In one word this week has been refreshing. I’m finally feeling like I’m getting closer to realigning myself and finding my own voice in these actions now. Although I feel that the guided actions offered many lessons for my practice, I felt it was quite limiting/prescriptive. I felt as if I was puppeted into creating something for each of those weeks that essentially wasn’t work I would be extremely proud to call my own. I think something positive and enlightening of the first 5 weeks would be the amount of thinking and questioning, the breaking down, the crying, the scraping the bottom, getting right down to the core of my practice–thats what those actions did, and honestly it feels good. I feel like now that my practice has withstood that I have a strong foundation to continue to build on.
This week was exciting. I acquired two stereo cassette recorders and a heap of cassette tapes, most of which are blank and are begging to be filled with story. Essentially what I discovered last week with Action Six, my OCCUPY THIS GALLERY sticker packs with prompts, I was trying to build a library and shelving system before I had any books to fill the library with. I felt quite lost leaving class last week, a bit defeated you could say. How did I realign myself? I had brunch with a friend I haven't seen since I started school. I went to the flea market and thrifted, breathed in the musty, mildewy barn filled with history and possibilities. Sifting through boxes of postcards, reading messages that people wrote to one another, looking through family portraits, picking up vintage cameras and jewelery and smelling old books. I feel like all that I’ve had the chance to do the past two months is read, sit in class, socialize with new cohorts, outside of school I’ve been spending a lot of time in a new relationship, new friendships, and I forgot that I have myself to worry about too. Taking a couple hours this week to walk through the flea market was just the creative stimuli that I needed.
This week I also started to document signs around the city that warn or call attention to a certain action. I was inspired by the stickers that I ordered last week and before I decide what on earth I’m going to do with 1000 stickers, I want to start to document and question the vernacular of signs around Vancouver that are telling us what to do. In the good words of the 70s one-hit wonder, Five Man Electrical Band– “Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, blockin’ out the scenery, breakin’ my mind, do this, don’t do that, can’t you read the sign?”. No idea where this exercise will take me aside from the cassette stories, but we shall see as it develops!