Things got a little wild at the end—final crunch week, three days of standing and talking to people, then suddenly residency week and we're left to our own devices?? We cleaned up, we taught workshops, we we're asked to imagine 10 week to 25 year plans (Taeyoon bringing those Real Life™ skills as always). I shooould've immediately written all my thoughts, but it was dreamlike and I was enjoying being in the soup, so here's a mashup-wrapup of the end days.
I'm pleased with what I had up for the showcase—the mounting and lighting worked out fine and making sure I had six done was a decent amount. (I'll be making a page for the piece with more pics & things) Almost all of my work these days goes straight to instagram so thinking about physical presentation was a nice change, and for these in particular the point is their physicality. I also am not used to being able to see people see my work! Seeing reactions, seeing people move on quickly or lingering and talking really made me feel like an ~artist~ in a whole different way. I was both responsible for this object and supposed to have answers (why I made it, how long did it take, what's the point) but also able to see it released into the wild where people would just take pictures and reinterpret. It was incredibly tiring (especially for my Super Introvert Self) to be around for so long, but really worth it. The semi-collaborative nature of the project was more rewarding than I expected; I pull from my own life often to talk about identity, so to have other people relate & get excited helped validate what I was trying to do, and then sharing that in person with people who might not have thought about identity online completed the piece in a real way. Going forward I am definitely thinking about how I might want to talk about my work and not just toss it into the internet ether.
SFPC being over I'm sort of forced to think about the future in general. After much deliberation I am starting my MA in the fall at Columbia—but unlike the crushing experience of college my art will be both a part of and counterbalance to my studies. Through SFPC I even feel more at home in the city overall—I've made friends and connections, seen how people Make It Work. To that end I'm actually joining the SFPC residency month, where I'll be working on a graphic zine I hope to submit to small presses before the end of the summer. [I'm also available for commissions 8) ]
I learned many very tangible things at SFPC—how to code in a new language, basic hardware skills, what's a good artist statement—but I think more importantly I got re-excited about doing stuff. I like learning & being critical, I like tech-shit and art in a very vague sense, but had no concept of where to go with that. Art felt like an impenetrable nightmare hustle, code felt like tech bros. I was at a slump in my life where I was pretty unhappy but pessimistic about what I might do better. Being around and supported by folks from all over, from so many careers, at different points in their life was a reminder of how key community is. Not just for the support, but to see that there are so many ways of being in the world and you can change if you need to! (you'd think as a trans person I would be better at that but y'know ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ ) SFPC people want to share their skills, and you realize you have skills to share too. Mid-session Zach went down to the MIT Media Lab for a potential position there, and when he came back he said it was a great experience but "they had no kitchen." It's a simple thing, but for me encapsulates why SFPC feels like more than just a school—there's a level of care that's hard to find much of the time. To combine that with an expansive and rigorous curriculum is truly an impressive feat.
I'm very grateful to have been selected for the session—the work that goes in to "curating" the participants is equally key to the feel of the space. If you are thinking of applying don't hesitate to reach out with questions about more concrete things than woo woo good vibes review heh. I am going to carry all of the things I learned with me, but for sure the real gift is the people.