Tuesday, July 13, 2010

blog lapse

It's been a while, huh? I'm not very good at blogging, as you may have noticed. Plenty of things have been going on, I just don't feel like most of them are blogworthy.

Big changes are in store for me, both by choice and necessity. I have been doing next to no art because I am having some pretty severe hand/arm/shoulder/neck pain that is keeping me from doing very much at all. To keep myself from going crazy while I am unable to make things, I've been doing more work in the realm of event planning/curation, which is fun but not quite the same as making your own stuff.

Not being able to make art is pretty depressing, I have to admit. And it's not just not being able to make art -- I am also unable to do pretty basic things that I used to be able to do, like open jars and ride my bike. This would be lame even if I didn't used to have rather a lot of upper arm strength, but I did. In fact, it was sort of my one thing I could do as an uncoordinated, not-particularly-sporty kid. I never got picked to be on any teams, and I had zero depth perception, but I could climb the FUCK out of a rope. As well as doing push-ups and chin-ups and all the things girls aren't supposed to be able to do.

Anyway, the point isn't to whine about my situation. Though I would like to please caution you to remember to stretch when doing repetitive work, watch your posture and don't get hit by a car while crossing the street, all factors I'm sure that have conspired to create these problems for me. HOWEVER. I'm trying to look on the bright side, and in fact I'll be enrolling in the Arts Administration program at IU this fall. I'm basically already doing this stuff for free and really enjoying it, so I figured I may as well work toward making it pay. If I can't be directly involved in making art, I at least want to be able to help make it happen for others.

Bummer summer, man. I have been feeling pretty down about this. But I'm getting the opportunity to learn new things and have been doing a lot of reading, both for pleasure and for personal research. In particular, I've been interested in reading about collective organization and collaboration. If you have any books or articles on the subject, I'd love to know what they are. The more that circumstances require me to work with others, both because of my physical limitations and my desire to work more with the community, the more I realize I would like to know about group psychology and the nature of organizations.

One thing I've realized is that I'm not actually a solitary worker as I once believed. I work well on my own, but I also work pretty well collaboratively -- in certain conditions. Collective organization, however, has its downfalls and frustrations, as I have recently experienced with the Art Hospital collective, and I'd love to know more about collectives that are being run successfully and how they manage to do so.

In other news, we've got a fantastic garden going and we're working hard to stave off the dread tomato blight. Here's hoping some serious canning will be happening in the coming months!


  1. Eesh, the idea of doing art admin stuff makes my skin crawl. It's so neat that you've taken to it though, it takes a very good brain to handle people and things so well (I can handle things, not people, oh no).

    About your pain: it is really, really worth it to look around for any Bowen (a branch of massage therapy) providers in your area. It's crazy weird how well it can work. I'm hugely biased towards MT for pain management, but that's because it's reduced my hand issues to almost nothing and kept a WTF hip issue from becoming crippling.

  2. I'll definitely look into that! I have been wanting to get a massage for some time, but wary of doing so because I also don't want to inadvertently make anything worse. Thanks for the tip!

  3. The best is massage therapists who are associated with physical therapists, or list sports injuries as something they know to do. My MT is always like, "you have to treat your body as well as you treat your car, massage is like getting the oil changed regularly."

  4. Hi Nicole! I have been dealing with joint pain for the last five years or so. It started when I worked at a coffee shop (tendonitis in my elbow and wrist from repetitive motion) and got so bad I couldn't hold open a book or turn a steering wheel without searing pain; forget about opening jars. It was a really sucky time for me and those around me. I was in physical therapy for a while, and learned a lot of exercises and stretches. My tendons were doing all the work that muscles would have done, so the main focus of my therapy was muscle-building. I was prescribed a wide range of painkillers, given ultrasounds and cortisone shots, but the exercises were the only effective thing. If you can see a physical therapist, do it! It's really not worth being in constant pain.