Tag Archives: 10×10


i’ve been having all these flashbacks to my Senior Thesis project installation week/month while installing my piece for the 10×10 show this saturday.

First is loading the trusty ole lightning fast nissan maxima with weird shit. In April 2009 it was rubber animals, bolts of fabric, chicken wire rolls, telephone parts, paper airplanes, keyboards, string, tables and lamps, clothing with notes, stuffed animals, clothespins, hats, rocks, pleather, stuffing, babyfood jars, luggage tags, adhesives and connectors of all kinds. Now I’m loading trophies of all sizes, boxes, newspapers, sheets and comforters, blankets, stuffed animals, tea sets, suitcases, toothbrush collection, fishing line, jars, lamps.

It’s similar but different obviously. This is a one-week intensive installation where I’m thinking about this mostly, but 4 other projects/jobs/upcoming things to organize for at the same time. Then I was thinking about that project only. I had 10 rooms to install then, now I have only 1.

I also love the similarities in assistance. I was installing in a creepy empty space then and had more work than I could do just by myself (or needed taller people with more hands than me), and exactly the same now. Its so exciting to have assistance and company and I hope those people enjoy it too, even if all they’re doing is folding paper hats or assisting me to hang trophies as a chandelier. (I almost had someone come assist me as a second date. I thought that was fitting — “Hello, nice to meet you, come be a part of my art now.” That’s basically what’s required of any future boyfriends.)

anyways. the point is it’s nice to be installing again. and having people in my life be there with me and finding old weird shit to put in my installations. and having it come together (at the last minute?)

highlights from today’s working day:

  • getting a full night’s sleep (even though it felt mostly the same as a little night’s sleep after the first hour or so of being awake)
  • wearing my newly reconstructed orange dress with boots
  • having a fab profesh newspaper reporter photoshoot (an article featuring me in 10×10 to be published… friday?)
  • figuring out a way to be both at the conference I’m going to in Miami this weekend AND my art opening all at once.
  • getting RSVPs all day to my art show… people from the synagogue, former art teachers (from high school and from Hampshire!!), JumpStart co-workers, former supervisors, and friends near and far
  • having amazing assistants!! Caroline, Jerron, and good ole MOM AND DAD.
  • DELICIOUS veggie burrito for lunch. it was bigger than my face. I didn’t think I could finish it. but working hanging trophies upside-down in a tent makes you hungry apparently. (PS EVERYONE COME VISIT ME JUST SO WE CAN EAT MORE OF THESE BURRITOS REALLY OMG SO GOOD).
  • hanging all of my and sam’s trophies from our days of glory upside down as a chandelier. I’m so proud of this invention/aesthetic effect. I’m going to start marketing these chandeliers as soon as this show is done. and as soon as I figure out how to spell chandelier.
  • getting a great big self-expressed hug from my friend who is in the 10×10 show and has inspired me in so many ways.
  • Having a great conversation and regaining a friend I hadn’t been talking to.
  • possibilities: that amazing friends will be residents in the Bonar Family Residency Program this upcoming January; that my arctic pets and fancy dresses will be being sold in stores in New Orleans, Boise, and New York soon!; that I might coordinate/create a big public art performance/event/festival for Phoenix Bikes in VA?

best part of this project is getting rid of all the stuff i’ve been holding onto unable to let go of. also best part: using all the leftover stuff from my Senior Thesis and My Childhood and not spending much money at all. biggest costs so far: the $8 PVC pipe, $8 thrifted china, $4.50 burrito, driving back and forth to Lake Worth a billion times. Can’t leave out the “membership” to the creative scrap reuse center… but that’s good all year!! and comes with cute artsy scrap boys.

up next: jewelry making out of trophy parts, animation making for moneyz, leopard print dress making for hottness, arctic pet making for selling, friend making projects for friends, adventure planning for futures, family planning for thanksgiving, sleep?


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the last few weeks in pictures

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10×10 beginnings

nothing gets me more excited than color-coordinated piles of fabrics:

= the beginnings of tents & animals for the 10×10 show in november.

my favorite: that the blue star-print comforter has been in the top of my closet for years. The last time I used it was when my dog would sleep on my bed every night. The comforter smells like her.

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I’m A Pretty Big Deal in these parts.

If you didn’t get the Official Memo released by the National Council of Upcoming Amazing Community Based Artists who are Up To Something Big, one of my installations is going to be in an art show in November!

This show is curated by Kara Walker-Tome, a really amazing south Florida curator that I heard about from states away (an Elsewhere Board Member recommended I talk to her about a year ago) and from close by (an amazing Milagro Teacher — who’s also showing in the exhibition! — also recommended I talk to her). So I finally did! and here I am! I’m so excited to work with her. She says her father-in-law owns a laundry mat where she curated this totally fun performance piece a couple years ago — and that she was thinking that I’d be interested in installing a piece/performance there… um, yes!!

For some reason this feels like a really big deal. At the site visit, I realized that everyone was relating to me like a REAL. PROFESSIONAL. ARTIST. and they all loved me! and what I was up to! And talking about all the other projects I’ve done, people were visibly IMPRESSED. wow. I’m not bragging (too much), but the weirdest part was just realizing that I was really being professional about it all — and so that’s how they were relating to me. I’m being totally serious (about tents, made up stuffed animals, art in storage units, hot pink, glitter), so they are too. I love it.

I’m excited for the opportunity to make art work that is tactile and visual (addicted), but in a totally different context than to be put up in a gallery. If this were going to be in the biggest room in the Miami Art Museum, it’d be boring (ok, maybe not, cause the biggest room? I could make something SO BIG!!). but in this unusual setting, in the context of making art outside of the gallery walls, oh it’s exciting.

Due to an unfortunate scheduling conflict I will be knee deep in a conference in Miami that night and will miss my own 1-night opening… but I’m making the piece interactive and requesting that the visitors leave a note and a story, so there will be something to come back to. It’s all going to be perfect.

sewing begins tomorrow! pictures soon.


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Presenting: Your Blog Post Table of Contents.

please feel free to refer back to this diagram at any point during your reading, if you need a break, if you are feeling fatigued, if it’s time for a snack, if you forgot where we were going with all this anyways.

I hope to see you at the end of this page. It will be great.

your trusty author & guide.

1. I’m Not Moving to Dallas (Yet). [September 30]

I found out recently that my position at the bcWORKSHOP has been postponed until Maybe February (no dates yet). funding cuts, bureaucracy, possibly/definitely (but not explicitly said) a federal relief/jobs stimulus bill not being renewed?

Point is i’m not leaving florida until february maybe. They want me, but they can’t pay to send me to the required training. The next training is in maybe February.

This felt like a huge blow. I had even made cute booty shorts inspired by the state I was moving to (see pictures at the end of this post)! Worse was just feeling like I was about to step into something, into a larger context that was going to bring me to the next logical place, and suddenly that stepping stone was moved way far away. i don’t want to wait around for 4 months. i don’t like waiting around ever. i could fill my life with little projects forever, i know. i could sew and putter around and eat fruit in tropical wonderful florida winter for weeks on end but this wasn’t enough. i would be like an empty shell.

so i realized it was time to create something. something super compelling to drive me through the winter and into dallas. i started imagining art on the road. art in a cute adorable trailer. art + friends. art + visiting friends. art + a troupe of friends traveling and making amazing things and communities all over.

this sorta became a different idea once i looked into more logistics. I realized, “what about really just taking on florida, the whole reason / idea i had for this Bonar Family residency in the first place. what if i did sewing workshops, friend making workshops, community art workshops, projects, involvements right now here in delray. and maybe miami too. miami could be like traveling to somewhere new and foreign, and delray can be the familiar try-it-out setting.”

the thing that pulls me in two directions is that i say i want to do this big community art project — and i really do. but it terrifies me. i feel incredibly alone when i talk about this project. it feels like little aliya going up against the world to make this big thing all by myself. fulfilling on a promise i don’t even totally know i can fully accomplish. so the idea of a sewing/altering/creating something great out of old shit workshop seemed like a great plan. but it also seems like a small thing. like little aliya. but is it? isn’t it better to just get started on something already? i need to confidently talk about myself as an artist in the present tense. i am an artist. i am making all the time. i am not waiting. i am moving forward right now. i am a superwoman.

2. Creative Time Summit: Revolutions in Public Practice 2 [October 9-10] featuring appearances by “IDEAS, INSPIRATIONS, FUTURES CREATED!

so that is the mindset i walked into the nyc creative time revolutions in public practice 2 summit October 9th weekend. i created the possibility of the trip being ridiculous best-friend-ships, partnership, collaboration, connections, community. the possibility of me being courageous and outspoken, fully self expressed and a huge contribution to the world — knowing myself as someone who is a contribution and part of the social engaged art field. I assigned myself the job of a NYC 8th grade book report: ask questions, fully participate, be totally of service to everyone, talk totally self expressed-ly to everyone i meet.

oh, here’s your entrance wristband to get into this blog version of the conference.

Wow! What a great great inspiring conference. Summit. I left feeling inspired, as I had intended and the whole reason for going. As a volunteer, I loved getting to know the people and the organization of Creative Time. They are amazing. I would really like to participate as an intern in their program very soon (foreshadowing).

As a viewer/participant in the summit (I was just a normal summit-goer the first day, and a volunteer the next day), I loved the set up (much better than last year): there were panels who presented, grouped on a theme, and then those people had a panel discussion, mostly led by questions from the audience. That was the real veggie-meat, the best part. Their presentations could make no sense, and then the discussion was where it became a bit more real. I also am constantly amazed at how bad some people are at presenting ideas and having an audience really get it. I mean, obviously I’m still working on that too. But there were so many times when people tried to cram whole years long theories into 8 min presentation, and it was just rushed and confusing and I feel like I understood some parts, but not really where they were going. The keynote speech by community-art-heart-throb Rick Lowe was incredible: he presented his work and the questions and commitments behind his work, but he also touched on the issues and dilemmas of community based work. when it doesn’t work so great. when its hard. when you do everything right and people still end up back in jail.

You can digest the Summit yourself here.

Anyways, here are some quotes/ideas I’m taking away from the discussions (these are all paraphrases):

  • “I’m not producing Forms, but experiences.” (surasik usolwong)
  • “we continue to be successful as long as someone continues to want our services”
  • “art has to be a movement into the world opening out eyes, being of service” (FEAST)
  • “we bring these issues into the realm of ART because the question of value is debated in this context. The system of value within our current system needs to be debated” : Within a context of being “art”, these projects get scrutinized and questioned as to the value that they bring — both in what we consider valuable in our normal day to day (capitalist) lives and also beyond that, in what is important for each person to express and declare.
  • from rick lowe: “I want to create a space for producing and celebrating culture and neighborhood: talking about pride and community, not poverty and crime. Where is the dignity in neglect? if you give people light they can shine. Wheres the dignity in telling artists there’s no room for them to make a difference in their communities and everyday lives?” (based on idea from John Biggers: take something that is dishonored and honor it, restore its dignity)
  • (rick lowe again:) “The work I do I have to think about in terms of social justice — social change is not enough. It’s not change, its peeling back the layers that are already there. It’s not easy, it doesn’t all work. It’s dangerous work, we’re trespassing into people’s lives. Justice is what we have to demand of each other [holding each other to account to produce work that forwards the world & humans in it, not just change it.]
  • “artists can be good at map-making/politics of space: we imagine new ways of being and then create spaces for that to exist” (trevor paglen)
  • some projects are not necessarily very effective in their goals, but they do open up a conversation to new people, opens up a new kind of dialogue. (dinh q. le)
  • “why does everyone living in AnnArbor want to do projects in Detroit?” in reference to a grad school class exploring this idea and divide: reciprocal participation is key in having open and equal exchanges of information and learning across differences. (danielle abrams)
  • organizations and art projects want to be a part of a system (for $, recognition, backing, support) but at the same time it is limiting & isolating because of that privilege and backing/support
  • there was a lot of questions and discussions about capitalism and commitments to dismantling capitalism, or the school structures, or government structures. in response, at the end of the day, “There is an illusion of artists that we can create new contexts for our art. NO. We rely on the existing contexts and institutions to give meaning and support and existence to our projects and ideas.” (discussion for plausible art worlds)

I don’t know if that is useful to anyone really. those are my scattered notes, and maybe they don’t make sense out of context.

If that list didn’t make sense, then you should definitely read this one:  Here is what I generated in my own head over the weekend, a list of project ideas:

  • dinner party art: an entire meal of one-bite dishes beautifully laid out in miniature on a spoon for each guest.
  • my room as an installation! color code it, transform the junk into awesome!
  • program: “Make Cookies With An Artist” (where you get to make cookies with me. Related “Go On A Date With An Artist” (only a small application fee for that residency, which covers roughly the cost of dinner).
  • Backyard BFR Lecture Series!! 15 minute lectures on something you know a lot about. invite everyone i know to play in my backyard.
  • ethnography of all the restaurants on “west atlantic” that I consciously/unconsciously have never been to because that’s the “poor part of town”
  • have a tropical fruit party exploring all the tropical fruit trees that I find.
  • learn spanish really
  • meal/research project exploring my food history: “jewish food” and “macrobiotic food”  and where did the “jewish foods” become jewish foods/ why/ and what are the foods that I consider to be foods I grew up on and “my history”
  • scan/take photos of all the sentimental stuff i am keeping around. bind it into a book, and then throw away all that stuff.
  • make milagro star cards with all the kids at Milagro: a trading card for each kid and on the back it will talk about what they’re really good at and what they love and what they want to contribute to the world.
  • a piece in the ocean: 100 floating sculptures.

3. NYC Reunions!! [October 11-12]

Not Pictured!

  • Eric Peterson at McSorely’s where we ate way too much cheese and crackers and onions and horseraddish mustard
  • Malcolm St. Clair at Upright Citizens Brigade! which was funny because he told me about this place when we were dating a million years ago and I had dreamed of going there with him, and now we were! weird.
  • Shoshi Roberts at Cupcake Cafe! which was also funny because we technically just met! and a roundabout/through ex boyfriends way of knowing each other.

4. Bonar Family Tropical Residency Program: Reinvigorated! [October 15ish]

(click on the image to get the full info at my friends Amber and Bobby’s Amazing Network of Domestic Spaces Project)

come visit my tropical residency program!! we will create some magical art together. open for one weekend or week long stays. can’t wait to see your beautiful face

5. Delray Beach Workshops

6. In Action: New Brochure, New Freedom to Talk About My Art!

Since not going to Dallas, I suddenly had a bit more freedom to talk about what I’m up to and make it applicable right here right now (you really). So I created a new brochure! this time striving to be more concrete, more visual, more tangible. Like after reading it, some awesome people and arts organizations are going to say, oh yeah, I can do that. here it is!

I still need a good title/name for my program. Thoughts?

Best is that I’ve been calling people. I need to keep calling them and actually reach them, but I am not terrified of picking up the phone. BUSINESS LADY ALIYA IS IN THE HOUSE!

7. 10×10 Show! [October 21]

Part of that “talking to everyone” thing is that I got in touch with this amazing curator, Kara Walker Tome, who has been making all kinds of incredible art shows in South Florida. Jody Servon from Elsewhere and Steve Bachus from Milagro have both told me to get in touch with her.

I did, it was too late to apply to this show, but I said I wanted to be involved in any way. She responded a week or so later saying, “We have a spot open and I totally love your work!” so I made a proposal and now I’m in! I’m going to be in a real-live established art show in South Florida!!
Here’s my proposal!

10×10 project proposal oct-20-2010


9. Coming Soon: more collaborations with wannamake; Clear Headed Fact-Based Elections discussions;  had a really amazing conversation with fellow Hampshire Alum and Community Artist Kate Browne (who makes COCOONS!!); YOU! at the Bonar Family Tropical Residency Program!!; Rat-Tail Love; Stuffed Animals in the Big Times

PS: check out some cool clothes I’ve been making:

  1. shirt image designed and drawn for me by mr. Micah Litant

  2. p.p.s. just so you all know, i kinda hated writing this blog post. it was like flossing after not flossing for so long. it sucks. it took me 5 + hours. so i hope you really appreciate it, even the long and make-no-sense lists. All those images! so exciting! relish in the excitement of images and updates from my life!
  3. ok. i’m done being bitchy now.


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