We were sitting on the black leather couch beginning a game of truth or dare. Our bodies were slouching and sinking and you noisily whispered to me, On a scale of one to ten, how well do you think you know me? I smiled and said five and I could tell you liked my answer. We agreed that you probably knew me a three and that I was hard to get to know. You then started to say something flattering about my enigmatic nature, connecting it to my work and then you were quickly distracted with a dare and a short-lived infatuation with your own body.
I’ve been thinking a lot about bodies, or maybe just my own body, and what it means to live with and as myself. We were having a casual conversation awhile back, as outsiders engulfed on those same black leather couches and you said something about how you were totally clueless as to how others perceived you. I said that I felt similarly and that it often bemused me, especially here, living amongst strangers. You then acted out some wry, self-deprecating joke as if in comedic relief, offering me an emotional vacation. I wondered if these gaps in our self-perception are particular to us because we are Gemini’s or if everyone feels similarly caught between the inside and the outside.
In the trailer for the Disney Pixar film Inside Out, the movie brands itself as An Original Emotion Picture. Janelle Monae, earlier this year, released a feature-length emotion picture to accompany her album Dirty Computer of the same name. What is this shift from motion to emotion? This shift from the physical gesture to the affective space of consciousness? Two nights ago while eating tacos in some schoolhouse-rustic place in Bushwick we talked about AI-enabled face-swap porn and the death of truth in video. We talked about the death of truth in general and you gushed over Vine, mourning its loss, and then spoke tenderly about VR and the future. I later cried because my feelings were too much for me.
Getting away from your work often feels like it brings you closer to it. Yesterday, I spent the afternoon in Brook’s studio as we talked about Aesop the dog and spirituality and moss. Electric green exploded onto every painting and every drawing, trying to build a terrain - a grassy clearing - to rest on.
A tweet I read recently remarked that our current age of art production will be historicized as the last that concerned itself with seasons and with nature. Like we’re all just grasping to hold onto something that will surely disappear before we do.
I left California to come to Roanoke to let cold air remind me that there are still grassy clearings somewhere. Funny that I had to leave Roanoke to come to New York for that to happen. Always arriving and leaving and searching and often finding.
The past two weeks I have surprised and challenged myself for taking on new materials and new forms: drawing and sculpture. For as long as I remember I have had a fear of drawing. I’ve always felt too in control of the material, to direct with my hand and the material reaction. But I also realize that drawing helps with everything in your practice, or so I’ve heard. What finally made me want to make a drawing (not force myself to) was a talk about drawing with Amy Sillman. She talked about her relationship to drawing, the relationship between drawing and painting and her observation that everyone draws. All people draw as children and at some point they say “I can’t draw” and stop. That gave me the confidence to draw again and the realization that drawing is the basis for all making.
I also experimented with sculpture after an introduction into anime. The sculptures look like models for other sculptures but also remind me of video games architecture. The are funny and playful and seem to try to express themselves as something larger than they are. They are still very painterly, carved out of floral foam or sculpted from paper mache and covered in colored sand with amazing accessories like cascading strings