[-empyre-] Welcome to May: Boredom: Labor, Use and Time

Renate Terese Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Wed May 6 14:17:50 AEST 2015

Ben,  Thanks for this incredibly complex post highlighting the
relationship between boredom and dreaming/mind-wandering.  A little bit
about the idea behind this entire month¹s topic  About a month ago the
artist Michelle Grabner visited our Department of Art at Cornell  as a
Visiting Lecture.  Her afternoon lecture traced the trajectory of her work
as an artist who is based in the Mid-West. In both her art production and
curatorial work (Grabner was one of the curators of the recent Whitney
Biennial this past season), Grabner states that boredom particularly
"situational boredom² has been the motivating force behind her work.
Grabner¹s obsessive work of gingham patterns, repeating woven fabrics, and
repeating quilted patterns are meticulously and methodically painted on
over-sized canvases.  The mind-set of situational boredom has enabled a
studio practice enabling obsessive compulsive repetition and labor.
Grabner also lives in the middle of the Mid-west a choice that allowed her
to work part-time, raise her kids, and develop a studio with her husband.
She is not shy about talking about her life in keeping her family moving
and working in tandem with her husband and curatorial projects.

Grabner¹s technical work allows for zones of meditation through repetitive
labor.  I¹m wondering Ben if any of your research provides some insights
into what happens within the creative process?  Any hints as to how the
creative space of Grabner¹s situational boredom fits into the spaces of
mind-wandering or wakeful dreaming states of meditation?

Generally the other impetus behind this month¹s topic was inspired by
geographical location. Tim Murray and I have lived in Upstate New York for
the past few decades.  Living approximately four hours from New York City
we chose as Grabner and her husband did to choose to live within the
confines of a slower paced life.  For us the rural emptiness of miles of
landscape, the lack of scheduled distraction leaves us time (now that our
family has grown up) to use most of waking hours to develop artistic
production, thinking, reading and writing. Alternatively we have the
choice to be in the middle of the urban expanses of New York within an
easy car or bus ride away.

Thanks so much for being our guest this week.  Looking forward to hearing
more.  Renate

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