Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sleepless start

My first post is the result of an unusual bout of insomnia. At 2:30 am, I recall why I have pointedly NOT chosen to drink coffee--even through the intensities of undergraduate and graduate art study. Caffeine is unpredictable in my body, and so this lover of sleep who nestled so easily under the covers much, much earlier finds herself wide awake at 2:30am--and in final decision of what I should call this pesky blogging idea that will not disappear despite my rationalizations over why I should NOT start blogging--
1. too little time
2. perhaps too consuming (THIS as I warily eye my piles and piles of journals begun when I learned to write and only slightly tapering off post the birth of my first child three years ago--yes I have a predilection to record and just how far will my impulses take me into the dratted blogosphere, that slippery slope of self creation/invention?)
3. isn't a piece of paper and the perfectly selected pen just NICER? (after all I am a painter who paints mostly because of a love affair with the stuff itself)
4. and well, what would I even call the whole endeavor to begin with anyway? (so can't get that blog going for now, better make another drawing or maybe fold the laundry)

Thank you singular cup of coffee drunk at 9am this morning. And thank you Alexander for waking me up in the first place.

I'm calling the blog studio index because I'm interested in a place to
log/record/gather/view
ALL the supporting
ideas/images/flickering clarities and non-clarities/tangents/addendums/musings/notes/words/bits
that pass through my studio over the course of any given day--whether I am actually IN my studio or not--because very simply I want to know what it all means. About a year ago I tried this idea out through another gathering of images called the index project--which now physically comprises more than two-hundred pages of Xeroxed sketchbook pages, Xeroxed notes, quick collages, fragments of colored paper and other studio ephemera. You can view some pictures of the index project above. I wrote about this project awhile ago:

Indexical Record
Fascinated by the exuberant, hearty rhythms of my studio life, and convinced of
the significance of ALL studio activity (however informal) I’m many months into a
project loosely titled the index project—as it is an indexical record of my work’s
supporting imagery and ideas. the index project is an attempt to gather together and
privilege the generally private, unconsidered outer reaches of my studio life, as well as
the full range of images moving through my thoughts in the course of working.

Physically, the project comprises more than two-hundred pages of Xeroxed
sketchbook pages, Xeroxed notes, quick collages, fragments of colored paper and other
studio ephemera. The pages are not bound, thereby allowing for easy reshuffling as new
pages arise. Materially, my use of the Xerox machine is a way of unifying the
disparate pages in size, but it’s also a relevant conceptual tool. The Xerox machine’s facility in quick, easy reproduction, its informality, and its ease in making endless amounts of images allow me to generate pages swiftly—emphasizing accumulation and inclusion instead of edited selection. I am interested in the paradox of locating comprehension within the nearly incomprehensible glut of imagery and ideas permeating the index project. As more pages are generated, and the loose bundle of paper comprising Index is reshuffled, might a kind of “order” emerge amidst the scattered, fragmentary accumulation?

It seems to me that a blog format is actually nicely suited to this whole exploration--maybe a bit better actually than the Xerox machine.

3 comments:

robert said...

You see, the blog format allows us all to comment and make ourselves a part of your index experience.

I understand your reservations. I hate the word "blog," for one thing. It is such an awkward, bloated, ugly word. I prefer "journal," "diary"...

"memoir."

The idea of your having a blog, though, is appealing to me on many, many levels.
1. I am thoroughly fascinated with your work, and it allows me greater access to it and to the artist herself.
2. I am excited (already) about the commonalities we share as brother and sister that I might not have already been aware of, such as our unique reactions to caffeine (it does a number on me, certainly).
3. It is nice to know that I can always get to know you better.
4. I miss you greatly, and this makes that easier to bear.
5. I am also a fan of you as a writer, probably because we share some sort of genetic synaptic similarity and process the world in some of the same unique ways.

All that to say, yay Barb's blog! I'm for it.

garima said...

barbara, for me you are the one who has always affirmed "the significance of ALL studio activity (however informal)". we have never quite talked about it that way though... i've always admired your work for showcasing the informal; i saw the index project at the greenhill.
it's been a few months since graduation and i haven't completed any work since then. lots of ideas--yes--but left incomplete, part of separate lives and identities. all kinds of lists float around me. i need a photocopier of my own!

Barbara Campbell Thomas said...

Oh yeah to hearing from you both--keep reading and talking to me!