Today’s Prompt: If you could zoom through space in the speed of light, what place would you go to right now?
When I was little and people asked the classic question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” my answer was, “A veterinarian or marine biologist. Or an astronaut.”
For a long time I couldn’t figure out what the connection was there. Now I see that I wanted to be transported to magical worlds that actually exist.
Imagine: Getting in a submarine like “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou” delving down past the point where sunlight can no longer touch and twist form into shape. Down here bioluminescence lights the way—strange alien-esque creatures waving their tendrils in a happy dance of connectivity, moving with the flow of life that has not been put under the demands of the grid. The only structure down here past the flecks of floating sunshine are the laws of nature, the jaws sharp as razors whose only job is to consume and keep swimming whatever the cost.
as artists, and as human beings, what kind of space do we create?
“It’s an empty city block…And wanting to make the place that everyone can be in and join the work in some way. And thinking about: What are those experiences that allow us to fall open to something? What allows us to become receptive? To pay attention? And all of the modes of attention that we can form…The responsibility of thinking about the nature of public gatherings and what are the opportunities to gather in public? How do we retain a sense of our individual presence and yet join to something larger?”
today marked my first Saturday shift at the event of a thread. welcome to wild weekends at the Armory!
up until this point, i have been so appreciative of the way that people have interacted with this exhibit. i was stunned by the environment that Ann had created. somehow, through her care, meticulousness, and attention to detail, i felt that she had succeeded in creating a space where there were very little rules enforced and yet the audience was so respectful of it. even when the audience was high energy, no one was climbing all over the exhibit, poking at the pigeons, or particularly active in our personal areas. at least, i hadn’t experienced this, until today.
created by Ann Hamilton for the Park Avenue Armory
this November i was invited by Anne Bogart to participate as a reader in Ann Hamilton’s installation event at the Park Avenue Armory. as both a great honor and delight, i am reading to pigeons alongside members of SITI Company and their affiliates. the selected texts are from writers such as Aristotle, Charles Darwin, Ralph Waldo Emerson, William James, and more. these readings address a shared consciousness about our existence and our voices are transmitted via paper bag radios carried throughout the space. my participation is but one element amidst the vast participatory landscape that Ann Hamilton has so care-fully created. the following entries are an attempt to understand and share this intimate and meaningful experience with you.
the place that i am in includes both the physical landscape and my own body. a lot of things are different than i am used to.
warm and dry. the ground is hard and it is hard to release my body into it when i am already feeling pain. and i am finding it difficult to find space. in a place so expansive with space, it’s hard to find one’s own. “The Creatures” got their own spaceship. they found their home. i need to find my own. it’s hard to be oneself when there is no space to do so.
:: the process that i go through writing this blog ::
DMunk and i affectionately joke about my never-ending ability to be “meta” about everything. (and you better believe that when i found out that WordPress has a Tag Cloud above a section called Meta, i revel in staring at this cloud and seeing what shapes emerge.)
but i haven’t really gone very deep with the process of writing this blog. maybe because it is inherently about process that it seems redundant to do so. but then i hear these little words repeat themselves and i realize that i channel these words often when creating new work. in Saratoga, Anne Bogart told us that when she directs SITI Company, a common thing she says when something is cooking is, “could be more.” to me, this means: it’s good. keep it. and where else can itgo?
usually when i need to use the bathroom that is located 10 meters from my sleeping quarters, i hear that crazy frog and i imagine that someone is going to leap out from behind the glowing purple Buddha and kill me. i start to panic. sometimes in situations like this, i will go so far as to start running (or walking fast to appear as if i am not running. when really, i am).
tonight after i brushed my teeth and washed my face, i entered the open area between the bathroom and the boudoir. i took a deep breath and said to my self, what do you have to be afraid of? look at all this! as i opened my arms and raised my face to the night sky, the cosmos came rushing down to meet me. look at all these stars! clear as if i were in the sky itself! and i kind of am in the sky! i am on the top of a freaking mountain! and the moon…like something out of a painting! and i swear i can see trails of stardust!!!