Invasive Plant Paper
Within my search for plant material to collect and make handmade paper from, I stumbled across many barriers. In Minnesota it is illegal to forage almost any plant to make paper. Why is foraging illegal? I understand the responsibility of foragers to not overuse local resources for exploitation... but for the local papermaker or other persons interested in the preservation of species and biodiversity, how could we help learn and teach about the land if we couldn't work with it? Although there are many ways this is already being done, I wanted to find my own way to bend the rules. Through researching the Minneapolis Parks and Board Rec website I found that the maintenance crew was allowed to mow and make decisions about plant species and areas to be maintained. This was my loophole. I could make paper from invasive and native species by being the collector of mowed plants. My particular interest was Cattails. When I began researching local materials I could process into paper, I found that cattails were abundant and a popular material. I waited until the Parks and Board Rec would cut the cattails and then take the leftover material to process into paper.
Resistance, Reflection, and Self-Growth
Reflection gives me space for understanding. If I don't what to know, I become curious of this challenging feeling. Why? By expanding my understanding of a topic I am able to relate it to other information I carry with me. In finding some understanding I now have a choice. Choices are important. If a line of resistance is present, I ask myself what is making me feel a disconnect? Where do I feel discomfort? If I can identify where resistance is in my body and mind, I can use tools to sit with it. These tools depend varying on the situation, but by utilizing tools I can move through these lines of resistance.
Here are some tools I use when I feel a resistance:
Walking - this helps me move through problems by moving my body to new spaces
Writing - I am able to connect with feelings using language
Art - this often the most intuitive process and the most ambiguous way I approach understanding
Talking - I am able to see the resistance from another point of view
Yoga - similar to walking, I can move my body to find areas of resistance and accept new parts of my practice
Meditation - I use meditation as a "blank canvas" instead of filling the space, I sit with the "empty" space
What is the purpose of utilizing these tools?
By using tools I do not have to stay in a spiral, unless I choose to. If I choose to stay in a space of resistance, I then can sit with knowing it is my choice. If I feel resistance, I use a tool to help me understand and bring clarity. Clarity is important because it provides structure to understanding the deeper connective tissue of the resistance. If I can get to the source of resistance, then I can learn more about myself. What patterns do I want to continue?
Multi/Inter Potentiality Artist
Today I am reflecting on the duality and contradiction of content. I have had artists tell me that I am speaking different languages through different mediums (the hand of the artist changes). I have also heard the exact opposite about my work (things flow and are in relation as I make through different mediums).
So... this leads me to question, challenge, and find meaning through these opinions and conversations.
From reflecting on this I was also interested in how this relates to my understanding of my formerly interdisciplinary 'title' as an artist and in my practice. I have not felt drawn to one medium, I have always preferred to work through multiple mediums, typically combining their materials, concepts, and process. By learning through a variety of mediums I have been able to examine how I intertwine my art, practice, and lifestyle. I highly believe in you are your process/your art is your process.
What is an interdisciplinary artist/practice?
Above are the two articles I felt gave good working definitions of art disciplines (particularly interdisciplinary). In this research I found I do not relate to these definitions. I felt aligned with 'multi' and 'inter', but not 'discipline'. This led me to dig for a word in search of meaning to the practice that felt right for me. Discipline feels a bit limiting and filled with negative connotations, but my work feels liberating while I am making it. I thought about the word 'potential'. Potential is a word that is open, becoming, and thinking of things as moving forward.
This led me to define myself as a multi/inter potentiality artist. My art, practice, and outlook are both many and between. I work with many conceptual ideas, materials, and 'outside' the art world influences which provide multiple perspectives and perceptions, which is extremely important to me. I also work with these same subjects between each other, I put more value in the between and becoming states rather than the start or destination. I believe the path, process, journey are more interesting than the final 'product'.
Art as Visual Language for Communication
Art as a visual language for communication. I communicate using poetry, collage, research, process, experimentation, documentation, observation, and interdisciplinary approaches. The artist is an active participant in the translation of images, sensations, and feelings through the spirit to the physical 'reality'. One goal of the artist is for the audience to have an interaction with the artwork which would be similar to a conversation of language, but the artist has to be the translator. Artists cannot have complete control over what the message of translation is, although they can guide the way. How important is it for the audience to draw the lines of conclusion for themselves? How much information do they need? This is the job. A job, task, work ... is this the mundane part of being an artist or the exciting part? I prefer the audience to allow for their connections with the work. Each person has their lenses through which they see the world.