I’m Usually Pretty Good At Naming Things

Published on April 24, 2023
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Captions provided by CCTubes – Captioning the Internet! Joe Strummer of The Clash said it best: “All we’re doing is trying to communicate something. Sometimes we don’t know what it is, sometimes we do.”

In the summer of 2021, I decided that I had spent long enough making art with pre-
ordained meaning. I wanted to see what art-making was like free from that obligation. I wanted to see what would happen if I let the process speak back to me. So I culled through my extensive arsenal of the stuff I make collage and sculpture with, and made a stack of paper about a foot tall. With this as my raw material, I cast aside the idea of outward expression with a specific agenda, and embraced inward exploration with unassigned curiosity.

Subsequently, each collage became its own independent narrative. I was speaking in an intuitive language that perhaps I didn’t have total agency over. It was scary, and it was freeing.

I knew that even if I didn’t fully understand what I was making, there would be two people who would: my kids. To be clear, I don’t mean ‘understand’ in the way one processes a distinct language: I’m not a semaphore; they are not at sea. What I mean is that these pieces might just have a poetic resonance with the two people who know me better than I know myself.

Maybe by admitting that I don’t have all the answers—not by a long shot— in a communication authored for the people who ostensibly look to me for answers, I can become as cool as Joe Strummer. At least to my kids.

filmed by Mac Premo & Srdjan Stojiljkovic
Edited by Mac Premo
Sound Design by Owen McLean

Thank you
Adrianna Dufay
Conor Peterson
Oliver Jeffers
Joe Strummer
Yng-Ru Chen
Mike Blabac

Thank you forever and ever Atticus & Frieda

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