The Eve Of..., Uncategorized

The Eve Of… Mid-August Residency Update

Self-initiating a residency is a risky proposition.

It’s taken me longer than I planned, but today I finally started moving into a larger studio for The Eve Of…. I brought over tools and a haul of lumber, and built five frames for light boxes. It was gratifying to anoint a long-awaited space with fresh sawdust.

Stack of frames and chop saw

I’m relieved to end my search. As I previously alluded, this project’s process entails a lot of uncertainty, and the biggest challenge has been finding a space. There just hasn’t been many art studio vacancies (thanks to Queens’ rising popularity). Further, few vacancies met the needs of this project—sublets were versatile enough, and larger spaces required longer terms.

Luckily, Paul Kelterborn and the Falchi Building want to support local arts, and have provided a temporary pop-up space at below-market rate for this project. I am so thankful to them for helping to make The Eve Of… possible.

If you associate my work with positive emotions exclusively, you might be surprised to learn that The Eve Of… delves into emotional states that aren’t upbeat. This change in direction is new, scary, and interesting for me.

I am intrigued to see that psychologist Todd Kashdan’s forthcoming book, The Upside of Your Dark Side, explores the utility of negative emotions like anger, anxiety, and sadness:

“With an appreciation of our entire psychological toolkit, we become whole—which allows us to climb the highest peaks and handle the deepest valleys.”

In The Eve Of…, I’m exploring how we experience these ‘deep valleys’ as internal, nebulous, and de-centered spaces.

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Art & Development

The delectable joy of precision

circular saw and alumicut

When M asked me to build a pedestal for his project, I asked him for a figure on the Barreto scale: Is this a 1 or a 10 project? Ten indicates a flawless level of finish. Five means be efficient and don’t let the details take more time than necessary. I like to uphold high standards, but rarely can everything can be 10s all the time in preparator work. That’s just the nature of changeovers: your deadline is the opening. Several perfect elements won’t make up for one unfinished element.

M paused. I remembered that I was talking to a Virgo, and knew my answer: 10.

The motor on my hand-me-down circular saw sometimes loses power mid-cut, causing a skip and an ugly cut. This was fine for things like crates (a 1 or 2 on the scale), not ok for a pedestal. It was time to get a new saw. I chose a Rigid because it looked well-made (the base plate didn’t seem like an afterthought), the guard spring was not obnoxiously tight, it was light, and it was moderately priced. When I took it out of its box, it seemed surreal how pristine it was.

As soon as I lined up my first cut, the kerf cutout (which indicates where the blade will go) lined up exactly with my cutline and the blade (see pic) and I felt a surge of bliss. So much certainty and confidence! I saw my (near) future and it was a cut exactly where I needed the cut to be. Push the button. Smooth sailing. For a brief moment, I experienced a kind of Virgo’s nirvana.

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