I’m the King of Jubilee Jumbles

artist Nayland Blake natters on about art and other things

Posts Tagged ‘writing

Crankcase and Creation…

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On the way to work today, the thought struck me that it’s hard to talk about not making art without it sounding like an alarm. I (and I think most of us) are used to thinking about the process of working as one of dramatic highs and lows, where every stumble is something to be dreaded and avoided.

I haven’t made much formal work lately. Yet I do not feel “blocked” per se. The camera is still always with me, pictures get taken, posts get made here, and the occasional drawing happens. Still, none of this seems to be adding up to much. Is it the notion of “adding up” itself that causes the problem? Or is it the temptation to make all of these posts little moments of problem posed, problem solved?

In all of my written journals, my default voice is one of complaint. And complaint is always safer than expressions of pleasure, because what do you say to Pollyanna? Friends are having a hard time, and I don’t want to go around plopping rainbows on them. I’m reading Reborn a selection of Susan Sontag’s notebooks, and at 16 years old she is intellectually intimidating and insufferable in the absolute nature of her ecstasies. I certainly don’t want these notes to end up in that pile.

So: I’m not working, much. It’s not a big deal, but there it is.

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Written by naylandblake

April 9, 2009 at 12:43 pm

On to day three…

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It’s funny the resistance I have to writing my posts beforehand. Even though the interface isn’t all that friendly, and I don’t have a client loaded on this laptop, I’d rather write on the lj post page than use my word processor. Well this is a little attempt to overcome that resistance.

Yesterday was another sunny day out here. I got into see my friend Kim Anno’s panel on shifting abstraction in the morning. After it ended, I ran into Prof Ray K. who is, I gotta say – so very cute ( sorry about the objectification, Ray) and who made the astute remark that on the whole, the attendees of CAA are not the most prepossessing bunch. It’s sadly true, I’ve seen many more downtown bums on this trip who have turned my head than conference goers. That being said, it has been wonderful to connect with so many pals at CAA. It feels like a part of my life that has fallen by the wayside a bit.

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In the afternoon I ditched to meet up with the Dave White, who braved the pain of his surgical recovery to take me first to a great Mexican place in Silverlake for lunch and then a couple of doors down to a little thrift store that reminded me of how terribly picked over all the places in New York are. I managed to get out the door with only a couple of purchases, luckily. And then I gave him a mission: trusting to his impeccable taste I told him to take me to Amoeba and “metal me up” unfortunately, I didn’t get to meet Extreem Aaron, nor Alonzo who had work related stress disorder, but I did get to have the great experience of sitting in the store while Dave said, yeah you should have this , yeah this too. I was ready to splurge on a Plasmatics T-shirt but the cashier couldn’t figure out how to get one and it was getting late. Now when I get home I get to experience the blissful brutality as I ponder the futility of all things not metal.

There’s another weird thing: I’m traveling around without any sort of disc playback device. CDs have become just the thing I carry the music home on, before I rip them to my hard drive: a software delivery system.

Written by naylandblake

February 27, 2009 at 1:53 pm

On with the show…

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It’s not easy being a one man shop; somehow I thought it was a good idea, and convinced the curator, that we should do the catalog for the current show as a series of 500 word entries, one on each included piece. Basically either she or I am writing the entire thing. And that writing is coming harder to me than I thought it would. Because it always does.

I know what I have to do, but am having a hard time doing it. And that’s why this post is short.

(edit) Oh hey, while I’m at it, have a great time at MAL, all my pals who are going. I’m sorry I won’t be in attendance.

Written by naylandblake

January 14, 2009 at 5:41 pm

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

Written by naylandblake

October 2, 2003 at 3:20 pm