Shooting The Bean


As of 5pm today, all deadlines have been met for awhile.  (Actually, that’s not true: there are class descriptions, some input for an article, PR for a show, and my deferred taxes to be taken care of in the next two weeks – as well as beginning the initial intensive dive into what will be a long bout of ongoing, extensive research).  But: the due-by-October first things are all taken care of, and though they went at a relatively leisurely pace, it was still just too much computer time, writing, editing, re-writing, re-editing.  This gets me things I want, though.

My difficulty (and incredibly slow pace) with writing keeps me from ‘playing the numbers.’  I’ve met a lot of artists and writers who apply for 10 or more residencies or grants at a time, hoping to get two or three.  I apply only for things that I really want, with only one or two more than I think I can handle, mostly because the application process has never become an easy one for me.


But, as I said in the last blahg, though it has its tedious side, it was better to do this time than ever before, because I wasn’t doing it all on top of 10,000 other things, and I got to have breaks.  I also had some meetings, including a momentous one that showed me that I’ll periodically be involved in many more.  They’re in a lovely location, though, and Tuesday’s meeting was in crisp, cool, fine fall weather, perfect for strolling across the street afterwards to Shoot The Bean.


This is a Chicago pastime for tourists and natives alike, ever since Anish Kapoor erected The Bean, which is actually titled ‘Cloud Gate’. I do have a great fondness for it, but then I have always loved Shiny Reflective Things.  It is a fine, gigantic Shiny Reflective Thing. I haven’t been there in a long while, and on a cool fall day, it wasn’t crowded at all (and still, everyone had a camera – if you’ve been there, you have at least one photo of yourself reflected in it).  So, since I’ll be returning regularly, I think I’ll shoot it and some of the other Millennium Park features periodically during the next few seasons. It’s kind of difficult to go wrong, Shooting The Bean, eh?



The Bean. Below: details in The Bean’s hood.



7 thoughts on “Shooting The Bean

  1. HOW i feel you on the relief of the oct 1 deadlines passing! funny, b/c i would think you would be really really fast at writing and banging out those apps. esp since you are such a good writer. these days, i’m really struggling w/all of mine. probably b/c i want them very badly but they all feel a little beyond my reach for right now.

    LOVE anish kapoor. though i wonder how many staffers they need to keep the bean clean?

  2. The flip side of you only applying for a few residency things is that you also tend to get most of them — those of us with less impressive or extensive exhibition/track records sometimes need to apply for a lot of things to get one or two.

    (Granted, I’m doing better at that sort of thing lately — October looks to be almost as crazy as September was — but I am getting pickier and not sending out applications for everything that comes across my computer screen. OTOH, the past life as a writer has come in rather handy for getting lots of those things out in a short time frame….)

  3. Smith, c’mon over. You would like the Spit Fountain, too.

    Linda & Aimee: Oh, trust me, I get rejected, but my percentage is getting better year by year: I guess the more you get, the more you get (grin) which bodes very well for you!
    Re: writing – I can toss off Blahgs quickly, or I wouldn’t be doing it. I think the slowness w/ app-writing is 1. working to make them ‘site-specific’ and 2. constantly re-mixing all my info into the wildly varied formats the apps ask for. I agonize over image selection and description as well, so it all adds to the slowness.
    A highly-recommended place I just applied to (one I’ve never tried before, w/ heavy competition) wanted things in a format not even close to others I’ve encountered, so everything pretty much had to be re-written…not quite from scratch, but pulled from several different previous apps and heavily edited.

  4. I’m working on one like that now: I can pull most of the bits and bobs from other projects, but there’s a couple of pages I have to create pretty much from out of the fumes of the caramelized onions that are part of tonight’s dinner.

    Will be glad to get it out of here, I can tell you….

  5. i love the bean! when i was crossing the 71 bridge to downtown i imagined a whole buncha beans spread out in the valley below then decided i better pay attention to traffic then thought that perhaps a cuyahoga river valley full o’ beans (yuk yuk yuk) might pose a danger to motorists…

  6. I was just at The Bean with out-of-town girlfriends weekend before last. They’d never seen it and I’d not been there for a long time. Big Shiny Reflective Thing indeed!

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