It is 2.30 am and I am working on revising an overdue exhibition write-up and charging the trusty Flip camera (which I use to record Visual Pond ARTiculation videos) for an artist interview I'm doing tomorrow.
While sleep is probably the best option for now given that I have to be up at 5 hours for morning tennis in Manila's humid summer weather, my thoughts are wandering about, such as:
(1) what is the topic of my next column?
I have done some initial research on doing an article asking how exactly viable is video art here as a collected art form. I need to conduct more interviews though and given my schedule for the week, it's not going to make it for the art's section Friday deadline. Granted that there isn't always space every week, I have committed to myself to writing for my column more often - ideally submitting every time a piece gets published. It may be 1-3 weeks sometimes before it comes to print but as long as I keep on writing and submitting after each one gets published, I'll be maximizing my productivity. I may really have to skip out on submitting this week though with several deadlines on my plate to Monday.
Another possible article idea was struck by reading this article in the New York Times a few weeks back. It was a review of an exhibition featuring artists from a certain country and the author questioned the necessity to package it as so, given how borderless/global we are now. I do agree at least with the point of questioning it, which has led to reflections of how sometimes I may be pigeonholing myself here with "Philippine art"/"Philippine art scene" and I would say that "I" is actually "we" - there are certainly a lot like me. I could probably rattle off some things right now that have been meandering in my head on this though I'm not sure if these thoughts are ready for an article yet. Perhaps it may ok to blog about them to start putting some form to it but I'm afraid of committing verbal diarrhea (as I think all of us online should be) or people mistaking initial musings as something definitive. Anyway, there is an upcoming symposium in Amsterdam on visual culture and national identity that I'm sure would help tease these thoughts out but if only funds were that free-flowing that I could just jet to Europe for a 2-day symposium, no problem!
(2) gosh, if those of us in the arts had a dollar for every time someone told us or at least thought to himself/herself, "But I could do that!", we'd probably have a lot of money...
How many times have I heard it or it's been said to me? Perhaps also this could be another article idea - to address this thinking that like it or not, those of us in the arts have to face that's how many - even perhaps majority - outside of the arts think. I have actually entertained writing about this for many years now but at times I wonder if writing about it will only be futile. Do the people who think and say that actually read the newspaper's art section? The people who read it, I would assume, are already those in the arts who have already bridged that kind of thinking. A couple of years back, I wrote a paper in university on what curating is, what does a curator do and converted it to article form and published it in my column. It addressed the questions I get very often, given that people I'm meeting for the first time usually ask me to explain when they ask me about my occupation. I still get those questions all the time certainly - that's to be expected - but I wonder if writing and publishing it actually made a difference to one reader or another. I wasn't expecting people to email me saying "Ok, now I understand what curating is" but, of course, again you can't help but wonder.
Though I do think answering "But I could do that!" would also be a challenging exercise.
(3) blog revamp
As some of you might have noticed it, I changed my blog from "Articipation" to "Art Matters" ("matters" here is a noun and not a verb. The verb version is too much "carry the torch" advocacy for me). I want to stop with the cutesy play on the word "art" at this point - the ARTiculation contemporary video art series probably being the last for a while - and just make it straightforward. The blog is on art matters, particularly where I detail my projects, exhibitions and writings. My column in Star stays with the same name for consistency's sake and also, I don't mind that name at all really for the column. I meant "Articipation" as a play on the word "anticipation," a curious feeling that I believe pervades the art scene and contemporary art in particular. Yet, to have my blog under the same name is a little too much. "Art Matters" seems to simplify things for me.
A bit of change in colors - those who've been checking the past couple of weeks or so would have noticed. I think I'm trying to make it not just sound but look more straightforward.
A pang of regret - I'm wondering why years ago I decided to put this blog with this writelisawrite blog address rather than something simpler like my name? The reason then, however, I didn't make the address something like lisachiki.blogspot.com or lisachikiamco.blogspot.com is that my last name is misspelled so often. It is very hard for most people to get it right.
Still, I am tempted actually to move the whole blog now to an address of my name although this seems complicated. And well, really, what is an address if a blog is serving its purpose?
(4) quotes/citation confusion/"o" vs. "ou"
Some may notice that for the past couple of years, I sometimes may be using single quotes rather than double quotes that are de rigueur in American-style writing. Also, I sometimes may switch into putting punctuations outside of the quotes, rather than inside. This is, of course, a product of studying/having studied in an Australian institution which follows a different system for using quotes or citations. I actually still prefer the Australian system - single quotes look so much cleaner; putting the punctuation outside the quote makes a lot more sense in many cases - but I'm trying to get back into the habit of using double quotes, at least for my newspaper/magazine articles. Yet, by habit, I do get confused and become inconsistent at times. Luckily, my article is double-checked and edited for this before it goes to print.
I also do have to consciously pause myself for the spelling of certain words - i.e. "color" vs. "colour." I actually got so used to the British kind of spelling that it has been difficult to switch. Shallow things such as these give me an inkling on what it must be like for first and second generation immigrants to go through a cultural identity crisis.
Ok, enough meanderings! Time to sleep.