I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Posts Tagged ‘self destruction

Whirlpool…

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Today I contend with the feeling that I’m paddling around in circles with little or no results.

One thing about my job that is both a plus and a minus is the fact that I do so many different kinds of things during the day. Today I have had to: consult over graphic design for announcements, assemble powerpoint presentations for trustees, write up marketing strategies for admissions, devise curriculum, evaluate applications, contact potential faculty, meet with fellow program heads on strategy for my department. None of which is actually teaching. I think one of the results of this is that I have a difficult time deciding what to do next (prioritizing), but also switching between many different ways of doing things. Each of these tasks requires me to think it through differently.

This is exciting, certainly, as I’m a person with varied interests. But it’s debilitating at those times when I feel that each of these projects is somehow stuck, or when the smaller things require the kind attention that keeps me from taking a longer look.

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April 23, 2009 at 5:15 pm

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I have a new safeword…

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The eepc is now running eeebuntu. After messing around with it on a stickdrive for a while, I decided to bite the bullet and ditch the operating system Asus shipped it with. But this is being written on the desktop. I’m seated in my office chair and Lehigh is perched on the bed, pawing at my shoulder to catch my attention.

Yesterday’s talks left me with a lot to think about.

First, the problems I have becoming a manager: Because of my training as an artist, I am used to solving problems on my own with my hands. When making work, I have If I need to get something done, I like to speak to the other people involved face to face. I tend to drop in on other people at their desks and ask for their help then and there. I’m uncomfortable with the phone and to a lesser extent with email. So I assume responsibility for every aspect of a project, but not in the sense that I can get my team to do everything I ask of them: I mean it in terms that I believe internally that I’ll do everything. This ends up limiting what I can think of in terms of projects.

Just finished reading The Other Side of Desire by Daniel Bergner. It reads just like what it is: a group of four articles that could have appeared in The New Yorker, or the New York Times Magazine. Each focuses on one personality with a different sexual kink: a foot fetishist, a sadist, a pedophile and a person with a fetish for amputees. Each person then becomes the scaffolding for Bergner’s examination of various schools of thought regarding the structure of sexual desire and the treatment of deviance. It’s all very earnest investigative journalism except where Bergner turns to rhapsody to try to capture the intensity of his subjects’ emotional lives, a ploy that makes for bumpy reading. The quartet of people are both exemplary of some idea in treatment or theory about the brain, and yet supposed to be individuals. As a narrator, Bergner tries to finesse the line that separates “nonjudgmental” from “implicated”. I was highly conscious of his emotional discomforts but left without any sense of his own introspection. The blurb from the Times says that he has a “novelist’s eye”. He certainly doesn’t have a novelist’s brain, since the the four pieces have very little to do with one another from any sort of structural view. Before the mysteries of desire, he displays convention and all of its waffling. From another book I’m reading, Pema Chodron’s Comfortable With Uncertainty: “Instead of transcending the suffering of all creatures, we move towards turbulence and doubt however we can”. To make that move and find pleasure in that turbulence is the value of sex.

From that I guess you can tell that I didn’t much care for the book.

Notes, notes, notes: I’m continually making them, but rarely taking the time to revisit them and turn them into something more substantial. Through out my current life I’m spread among many details. Someone asked me last week what I was working on, and in the larger sense I didn’t have a real answer for it. It’s time to get back to building.

Lehigh’s been walked, the rain is pouring down, and I’ve moved back to the laptop to finish this entry. Less got done today than I hoped, but that’s alright.

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April 20, 2009 at 9:17 pm

I’ve sat next to hotness…

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I’m feeling down these past couple of days: cut off, out of it. And physically a bit wrong. The causes are multiple, but a big one is the fact that Monday was the anniversary of Phil’s death. Along with a couple of other dates in the year, it’s become a spot where I have to watch for my emotions to go into a nose dive. I’ve also been on a extended period of eating poorly and not moving as much as I’d like. Finding out what my tax debt for the past year is was not much of a help either.

Paradoxically, my solution in part to the eating issue is to cancel my weekly deliveries from Urban Organics. This is the second time I’ve used their service and both times I went into it with the idea that I would cook at home more, and eat healthier. But the result has been the opposite: a box of vegetables arrives, and while there is stuff in there that I like, there’s stuff that I don’t like as well, If I don’t eat it right away it starts to spoil, and then I feel guilty about buying stuff from the market. Which means that I eat out more and still have the sneaking suspicion that I could purchase the same amount of food myself for less. So no more deliveries, and I go back to shopping more regularly.

The other kooky thing I’m doing to cheer myself up Is to remind myself of the groovy people I have been lucky enough to make contact with this past year, including the fellow mischief-maker above. It’s now been three times that I’ve had fun with him, and we have the fourth on the schedule. So creepy as I may feel, there are folks out there willing to knock some sense into me. And I’m grateful for that. urban organics

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April 1, 2009 at 12:25 pm

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August 6, 2008 at 12:51 pm

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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

Apres…

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…therapy, and before tonight’s “Slidefest” an event which I had to curate this week because I had kept putting it off. Thank goodness I know some very patient artists who consented to come and present work tonight. Otherwise things would be looking pretty pathetic. In the 45 minutes of downtime, I’ve knocked out a drawing of a sinister stuffed rabbit for a benefit action that someone approached me about yesterday. They’re supposed to come pick it up any minute. I truly have to stop saying yes to everything because I can feel myself becoming more and more stressed out. The back twinges, acid reflux, and little bouts of binge spending like the one I just went on at the Strand and where I purchased:

A Taschen Book on Velasquez
Another Taschen book (icons series) on Indian Street Graphics
Waiting for Food #3, an R.Crumb placemat drawing collection
Drawing in England from Hilliard to Hogarth
The Acme Novelty Date Book, a collection of Chris Ware’s notebook sketches
America’s First Dynasty – The Adamses 1735-1918

Then I went by Barnes and Noble on Union Square, because I had a real hankering for The Education of Henry Adams, and also my friend Carl Frano might be working there. He was, and on the way out I saw that Amphigorey Also had been marked down to $10 so of course I had to pick that up too.

Meanwhile I sit at home and come to tears over the boxes of books in my apartment and how I can’t get way from them.

Well I have a long history of self medicating through shopping, and the ostensible justification for this particular binge was that I had just deposited a wholly unexpected check from my NY gallery. All of these images feed the work in some way, or would if I gave myself the time to do it. Sitting with the pencils in hand to make this benefit drawing felt very, very good. and it’s always reassuring to see that “I’ve still got it” hand/eye wise. But sometimes it’s thin broth.

Much of therapy was spent talking about the trip to SF and I found myself trying to articulate what I’m feeling about LJ right now, its odd mixes of intimacy and self presentation, especially when the mix includes real world contact.

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November 21, 2003 at 4:59 pm

my first meme

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Age:43
Boyfriend: only exes at this point – god bless ’em
Chore you hate: was trained to hate the very concept of “chore” by my family (not intentionally) to my current regret
Dad’s name: Nayland
Essential make-up item: gloom
Favorite actress: Mink Stole
Gold or silver: aluminum, rubber, cotton duck
Hometown: NYC
Instruments you play: once played recorder with Sun Ra’s Arkestra
Job title: chair
Kids: Nothing but, it seems some days
Living arrangements: Five room apartment in Brooklyn, crammed with 43 years worth of crap
Mom’s Name: Joan
Number of people you’ve slept with: low hundreds I guess
Overnight hospital stays: tonsils, appendix
Phobia: deadlines and disapproval
Quote you like: “From the depths of hell I summon thee – Me Zombie Flygirls!” The leprechaun, from Leprechaun 4 – in the ‘hood
Rude habit you have: not returning phone calls
Siblings: sister, who rocks, by the way.
Time you wake up: 6:50 am.
Unique habit: the longer i live the more i notice that my supposed singularities are ubiquitous.
Vegetable you refuse to eat: down on zucchini these days – overrated
Worst habit: self destruction – see just about all responses above
X-rays you’ve had: the usual, yet the implant remains undetected
Yummy food you make: soup
Zodiac Sign: Aquarius- what else? (stolen from robert510)

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October 12, 2003 at 10:26 am

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