Dang. I leave today for Southern California, and it seems as if I’m descending into the Inferno (Sandow Birk’s version) itself. Between last week’s tragic collision/explosion in the I-5 tunnel, and this weekend’s fires in Malibu and surrounding areas, I kind of feel like I’m in for it:





(photos from the LA Times)

Gnarly! And not in a good way. My condolences to all those affected by this fire (although it does feel a little weird to be offering condolences to folks in plushy Malibu, fires stink, all the same, no matter who or where you are.)

I’m off this Monday for a week in Southern California, first to do grad studio visits and to give a lecture at UC Santa Barbara on Tuesday, next to go house-sit/cat-sit, look at art and catch up with friends for a few days in LA. I’ve been really looking forward to it, but it’s looking pretty apocalyptic all around…I’m kind of thinking I need to procure a copy of Carl Orff’s Carmina Burana, just so’s I can have the full “Fortuna Imperatrix Mundi” experience as I descend into the flames…

It’s weird: I’ve been a teacher long enough, and given enough public lectures at this point to feel very comfortable with the process, but it never ceases to make me a teensy bit nervous. Mostly, it’s the lack of predictability with audience: I know what works with some audiences, but not with others. My gracious UCSB hostess, Kim Yasuda, gave me the sense that the crowd in attendance will be a mix of art dept peeps and asian american studies peeps: this is kind of my dream audience, but it does leave me curious about the questions that might get thrown at me during Q and A. Am I gonna get the “what kind of paint do you use?” questions, the “what is your stance on critical transnational women of color feminist issues?” questions? Maybe both, maybe neither?


That said, I do love doing these lectures. It’s fun to get to share stuff, it’s fun to to see what a new audience gets out of it, and what they throw back at me. It’s super-fun when the audience is engaged, kind of a drag when they’re checked out. There’s a definite discomfort factor for me, getting up and doing these, but I’m a big fan of improv and fate, and what emerges out of these situations that’s really out of my control is always a good learning experience. Still, I’ve been to enough artist lectures to have a strong sense of what makes a good or bad lecture, and I feel constantly mindful of my obligations to A, make an audience feel like they got their money’s worth (well, you know what I mean), and B, not make an utter ass of myself.

Anyway, if you’re around SB, and aren’t planning on being affected by all the inSANE wildfires that have broken out slightly south of there, please come to my lecture! (Unless you’re sick of me rambling, already. I do tend to.) I’ll be talking about my solo work, Mail Order Brides/M.O.B. work, and Galleon Trade. Maybe other stuff, too. We’ll just have to wait and see…either way, I’m looking forward to it enormously.

Wofford at UCSB
Tuesday, October 23
Isla Vista Theatre, UCSB, 5 pm

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