I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Posts Tagged ‘distractions

The void and why I need it…

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Creativity requires a void. There has to be something missing for us to want to see something new. When life is two replete, where there is no blank wall, no empty space, the urge to make anew flags and ultimately stops.

Early on in your career, you’ve made no mark on the world, it all feels blank, awaiting your voice. As time goes on it can feel crowded, choked with all too much stuff, or a comfortable, affirming mirror. Neither possibility leads to working.

The abundance of infostractions dumped in my lap by my computer keeps me from feeling what I need to be working towards in the studio. Click by click I move away from the unquiet thoughts of my own lack that prod my arm to move the pen across the page. I know so much about so many things that ungraspable, shifting bits. Why do I like to see where a show of mine is going to happen? So that I can begin to play with that blank wall in my mind. It’s something to push against, so cozy up to or to reveal in an unexpected configuration. I have to make that something happen in my workspace if I hope to get anything done. I need to see a box to put the thing in.

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June 2, 2009 at 3:10 pm

Pop Culture knows what I want….

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These days, there are two billboard images that give me that special warm feeling down below to the point that I’ve bean developing a couple of crushlets.

Firstly, I’m not much into medical play, but I’ve been hypnotized by the above picture of sneering butch medi-dommme Edie Falco in her new series. Since I don’t have Showtime, I’ll have to just content myself with sighing every time I pass the shot from the campaign, like I did yesterday when a double decker bus passed by with Edie’s steely blondness shrinkwrapped around it, two stories tall.

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Secondly, I’m spending time on the subway wishing I was the guy who gave Zach Galifianakis that sexy shiner and then stole his pants. Just so I could be the one he came staggering up to to make it all better. I’ll admit to indulging in dirty thoughts about him since I saw him as The Snuggler on Tim and Eric Awesome Show. He just looks so pretty hurt.

Luckily I have a guest this weekend, so all this excess energy has somewhere to go!

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May 29, 2009 at 2:47 pm

Mumbles…

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Once again I’m looking at the blank box on the screen with little or nothing to say. And at each of those difficult moments, I turn away and look at something else on my browser. Tabbed browsers are my nemesis!

Think I’ll go wash my cutlery and then try again.

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April 16, 2009 at 2:58 pm

I have six pens in my pocket…

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Current Book: Richard Brookhiser – The Adamses, 1735 – 1918, America’s First Dynasty

Again, a big gap in postings which means that I can’t recount all the important stuff. Or maybe only the important stuff. In any event, unless you’re a hard core fan of the minutia of my life, scroll down now!

For the rest of you, don’t say I didn’t warn you. This weekend I made substantial progress in getting the house in order. I did it in the classic way: by giving myself two easily acheivable goals. First was to assemble the two bookcases I bought last week. Second was to stack all the loose papers that filled the floor of what should be the living room, but what had become the “file room”. By telling myself over and over that was all I had to do, I of course got excited by the tidier space and branched out from there. I went from the floor to the super cluttered living room desk, to changing the sheets, to taking things to the dry cleaner, to sorting through boxes of books to picking coins off the floor (don’t ask) to transcribing phone info into the palm desktop. Some of the things I discovered:
A. I owned ten pairs of sunglasses, most some variation on aviator frames and all very cheap. I chucked eight of them. On top of that I “found” three pairs of perscription glasses that I haven’t been wearing. Since lately I’ve been despairing at my worsening far sightedness, I should probably start wearing these.
B. I tend to leave pens in the pockets of clothes as part of a cycle where “I can’t find a single pen!” when i went though all those pockets and all of my shoulder bags I ended up with tons of them:thus the title for this post.
C. It’s better to admit that I won’t read something than to save it. I’ve got tons of announcements, catalogs, newspapers, etc. in the apartment that are only there because I think that I’ll get to them. I won’t, and for all the time I don’t they sit there and make me anxious and guilty.
D. My body is inherently messy. When you are hirsute, hair comes off of you and ends up on the floor more often than not. without regular removal, it can make your living space hirsute as well.
E. Placing bags of garbage on the curb feels good. Farewell to the six books of ‘while you were out memos that i was holding onto in order to save contact numbers. Some of them were from eight years ago. I know: a gold mine for my biographers, now gone for ever.

There’s more and more of this stuff of course. One of the most crucial points is that the same information can either make me clean more (as it did this weekend) or make me despair and cringe in my bed (as it has over the past few months). Some of this has to do with available time: when I get into the cycle of Home work shop sleep, I can only note the problem. When I feel that I have more time available, I can devise some strategies for moving it along As it was, I barely left the house Saturday, and got very little Christmas shopping done Sunday. But if it means that after two years I can start to fully inhabit my house, then it’s fine by me.

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December 22, 2003 at 11:42 am

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Weekend

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It is oh so difficult to not turn on the TV right now. Sunday morning, sunlight streaming in and I’m in bed, chilled. Winter has arrived. Actually went through my voice mail just now and listened to my messages and returned calls. Some were 27 days old, unreturned. I think I read some where that a hallmark of the addict was that feeling of extraordinary accomplishment for doing the simplest, most routine things. Spent a while going through my files yesterday. They sit in about ten boxes in my living room., with various other papers and odds and ends strewn around the floor. Any horizontal surface is pretty much obscured. While going through them, I find myself facing previous incarnations: there have been times when I hired assistants and all they were doing was watching after the filing. Other times I’ve been a careless demented pack rat. I have old pay stubs, copies of essays I was assigned in grad school twenty years ago, scripts from performances, designs for neon sculptures that were never executed and manuscripts from when I was the porn reviewer for the Bay Area Reporter. Most difficult are the folders marked “needs attention”. Here’s a lesson I should take from all of this: I will never attend to something I put in such a folder.
Also problematic are other artists’ slides and videos. One way or another I’ve ended up with quite a few of these. Sometimes I’ve asked for them for a curatorial project, other times people have sent them unsolicited. I can’t bear to throw them out, but in many cases a lot of time has passed, and they are not doing anyone any good in a box in my living room. Again , this is stuff that seems to bring with it the weight of obligation. I suppose the graceful solution would be to start a repatriation program, contact the most recent address I have for the person and work on sending everything back.
If only one aspect of my environment was like this it would be ok, but every room has its version of this. How did things get to this state? I feel in service to my stuff, rather than the other way around.
I’m grateful that I’ve had three relatively clear days together, as that seems to be the only way I can make any headway with this process.

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November 30, 2003 at 10:18 am

Cubism

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Well as some sort of a “reward” for some sort of “achievement” I went out and bought myself a Game cube. Just another way to waste the 18 minutes or so a day that I haven’t wasted already. I’m much more of a recreational gamer than a hardcore one: things like colecovision and pong were the provence of my rich “spoiled’ relatives and I only had a grudging access to them once every few months. Speaking of which: electronic gaming monthly is crap for the most part, but this is definitely worth a look: http://www.egmmag.com/article2/0,4364,1338730,00.asp

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October 20, 2003 at 10:55 am

Mid aft slump

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Past the burnout of the past couple of days. Overslept this morning, but that left me in a much better mood than previously. Obviously I needed it. There are still many things to take care of on the rapidly-approaching horizon, but at least my conciousness doesn’t seem as sporadic as yesterday. One thing I forgot to mention about the trip to the Tang was the presence of one quite beautiful man who was a friend of one of the Tang education coordinators and who stuck around after the whole thing. We were introduced and I made some fumbling joke. He was around my height and seemed to be a pacific islander, with long salt and pepper hair and a pointed goatee. He teaches at the university in Schenectady. I’m remembering an open smile and the dry warmth of his handshake, but off course his name flew out of my head the moment it was told me. My particular curse – I can remember the jingles from every commecial I heard at age 4 but never anyone’s name.
All of this is to say I was a bit smitten. Rare indeed.
This is another of those “I’m at work and I don’t wanna be” LJ posts. There’s lots of other things I need to finish, pieces that need making, rooms that need cleaning, people that need contacting. But the fact is I almost get more of that stuff done here. And now once again I’m frightened by the messages on my phone, so much so that I won’t pick them up. An absurtity, which has gotten me into bad situations with those around me and hurt people I haven’t wanted to hurt. Time after time I’ve tried to talk through these scenarios with my therapist, yet I lapse into the same behavior. Last week for the first time he suggested medication, which left me both shocked (usually not his route at all) and a little thrilled (is my dowdy, garden variety neurosis blooming into a glamourous anxiety disorder?).
I am reading W.G.Seybold’s book “The Rings of Saturn”. It is stunning: the overall structure is a solitary walking tour through the east of England, but each chapter mimicks the sensation of walking; spare insiscive descriptions of the landscape give way to chains of association that become historical and autobigraphical essays. The erudition is never forced, and exists in conjuction with sensitive observations of people and places. This is the kind of book I wish I could write, and indeed it’s given me some ideas for my endlessly projected, endlessly delayed Jack Smith/Ray Johnson/Cockettes/et al book. When I type those words I feel that everything I’m doing right now is wrong, and that there’s a much more important task calling me

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October 2, 2003 at 3:20 pm