Friday, June 26, 2009

RIP Michael Jackson

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From Robert Irwin

To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are really dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perception.1

The act of art is a tool for extended consciousness.2

The act of art has turned to a direct examination of our perceptual processes.3

We have chosen that experience out of the realm of experiences to be defined as "art," because having this label it is given special attention. Perhaps this is all "art" means—this Frame of Mind.4

If that state of consciousness I keep talking about became, in a sense, the consciousness of society as a whole, if we really thought in those terms, and were really that aware, . . . really that sense-sophisticated, then our art would be an integral part of our society, and the artist as a separate discipline or art as a separate event would not exist.5

Perhaps the future role of the artist will be to act directly as the arbiter of qualities in our lives. Quality not as an add-on, as it is now, but as criteria in all matters of planning.6

Any tool you use is legitimate. The key to the tool is whether it has the dimensions to deal with what have become your questions. I consider art as a thought form more than anything else.7

My art has never been about ideas. . . . My interest in art has never been about abstraction; it has always been about experience. . . . My pieces were never meant to be dealt with intellectually as ideas, but to be considered experientially.8

There is an essential kind of knowing, which comes from a purely phenomenological basis.9

What I would like to do is to make you aware that you see and that, by not being able to prejudice the situation, you suddenly become party to an entirely different structure of the state of the real. It's you that does it, not me. So it can't really manifest itself as an idea, or an object, or an event because any of these things becomes distracting and at least in part about itself.10

The thing is to maximize the physicality while minimizing the imagery. . . . Physicality is not transferable abstractly: the only way that you can deal with it is by being in its presence. That was the beginning of all this.11

Qualities exist only as long as a perceiving individual keeps them in play.12

The relationship between art and the viewer is all firsthand now experience and there is no way it can be carried to you through any kind of secondary system [such as art criticism].13

When I do something in a museum or gallery situation, I feel I have to take on the role of an interactor. Since it's a cultural institution, it's a cultural activity. To pretend it's anything other than that, is somehow not to pay attention. The degree of control I want in such a situation is essentially absolute. I'm not interested in whether the museum has an opinion on how the situation is to be concluded. I don't think there's anyone who knows as much about what I do as myself and there's nobody who is more conscientious about it than I am. Yet at the same time, strangely enough, I find myself listening to everybody.14

What I have done has always been about the same single line of inquiry, but all of the means, methods, and positions I've taken have changed radically.15

In the studio you may reference nature but you also reference all art. The big shift for me is that my art practice is now not so much referenced art historically as it is conditionally. When I confront a space with its specific set of conditions, I try to take into account everything bearing on it. For example, a sense of scale is not only in and of itself but is equally conditioned by where you arrive from—the scale of the New York subway or the big sky country of Montana. I try to take all of this into account.16

The sculptural response draws all of its cues (reasons for being) from its surroundings. This requires the process to begin with an intimate, hands-on reading of the site. This means sitting, watching, and walking through the site, the surrounding areas (where you will enter from and exit to), the city at large or the countryside. Here there are numerous things to consider: What is the site's relation to applied and implied schemes of organization and systems of order, relation, architecture, use, distance, sense of scale? . . . What is the physical and people density, the sound and visual density (quiet, next-to-quiet, or busy?) What are the qualities of surface, sound, movement, light, etc.? What are the qualities of detail, levels of finish, craft? What are the histories of prior or current usage, present desires, etc.? A quiet distillation of all this—while directly experiencing the site—determines all the facets of the "sculptural response": aesthetic sensibility, levels and kinds of physicality, gesture, dimensions, materials, kind and level of finish, details, etc.; whether the response should be monumental or ephemeral, aggressive or gentle, useful or useless, sculptural, architectural, or simply the planting of a tree—or maybe even doing nothing at all.17

In the realm of the phenomenal, "less is more" only when less is the sum total of more.18

The idea that an "old sculptural response" is the offending turd in the plaza is as wrongminded as conceptualists saying "Painting is dead." On the contrary, in a conditional world, on occasion a cannon on the front lawn maybe the appropriate response.19

Light has good physical properties for the question . . . of the substance of existence. . . . One of the things that I like about light especially is the degree of its actual physical energy and the minimalness of the identity: as bit information, it has almost none, and yet it has a very, very elaborate, very compound physicality to it. It is a terrific medium for the problem right now.20

What I want is the quality of light, its energy, its existence as matter. I don't want the light bulb. Now, if I have to have the light bulb as imagery, I must have the physicality compounded enough to override the presence of the light bulb in terms of its identity. So a lot of my craft now is in terms of just that, I mean, trying to keep that balance in my favor. Every element that I use is worked and reworked to get it to have the maximum of that physicality and a minimum of that kind of extraneous light bulb imagery.21

If light is the medium and space is the medium, then, in a sense, the universe is a medium. I know the impracticality of it right now but when I say that the medium is the universe, that maybe the world is an art form, then the gardening of our universe or our consciousness would be the level of our art participation. . . . That's the reason for my participation in some other activities.22


The artist has altered certain quotations from the original.

1. Robert Irwin, "The State of the Real, Part 1," conversation with Jan Butterfield, Arts 46, no. 10 (June 1972), p. 48.

2. Robert Irwin, "Reshaping the Shape of Things, Part 2," Arts 47, no. 1 (September–October 1972), p. 32.

3. Ibid., p. 30.

4. Robert Irwin, quoted in A Report on the Art and Technology Program of the Los Angeles County Museum, 1967–1971, ed. Maurice Tuchman (Los Angeles: Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1971), p. 131.

5. Robert Irwin, interview by Frederick S. Wight, in Transparency, Reflection, Light, Space: Four Artists (Los Angeles: UCLA Art Galleries, 1971), p. 88.

6. Robert Irwin, Cullinan Lectures, Rice University, 1978–88.

7. Irwin, "The State of the Real," p. 48.

8. Irwin, "Reshaping the Shape of Things," p. 32.

9. Robert Irwin, quoted in Projects for Philadelphia College of Art: Anne Healy, Patrick Ireland, Robert Irwin, Charles Simonds (Philadelphia: Philadelphia College of Art, 1976), p. 26.

10. Robert Irwin, interview by Alistair Mackintosh, Art and Artists 6 (March 1972), pp. 25, 27.

11. Irwin, "The State of the Real," p. 49.

12. Irwin, Cullinan Lectures.

13. Robert Irwin, interview by Wight, p. 88.

14. Irwin, quoted in Projects for Philadelphia College of Art, p. 20.

15. Irwin, interview by Mackintosh, pp. 24–27.

16. Robert Irwin, quoted in Jan Butterfield, Robert Irwin: The Art of Light and Space (New York: Abbeville Press, 1993), p. 63.

17. Ibid., p. 51.

18. Robert Irwin, John Hill Professorship Lectures, University of Minnesota, 1981.

19. Robert Irwin, Watts Lecture, San Francisco Museum of Art, 1998.

20. Robert Irwin, interview by Wight, p. 96.

21. Ibid., p. 96.

22. Ibid., p. 98.

© 1995-2009 Dia Art Foundation

Monday, June 22, 2009

I love this piece although I was completely uncomfortable seeing it in a group- it is extraordinarily done.

Marcel Duchamp, Notes on the Infra-Slim//c 1945

(from The Everyday, p.90)

A transformer designed to utilize the slight, wasted energies such as:
the excess of pressure on an electric switch
the exhalation of tobacco smoke
the growth of a head of hair, of other body hair and of the nails
the fall of urine or excrement
movements of fear, astonishment, boredom, anger
dropping of tears
demonstrative gestures of hand, feet, nervous ticks
forbidding glances
falling over with surprise
stretching, yawning, sneezing
ordinary spitting and of blood
unruly hair, cowlicks
the sound of nose-blowing, snoring
whistling, singing
sighs, etc [...]

June 22, 2009

Kitchen is clean
Global warming is making it rain all over the world.
Moving studios
Yesterday was fine.
Learning how to build
Tried another yoga studio

puss·y 1 (ps)
n. pl. puss·ies
1. Informal A cat.
2. Botany A fuzzy catkin, especially of the pussy willow.
3. Vulgar Slang
a. The vulva.
b. Sexual intercourse with a woman.
4. Offensive Slang Used as a disparaging term for a woman.
5. Slang A man regarded as weak, timid, or unmanly.

The balance of composition - up to page 23
Page 8 of "The Re-Enchantment of Art", last paragraph
The reflection up to the ceiling
Tight skin, possible toothache
Patience and pain

my postcards reflected in the sky!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

another lovely one

June 20, 2009

Rain again today
Have been up since 5:34 this morning. It's almost 3pm now
Family coming over tomorrow.
Baked over 100 cookies alongside the sound of the rain.
Should leave for social events soon, but am resistant.
Want to sleep.
At least the floor is clean.
Compost pile rotting upstairs. Would love a trellis
and money to start the green roof
I'm glad the house didn't burn down
The smell of basil in the refrigerator is overwhelming and delicious
I am so tired.
My drawings look like me, look like how I remember drawing
The grapevine in the back has attached itself to a neighboring wall - up you go
I'm pretty sure I'm fine with not having kids
I have no money
My studio is really dusty.
The windows are all open

May 11th rubbings

weekly cards (10 in all-in clear envelopes) to be sent to the UC Berkeley Extension International Center:

rear text:
Second floor
Facing the same direction as when entering the building
From the auditorium
First room next to the left entrance/exit
Right wall

Friday, June 19, 2009

Another June 16 event, 2009

Another hip Chelsea gallery has announced that it is closing. Becky Smith, director of Bellwether, located at its space at 134 Tenth Avenue, sent out an email to supporters on Wednesday, June 16, 2009, stating that she had decided to shutter the space due to the "current financial climate." Bellwether opened ten years ago in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, and quickly became one of several must-see galleries in the local art scene. Over the years the gallery helped launch or nurture the careers of many artists who are now fairly well known, including Ellen Altfest, Tanyth Berkeley, Adam Cvijanovic, Trevor Paglen, Sharon Core and Charlotta Westergren. Smith plans to continue to work with gallery artists, and promises "several shows with them in a Bellwether-at-large capacity."

what fun! (as well as beautiful images, sounds)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

revisiting June 16th

June 16th, 1983
I was five years old.
We were either in Jesenik, Czech Republic or made our first journey across the communist border to vacation in Italy-
in which case I was camping with my family at a beach.
I remember the squatting toilets.
the roller coaster that ran throughout the night which we payed for with plastic tokens,
the drawing of the roller coaster was in metallic red on the token.
I picked seashells and did not recognize a crab until it pinched me.
There were rocks out at sea that we would wade to.
I was scared of going out that far.
My father teased me.
My sister was pulled under by an undertow at which point my mother either made dad go save her or went to her herself.

June 16, 2009
I am thirty one years old.
I am at Idylwood Park in Redmond WA,
wading on a sandy beach by the lake.
The water is warmer than I had anticipated.
I argue with my daughter who wants to swim without her bathing suit.
She fights, as she is right there and does not understand this social construction.
(She does not want to swim in underwear.)
She surrenders to not swimming.
Soon after, our friends happen to bring an extra suit with them.
She wears it, is content but does not swim.

June 17, 2009

June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009
I found the location: 24th street between 7th and 8th avenues, New York City, NY 10011.
It is the back entrance to the YMCA, which is now David Barton Gym, and private condominium residences.
There is a planter where a person used to be able to stand.
It is painted black, and has a small plant growing out of it.
There are still pock marks on the walls behind the planter, but they blend in with the wall.
There is an extra vent close to the building.
I am 34 years old.
I am wearing a purple turtleneck and dark jeans.
My hair is past my shoulders.
I am standing with my arms behind my back.
My shoes are brown.
The walls of the building are very clean
The door is seemingly new.
There are no scuff marks on the walls
There is no grafitti
The reflection in the door is of a traffic sign; the color almost matches that of my shirt.
No one's else is in the photograph
Whole Foods is across the street, can be seen in the reflection.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

From LM: June 16, 2009

I can't guess where this is yet, but this is what she chose to document on June 16, 2009

From AR: June 16, 2009

June 16, 2009
But Always Meeting Ourselves

A LONDON nursing home. The shape of a figure beneath the sheets. My grandfather could just about whisper. He wanted a cigarette and a glass of whiskey. “Come up on the bed here, young fella,” he said, gruffly. It was 1975 and I was 10 years old and it would be the first — and probably last — time I’d ever see him. Gangrene was taking him away. He reached for the bottle and managed to light a cigarette. Spittle collected at the edge of his mouth. He began talking, but most of the details of his life had already begun slipping away.

Long wars, short memories.

Later that afternoon my father and I bid goodbye to my grandfather, boarded a train, then took a night boat back home to Dublin. Nothing but ferry-whistle and stars and waves. Three years later, my grandfather died. He had been, for all intents and purposes, an old drunk who had abandoned his family and lived in exile. I did not go to the funeral. I still, to this day, don’t even know what country my grandfather is buried in, England or Ireland.

Sometimes one story can be enough for anyone: it suffices for a family, or a generation, or even a whole culture — but on occasion there are enormous holes in our histories, and we don’t know how to fill them.

Two months ago — 31 years after my grandfather’s death — I got a case of osteomyelitis, a bone infection. I was admitted to a hospital in New York for a surgical debridement and a high-octane dose of antibiotics. I got a private room, largely because I’m middle class and insured, but also because it was an infectious disease. The double doors clacked when the nurses entered, visitors came and went, but for long stretches of time I listened to the ticking of a Vancomycin drip.

There is a lovely backspin in silence.

I had brought an old copy of “Ulysses,” James Joyce’s masterpiece that takes place in the back streets of Dublin on June 16, 1904. I wanted to read it cover to cover. I have been dipping into the novel for many years, reading the accessible parts, plundering the icing on the cake, but in truth I had never read it all in one flow.

The messy layers of human experience get pulled together, and sometimes ordered, by words.

Soon my grandfather was emerging from the novel. The further I went in, the more complex he got. The man whom I had met only once was becoming flesh and blood through the pages of a fiction. After all, he had walked the very same streets of Dublin, on the same day as Leopold Bloom. I began to see my grandfather outside Dlugacz’s butcher shop, his hat cocked sideways, watching the moving “hams” of a young girl. I wondered if he had a penchant for “the inner organs of beasts and fowls.” I heard him arguing with the Citizen in Barney Kiernan’s pub. I felt him mourn the loss of a child.

He walked the city alongside Bloom, then turned the corner into Eccles Street, and then another corner into my hospital room and sat on the edge of my bed. I could smell the whiskey and cigarettes on his breath.

The book carried me through to the far side of my body, made me alive in another time. I was 10 years old again, but this time I knew my grandfather, and it was a moment of gain: he was so much more than a forgotten drunk.

Vladimir Nabokov once said that the purpose of storytelling is “to portray ordinary objects as they will be reflected in the kindly mirrors of future times; to find in the objects around us the fragrant tenderness that only posterity will discern and appreciate in far-off times when every trifle of our plain everyday life will become exquisite and festive in its own right: the times when a man who might put on the most ordinary jacket of today will be dressed up for an elegant masquerade.”

This is the function of books — we learn how to live even if we weren’t there. Fiction gives us access to a very real history. Stories are the best democracy we have. We are allowed to become the other we never dreamed we could be.

Today is Bloomsday, the 105th anniversary of the events of the novel. All over the world Joyce fans will gather to celebrate the extraordinary tale of an ordinary day. There will be Bloomsday breakfasts, and Bloomsday love affairs, and Bloomsday arguments and, indeed, Bloomsday grandfathers hoisting their sons, and their sons of sons, onto the shoulders of never-ending stories.

As for me, with a clean bill of health now, I finally know where my grandfather is buried — happily between the covers of a book, where he sits, smoking and drinking still.

Colum McCann is the author of the forthcoming novel “Let the Great World Spin.”

Copyright 2009 The New York Times Company
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Entering the New York Art World

This is a real listing:

Do you know how to successfully talk and write about your work to get the right people to see and show it?

You should! Your work and career depend on it.

This workshop will teach you how to:

1. Write an effective artist’s statement
2. introduce your work to galleries and non-profit spaces
3. Organize a successful studio visit

5-week session / Mondays/ 6-8PM/ June 22 - July 20, 2009
Workshop Fee: $225. Location: Chelsea/Manhattan. Limited space available. STARTS JUNE 22!


Entering the Art world is taught by JANE HARRIS, a published art critic (Time Out, New York, Village Voice, Artforum/Bookforum, Art in America, etc.) independent curator, SVA faculty member, and former gallery director.

Guest speakers will include LAUREN ROSS, Curator of the High Line (former curator at the Brooklyn Museum and White Columns)

Gallerist ED WINKLEMAN, author of a forthcoming book on the business of being an artist, “How to Start and Run a Commercial Art Gallery.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

June 16, 2009

Tomorrow is June 16, 2009.
I would like to find the location where the photo was taken, and exist in the space once again.

Then I begin to think of everyone I know. Where were you on June 16, 1983?

Where are you on June 16, 2009?

Would you be willing to take a picture of yourself on June 16, 2009, note where you are in the world, and send it to me?
I am curious to begin with this question...

Thanks in advance let's see what happens,
Angela Rose

June 15, 2009

This weekend, during my insomnia and migraine, I found a polaroid of myself from 6/16/83.
I know the date because I wrote it on the top right corner of the picture.
I am 9 years old.
I am wearing red shorts and a striped tank top.
I am standing with my arms behind my back, leaning on the side of the building.
My right leg is slightly bent against the building.
I am wearing yellow flip flops.
There is graffiti on the building behind me - blue spray paint, and white spray paint.
There are scuff marks on the building by the sidewalk
On the far right corner of the photograph there is a blurry hand - perhaps someone else was sitting in front.
A ball or something else white is in their hand.
I have a smile on my face, but my lips are almost closed.
My hair is barely to my shoulders.
There is a sign "YMCA entrance" in the doorway behind the glass, but I know it's not the main entrance to the YMCA on 23rd street. Perhaps it's the back entrance for people who live there.
My shoulders are slightly hunched.
There is a reflection of a blue sedan in the doorway.

Tomorrow is 6/16/09.
I plan to find the location where the photo was taken, and take another picture of myself there.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

dressing/stripping the bed

It's interesting what happens in the early hours- especially when one is up all the hours before.

We had an intense night:

I dreamt that I came to terms with not being a lesbian, (played out a relationship and decided it needed to end.)

Right before going to bed I recited letters to previous lovers, a postcard project I have been thinking about for a half a year or so.

Right before that I realized I would be at peace having a second child (I have been fearing the idea for a while now.)

An Oldie

Thinking about the past.
4AM and still awake and in pain

Friday, June 12, 2009

June 12, 2009, more

12:30pm: migraine, neck pain, shoulder pain, bone pain
2pm: migraine, neck pain, shoulder pain, bone pain
5pm: migraine, neck pain, shoulder pain, bone pain
10:30 pm: migraine, neck pain, shoulder pain, bone pain

I'm not sleepy I'm not awake I'm in pain
My eyes hurt
my neck hurts
my back hurts
my head hurts
my ears hurt
my throat hurts
my brain hurts
my spine hurts
my cheeks hurt
my nose hurts
my forehead hurts
my mouth hurts
my low back hurts
my shoulders hurt
my stomach hurts
my temples hurt

One new drawing

On a walk

I've always loved this billboard. North West corner of 14th and 1st, NYC

I walk by these lovers every Monday and Thursday. They are always kissing. 24th Street just east of 8th avenue

I think this is what we are reduced to. Bedford avenue at North 6th street

Bedford avenue at North 3rd

I walk over these portraits every time I walk over the Williamsburg Bridge.

Friday, June 12, 2009, Friday, June 12, 2009

It finally stopped raining. Partly-cloudy with sunshine throughout pockets of the day.
My desk is getting less cluttered, every part of the house has an unresolved project
Already too much coffee, had extra water throughout the day first in the clinic, then the hospital
Found Arnheim's book on my own, received the Radicant from the library
Still hoping to have own room soon, slowly rearranging objects (today transferred Ali's clothing into a closet in her room) so that eventually the garage will be a clear teaching/making space
Pay mortgage, paid credit card bill
Do I need another file cabinet, need a shelf for Will's school equipment in the office
Bed not made, Beds not made
Food not bought, Refrigerator stuffed (in laws are over)
I want to build the wall and doors, I want to plaster the garage walls and paint
On phone with health insurance, On the phone with siblings (mom had an EEG that showed a possible heart attack-still not sure, they are running tests, doctors said the EEG sometimes misdiagnoses the Asian community?)
On phone with medical provider, drove to Emergency after the first test indicated a possible heart attack at the clinic
A lot of low self worth, panicked (heart rate shot up while driving)
Transfer balance request not secure, there is no security
Couch in disarray, House in orderly disorder
Migraine. Disappointment (we were finally going to go out on a date tonight, don' t remember the last one, it was so long ago)
End of the day, End of the day (almost)
Make the return
Pay another installment
Make the connection, spark a connection
Really loud music from passing cars, pool closed- wanted to do laps
Buy flowers for entryway, Ali picked dandelions we put in a glass of water, they open and shut with the day
Take out trash, broke the trash bag spilled compost onto the rug
Stood up for myself, Took charge
Show apartment one more open house, Passed out invitations
How can I support myself without relying on T too much?
How can I support myself without relying on W too much?
Feeling isolated, feeling like I need a change (coming to NY this summer with Ali- will for sure let you know when)
Lavender oil not helping, calming tea did not do much either
Sunny and moist, sweating in a bathing suit

June 12, 2009

It finally stopped raining.
My desk is getting less cluttered
Already too much coffee
Found Arnheim's book on my own
Still hoping to have own room soon
Pay mortgage
Do I need another file cabinet
Bed not made
Food not bought
I want to build the wall and doors
On phone with health insurance
On phone with medical provider
A lot of low self worth
Transfer balance request not secure
Couch in disarray
Migraine. End of day
Make the return
Pay another installment
Make the connection
Really loud music from passing cars
Buy flowers for entryway
Take out trash
Stood up for myself
Show apartment one more open house
How can I support myself without relying on T too much?
Feeling isolated
Lavender oil not helping
Sunny and moist

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So long, NW

On Thu, Jun 11, 2009 at 7:35 PM, Angela Rose Voulgarelis Illgen wrote:

Hi Debbie,
Thank you for contacting me about working on a pre-natal client tomorrow at Namaste.
Attached please find my resume with my NYS license number.
References available upon request.

As I mentioned to Carlota, I am willing to help.
However, I am hesitant because your rate is significantly lower than my own.
For 90 minutes of work, plus set up and break down of the room, it is an extremely low rate for a New York Licensed Massage Therapist to only receive $50.
I would like to receive a 5-class card in addition to my percentage for the massage.

I should have mentioned this before I accepted the offer to work on your client, but to be honest, the call took me by surprise.


Hi Angela,
The going rate for massage therapists in Manhattan is tops $35/1.5hr plus maybe a tip. Here you make $50/1.5hr massage + tip. That is more than fair actually almost too fair on my part. On top of that every massage therapist who works here is NYS LMT's some of which work for some of the most upscale spas in Manhattan yet still make more money here.
Sorry to take you by surprise, it won't happen again.
We'll find someone else for the massage.
Thank You,

June 11, 2009

Restorative class after coffee
worked on Nicole
Another coffee not water
Client today was in a bad mood
No real lunch.
Ran into two friends on the street
Client from last night cancelled
Another terse conversation with C.
The train was way too crowded
Did not do penny piece today
Did not clean underneath the bicycle
Called about more work
Worried about money

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Albany, New York 12247

Albany Office: 518 - 455-2031
District Office: 914 - 934-5250

Senator, 37th District

June 10 , 2009

Dear Constituent:

Thank you for writing regarding the funding issues surrounding the
New York State Summer School for the Arts. Unfortunately, the program did
not receive the full restoration in the final state budget to the $1.745
million level requested. The funding for the New York State Summer School
for the Arts is set at $1.59 million for the 2009 – 2010 fiscal year.

I appreciated your comments about the importance of the New York
State Summer School for the Arts. The program serves high school students
well and maintains New York State’s commitment to arts and entertainment.
This budget year was the most difficult I have taken part in all my years
as a State Senator. Many programs such as the New York State Summer School
for the Arts were reduced from requested levels or defunded. My colleagues
and I in the Legislature worked to restore funds while also facing a $17
billion deficit. Moreover, state revenues are falling and the recently
passed budget may need to be revisited if our economy continues to falter.
Please know that I will continue to advocate for the New York State Summer
School for the Arts and hope to restore the funding to adequate levels in
the future.

Thank you for your writing on this issue. Please feel free to
contact me on this or any other issue in the future.


Suzi Oppenheimer

State Senator

Monday, June 8, 2009

My Students' Show

7 local artists display their work

Soulfood Books
15748 Redmond Way
Redmond, WA 98052
June 15-30th
Meet the artists, June 21st 5PM

link to a predecessor



Proposal for an exhibition “CARE”




A.The Death Instinct and the Life Instinct:

The Death Instinct: separation; individuality; Avant-Garde par excellence; to follow one’s own path to death—do your own thing; dynamic change.The Life Instinct: unification; the eternal return; the perpetuation and MAINTENANCE of the species; survival systems and operations; equilibrium.

B. Two basic systems: Development and Maintenance.

The sourball of every revolution: after the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?

Development: pure individual creation; the new; change; progress; advance; excitement; flight or fleeing.

Maintenance: keep the dust off the pure individual creation; preserve the new; sustain the change; protect progress; defend and prolong the advance; renew the excitement; repeat the flight; show your work—show it again keep the contemporaryartmuseum groovy keep the home fires burning

Development systems are partial feedback systems with major room for change.
Maintenance systems are direct feedback systems with little room for alteration.

C. Maintenance is a drag; it takes all the fucking time (lit.)

The mind boggles and chafes at the boredom.

The culture confers lousy status on maintenance jobs = minimum wages, housewives = no pay.

clean you desk, wash the dishes, clean the floor, wash your clothes, wash your toes, change the baby’s diaper, finish the report, correct the typos, mend the fence, keep the customer happy, throw out the stinking garbage, watch out don’t put things in your nose, what shall I wear, I have no sox, pay your bills, don’t litter, save string, wash your hair, change the sheets, go to the store, I’m out of perfume, say it again—he doesn’t understand, seal it again—it leaks, go to work, this art is dusty, clear the table, call him again, flush the toilet, stay young.

D. Art:

Everything I say is Art is Art. Everything I do is Art is Art. “We have no Art, we try to do everything well.” (Balinese saying).

Avant-garde art, which claims utter development, is infected by strains of maintenance ideas, maintenance activities, and maintenance materials.

Conceptual & Process art, especially, claim pure development and change, yet employ almost purely maintenance processes.


The exhibition of Maintenance Art, “CARE,” would zero in on pure maintenance, exhibit it as contemporary art, and yield, by utter opposition, clarity of issues.


Three parts: Personal, General, and Earth Maintenance.

A. Part One: Personal

I am an artist. I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. (Random order).

I do a hell of a lot of washing, cleaning, cooking, renewing, supporting, preserving, etc. Also, (up to now separately I “do” Art. Now, I will simply do these maintenance everyday things, and flush them up to consciousness, exhibit them, as Art. I will live in the museum and I customarily do at home with my husband and my baby, for the duration of the exhibition. (Right? or if you don’t want me around at night I would come in every day) and do all these things as public Art activities: I will sweep and wax the floors, dust everything, wash the walls (i.e. “floor paintings, dust works, soap- sculpture, wall-paintings”) cook, invite people to eat, make agglomerations and dispositions of all functional refuse.

The exhibition area might look “empty” of art, but it will be maintained in full public view.


B. Part Two: General

Everyone does a hell of a lot of noodling maintenance work. The general part of the exhibition would consist of interviews of two kinds.

1. Previous individual interviews, typed and exhibited.

Interviewees come from, say, 50 different classes and kinds of occupations that run a gamut from maintenance “man,” maid, sanitation “man,” mail “man,” union “man,” construction worker, librarian, grocerystore “man,” nurse, doctor, teacher, museum director, baseball player, sales”man,” child, criminal, bank president, mayor, moviestar, artist, etc., about:

”-what you think maintenance is;
-how you feel about spending whatever parts of your life you spend on maintenance activities;
-what is the relationship between maintenance and freedom;
-what is the relationship between maintenance and life’s dreams.

2. Interview Room—for spectators at the Exhibition:

A room of desks and chairs where professional (?) interviewers will interview the spectators at the exhibition along same questions as typed interviews. The responses should be personal.

These interviews are taped and replayed throughout the exhibition area.

C. Part Three: Earth Maintenance

Everyday, containers of the following kinds of refuse will be delivered to the Museum:

-the contents of one sanitation truck;

-a container of polluted air;

-a container of polluted Hudson River;

-a container of ravaged land.

Once at the exhibition, each container will be serviced:

purified, de-polluted, rehabilitated, recycled, and conserved by various technical (and / or pseudo-technical) procedures either by myself or scientists.

These servicing procedures are repeated throughout the duration of the exhibition.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

The goal is to rent a billboard and sand off previous advertisements- so billboard size.

For school this year- I think I'll enlarge them to wall size through projection. I'm thinking of them as particles and not necessarily concrete things.



I think it could be beautiful to do rubbings of interior spaces on larger pieces of paper, and have a simple description/writing to accompany each drawing. Lovely idea - continue!
Still thinking the postcards need to be bigger...imagine the size filling a room.

yes, you can borrow money to save land

Saturday, June 6, 2009

rubbing the building

At the workshop I rubbed the interior of the building onto sanded postcards. Each postcard was a different room/ or wall in the space. I know they need to be sent somewhere- just not sure where- to the owner of that building that was suppose to be gutted in the near future? should they be sent in a sequence? (for example one each week)- maybe I should send them back to the building...does the abstract rubbing need to be grounded in a location (for example, 2nd room, left of auditorium, wall)?

...another postcard idea: send clear cards with a little varnish (glue) in the mail, tracing the marks of the card's journey

June 6, 2009

Bushwick Open Studios
Back to my own studio
out of town visitor


Friday, June 5, 2009

June 5, 2009

My drawings look like me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

June 3, 2009

Cleaned under the bicycle again today and took another picture.
Walked slowly to the train and took a lot of notice of surroundings - as if a tourist.
Took photos of "cleaned" area of subway station wall and dirty section.
"Clean" section is only plastic sticker of "clean" tile - dirty tile underneath!
Brought that to a curious woman's attention.
We smiled silently together.
Found muslin,
found xeroxs
Bought vegetables
Shared a lovely moment with an older gentlemen waiting for the same train.
Read passage from "The Enchantment of Art": The first way to bring about a change in paradigm is to bring a change to one's everyday activities.
Bought coffee.
Thought about zen meditation.
Caught the bus home.
Checked the mail

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Can I borrow $200?

I see this as a potentially great art piece:
Ask 1,000 people I know to lend me $200 each.
I could pay it back within five years.

I would borrow the money to save one of my properties from being foreclosed on and lost forever.
The deadline is December 31, 2009.
Can I make it?
Imagine the possibilities!

Would you lend me $200 to save my land?


Tuesday, June 2, 2009

June 1, 2009

Burned iron mark into pillow case on purpose.
Added an extra copy of The Scarlet Letter to my intervention on it.
Thought up a painting
Re-thought why I'm making my work - based on what aim? Based on what principles?
Took a walk.
Watched the cement dry
Cleaned under the bicycle on Grand street
Had two coffees instead of one.
Asked for help
Had three clients
Walked slowly down the stairs
Forgot to eat dinner
Got into a fight over the phone
Ate Chinese for lunch.
Took lots of pictures
Cashed a check
Had a talk, not an argument, with my father.
Walked slowly home
Bought peonies and put them in water
Did my laundry
Probably did not drink enough water
Took out the trash
Read more mythology stories
Ate two eggs

Monday, June 1, 2009

reading The Everyday

"Every day thousands upon thousands of women sweep up the dust which has gathered imperceptibly since the previous day. After every meal, too numerous to count, they wash the dishes and saucepans. For times too numerous to count, by hand or in the machine they remove the dirt which has built up bit by bit on sheets and clothes; they stop up the holes the gentle rubbing of heels inevitably makes; they fill emptied cupboards and refrigerators with packets of pasta and kilos of fruit and vegetables... [which explains the definition of everyday life:] The ensemble of activities which of necessity result from the general processes of development: evolution, growth and ageing, of biological or social protection or change, those processes which escape immediate notice and which are only perceptible on their consequences."

interesting quote that is followed by critique- page 30