From the Studio

thoughts on art and process in action from a contemporary artist

Circling Access

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I’ve been taking a little break from studio work or in-depth art studies to handle other life things and refill myself.

I need to do other things, talk to friends and strangers, read non-art books as well as art books, see shows and museums, but mostly just think and absorb and wrestle with ideas.  I think that when artists just focus on art and other artists the work is liable to eat itself (or other people’s work) or become a form of collective masturbation.  For me, art should be connected to the greater world and to people who are not art-immersed as well as to art and the art world.

So I pause long enough to still my mind, and now it is rested enough to wrestle with ideas that will feed art.

I am circling questions for a new interactive art project.  Thoughts of social access keep dropping in.  Trying to think of issues I want to address, things I want to put people in contact with.  I like a balance of the challenging and beautiful – they should go together.  I don’t like hitting people over the head with the difficult things or just pleasing them.  With interactive work especially I like drawing them in and calling on their memories and experiences, framing things in new ways.  I think it has to be challenging at points not because you need an art degree to understand it, but because it makes you think about your world and your relationship to it.

This conversation between Judith Butler and  Sunaura Taylor from Examined Life (Astra Taylor) struck a chord that I want to work with:

It needs to percolate though.  I once coached a person who was sightless from birth on the trampoline.  He was amazing and it was one of my best experiences as a teacher.  There are issues of access in gender,  identity as perceived by others (perceived race, religion, culture, sexual identity, sexual orientation, etc.), identity (cultural and religious heritage and practice, nationality(s), sexual orientation, gender association, economic situation,  education, occupation, pastimes, loves, hates, lived experiences….).

There’s just so much… but I’m thinking of exploring the idea of ACCESS.  Maybe it’s just contact?  What’s “normal” for you?  What you feel in in your reach?   I appreciate random ramblings on the subject.

Once I know what ideas I want to work with the form will come.


later… Just saw this:  Different kinds of access and obstruction.  citizenship.  Other stories, videos of children separated from their parents for years when their parents are deported, meeting through a fence.  Gay couples, even married ones seperated by the lack of a green card, or seperated by lack of hospital access… more circling access.

Written by Mary Corey March

June 21, 2013 at 11:11 am

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