Monday, October 28, 2013

Long Hair Don’t Care

I’m in Mexico City aka DF and at this point on my epic tour of ‘who the hell knows what I’m doing,’ I just don’t give a flying F about most things.  This is usual for my grumble-core self but yeah, no work, all play and tourist/non-tourist art/culture explorations 24/7 makes me a very accepting, non-plussed, bemused, and mildly shruggy girl.  Everything is chill ya’ll.  Embrace the bullshit, embrace the malaise, embrace the beauty that is life. 

PDA – Mexico City is big on this.  Like everyone.  Young, Old, Homo/Hetero, all the above.  It’s cute as heck especially when seniors are doing it.  Abrazos y besos. 

Apps – Facebook is boring.  Or getting nearly to it.  Going back onto the Instagram and other things.  Probably won’t last long since I get bored easy but yeah, so many ways to over share, so many bad models to have to work within.

“What do you do?” – “So, what is it that you really do?” Stop asking me this question!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Answer I give: “Oh, like organize shows and events and work for art galleries and other places.” Answer I want to give: “I poop, all day long.”

Smoking – Seems fine if you only smoke 1-3 cigs a day.  Will always be sexy anti-social.

Hooking Up – No harm, no foul.

English – If you are involved with the art world, anywhere you go that is art world will speak English. 

Bros vs. Feminists on the Internet – Can’t we all just get along?! (no).

Guys who date Asian girls – Just admit it. 

Art Divas – There are no victims.  Bake a cake! Relax!

CV as Art – You are the job you have.  Period. 

Guys who date young girls – Evolution doesn’t give a shit about personality.

Girl on girl hate – Can’t we all just get along?! (never).

Alternative Spaces – The word, “alternative.” Hehe.

Rave Over – EDM will be taken over very soon by Skinhead culture.

Domesticity – Long term relationships, matching outfits, marriage, babies, dinner for two is hawt.

That 89plus Thing – Dumb but fun (?)

Emotions – Overflow is better then trickle down.

Not USA – It’s a big ass world out there. 

Monday, October 21, 2013

LA Round Up

So this is my final Monday in LA.  I leave on Thursday and will have been here for twenty-nine days.  It’s been fab, it’s been drab.  Below is a general surmise of what I have learned, perceived and experienced while in this bright, fun city called Los Angeles.

Studios – Some are in people’s home, which is afforded here more then NYC as the spaces people live in are larger.  The off site studios have been larger in scale then what is average in NYC but there is a similarity in many ways regarding shared spaces and free standing walls of partition.  These are also in far off places and in (once) industrial zones.  Studio visits tend to last a bit longer, usually 2 hours or so, but that just comes down to the artist.  Trying to do three in a day is preets insane via driving but each has been worth it, duh.

Artistic Practice – What is most notably different in LA is that artists seem to have a more generally relaxed pace of making their work.  Not that they do not work a lot or produce a lot but it is as if time is stretched, things are slower, chiller, not as pressurized.  It seems most artists work daily or many days a week in the studio but there is looseness to it.  I don’t know how to express this or to pin point it in definite example of terms but you can just feel it and many artists directly remark on it.  This, I think, allows for work to have more breathing room and may possibly have aesthetic results.  This keyed back way of working seems healthier and possibly more fruitful. 

Driving – I have remarked on this before but yes, one drives a lot in LA.  The driving with traffic is just a purgatory on the way to hell sort of feeling but when it is in certain areas, certain times of day it is actually very nice and meditative.  One artist described it like the internet in a way.  You are moving yet stable and all these signs, surroundings, all else, float by but yet you still absorb it.  This has a certain effect that is at times overwhelming but also calming. 

Hanging Out – The driving factor also affects the way people hang out.  Many people have told me, those that live here, how making friends and meeting people can take a very long time.  There is not the constant bumping into that occurs in NYC.  On the flip of this though is that when you do meet people, it is a more intense and possibly sincere bond.  I have had to accelerate my hanging out level to meet people, much more exertive then it is in NYC, but the results have been rewarding as I feel I have met a handful of people that I hope to continue to be in contact with and wish we lived in the same city.  Another contrast of LA vs. NYC in the friend-making sphere is that there are definitely groups.  This of course occurs in NYC but here you spend a lot of time at people’s houses and there is an intimacy and a durational feeling to hanging out vs. a chance meeting and the accumulation of small meetings.  This makes people more open perhaps but only once you get the invite to the mini fete. 

Parties – Similar to the above, parties in LA seem funny.  You go to a place, usually a house and it’s a lot calmer in every way.  People stay for a long time usually.  When you go to a venue of some sort, it’s still much calmer then in NYC.  Maybe it’s the whole having to drive everywhere thing that brackets off drinking and other things.  Parties here are fun though; people seem to want to talk to others, even if you don’t know them.  This is nice but also odd.  It’s rude to be rude, something that someone like me has to bend to or break which I have done both of. 

Galleries – Galleries here are more stratified then in NYC.  There are the big guns, mostly in Culver City, and then there are some mid-tier and then there are upstarts.  I am a high/low type of gal and although the big and the little spaces are doing fantastic things the sheer number is a fraction of a fraction of what is in NYC.  This is a good thing and a bad thing.  The spaces are every which place and sometimes centralized in warehouse like groups.  When there is an opening at certain spaces it seems like that is the place everyone will be that evening.  The opening is the plan for the night.  This is also good and a bit weird.  There are croppings of a new type of gallery that may be physically small but seem to have expansive possibility in the rosters they show.  Very promising.  What is odd is that many artists here don’t seem to show in LA galleries.  They have studios and live here but they show elsewhere.  This seems like a missed opportunity of sorts as there are many artists right here right now. 

Other Things I Loved in LA:

Bowls - veggies and other things in a bowl that is super healthy and filling
Papusas - handmade amaze gooey yum with coleslaw for $1.50-ish
Houses - going into people’s homes is as varied as it is impressive
Flora - this is the city of succulents
Nature - hills, mountains, oceans all day every day
Radio - basically switching between three rap/pop stations all the time, very different vibe of songs played here
Produce - farmers markets everywhere
Time - it is wayyyy slower, in a good way
Weather - always like 75-82 degrees, how can you not be happy all the damn time?
Casual - clothes, dinners, parties, events, everything
Signs - so many, so many that are so good
Vibes - it is so true but Cali posi vibes reverberate even if you wear head to toe black

Monday, October 14, 2013

Topics of Interest: LA Edition: 2D/3D, “Network”, “Concept”, Ready Made, Containers

Why am I in LA for a month?  Part of me has no idea, but the other part is very clear on the intent of trying to learn about and to understand, in a slightly more then just tourist way, about the art world here.  I have been going to museums, galleries (large and small) and most interestingly for me (always the most interesting) is doing studio visits here.  Most of the studio visits are with what are coined “emerging” artists.  I hate that term, but yeah, most are younger artists but there have been other more established artists as well.  The artists’ age range from 20 (yes, 20) to I’d guess around 35ish.  In addition to the artists visited, I have had conversations both concentrated and chitchat about art, culture, and the general pastiche of our current state.  Below are a few themes, ideas, and words that have cropped up a lot during these visits and conversations.  These types of overlaps happen everywhere but I have never experienced such a consistency of iterations of a same thought/investigation within such disparate groups of people.  People (artists), who all live in LA but seem to not (yet) know each other.  This reflects LA in many ways, both the good and bad of intent and purposes of networking. 

2D/3D – So many artists I visited have works that address issues of two dimensional, (more specifically the concept of an image and how images are disseminated and what that implies in the world of the internet and culture at large and the production of this), in conversation with three dimensionality in physical form.  This is a seemingly obvious point of focus in our right-now-moment but the variances of expressing and confronting this is wide ranging.  There is the use of 3D printing, modeling, stand in, traditional sculpture, vague installation and a variety of other means to manifest this.  What makes it interesting though is not just in the resultant ‘work’ but more the process of the question.  The 2D/3D focus is not about one versus another, about contrast or about highlight.  It is about the question of this thing and the work produced from this question.  It is not a solution but an embodiment, in various ways, of the question.  Also fantastic to see is the rigor of the object making and image making.  There is a serious traditionalist process of creating what can only be called source material for creating the final work.  This is very interesting to see.  2D/3D is more about a conceptual frame to work within then to just reflect upon and this makes the conversations and the art being produced through this frame fresh and highly engaging. 

The Words “Network” and “Concept” – Referring to the above regarding conceptual frame, the use of language and the way of talking about ideas is certainly shifting.  It has been for a while, but now it feels less as a demarcation of sub-aesthetic groups and more a general bank of contemporary linguistics.  The use of the words, “network” and “concept” by artists and those thinking about art, deviate from what one may first assume.  They are stand-ins for mental processes as well as end points.  “Network” is used as an information and material source as well as a systemization process of organizing and creating.  The use of “concept” also has this inverted multiplicity of use.  It is the thought but also the stand in for a larger archetype and also is in itself the tool to investigate this archetype.  There is also an increase of technical or the employment of more technical, scientific, mathematical, word use to speak of work.  In many instances this language and the way processes and “concept(s)” are discussed is the primary form. This can feel at times a grasp; a veil of intellectualism in a way but it is in many instances brilliant in its necessity. 

Ready Made – Duchamp, Duchamp.  I have said it entirely too many times but the legacy and influence of this man is as verdant now as ever before.  People are still using the idea of the ready made because it is a concept, not a specific aesthetic.  The world is object filled and the implications of what objects are in form and in meaning (economy, culture and all else) is still ripe.  I am noticing how both images and objects are being abstracted more though.  There is a desire to take something and to leave its reference but then to also distort it.  This I have seen being done by repetition, arrangement, and re-appropriated use.  This also has a, ‘been there, done that’ feel, but here it feels more advanced and more complex.  There is a ‘what is it’ – ness to these works in material and to the idea behind the work.  The selection of an object, material, substance and the display of it are also extremely considered and essential. 

Containers – Lots of container and home goods are being used.  Things like mugs, bowls, and food storage items seem to be abounding in LA.  The idea of this ready made form with ready made reference is interesting to see in such an everywhere way.  Why they are so prevalent, I’m not sure, but I have seen it a lot and in a variety of ways, and each is so aesthetically unique it is surprising that this object of domestic background noise is such a fruitful point of reference. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

LA Time Twist

Oh my gawd, so I’m in LA and yesterday I completely forgot to post on this thing! First time in like over two years!  So many Mondays in a row till now!  Crazy! This goes to show you the power that is LA and it’s ability to alter your sense of time in major ways.

So for those that don’t know, I’m on, what can only be mellow dramatically summed up as an arty version of ‘Eat Pray Love.’  Never read it, never will but I am assuming people know what I mean when I say this.  Anyways…  Currently, I’m in LA, and have been for a week and a half.  I will be here for another few weeks.  Four weeks total.  After this I leave for Mexico City for another month.  I am so cray.  But yeah, I’m here in LaLa land and the first week I was just a little lost soul but now things have picked up and I am getting my bearings in this town. 

Below are a few remarks on LA thus far.  This is so late and so rushed so please forgive.  Next week I promise to be on time and to have actual things to say.  Miss you NYC babies! Smooch!

Weather – It is SO FRIGGIN BRIGHT here.  Like ALL THE TIME.  Really it is comically bright.  It is, ‘you have got to be joking me’ bright.  It is like hisssssss, nooooo bright.  It’s brightness that actual drains you.  It is brightness that doesn’t make you happy-sunny-yeah but makes you want to blast the sun to smithereens.

Driving – You drive a lot.  All the time.  Everywhere.  Don’t go anywhere between 3-8pm.  Driving near oceans is amaze.  You can’t drink cause you have to drive.  Driving.  All those things about LA and driving is how it is. 

Fashion – People dress waaaaaay different then in NYC. (Yes everything is being compared to NYC, get over it).  Anyways.  I like LA’s laidback style.  There are more colors, it’s more casual, and there is an easy breeziness in general.  The look is slightly recalled but in a sort of dashed way.  There is more rock n’ roll, grunge, or something like that happening here in the ensembles.  There is a bit of sloppiness that makes me frowny but it is nice to see a chiller way of dressing oneself, even if it seems like an off the floor type of methodology.  People here also seem to be very desirous of fall and winter but for no other reason then getting to wear coats and winter clothes.  So charming, no?

Art Scene -  Just dipping  my toes into this.  Artists seem like diaspora in LA.  There are various things that may be called a “scene” but in reality there isn’t a “scene.”  There is a mood perhaps and there are people that like each other and hang out and probably talk about art but this is definitely a town of people doing their own thing.  Not in a paranoid, keeping secrets way but in an, I’m just doing my thing here for a bit way.  It feels more honest but also more isolated.  There are galleries and things to see but this is as spread out as the people.  There are gems though and here too is that delightful casualness.  You are very likely to be the only person to come to a gallery during weekday hours.  More on LA art world soon. 

Food – LA is food crazed.  In good ways and in bad.  I am so not into foodie culture but yeah, food.  It’s a big thing here.  Very clean, very healthy eating going on.  It’s nice and it’s cheap if you look. 

LA/NYC Comparisons  - Maybe it’s me, maybe I bring it out in people, but most of the people I have met are not from LA but have transplanted here to attend or are post college.  Forever traveling youths reflect trends on where people relocate and why. This convo is like apples and oranges, cats and dogs, etc.  Not a very interesting sort of convo, but an ongoing one that will only increase as LA continues to be a place to live that is full of things and it is very not New York.