Last week I went on my first road trip. The drive was from Minneapolis to San Francisco. One of my goals of this trip was to finalize a body of work for the fall show at Kitsch Gallery. I had hoped that I could create some art/work/stuff that would follow-up the tradition of making work while on the road. Creating something out of the experience of the change in landscape. Think Robert Smithson mixed with Tori Amos and Sophie Calle. Only this time, Carissa Potter. I set out with the idea that I would leave a trail of notes, Hansel and Gretel like, with observations, narratives and obsessive thoughts. I would leave one note at every place I stopped, take a photo of cette note, and take something from the stot - in exchange for that which I had left. The thought that went into the project was minimal - and the output possibly terrible. I was working so hard just to mask my travel photos into something deeply moving, with the possibility of contributing into the context of the current world of art, with the hope that in the end, when I re-turned home the project itself would have within it some traceable meaning.
Thus, I am asking for help.
I came to realize that perhaps the whole trip was a way that I could claim artist status to a population that would never really be able to dispute it. People would never know the difference. Or really what I meant by saying that I was an “artist.” Lots of people asked me questions about why I was leaving notes and taking pictures. People I watched in lines come up to read my notes - mis-spellings and mind numbing information in all.
This term was a welcome change to use as an identifing word. In Minneapolis, as well as San Francisco, I would never call myself an artist. I would avoid doing so at all costs. I would use words like stuff maker, lame idea maker, or recently personal assistant.
I got to thinking today, what does this say/mean about the term artist? What does it mean about my ideas on location and identifying as an artist as a position of power or method of legitimizing strange/erratic behavior?
How are people in rural environments any less aware about what I would mean by calling myself/my work as art? Is it just that I would not care as much what they would think because I would most likely never see them again? Or would they be less likely to check-up, so to speak, on my status and reflect/change their ideas on what exactly an artist would be in regards to their perceptions of my behavior? In that sense, I hope I provided a good example, was polite, for all of you true artists out there.
So I am asking for help. IS THIS INTERESTING MORE SO THAN A LOVE STORY INVOLVING LANDSCAPE WITH A GHOST CAT?