permanence?

Writing grants instead of working in the studio which is where I yearn to be. So as a break and with your indulgence I’ll share a list of some learned things from this CoVid self-isolation summer.

I have only a handful of decent insights – notes to self – that pull their weight for me. Looking forward to comparing these notes with others’, since we’ve all been navigating. In the meantime, randomly…

Thinking with just your mind is wildly overrated.

Sea Legs, if you want to function when the ground keeps shifting: you need to find them.

Anchor yourself with a flexible sense of humour, and functioning – at any level – is a lot easier. Use discernment in all things, but specifically the things you put into your mind, your heart and your body: information, love, food.

Trust your intuition, especially if it’s running against the prevailing cultural current. Rest when you can; move your body regularly and with appreciation.

Grant writing has changed only a little. It’s still a translation of a lovely round idea into a fixed number of words that give it square corners, like a stamp or a block. That said, writing and submitting applications is an extremely useful exercise – I would recommend it to all artists who want their work to resonate with other people – translation, like objectivity, is necessary. And it’s your job.

We still use the word Merit as though it justifies a subjective judgement, as though the idea of a meritocracy was EVER more than a way to support the Eurocentric worldview of white people (mostly men) and at the expense of all other people. Language is full of antiquity though, and I’m sure a better word will be found.

Habits are interesting. Invisible little nasty-sweets posing as daily comforts. Some are seriously dangerous addictions, disguised as fluffy quilts that were handed down from your ancestors. Others are regular ways to hide yourself away in a fold of time. Oh, I always do this at 4pm….

Habits tend to support a conflated ego, which is what makes them so damned difficult to unravel and repurpose. They are reliable, reassuring and extremely difficult to resist if you’re feeling vulnerable. but The thing that makes them habits and not rituals (which are conscious and deliberate) turns them into a hole in your memory. The more you rely upon them, the larger the hole gets.

I don’t think habits are the same as naps. I could be wrong.

Also:

Rain is like love. Nourishing, and not always comfortable.

Water is like music.

Life is good,
especially when it’s challenging.

Art of Time, Cadmium Red

I was walking down the street  When I thought I heard this voice say

red on it's way to black.  John Berger, via Art of Time, April 12, 2014
red on it’s way to black. John Berger, via Art of Time’s “I Send You This Cadmium Red”, April 12, 2014

“Say, ain’t we walking down the same street together on the very same day?”

wide_blue
Blue. Also Berger and John Christie who exchanged letters about colour which were read as part of AOT’s “Cadmium”

“Hey, Senorita, that’s astute”, I said.  “Why don’t we get together and call ourselves an institute?”

Paul Simon, “Gumboots”, from Graceland

yellow like light, against black like darkness.  Again, Berger & Christie's correspondence, & AOT
yellow like light, against black like darkness. Again, Berger & Christie’s correspondence, & AOT

Many marvelous synchronized happenings and conversations these past two days.  The world is rich with resonance.

Nothing institutional about this weekend, whatsoever.  I just like that lyric, and Aruna referred to it when we were eating tapas on Ossington together..

 

Paul Simon, from “Gumboots” (Graceland)