Skip to main content

Unanswerable Questions

You wouldn't think it would be so difficult to print five photographs. But it is. I will be given an 8x8 foot wall to fill with whatever I want for the exhibit, and I had to make a mockup of my wall and how it will look. The guidelines were to bring something that you still consider "in progress" and that you would like to have a discussion about. So I'm bringing the beginning of my "Etherial Edibles" series.

I made a 8x8 inch photoshop document to lay out my photos how I want them on my wall, and then I had to translate what that means into actual measurements. Then, I ended up having to do it all over again when I saw the standard sizes of the printer that I decided to go through. It was quite the process. I got my prints the other day and they look great. So velvety and full of depth. I'm looking forward to seeing them on the wall with all its neighbors in the gallery. I plan to sign the bottom right corners in pencil like all the real photographers do.

I'm just going to steal Curtis' photo here since I didn't make any.

And how will I get these giant prints to Vermont, you ask? I have it all figured out. I bought a really snazzy telescoping tube that I can roll my prints into and sling over my shoulder like a hipster and be all, "Yeah, I'm an art school grad student." Yeah, that would be nice—except no... Nothing can work out that simple. Little did I know, the paper would be so fancy-schmancy that it's too stiff to roll into my tube. So the printer guy gave me a giant cardboard tube. It's not nearly as hipster but I guess the point is that the prints end up okay. 

They said you can bring more than one wall's-worth of stuff and swap it out through the residency. Like if you wanted a particular critic's review of one project and another critic's review of another project. I was thinking about bringing some God Balls and a poster and the photo book, but I just got too overwhelmed. But then, as if the universe has a mind of its own, the exhibit director wrote us all an email saying, they had a last-minute idea to set up a "book room," and if anyone had a book of their work, they can bring that for the book room. Yeah, tell me that wasn't divine intervention. If God Ball wants to come along, there's no stopping him.

There's so many things that have to be set in order. I have to figure out how to get from the airport to the college. There's all sorts of different ways, and I wish they weren't so expensive. Greyhound was only $10, but the last bus was before my arrival at the airport. Then there's Uber but I just don't trust it. Then there's two kinds of taxis which will be nearly $80. The taxi has a discount for students with an ID, but since I'm a first semester student I don't have an ID. Then there's the actual charter service that is in cahoots with the college, who, depending on how many people are arriving at the same time, you might get a discounted rate. But if you happen to get stuck alone in the charter, it's the most expensive of all the options. Since no one else is coming as far a distance as me, I doubt anyone else will be arriving as late as I am. What do I do?

Then there's the whole search for an Artist-teacher. They sent me a list of previously approved artist-teachers in California that have worked with them before, but the vast majority of them are in Southern California, which is just too far. I went through some of the ones that were close by and tried to pick ones whose art I thought was cool and I tried contacting 5 of them. Only one responded and said that he normally would love to and thinks the school and the program is great, but alas, he cannot. No one else responded. Then my search came to a screeching halt because of my own disorganization and inadequacy because I seriously cannot find the list with the teachers, or the email from which it came. I wrote to my contact at the school and asked for it twice, but received no response. What am I going to do?

And then there's the whole issue of what to bring. This place isn't a hotel, it's a dorm. A distinction I was taught very well during my brief and uncomfortable stay at University of Virginia. Do I bring a bar of soap? Towels? Is there only one pillow? (These days, it sure is nice to have two) Then there's all the little unknowns. Just how hot does it feel in the day and how chilly at night, and how much outdoor walking is involved from location to location? How far is it exactly from the rooms to the cafeteria? Does the 15-year-old Skin So Soft in my cabinet still work as a mosquito repellant? Do I need to bring cliff bars and other snacks so that I don't have to make a super long walk if I want a nibble late at night? Will I have leisure time in the day to rest? How will I survive if I don't? How do I dress like Dolly Parton without spending any money? Is it even remotely possible for me to look anything like Dolly Parton? Would I want to even if I could? They already told us the rooms don't have air conditioning, which I feel I can deal with better than freezing air conditioning that I can't adjust *cough* Virginia *cough*. They told us that the rooms don't have a bathroom, and that there is one shared bathroom on each floor. I assume this also includes a shower, but they didn't specifically say that. And when they say "one bathroom" are we talking one shower and one toilet and one sink that no one else can use if someone is taking a shower or brushing their teeth? Or are we talking one public bathroom with perhaps multiple toilets or access to the toilet while someone else is showering, etc. like the ones at camp sites? And when we say "one" do we mean one for men and one for women? So many questions that really can't be answered until I get there. I hate having bathroom questions.