Lab Report

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One of my most valued advisors way back in grad school told me: “You have a bit of the mad scientist about you.” I laughed but agreed, and still do: it looks like that and feels like that all over this house right now. There are about 25 test projects scattered around, some stopped at one stage to just become new samples, others being altered and shaped between drying times (or engendering new additions), and an early happy accident is being pursued. At this point I’m not stopping to assess what is successful and what is not, but am simply loving it. It’s been so very long since I’ve been able to work entirely intuitively like this, really since my earliest residencies.

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It began by simply experimenting with only a haptic and visual agenda, then letting the outcomes lead me.  Two main shape-types or species have emerged: fungi of course, and taproots and bulbs. Thinking about materiality sent me to browse among the test tubes and motors at my honored neighborhood Chicago Institution (where I spent a whopping $3.55), and yesterday I began to see and understand one direction this all might be leading towards, and to gain some insight into why.

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I’m in residence, don’t have to pack up and leave; and the work can keep happening even during my other projects. Because of that long horizon, I’ve easily, lightly been integrating the everyday chores, fully living in the house with Paul and Lupe to ever-so-gently ground me, running my time instead of being run by time.  I feel as though this post is all boasting, but it’s just that good.  Since the last house project ran over its week, I think I’ll continue studio time for a bit longer…

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