#WORTHCELEBRATING

This Thursday, I am excited to unveil my newest project, WORTH CELEBRATING, which was produced specifically for Flux Factory‘s Spring exhibition, Bionic Gardens. The piece uses strands of flags hung all throughout the exhibition and Flux Factory building to set the stage for a celebration, to announce a party, a victory of things growing newly, changing and unfolding in unforeseen ways.

Within the context of the flags, the mundane becomes fantastic, our small daily victories and triumphs become something worth celebrating.

In that light, I will be doing a performance this THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 7-9PM as part of Flux Thursday, a monthly potluck and showcase event.

As part of the performance I will gather the stories of your recent personal victories, triumphs, accomplishments and celebrations. I will distill them into one word or phrase and then record that phrase onto one of the flags currently hanging at the Flux Factory.

At the conclusion we will have a document of celebration and triumph blowing in the wind.

Please join me this Thursday, June 14, from 7pm – 9pm eastern standard time: in person at Flux Factory (in Queens, NY), or online by tweeting a description of your celebration with the hashtag #WORTHCELEBRATING (you can follow me on twitter here).

I can’t wait to celebrate with you.

Aliya

p.s. part of Flux Thursday is a potluck — if you can, bring something to share but more importantly, come hungry!! after the performance stick around to hear about the other amazing projects happening as part of the Bionic Gardens Show!

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MY BRAIN, lately

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BUSINESSLADIEZ in the comics

My friend Elizabeth sent this to me recently and it is AMAZING. encompasses everything a BusinessLady aspires to be. sorta.

from Hark! A Vagrant webcomic

1980’s Businesswoman Comics

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Let’s Talk about BUSINESS: Shannon Finnegan

MONEY/TIME/VALUE/BUSINESS. BUSINESSLADYTIME(TM)INC.
An ongoing series of interviews and discussions about art and business. How do they balance out? How do we make this stuff real?

Shannon Finnegan

Shannon makes work that explores “working” and jobs; what tasks and actions have value? In her 8-Hour Performance series, she will do one repetitive task — such as vertical mark-making, or writing out a series of sentences repeatedly — for an eight-hour period, starting the performance by clocking in, keeping track of her bathroom breaks, and clocking out when the eight hours are completed.

Shannon’s conceptually ideal daily schedule would include going into work, execute an eight-hour drawing, and then clock ing-out. She would then leave her studio and be “off work”, not doing any other drawings in the evenings or weekends. After considering this for a moment, we discussed Shannon’s more practical ideal schedule that would include time for engaging with others: she would still spend a majority of her working days executing eight-hour drawings, but would also schedule days for meetings with assistants and project partners, gallery owners and performance collaborators.

At this point in the interview, Shannon discussed how she’s just recently fallen into a schedule that balances being an artist and making an income in a way that actually is working for her: working for income four days week, making artwork three days a week. “That third weekend day is crucial,” she said.

We talked about how consistency is crucial. If she has to spend some of her non-working days “hustling” for more work, than that eats into her art-making time — and more importantly it eats into her head space. Worrying about income leaves no space for creative thinking.

This is all of the interview I managed to record.

Shannon currently lives in New York City and is working as a personal assistant, nanny, non-profit arts organization summer festival director, and probably more jobs I don’t remember.

Shannon holds a BA from Carleton College.

She will be exhibiting an 8-hour performance at the Invisible Dog Gallery on Saturday June 9th from 11am-7pm with a reception and Q&A from 6pm-8pm.

Follow-up notes:

READ THIS: Are You Working Too Much? Post-Fordism, Precarity, and the Labor of Art, Edited by Julieta Aranda, Brian Kuan Wood, and Anton Vidokle, June 2011

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Let’s Talk about BUSINESS: Breanne Trammell

MONEY/TIME/VALUE/BUSINESS. BUSINESSLADYTIME(TM)INC.
An ongoing series of interviews and discussions about art and business. How do they balance out? How do we make this stuff real?

Breanne Trammell

Breanne’s interview was a casual porch-interview, over some quality glasses of water. We talked about her growing Nail School project, which is leading towards her Nails Across America tour next summer in a canned-ham trailer re-purposed as a nail salon. She’ll be trading manicures for stories, art, things and stuff; meeting people and making the world happy through fancy nails. Breanne is currently lecturing in art + design at SUNY Purchase, as well as an Adjunct Professor in Graphic Design at Ramapo College in New Jersey, in addition to attending Nail School four nights a week. She holds an MFA from RISD and a BFA from the University of Texas, Arlington.

Breanne talked about how it’s a strange line between her art, business as art, and art as business. She’d love to be able to sustain herself in the future by doing nails. However that would require her clients to pay traditional fees, and she’s more interested in using barter systems to engage with people in the salon. Can the piece be an interactive profitable business AND art piece simultaneously?

Breanne is currently writing and sending out grant applications to fund purchasing the trailer, the tour itself, and other related supplies and design work for the project. She also currently needs four new tires on her car, which she drives approximately 500 miles per week to travel to Nail School and to her Professor positions. She recently purchased a portable nail salon table.

I’m left with questions of balance: How do we as artists negotiate the pressing, daily requirement to spend money on boring living expenses while simultaneously concocting huge artistic visions requiring other potential money? How do we balance time spent making money to make art with time spent making art?

Follow up notes:

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#dailyflag

March 3 – April 29, the period of my Wassaic Project Residency.

I created a one-word flag for every day of the residency. The word “created” the day, as opposed to reporting or reflecting on it. It was a way to get out of my head and into the world, to make something instead of think about it, to stop the unproductive negative thinking that kept me from jumping out and making things happen (as opposed to thinking about how stupid or dumb they might turn out).

View the full project set here.

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PowerWoman Breakfast

As a semi-culminating event of my Wassaic Project Residency, I hosted a PowerWoman Breakfast. A team of Powerful Women cooked pancakes for the Business Meeting while blasting a montage of business-related music. All in attendance wore a PowerSuit or a piece of the Wassaic Suit Collection, a limited edition series of wearable Business Blazers that combined nostalgia, business, and power into one costume.

All the suits and many of the materials were sourced from 8 Firehouse Road, a house which over the period of my Wassaic stay was going through a period of upheaval and starting over — cleaning out all the materials from it’s diseased resident, who happened to be a very classy small stature man who wore a great suit.

As I was gathering all these suits I realized that they were a bit of a love-letter to Wassaic. They held so many memories of this man I do not know and of the town he lived in. I also have been carrying around many items and pieces of my past filled with memories. I used the excuse that these were “art supplies” as a reason to keep them around. But like the family of 8 Firehouse Road, it was time to throw some shit out.

I combined the found items and my own collections into a series of wearable PowerSuits, imbued with power and nostalgia.

At the PowerWoman Breakfast Business Meeting we discussed power in relation to what we are wearing and how we take on different personae, and the world relates to us differently based on what we are wearing. We touched on topics of class and perceived wealth, and how that relates to how you are received or related to by the world. We talked about wearing make up and “grown up” clothing and how different employers have required different levels of “professionalism” at work. We talked about the differences in what is “business appropriate” for women versus men, and about the difference between wearing a suit and being one of the crowd – wearing what you think you should be wearing – versus wearing a suit and owning that power, and being your own person inside this “costume”. We talked about how we feel more comfortable in different costumes depending on our context, environment, and location.

Everyone spoke and the discussion was so real and vivid, with each person contributing a story or thought from their past. We had the Wassaic Project residents, staff, and local people from Amenia there, and it was lovely.

The pancakes were DELISH as well.

I’m so excited for where this project is going next! I envision multiple performances in multiple locations. One PowerWoman Breakfast in a diner with everyone wearing the same color suits. Another performance in a corporate Manhattan office with many ladies in suits busying around sewing and sorting and doing very important business related tasks. Another performance in a local hand-made tailor shop

Maybe all the performances feature a Corporate Breakfast? Maybe the commonality is just the suits, and the activity of the Meeting changes. Maybe each performance features a different set of suits, made specifically for and with materials sourced from that location.

As a Wassaic conclusion, I was really pleased with how the event turned out. It incorporated so much of what I had done there over my two months, and so much of the materials that I had brought and also found while there. I’m excited to be launching into the next phase of the PowerSuit project! in the city, in far away places, in your house, in mine, left & right, up & down!

STAY TUNED!

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