My brother, Ryan, and my dad were visiting me at my really cool job. It was some sort of big open fabrication shop. I was really proud of this job, and they were super into the stuff I was showing them.
We went out to the back of the building, which looked like the facade of a large stone castle. There was a turret at the corner, with a large window about 6 feet up. Dope Body was playing in there, and the crowd was below the window, moshing. "He looks kind of cramped up there," Ryan said, pointing at Andrew as he stomped around. He did seem physically larger than I remembered.
We went back inside through a small room padded with colorful gymnastics mats. A young woman in a ponytail was struggling to teach a bunch of toddlers how to be gymnasts.
We went over to a darker part of the shop because we needed to take a nap. The three of us had somehow become a group of 5 or 6 black women and girls. Actually, I was a transvestite, in a long sparkly red dress. My brother was a little girl.
The nap area was made of cheap sheets of plywood merely glued together. After napping awhile, I woke up and decided to play a prank. I was laying on a seam of two of the sheets of wood, and I peed right on the seam. It dissolved the glue, and the whole room came crashing down. I scuttled away for just a moment, leaving poor Ryan to think he had accidentally done it in his sleep. I came back in a few seconds, almost tripping in my heels with laughter, and said, “GOTCHA!” The group of us all laughed. It was somehow not gross or mean at all, and no one was injured.
My aunt Ellen was in town on business and came to visit me. I took her out to this gay bar. I didn’t know any of the guys in there, but they all were super friendly and really stoked to see us, for some reason. When we got to the bar, a bunch of them excitedly decided to write “DARKNESS” in eyeliner pencil on our arms.
Ellen got trashed and was laughing and having a good time. I was having fun, but I kept forgetting my phone and my coat in random places. Ellen told me she was going to go back to her hotel after she finished the beer she was drinking.
Somehow I got caught up in the dance floor and in looking for my stuff that she left without saying goodbye. I hoped she was okay. I found my coat and my phone, figuring she had probably texted me goodbye - but the top part of my flip phone was bent twice in opposite directions.
I tried to call her anyway, with no luck. I flipped my phone shut, and realized the outside of it had become a big bright screen. Some of the guys at the bar and I squinted at it, trying to figure it out. "It’s the prison!" I shouted, as I noticed a man in an orange jumpsuit enter the beige frame. Everyone started hooting with laughter, and the prisoner looked up. We all started shrieking and I covered the phone with my hand - apparently, the prisoner could see us, too.
There was some sort of art competition that I wasn’t a part of, but I agreed to drive Andy Abelow and my brothers to it so they could participate. We got to the strip mall, and the boys kept stalling. I tried to get them to hurry up, but Andy turned into a little walking tooth and hurried into a fast food place. My brothers suddenly disappeared.
I went into the art competition place. It was small and cramped. Kristin Tata was screenprinting and Vanessa was painting a large bolt of unprimed canvas a teal green. As I greeted everyone, Julie O’Brien came running out of a different room, being silly. Half of her face was painted teal. It was a fun time.
I’m a little black girl, maybe about 8 years old. My “father” is an androgynous white person, who I now suspect is some sort of authority figure in the situation, but not my actual father. My father is hideous, and is screaming and chasing me around an unrecognizable house. He is chasing me with a big angle grinder. I run into different rooms, terrified, and hold the doors shut until he grinds the doorknobs away. Each time, the doors fly open, he tries to attack me with the machine, and I escape to a different room, where the cycle starts all over again. I am running out of rooms with doorknobs.
“Absolutely. Young artists have no sense of history. Something else is happening right now with younger artists and their sense of history. It’s as if what preceded them is of no value or never really happened. I’m always amazed when I talk to women artists in college who have no interest in feminist art. There seems to be this frightening, alarming return to the modernist notion of the self-contained, genius originator. Young artists in particular don’t want to acknowledge antecedents. I’m not really interested in recuperating history and I’m certainly not interested in romantic nostalgia for the past, but I’m very aware of the history of art that preceded me. Every artist works through history. I mean, painters are always painting against the history of painting.”—
I wonder what his point of reference is…are we not constantly referring to history because of the countless hours we spend looking at images/symbols…slash art with a capital A has always been about a pedestal (representation/objectness) so maybe we’re just interested in creating a new conversation….theoretically impossible but we’re still trying…
Sam Herring, Sal, and I all went to this big house party. It was sort of weird and I kept going off into these dark rooms alone. There were sleeping bags and bookbags everywhere. In the main foyer - which seemed out of place in its white marbled glamour - I ran into Lexie Mountain. I sat on the staircase, and Lexie stood. As we talked, my laptop appeared in my lap. I tweeted, “who is Lexie’s boyfriend?” I think I had meant to ask her who her boyfriend was. She started laughing when she saw the tweet on her phone. "Hold on," she said, dialing a phone number. She handed me the phone, and a man with a goofy deep voice said, "hey, it’s Bruno." "Hi, Bruno," I said. Lexie was laughing hysterically. "Can I ask you a question?" he said. "Sure thing," I replied. "…thanks. That’s all I needed to know." I handed the phone back to Lexie, who walked away giggling. Sal and Sam meandered into the foyer and I we all decided to leave the party.
We were taking a streetcar, like the ones in Toronto, but we were going up Charles Street in Baltimore. The familiar sight of red and blue police lights appeared a few blocks up. As we slowly approached, we all tried to see what was going on - an accident? A shooting? An explosion? I noticed as we pulled up a dark form on the ground on the opposite side of the street from the police cars. "It can’t be…" I murmured to myself. Sam turned to look at what I saw. I covered his eyes with my hands as I realized that it was, indeed, a human head. Moments later, my hands dropped from Sam and I stared with mouth agape - it was Matt Yake’s head. I screamed and began to cry. Sam started to freak out. It was so terrible.
I was somewhere else, still very distressed, but on the computer. I saw that some “weird twitter” person that I didn’t know responded to my tweet about Lexie’s boyfriend - “Bruno.” I sent him a private message. "Do you live in Baltimore? Can I come over?" He said I could. I showed up at his apartment which was in the basement of a rowhouse. Everything was being renovated. He was Hispanic, very tall, and incredibly good looking. "I thought you were black, for some reason," I told him. He laughed. We talked for a little bit and he started making out with me. I sort of felt bad because I had the sense in the dream I wasn’t single, but couldn’t remember exactly who I was seeing. I kept making out with him anyway and we started taking our clothes off. His housemate walked by an open door, so he closed the door and then put me on a table. I realized his room also had a small kitchen in it. Someone else came in the room to use his coffee maker. I stopped and watched the person pour coffee and leave. He started kissing me again and I said, “could we lock the doors or something?” "Don’t worry about it," he grinned, "no one else will come in." I asked if he had a condom and he said he did. As he went over to the drawer to get one, a stream of people started coming in, chattering away. I noticed I was suddenly in weird baggy clothes. "Listen…" I said, going over to him, "I kinda don’t want to do this with all these lame people here…sorry." He looked sad, but he nodded. "Sorry about this," he said, "I don’t know why these people are here." I left without giving him my number.
I trudged outside and ended up in a parking garage. There were two groups of women engaged in a fearsome battle. They were not only fighting hand-to-hand, but alsos shooting at each other. Somehow, I ended up in the crossfire, terrified. I looked at the garage attendant helplessly - he threw his hands in the air to tell me he didn’t know what to do. Realizing I had to hide, I ducked behind a ramp where some of the women were. A woman from the other side came over and started kicking me, screaming at me for choosing the wrong side. I tried to explain that I wasn’t on any side, I was just hiding from the bullets, and that I just wanted to get to my car. This only enraged the women from both sides and they all started chasing after me. A narrow rowhouse was somehow inside of the parking garage, so I ran up its stairs, the angry mob in hot pursuit. I passed a woman or two on the stairs and beat them in the face when they reached out to grab me, toppling them over down the staircase. I reached a room and there were two women in it, whom I ignored. I heard shots being fired so I grabbed a bunch of knives from the kitchen drawer and started throwing them down the staircase. It was surprisingly effective, and the women were surprised by my ruthlessness. They left the rowhouse entryway to continue destroying each other in the parking garage. I turned to the women in the room. One of them had short blonde hair, and I sensed she was some kind of authority figure. "Listen," I said from across the room, holding a large knife out slightly, "I don’t know what’s going on, but I am just trying to get to my car." "You are going to stay here with us and fight for our side," the blonde woman said sharply, but calmly. I started to try to reason with her and she just stared coldly at me. "Ok, look, I’ll join your side or whatever," I lied, "but I can’t fight like this! Look at what I’m wearing! These weird baggy clothes…I have nicer clothes in my car. Let me just get the better clothes…" I inched towards the staircase to the next floor. They didn’t respond. I dashed up the stairs as fast as I could, hoping they wouldn’t shoot me.
A group of friends and I were in some sort of radio studio in a warehouse space. We were watching two portly men in knit sweaters. They were each standing in front of a microphone on a long complicated mic stand. Perched on each microphone was a very tiny dacschund hopping up and down excitedly. They kind of looked like even smaller versions of Georgia.
Pat came to visit me and I was so happy.
The room had a powdery blue backdrop and a group of many of my male friends. They were all wearing black suits and each of them held a labrador retriever puppy in their arms.
Scrolling through my sent texts folder on my phone, I noticed I had tried to tweet a sound recording the night before (I’m an idiot). I didn’t remember doing such a thing, and once I listened to it, I have no idea why I did it. It’s definitely not a sincere question, but it’s not a joke, either - maybe I overheard it? I can’t say. Also, I’m not sure if this is what my voice typically sounds like.
My earliest specific art-making memory took place in the art classroom of my elementary school. I was sitting with other first-graders at the second table back from the door. I’m not sure what project we had just been assigned, but I had just gathered the paint colors I was going to use. I took the deep blue-purple paint and squeezed a large blob onto my paper plate palette. Without really thinking, I picked up the seafoam green paint tube and squeezed a smaller blob of paint on top of the purple one, instead of next to it. I looked at the paint pile for a moment, then took my paint brush and turned it around in my hand. I dipped the end of the brush into the paint and started dragging it around in no particular order. The paint marbled together really beautifully.
you’re in the bowling alley. your eyes are shut. you believe you have a sense of what direction you’re facing, and you have visual expectations for when you open your eyes. turns out you’re facing in the opposite direction. it’s confusing when you open your eyes you close your eyes again. you picture yourself at a podium in a circular auditorium there’s a bowling ball in every chair of the stadium seating.