This is the conversation I had as part of my contribution to the limited edition book of conversations had by each artist participating in the OUT SIDE IN show at LACE in LA. In the house that Jack built.
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I started talking with Laura Gibson Wing online when Laura blogged about this article I had contributed to an online journal about “new media.” We finally met on the last day of the OUT SIDE IN show.
wlauragibson: it's a time lapse of the night
iamtryingtopick: AIM crashed again. i lost the record of our session. do you have it?
iamtryingtopick: can you copy paste it here?
wlauragibson: oh sure
iamtryingtopick: sorry, did i go away? been having trouble with the connection here.
Laura Wing: dang. no i'm here
iamtryingtopick: you're quite the blogger.
Laura Wing: have you been reading it? what do you think? i would really like to know
iamtryingtopick: i need to look at it some more
iamtryingtopick: what are you doing for your senior show?
Laura Wing: um, i wish i knew
Laura Wing: i have had so many different ideas and i am very restless and get disenchanted and lose motivation if i don't think it is the best i could be doing right now or most interested in right now
iamtryingtopick: what sort of work have you done? links?
Laura Wing: don't have any links at this point, i've only been an art major for two semesters, i changed a lot
Laura Wing: oooo, i do have one link
iamtryingtopick: i know, you changed schools? where are you now?
Laura Wing: time lapse
iamtryingtopick: "time lapse"?
Laura Wing: http://vimeo.com/157497 so this is the opening night of a show i did
Laura Wing: i curated it.
iamtryingtopick: Safari can’t open the page “http://vimeo.com/157497” because it can’t find the server “vimeo.com”
Laura Wing: ok, well it may not be worth it
iamtryingtopick: what am i supposed to see there?
iamtryingtopick has gone offline.
Laura Wing: it's a time lapse of the night
iamtryingtopick: what is interesting to me is all this finagling with the technology. all these negotiations.
iamtryingtopick: "(not so) new media."
iamtryingtopick: which is how we got here in the first place. I don't have our first chat session right from the start, just from the point after the crash ...
iamtryingtopick: the app just crashed
iamtryingtopick: to recap ...
iamtryingtopick: you read my article "Let Me Tell You Something: Why I Like Movies Better Than Art."
iamtryingtopick: you blogged about it here http://www.existentialmedia.org/ladyparts/
iamtryingtopick: that led me to contact you for this conversation
wlauragibson: I like this recap
iamtryingtopick: this is you http://www.flickr.com/photos/ladyparts/779981423/
wlauragibson: i found your article through http://rhizome.org/
iamtryingtopick: and we are the generation w/out privacy
wlauragibson: yeah http://nymag.com/news/features/27341/
iamtryingtopick: so you are interested in new media, quote unquote?
iamtryingtopick: that was what i was writing about
wlauragibson: I am interested in identifying what is on the cusp of our culture
iamtryingtopick: the cusp? like, what's yer sign?
wlauragibson: what we think history has lead us to producing, what is trying to tell the truth
iamtryingtopick: i'm really interested in signs
wlauragibson: and sometimes "new" media can do that
wlauragibson: Plus, you have to write a lot of papers in UG
iamtryingtopick: you referred to doing art as a "struggle"
wlauragibson: I was referring to showing art as a struggle
wlauragibson: that's what attracts me to your analysis of it
iamtryingtopick: you are struggling with the narcissistic exhibitionist aspect of it?
wlauragibson: yes, in a way
iamtryingtopick: versus the idea of giving something to people, offering ...?
wlauragibson: It also has to do with wanting art to be a process, a participation
iamtryingtopick: right, not just "lookit what i did!"
iamtryingtopick: i am going to be participating in a relational aesthetics conference in the fall
iamtryingtopick: in canada
wlauragibson: that sounds really beautiful, the idea of it anyway
wlauragibson: not canada, the conference
iamtryingtopick: O Canada! Our home and native land!
wlauragibson: Harrell Fletcher !!!!
iamtryingtopick: yeah he's the keynote speaker -- you like?
wlauragibson: yes, i think his work is so important
wlauragibson: or i wish i had the right adjective
wlauragibson: i think he is an amazing human
iamtryingtopick: i have problems with what he does ...
wlauragibson: really, what
iamtryingtopick: but it could be said i am suspicious of everything
wlauragibson: i admire your honesty
wlauragibson: but, i'm curious, what are you suspicious of?
iamtryingtopick: i feel like Harrell, by focusing so much on "the common person," and being this white knight who "gives the common person a voice"
wlauragibson: yeah, i'm with you
iamtryingtopick: is really upholding the class distinction of the artist as the elite
wlauragibson: like "if it weren't for him"
iamtryingtopick: it seems disengenuous to me, however you spell it
wlauragibson: i think a lot of artists can be like that
iamtryingtopick: where is the self-critique?
iamtryingtopick: i have an activist mindset, certainly
wlauragibson: yes, that is why i was attracted to your article so much
wlauragibson: what i mean by on the cusp is also finding people to talk to like this
wlauragibson: this right here, being honest
wlauragibson: i guess, i wish more people were honest
wlauragibson: but sometimes i wonder if that just means, i wish more people were like me
iamtryingtopick: ha! when i was a kid i didn't wish for a brother, because my parents were divorced -- so i wished for a clone.
wlauragibson: so rad, how much of life is that?
wlauragibson: that a whole life could be spent trying to make clones, that says a lot
iamtryingtopick: are you catholic?
iamtryingtopick: you said you had gone to Loyola Marymount University
wlauragibson: yeah, that had a nice honors program
iamtryingtopick: and then there is that idea of struggle -- you seem to be interested in providing a service -- your approach seems very moral, which i identify with
wlauragibson: i have been raised in an evangelical christian home
wlauragibson: chalvary chaple
wlauragibson: whoa spelling
iamtryingtopick: i got what you meant: http://www.calvarychapel.com/
iamtryingtopick: funny ...
iamtryingtopick: after seeing sam durant lecture one time, this bit of the gospel popped into my head
iamtryingtopick: "the poor you will always have with you"
J says it to his apostles who rebuke a woman -- mary magdelene? -- after she anoints J's feet in expensive oil
iamtryingtopick: "you should have spent that money on the poor!" they say -- and J says:
iamtryingtopick: "Why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. The poor you will always have with you, and you can help them any time you want. But you will not always have me."
iamtryingtopick: and i looked it up on the interweb and there was a great article explaining it, and the author says that what J is saying is:
iamtryingtopick: you can always make an *issue* out of "the poor" -- something to get worked up about and make a career out of -- but this woman is showing compassion in the moment, for someone right in front of her
wlauragibson: yes... that's so important
wlauragibson: what do you think of that passage?
wlauragibson: do you think it relates exactly to what you are doing -- relational art -- or am i taking it wrong
iamtryingtopick: ah yes -- relating to someone, is that what you mean?
iamtryingtopick: well i get worked up about issues!
wlauragibson: yeah, me too
iamtryingtopick: and look how righteous my article is, the one you blogged about
wlauragibson: yeah, for sure
wlauragibson: you have the answer
iamtryingtopick: not totally -- it's me trying to figure things out
iamtryingtopick: but i make these pronouncements along the way
and risk alienating people
wlauragibson: yeah, i completely relate to that
iamtryingtopick: you (((relate))) to that
iamtryingtopick: it's always the ones who feel alienated who alienate
iamtryingtopick: there he goes with the pontification again
wlauragibson: i forgot this would be printed
iamtryingtopick: and ...?
wlauragibson: i got too excited and honest
iamtryingtopick: no you don't, you're fine
iamtryingtopick: as usual i am talking too much
wlauragibson: this is sort of sad and strange to say good bye.
iamtryingtopick: let's talk more! i want to hear more about you
wlauragibson: well now we're connected and relating
iamtryingtopick: when again is good?
wlauragibson: through the internets
iamtryingtopick: see, i feel like i was just talking at you.
wlauragibson: i just remembered some stuff you could look at if you want and follow the link on this one
wlauragibson: this is the flickr album from that show I curated http://www.flickr.com/photos/existentialmedia/sets/72157600012209057/
wlauragibson: even though this is beside the point now
iamtryingtopick: i am looking at both of those links.
iamtryingtopick: this girl:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/existentialmedia/434101240/in/set-72157600012209057/ reminds me of an ex gf
wlauragibson: that's the girl you thought i was at first from last time
iamtryingtopick: huh. are these of your face?
iamtryingtopick: what did you do in the show the other link was for?
wlauragibson: an audio piece, and the video projected on the front wall
wlauragibson: it was supposed to be mainly people other than me, as a requirement for the class
wlauragibson: the girlfriend?
iamtryingtopick: yeah, me and her.
wlauragibson: i can see how that reminds you of jenna
iamtryingtopick: the mouth. the red jacket. the hair cut.
wlauragibson: you are materializing
wlauragibson: i mean, now you have a face
iamtryingtopick: and i have your face
iamtryingtopick: that work with the face molds is very aesthetic, very craft oriented -- which is not the kind of work i do --
iamtryingtopick: it's certainly not the kind of work that is encouraged in the program i was in.
wlauragibson: the path is so much clearer for that kind of art
iamtryingtopick: so much clearer?
wlauragibson: you refine a skill, the next project or step has some ind of definite element
wlauragibson: like clay, in that case
wlauragibson: but it's just not me, i tried it and just got disinterested. i am much more concept driven
iamtryingtopick: you mean the next piece shows the refinement of the skill?
iamtryingtopick: is that what you meant?
wlauragibson: you could say that everything is refinement
wlauragibson: i keep trying to say it right and not sending it
iamtryingtopick: with more conceptually oriented work, going from one piece to the next is harder, i think.
wlauragibson: yes. that's what i was trying to say
iamtryingtopick: so your senior thesis project will conceptually oriented?
wlauragibson: yes. the clay project was also
iamtryingtopick: the day project?
wlauragibson: the self as architecture, human touch
wlauragibson: it really interests me, this whole process
wlauragibson: i just feel much younger and stranger than i have felt in a long time
wlauragibson: thank you for this
iamtryingtopick: right this minute? or in general?
wlauragibson: this minute
iamtryingtopick: why do you think that is?
wlauragibson: i think it has a lot to do with being confronted with what people are able to gather from "new media," what they are not.
wlauragibson: what that means or doesn't mean
wlauragibson: a dull head among windy spaces
wlauragibson: i am experiencing the collision from trying to speak casually while portraying what I have lived to become, piled my experiences and thoughts to make a self.
wlauragibson: it makes me wonder why i want that, why i can't just talk
iamtryingtopick: just say what's on your mind
iamtryingtopick: type anything
iamtryingtopick: so you gonna be an artist or what?
wlauragibson: yeah, what shape that will take i'm not sure yet
wlauragibson: whatever that means
iamtryingtopick: when would you ever be sure? once you're sure the work gets boring. but i suppose it is a question of degree.
wlauragibson: i don't want to be sure
iamtryingtopick: you're sure of that?
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iamtryingtopick: the connection stalled over here.
iamtryingtopick: hey did you tell me your zodiac sign?
wlauragibson: i am not hip on that stuff. i feel so naked saying it cause i have no idea what it could mean to you
iamtryingtopick: how do you feel about our conversations?
wlauragibson: i am really curious about how i will continue to process the idea of them and the actual content
wlauragibson: i think it's really incredible that this is possible
wlauragibson: i just read your article, connected with some things and wrote about it and now we're just talking
wlauragibson: it just makes my head swim in a very fantastic way
wlauragibson: how do you feel?
iamtryingtopick: it's been feeling to me like we haven't been connecting that much.
iamtryingtopick: in fact over the weekend i was thinking the piece would end up being all our emails about trying to connect, get started, finish ...
iamtryingtopick: when it was seeming to me like we were not going to finish.
wlauragibson: what had you envisioned it to be, what had you hoped for
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iamtryingtopick: crashed again.
wlauragibson: that fits
iamtryingtopick: you had said
it just makes my head swim in a very fantastic way
iamtryingtopick: all my prefs got trashed.
iamtryingtopick: now i am hearing these awful alert sounds.
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iamtryingtopick: crashed again.
wlauragibson: just because i am marveling at the vehicle for our conversations does not mean i feel like we are connecting
wlauragibson: i feel estranged and have expressed such throughout the conversation, perhaps shown most clearly in apprehension
wlauragibson: there are moments when i think we understand each other
iamtryingtopick: okay, yeah, i'll buy that.
wlauragibson: and there are moments when it is strange
iamtryingtopick: see, that seems emblematic of my interactions with sag's.
wlauragibson: who is sag's
iamtryingtopick: i'm really into signs.
wlauragibson: it's the assumption that i do not agree with you that makes us different
iamtryingtopick: you are saying i assume that you do not agree with me?
iamtryingtopick: if that is true, then see, we are not connecting again, because i have never assumed you do not agree with me
wlauragibson: i am projecting that whatever i say will seem contrived or like i'm just agreeing with you because you are saying it
wlauragibson: so i would rather say nothing
iamtryingtopick: do you have this problem with other people?
wlauragibson: not really
wlauragibson: but i know the people i talk to on AIM
iamtryingtopick: i don't think that would make a difference.
wlauragibson: i wish it wasn't ending up like this
wlauragibson: i think we could get along
iamtryingtopick: we are not not getting along, laura!
iamtryingtopick: we are connecting about not connecting!
wlauragibson: well okay i'll try and explain it better
wlauragibson: or more clearly
iamtryingtopick: thank you
iamtryingtopick: the font you use makes it look like "more dearly"
wlauragibson: i think it is my insecurity about my art right now, the direction for my show, that is playing into this, so i'm sorry for that
iamtryingtopick: i wish you would stop apologizing.
wlauragibson: i think interactions and collaboration are important for my art and life right now
wlauragibson: i am wondering if you still feel like we are not connecting
iamtryingtopick: it's not really that
iamtryingtopick: this could go on forever
iamtryingtopick: without a climax
iamtryingtopick: i'd like a climax
wlauragibson: god, so would i
wlauragibson: what should we do/
wlauragibson: it's been 3.5 hours
iamtryingtopick: good god. i'm going to be editing this
iamtryingtopick: i gotta go
wlauragibson: fuck i wish things
wlauragibson: i wish i could at least look you in the eye or hug you or something
wlauragibson: if i ever do meet you it's going to be so weird
iamtryingtopick: no it won't be
iamtryingtopick: or maybe it will
wlauragibson: yeah you're doubting it
wlauragibson: it depends on how we end it
iamtryingtopick: cuz it seems like maybe we are on different pages again, because i started to feel close to you
iamtryingtopick: you talked about wanting to look me in the eye or hug
wlauragibson: i think you are
iamtryingtopick: and i think that made me feel really warm
wlauragibson: that's really all i want right now, and i'm not just saying that
wlauragibson: did i lose you?
wlauragibson: do you need to go?
iamtryingtopick: hours ago
wlauragibson: me too
wlauragibson: i need to ride home
iamtryingtopick: i need to look at your pic again
iamtryingtopick: substitute for looking in the eye
wlauragibson: i'll do the same
iamtryingtopick: my dad just called
iamtryingtopick: i'm lecturing him about astrology
iamtryingtopick: bye laura.
iamtryingtopick: i'm deciding
wlauragibson: good bye
iamtryingtopick: to still feel close to you
wlauragibson: thank you