Thursday, May 1, 2008

elements final

at one point this past semester, i was at a pretty strange state with my elements stuff. i was working to push it from a more personal place, yet still keep it something that anyone could access and find meaning in. i finished the floor plan project before spring break, and knew that when i came back i would have to decide: do i keep pursuing the yellow? on one hand, i didn't want to milk it too far past its point. (and people in class were starting to get pissed.) on the other hand, when you get to a stopping point like that with art that you've been working on for a long time, it can also mean that you should keep pushing. because what if a major breakthrough was just a few steps away?

like i usually do on breaks, i brought a big stack of books back to tackle. and there was one i had been wanting to delve back into for awhile, heart of darkness. this book was one of the contributing factors in coming to mica. i was reading it in ap english when i came for the open house here last spring. and after driving around baltimore at night, i somehow convinced myself that the decision to come here was like choosing between a life of apathy and action. (and i guess it kind of was...) so i picked the book back up, and grabbed a different color pen than the one i had used a year ago, wondering what i would pull from it this time around. (heart of darkness is one of those wonderful books that never gets old. despite only being like 100 pages, you could spend a lifetime over analyzing every line. which is my favorite thing to do.)

it wasn't so much about imperialism anymore. that was too obvious. too typical an interpretation. not too far into it, i found this:
"there was a vast amount of red - good to see at any time, becase one knows that some real work is done in there, a deuce of a lot of blue, a little green, smears of orange, and, on the east coast, a purple patch, to show where the jolly pioneers of progress drink the jolly lager-beer. however, i wasn't going into any of these. i was going into the yellow. dead in the center."
i almost didn't catch it at first. the yellow.

i've learned to listen a lot more to random signs like that. (i tried explaining it to my roommate, tara, today. it's not skepticism at all. it's more of a belief in a greater meaning manifesting itself in everyday things. things you could totally overlook. unless you tune into it.) so, stubbornly, i stuck with the yellow. but it had a totally new meaning. which was important. because somewhere along the line i had stopped making art about what really mattered to me. and I found myself lost in a line of yellow projects. when i really get down to it, i need to make art about what i'm thinking. and my thoughts have been consumed for so long with baltimore. and that is where i end with elements this second semester. i say “end,” but it is really just the beginning of these baltimore/yellow explorations that, because they are so engrained in my thoughts, i know won’t be able to stop scratching at when the class is done.

two down, three to go.

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