spent the day in New York on Saturday April 23rd at Spatial headquarters in New York for what my friend Tyrone, who works there and organized the event, called a Paint and Mint event. The idea was that artists both digital and physical would create works that would, by the end of the day after completion, then get minted to OpenSea or maybe perhaps even SuperRare. The day was a great one for me allowing me to work on a piece about my family, one of my Black Sheep Family works, that I did not intend to play with for maybe another couple of months. I worked way too much on the piece and didn’t socialize like I should have – these events are usually about sharing contact info and plotting world domination via the blockchain. However, I did take the time to think more on the idea of creating one’s reality. Are our perceptions a thing, like the sour sweet tangerine I ate leaving the Spatial offices or are they more like a memory.
I have been told on more than one occasion that I see the world a little differently then others do, mostly more negatively. I’d like to think its just me hedging my bets, recognizing that most folks speak more to that little devil on their shoulders than the angel. The cautious calculating guy usually isn’t the most popular at the party, however, and so I’ve worked towards trying to surround myself with folks who are happy, bright, and encouraging. These kinds of people remind me that much is possible with the right disposition. For years I’ve tried to be that person who would say “yes” and “more please” to food, liquor, sex, art, whatever brought out a little more bliss because I recognized somewhere in my late 20’s and 30’s that friends would come to me hoping I would talk them out of a thing they intended or wanted to do. What does a world full of yes look like?
I’ve fallen into a TikTok hole since downloading the app a few months ago. The algorithm there like on all these apps, has quickly scanned my brain and picked up on my interest in politics, affirming self-help, art, and dance videos, so now I wake up and spend way too long scrolling through this eye crack. Many of the videos I spend time on speak about the habits of highly successful people. As I hungrily consume these videos, I score myself. Am I a success, I do that? Or I need to do that, I’m such a loser because I don’t. One of the personal and not given observations I’ve gathered watching the videos is that success is a kind of illusion, as imaginary as many concepts we care about. Money for example, or democracy, or friendship. Any number of thought experiments we covet. What they all seem to have in common is a shared perspective. For example, one is a success if they believe they are and if other people agree that they are. It a kind of vicious circle. One that doesn’t seem to well-up from some natural source of internal confidence within people. Where is that well where self-worth is derived?
A few months back I spoke about Schrödinger’s cat. The premise of the thought experiment is that life is about the choices we make. All choice remains possible, even extremely improbable ones, until we make the choice. In physics the thought goes something like two possible outcomes exist until they are measured and then the outcome, whatever it is will emerge into existence. I so love this idea that I am all that I every wanted to me until I decide not to be. While a certain part of my agency might be subject to some external forces – other people’s decision to keep me where I am at – the larger part of my momentum, the decision to get up and go for example, remains my own. For a person bedeviled by intense depression and self-doubt, a notion like this one is incredibly freeing. What does life feel like when you wake up and realize you have all you need to go?
My friend Kate was so adamant that there was something bitter in those tangerines, based on the one she ate moments before, that I think it initially affected my taste buds. I ate into the ornament sized fruit. A little juice spilled down onto the counter and down my cheek. Warm. Sweet and Sour. Grandma’s house. Playing with cousins in the schoolhouse yard. A hot summer day riding in grandpa’s pickup truck. My first peach too, and a funny story to tell, if anyone is listening. All this while the citrus juice rolls across my tongue, and I hope against hope that this pleasant moment might last forever. What does joy taste like?
So, I found a new dance music obsession thanks to good old Pandora, the best subscription service I buy. The artist is named Lakim, and the music is just pure fun. I am no dancer, as my brother and late sister and mother can all attest. I always had a hard time doing two things at once, and dancing requires coordination, most importantly the ability for one’s hands, feet, shoulders and hips to all move independently of one another. With all that said I found myself dancing while painting these last few days. This new music find come at the perfect time because the grey skies of Pennsylvania have recently opened up and the warm spring air is making everything seem sweet and happy and full of life. Here are two tracks I liked from Lakim, “A Date with Dee Dee” and “Wait and See”.
So, I’m moving into crunch time with several projects coming up. May is going to be intense and I will be painting right up till the end when I must travel to Detroit. As I have said many times before I would not have it any other way, all this intensity, but it still doesn’t make it easy to go through. I will find the time to blog about it all over the next few weeks. Until then, be well everyone.