#2 –I think we’ve been a little slower at establishing a contemporary art “scene” in Canada. Not that there isn’t a lot of interesting and challenging work being made all over the shop, in pockets all across the country, it just doesn’t seem like it’s recognized as quickly. There also doesn’t seem to be as strong cross-community connections like there are in the states. I remember being amazed by the fact that everyone at Franconia had some connection to someone else; it was like the 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon (who is Canadian by the way…). It seems like we are still trying to figure out where art fits in terms of our national identity. Actually to be honest I am not even sure that we have a national identity. We need places like Franconia. They are severely lacking.
You need to know that this is a beautiful country, with a lot of space to breath. You also need to be aware that although the weather is consistently unpredictable it’s not as cold as you think and not everybody is nice.
#3 – I’ve learned not to take everything so seriously but to always be aware of the potential that you have to affect people in a profound way no matter who they are. I work with people who are at a very different stage in their lives than I am and they have a lot of perspective on what is important and what isn’t. It is really interesting to hear their reactions to their work, meeting a visiting artist, or showing me a picture they see in book, perspectives, man.
I think they have made me realize that art has to fit into people’s lives somehow if we want it to be supported by anyone other that snot-nosed art folk. I think that there NEEDS to be a way in for people who aren’t trained to look at things the way we as artists might be.
My job is awesome. I think that they would have a lot of questions for you but alas I am not at work so I will have to ask them later. We are working on a lot of things.
#4 – I think the most frustrating thing for me right now is not being very good at conceptualizing my work. I mean, I have ideas about what I want the work to be about but I find that finding theory or academic research material to support it really slows me down. Does it seem to you that some people find that more important than actually making anything? For me that doesn’t work and subsequently I struggle with writing or talking about my work because I always feel like I come off stupid or ill-informed. I definitely try to change the subject as soon as possible and I think it really hinders my applications. There are some people who can talk about their work and the concept behind it all day but I calm up. It would be helpful if you have any strategies for how to be able to support my work without getting so wrapped up in what it all means that I just don’t make anything at all.
#5 – Ah Carissa… she is as elusive as a wet cat in the night. I feel that the Ridden Rails Project NEEDS all 4 members. She is a busy lady with a lot on the go as we all are but I think that once we set down some concrete dates and tell her to show up she won’t disappoint! The Ridden Rails project is about making connections with people even if only for a short time. It is about getting out of the studio or workshop and making things happen where people are. It’s about being on the way. As far as how I see it playing out? I think it will be a little rough around the edges but I think that it will be a really interesting experience and it’ll be fun as hell (with the potential of being slightly depressing as well). It’s all going to depend on whether people want to participate or not. I think they will but it will take some gentle convincing.
#6 – You tell me.
#7 – As I said before, I don’t think its worth making art if regular people can’t connect to it. I don’t mean that I want to make art that appeals to EVERYBODY but guess I want it to have the potential to. I think getting the people around you involved somehow is such a great way to generate support for the work, if you get people involved they will be your greatest resources. I’m new at it but it feels good.
As for the second part of the question, I don’t think there is a distance. I definitely don’t think there is a destination. Isn’t that the whole point? I just want you to keep pushing for the next thing, keep rolling. Look back, but don’t hold back.
#8 – That whole thing about conceptualizing that I mentioned above. Also it would be helpful to have my own welder… but that is a champagne problem.
Nothing like the garage door
I stand back
To avoid those beetle things from falling on my head
I’ll be in here all night