Sunday, November 15, 2009

Working Backwards

Someone once told me, "If you knew how I made my music, you'd never listen to it again."
I think I can relate to that.
I am in a really weird place right now and a lot of things are happening at once.  Since changing my approach to making art, I'm left with many unanswered questions as far as content is concerned. In the old method, I'd come up with something I felt passionately about, choose my materials and make stuff.  Sounds simple enough, right? Call it boring or simplistic, good or bad,  - I don't know - certain people have been vocal in steering me away from this method.  It's been pointed out to me that grad school is time for experimentation, and yes I understand that, but I feel like I'm loosing my control. I'd like to point out that what I'm experiencing is a great thing- but my thesis has to be done and installed in 3 months and I'm getting REALLY panicky that it won't be done. I'm all for experimenting and I'm even thrilled with the results that I'm getting, but I still can't shake the feeling that I should've been in this place a year ago and been able to move past it since.  Ce la vie.
So, the red and pink plastic discs came from some material tests that happened to turn out nicely...and then I made a shitload of them!  All of this was encouraged, and formally-speaking I like my results, but I still have no clear idea what they are or what I have to say for their existence.
My path is not very clear, but there are reasons for that.  It seems like all of the ideas in which I felt like I had something to say were either ignored or criticized in favor of something else. I am really trying to see the other side of the coin here, but in the meantime I'm left with "So what now?"
On Friday, I took certain people's advice and hauled my plasticlings out to a couple abandoned houses in the Middle-of-Nowhere, Kansas.  At first I took purely installation shots and felt ambivalent about the results. Then, I inserted myself into the scene and now I think I'm on to something!  The above photo is one of my finer results.  I was going to keep it secret, but I really need feedback and what I'm doing. Is it worth pursing, or am I out of my head?  I am enjoying the site-installation experiments immensely and actually feel like this is something that I could've been doing all along.
   The only nagging thing is that I still don't feel that this work has a clear-cut purpose.  There are allusions to meaning things, but nothing is spelled out.  I like the ambiguity, but I have no idea how to write a thesis on it! Guess that means I'm getting closer to making art, right? : )
Carrie M. Becker

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