Writing has always been a subcategory of making for me; they are one in the same.
Hi, my name is Chloë and I am in the midst of a brain fog, of some sort, while simultaneously drowning in coursework. I’ve got one foot in Arts & Sciences (Anthropology), and another in Fine Arts. I write stuff, I make stuff, and I teach stuff. Art stuff. I like stuff – there are lots of projects.
Among all my proposals for my assignments this semester, there is one element in common: my inability to focus, and my interest in finding a balance between working intuitively with what one has, as opposed to buying new, following a strict step-by-step process. I was never one for instructions, I improvise recipes and toy with the proper ways to do things, questioning that very notion of “proper,” “authentic”… Why can’t I be… just?
Why must I do anything in any specific way? I am not trying to copy or replicate. I want to absorb what speaks to me, cycling that knowledge out it a way that is my own. I want to investigate industrial and craft practices, how they can both lead to something very well made, though higher value will be placed on that which is handmade, rather than machine-made.
Finding this balance, drawing a line between different genres of Arts writing, between making, is one I still struggle with.
I think of how power and politics lie in the way a message is embedded, in the material they’re conveyed in. Whether in paint or printed words. There seems to be a tug between that which is free, liberating, therapeutic, and that which is skilled, following a specific framing.
It may be this idea of needing to frame work that frustrates me. To differentiate between my writing for The Concordian and my writing for research projects. Why can I not write in the same tone? Why can that not become my very practice?
I hope to do that without failing my classes. It’s hard to create within your own framework… let alone a professor’s? I need clear guidelines in order to make (write) work in the way they would like. If it were me alone, making, writing, it would be easier. I hope. Otherwise… why bother? What’s the point?
I’ve found solace in my not-so-turmoil-turmoil with The White Pube, an online alternative art criticism platform with pieces like, “I LITERALLY HATE THE ART WORLD,” “WHY MUSEUMS ARE BAD VIBES” and “Are White Girls Capable of Making Art That’s Not About themselves??”
In “I LITERALLY HATE THE ART WORLD,” White Pube creators, Gabrielle de la Puente and Zarina Muhammad write: “art doesn’t have inherent value, it’s always worth prodding […] the art in amongst all of this is hardly ever worth what we put ourselves through to facilitate it.”
I feel that GDLP/ZM, I feel that. And I don’t really know what to do.
Graphic by Ana Bilokin