I’m Too Hot to Make Art!

How to Mix Koolaid and Alcohol (detail)

As temperatures rise above 95 degrees, I’m hot, bothered and bewildered by everything!  At Mana I wish I had a skateboard just so I can, at least, occasionally, feel the wind go through my hair as I glide down the endless hallway to the bathroom, to the sink or even, gasp, the elevator. In my studio there’s plenty to keep me occupied but with the heat I have lost the energy; besides every time I go to retrieve anything from the floor, my head feels as though it will explode, what to do, I distract myself; I snack on junk, drink and well, breathe deeply.

I finally check my email too, well jus because. A fellow artist has emailed me a bunch of quotes attributed to Robert Rauschenberg, who we both like. The most famous quote now being “painting relates to both art and life. Neither can be made-I try to act in the gap,” Seriously, this is right up there with, nature abhors a vacuum, but I like it anyway. I read on, “You begin with the possibilities of the material,” says one, awesome can’t have enough material!  Another says, “screwing things up is a virtue,”  and yet another “an empty canvas is full,” no shit. Sufficiently  amused now, I think how much things have changed from Rauschenberg’s time, we have listicles, pics, texts, chats and gifs and the field has been leveled or at least imploded. We are all experts of sorts and quotes now are best as attention getters for marketing campaigns or as a subheading for blogs.

How to Mix Koolaid and Alcohol

A few years ago when Louise Bourgeois was still alive she would have weekend salons open to the public. I attended one Sunday afternoon and her assistant advised us that when we see her, she prefers that we all in unison say, “holy cow”, just to break the ice and get things going and this worked too, because we would all start talking as she savored chocolates that were offered to her, a favored treat of hers. Maybe, quotes serve the same purpose, they’re ice breakers, they get the juices flowing but leave much unsaid. With so little time for long reads, quotes are easy, short exchanges to something and like snacks are cheap!  Here are a few, feel free to add your own here.

  • Deconstruction is another form of iteration
  • Engineers are the new creatives
  • You can’t iterate your way out of a problem
  • Nature is not natural anymore
  • Robots need to be taxed
  • Nanos have souls
  • Economies of scale are delusional
  • Mashups don’t have a pattern
  • Chaos has its own normal
  • Blogs are under 500 words, otherwise they’re essays

By Olga Alexander

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