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Art Practice Artist's Studio Writing Practice

Rewire 2021

Along with dear friend Connie Zheng @yconniezheng and our mentor and Professor Anna Friz, the three of us were selected to share our audio works at the Rewire 2021 Festival! Feeling very grateful to have been one of the 10 artists chosen (out of 400 submissions 😱). Really, truly was not expecting this. 🤗

Here’s a brief description of my work ~ “Remembering The Pulse” is inspired by Alexis Pauline Gumbs’s work Dub: Finding Ceremony and Leny Mendoza Strobel’s anthology Babaylan: Filipinos and the Call of the Indigenous. This work combines voice narration (recitation of poetry), sound effects, and field recordings. The intersectional nature of this work seeks to show the parallels between Gumbs’ and Strobel’s ideas and their influence on my interpretation of ritual, ceremony, and ancestral knowledge.”

Connie Zheng’s work is “Soil Trance.” It explores the expansive possibilities of the hibernative and dormant state, and the ways in which the limbo state of waiting—as embodied by the seed waiting below ground for the most fruitful conditions for its germination—could also be a generative space for nurturing unseen tendrils and rhizomes, for growing sideways and toward the heart of the earth.”

Anna Friz’s work “The Joy Channel”, created with Emmanuel Madan, was also chosen, along with an older solo work “How to Pack a Whale” will be a part of the phenomenonal programming.

https://www.rewirefestival.nl/news/line-up-complete-for-rewire-2021—online-edition

Rewire is an annual international festival for adventurous music. In 2021, Rewire breaks with it’s traditional format of presenting adventurous music in a wide range of venues and sites in The Hague, Netherlands; instead, they are presenting a fully online programme on 6 – 9 May 2021 including commissioned works, remote collaborations and premieres.

#rewirefestival2021 🎧🎤🔊

Categories
Art Writing Practice

KSW Presents “Spirit Houses”

On Friday, March 19th, KSW Presents “Spirit Houses” a reading featuring Maw Shein Win, author of Storage Unit for the Spirit House (Omnidawn, 2020) and Khaty Xiong, author ofPoor Anima (Apogee Press, 2015). This event is a celebration of Maw Shein Win’s newest collection and of both poets’ powerful work performing rituals of grief, pain, and the life after it and with it.

I have the great honor of being an opening reader/poet of this wonderful event. Starts promptly at 6 PM PST.

Registration link to the event here!

Categories
Art Practice Writing Practice

Thoughts on making art or being productive during SIP 👇

  1. You don’t owe anyone anything. If you need to rest and step back, THAT is OK. Also, rest is an important part of the work, research, and creative process. Perhaps you’ve been feeling burnt out, well, your body is probably telling you to take it easy.
  2. Productivity is challenging for so many people. Whether you live on your own, with family, and/or a partner, there is a lot of shifting going on. Be open to the shifting that is happening and be still for it (and delve into whatever practices bring you ease and comfort).
  3. If you’re the type that really feels compelled to do or make something, reach out to a friend or someone you trust and discuss your ideas and be open to vulnerability at this time.
  4. Try your best to not feel guilty if you’re making. I’ve been seeing some really negative things out there bashing on folks for creating at a time like this. This is what we say to haters 👋🏾👋🏾👋🏾 and thank you 🙏🏾
  5. Comparing, at a time like this, well, please try to refrain from this activity as it will only cause you distress. Nobody has the skills or experience you have in the particular way you do. So, it’s not that productive to compare yourself especially now.
  6. Create ritual(s) for yourself. Find activities that enable you to ground yourself. These things are equally if not more important than whatever you’re making! THIS IS REAL. Trust. As someone who is survivor of severe traumas, my rituals have saved me.
  7. If you’re just wanting/needing inspiration, try making a list of your favorite things using good ole pen/pencil and paper! Be silly, make it fun, and/or as deep as you want/need. Writing is such an embodied experience that many of us don’t do anymore.
  8. Don’t feel compelled to do what you see on social or any other place for that matter. Just because everyone is doing this and that doesn’t mean you have to do it too. Unless you really want to. Again, you don’t need to do, make, or produce anything as proof of your existence!
  9. Also, making, doing, and producing (AT ANY TIME) is hard AF, but it’s extremely difficult at a time like this. If you want to make and NOT share with the world, that’s OK too. Do what is best for you. But also, see #5.
  10. PLEASE, if you’re experiencing serious challenges, difficulties, and/or distress, reach out and ask for help. Feel free you share your thoughts too and yes, reach out if #10 is where you’re at. I will do what I can to assist, support, and/or connect you to a resource. ♥️
Categories
Artist's Studio Writing Practice

Bringing in the lessons learned from 2019 into 2020 🤓

Pardon the redundancy, but in 2020, I will be posting on my site a lot more this year since I’m trying to moderate my use of social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter. For those that have seen this on my Instagram account and reading it again, thank you. For those that haven’t seen this list, please feel free to share your lessons learned. 🙌

Ten things I’ve learned from the past decade:

10) Be humble.

9) Patience really is a virtue.

8) Healing takes time, it can’t be rushed and when you attempt to rush it, well, you’re making things more difficult for yourself.

7) Things are not always what they seem. Take time to learn (see #9).

6) Life is hard and strange, yet filled with a lot of wonderful and unexpected things.

5) Sleep, eat well, and hydrate on a regular and consistent basis.

4) Your real friends and chosen family are the ones you can have difficult conversations with and still feel love (probably more so than before the tough conversation).

3) Expect change and check-in with yourself on a regular basis.

2) It’s perfectly OK to ask for help and support when you need it.

1) Follow your gut, your intuition, and steer clear when everything in you tells you to do so.

A decade ago, I was going through some really painful moments in my life (such as, coming close to death). So, I’m not surprised that the past few years have been challenging and sorrowful for different reasons. Working on yourself never goes away, no matter your circumstances. As the hierophant reminds us, there is more than what you see before you. Please remember that, life beyond any screen is so much more than what we see. So, please, don’t compare yourself or think you haven’t achieved anything. If you were in pain, sick, in danger, compromised in anyway, please know I see and hear you. There is so much more we don’t see in the world. Whoever you are, reading this, I hope you‘re kind to yourself today and hereafter. You’re so much more than mere images. ♥️

Categories
Art Art Writing and Criticism Perception Writing Practice

Episode 6 of #PRNTSCRN: The Value of Doing Nothing featuring Jenny Odell


The first season of PRNT SCRN has officially ended! It’s been such an incredible learning experience. For this episode, I speak with Bay Area-based artist Jenny Odell. Learn more below!

Lastly, and most important, I want to thank the brilliant team over at Art Practical! They’ve given me an awesome home to create the content for PRNT SCRN. Special thanks to Leila Weefur (EIC for Audio/Visual), Marissa Deitz (Editor), Vivian Sming (EIC for online publication), Michele Carlson (Executive Director), Fiona Ball (Managing Editor), and Mia Nakano (Communications Manager) for being such a wonderful team of people to work with.


In an age where we are inundated by a seemingly endless scroll of images and living within an economy that demands an inordinate amount of our attention, it feels necessary to ask what is the value of doing nothing? It is much more evident now than ever before that social media platforms are another tool for advertisers and corporations to learn our desires through likes and clicks encouraging us to stay glued to our screens and monitors. In 2017, Bay Area-based artist Jenny Odell gave a talk at the annual EYEO festival titled “How to do Nothing,” which resulted in a book of the same name. I have been following Odell’s artistic practice and writing since she was in graduate student pursuing her MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute. With a background in literature and having taught Internet Art at Stanford University for several years, her wealth of knowledge related to networked culture to free things advertised on Instagram that aren’t actually free, she has an uncanny ability to craft stories emblematic of our digital age. In this episode, The Value of Doing Nothing, I spoke with Odell about exercises in attention, space for refusal, bonding over our experience of an Ellsworth Kelly painting at the SFMOMA, and much more. The irony of Odell’s call to action, being that of doing nothing, leads us to the multitude of ways that stepping back from time to time enables and affords us the opportunity to learn how to observe the world around us, actively listen, and fastidiously mind the details we might normally overlook.

Hear Jenny Odell speak on her new book How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy at East Bay Booksellers on Thursday, April 18, 2019, at 7 pm. Read more about the event by clicking here.

For more information on this week’s Screenshot, the app ULTIMEYES, click here

Give episode 6 a listen and let me know what you think! 😉

You can also access all of this season’s episodes here!


Jenny Odell is a multi-disciplinary artist and writer based in Oakland, California. Her work generally involves acts of close observation, whether it’s birdwatchingcollecting screen shots, or trying to parse bizarre forms of e-commerce. In one of her favorite projects, she created The Bureau of Suspended Objects, a searchable online archive of 200 objects salvaged from the San Francisco dump, each with photographs and painstaking research into its material, corporate, and manufacturing histories. She is compelled by the ways in which attention (or lack thereof) leads to consequential shifts in perception at the level of the everyday.

Her visual work has been exhibited at The Contemporary Jewish Museum, the New York Public Library, Ever Gold Projects, the Marjorie Barrick Museum (Las Vegas), Les Rencontres D’Arles, Fotomuseum Antwerpen, Fotomuseum Winterthur, La Gaîté Lyrique (Paris), the Lishui Photography Festival (China), the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, apexart (NY), East Wing (Dubai), and the Google headquarters. She’s been an artist in residence at Recology SF (the dump), the San Francisco Planning Department, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Palo Alto Art Center, Facebook, and the Internet Archive. She teaches internet art and digital/physical design at Stanford since 2013.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, SFMOMA’s Open Space, McSweeney’s, The Creative Independent, Sierra Magazine, Topic, and Real Future. My book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, was recently published by Melville House. She is represented by Caroline Eisenmann at the Frances Goldin Literary Agency.

Categories
Art Writing and Criticism Writing Practice

Letting Go

Every morning, I flick at my smartphone screen and read the news. I watch for some of my favorite writers in art, technology, and cultural criticism. I used to marvel at how quickly some of my favorite writers and journalists could produce content in such a prolific manner. But having done that made me spiral into some major neuroses about my writing as well as assuming the impostor syndrome. Sure, I make a fine editor because it’s always easy to critique anyone else’s writing but your own. It’s also easy to say to yourself that you’re never going to meet the same ranks as the writers you admire. So, when I asked myself, “what is a successful writer?” I went way back into my grammar school days.

I remember being in English class when I was growing up and thinking how amazing it was to learn about subjects, predicates, nouns, and conjugating verbs. I think that was in large part due to the fact that I grew up in a household where multiple languages were spoken. To some degree, it helped and would stick with me for a long time. But it was also relatively confusing. How would I communicate in the long run? How would I use language? Over the years, I forgot how passionate I was about learning language until I had to serve as an editor in chief in college and in hindsight, it was probably because I was easy to work with and could be told what to do (and very impressionable).

Overall, after all this time, I think what makes a writer successful is doing one thing – letting go.

You might ask, what do you mean by letting go and this just sounds like so many other self help books and a little too easy? That’s not real advice, you might be saying. But take it however you want. It’s not about resignation, that’s different. When you are resigned, you don’t try, you don’t fight, and you don’t care. Letting go isn’t about having an “IDGAF” attitude either. You must respect yourself as a writer to know what you are passionate about and commit. If you’re the only one on earth that wants to write about the creation of the microprocessor or fascinated by the proliferation of #whatarethose meme, well, write about it. Write to yourself. Write for yourself. As writers, I understand the need for an audience, I mean, let’s face it, readership is important as a writer. But your reader reads your work because they see that you care. Another question you might be asking yourself is, “Okay, let go of what exactly?”

It’s been challenging because I was born and raised in an immigrant family that did not exactly foster my passions in the arts and humanities. When my mother immigrated to San Francisco in 1978, she didn’t exactly know what she was stepping into, but rallied her resources as best as she could and sent me to private school for as long as financially possible. Right away, she saw my love for the arts and language as a little girl. Yet she wanted me to grow up skilled in something practical that would yield me the life that she didn’t have in the Philippines. That being said, your past and upbringing have a lot to do with the way you define success. What you do and how you make your mark have a lot to do with personal histories and experiences and, sometimes, letting go of what you have been told time and time again will result in precarious living, doesn’t hold true when you let go and start living the life you want. It’s challenging, it’s tough, as a writer, but for all of the writers I know and deeply admire, I notice the one thing they did along the way that has led to what I perceive and acknowledge as success is to let go.

Letting go of naysayers, unproductive criticism, feeling like an impostor, perfection, the need to be right, the fear of being wrong, rigid structures that prevent you from growth, toxic people/personalities, habits that prevent you from actually writing.

I’ve said “I wish I just had more time” as well. But don’t we all? You gotta let go of that too. So, what would you do with that extra time? Where is that extra time going? At the end of the day, being a successful writer actually doesn’t mean writing for the biggest news outlets or even writing the best essay, article, or book. Being a successful writer means that you’ve written something you believe in and it can help illuminate something for someone. It doesn’t have to be perfect and it doesn’t have to be award winning. But it has to be something you feel the world needs and couldn’t live without because if you don’t write it, it doesn’t exist and if it doesn’t exist, it probably never will. At least not from your perspective, your vision, and your experiences.

Don’t worry about someone misunderstanding or not getting it, that’s actually not a part of being successful. There will always be people that don’t get something because they genuinely don’t get it or because they intentionally don’t want to understand. Remember that it’s not your job to make people understand. It’s your job to think, read, write, and initiate the thoughts of others into thinking deeply about the world around them. You may be the only person writing what you write. Or, you might say that that’s been written before. Whatever the case, write gibberish, write crap, then look at what you write and start over. Writing is the place where you can command language and expand on it however you want. It’s really up to you to do what you want with it. But taking responsibility for the things you write is another aspect of writing that you need to take into account. You can always change your mind. In the long run, it’s also about a nice long conversation with culture itself and how it’s changed and where you want to see it go and how you’re making your mark as well. So, what are you waiting for?

Let go.

Originally posted to Freewrite‘s blog. You can view it here.