Joshua Singler

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Practicing Self-Determination.

This was our first week of self-directed actions in the studio. Inspired by my photo typology of cautionary signs and continuous admiration of street artists, I was itching to try my hand at something outside of my regular practice. I spent the last week working on some different concepts, and after cycling around the city, paying for 1000 stickers, creating prompt handouts, my concept inevitably fell flat as soon as I started to discuss my rationale with Laura. I attribute this to a couple of things.

I’ve been watching a couple documentaries that chronicled famous street artists and their process. The rebellious nature of street art was something I felt very connected to the themes of decolonization I’ve noticed in my own practice and personal life. Unfortunately, instead of taking these as inspiration I tried too hard to replicate. I put pressure on myself to come up with a solution in a week. Something catchy and easy to replicate. I found myself focusing too much on the final outcome. It’s a common thing for me. I’ll often think four, five, six steps ahead of myself. I feel for most of my practice I’ve been taught to be a solution generator and thats what I was trying to do here and it ultimately failed.

This isn’t all terrible though. I’ve got to look at this failure as more of a lesson as I don’t think this past week was very authentic to my practice. My goal for this week is to begin to find myself in the work again. Laura shared her opinion with me that resonated very closely. She said something along the lines that it seems that I’m trying to get the structure of a library up, the shelves, the walls, the Dewey decimal system, and completely forgetting that I need to fill the library with things first. This comes as another important realization in my practice, and is forcing me to unthink the way that I’ve been taught to solve problems.

Joshua Singler