Maturation; or, Self-imposed Edits

That word looks/sounds so much like mastication that I can’t remove the correlation in my head. Every time I see it I think of saliva, and then I think of cows, and Laffy Taffy. So much goo.

Anyways, I’ve been cleaning house on here a bit. A less cluttered interface, a less syrupy, seriph-y font, and some serious privatizing. A bulk of posts from a serious chunk of time (that’s as specific as I’ll get) are practically cringe-worthy. Pardon the vanity, but I don’t want people to see that side of me anymore, that in truth was less of a subsection than the lion’s share of my personality. God, I was such a mess.

I considered deleting them, in a feng shui-esque process of shedding things that no longer give me joy. But my mouse hovered over the trash icon, and I couldn’t go through with it. I guess I still need them, as reminders. There’s an overused quote that comes to mind, which I’m going to paraphrase because I’m too lazy to open a new tab and google it (WOW)… It goes something like “those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it.” I don’t want to lose my past, no matter how embarrassing it is. Becoming is a series of iterations, and every iteration evolves from its predecessor(s). No one magically becomes what they want. All those old “yous” are mile markers showing you how far you’ve come.

It reminded me of this artist I’ve been interested in lately, Ethan Hayes-Chute. He recently wrapped up a DIY inspired installation at MIT, called List Projects. I wasn’t able to make it to the exhibition, but the review I read fascinated me. Mira Dayal, for Hyperallergic, described the installation as deadpan, “domestic assemblages” of incongruous items clustered together, representing Hayes-Chutes’ projects in process. Epson HX-20 computers, supposedly the first laptops (? – [citation needed]), punctuated the show. Their printouts from tight rolls of paper resembled receipts, the quintessential throw away. Hayes-Chute utilized them as physical representations of the messy in-, between the idea at point A and its final form at point Z.

Another show, which I was able to catch before its close, explored the residue of projects by previous and current artists-in-residence at Artists Alliance, Inc. AAI, a non-profit which supports emerging artists and curators, runs the gallery space Cuchifritos, tucked into Essex Street Market. The show, Collected Works: A Brief History of Artists Alliance Inc., was an installation by LES Studio Program resident Alison Owen and curated by Sanna Almajedi. Owen culled a collection of remnants from AAI’s archives, its studio spaces and stairwells, to capture experiential life within their community. Items ran the gamut from color negatives and a page ripped from a phone book, to painted tiles and paint tube lids. Equal parts quirky and curious, it jived with my naggingly insistent obsession with ephemeral minutiae. I still need to parse out how seemingly inconsequential details impart deep meaning into our lives. Partly because, I think, I associate them with temporal blips, a millisecond of space-time fabricated into a paint chip, or something… An idea which is entirely in keeping with my personality, and yet simultaneously aggressively opposes the value I place on the (often lengthy, languid, intensely intentional) creative process. Or does it?

I don’t mean to say that the creative act is never frenetic. It’s just that I, personally, feel compelled to fight it, because my innate impatience often wins over a project’s successful completion. Thus lately, I struggle to arrest my restlessness in the face of fabrication. I fought it just a second ago, while I was trying to finish one of those sentences in the preceding paragraph. I’m doing it again, annoyed, trying to quickly wrap up this post and beat ahead of the encroaching fatigue.

But things worth doing take time, don’t they? Even milliseconds, itty bitty paint chips, are only tiny parts of a grander vision.

Without further adieu, I shall push the rambling aside and get to the goddamn point, already. As this new year still sniffles in its baby britches, I’m characteristically taking stock and vowing grandiose change. A lot of people scoff at new years resolutions, equating them with guaranteed failure. But I don’t know… I’m coming around to them; I think it’s admirable, not quixotic, to strive to be better. So I vow to clean house; to pick back up those little pieces of me I cast aside, and re-imbue them with value. True, they’ve been shed, but I wouldn’t be where I am now without them.

Mmm, that’s a realgood cheesy thought to end on. See y’all later.

Current Reads: Wild Sheep Chase by Huraki Murakami, and the occasional Robert Lowell poem.

Current Jam: “How to be Alone” Allison Weiss

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