Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Later in life

My live sculpture went very well. I was a live Christmas tree. I wore a green dress and green shoes and stood in a tree stand, while my friend painted me green, strung lights and decorations around me and hung ornaments in my hair. I held myself in that position for about 45 minutes, I could have gone longer but I didn't want to miss the other acts going on. The event was actually quite fun. There was a good turn out but there were more performers than non-performers so it wound up feeling like this event just for us.

I danced, I got to be in a fashion show (my first), I ate a shit-load of sweet potatoes, and I walked around with sick sticky green paint on my body for a while (I still gave out hugs anyway). So YES!! Too bad it was negative three that night.

Anyway, the holidays are troubling me. Only because I get to see all of my family and eat good food, and laugh, and work, and get good sleep and then it all ends and my sister has to go away again and then I get sad. Her flight left at about 6 this morning...

I've been productive. I've been embroidering, crocheting, sewing, writing, and reading like mad. Partly because of my portfolio and the other part because I'm behind on Christmas presents...sorry dudes, you know who you are. I haven't forgotten, I just suck.

I've been on this website religiously for the past three weeks:


I've also been reading The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. She's a book and paper artist based out of Chicago. She graduated from SAIC and now teaches at Columbia. Some of her work:

From The Three Incestuous Sisters (one of my favorite books)

Also from The Three Incestuous Sisters

...my mother almost named me Madison

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Almost there...

It's about 2 o'clock in the morning and I'm still working out the details of my live sculpture. I'm thinking that it will end up being more along the lines of an actual, proper performance. I'm nervous. It doesn't help that I went back to Redmoon earlier and most of the folks there kept telling me that they couldn't wait to see what I come up with. Eeeep.

What has helped me is this artist named Bea Camacho. She does these wonderful crocheted and knitted sculptural pieces that are about isolation, concealment and self-preservation. She did this 11 hour durational piece called Enclose, in which she crocheted a huge cocoon for herself out of red yarn.

Bea Camacho, Extensions

Bea Camacho, Enclose

I am really tired. I'm going to take a short nap and then get back to work. I learned a lot this semester but obviously not how to manage time.

Thursday, December 18, 2008


I'm performing at my friend's event this Sunday. It's called The Hibernation Celebration and it's a benefit for her theater company, The Inconvenience. There's going to be bands playing, live paintings, solo puppeteers, and a live sculpture from me. I'm putting all of this unnecessary pressure on myself...but I shouldn't be. I just want to have fun.

Speaking of pressure, I haven't done any of my holiday shopping yet. Yikes. I'm also a little behind on all of the gifts I'm making. I miss my sister. I miss California. I have bad cramps.

Monday, December 15, 2008

I hate getting myself so angry about things. Especially if there's nothing I can do about it immediatley. I had all of these plans to do constructive things when I got home but all I can do right now is sit and stew over this. I really want to believe that people are generally good but it's moments like this that make me lose faith in people.

It was fucking cold outside today.

ok...things that make me happy...

How I felt today:

Thursday, December 11, 2008


It's been a rough week. I completely underestimated the work I had to do and I kinda waited until the near-last minute. The result: long hours of work at night and minimal amounts of sleep. I am pretty ok with this because I have like two days left to suffer through...plus the work I'm doing is something I actually enjoy.

My finals have been fine, except for sculpture which was kind of a joke. I'm not sure if I passed my Western Music exam but I got to fill out that lovely evaluation, which was only secondary to giving him a nice tongue lashing.

I plan to keep my blog, so I will say "goodbye" by deleting the posts that I feel are arbitrary.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2 reasons why I should have been a dancer.

Akram Khan Company & National Ballet of China

The Peeping Tom Collective
Le Sous Sol

I am obsessed with movement and strong bodies and the feeling of having so much control. Plus they look like they're having so much fun! I have a slight problem with picking up on choreography, though.

My final performance is moving along. Of course I changed a bunch of things last minute and now I have to tweak all the movements to fit my concept. I got a little lost there for a second. I get kind of worried about whether or not my work is "interesting" or if people will respond to it. I think I've been really careful of not being too reliant on media or repetition to carry my piece. I'm sure that all will go well, if I play things honestly.

Critique week is fucking me up. This whole not having class thing has somehow put in my mind that I'm already on break, making it extremely difficult for me to get on the ball with my million other projects. I've even deviated from the schedule I've layed out for myself and I fear that I might have to conclude this semester with a week of no sleep. I am sooo looking forward to Christmas.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving thanks, Channel surfing, Salad, and Mark

Thanksgiving was good. I spent it at my Aunt's house with my Mother, Brother, and Step Father. Most of my Mom's siblings were there. I pretty much spent the entire time in my Aunt's master bedroom channel surfing... which was fine with me because I've been looking forward to doing nothing for a while...plus she has cable television which is a luxury we cannot afford at my house.

It was good to be around family but it was also very sad. Most of them looked so much older and smaller and it made me very aware of how temporary family gatherings can be. I have my Aunt's laughter stuck in my head.

What I Ate:
large amounts of wonderful salad
3 catfish fillets
2 slices of chocolate cake
A slice of carrot cake
A slice of red velvet cake
tortilla chips

What I Watched:
3 part documentary on Warhol's Silver Factory
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Biography: Alan Alda
Biography: Melissa Gilbert
The Notebook (YES!!!)
Robot Chicken

I'm really losing my mind over this performance final. I had this set idea but after doing some research I feel my mind is changing. I'm still trying to figure out how to fight a stereotype while performing it...and if removing the "fourth wall" helps. Right now I'm just concerned about protecting myself, how I'll honestly feel when it's all said and done, and if I'll do a good job at conveying a message without being didactic or preachy.

I researched Mark Ryden the other day. I like his paintings because I feel like there is a very interesting narrative behind each one. I also like that he continues to use a set amount of symbols in his work like raw meat, Jesus, children, alchemy, Abe Lincoln, Satan, and rabbits. I tried to find an interview in which he explained some of his symbolism but all the interviews I found where silly and they asked arbitrary questions like, "What do you do for fun?"

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Incredible Feats of Puppetry

Saturday night I went to see the Winter Pageant Redux at Redmoon Theater. Going back to Redmoon made me feel a little lonely because I miss them all so very much and I just wanted to hop on stage and play along with them. The objects were beautiful and well made. There were wonderful light up fish puppets and strange amphibian masks and a huge scuba diving suit. I had “snow” thrown at me, water squirted in my face and occasionally one of the puppeteers would scream out “MAEGAN!”

I left feeling a little betrayed that Redmoon had moved on without me but at least I got to see everyone again.

Redmoon's Winter Pageant Redux

Incidentally I saw Blair Thomas’s show the week before at the MCA. The Ox Herder’s Tale. During pre-show my friend and I chatted in the lobby and every time Blair walked past us, we’d stop talking and just sort of stare at him. He, of course, had no idea who he we were but was nice enough when we introduced ourselves after the show. I was completely embarrassed and shy, so I spoke to him while looking at my hands but he kept repeating my name and his hand was warm and soft when he shook mine.

Blair Thomas's The Ox Herder's Tale

The show was unique, not exactly what I was expecting. There were some very powerful moments that really resonated with me like the life-size magician puppet walking in slow motion through the air and the appearance of the raging bull on stilts.

Afterwards I talked puppet business with the ladies and then went home to enjoy a lovely grapefruit.

I am very much looking forward to the upcoming break. I don’t think I’ve been taking care of myself emotionally and physically the way that I should be…I’ve pulled way too many all-nighters and have lately been held up in my house. It would be nice to eat REAL food and hang out with my family. Plus…my Aunt promised to make me a salad!!!


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Skin Art

Artist Ariana Page Russell explains:

"My own skin frequently blushes and swells. I have dermatographia, a condition in which one's immune system exhibits hypersensitivity, via skin, that releases excessive amounts of histamine, causing capillaries to dilate and welts to appear (lasting about thirty minutes) when the skin's surface is lightly scratched. This allows me to painlessly draw patterns and words on my skin, which I then photograph."

Though my initial reaction to this was "eww", (I thought it was one of those deals where she carved her lover's name into her skin) I think it's actually pretty cool. I'm always fascinated by people who take what would normally be considered an irregularity about themselves and turn it into a strength.

She also does these wallpaper cut outs that are made entirely out of skin. How? I don't know. I like it, although it kind of gives me the willies.

Fuck...I'm totally supposed to be working on my Jenny Holzer response. Anyway, Her other stuff:

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

critiques, crafts, and pretty pictures

I've been feeling incredibly uninterested in the work I've been doing. I'm experiencing a disconnect. I had a semi-awful critique the other day but a part of me is glad it happened. It was for a project in my sculpture class. I was told that my artwork tends to be very feminine and "crafty". I would have been less bothered if it wasn't said with such dripping disgust.

I don't want to become the stereotypical girl who always produces work relating to the female body and identity...but it's hard because that's what interests me the most. But anyway, that critique was helpful...I realized that it's time for me to experiment with new mediums. I want to try something difficult and I don't really care if I fail or not because at least I stopped doing what's familiar.

Lilly Piri

Travis Louie

Meg Hunt

On a side note, my western music class is becoming ridiculous. I seem to have inherited the role of class bitch. I'm really frustrated with everyone else because no one will speak up and say how they honestly feel...even though by 10:30, half the class is asleep.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Midterms, Marina, and Me.

I tend to do very bodily focused/political/feminist work and it’s just now become something I accept about myself. I felt guilty about if for a while because I feel like it’s a very easy subject to tackle if you’re a woman…and it’s hard to do it well. Someone could basically make a piece saying “This is sexist, this is sexist, this is sexist…” and it would be considered feminist. My interest in feminism is more internal. I like to think about bodies…about my body in relation to other people and about how other people’s bodies relate to each other. Sexuality fits in somewhere, though I’m not quite sure where…or maybe I am sure and I’m just too embarrassed to say.

Easily, my 15 minute performance could be interpreted as a feminist piece and I’m not saying that that’s wrong or bad but it was something I didn’t necessarily consider. Of course, seeing a woman tied up and screaming is going to bring a lot of politics in to the room. It was a very personal piece. I stepped out of a lot of comfort zones, though looking back on it, I feel like I could have pushed myself a bit more. It was awkward to sing in front of people and to partially undress myself, and to show off that picture of my brother. I feel/felt like I revealed too much but somehow it was OK because everyone understood it was a midterm.

The “90 degree turn” in my performance was when I started screaming. I knew that I wanted to do it and it was cathartic but once I started, it was hard to stop myself from crying.

Marina Abramovic

I have been told by a trusted friend that my performance was Marina Abramovic- esque. Again, I’m not bothered by this. I like her work. Someone was telling me about a piece of hers where she lay on the floor of a gallery and just screamed constantly until her voice gave out and that signified the end of her performance. A lot of her work tends to be about physically pushing her body until it gives out. I don’t foresee myself really exploring that avenue because I have a very low tolerance for pain but I’m glad she does it.

Article 1:

Article 2:

Also origins:

Duct Tape



I don't know what I'll be doing in five weeks. I would be worried if I did. I had this amazing, grand performance final planned out in the beginning of the semester and now it seems sort of shallow and unoriginal. I still have a lot of figuring out to do.

...p.s- there was no way I could have squeezed seven paragraphs out of this. I mean, I could have but it would have been bullshit. I love my blog too much to post bullshit

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dame Darcy and Dream Operator

Dame Darcy is Rad. She's a graphic novelist/comic book artist/doll maker based out of San Francisco. I fell in love with her after picking up a collection of her comics called MeatCake. The cast of characters in meat cake include a two headed woman, a werewolf, a human pez dispenser, a promiscuous mermaid, and a lady named Richard. Awesome. She also did a graphic novelization of Jane Eyre (one of my favorite books.)

I found this on youtube (god bless it). It's a scene from one of my favorite movies...and it's one of my favorite songs from when I was a lass. Not to mention the clothes are rad. Enjoy.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


The Breasts Project wound up being kind of a disaster. I feel like I invested a lot of time and money into it but in the end it felt very shallow...and I forgot why I did it in the first place. It had to do with a lot of things like time constraints and the dynamic between my collaborative partner and I but instead of talking everything out, I just soaked in all the negativity like a sponge.

I'm working on a new project for my sculpture class in relation to breasts again...this time by myself. While doing research, I came across these pictures that I absolutely adore. My favorite is the one with the mouse traps...booby trap, I think it's called.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Peter and the Wolf

I can't wait until this is released.

Monday, October 6, 2008


I am currently working on a collaborative project about breasts in which my partner and I paint our breasts and stamp them repeatedly on fabric. I have been told by several people that this is in the spirit of Yves Klein....I don't know how I feel about that. Though I do like this video....

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Time alone...

Sitting for an hour was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I, of course wanted an excuse to sit and do nothing for an hour but I had to restrain myself from drinking tea. I focused on how I felt physically; I tried to elongate my breath. My seat was cold. My feet were cold. I tried not to think about all the work that I have to do…though, in actuality I knew I was just being overly anxious. I thought about the weather, the changing season and how it’s affecting me. I like the current state of the weather. The slight chill in the air and the grayness is romantic and it allows me to wear layers but there’s an underlying sadness to it all. I feel rushed. I feel like I need to hurry and do all of the outdoor things that I want to do before winter appears and terrorizes my life for the next nine months. I am one of those people that need sunshine and heat in order to feel free and happy. I could never handle coldness well.

Back to my hour alone… I drifted in an out of consciousness. A few times I was close to falling asleep. It was very relaxing yet also filled me with anxiety over the things that I felt I should be doing. I cheated once and removed a book from my table. I eventually sat with my arms crossed to avoid any further temptation. I wish sitting alone for an hour wasn’t something that was such a chore for me. I wish I found the time to do it more often.