Paper factory! Paper factory! Ok, now I have a story about Yasuko Takada. I stumbled across her when I wandered into a craft store called On y va! This is a clever play on words on Yasuko’s part. In French, “on y va” means “let’s go!” and the sound of “on y” sounds like the first part of Onishi. I was looking for some craft supplies and I thought that’s what was sold at On y va. What’s actually there are handmade crafts from local crafters and in the back is a sewing workshop.
Story time. You should probably sit down. The flea market on Sundays here is super cool and I’ve been twice now. The first time was a reconnaissance mission though I did wind up with some cute cat things and a handful of uchiwa. As I’ve settled into the area and met people who know things, my mission on the second visit became more critical.
Why are you there again, Sue Anne? Well, I’m at an artist’s residency to make art and fulfill my sabbatical proposal. I’ve been busy blogging (obviously), getting around town, meeting people, struggling through a language I don’t understand, screwing up my digestive system (albeit with incredibly tasty things… except squid), and of course, making art. My plan was to make some privacy related ceramic sculptures and do some ink drawings on them. Inside of these sculptures I was going to put a raspberry pi (it’s a credit card sized, fully operational computer) connected to a camera and monitor so that essentially the sculpture would spy on the viewer as they looked at it. Welp. That raspberry pi can kiss my ankles. I struggled for days trying to get it to work and built up some very inappropriate rage. Decided that I would make work that had the same impact without technology.
“I’d like to see you do it in eighty days.” ~Mr. Stuart. I’m literally traveling around the world in 80 days. That wasn’t my goal and I didn’t plan to do it – it actually just unfolded that way. As I finalized my plane ticket purchases I realized that I’m actually flying the circumference of the world. I mentioned this craziness to some students and they made a remark about the book, Around the World in 80 Days written by Jules Verne in 1873. My eyes went wide as I attempted the math (I said wide not vacant… ok maybe a little vacant…), and being an artist I wasn’t doing the math quickly enough so several students in the room started adding with me. My final ticket home hadn’t been purchased yet and I considered extending my stay abroad for a week or so, but discovering that I could actually travel around the world in 80 days cinched it. Eighty. Days. Boom. I don’t think I ever read the book. I may have seen the movie but it didn’t leave a lasting impression. You’d think I’d remember a movie with Jackie Chan in it. My husband was coaxed into getting the book for me and I started researching. Here’s the map from the fictional travels: And now, compare that to mine: IS THAT NOT ABSOLUTELY INSANE? My travel is as follows: Dallas -> Los Angeles -> Tokyo (with an excursion to the small town of Onishi where I’ll be attending the Shiro Oni Residency) -> Doha, Qatar -> Amsterdam (with an excursion to the small town of Renkum where I’ll be attending the Obras Holland Residency) -> Reykjavík, Iceland -> Newark -> Dallas. “But, Sue Anne, why are you doing this and what’s an art residency?” Oh jeez, dear reader, did …
I’ve had this idea floating around in my head for ages now and I’ve finally fulfilled it, but as it is with every project, I never anticipate how much work it will be. The rule of thumb is that you estimate how much time it will take and then you multiply it by 3. Welp. I just worked my ass off.
Middle class income and lifestyles for alllllll! Nope – not the kind of class I’m talking about. I came to a crazy realization this semester: I think a lot of my assignments suck. Let me stop you right there and assure you that it’s true. I’m sad that I’m just now having these insights so deeply into my teaching career.
Oh my gosh. Did I tell you guys about the first real art collaboration between my husband and I? Are you kidding me? How did that happen? Ok, well, trust me on this one. If you don’t laugh at some point in the next five minutes, you might be a robot. Take a hot bath to find out for sure.
I sure am glad syphilis isn’t as much of a problem as it once was, as least in developed countries. There was time before antibiotics when syphilis was quite terrifying. I’ve seen images of tertiary syphilis and lost some sleep over it. It makes people lumpy.
I love naming things. This is reason number 429 why I shouldn’t have kids. You see, I really like the name “Joaquin”. My husband doesn’t. So then I ask, “Ok what about Runneen, or maybe Swimmeen?” Eye roll and sigh. See? That poor kid would be bullied senseless, all because his mother thought it would be funny to name him Swimmeen Silver Speedo Richards. When I start up a new video game and it’s time to create a new character, I always spend a lot of time tweaking appearance and pouring over the ever-important name. This is a glorious moment. Love that shit. Oh and the cats? (AKA The Kets.) I spent two tireless and obsessive weeks researching name ideas.
Of course, this simply doesn’t replace the experience of being there. If you’re in the gallery, you’ve signed your life away to the artist, eaten a questionable cookie, you’re being monitored by security cams, security guards, and a person in some creepy command center who keeps blurting out their interpretation of your facial expression. In the end, everyone agreed that it was a fun and secure experience, except those who were made physically ill when they realized how reckless they’ve been with their information. Enjoy!
Show is done. Press is out. Click here for the Eutopia article. Click here for the Texas Arts and Culture article. Documentation done. Now is the time that my body should be shutting down and coming down with the consumption. If you didn’t catch the show, you can watch the video I made about it. Click here to go to the Privacy World Mini Documentary. I’m also anticipating that some amazing forward thinking individual (hint hint – that means you) will insist that my show travel to your space for an encore showing. I prefer European galleries, but I’ll settle for New York. So much depends On your right to privacy Test your knowledge