The Coldest Winter

July 18, 2010

Since July 1st I’ve been spending quality time with my lovely manfriend/boyfriend/thing. Today he left and I’m sad. Very sad. And now I have to continue my job search.

I feel conflicted. Most people say to me “These are your best years! Do whatever you want to do! No regrets! Blah blah blah!”, which means they don’t think I should go to Atlanta where my manfriend will be posted. But if these are supposed to be the best years of my life, do I really want to work a 9 to 5 job? I’m lucky enough not to have any loans or debts to pay back, so…why should I?

I’d really love to go to Atlanta, hang out with my manfriend, get a part-time job, and work on my photo project. Wouldn’t you say that’s a great way to spend the next year? I would never consider going to Atlanta if it weren’t for him, but isn’t trying new things part of all this?

On the other hand, do I really want to be in Atlanta? My connections are in NYC, I have friends in NYC, and I love the job opportunities in NYC. It’s all very confusing, but that’s what I hope to figure out in the next couple of weeks. I may or may not continue to stay incommunicado, but I just needed to say my piece for now.

Moving Eventually

February 1, 2010

I’ve created a blog on my domain, and I’m planning on moving over to it soon. For now, however, I’m hanging out here and just using the domain for my Advanced Web Design class. Check it out if you like, but I promise you I’m still trying to think of new things to post.

One is Free: BFA Thesis Exhibition

January 25, 2010

So this self-portraiture project I’ve been working on since before I started this blog is finally coming to an end. (Sort of.) It will hang in all its glory in less than a month. Awesome? Yes. Nerve wracking? Yes. Still ridiculously awesome? Most definitely.

Here’s what my postcard looks like on the front:

that's right, I designed the postcard

And check out my website for all the details. Yay!

Bird in a Cage

December 15, 2009

Two things I want to talk about. First, if you’re interested in being an art student, here is my critical piece of advice: stick to your guns and fight for your work. Today we were supposed to have a final showing of our thesis work before the winter break. It was emphasized that the work should be as final as possible. But when we arrived and displayed, the professors (one in particular) seemed to treat it as another crit.

After all the work we’ve put into this project, you expect us to make such drastic changes that you’re suggesting? I realized that this was (unintentionally) a real challenge to our art. Can we defend it? Can we stand by it? Because everyone’s a critic. Everyone has an idea of what direction your work should take, and how it speaks to an audience. In the end, you can’t make everyone happy, and you can’t change your work based on multiple opinions. I wish someone had hammered this into my brain when I started art school. And that’s my two cents.

My second bit is about my desire to leave NYC and be my own woman. I feel this has come into question more often because of my impending graduation. I have loved NYC with all my heart, but it’s time for me to move on. New York has stopped inspiring me. I want to do so many things and go so many places, and I can’t have anything or anyone hold me down. I can’t have someone or something tell me where to go or who to be or what to do. I want to live in Seattle. Maybe I want to try living in Canada, too. I want to work with numerous organizations and film festivals. I want to live in the Bay Area again.

But there are so many people I love here. I have connections here. I have a sweet apartment here. And if I leave, I can never have any of it again. NYC will replace me and forget me like yesterday’s headlines. There are so many people who want what I have, and I can’t decide if I’m willing to let it go.

But I’m tired of feeling like I can’t be who I want to be. If NYC doesn’t like me, it’ll chew me up and tear me apart. There are times here when I feel I can’t be an activist and an educator and a photographer and a baker and anything else I want to be. And it is at those times that I realize again that I can be all of those things, but New York will not let me happy that way. And I know there are people who are all of those things and more here. But NYC wants me to be a New Yorker or get the fuck out, and that’s not who I am. I don’t want to be a New Yorker. I want to be me, and most importantly, I want to be happy.

Decisions, decisions. I have to make dinner now.

To Do The Things I’ve Dreamed About

October 26, 2009

One of my pinnacle moments of realizing what beauty means to me was when I read this from Elaine Scarry’s On Beauty and Being Just:

Because the sky is equally distributed throughout the world – because its beautiful events are equally distributed – it will not be surprising if the population in large numbers, or even unanimously, agree that the beautiful sky should continue. Because most of its manifestations – its habit of alternating between blue and black, the phases of the moon, the sunrise and sunset – are present everywhere, those voting do not need to know that they will be beneficiaries.

I mention this because I have a fantastic story to tell that reinforced this idea, and reminded me how much I love the sky.

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Robert Mapplethorpe House: Day One

September 17, 2009

I just taught my first photography class at the Robert Mapplethorpe house. It’s very different from teaching high schoolers, but I think I’ll enjoy it. I feel I have less in common with them, but it makes for an interesting discussion. They saw the series Down in the Park by Yoshiyuki Kohei  in an issue of Aperture, and they thought it was horrible and that they shouldn’t be published or taken. It’s a good point: who wants to see these things?, though we didn’t explore voyeurism at length. Also looking at A Village Destroyed, some thought they could take the pictures, others said they wouldn’t want to. The ones who said they could do it said it’s because the story needs to be told. I liked that.

So far I’m excited because they seem excited. I think next week I’ll bring in a few more photo books (now that I know what they like), and hopefully we’ll start taking pictures. Hopefully.

Wander My Friends

September 4, 2009

I had a Twitter discussion with Alanna Shaikh regarding pictures she posted on her wall of shame. The ads, marketing, and ex-pat no-nos is fine. They bring attention to things that are wrong with development and aid work. She also had an image up of a child, who appeared to be a burn victim or mine victim or some other unnatural cause. I said it shouldn’t be up there because it only perpetuates the problem. Her response was that “someone needs to call that woman out” and “Re: gaze. My thought was the horse was already out of that barn.” It seems like a reasonable assumption. If the damage is already done – if the picture has already been taken – what’s the harm in posting it one more time?

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