23 August 2014

Baltimore: Second Summer Sweetness!

I returned to Singapore about two weeks ago and immediately started back to teaching preparations, without skipping a beat. My students arrived on Monday--can you believe it? I can't. I can't believe how fast my time in Singapore has gone. This is the beginning of my third and final year teaching here in Southeast Asia. I arrived in July of 2012 and somehow it's almost over!

I spent this past summer in my second year of graduate school in Baltimore. It was a completely happy and productive summer. There was a lot of video making and shows to take part in . . . And lots and lots of friendships solidified.

I am at my happiest when I am in a studio environment surrounded by other creatives. I am relaxed and present and contemplative. It's really the only time I feel like I can totally be myself, and that's probably why I enjoy academia so much.



Being a part of this graduate program at MICA has been nothing short of exciting and invigorating. It's awakened things in me that have been a little dead-ish for the past several years. I've enjoyed most of my adult life, living and working as a full time artist. But things were beginning to feel a bit repetitive and this graduate program is helping to jolt me forward just a bit.

We did so many things this summer, it's almost crazy for me to try and write about everything in one blog post. But I'm going to . . . 

We took a field trip to the countryside. I needed to be outside. Living in Singapore has left me really yearning for the great outdoors. I miss open fields and space--real live space!

We studied art history. Each week we sat in a tiny little freezing cold seminar room looking at slides in the dark for 6 hours. 6 hours! One would think that 6 hours of art history--with limited breaks, mind you--would send me running for the door screaming. Not even. John Penny wove the most interesting stories into what we were looking at that combined history and art in the most unique experience.

We danced. DANCED!! Miguel's dad teaches salsa and miranga classes in Las Vegas. So when he came to see Miguel's thesis talk, he spent an evening teaching a small group of us. It was an absolute blast! 

A group of us went to 4 Hours of Funk at one of the clubs across the street from the Studio Center. Seriously: it was the most packed club I have ever been to and completely worth it. So. Much. Fun.

And finally, the end of summer graduation party . . . So much dancing and socializing and goodness packed into what seemed to be a very quick, wine-and-beer-infused 5 hours!

We conversed. We ate together. We ran errands together. We went to a baseball game together and watched the Baltimore Orioles completely annihilate the Texas Rangers. We talked to each other almost daily after a full day of studio and work, sitting around tables on our dorm patio. We talked about everything. It felt like a family, a creative community. 

We made things. All different types of things. And then we critiqued and polished and analysed those things. Then we made more things.

I spent most of my time in front of a computer or in a studio being dressed by friends. It was great fun, and probably some of the strongest work I've made to date. It's a bit strange to try and relive these projects through still images and videos, but I think you can sort of tell what's happening. Everything was shown looped, so you may need to push play a thousand times. The last piece that I presented I am unable to include because the file is too large. But I tried to throw some images in that showed what it looked like when it was installed. I just adore the image of Tori and I standing in front of it. PS: I love After Effects more than anything in the world right now, and perhaps even more than I love cake icing . . . 


I was at dinner with the Dean of our program last night. She is in Singapore for a conference, so she arranged for a bunch of us to get together. I couldn't stop telling her how magical this graduate program is . . . I feel incredibly lucky to be studying with all of these folks and growing our little creative community together. I can't wait to see everyone in January! And--gulp--next summer I'll be a third year. How time flies!! Cherish everything . . .