.

Sara said...

I've sort of found this same problem over a long period of time with me - or rather, what you're experiencing doesn't seem like a problem, but it has felt like one to me. Then again, I was never as productive as you have been in the past, nor as connected to any sort of community, either.

I dunno. I guess that's all to say that I miss you.


Buck said...

All the art supplies you left behind have been distributed to artists who are happy & productive, except for the stuff I kept (which was mostly exacto knives and match books, anyway, congenial to my 'process'), so it's like you're collaborating, even at this remove.

Of course, the economy misses you, esp., e.g., Utrecht, PlazaArts.