Friday, July 10, 2009

Intern Kate's first day // a primer in the aesthetics of mess

Today was Kate's first day in the office (ie: my bedroom + desk) working with me! She's totally awesome and efficient, but this isn't news - she danced for me back in 2008 in "D()!L@rS !N tHe B@nK!", so i know she's legit from way back. She offered to do some admin work for the us, and i quickly took her up on her offer - BAMN! that's how it happens!

Anyway. Today i got her started on two of our MegaTasks for the summer: revitalizing the AOMC's facebook presence (ie: making our group into a "page", which is how you're supposed to do it now...adding video, making new "friends", etc) and getting old performances and dancefilms up on vimeo. Have i mentioned how awesome this girl is? She got SO MUCH DONE!

Check it out - they're still both works in process, but we'd love for you to
///Become a FAN!/// of the Collective's facebook page (Urgent Artist facebook page to come soon!) and ///Check out our VIMEO page!///
to see some awesome vintage AOMC stuff. It's far from polished (as it's stuff from the past time and not the now time or the future time) but it's fun to see all we've done in the past three years!

One of the things that getting all this stuff out of archive has made me think about is how my interests as an artist have evolved over the past few years and, more specifically, where those interests first started and where they're headed.

One of the most obvious to me, is the emergence of a fixation with "the aesthetics of mess". Mess is quickly becoming a part of our branding (take our new slogan: "Anti-Ephemeral PoMo Humanism //ie: hot mess.//") and a bigger part of what's important to me aesthetically. Where did it come from? As far as i can tell, i've always been a little fixated. I can remember preferencing imperfection to clarity for much of my childhood and teenage years (okay, maybe it was an angsty thing) and aesthetically, i can remember being attracted to images and displays of mess in art galleries and movies. In terms of my own work, however, it's a little less clear. Where does a fixation like that come from? What is the second that a fixation clicks into existence and begins to grow? Before i go off on a tangent about my fixation with the origin of fixations, let's get back on track: the aesthetics of mess.

During my junior year at Sarah Lawrence College I took my first real film class, and our first assignment was to take a work we had already done and re-make the same idea or theme using a different layout or series of images. I took this piece that i had made the year before:

which was in turn made off of a stage piece called "Five on Love and Lack Thereof" and re-did it in a bathroom setting. This is what the final result (my first time editing on final cut) looked like:

While i didn't find it hugely successful (at the then time or in the now time) for a few reasons (mainly lack of experience), it did spark a few things in me. The main sparkage, of course being mess. But what kind of mess? I'm a structuralist at heart, so even mess is organized in the way i think about it.

What kind indeed. White mess, lots of white mess. Specifically: an aesthetic attraction to large quantities of white pedestrian items used in ways that generate a large amount of mess, disorder, etc. SO. When it came time for our final products at the end of the film class, i knew what i wanted.

It's much simpler to connect the dots in hindsight (i wasn't aware at the time) but the White Arias Project is a clear descendant of this original film. Made of two separate films (although there was a third milk-based film in the works) "Eggshells" and "Flour" both hold a special place in my heart. I can't show you Eggshells, much as i'd like to, at the request of the semi-nude dancers who performed it, but here's Flour:

So. Clear, right? In hindsight. But!
Looking towards the future time:

Do you see where it's going!?!
It's so nice to discover a context to give oneself mid-process, and so exciting to imagine adding a new voice to the mess-dialogue happening between my works!

Which is all of course to say: Kate is an AWESOME intern for posting all of this so i can share it with you! Look for a post from her soon!

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