2012 Mar 4
Week 5, 6, and then some.
It is spring, dammit. And the past two weeks of my life have been like an ad for New York state. Last Thursday I was on the beach (which is what threw off my regularly scheduled weeknote, as I normally use that chunk of time to pull it together), on Friday I was skiing(!!!) on a mountain(!!) to celebrate mom’s birthday, and in between there was the city.
It’s very typical of my way of getting things done (or, rather, not done) that I fuck up “routines” almost instantaneously and then push work out indefinitely as it accrues into unmanageable sized tasks. Like this one-and-something week overdue post, for example.
So, I can’t even remember most days, especially the ones I have to myself, and on top of that decided not to check-in or send emails or leave followable traces. Freaky how that happens. Having botched my routine of laying out ideas on a regular interval for myself to refer back to, I’ve also found myself falling into the trap of telling myself (and others), “I haven’t been thinking or working on anything!” Oh god.
Memory is fallible, but mine (in the short term) is just busted.
I’m tired of the chronological log but too weary to replace what’s already written.
Last Thursday night I met up with Tori, my design TA from a bunch of years ago at a RISD summer program, and her girlfriend Whitney, for dinner. Really fun to hear about life after school. Also, buying a student a good dinner is pretty much the best thing you can do as a person ever, in my book.
Friday, walked across the bridge with Aaron and Alex and got a doughnut from Doughnut Plant! That is all I remember about this day. The doughnut was just okay??
Saturday morning I was browsing around and somehow landed on the Amazon page for N. Katherine Hayles’ My Mother Was a Computer, which I’ve been wanting to read and was on sale for $5, so I bought that and started reading it.
She gave a lecture at Cooper a while back and it is just hilariously unexpected to watch somebody who looks like my granny use the word “gigabyte”. But she knows more about this than I ever will.
Kindles have all sorts of funny typographic bugs that look a lot like the way letters wiggle around on a letterpress when they’re not locked up tightly enough. Maybe this book is just really poorly formatted, because it’s also ridden with hyphens in the middle of lines. I hate how most publishers don’t even seem to give their e-books a once-over.
Headed up to MoMA with Aaron to see some sort of presentation on interactive something. But the subway broke down and basically dumped us in Times Square, where it seems like I end up a lot these days. This is a bus full of turistas who were sitting sideways facing the window and ROCKING OUT.
We literally sprinted through Times Square up to 53rd st but by the time we reached MoMA tickets for our event were already sold out. Instead we grabbed tickets to Ivan and Ivana by Jeff Silva and checked out the galleries a little. Spent a little more time in the Sharon Hayes & co. 9 Scripts for a Nation at War, a really well done show, and also jogged through In Print In (or Print Out? I forget), which I think wasn’t even open when I was here last week. Sat for a while with a piece by Simon Fujiwara where you kneel on a tatami mat and watch a fictionalized interview with the artist in which he puts on a thick Japanese accent and pretends his formative years hinged on Huckleberry Finn. Liked that a lot.
Ivan and Ivana was really good. While in Kosovo filming for another project, he met this couple and decided to make a documentary about them. There is a whole political conflict going on there that caused them to leave, but the movie basically takes place in suburban California, where they try to live the American-dream-or-whatever. It was really meandering, but I’ve always wished for more movies where nothing really happens, without such a distinct plot. It was interesting to hear Jeff talk about how he decided to end the movie. There was a sort of turning point for the characters but he mostly just thought it wouldn’t go anywhere if he kept filming. Starting and ending it where he did were really well made intuitive decisions. Over the course of filming they became his best friends and that intimacy is really apparent in the movie.
The audience at MoMA was OUT OF CONTROL HORRIBLE. A group of old people behind us didn’t really stop talking loudly for the entire time despite glares from multiple people in the audience. They even kept talking through the Q&A, and just as I decided to shush them (which I hate doing) they were like, “let’s get outta here!” Then a lady asked what the director makes of Ivan’s sense of entitlement, after he had just told us they’re his best friends. He was like, I don’t really think he has a sense of entitlement. And then she kept talking to herself for a few minutes while he answered other questions. All the while, people kept getting up and leaving in droves every couple of minutes. Jeff was like, “uhh…it looks like you guys are tired so I’ll just take one more question.” So embarrasing it was almost surreal. Stupid rude old people.
Sunday met Mom and Niki for lunch at Ippudo, which was amazing, as always. There must’ve been a tear in the fabric of the universe because we got a table in 5 minutes. Then we walked down to Chinatown, got bubble tea, and ducked in and out of different places looking for someone who would repair Niki’s cracked iPhone screen. Everybody was watching basketball on laptops, in restaurants, through store windows. Finally dropped Niki’s phone off with some guy who said he’d fix it in two hours for $30. Then walked through a cool underground mall. Tried to get Niki and Mom to walk over the bridge with me because I had to go home and do work and they had time to kill, but they were tired (people don’t walk in the suburbs), hungry, cold, and didn’t want to leave the area. Sort of a crappy goodbye, for which we both apologized quickly, but it was fun to see them. Turns out that the guy wanted $130, so they made him put the broken screen back on.
The bridge was awesome!
Got a coffee at Blue Bottle and pulled out my laptop (which always feels like a crime, there) to work on the systems rants I posted last week. Went to Best Pizza for the first time and really liked it. The crust!
Monday, walked up into Greenpoint. Had a crazy good egg bagel at Baker’s Dozen. Worked outside on a bench in the sun for a while at Cafe Grumpy, then got another coffee and walked home to work on systems. Today was the deadline I had set with Kevin for re-evaluating my grade from last semester — in the process I have been building a coffee tower in my room — but I am mostly just excited to talk more with him about systems than to get a better grade.
Systems stuff has been consuming my mind.
listening to @britneyspears, writing essays about the terror of systems— Casey A. Gollan (@CaseyG) February 21, 2012
Built a web template for the four sort-of-essays, but wasn’t done midnight, so I sent Kevin and email saying STAY TUNED. Worked until 4am before stopping to briefly rest my eyes. But accidentally passed out…
Tuesday morning I was racing to finish the systems page. Got to photo after 2, a little late and very bleary-eyed. We learned how to use an Imacon scanner, which is like a $20,000 monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey, that turns film into super high quality digital files. We got out pretty early and I pinched myself for not really making progress on photo since last week, or even the week before. Got EVThai with Aaron (so good) and then finished the page in my studio and sent it to Kevin!! Here’s the first screen:
And here’s a really zoomed out view, since it’s 32,767 pixels long:
Here it is. I have no idea what to think of it for a while. Or if it’s enough. Mostly need some time away away away from this.
Went home, rocked out to all the international versions of Avril Lavigne’s Girlfriend with Alex and Aaron — which is just such an awesomely fucked up example of globalization at work — and then blacked out from exhaustion.
Wednesday morning I woke up early, got coffee, and headed to school attempting to work on Publication Design. Saw a limo parked outside McDonalds! I think there were people in the limo who made their driver go in for them.
I have no idea what it feels like to give birth but I felt like I had the day before, to the systems thing, and today I felt — pardon this horrible extended metaphor — saggy.
We had two weeks to do this portion of design work, but again I didn’t start until the day it was due (IDIOT) and this morning I was particularly distracted. Couldn’t bring myself to touch the work. Mostly because I REALLY don’t want to be working on a coffee table book about peoples’ bitchy second-homes in the Hudson Valley. So, went out and got a sandwich and another coffee, and did the reading assignment, which was Designer as Author by Michael Rock. Also read his essay Fuck Content. Still didn’t do the work.
Instead of working composed elaborate emoji tweets:
Then, at the point where it became clear I wasn’t going to even start the work in time for class, Alex and I went and got oysters(!) and burgers at Balthazar. BAD LIFE CHOICES! But SUCH GOOD ONES! WAH HA!
Skipped class and went to go see the Work Makes Work opening. There was hardly any art there. Bread with nothing on it and oversteeped tea was served. It was bad. Don’t feel like talking about it anymore after already spending so many words on something not worth criticizing.
Thursday morning had Western Theories. Didn’t do the readings. Daydreamed about napping on a beach, and when I was called on to answer some questions I was like, “Hmmmmm…I don’t know!” But I don’t hate that class because I like Weinstein so much. There is too much reading. This is the one class where I wish the teacher would talk AT us more, since he’s so smart and the class usually has nothing to contribute or it takes a long time.
The weather was incredible. Incredible! So lots of people were outside playing soccer and I was climbing and stretching on the building.
Then we actually decided to go to the beach since nobody had class until 6. Jumped on the R and soon enough we were at Coney Island, which felt like a world away. Got corndogs and cheese fries at Nathans (which felt weirdly like the best party ever, because of their music that was blasting) and then headed towards the beach.
I don’t even remember sculpture. It was whatever.
Don’t remember Friday, except slopping through Times Square to Dad’s in the rain. Ordered Daisy May’s and Dad and Niki didn’t love it. (I was surprised, even though it was less good than I remembered, too.) But roommates were excited about the leftovers.
Went to the suburbs on Saturday for a doctor’s appointment and spent the day at home.
Last time I saw Sara I (awkwardly) didn’t really stop because we were on the bridge and I had momentum and a spat of faceblindness. So we arranged to get coffee on Saturday but I bumped into her in the morning, which was funny. Aren’t there supposed to be like 7 zillion people in this city?
Discovered Amarin thai in Greenpoint, which was one of those moments like, how long have I been alive with this so close by and not known about it? Happens the most with food and books. Then walked over to Bakeri, stopping first at that uglygorgeous little beach:
Had a really great funny long conversation with Sara about art, life, and everything else. Have had lots of talks with older people recently and it’s exciting to get that kind of perspective. Left feeling really happy. Could’ve written more about it right after the fact but now it’s just fuzzy happiness.
Monday worked on some essay proposals and made lots of progress on the freelance web project I’m working on.
trying to draw like buttons but they’re turning out like dicks ugh twitter.com/CaseyG/status/…— Casey A. Gollan (@CaseyG) February 27, 2012
Seems like fun was had at school but glad to have finally gotten some work done. Let it go down in history that Alex and shawn started wearing their wigs today. A joke that won’t end.
Deploy by Mandy Brown stole Monday’s internet.
On Tuesday, had photo and censorship. Still haven’t really moved forward with photo. Yikes. That evening I stumbled onto the final group trying to shift the Work Makes Work show, whichhas bothered my thoughts an embarrasing amount, and sort of joined their group. Things were written on chalkboards.
Jokes, insults, and thoughts were thrown around in a fiery way for two hours, then everyone departed, I think exhausted. Hate the show but like the group. Question my involvement as a (recovering?/unrelenting?) troll and ability to be a good participant in group work.
Spent all of Wednesday catching up on Publication Design. Can’t say I enjoyed it but got mostly out of my pit of undone work. Took a break to have ice cream w/ Kris Gibbs, who was in town briefly from Philly. Nice to see her so often, she talks the fastest and loudest. Interesting how different PAFA is. Made a note to make it down there in May for her end of year show and a trip to the Barnes collection. Later had a WMW meeting and everyone was hungover in the sense of ideas. Apathy ran wild. It felt crappy.
Thursday had a great class with Weinstein. Don’t remember what I did all day. Left sculpture after 10 minutes to go home because I felt drained.
Friday morning got an early start and drove(!) upstate to ski as a fun trip to celebrate mom’s birthday.
It was great. Followed by the world’s largest kaleidoscope? Upstate hippies are weird.
Headed back to Brooklyn. Took a cab in the rain with the roommates to a fun party where I danced hard. Like everybody, myself included, getting grossed out about how much I was sweating, hard. Took a cab back to BK late with Alex. Hung out at home for a little while and then walked over to the diner with Aaron in the middle of the night. Of course, in New York, it is full. And a fist fight breaks out. And the girl sitting alone reading and eating disco fries at the table across throws a sugar packet at us as a joke and says “all hell is going to break loose!” And I’m like, “don’t try and start shit!” And then she plops over to our table and introduces herself as Lady Valtronic. And we talk about insomnia and mexican sorcery and lucid dreaming for a few hours. New friends:
Sometimes the city is wild in the best possible way. Got home and fell asleep at 6am.
Saturday, got coffee and a bagel and headed up to the Whitney (in a roundabout way, thanks to the broken L) where I met Mom, Niki and Suzy. We looked at the Biennial, which felt small, but I don’t know what I was expecting. It’s a tiny building, and I’m sasd that they’ll be leaving it. I’m kind of in love with brutalist architecture!!
Sat at the “portal” to some old guy who is in a band (Red Crayons?) while he skyped with museum visitors as he was driving around. It was pretty pretty banal, fun, awkward, lame, fun. There was a gigantic sketchbook there and on the first page all the VIPs had signed “Jerry Saltz” “Paddy Johnson Art Fag City” and it got more freeform after that. Some people drew him or wrote little notes, there were a good number of trolling comments like this one:
I was grateful to sit and close my eyes for a while in the Werner Herzog video room, to the music of Ernst Reisjiegr. Mom got really into the open studio thing and started talking a lot to the artist. The artist was acting really earnest and excited. Despite attempts to invite the audience in, most stood against the wall of the hallway. Her studio looked like a studio. I guess I could go back and spend more time but I wonder if it’s worth $12. I forgot to ask her if she is getting paid or if this is like a residency. I feel like it would be stupid to think too hard about it because the whole thing is so simple. It made me realize how hard I think or overthink things. This is just her piece in the museum. So simple I almost don’t get it.
Walked back to Cooper from The Whitney (like 70 blocks!) and fell asleep in my studio for 20 minutes. Had a Work Makes Work meeting with Kristi, Moriah, and Audrey that was sort of bleh. The jokes are so good, though.
Thought I would have dinner with Dad so waited around in my studio, but he fell asleep with his phone under a pillow and wasn’t getting my calls until a lot later. Grabbed curry and walked to the L before realizing it wasn’t working. Maybe about to collapse of hunger and tired-ness, grabbed a cab back to BK. I will regret my cab spending soon enough.
Watched the Bieber movie, did a round of DIY Karaoke, and went to bed.
Good riddance with this recap. Now off to see Max!