This past year I began writing for KQED Arts, where I write mostly about art and digital culture. It’s been fun and a great way to write about broader topics for a wider audience!
Miranda July’s newest project We Think Alone is true to her oeuvre and interest in the way we do, or do not, connect with one another. But We Think Alone has less of July’s direct voice, as the project is her forwarding you emails from some of her famous friend and acquaintances. Take a peak here.
I also wrote a piece looking at some of the implications of celebrity Kickstarter campaigns and Amazon’s newest venture Amazon Fine Art where you can literally buy a Norman Rockwell for over $4.5 million.
For the Reverse Rehearsals exhibition I co-curated at Southern Exposure it seemed only fitting that we make some sort of publication to gather together all of the writing and visual works. Artist and writer Matthew Gordon
and I used this as an opportunity to collaborate. We are both active writers and makers so many of our conversations revolve around the ways these practices intersect. It seemed like the perfect project for us to work on together.
In the past year, Matt and I were both impacted by significant losses in our families, my grandmother and his grandfather. Surprisingly, both deaths triggered a generative chapter for us, particularly for Matt who discovered his grandfather had been a closeted, prolific writer. He has been writing considerably from the stacks of index cards his grandfather ceaselessly used to record his thoughts and musings over many years. Matt and I decided to create a collaborative imprint to work under called Harry and Ernie after our grandparents, with the idea that these sorts of personal losses can give way to creating and producing many more things in the future.
The process was more laborious and exhausting than we expected but we were thrilled with the results. Here are some quick shots of the final product.
A couple of years ago I joined Hyphen Magazine as the Artwell Section Editor. Hyphen is a niche indie pub, which focuses on Asian American politics and culture. It’s a beautiful print and online magazine that, remarkably, is all volunteer-run. To be honest, I’ve never really experienced an organization like Hyphen. For over a decade, Hyphen staffers (who I might add, all have full-time jobs and lives) have dedicated themselves to Asian American news with unprecedented passion, vigor and generosity. All to produce this magazine. And not one person is paid. Repeat. Not one person is paid.
I approached Hyphen because I wanted an opportunity to practice refining my voice towards one that was more mainstream and accessible. I love academia but am constantly frustrated by how aloof the language can be. I also wanted to be able to write about topics that weren’t necessarily art (hello tv and pop culture) or art for an “art world” audience. The art world has a way of speaking about itself to itself, which has its place but I find tedious and ineffective after a while.
I’ve learned a lot about all the things you’d expect, publishing, editing, writing, non-profit orgs that run on “passion,” but have mostly felt so honored, and often in awe of the endless generosity these folks give in their time and talent. This is a labor that is fundamentally rooted in activism. Perhaps not to change policy but to educate, take back the media and contextualize our culture in our own terms. It’s been quite a ride.
Since I started, I’ve been a part of many issues of Hyphen, written about lots of different topics and had the privilege of editing for so many fantastic writers. Following are a smattering of past pieces published in print and/or online. Wafaa Yasin is a brilliant performance/video artist who I’ve written about before, but here’s a short piece published in Issue 25: Generations. Also, we spotlit painter Taravat Talepasand’s beautiful and powerful works in Issue 27: Sex in a six-page printed spread! Occasionally I review music as in the SF band Largesse or Adam WarRock. Sometimes films. Take a peak if you have a sec!
The final stage of Reverse Rehearsals involved 7 amazing writers who came in wrote pieces inspired by the built sets. The closing event including a lovely reading…here are some shots. It was quite an privilege to have worked with all of these talented artists and writers in this experimental and cross-disiplinary experiment!
Here are some shots of the completed sets built by Terry Berlier, Patrick Gillespie and Julie Henson filled with the works of Maria Porges, Weston Teruya and Jenene Nagy!
Nathan Lynch and I co-curated an exhibition that I’m really excited about called Reverse Rehearsals, at Southern Exposure. We were working with the idea of reverse engineering a play (sans the play). The project was iterative, happening in three stages involving 13 fantastic artists and writers.
We started by inviting artists Patrick Gillespie, Terry Berlier and Julie Henson to build “sets” in the space. The only guidelines were that other artists and writers would engage with their “sets” in some
Next, artists Weston Teruya, Maria Porges and Jenene Nagy built “props for the sets.
And finally, 7 writers were invited to respond to the completed installations. The entire project culminated with an amazing evening of readings in the space. The writers were Dodie Bellamy, Victoria Gannon, Susan Gevirtz, Kari Marboe, Pam Martin, Kyle Metzner and Michael Swaine.
Here are some install shots of the first stage…!
Last year I was honored to be one of the 2011 Kala Fellows along with eight other amazing artists: Randy Colosky, Alison OK Frost, Seth Koen, Vanessa Marsh, Sandra Ono, Francesca Pastine, Lauren Rice and Gail Wight. The exhibition was up July 19-Sep 15 and Vanessa, Sandra, Gail and I gave an artist talk on Sep 15.
Below are some in progress shots of the residency works!