Archive for November 16th, 2008

November 16, 2008

November 16, 2008

Potluck!

Last night my roommate Aidan and I held a potluck for everyone who hosted me (and their roommates) and it turned out really well.  I wasn’t sure how many people would actually show up, but 17 of the 29 apartments were represented and we actually had a ton of food.  I felt slightly obligated to try some of everyone’s and so I ate until the point of nausea.  For the first hour or so it was just my close friends, but more groups emerged as the night went on and there was at least some mingling amongst the different social circles.  It was a nice opportunity to talk to everyone, recap about the project and our experiences, get some phone numbers that I was missing, and just kind of relax now that everything was over.  I also had “response cards” where people could write down any comments about my stay at their place, which will be a part of the show in two weeks.  We kicked everyone out around ten because I didn’t want to have to deal with the neighbors or our landlord, which was good because everyone was well-fed for the various parties taking place last night.  Aidan’s friend Laurel invited everyone from the potluck to her music-making party and so a bunch of us headed over there, but that was basically the end of the project.  A few hours later I slept in my bed for the first time in thirty days and it was an epic eleven hour experience!

There are a few last minute things that I want to say before I go back to the point in my life where I didn’t have to think in terms of blog posts.  While I believe this project to be a “success” and I’m glad that I did it, I would do a couple things differently if I were to do it again–for the month I would not have an apartment to go back to, not have any other obligations like work or school, and not be in an area where I moved through people who are in my similar situation.  Not having an apartment would just raise the stakes and tension of the whole piece.  Not having any obligations would similarly allow me to be more dedicated and create more opportunities for dinner / breakfast / etc.  Not being in my social group would both stop me from letting my social life interfere and create an entirely different experience / map out an entirely different group.  The work is intimately tied to the college lifestyle (and a very liberal-arts lifestyle at that), which makes sense given my current place in the world–but moving through a different group would allow a future piece to function differently and act in a dialog with this one.

I also want to mention that it was surprisingly lonely going to sleep by myself last night, waking up by myself, and cleaning the apartment all day by myself–knowing that I wasn’t going to be going out and meeting anyone tonight.  Although going through this has been a total pain, there was some level of excitement in knowing that I was going to be spending my night with someone I don’t normally spend my time with.  I also just got really used to having people around all the time + it was somewhat comforting to know that just by sleeping I was making art that I strongly believe in.  I got over all these feelings after a couple hours, but it was a really unexpected way to start my first day home.

Lastly: blogging.  One of the problems I have with the way most people use the camera today is that it acts as a barrier to living, with the photographer trying to so many pictures to “capture” an experience that actually experiencing the moment never happens.  This is why I never carry a camera around unless I have a very specific reason and goal (like documenting the places that I sleep).  Blogging is the same way.  Although a completely necessary part of this project, it was a hindrance to actually being in the moment: I found myself constantly thinking about how I was going to translate something into the blog / jotting notes in my phone when I should have been paying attention / having to finish up a blog entry when I could have been spending time with my host / etc.  It was pretty unpleasant and I don’t intend to do it again, unless the need arises.

Thank you all for reading!  Contrary to my earlier projection, the installation will be up tenth week (Dec. 1 – Dec. 5) in the Broad Art Center; the opening will be Thursday Dec. 4.

November 16, 2008

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