Class started last week. The last few weeks have been insanely busy, what with housing search, packing up, unpacking and outfitting the new place in the East Bay with all the little things a household needs. We cleaned and handed over the keys to the old place the weekend before class began, and I managed to finish moving into my studio space that first weekend of the semester. It looks pretty bare right now, so I’m hoping to go this week to tack up some inspiration on the walls and put my mark on things.
As of now, I am no longer a San Francisco resident, for better and for worse. I expect I’ll still make somewhat frequent trips into the city to interview and shoot, but it does feel different now. It feels distant. But many things feel distant. Everything has happened so fast that I’ve hardly had any time to reflect or even feel anything. I’m looking forward to immersive art making but am having trouble shifting gears since I didn’t have the time to carry out my original plan of catching up on the contemporary art mags and getting into the right mindset in the months leading up to the beginning of the term.
But on the bright side, lots of nice people in my cohort, lots of interesting ideas to flesh out and a space near the water to work in. We have a great view of the city skyline from the field station. It’s a bit strange to stand there staring at it from across the water instead of living in it. But so it goes.
In practical terms, I have five classes, one of which I am auditing. In terms of art, there is an independent study that consists of regular progress meetings with an adviser, a theory course and a weekly crit. These are the classes that all 12 of us in the program have in common (each person meets with their own adviser). The 6 first years are also taking an elective outside the dept. I’m taking a course on the history of and socio-political issues of the southern border with Mexico, as well as auditing an introductory musicianship (theory and sight singing) class. Interestingly, neither of those classes really have anything to do with the work I’m hoping to finish off in time for the first year show next Jan. My plan all along has been to take a few music classes while the program is covering tuition to squeeze in the musical training I never had.
There are already a couple of concrete crit deadlines to chase. That’s the thing I’m most nervous about – it’s one thing to make work your own, but when your crit is an hour or so… I’m wondering if any of my ideas actually are up to snuff. They all seem so great when it’s in your own head, even for years. Then you consider the very real idea of showing it to real solid humans and it all seems different.
It doesn’t help (or hurt?) that I have about seventeen ideas that I really want to start in addition to the writing and the interviewing and the musical stuff already simmering. I suppose it’s a good problem to have, but now it becomes a question of focus. I’ve tentatively sorted them into the pile of things that I could do in a few months and the pile of things that require some research and long term planning. Realistically though, there should also be a pile for things that I can only seed during the next two years without completing. I think I will jump right into trying an action/performance and video edits. Don’t hold me to that though!
Next up: having a one on one with my adviser, and developing a routine alternating between classwork and making. I’m also hoping to blog some of the works made by my cohorts.