chimaeras ABOUND

oh and cyborgs.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006


I am terrified of articulating myself...I am even more afraid that I might not ever have anything interesting enough to articulate. I am so afraid of talking, sometimes it brings me to literal tears. Mistakes rolling off my tongue.

I dance around this every day in class. I feel as though I am always trying to compete with other scholarly folks, attempting to belong. But in the attempt I usually feel like I am alienating myself. I don't want to be inaccessibly cerebral, in fact I don't think its in me to be so. I can't compete and I wish I didn't want to.

I started making art because I wanted to counteract the rigidness and technicality I saw in photography as a medium...I finally get to a real art school and I see now that I preach to a choir, the art school choir. There is nothing left to say there. Now I'm at art school and art is not what I thought it was, its better, it can be even better...but can I articulate what I truly want to express? Do I even know what that is?

I desperately want to communicate but my ideas feel either too abstract or too personal. I find solice in repetition and seriality. My artwork is coming to be about me...myself...this struggle to communicate. My "internal world" is being revealed for others. Its the only thing I know for sure.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

An Intervention?

So, I had an exciting (read: annoying as hell) critique today. One person said that parts of my piece were extraneous and looked like accessories and yet another said that my piece looked like a sidewalk sale. There were other annoying things said but why rehash it.

Anyhow, the assignment was to do a public intervention while commiting an act of subtle artistic terrorism. The piece I did is a comment on a book I have been reading called "Dispatches", a Veitnam War memoir. Focusing on a part of the book where the author mentions the impromtu funeral services where soldiers would line up the boots of the dead and say a prayer, while the bodies themselves would be discarded into random piles and transported on helicoptors, I put my own shoes in the crosswalk at Scott and Geary and documented it. I'm really interested in how material objects, like shoes, can be representative of a person's existence. When you see an empty pair of shoes, the absence of the body that 'belongs' in them is readily apparent. When we get right down to it the history of inanimate objects is pretty fascinating too...the way an object experiences life right along with you and facilitates your own forward mobility, physically and intellectually.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

That girl has OCD...

My first memory is an obsession I had when I was 5 or 6. I was in a gift shop in the mid-west and I was picking out a stuffed animal from a huge group of stuffed animals that were essentially the same. I picked up one and was about to bring it to my parents so they could get it for me and I noticed that it had a flaw on its face, something from the manufacturing. I went to put it away and I started to notice that they were all imperfect, I got this huge wave of anxiety and I then determined that if I were to put the first one back I would be rejecting it for being ugly and that would be a horribly mean thing to do. I brought the first one with the "flaw" to my parents and after that I developed a compulsion that I had to pick the first toy or stuffed animal I touched, to be "fair" to them. I did that my whole childhood until I was about 12 years old. I still get guilt feelings when picking stuff out in stores, I'm sure its related to this experience.

I am now 24 years old and I was just diagnosed with OCD 5 months ago. The ironic thing is that I have been in therapy on and off for 8 years to treat my anxiety and depression but OCD was never officially diagnosed or even mentioned. Actually, nothing was officially diagnosed...I was seeing a therapist who didn't like to diagnose people my age (at the time I was 17) because of the "stigma" that mental disorders carry. If I could go back and change anything, I would have tried to get an offical diagnosis back then. Anyhow, I now know that I have 'primarily obsessional' OCD which is harder to catch because of the lack of physical compulsions. I have a few physical compulsions but I am mostly plauged my the horrible horrible mental compulsions. Sometimes I feel like my brain is going to melt because of all the anxious activity in my head. I was also TERRIFIED to tell anybody, even my therapist about my obsessions because I was "sure" that they would tell me that the reason I couldn't stop thinking about these things, was because I truly was whatever I was fearing/obsessing about at the time.

So, I discovered I had OCD the night before I went into an outpatient mental health program in mid-April 2006 (I admitted myself because I had a nervous breakdown and had to take a medical leave from school). I was searching online for "obsessional thinking" and a link came up which had personal accounts of the obsessions that go along with OCD. In the past, behaviors I have had did strike me as OCDish but I don't have any contamination OCD, so I quickly disregarded it. I was just as uninformed as most of the general public in thinking that people with OCD are only concerned with contamination and orderliness. I have sexual, violent, relationship and perfectionism obsessions...all the fun ones. :)

This is the link that I found...

After reading some of those postings, for the first time in my life I knew exactly what was wrong with me. I was so grateful and overjoyed that I started crying right then and there...and then of course, since I have OCD, an hour later I started doubting that I even had OCD. I decided I must be the one person in the world that really is their obsessions. LOL. It's not really that funny, but it is just so OCD that I can't help but laugh.

Now, I am getting really good treatment though and I have an actual diagnosis. Severe OCD with BDD and social anxiety disorder, ADD and major depression. I'm still getting used to it, but that is me in a mental health nutshell.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

I fell in love yesterday...

with the New Genres department at SFAI.

My first day at New Genres 1 was better than every day I had at SFAI last quarter mashed into a ball and hit with a stick. My faith in that school has been restored. After 2 hours of lecture the teacher informed us that our first piece would be due at 1pm that day. It would be an introduction without confession, the only requirement is that we would be allowed one prop.

In the presentation of student works that resulted I experienced being: blindfolded and made to lay on the ground whilst a metal chair was being banged on above my head, given a generous gift in the form of a note, forced to watch purposely boring student video, watched good student video, assisted in another student's attempt at throwing individual sheets of toilet paper into a trash can 5 feet away, and watched a girl rip a book (that was given to her by a homeless person) to shreads.

Isn't that what art school is all about?!

I think so, that is why I am officially changing my major to NEW GENRES. In my opinion, the Photography department at SFAI is outmoded. I could never stop using photography in my "work" but I am desperate for this new perspective. I want to study in the major that includes everything cool: installation!, performance, video and still. Can you believe that I was discouraged from doing installation in my photo classes? Disappointing.

Anyhow, imagine my initial shock and terror when given the task of producing my first art piece to present to the class with only an hour to figure it out. I decided very quickly that I could never do an actual performance in front of all these scary art students. The anxiety attack that would ensue would no doubt be entertaining for those watching but horrifying for me. Instead, I decided to do an interactive text piece. So, I ran to the computer lab (okay, I didn't really run, I stopped and ate half an apple walnut salad and wrote the text for the piece and chatted a bit with a friend THEN I walked briskly to the computer lab) and downloaded my website and built this teeny work:

an introduction piece

I also did a little revamping to my "artist" website lastnight. You can see it out here...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

She fell off the earth.

Where have I been these last few months? It actually feels like years, decades even. Hmm, how do I put this politely?

About two weeks after my last post I had a nervous breakdown and I admitted myself to a Partial Hospitalization Program for depression and anxiety. Right before I entered the program I was diagnosed with severe OCD. I've always known there was something wrong with me, but I had no idea it was OCD. It turns out that I have had it since as far back as I can remember, 5 or 6 years old. I have been in and out of therapy for the last 8 years for depression and anxiety but it was never obvious that I had OCD because I have particular type of OCD which presents itself less physically than mainstream OCD, it is called 'Primarily Obsessional OCD'. In this type of OCD the sufferer has mostly covert/mental compulsions rather than mostly overt/physical compulsions, covert compulsions by nature are much harder to detect.

These last few months have been a rollercoaster to say the least. More soon...