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Nov. 10th, 2009

(no subject)

Hello internet:

I am sending press kits and throwing plates of metal into vats of acid and drawing maps and stumbling through dreamweaver and making books in the basement of a can factory and writing about small things and trying to make the impossibly complicated world somehow visible, chartable, diagramable, and I'm slinging coffee and putting up shows and making posters with fancy frames and slinging more coffee and running between greenpoint and the west village constantly. I'm reading lonely books about lonely people who like architecture more than humans, and I'm still averaging six to eight cups of coffee a day and I'm visiting galleries to prove it's not the end of art and I'm emailing emailing constantly and I'm spending hours and hours pulling pages off an old italian printing press and I'm spending whole nights in the cold marble tower of the nyu library trying to do good work when fast work seems to be about the only thing possible. Then I give up and tunnel deep underneath the East River at an impossible, rocket-like speed and walk across the park under absolutely silent baseball floodlights and I'm home, where boys play air drums and talk about their feelings and drink beer out of large cans and dance with me and sit on the sideroof talking talking talking. I've never been so completely and totally exhausted in my entire life.

Apr. 6th, 2009

(no subject)

"We all at our own age have have to claim something, even if it is our own confusion."

Feb. 27th, 2009

on greatness/smallness

It may go without saying that anxiety - or, more concretely, the simple act of worrying - is embedded deeply in our culture. I've been thinking a lot about that lately.

Having been thrust into the vast ocean of this gigantic, enterprising metropolis I find it too easy to get caught up in this cult of individual progress and blind, yearning ambition. I feel lucky that I didn't come to New York looking for anything in particular; most people I know here have been let down by dreams of the city they've harbored in the most romantic corners of their imaginations since childhood. The mythology of New York is deep and enduring. This is not the sixties. It's not dirty anymore. The avant-guard, if it exists (and most angrily, bitterly claim it doesn't), has become so inacessable it's a monolithic institution in itself. There isn't much space; physically, artistically, economically, to build something from scratch. And i'm convinced the small, beautiful things that exist can only be found by accident.

Yes, New York is constantly inspiring me to step up my game: with so many humans endeavoring to do so many ambitious things, how could it not? But sometimes it looks more like a gigantic, flailing mass trying to run to the top of something it doesn't understand. Every day I hear my peers reflecting on what they see as the truly valuable artistic practice of living in New York: the arts of self-promotion, networking, and marketing.

We're driving ourselves crazy trying to place ourselves. I understand the sentiment; it's so easy to feel lost in this ocean. Moving to a city whose purpose and identity relies on the sheer, mind-boggling scale of it is to invite existential crisis. But when we come out the other side of our initial plights of identity, I hope it's not to internalize the kinds of structures that caused our anxiety in the first place.

I love New York, but I don't want my life here to be characterized by a quest of selfishness, vanity, and anxiety. I love the accidental conversations I have in public spaces that seem even more precious because of their rarity. I love voueristically engaging in the stuffy chelsea arts scene, and drinking their free wine. I love being packed in every direction by people who probably feel the same way I do, they've just perfected their poker faces. I love dancing in bigger spaces than i've ever seen, and being afraid of the shrink-wrapped model types I pass on 6th ave. I love meeting friends just trying to Make, instead of Making It. I love that people move here and have their egos combusted. And I love that last weekend I saw DJ Rupture play in a basement, and got to talk to him about the article he wrote for my professor's literary magazine.

But I still think that capitalism, individualism, and the anxiety they create stifle true and valuable artistic endeavors. Instead of feeling anxious about our smallness, we should embrace it. Instead of pushing each other aside and tirelessly cultivating new ways to impress those we admire, we should be building alliances with each other. I refuse to join the race to make something gigantic of myself. So little are we directly confronted with the reality of our personal insignificance. It's not something to be fought brutally against, but an opportunity to get down on some small-scale appreciation.

...and all this, when i set aside the afternoon to write internship applications.

Jan. 15th, 2009

(no subject)

In building a more recent resume, I realized the longest job I ever held down lasted ten months, and that's because they transferred me from boston to providence. New life goal: get really good at something so I can freelance it.

I couldn't have asked for a better winter break. Shuffling between a plethora of home-spaces, taking breaks to read great novels while my paintings dry, wondering at a great number of fabulous coincidences. Making coffee and eating breakfast all day and talking to my mom with a kind of regularity, which always rules.

Dec. 16th, 2008

(no subject)

Laura S.: "so I was telling my friend about you last night. I told her you're totally on point all the time but just, like, absolutely can't get your shit together."

a self-fufilling prophecy I cursed myself with at age sixteen, or the residual aftermath of too much fucking around?

Do I have to give college my hand in marriage? I don't know if I'll ever be ready for that kind of commitment. Isn't it enough to show up for my final classes half an hour late, waving my papers in the air? They're like ten pages longer than they had to be and pretty good, too. I would have been there on time if I'd finished them sooner, or cared a little less.

Maybe I got a little carried away. But truly, I don't know how much I'm really capable of stressing over grades.

For me, It's all about the fucking work I do.

(no subject)

I think I may enjoy all-nighters too much. There's nothing newer than the sunlight when you haven't slept, and my room has once again been converted into a kind of dormy studio. It's exactly like this time last year, only I have to go outside to smoke and no-one's drunkenly crooning next door. Drawings and books are scattered all over my bed so I can't really lie down, even if I wanted to. But spending the night thinking and writing and pounding coffee and getting excited and crossing things out and writing them again and feeling alternately passionate and engulfed by doubts and making more coffee suits me perfectly. Artistic struggle reminds me how good good can really be.

I'm making a comic and writing a story about (surprise) the constant inevitable driving rush for something new and painful; i'm organizing a paper on the importance of street art in the digital/information age and penning a love letter to joseph cornell, the man who hid in his mother's basement with junk and boxes for his entire life. Swoon. Perhaps I hate college sometimes because I simply feel guilty. Who am I to get to study and spill all over the things I love most in the world?

In a week I'll be back in MA for quite some time. It makes me nervous. I've become quite accustomed to this city and the janky-ass rhythms of my life here. I look forward to (finally) having the time to surround myself with paints and pictures and pens in that huge quiet orange room of mine but- really? I haven't spent more than a week in my mother's house since I moved to Providence. The space makes me angsty, as if I'm reverting to the 15-year old ghost of myself that still lives under the bed.

Oh yeah and I'm turning 21 in less than a month. Oh yeah and I'm in madly in love with this vast, neon slab of concrete I live on. Oh yeah and I'm confronted by my heroes every day. And the constellations of people I know, spread out across this city, this coast, this country, make me smile on the daily. So thanks for that, i guess.

Oct. 22nd, 2008

(no subject)

Tonight I saw Art Spiegelman speak at The Strand. What a fucking rockstar; he got to chainsmoke and gesticulate wildly and talk shit about graphic novels the whole time.

A man named Bill just told me how sad studying the brain makes him. He's getting his masters at Columbia, studying statistics, cause guess what? Our brains run on math. I think I talked a little human condition into him, though.

And life continues to rule.

Oct. 10th, 2008

(no subject)

The tower of Oh:

You know you're jealous.

Life continues to go well. I'm teaching myself to function on three hours of sleep. Writing stories & comics & trying to find time for everything else. I work in a cafe which never ever has customers who aren't my friends and uses 11 different kinds of glasses. Perfect.

Sep. 6th, 2008

upon moving.

yes. oh my fucking god, yes.

I keep getting distracted. On rooftops listening to the blues, at parties, while crossing the street, when i'm supposed to be watching Steve Buschemi's son's band play an abandoned rocket factory. Mid-sentence, halfway through my drink, I'll make the mistake of looking out too far and find myself caught up in the impossibility of it all. And try not to whoop too loud.

1.8 million humans on this funny island, alone. Lives upon lives upon lives.

I'm making a strong effort not to look up and grin as much as I have been; it makes me look a bit new.

Jul. 16th, 2008

(no subject)

I shouldn't feel so different, but I do.

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