Archive for the ‘Wofflehouse’ Category
You know how 2-part TV shows always used to begin episode 2 with “Previously, on Falcon Crest“, and then gave a quick recap of what happened in Ep 1? I dunno: they probably still do that now, but I don’t watch much current TV, so I can’t be trusted on such matters.
Anyway, the “Previously…” feature was particularly handy growing up in Malaysia, where the the local stations (all 2 of them) generally showed imported TV shows in whatever order/season they felt like, so without those recaps, we’d have no idea what had happened the week before. Which is much like this blog. Well, Wofford’s plotline has been hither and thither, this way and that, for some weeks now, so this recap is as much to clear her head of the chaos as it is to fill your with it…
So. Here’s as compressed a version as I can give you of the past couple of months of scattered posting:
May 28: leave Bay Area for Czech Republic, move immediately to Brno. Lovely city, great place to adjust to a new culture, but Wofford’s internet access more or less confined to being a regular lurker in a local vegetarian organic food restaurant. So Woff gets her wegetables and her wireless for about an hour or two, but only every every day or two (so as not to seem too lurker-like at the cafe). Decompression/adjustment/culture-shock in full-effect, alongside trying to tie up loose ends long-distance in the US, and working on applications for various creative prospects here in Europe.
June 19: Wofford and the Pirate realize that the only truly tragic thing about Brno is its profound lack of full-on Middle-eastern food, and its apparent zero-hummus-tolerance policy. The quest for hummus leads to one of Europe’s great hummus cities, Vienna, for a weekend of hummus-ing. Um, and art and culture- experiencing, at places like the Kunsthistorisches Museum.
June 27: The official move to Prague, into a bizarre, Matrix-like, very un-Prague-like, apartment compound. Temporary, teensy-ish digs for 2-3 months, but courtesy of Pirate’s employer (ie freee), so no complaints here. Also, 24/7 internet access at home. (AND Prague is absolutely stunning. And there’s hummus here, too!) Woff’s newfound fixation has nothing to do with 6 centuries of architecture: she’s utterly obsessed with the 1992 Å½iÅ¾kov TV tower. The view from it is lovely, but the view OF it is divine. And the interior decorating in the tower is the BEST!!! Like a Czech version of a Miami Vice/Madonna Inn hospital waiting room.
June 29: Another day of solo travel back and forth between Brno and Prague, shepherding luggage to its new location. Very warm long-distance buses + older Czech gentlemen who don’t bathe daily = you do the math. BTW, Woff is generally not a fan of bus travel as it is, as she gets easily bus-sick, so she can’t read or do anything (as opposed to on trains, where this is not an issue).
July 2: And away again! Planes, trains and automobiles to get to an unbelievably epic Nigerian wedding in Portofino, Italy and 4 days of all manner of affiliated shenanigans with the P’s far-flung international crew all reunited for the occasion. This, followed by Wofford swinging from train to train (7 total) for a day, to catch up with the elder Woffords who just happen to be travelling in Europe, anyway. Crazy, right? But the Woffords miss each other a lot, so they’re happy to find a reason to see each other. Woffords x 3 spend time travelling in Switzerland, also bickering over who gets to drive and who’s getting car sick through all sorts of gorgeousness in Switzerland, France, Belgium and Holland.
(last photo courtesy KSD-thanks, k!)
Switzerland cable car, Grindlewald:
Tha Dom, Epernay France:
Tourist photos and Belgian Woffles, Bruges Belgium:
Important Latin Phrase, Amsterdam:
July 14: Finally back in Prague, to settle in, at long last.
(Um, so most of you don’t know, but my friend and former colleague “Lyle” and I have a porta-potty fixation. Long story. As part of a way of collapsing the distance between us, we’re working on a new collaborative photo essay entitled “Porta-Potties Of The World”, where we just…send each other pictures of porta-potties, in lovely places. Sort of a “Just Thinking Of You” greeting card kind of thing.)
I can’t complain about any of the fun adventures of the past month, but I am at that point where I’m feeling substantially unmoored, and feeling very ready to get some structure back into this screwball life of mine…I basically still know no one in Prague, other than P and a couple of his colleagues, so it’s time to hustle and make some new friends. And I’ve got major moolah woes to boot, so, time to hustle and start working in earnest, too! Have just cranked out another application for something else here in Europe, have to finish my mail-art piece for this project that Christine Wong Yap has put together back in SF, have to start working on drawings and paintings for a fall show I’m in in Manila. Have to start contracting some freelance work (so if you kind folks know of anyone who needs illustration/design work done, send them my way) too, have to start taking proper Czech lessons in earnest now that the ground beneath my feet’s a bit more stable. Have to really get to know and appreciate all aspects of this city, finally!
Well, I’ve been on the move for an extended chunk of time, folks, so my apologies for all the blog laggardliness.Â I’ve got travel and moving adventures coming up next post, now that I’m finally back in Prague after some extended hithering and thithering.
In the meantime, for your entertainment, here’s a new article that just appeared about me in the July 10 “Something Filipino” Magazine of the Asian Journal, courtesy of Malou Liwanag-Aguilar. Thanks, Malou!
(And how much do we LOVE that the article’s title is “Unravelling Jenifer Wofford’s Creative Mind“?
As if that’s not already a fait accompli! Ha! Ha! Unravelling, indeed…)
Renee Gertler at blankspace gallery=yes!
SoEx‘s impending new digs=yes!
Tekniq at Marx & Zavattero=yes!
Woffords Paint in Guangzhou=yes!
Ooh, that’s a lot of yessing going on.
I got turned on to Renee’s work by Christine Wong Yap a couple of years ago: it’s smart, funny, imaginative, and ethereal. And, as with much sculpture, it doesn’t translate well in photography (at least not my crappy pictures taken opening night–Renee’s pics on her website do much better). The few times I’ve been lucky enough to see Renee’s work in person, I’ve fallen in love with it.
Next on the YES list is ARTERI, a fantastic new website/blog focused almost entirely on one of my favorite combo platters: contemporary art, Malaysia, and Southeast Asia. Since some of my favorite foods are nasi lemakÂ and halo-halo, it would only stand to reason that this mix-mix is right up my alley, too.
My friend SimonÂ is one of the creators of the site, and has invited me to post something on it, so perhaps I’ll get to participate on it as well (and nooo, that’s not why I think it’s awesome. Go check it out. You’ll see for yourself. It’s like the SEAsian sister to the Bay Area’s own Stretcher).
And then there’s everyone’s favorite local/peripatetic space, Southern Exposure, staggering around the Mission from location to location these last few years. At long last, SoEx will be moving back in to permanent quarters over near the old Alabama Street ‘hood, sometime later this summer! YES. Staff and board have been working like demons to make sure that SoEx isn’t going anywhere for a long, long while, which given all the instability in the air these days, is truly comforting/delightful to hear.
And then there are the fine ladies of Tekniq, self-billed as “the Bay Area’s best almost amateur dance troupe”. Yes! I’m so one of their new groupies!Â In honor of “I Want You To Want Me,” the new group show at Marx & Zavattero Gallery, the girls (Hunny-B, Spand-X, Swiz-ILL, Lunch Boxxx, and Sha Bang-Bang) put on their best faux semi-animal costumes, and broke it down for the crowd at the opening:
Heather and Steve let me hang out behind the gallery counter to shoot photo and video, since the crowd (to the left, off-camera) was pretty crushing already, but my photos don’t do their ridiculous choreographical majesty justice. I’m sure that if you join their Facebook page, there’ll be more Tekniq goodness posted there soon, though…
Lastly, a big YES to Justin Hoover for organizing “Girls On Film“, a video screening at Ping Pong Space in Guangzhou, China, this Sunday! Justin was kind/delusional enough to include Woffords, Paint in the screening. (Because that’s what Guangzhou needs to see on Easter Sunday: Woffords making jackasses of themselves, eating paint.) The screening features works by Lucy Kalyani Lin, Gina Osterloh, Margaret Tedesco, and a number of other California artists.
That’s a suspicious amount of affirmation for one post.
Maybe I should do a NONONONONO post, next.
Well, “winter” is sort of a lukewarm state at best, here in California. It’s definitely gotten colder these days, but after spending a few days in Philadelphia at the beginning of December, I think I have a keener appreciation for what east coasters like to call “real weather”. It snowed. My nose almost fell off. The cold permeated any and every layer I had on (which, being a delicate Californian, means I probably didn’t have the best kind of layers to begin with…)
The semester is over, grading is almost finished, and the holiday break is going to be nice and long. It was a great semester of teaching: my students were, by and large, awesome. Most of them rocked their final projects, which is always a delight to witness. And, despite the occasional discombobulation of teaching 3 new classes at 3 different campuses, I managed to hold it down pretty durn well, myself.
My Market Street posters are/were due to come down either yesterday or this coming Monday: I wasn’t able to get over there to take a few more photos of them while they were still installed, unfortunately. I never even saw all of them myself! I feel really, really good about how the project turned out: lots of great feedback from folks who saw them, a nice review on KQED.org, and generally just a good personal feeling about making some art that really, successfully coalesced several of my ongoing preoccupations (around greater public access to art, marginalized/filipina narratives, comics, and education).
My sis just finished her semester, too: she’s been toiling away, preparing to become a firefighter for a while now, and she just graduated from CCSF’s Fire Academy! I’m super-proud of her. She’s such a badass: it’s kind of the perfect gig for her.
Here’s to her getting, er, fire-hired soon, and hopefully somewhere local!
Work-life reality for me will hit in mid-January: given the fact that every school’s in cut-back mode due to the economy, I was able to secure only 1.5 classes to teach this spring. Eek! I’ll be sending out an email APB to friends and family around New Year, officially nosing around for work, but consider this the first unofficial “yo–wofford wants work” communique. Send victims my way. My primary gigs are arts-related education/public speaking (lectures, panels, etc), art-making (hello, ongoing studio sale), and illustration/design (here), but I’m odd, so I like odd jobs, too: I’ve also consulted on college application essays (go Eden!), delivered priests to weddings (long story), substitute-taught (oy…) and taken photos. Big things are afoot in the 2nd half of 2009, I think, but I can’t get into that just yet: until then, I need to just hunker down and pay some bills.Â And hang out at my favorite Longs Drugs.( While it’s still Longs Drugs, that is. Sigh.)
Like Donkey Kong!
All files are updated, and the new gallery is over on Wofflehouse proper.
Check it out.
Thanksgiving…almost…there…much…rest…needed…boy, I got tired last week. It’s like the year finally caught up with me again. For like the fourteenth time. Had a mostly relaxing, recuperative weekend, and this week of work should be short but sweet, which is great.
I’m now in the midst off doing some more Wofflehouse updates: just transferred my design and illustration projects from the wofflings sidebar over to the main site, since I’d like to pick up some more of these gigs. (Those projects are now here. Send business to me!) A recent project I did was this illustration, which will be the wrap-around cover to a new Writerscorps book:
I’m also working on adding and updating a bunch of files for my holiday studio sale: these should be up by Thanksgiving weekend. And Max and I need to do a little re-design work on the site, since it sounds like the main page looks a little janky, and there are some funky margins elsewhere, too. BTW, if you’ve got any comments on how Wofflehouse now looks, please email me, or post a comment, and also let me know what browser you’re using.(I hear it looks like crap in Explorer, por ejemplo.)
In the midst of all these updates, I only just discovered that when the new Wofflehouse went live earlier in October, it unfortunately did so with a key privacy setting left on, and my website disappeared from all search rankings.Â This basically means that if anyone has recently tried to Google me, my projects, or the name of my site,Â Wofflehouse proper has not come up. (This blog still appears, though.)Â This has been remedied, but it will take a while to kick back in, which is a bummer. Yeah, I know, I know. Play the world’s smallest violin for me.
OK. Monday morning’s coming at me. More soon.
Dang. I took quite a little blog-vacation there. I thought that I’d be posting more, given that things have slowed down, but as it turns out, I apparently needed a blog-break, too.
There’s some catching up to do, some new stuff to report about. I’ve been enjoying teaching this semester, although the “3 different classes at 3 different campuses” thing is starting to wear me down a bit. Still, my students are fantastic and fun, and I’m really excited about a great deal of the work that they’ve been doing.
My UC Berkeley course, “Multicultural and Global Perspectives”, has been going well. It’s both studio and seminar: last week, they presented projects they’d created after reading and discussing Edward Said’s essay on exile. Now, we’re about to go into a project on borders. Whew. It’s challenging working with big old themes like these, but it’s been pretty amazing what how students have managed to make meaning of this in their work…
Through sheer dumb luck (actually, the gracious offer from the Berkeley Art Museum), we got to have internationally acclaimed artist Ai Weiwei come to our class for an hour last month, and have an informal rap session with us.
He had originally missed the date he supposed to visit us, so we assumed that we wouldn’t get to meet him. We were all set to make a sock-puppet video of all the questions we would have asked him, when he ended up re-scheduling and coming to class, after all, which was a big treat (and of course, which scuttled our sock-puppet video):
Weiwei talking a bit about his Documenta project
Papa Smurf, breaking it down
Kool and the Gang
Turns out Weiwei’s a blogger, too, so a few days after his visit, he posted pics of US on HIS blog, which was pretty funny. I can’t seem to find them now, for some reason. Maybe we’re strictly confidential. Or the Chinese government had a problem with us being on his blog.
Sooo, what else: Galleon Trade BAN 5 is now down, my Market Street posters are still up. I’ve got a couple of prints in the new Kearny Street Workshop “Shifted Focus” exhibition. I’m working on a couple of residency applications, and I’m preparing to go down to Riverside for a conference. And I’ve spent the past month rebuilding and updating my website, which is why I haven’t been blogging, come to think of it! It’s been a lot of work: not hard, really, just time-consuming. Re-sizing photos, editing text, building new sections, yada yada yada.
The new site’s not too dissimilar to the original Wofflehouse, actually: the main significant difference is that Max and I rebuilt it in WordPress, so that I can now manage the content myself (before, I had to pester Max for every minor update, since I couldn’t do any of it on my own). There are still a few kinks to work out, but overall, I’m just delighted to be able to mess around with it myself, at long last! Let me know what you think of it.
And I’m still updating the TEACHING and ALSO sections, so they’re chock-a-block with changes and new content soon, too.
OK. Enough with the woffling about wofflehouse.
Got to go get ready for school now.
Hope this stuff keeps you entertained for a few minutes.
And now, back to woffling somewhat more consistently. And also randomly.
Well, the Market Street posters are up, Galleon Trade BAN 5 is doing its thing, my house is finally on the market, and I’m settling into the school year. It’s been such a treat to finally dispatch the last of this round of 2008′s hyperactive artistic mania! Don’t get me wrong: I’ve been incredibly grateful for all of the opportunities that have come my way this year, but too much, all at the same time, does not a healthy Wofford make. The analogy that seems to apply best is: you know when you have too many programs running on your computer at the same time? And how, you know, even if you’re not technically using them all simultaneously, they’re still open, and they just bog down your computer unbelievably? It’s been like that.
So. As of mid-September, I’ve shut most of theÂ programs down, and it’s officially time to reflect and re-energize. I’m loving getting to finally feel focused on my teaching, and I’m really enjoying connecting with my students more. And I’m loving finally having time to just catch up with friends and family, see movies, get some exercise, even cook actual food in my actual home. (Well…for as long as I still have a home, although given how slow the market is, I probably won’t be moving any minute soon.) Basic stuff, all flung to the wayside whilst busy.
Lesson for 2008: a little recreational art-opp-juggling is fine from time-to-time, but if you O.D., the party’s over. I got invited to do a lot of awesome stuff, from exhibitions to teaching opportunities, but too much of it happened all at the same time, leaving me feeling overwhelmed and strung out at too many moments. There are some artists who thrive on constant busy-ness: I’m actually not one of them, contrary to popular opinion. I do love the rush of work and deadlines, but really, one deadline at a time from hereon out is fine. At various points this year, I’ve had multiple deadlines overlapping, all while teaching, too. (And teaching 3 different classes at 3 different campuses, mind you). I think that any of us who choose the life of a working artist is choosing to do a little juggling, but really, more than 3 bowling pins is just overkill, n’est-ce pas?