- Lately I’ve been fixated with this idea of exploring things that I can’t remember. Not dates, or names, but contextless memories and temporally abstracted feelings. I would investigate the objecthood of a thing that is necessarily object-less and nearly imageless. Two experiences come to mind, one more vivid (and therefore slightly more perplexing), and one more ambiguous. While watching a video recently, the only flashback-like feeling that I’ve ever experienced struck me. It was of a woman doing bobbin lace.
If I hadn’t watched the video there is a great chance I would’ve never recovered this memory. When I was young I would pick up long objects and place them over each other, mimicking the motions of this weaving, but I was never exposed to this practice in real life and I have absolution no recollection of how I could’ve been introduced to the image of it. There is a simultaneous heat of frustration and dream-like feeling of rediscovery when pondering something that you absolutely cannot remember. My memory is generally extremely precise, which makes this even more poignant.
The second is a feeling of fabric that came to me while I was lying in bed year ago. It was reminiscent of something but I do not know what of. It’s a feeling of a stretchy, perhaps shiny material going over something, and when I imagine it the forms it contours are somewhat grotesque but I don’t know if that’s correct. I obviously cannot be certain, but I don’t think these memories are dejavu-esque in that they are mental constructions and might stem from an imaginative event; I believe they are tied to something very concrete from a long time ago but I cannot recall anything else.
What do I do?
a) Somehow express impossibility of conjuring form from experience. Going back to the idea of anti-experience. Constructed thoughts, objects, behaviors inherently have a degree of separation from the artist. Make a thing with the essence of the forgotten movement and feeling, even if it deviates from any imagery I retain.
b) Allow others to attempt expression of forgotten things, or bathe in absence. This would explore notions of gift-giving and hospitality that were discussed in my last critique. I’m interested in the idea of exchange through subjective means. I found a passage by Rosenquist (talking about his F-111) touching on this language today.
2. In the vein of continuous heat. Feelings of heat/cold bring severe, sometimes jarring awareness to the presence of one’s own body. I want to explore my body in physical space, and possibly in relation to others. I was thinking about weight, not numerically but carrying my(one’s) own weight continuously. It seems that I’m only truly happy when I’m in the air (climbing) these days; and it is only then (and when I’m very warm) when I feel aware. I’m thinking about distribution, hanging, mimesis of force, weight. Image vs. Material relationships.
3. Two performances pieces not for this project.
a) I’m very excited about this one. My work heavily focuses on assignation and observation of value fluctuations and exaltation. In this vein, but relating to my personal life, I have never perceived what a “true” self is. I think I talked about this earlier. I curate my identity to a large degree, choosing what I like until it becomes instinctual. And so, within 6 days at some point in the future (it takes 66 days to form a habit), I will design my idealized, handwritten typeface and work daily to become perfectly accustomed to this manner of writing. I will attempt to mimic the writing almost perfectly until I can do it without effort. I hate my current handwriting.
b) Roya and I have talked a couple of times now about making her cry as a potentially collaborative piece. I’ve been told how incisive I am with words countless times, and while I don’t believe it is to an abnormal degree, I acknowledge the intensity with which I speak. I have inadvertently made others cry. I’ve apologized. Often times they tell me that it’s not because of me. Many, many people tell me because that there is an enormous disparity between how I appear and how I speak. I’m small, female, Chinese, but I speak with unapologetic conviction (sometimes). I’ve been told that this upsets people because it embarrasses them, or it is too atypical. That is somewhat infuriating.
Roya, a very very close friend allows me ultimate vulnerability. We place trust in each other with the faith that we will remain friends. Though I am on the offensive, I too am vulnerable. My perceptions and judgments of other inherently reflect back on me, as the speaker. This piece would be built on an old dialogue of audience vs. artist, the reconciliation of space between them. [Dan Graham’s Performer/Audience/Mirror] The audience is no longer audience at all, and becomes inextricable from the piece itself. Here, Roya acts as my audience, but the performance has a more standard viewer element as well. Their now-colored perceptions of us as individuals are now intrinsically involved.
p.s. I’m trying to be more personal. My work is rarely personal and I should improve my perceptual communication.
p.p.s. I think sometimes I should just throw out my first idea no matter what. Sometimes.