a little ice cream helps the art go down

As you may recall, I don't have a lot of time these days to make art. Or you could argue I'm not disciplined enough with the little bit of time I do have. That's a fair argument. To which I respond, "It's my kids' fault!" I go from my full-time day job to my main moonlighting gig as toddler-wrangler, kitchen cleaner-upper, tushy-wiper, bedtime story-reader, and lullaby-singer from about 5 until about 8 or 8:30 every evening. After that I spend about a half-hour doing "chores" - making lunches, doing laundry, and so on. So yes, technically I do have about 30 minutes to an hour each evening all to myself (I go to bed early because sleep is important, especially after many years of being chronically sleep-deprived, and because my early morning workout is non-negotiable). I guess I could do something with that time.

This past Monday, for example, I caught up with a friend from grad school (Elizabeth Amento) during the last evening of her show at LESS SPACE in Oakland. But this sort of evening shenanigan is highly unusual. Most nights I prefer to watch TV while eating popcorn and chocolate, after which I read, on average, about 3 pages of my current book before falling asleep. Sometimes I throw in some half-assed yoga poses while watching TV.

I don't mean to complain. I love my kids and I'm so glad I have them. I wouldn't change a thing. But they do make making art extra challenging given I'm a FTWM these days (you could argue it's actually the work that makes making art tricky but to write about the decadent luxury that making art would be at this time in my life would constitute a whole 'nother post). Which is frustrating because, for the first time in nearly 7 years, I have a pretty concrete idea for a new body of work. Paintings, even. I know, right?! Alas, I don't have the time or space to make them just yet. In the meantime, there's plenty of research/prep I can tackle (research that, conveniently, includes watching some TV and a handful of movies). I've also been doing a lot of writing not yet published on this blog, and I'm trying to pull together a more participatory art project that stems from this half-baked idea - in other words, projects I can chip away at without an actual studio space or a whole lot of time.

For the latter, I've been thinking a bit more about social practice, looking at artists like Miranda July (which won't come as a surprise if you read my last post), Harrell Fletcher, Julie Ault, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, and David Robbins. Robbins' long-term, multi-platform project Ice Cream Social has been a project I've looked to in the past. There's something about meshing the act of looking at art with the social aspects of food as something that brings people together in often celebratory ways that's very appealing to me these days. It reminds me of one of my thesis-related trips to London to view the Elgin Marbles.

While there, we saw Shakespeare's Othello at the Globe Theatre, and afterward enjoyed one of many soft-serve cones from a food truck parked nearby (I lost count of how many of these we had during that trip).

These memories are so intertwined, not just because of chronology and geographical proximity. It's like the memory of the play is inextricably linked with my memories of eating ice cream, perhaps even enhanced by it! Food for me has always been key to triggering memories. So I like this relationship between food and art, perhaps not unlike how salad dressing, it turns out, can actually help your body absorb more nutrients from the vegetables in your salad. You follow me? At any rate, I feel it's a hypothesis worth further investigation.

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