Friday, September 13, 2013

Guest Artist Photo Ninja Suite

So it goes like this:

After a bit of negotiating you accept the offer, hiding the fact that you are more than flattered.

You ignore the task for a while, then you get antsy and realize you need to prepare.

You put off the preparation for days, weeks, and then are watching the calendar and counting the days. It's not really an issue of giving the institution their money's worth....that is a consideration but a secondary one. The stomach ache and sense of terror you feel as the days creep up is one of absolute unquestionable failure. A loss, a social humiliation, a chunk of public ridicule that threatens to strike you at your most personal space. It risks touching you at your core. A deep wound or even as a surface wound...either one will do the damage and be banging around your psyche for a long, long time.

The Guest Artist is the Photo Ninja: you sweep in with Yin and Yang. Exhausted and filled with adrenaline.

You find a reserved but willing audience. You cut to the chase- no nurturing, no hand holding, nothing like that at all. You deliver the goods, toss out your opinions and advice with little to no backround to their projects at all. It's all about you, sharing your steroid-driven opinions with them, letting them live with it, as you fly off into the night.

The next day, just like are gone. Poof.

But it's the large public lecture, usually scheduled at night, that can destroy you. Small talk before the lecture about the challenges a known photo rock star ran into during his lecture...a guy I know is overflowing with charisma. These things sit in your brain and make you un-easy...and worse. You can hope for the best: attentive students, great questions, solid response from the crowd. But any sign of apathy, any sigh, any glance at a text will dent your photo libido for months.

This time...I got away with it. I tricked them all...all 200 of them...with some form of mass hypnosis. Whew. You never know what next time holds....


I flew out to University of Kansas on September 11, 2013. Having some time on hand at the airport, I posted this note to Facebook:

Here it is, 9/11 and I'm at the Oakland Airport.

Life as usual all around. Cliche as it sounds, one never forgets.

So thankful for the opportunity to celebrate art and life and passion and all that we are able to create this week as a visiting artist at University of Kansas. Thankful for the joys that come with just totally geeking out with like minded art geeks as well.



And wow....what can I say? We really had an absolute blast. Thank you everyone at U of K for slaughtering the pig and celebrating your work with me so openly. Bryon Darby, Luke Jordan, Daniel Coburn, Emma Kisiel, Nathaniel Jones and every student who shared their work.

Thank you.

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