Introductions at Trestle Gallery

Earlier this month was the opening for Introductions, an annual exhibition at Trestle Gallery for artists who have recently graduated with a BFA or MFA.  Celan, who I met at the Vermont Studio Center in November, was in the show as well!  It was lovely to see her and fellow residency member Hai-Hsin at the opening.  Here are some photos from the night.  The show is open through February 14th, so check it out if you have a chance. 
On View: 1.10.14 - 2.14.14
Monday - Friday, 11am - 6pm
168 7th St. 3rd Flr
Brooklyn, NY 11215

Celan, Hai-Hsin and I in front of my work Phastgasm Blue
Phantgasm Red, 2013
Celan Bouillet, Just Another Saturday, 2013

Denise Treizman, Unwrapped, 2013
Denise Treizman, Unwrapped, 2013
Pony Ma, Coin Protector, 2013 
Kristin Walsh, Scenography #1 and #2, 2013


Thoughts About Reading: Susan Sontag's Regarding the Pain of Others

In the past two years I've gone on various book binges, most of which I didn't completely finish... So I've decided to take the beginning of this year to finish up the leftovers.  The first book I decided to read was Susan Sontag's, Regarding the Pain of Others...

I finished reading, Regarding the Pain of Others, last week and have had a bit of a difficult time trying to figure out what to write about it.  In many ways, this short book is a direct response to her book On Photography.  I'm a big fan of taking time to digest something you've read, in this case - I feel as though I'll need to read it again to really say something comprehensive yet brief about this work. 

This among many quotes is one that has really stayed with me, 

"The imaginary proximity to the suffering inflicted on others that is granted by images suggests a link between the far away sufferers - seen close-up on the television screen- and the privileged viewer that is simply untrue, that is yet one more mystification of our real relations to power.  So far as we feel sympathy, we feel we are not accomplices to what caused the suffering.  Our sympathy proclaims our innocence as well as our impotence.  To that extent, it can be (for all our good intentions) an impertinent - if not an inappropriate - response.  To set aside the sympathy we extend to others beset by way and murderous politics for a reflection on how our privileges are located on the same map as their suffering, and may - in ways we might prefer not to imagine - be linked to their suffering, as the wealth of some may imply the destitution of others, is a task for which the painful, stirring images supply only an initial spark."


BHQFU: Object Lessons Week 1

Last night was the first class for Object Lessons - a hybrid lecture series/reading group/seminar.  Each week will feature an artist or writer who will give a lecture about an interest integral to their practice or person.  Having Jarrett Earnest, a friend I first met in undergrad at SFAI, lead this wonderful experiment has been great so far, he led an active discussion yesterday about Johan Huizinga's study of Play, Homo Ludens.  The first chapter was our first reading, another aspect of this class that I'm looking forward to, a syllabus full of new things to read.  It's been a while since I've had the opportunity to jump on entirely new reading list. 

Jarrett has a beautiful way of describing the relationship artists/writers have with their interests, explaining that certain details however obscure or seemingly random are essential to their creative process.  Jarrett continued to talk about what interested him in creative people, how many times had they been in love?  The answers to questions like these are one of many ways artists and writers can shed light on the complexity of who they are. 


Getting Engaged/Bridal Shower/Israeli Food

Here is what Fisk and I look like together! 10 days ago John Fisk asked me to marry him, and because the last 2 years with him have been the most fun of my life, I of course said yes.  Anyone who knows Fisk will know why it was such an easy decision for me to say yes, he's simply the kindest, sincerest, and most caring person I've ever met.  We're so excited about this. 

Here is the ring our wonderful friend Rachel designed specifically for me, it's completely my style.  I adore Rachel's jewelry design, you can scope it out here.  It also feels amazingly special to have a one of kind ring.

Even more exciting news, my good friend Alex had her bridal shower! (She's the gorgeous red head on the far left!) I've never really been to one, so I had a great time getting a little dressed up and celebrating how wonderful she is!  Alex, Tiffany, and I used to play on a Skeeball team together - it was so nice to snag a photo of the three of us together again. 

Last night Fisk and I went over to our friends Deborah and Brandon's house.  We talked about having a seance and Ouija board night, among other odd and strange topics.  They're great and so was the Israeli food that Brandon made and the rice pudding that Deborah made.   I'm a lucky lady these days. 


Tonight was the first meeting for the Gowanus Swim Society!  This new semi-exclusive Gowanus artist group will be meeting once a month to share in a variety of collaborations.  We discussed what some of our goals are for the group, committed to monthly meetings where we share knowledge and skills with the group, & talked about having a slide night party.  Mostly, it seems like the focus of this new group is build a strong network of artists that can be sought out for advice, critique, shows, art dialogue, art marketing and business, and most importantly art fun.   Oh, and Kristin and Suzy were kind enough to ask me to join!  I'm looking forward to all our upcoming and fun activities. 


Sacred Economics: Charles Eisenstein

Beautifully constructed and almost painfully ambitious, Sacred Economics is a book that aims to present a variety of options for when the flaws in our economy come tumbling down.  Eisenstein addresses why most commodities do not deliver meaningful experiences, why we are so separated from community, and how we have become so complacent working within an economy that uses debt as a means to enslave the majority of people. 

Eisenstein emphasizes how important a gift economy would be to building trustworthy communities. He discusses the rhetoric surrounding the illusion of scarcity and how this rhetoric influences people to buy more and preserve less.  He breaks down the affects that money has on the human mind and moves on to discuss the fundamental issues behind owning property.  These, and more, all reside in part 1, The Economics of Separation

In Part II, The Economics of Reunion, Eisenstein presents a variety of ways of how economic situations can become cultural opportunities.  He discusses alternative forms of money that, if used, would encourage the economy without unsustainable growth.  One brave suggestion, a favorite of mine, was to allow money to decay.  This would encourage the individual use of money.  Since large monetary assets would decrease significantly in value over time, banks and wealthier citizens would be strongly encouraged to pour their money into the economy.  Incredibly smart about how he discusses these alternatives, Eisenstein does not assume that any of these changes should happen overnight, nor is he interested in dislocating people from wealth - he simply presents alternatives for if and when the economy collapses and new modes of transactions are needed. 

Part III, Living the New Economy, is when all of his ideas begin to tie themselves together.  It becomes easier to imagine how some of these scenarios might exist and plenty of examples offer the benefits of newer systems.

"A primary goal of this book has been to align the logic of the mind with the knowing of the heart: to illuminate not only what is possible but also how to get there.  When I use the word possible, I don't mean it in the sense of "maybe," as in, "It could possibly happen if only we are very lucky." I mean possible in the sense of self-determination: a more beautiful world as something we can create.  I have given great evidence of its possibility: the inevitable demise of a money system dependent on exponential growth, a shift in consciousness toward a connected self in cocreative partnership with earth, and the many ways in which the necessary pieces of a sacred economy are already emerging.  This is something we can create.  We can, and we are."

I must say, that aside from Eisenstein's thorough research, analysis, and discussion of many aspects of economics that prove there is value in his ideas, I am incredibly pleased at the underlying tone of hope and initiative.  It's become incredibly easy for people to sit with their cynicism regarding many parts of life instead of building the character for hope and change.  Eisenstein possesses a character full of hope, proactivity, daring, and bravery - all of which made reading this book not only educational but fun.  I would highly recommend this book, not only as a means for understanding what the future economy might look like, but because knowing of the possibilities can put your mind and heart at ease.