Or when does a methodical approach become obsessive madness?
I’m a slightly (ahem) obsessive type. Let me re-frame that and say “I’m a deep diver”. So when I decide to photograph obsolete objects hanging around my studio for 30 days…. 365 days later it becomes probably 900+ images, 365 blog posts, a lot of research on various arcane things… and well you see what I mean.
I picked up a book from the library recently “The Archive Carpet” by Michael Hetherington. Anything with the word archive in it is bound to catch my eye.
It open with
Beginning on November 17, 1995, I wrote a fragment of fiction every day for 2,500 in a row, ending on Thanksgiving Sunday in October 2002. (I continued writing these daily sentences for another 3,500 days in a row…)”
Mr. Hetherington I take my obso hat** off to you and relinquish my crown of obsession.
Or do I? Later
I’ve only read the first few pages, hence this is a micro review, and there can be no macro when you are reading fragments.
It’s very funny. I don’t know what I expected. But it did make me laugh out loud a few times.
A month or so later, one voyage, and several books consumed found via those cute little free libraries, I had to return this book to avoid fines and hadn’t finished it. Maybe it was just too deep.
Bumped into a situation recently — or should I say the Universe presented me with the opportunity; — which has me going back and forth, vacillating between knowing what to do, not knowing what to do, and basically being stuck in analysis paralysis.
This indecisive moment is familiar – is it the more largely the territory of introverts?
What happened is I met someone by chance. She’s a lovely person. A creative entrepreneur like moi. And in the course of chatting, I found out her website doesn’t work. … I ostensibly still “do websites”. I put that in quotation marks as, well, back in the day it meant something specific. Now it can mean anything from being a developer banging out a specific piece of code to fix the unruly widget that refuses to cooperate, to a Mad-Men style agency filling in all the blanks – and promising the SEO nirvana that will make your business bloom so splendidly it will outshine the sun.
I’m mixing metaphors, but they do that too when they talk Marketspeak.
Her issue is something that as soon as she mentioned, my brain was immediately leaping into action and trying to solve. And sure enough, I did solve it (partially) .
My quandry is this. Do I just email the gal and give her the information “for free” (I didn’t disclose I was anywhere near the tech field – call it introversion, call it caution); do I “pitch” my services at a modest fee (through our convo I found out how much she paid for her original site (hint, not very much); or do I write a blog article outlining the steps to solve her issue. They involve a degree of technical knowledge and patience, and familiarity with certain tools.
It made me realize, I’m still struggling with pricing. WTF? And although one year (was it 2016?) I chose VALUE as my word of the year, it hasn’t hooked deeply into my soul or geek brain yet.
And now I’ve spent 25 minutes typing out this stream of consciousness all because I’m afraid to ask for what I’m worth. Or is it afraid to hear a NO?
Vacillation, oscillation. Swinging back and forth until the pendulum stops and a clear path is shown.
Was getting ready to Marie Kondo* some more books, to schlep them to the bookstore (one that specializes in rare books) and get the princely sum of $12.50 for which expeditionary result would likely be $150 worth of chiropractic fees lugging rare dusty tones to said store.
But before I embark on the actual lugging, I start to read one of the philosophy books I bought on a trip to New York 8 years ago.
Felt—Fluxus, Joseph Beuys, and the Dalai Lama by Chris Thompson. The title was what plucked those American dollars ($27.50 + tax) out of my pocket . BTW this is not a review. I’ve only read the first 20-30 pages. It’s quite dense. One of those academic books that unless you’re in grad school, or a scholar, might sit on your shelf for quite a few moons, only imbuing you with its gifts via some kind of dust telepathy.
But I did reach a section – FRIVOLITY AND DANGER – where he mentions the philosopher Levinas’s work Totality and Infinity -“is very much an elaboration of a particular passage from Dosotyevsky’s novel…” which is lo and behold one of the dusty tomes – Brothers Karamazov that I’ve set aside to earn peanuts.
So I immediately rebel against letting go of all the dust. And I start to finally read the Brothers Karamazov, except I’m reading on my phone, not the actual precious paper tome. A limited edition I may ad. Published before I was born.
Which opens a vortex in the universe and creates a parallel reality where I am selling my artwork for $18,000 a pop.
Another option is to re-print the book (it must be in the public domain ?) with my own illustrations because hey, I think all these things might benefit from being revised by a gal’s touch such as mine.
But first I’ll have to finish the BK. Either on my phone, or in the tome.
p.s. I know that Marie Kondoing books is heresy to some. And I was in that camp for a long time. Recently though, I don’t have the shelf space, could use the extra cash, and want to either engage in the knowledge or liberate myself from the unfinished list. After all, it’s now a free download.
This is one of those nonsense, test posts. Since upgrading to Gutenberg, it’s time to check out those pesky blocks in a safe environment. So far, I’m not thrilled with the way it handles HTML. Other than that, it seems, on the surface, much easier for clients (aka non techies) to update content and “design” it. Generally a good thing.
Ceci n’est pas un bloc. Ceci est un bloc.
|Ceci est une table.||1||2|
|La table est bleu.||3||4|
I found out about the now infamous Banksy self-destructing artwork “Girl with Balloon” —- part performance, part stunt, a brilliant and deeply cynical gesture — on social media. Twitter, which although I don’t “use” it as much anymore, it still has the pulse on immediate information, despite having being upstaged by its more visual cousin, Instagram.
Watching “The Director’s Cut” video on YouTube, which perhaps purports that the image was intended to be entirely shred, and further mocks the elite art world, while yet still profiting from it, makes me realize that Banksy should clone himself and be a prof at most art schools. Or at least offer online workshops.
What would an application to the Canada Council look like that was shaped by a Banksy style intention?
Dear Jury Members, Deer Peers,
So I want to do this thing.
Banksy shows us how to work the system and yet still, ostensibly, kick it in its backside.
Probably there are PhD students right now choosing his work as a thesis project.
I’m thinking about this as I decide whether or not to apply for a PhD, and whether or not to become more commercial in my approach to arts-making.
AS if there is a difference.
The creative act is not performed by the artist alone; the spectator brings the work in contact with the external world by deciphering and interpreting its inner qualifications and thus adds his contribution to the creative act
.” – The Creative Act, Marcel Duchamp, 1957
Back from a Coast to Coast trip, on what we affectionally call the “mom’s tour” – coinciding with Thanksgiving weekend (Canadian). Grateful to still have mom’s.
While away, Vancity credit union’s online banking — and I gather inside the bank as well — so their entire banking system — shut down. Completely, for like 3 days. A bit of a disaster to say the least. We do about do 50% of our banking there. Hedging our bets agains the big banks:)
I followed along on twitter — at times aghast, at times amused, at times angry, and overall in general flabbergasted at how it was handled.
It was a tragicomedy intermingled with a Samuel Beckett play unravelling in real time.
Waiting and waiting and waiting.
One key takeaway — on how not to handle a crisis:
Keep tweeting the same generic message over and over again for 2 days. Delete tweets that have replies in the them, and disable comments on your CEO’s youtube public update.
Eventually, they started responding more personally. I wonder if it was too late. Many customers said they would leave , loudly, online at least. I wonder how many who said they were going to switch did in fact do so? It takes a lot of energy to switch.
While all this was going on we happened to be decluttering some old family stuff, largely boring paper intermingled with a few precious photos and letters.
Old obsolete tax returns – shred.
Old bills from an address and account that no longer exist, just rip up. The sound of shredding and the callouses on my fingers will linger.
What was intriguing were a few letters that were business correspondance – to do with taxes, correcting errors, banking and whatnot. The tone of them was so civilized! Almost over the top.
Now the writer of these letters was British, and from a different era. So right off the bat, they were more formal.
Phrases like “Yours most sincerely,” “Please take note that…“, “It has come to my attention“, “Best Regards”
Compare this to some of the charming tweets I saw Vancity get:
More or less “F*CK you and $*%&($*!~” And “You g-d** incompetent” and so on and so on. (Without the polite *s)
Basically extremely vitriolic and lacking completely in sensitivity for the receiver of these tweets. Who after all, is not a corporation (at least I’m assuming they don’t have a bot answering their tweets -hmmm….), but a person.
Regardless, the contrast between the level of politeness, attention to detail (on both sides of the correspondence – the replies to those paper letters were equally civil) and the way the tweets spiralled out of control was immense.
Now, I’m not saying customers should not have been angry. Vancity’s screwup was immense, and IMHO, has been showing cracks in its system since they “upgraded” in ways that they generally glossed over in the past. I got riled up too.
It was an excellent reminder that online communication has it’s own type of informality, that can get out of hand, and that, although no one in the future will develop callouses shredding the tweets and posts of today, it might be a good idea to think about that what you are sharing is public.
Side Note – Also Noticed:
Travel takes you out of your preconceived notions. You witness others behaviour (critically, if with compassion, it must be confessed) and it opens your eyes to your own mis-behaviours and foibles. I think it’s because when you aren’t in your own daily routine, your habits get opened up. You can’t quite be on auto-pilot. Goal for November: be more compassionate.