Monday, July 30, 2007

A full, double-state Monday

Since this is not a car ad, I crudely doctored this image of Kiwon driving us to Chautauqua. We left New Haven around noon and made it here in a little over seven hours. It's gorgeous. Like Michoacan, it's madly verdant. I got to see horses and cows and crops and farmland and farm buildings and hay rolls and all the cities and towns and Indian nations that I had researched back in my NYFA days. The bed & breakfast is cute, and Kiwon's student's family is amazing. They also have a gorgeous snow white dog.

We had a huge dinner and there was a wine glass, martini glass, and water glass at my setting. I haven't had a drink in a loooong time. So I'll be up for a while since alcohol has the opposite effect on me than on all other people. In the meantime, here is my plug for other friends and artists:

Chela Fielding
, dear Chela from my Nebraska days, is having open studios Aug 11-12 in West Berkeley. Sat-Sun, 10-6pm. Lots of new work and old work priced to sell. She is a wonderful artist, and I covet most of the things that come out of her studio. Click on her name for her website, then click on "events" for all the info/directions.

Megan, who did an incredible trapeze duet with Diana for LAVA's Tides back in June, just let me know about her own goings on. She is into a lot of similar things - books and trapeze. Only she is a billion times more skilled on the latter than I am.

Also, I am relieved to say that my sister, a master editor, just this weekend did a new cut of my Nebraska performance. And praise Hashem for her talent and time, b/c now it makes sense, and doesn't make me sound like the worst violinist ever recorded. It's insane how important editing is. Of course, the actual piece, and the videographer, are both vital. But I really think that the poor cut I've had for over half a year now has hurt me and lost me lots of residencies and other apps. Thank goodness I can finally remedy the problem.

Caught in the rain

Elizabeth was like, I put up lots of blog pics, what about you? So here are my poor dusk images. There are some things that I can't do, like non-blurry, non-flash, handheld pics in the dark. Markus and I hit Koreatown after a couple hours of talk that required brain usage: the Native Americans holocaust in this country, how one person can change the world or at least change the balance of good in the world, how awful it is that the Japanese government is trying to deny its own WWII history, etc. Then it was time for a good Korean dinner.

We sat around the big Korean bank with frozen yogurt afterwards. I had stopped by Cindy's earlier but got drenched in the huge rainstorm so I was still drying off the whole time, sitting on a wet dress. Ew. I ended up so late to the film party that I basically got there, was scolded for being late by Cindy's co-editor Chad, went to the bathroom, and then took off w/Kiwon and Aaron for New Haven. I'm here now, waiting for her to teach a violin lesson, and then we're off for hours and hours of driving to pretty upstate. I'll take the risk of promising better photos.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bliss before hitting the road again

Elizabeth did a great couple of posts on her blog. One is of all the artists who were in Mexico, and one is about me. Totally sweet. Makes me even sadder that I am near zero for Spanish.

Today was a recover from travel day with Mom: Korean spa/sauna, massage, haircut. Having a good hairdresser makes all the difference. I am crazy relieved to have all that hair off of my head. Last minute plans: hustle tomorrow on a res app, party for the film, spend the night w/Kiwon in New Haven so that I can drive w/her Monday to Chautauqua for a quick getaway! We'll come back Thursday. I'll have wireless. It will be a great way for me to buckle down on the hard part of writing my Fulbright app. More good news on that front: a Korean Buddhist nun is willing to teach me paper dyeing techniques if I make it there. She sent the letter on handmade paper; gorgeous. I'm hoping this upstate jaunt will help me pull all these parts together. Now I just need to find my Korean English dictionary.

Scraps of things

Tonight was the NY premiere of "No End In Sight." Pretty intense, totally proud of little sis. It has been getting a landslide of fantastic reviews. Go whenever/wherever you can so that it can eventually get wider distribution!

What I miss: cantaloupe, lime, hibiscus, and tamarind juices. Markus and I had lunch at Caravan of Dreams today so that he could sample raw food. I haven't been in years. After tea w/Tami, I went to see Gili. I felt like I haven't seen her forever, like we've been through major life changes.

What I miss: one late morning after papermaking, I laid up on the balcony and wove a five-strand gold cord off of my toe. I almost fell asleep doing it. Keeping my hands busy calms my mind. I eventually climbed down and went to lunch.

I picked up this book at the library today, b/c people at Ragdale had been talking about how great it is and how the movie is completely different. I'm having a hard time getting into it, but loved where I stopped before I got off the train:
But here there were shedding skins. They could imitate nothing but what they were. There was no defence but to look for the truth in others.

--Michael Ondaatje, The English Patient

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Why I love being a crafty artist

I used to be a big conceptual art snob, and looked down on all things related to craft. I was young and too ignorant to really understand that stance, even though it was always important to me that my craftsmanship was unassailable in critiques. I eventually shifted from all thinking to all making, and then understood why some people like to not ever think, b/c making brings so much pleasure.

Cut to the ranch.

I felt like everyone's mom. You know, the mom who has everything in her purse in case of emergency? It was fantastic.

Markus: rope for photo shoot
Gaelyn: knife, triangle, & awl for photo mats
Jill: knife for scraping bones
Andrew: sharpie & tape for tool labels, knife & glue for art labels
Don: thread for hanging horseshoe as an instrument
Don & Rebecca: clothespins for laundry (that they later sculpted into a message for me)
Laura: knife & straightedge for student presentations, sharpie for diplomas
Hope: pruning shears for flower arrangements, awl for something else, Anacin for headache and aches (oh, wait, I can't take credit for that one - dad packed the first aid paraphernalia).

I was dumbfounded, thinking, "No one brought a knife?? Doesn't EVERYONE travel with a utility knife?? And scissors?!" What I learned: not everyone travels with sharp tools and bone folders. To be fair, I did borrow needle-nose pliers from the new toolkit to snap off a couple blades (I left my pliers at home), and I borrowed a small needle from Markus to sew silver thread into an old slip (I only had large needles for binding, tapestry, and sewing sails and carpets). But it felt so good to be useful, and to have tools that made sense beyond bookbinding and papermaking. That must be why I do what I do - b/c it doesn't require super specialized tools, like robots or egg white separators, just basic things that translate into a million different uses.

I also had a fantastic time teaching bookbinding classes. My first was a beginning session with Gaelyn, Gustavo, Laura, and Don. We did a single-sheet folded book, an accordion, a pamphlet, a stab binding, and a non-adhesive tipped-in photograph. That last one got passed onto Gaelyn's and Gustavo's workshop students, who used it for their own work. My second was a private session with Elizabeth, covering all the same bindings. My last one was an advanced seminar with Don and Rebecca - I think they were binders in another life! We did a single-section cased pamphlet with paper I had made on the ranch and cereal box covers. They turned out great; I'm hoping they'll take pictures.

No wonder I didn't feel like performing this time around. I was perfectly content being a book and paper artist.

A plug for my sister's doc

Well, the one she co-edited. This one is a biggie! It has gotten a zillion good reviews and they just did a profile on the director today in the NYT. "No End In Sight" opens Friday. I'll be at the 8pm show at Film Forum in NY tomorrow and hope you get to see it wherever you may be.

Obviously, this isn't a feel good kind of film (is there anything that feels good about what the US has been up to in Iraq??), but it's worth seeing. I'm just proud of my sister for doing such a great job with soooo much footage and a difficult subject.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Singing on the way back from Juanitzio

I didn't do them justice; I have notoriously poor videography skills. I was sitting on the boat going back to the mainland, watching these musicians perform all along the length of the boat, thinking, "I've dated a bassist, a guitarist, and two percussionists, but no accordion players..." I thought about Tam, and later, Don and Rebecca said that they knew and accordion dude, but he's gay.

During our first week, we had a massage night - Rebecca led the first set, and Hope the second. Alicia asked if I was a professional, which was the best thing someone could say to me, and later, Rebecca asked if we could swap so that we could get really good massages. I worked on her first, and she was so easy! All tiny and soft. I love dancers. But then she put me to shame two nights later. TO SHAME. I'm getting on the bullhorn right now: If you are ever in Springfield, MO, or its vicinity, go visit Rebecca for a massage. She is ridiculously amazing. She did things that no one has ever done for me before. I even fell asleep. I think that my body is still doing better, a week after the session, b/c it was so thorough. My favorites: when she stepped on my feet with her feet, and when she did jaw work. I told her that if I had come to Mexico and had gotten nothing done, except her massage, then it was alllll worth it. No joke.

I think it would be nice to be the traveling residency massage therapist. Even though I'm not one. If I didn't have debt and other financial restraints, I would soooo sell myself to the cause. But only if I get to see Rebecca in between.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Catching water

There is so much that I'll never be able to articulate about my time in Mexico. My work is done: I wrote in my journal nonstop. It was such a relief to have no screens about me (well, everyone else brought their computers, but I don't count that) - no computer in my face 24/7, no TV, nothing to get glued to and slump down in front of. It was the first time I didn't miss much - though I love my friends, I didn't feel particularly needy for them. I also didn't feel that torn up about leaving. It's like I suddenly had a two-week, live lesson in nonattachment and being completely present. Maybe that's what happens when you take five showers in fourteen days, when you learn firsthand the exact mechanisms of a toilet (I had no idea you just dump water into the bowl and it goes down - Rebecca clued me in), when you are in the back of a muddy pickup truck nearly crying from happy freedom and the wind whipping your eyes.

I am bummed that I didn't make paper from prickly pear (I started to cook it over a wood fire that I couldn't keep lit, and smoked out the entire living room) or cattail (I found out too late into the residency that it was in the vicinity...though it had shown up in my research, I hadn't gone far enough to find it). I want to turn around and do it again. I want to turn around and have breakfasts of papaya, guava, mango, and prickly pear (both green and red). I want to learn Spanish properly and return with a degree more of independence.

I miss getting winded while hiking up to get spectacular mountain views and seeing blue (tequilla), green, yellow farmlands at 7,000 feet. Being hugged by mountains all around and insane amounts of vegetation from being in volcanic land was incredible. Natural abundance, but still heavy poverty. Termites all over the house, crumbling walls, mold everywhere, but then these incredible meals with tortillas delivered daily by the guy in the truck w/speakers strapped to the roof, fresh salsa, and local food from the market in Maravatio. We even had guest chefs who made corn dumplings in a bean soup and quesadillas with squash flowers and chiles.

There is something wonderful and freeing about being with people and just looking your ratty self - the one that rolls out of bed, the one that rolls into bed, the one that wears the same clothes day after day, the one with bad hair from lack of showers and hard water, the one who just pieces together a life from moment to moment. There is something about living with strangers that makes it impossible for you to really pretend to be anyone but yourself. There is something about sharing, conserving, and being without basic resources that strips you down and lays you open. But it's okay, because everyone else is laid open, too. And so we decide that instead of watching TV, we'll set up blankets and chairs outside at night to watch the lightning show and the clouds swallowing up the stars.

By day three, I was already hugging my fellow artists.

It's 2am in Nueva York

Hey, look. I'm instantly back to my bad habits re: sleeping hours. I've been on my computer all day after sleeping in LATE and doing serious laundry and scrubbing. I have a huge fear that I've inadvertently brought microscopic and not so microscopic pests back from the ranch (I saw a big bug crawl out from under one of my bags today). I've already made a lunch date for tomorrow (or today, however you want to see it) and am feeling nervous about getting back on the Fulbright app track.

But I did get this done: pictures from Mexico!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Reentry sucks

You'd think I'd know better than to turn on the computer the night I get in. I got home past midnight and promptly took everything out of my suitcase and then went through all my mail and THEN showered my first shower since Thursday. We had run out of water in Mexico. Once it came back on Saturday, I figured I'd skip it b/c I hate traveling with wet towels (despite Andrew's assertion that "the good lord made towels so that they would get wet." Oh, and he also made the pockets in suitcases where you can put wet towels).

So, I am showered. And so sad to be back. I had a great time and now have a bunch more loved ones in my life and still have enough mosquito bites to keep me itchy for a while. I feel like a princess with clean running water, a toilet I am allowed to flush, and the option of putting all my dirty clothes in a machine that washes them. I miss the ranch, don't miss the mold. I miss the people like crazy. Half or more are still in Mexico as I return to my computer/Internet habit (more on that later). I'm going to itch myself to sleep now.

p.s. - this was the terrace outside my bedroom.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Extra update amidst thunder

I know. I'm online again. Only b-c I'm trying to find Markus a place to stay in NYC July 25-31. I wish I had more time and my senses about me so that I could sell him well. People seem to think I am crazy trying so hard to find an artist housing but I just feel like I have been treated so well in the past by other artists, people who didn't even have a lot to offer, so I feel like if I can help other artists in the same way, then it's my responsibility. Marcus is a really interesting artist and person, probably the most self-sufficient person I have ever met. He bought a piece of land in the Brazilian Amazon that is virgin rainforest, and he is doing it to preserve the land so none of it is deforested or abused. He plans to start a residency there and have it be an art and ecology kind of place. He lives in Berlin and was born in Japan; a striking multilingual hapa who restores old homes in Germany. Just driving to town now was an adventure because he has never driven an automatic car. Hilarious.

Anyhow...we are almost near the end. Yesterday, we did a huge trip to an island and another town, Patzcuaro, and shopping and browsing and eating and riding at least 10 different vehicles that included, buses, cars, and boats. The ice cream and empanadas were excellent. I bought nothing and feel like the worst friend/family member because I am so incapable of that. I am a very poor solo shopper. But hey, no one expects things when I go to other residencies, right?

The language thing here is intense for me. I feel soooo badly for not speaking Spanish. Yesterday I felt like I wanted to learn Spanish and then come back to make up for being such a dud this round. But my roommate Laura, who is from Mexico, is really sweet and we have figured out a way to communicate despite my nearly nonexistent Spanish and her limited English. I like her a lot - she is a dancer and is reading to local women here. I found out yesterday that she is a cancer survivor. I love her spirit and sense of humor.

I made my last batch of paper today. Hopefully it all works out for the sample book I want to make. I feel like I have been incredibly unproductive here (nothing new) but I've done a lot of journaling and figuring things out. I am really looking forward to proper showers and soft water. My hair is constantly battling me. I am looking forward even more to a bed that is not completely moldy and mildewy. Ditto for blankets and walls and indoor spaces. It's really funny seeing everyone else attached to their computer. I am really glad I don't have mine. I don't miss it at all. I don't miss a lot of things and people I thought I would miss.

Again, sorry for the incoherent ramble. I'll be back in no time in my usual turbo mode. But for now, I get up at 6:30, stretch upstairs, write on the balcony as the sun rises, have fresh fruit for breakfast and hot tea, and make a batch of paper on an old volcanic grindstone. It rains nearly every day and the chickens and cows are really loud. The dogs are constantly begging for food. The puppies are getting bigger. And so on.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

P.S. about the computer poison

I have not even been here an hour at the computer, and my entire upper back has already seized up. Thank god for Rebecca (a dancer. Ellie, do you know her? She has a friend, I think a Nina, who is doing a dance phD in Denton?). I cannot wait for our massage swap. Oh, and I forgot to say that I tried to make paper from dinner (the maize I was talking about) - tamales. I wasn't able to get all the oil out, though. Ew.

Time to get off this monster and get back to a technology-less week on the ranch.

Halfway there

Hello from Maravatio! That would be the closest town to the ranch, which I have not left since I arrived. It has been lovely so far. Part of the wall in the kitchen caved in last night and just collapsed all over the fridge after we did massage swaps, I Ching readings, and other nighttime lazings around by two or three candelabras. I share a room with Hope, from NY, and Laura, from Mexico, and it gets cold and damp at night. We are having crazy water issues but I have been using our rainwater collection that we rigged a couple nights ago. My laundry is on the line, and I have done two batches of paper. One from maize ( lye) and one from lilies down by the river back behind the house.

I am at an internet cafe thingy. I think it is like 10 pesos for an hour. We are going to meet a historian soon of Maravatio for a tour. We JUST found out that the residency got some more funding, from a disposable diaper company in Mexico, interested in the ecology part!! SO GREAT. Anyhow...the other artists are great and really good to live with and share space with. Everyone is considerate of each other in terms of space and noise and blahblah. Oh, and the food is homemade and fantastic. I have not gotten very sick yet. I have only taken two showers so far and one was cold (which made the 2nd, a hot one, SO much better). There are water shortages and that has been the center of a lot of our lives from the start, learning about the local water supply being choked by plants and so on and so forth.

The other artists keep bringing me plants to try and make paper out of but they obviously don't know that I'm really into LOCAL supplies. Like, right on the hacienda grounds, not an hour walk away. hahhaa! We live with turkeys, geese, horses, and cows. I am not sleeping well at night. I just got my period today, which explains my prior moodiness (which you were all so lucky to miss!). Another dancer and I will do a massage exchange because we want really good ones. So many dancers here! Oh, and one of us, a photographer from Germany, needs a place to stay in NYC July 25 to 31. Any takers? He's great, very self-sufficient (he is half German and half Japanese and speaks a billion other languages on top of those two), and owns land in Brazil. He probably wouldn't be home a lot wherever he stays.

This is very scattered because I should check my email now, I guess (gross). And because the keyboards are different here. Which is why I'm not using a lot of contractions. I can't think of anything else that rains almost every day, so thank god for dad and the boots!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Hasta luego!

[More scenery from July 4th.] I figured I should write this before it's late and I'm too tired to be coherent. I've managed to read a lot today, and have packed my art supplies. If I had no other bodily needs, my suitcase would be easy as pie to pack and transport. But as of now, there are no clothes in there. That happens after laundry. It felt good to pack again: I was back in the pre-res zone, thinking, "what do I need? How much glue? How much hemp? How much plastic sheeting? How much do I love doing this?" I can already feel things bursting at the seams to get out, art-wise.

BIG shout-out to my dad, who has stepped up like nobody's business, getting me pesos, rain boots, and countless other things. He went on and on about how I HAVE TO have boots in this kind of weather (rainy season) in rural places. He said that they were a lifeline in Korea in the old days, and recited the saying: "You don't need a wife, but you sure need rain boots." [Yes, a whole crapload is lost in the translation, but you get the idea.] I feel super lucky - I could never do this without my family.

I've left two other posts today to try and fill the two-week gap to come, so just read slowly. Or, I've come up with a really fun exercise for everyone: write your version of what my artist statement would look like! Mwahahaa.

"Hey, that's not a fun exercise. That's like an assignment!" But only if I was to write about myself! See how that works? I think that for the most part, we all hate writing personal statements. I was talking to Terttu about how I wish people who had seen a decent amount of my work could write a statement for me. Not like I won't, or can't, or haven't, but b/c it's always interesting to see how other people see what I make, and then what they can extrapolate from there. N.B.: Melissa, you are not allowed to participate. You have already contributed planet-sized heaps to my artistic development, and you have a lot of work to do in the studio.

Anyhow, just keep the peace while I'm gone so it's safe to reenter when I return. Can't wait to share all the adventures! But first, I have to pack.

If you're bored of this unchanging screen, follow these links!

I feel like a TV station that is suspending programming and leaving two weeks of fuzz for the world. Blogger can't auto post, and I'm not on top of it enough (and too much of a control freak) to have guest bloggers, so look here:

1. Clover, who I am lucky to call a dear friend, but who also is an incredible Chicago-based performance artist, has returned from her European trip! She did a great performance for Julie in Prague and then went to Venice. Click the cities for photos.

2. On July 10, Rachel's intelligent blog will auto post an entry that I wrote for her while she is away in Italy. She's currently based in Estonia, interested in all things bookish, worldly, and publishable.

WordPress is good, I know, and I'll eventually use it to start a blog directly on my website (a highly "professional" one) in the fall. But for now, this is it.

3. Ching-In recommended Cathy Park Hong's newest book of poems, Dance Dance Revolution. I read it today, and would also recommend it. I worked at NYFA when she got a Poetry Fellowship, and looking back at her artist statement from then (it's online if you search for her in NYFA Artists), I realized that I had edited that statement. I had forgotten! But since I was in charge of putting the Poetry panel together, I was also in charge of editing all the statements of the Poetry Fellowship winners. It's really satisfying to see how well people do after they're funded.

The geek that I am

To me, this is poetry: "Asthma, eczema, allergy and anaphylaxis are all part of the same syndrome, caused by the same 'mast' cells in the body, alerted and triggered by the same immunoglobulin-E molecules."

I'm halfway through the book but fear I may not have time to finish before I fly away. But I'm eating it up:
In one case, in Nicaragua, special schools for the deaf, established for the first time in the 1980s, led to the invention, de novo, of a whole new language. The schools taught lip-reading with little success, but in the playground the children brought together the various hand signs they used at home and established a crude pidgin language. Within a few years, as younger children learned this pidgin, it was transformed into a true sign language with all the complexity, economy, efficiency and grammar of a spoken language. Once again, it was children who made the language, a fact that seems to suggest that the language instinct is one that is switched off as the child reaches adulthood. This accounts for our difficulty in learning new languages, or even new accents, as adults. We no longer have the instinct.

--Matt Ridley, Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters
This makes me worry about how much better I can get my Korean at my advanced age, but I'm still holding out hope.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Haven't started packing yet

Instead, I'm tackling my to do list for when I get back from Mexico. I updated my website (new images under "Nebraska Sweat," "Papercuts," and "Shifu" in the Books and Paper sections), and am about to update my press kit now that Stefan sent the last three images from the shoot. I'm also doing Fulbright stuff and eating pickles. Last night I got sucked into Matt Ridley's Genome: The Autobiography of a Species in 23 Chapters. Maybe after I print and mail letters to Korea, I'll distract myself some more with the book.

Good news: I was panicking for months about nothing. I forgot that domestic and international luggage limits were different. There was no way I'd clear the 50 lb domestic limit, but I can manage the international 70 lb. Come on in, blender and tripod and pruning shears!

Shopaholic friend saves the day

AM: Unexpectedly ride into Harlem with a Korean man visiting from Seattle. We speak both Korean and English and he never once makes fun of my Korean. Learn that I need to do physical and emotional self-care in Mexico. Learn new breathing exercise: inhale for 4, hold for 4, exhale for 6, hold for 2, repeat.

Noonish: Bank, buy a hat, look for boots. Lunch w/Marina over really good shrimp and vermicelli noodle salad.

Afternoon: Filene's w/Brian, DSW where I meet a pair of boots. Tea and muffin as we review wedding mania that has gripped our dear friends and what makes a good friend and a bad neighbor. He shows me a falafel place and touch base briefly about why I was so physically upset by Alan Johnston's kidnapping on the day he was freed.

Early evening: Pitter patter as I search for clothespins. For once, Gili's shopping mania comes to the rescue. She told me she got household goods at surprise! surprise! so I went to find...CLOTHESPINS!! I got a measuring cup, too. Almost got a meat tenderizer but feared it would overdo the job on plant fiber. Should have gotten an alarm clock. Had a moment of "I love being an artist [b/c it takes me to the most random places]" as I wandered the store. Finished a bag of cherries on the street.

Evening: Revisit the boots and try them on. Love. But the bulk and pricetag make me wonder, as I curse Gili's lack of minutes and Cindy's being in Macedonia. I was never meant to shop alone. Call Jennifer to ask for reinforcement. We decide against all boots and head to Souen, for a luxurious dinner and long overdue (5 years!) reunion.

Night: Not buying remorse about the boots. Nightmares about trekking through Mexico mud. Chuckle about Mexican man becoming the richest in the world.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

The collywobbles

That's today's new vocabulary: A state of intestinal disorder, usually accompanied by a rumbling stomach. For example, 'butterflies in the stomach'. Rock on. I have a bottle of Imodium ready for the suitcase and have done lots of research on the water in Mexico, so I'm sufficiently warned. For now, I'm too tired and feel drugged after the pool party (well, no swimming b/c of rain) hosted by Clark and Becky. It was a chill afternoon/evening, good to meet new people and re-meet people from the past, and see Eric and Jenny in town from Chicago (Eric in the corner, and Becky's hands bouncing the beach ball on the left).

(There's a snake in that bottle: snake wine from Vietnam.) I'm surprised by how unwilling everything in my head has been this week. Tired eyes! Exhausted brain. I took time off yesterday to watch "Angels in America." Today, I got pruning shears, plastic sheeting, and nylon cord to make a clothesline. Now I just need clothespins. Why is that so hard to find nowadays? Apparently, we can blame it on clothes dryers. In the meantime, I've made three batches of paper, and four rainbow books. Tomorrow is my last day for errands in town. Hopefully I can find a good hat, rainboots (not so hopeful on that front), and clothespins. Then I can cram for two days at home before the adventure begins. For now, time to rehydrate so I can shake off the sangria. Maybe I'll try to learn Spanish for "where's the botanist?" and "is this a poisonous plant?" while I'm at it.

Monday, July 02, 2007


I got TONS of big work done today, but you'd never know it b/c I've been sitting on my ass nearly all day. I finally drafted my Fulbright proposal! It needs lots of work, but I'm relieved to get a down draft done. I also finished my press kit! Just two more images from Stefan and I'm golden. Well, at least regarding design and layout work. I still need to figure out where to print it, and then how to bind it (I decided that since I'm a book artist, I might as well have my press kit be a book). This is the postcard for the final presentation of our work in Mexico (I'm in the lower right corner), so if anyone is planning to be near Maravatio on July 21, you're welcome to come. The opening is 3-6pm and you can stay for dinner afterwards.

Other fun news: the paper show in Brockton got a nice review in the Providence Journal last Thursday. I hope this link works. They got a little confused about my piece, since I foolishly listed ALL the materials in the installation (I didn't want people to think it was just paper hanging out miraculously. I have learned my lesson. Better to let people think it's paper hanging out miraculously):
One of the show’s largest works, Aimee Lee’s Hunk & Dora, suggests a crumbling stone tower of the sort you might find in a Charlotte Bronte novel. (It turns out to be made from a combination of paper and Tyvek, a paper-like material used in home insulation.)
The bricks are made from paper ONLY, but reinforced by a tiny Tyvek square at each piercing to run monofilament. Still, the Bronte reference is fun.

I recommend getting a flight out of the country as a fantastic way to force deadlines. I can't believe how much work I'm getting done! I even rehydrated some bad sheets today and made more paper. I lost a few pellons. This morning, I noticed none of them hanging on the balcony where I left them last night. They flew away. I was able to find four, flung far, near a bush and under two separate garage doors. Who knows where the rest are. Such are the joys of suburban papermaking.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Did we always name days?

Even though I don't work a M-F job, I still feel really affected by the S-S schedule of most people. I always assume that weeks start with Monday, since that's the way I printed my datebook. But I forget that conventional calendars all start with Sunday. There's all this "day of rest" business, and even though I have no days of rest, days still feel like they have their own characteristics. Everything seems slower and calmer on Sundays. Did people ever live in a time when they didn't name days that operated in cycles? I wonder what that would be like.

Anyhow...this is, finally, the "professional" shot of what Lisa likes to call my ramen book. I am getting closer to my pre-Mexico goals, but have gotten sidetracked, too. Well, the sidetracking is directly related to what I'm doing, but it delays my slaying of the to do list: 1. I got a few books and CDs to so a crash course in Spanish before I leave. 2. I read A. Van Jordan's M-A-C-N-O-L-I-A, which is brilliant. Thanks to Ching-in for the recommendation, which I pass along to everyone else.

Back to work, since I will be in another country in exactly a week.