Saturday, May 29, 2010

Strong Dreams

I am thinking about changing my diet. I had two really weird dreams a few nights ago, and they are still in my mind which usually doesn't happen.

In the first, which is not about changing my diet: it was a few years from now and I was heartbroken at having Andrew dead so I pressured his identical twin to have sex with me so I could have a baby "with Andrew". He agreed because he was quite distraught also, but we were in the ocean so we couldn't get close enough to manage sex- the waves just kept pushing me away. But, in real life his twin is a lady like me, not an identical twin. This dream has me worried about Andrew because he does a lot of risky things, like speeding, and I wouldn't like him to die.

In the second dream, I was being dropped off at prison via very slow bus. At the entrance of the prison, which was very like a train station, I was supposed to pick whatever I liked from the canteen/gift shop, but all there was was sweets and pastries. And I wouldn't eat them. And the man behind the counter and my attendant were very cross and said I would regret it later because I wouldn't get another chance what with being in prison and there might not be very much food so I should really eat something, or even eat as much as I could. But I felt full and if anything I wanted a piece of cow meat and they wouldn't let me out of the shop and into the prison.

Usually I have nice dreams or scary dreams, but they don't last in my waking life for more than a half hour or a day. So I have decided to listen to these two dreams and take good care of Andrew and not eat sugar... so that I can get into prison.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I have not found a place to live, and I move out of my campus apartment in three weeks. I have just started to search for places. The second posting I clicked on was a listing for the place I lived in in Felton when I first started college, where my live-in landlord was a sociopath and I had to move. So I flagged it, but I didn't feel like looking anymore tonight, and I had an anxiety attack and felt bad. I had some chamomile tea which helped a bit. And I phoned my Mister and that helped a bit. And I went swimming today, and usually I feel really good on days that I swim but not today. So, idk, I have to get up early ish tomorrow but I don't want to go to bed and just lie there worrying, I would rather distract myself with the internet. So I am watching music videos and looking for the angsty but perky ones I was really in the mood for last summer. I don't have a great memory for that kind of thing so I typed stream-of-consciousness into the search bar until I remembered what my old favorite song was called.

"boy group angry breakup think i'm in love beck one tree hill driving in a red car shouting things in the music video it is the suburbs with ribbon stripes on the countercultural house think i'm in love one tree hill beck band one two three four gives you hell"

And like... I was really projecting a lot onto that song. Using it to process some stuff. Now that I am not in that mood it is a bit terrible. It might be the difference between listening to it on my headphones, and turning it on real quiet in my car, rolling down the windows, and shouting it with feelings (at first I turned it up loud but it was harder to enjoy shouting if I felt like I was singing along). But I think it is also the music video, which I never noticed until right now uses the same singer for both male leads, even though there are totally other people in that band, unlike when Taylor Swift and Ashlee Simpson did that in their videos.

Also stressful is that I have a huge project due tomorrow in Sculpture, and even though I am sure I can finish my video editing and burning to dvd by then I did not pick up my equipment from Media Services yet and what if it doesn't worrrrrrrk? That can happen. My video is 16 minutes long. Idk if that is a good length, or what. There is an almost 9 minute part where I am just pulling the bag along and the laptop is filming from the bottom pocket of the bag. I, like, love that part. Maybe I should put it at the end so we can start crit while it is playing.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Getting Dreadlocks

I've always liked dreadlocks but it is weird when white girls have them because it is appropriation. Also they are fussy to maintain. But my hair has got so damaged from swimming that it was super hard to comb. And I kept cutting off the split ends, and new ones kept splitting, and my hair was making single strand knots. And my split ends had split ends, which sounds absurd but they are visible if you look carefully in sunlight.

I already knew a lot of things about dreadlocks from researching a paper I did last year on the visual culture of Santa Cruz, but I did some looking up anyway, and I was glad i did. I swim 3-6 times a week and so my dreadlocks will get wet and so I decided to make them really skinny so they can dry out better. I already wasn't going to use any products, but I was grossed out to read that wax can trap water in your dreadlock and mold.

I decided not to use any products not because if I am going to blatantly appropriate something I want to at least have that much credibility.

I formed my dreadlocks by braiding tightly for a half inch or three quarters of an inch at my scalp, then backcombing as much as I could, then letting the strands that didn't get incorporated hang down straight. I think it looks nice, but I know it won't stay this way. Soon they will either fall out (oh, I hope that doesn't happen) or lock up tighter. Then a lot of people's dreadlocks get fat but I am going to potlatch them (thread the whole lock through the new growth at the root) as they grow out which should keep them thin. I was supposed to palm-roll them according to the method I picked, but I didn't want to spend too much time at one sitting. It took from 10:30-1 just to backcomb everything. And now I like how they look and I am not sure how effective palm rolling is without wax.

here you can see that keeping your mouth open in photos to look super excited gets a bit silly when I am excited in the first place.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

trip to Dietrich's Iron Works

everything in the shop was gorgeous.

I wandered a good distance in before anyone saw me and flagged me down. I guess they don't worry about theft because the thieves would get away so slowly.
the Woortman V500 cut my 20 foot length of 3/4" flat into 2 pieces.
They almost fit in my car.

library backpack

Unpainted wood. It sits squarely on my shoulders and can be worn by bigger or somewhat smaller people. It looks crooked in this picture because I am keeping the weight off some drying glue by holding it up. I think I will paint it grey blue with "PUBLIC LIBRARY" in dark blue down the side.

I cut myself with an x-acto but didn't look for a bandaid because it didn't hurt. Then when I saw that I was ruining my project I went and got one, and sanded off all the blood.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Mariposa Grove

This blog is super quiet, so here is what I have been working on for mariposa grove:

I want it to be a tour of the Mariposa Grove/Willow house sustainable projects, that people can put on a backpack of jars that are modules that explain what a tourer is looking at around the gardens. The wood there is for a different backpack- I am making a wooden rack to put books on and wear about, places where people might need a book.
Here is the first drawing i did for a jar module, it is about weaving sticks into things. Weekend after this I will ask around who made each, and what it is called, and stuff. I want to do this part in whatever pen is on hand so people won't feel shy about modifying them.
This is my initial drawing of the metal backpack that will hold the jars.
This is the model I made out of paper and wire.

My original design didn't provide a way to get the jars open. I don't think this will be perfect but I think it will be sort of useful for dissemination.

I still have to go to the metal manufacturing store and try to buy a 20 foot length of 3/4" flat. Bruce who runs the metal shop says it is around a dollar a pound and will weigh around 12 pounds, so hopefully that is true because they are not a shop really, and can't take credit cards.

I wrote a reading response

and since i am on a school computer I thought it might be nice to have it here for reference.

Freire is a smart and compassionate Brazilian educator who “developed an educational approach that sought to teach critical conschousness, learn from students, redefine the power relations between teacher and student, promote diologue across the economic, political, and educatioal lines that divide society, and inspire action on the part of the underclass.”p 277 The extension of his writings to the public art world is valuable. He says that public art without respect for the participants just “uses them as a new medium and is cultural invasion.” This is very apparent in some of the projects in this book, like Serras. I think that is a valuable form of public art in some cases because shaping people’s interaction with each other or with a space can be eye-opening and achieve an aim, but it is always less developed and more egoic than art created via real collaboration.

Interview: Mierle Laderman Ukeles on Maintenance

Ukeles wants the sanitation department to be visible and appreciated by the New York popuation because the people are part of it when they produce garbage. She was an artist who, when she had a baby, shifted her work to maintaining whereas previously she had focused on creating. She says “the creating, the originating, that’s the easy part.” As a new mother she experienced people marginalizing her experience because it was so common and not centrally valued in our society in the 1960s (which is still very much a problem today, but some steps have been taken to give motherhood recognition. At present it seems that the work is not recognized, sanctioned, supported culturally or by government but there is a diologue and smaller support systems and writings available).

The maintenance grew out of that realization, and then expanded when she realized that the erasure of her work of mothering was also happening to maintenance workers in their supportive role. She had to become trusted by the Whitney maintenance workers because the workers thought she might report to their employers or work for the immigration service, so she worked two shifts every day so they could get used to her. She describes showing up every day as the cause for the acceptance but it seems that her supportive attitude caused it too. Then, her sanitation project seems to extend from there. “I liked the idea that sanitaton goes everywhere and they never, ever stop. That’s a great model for art. Art should go everywhere all the time.”

I like how brilliantly each layer of her work expands from the previous layer. She talks about the transition from being self focused to outward focused when she has a baby, but I think that transition really happened, or was completed, when she did her Maintenance show at the Whitney and looked outside of her own labor.

Interview: Krysztof Wodiczko on Alien Staff

Wodiczko does huge and ephemeral large scale projections. His alien staff uses a small monitor on a staff that invites viewers to see the multiple identities from framing the immigrant using the staff. I don’t think that is as interestubg as his projected work although it is a beautiful object and interactive on a small scale. He says it was developed for Europe because he saw a terrible immigration situation there, but when it was transposed to the US people think of ourselves as all made up of immigrants and don’t realize the relative disadvantages of new immigrants. I think he has a very good point “If there is a cliché, why not use it? But it has to be immediately transported to the contemporary world and infused with a new meaning.” Many artists work with this understanding but I had never heard it described so briefly and well.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Public Art Mariposa Grove Project

I have started working on my public art final. I want it to be a tour of the Mariposa Grove/Willow house sustainable projects, that people can put on a backpack of jars that are modules that explain what a tourer is looking at around the gardens. The wood there is for a different backpack- I am making a wooden rack to put books on and wear about, places where people might need a book.
Here is the first drawing i did for a jar module, it is about weaving sticks into things. Weekend after this I will ask around who made each, and what it is called, and stuff. I want to do this part in whatever pen is on hand so people won't feel shy about modifying them.
This is my initial drawing of the metal backpack that will hold the jars.
This is the model I made out of paper and wire.

My original design didn't provide a way to get the jars open. I don't think this will be perfect but I think it will be sort of useful for dissemination.

Not my best week ever

I have a bottle of ink that sometimes leaks, so to carry it to my art class I tightened the top and put it in a jar and put it in my purse. So, thank goodness my purse wasn't full of ink, but I was still almost late to class pouring the ink back and washing the jar.

And that is kind of how my whole week has been. Not, like, horrible, but a lot of stuff messing me up. Like sawdust in my nose from working in the woodshop. My crocs catching on the carpet while I am carrying a lidless coffee. Forgetting for the third week in a row to order groceries. A sunburn. Wearing a low cut shirt on the hottest day ever and then discovering my sunburn was peeling attractively in my cleavage. A sunburn on my sunburn, and a new sunburn on my back. I put my harness on backward to climb a rockwall, but I got it sorted. (That was not really my fault, because the guy setting up was overhelping by saying I should put it on backwards then turn it around, so i put it on backward and then got up to the wall like, oh, the part with the carabiner should be in front.) I think my art classes are going really well, but today I was too tired to go to my once a week three unit class.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

and then i made this

paper, tape, and wire model of the jar backpack of teaching modules i am making for mariposa.

Do I look tired? I have been working on projects since 4pm, and I want to do about another hour and a half of work before I head home.

Safe/Free Project Progress

I picked a working title. It is Safe/Free.

Oh man, I got all 9 pages traced, inked, labeled, erased (I don't have erasing muscles so my hand is like cramping. It started cramping partway through the first page, sigh.), and pinned (crookedly because I am not good at that part) to the wall. Also I am not sure it is okay to use the part of the wall I am using. It is partway in someone's piece, a nest/web of string and paper, but the piece is really big so it was unavoidable. And part of it is in someone's storage space. So I might move it outside or something for open studios, but I have it up to show my prof tomorrow. She told me monday we have to talk about the presentation of my work, but not the concept, so that's good. She said we should talk before I start working on this phase of the project, but instead I worked on it for 9 hours (3 yesterday and almost 6 today).

And also, I deliberately left my camera home because I didn't anticipate finishing this stage, and now I am sad because I wanted to take its picture.

Man, I really don't want to walk home in the cold. But I will be glad to have some dinner, for it is nearing 10.

Possessions Project

Well tracing everything I like to carry is going well. I ran out of paper but I can get more in the art department tommorow. I think I only need 2 more pages. Here is everything, purse, swim bag, and laptop bag. It is pretty big. This will, unless I think of something else, be on the wall behind my big yellow luggage.
this is the minimal amount of stuff I feel I need to carry about. It should be "housekeys" while I am on campus with no plans to go off. I don't mean that's all I should carry each day, but that it is a good bare minimum. I can walk home, borrow a pen from the classroom or from someone, and I can come home and get my id if I need to go to the dining hall. Still, the contrast with the 8 pages of comfort stuff is good I think.
This is unrelated. But a lady Bevin who blogs at queer fat femme does this face in like all her pictures (and after I said that I scrolled through 2 pages of her blog without finding that expression, maybe she is over it) and I think it is really good so I am taking it. Like, I am in an okay mood right now but if I make that face I look like I am super excited! And it is really just smiling with my mouth way open.

Tiny Purse Test Run

Today I did a test of my project of having a yellow and pink luggage to cart around when I want Safety and a tiny yellow and pink purse to carry around when I want Freedom. For the test I found the tiniest bag I had, a camera case on a string, and put in only the things I could not bear to leave my house for a 3 hour class half a mile from my dorm. And it was a lot of stuff I crammed into that case. My phone, a print card, spare print card, and a dollar in coins as a backup to the print cards, my id, and a candy wrapper i had left in the strap part of the case for probably years, plus keys on their lanyard and a pen. And on the way to class with my newly pared down things I felt nice. A bit like when I threw away all of my pants. I am having a stronger patch of anxiety this past few days so that contributed negatively.

And I realized when I was almost to the library that in addition to wearing the case on its strap i was holding it in my hand in front of me. Because it was so light, and to make sure it was there. And I let myself do that because I was adjusting. It made me feel a bit less naked. And I had everything I needed, between the library and my 2 art classrooms. Then I remembered I had left some things in my luggage this morning when I drove down from Oakland, and the luggage was in my other art class because I used it to carry my art supplies. So on my first minimalist excursion I had to carry a bag of tortillas and a bottle of nail polish remover and a backup bottle of nail polish remover and all the rest of my toiletries. But I traced all of the toiletries and I will use them for the backdrop for the luggage because sometimes I carry that case in my swim bag if I am in a hurry and don't want to find just lotion, shampoo, and conditioner.

Finishing my Sculpture

I didn't know what to do with my womb, how to expand it for the rest of term. I had the startling realization that I don't want a womb to be safe in, after thinking for years (13 years that I have kept track of) that I would love a little safe space I found out that is not valuable to me. So I thought about incorporating that realization into the piece. Then I started thinking about how much being in that womb made me want to break free. And so giving myself that, that 34 hours of work to render a dream that I then didn't respond to the way I expected to, freed me. I felt uncertain what to do with the freedom. Maybe I could make another womb?

By the time proposals were due i had come up with making armor and a tiny purse, and I would let myself wear the armor (yellow fleece and pink faux fur) if I needed it, but with the awareness that that was over the top, and the purse (the same fleece and fur) was enough if I didn't need a crutch. My crit group didn't really get it because it was a very underdeveloped idea, so I decided to just start. And I traced everything I had in my test tiny purse, and it filled a large sheet of paper. And so that represented the minimum burden i was comfortable with. And then after class I started on the task of tracing everything I carry on a normal school day. I carry in addition to any books or papers or art supplies, a medium purse full of crap, a laptop bag, and lately a tote bag with my swimming stuff and a snack. I got through the purse part in pencil and partway inked. The rest can be tommorow. And so anyway, I realized instead of armor which is abstract I can have more literal luggage, pink and yellow oversized luggage. So I can have my possession crutches but I have to acknowlege the silliness of it with the luggage. Or, if I don't want to carry it about, I can travel with an appropriate amount of stuff in the tiny purse. So I think I am happy with this. I will get feedback weds
here is my sketch of the installation. the traced contents are on the wall, the luggage and purse on the wall or floor, and the womb is also displayed in the area.

here are two of the 9 pages I will have. the left page is not labeled yet but it will be. 8 of the pages are the luggage contents (well really my usual daily load. I think the luggage might be empty for display.) and one is the contents of the tiny purse. And these will be on the wall behind the purse and luggage.

So it is a way to acknowledge that my commitment to carrying my belongings for any eventuality is absurd, without taking the crutch away from me on days that I need it to feel comfortable.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


So I was on the internet today, listening to lady gaga on the youtube, and someone combated potential copyright backlash (usually youtube deleting the video) by writing "NO COPYRIGHT" on it.
So I was like, wow. I guess copyright issues will get handled if people just get loads dumber. I put a print screen of it in paint to put in my blog with some complaining about why no one likes to be clever. Then my phone rang, and I answered it, and when I hung up I was like "why is my music off?" and tried twice to click on the play button in my paint document.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Back to Figure Drawing

I took Intro To Drawing a year ago, and my drawing got so good! And then I barely drew anything, at least not as an exercise in seeing and drawing but more to convey my thoughts. Last night I had time to go to drop in figure drawing, and it was really good!
I did all of these in one sitting. They look really different because I was flailing, trying to get my hands to remember what to do.

ink and brush is my favorite way to draw.
I rotated all of these, but I must have just rotated the preview.

Here is the pool

(Also this post has a picture of the middle of my chest, so if that would be weird for you to look at, skip the second picture.) This is my pool where I swim. It is overexposed, yeah? Maybe a hint that I shouldn't lay in the sun for an hour? But it was so lovely! And I swim for an hour, so it is the same almost.
:( first sunburn of the year.
It looks exactly like my burn from last summer, including that my armpit got burned from keeping my arm over my face.
Glare! Massive amounts of sunshine! Need to wear a shirt the next few times I go swimming!
It surprises me that the occupancy isn't split by swimming and watching, like it is split in the dining hall for eating and assemblies.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

womb sculpture

I am making a rather fantastic object. It is a womb space. I planned it to have a red fleece outside and a pink fleece inside but the red and pink fleece at beverly's looked terrible. I found a beautiful purple fleece to use, but nothing to go with it until I found 2 yards of faux fur. The fur clung to me from static when I picked it up, and then all I had to decide was which piece of fabric to put on the inside and which the outside. I had been really committed to having a hidden brightness inside the womb but the geometric potential of the fleece and the tactile potential of the fur made it work better the other way around.
Here it is upside down, how I am working on it:
It is a little more than half done with the sewing- all around the perimeter and tacked down at some other points.

In these pictures it looks beautiful with the open side up... I will find out tomorrow whether in looks beautiful the way it is intended.
I just like this object so much. It is super different than my plan (made from wool and shaped like a banana and hung from the ceiling) but I love it. When I am done showing it I am going to keep it on my bed and hide in it all the time.