Thursday, April 17, 2008

coming to sidewalk near you...

If you happen to be in California, that is.
Exchanges II will be playing in San Francisco in The Show Starts on the Sidewalk projection series, curated by Nomi Talisman and Bill Basquin in conjunction with the University of California, Santa Cruz's Intervene! Interrupt! Rethinking Art as Social Practice conference.

The conference looks really, really interesting...
check it out:

And for those of you on the other side of the continent, I am planning to take a trip to (and wearing shoes on) the East coast, although California is now sounding awfully enticing...

Thursday, April 10, 2008


Sophie had her birthday party at the art studio. She was very excited. It was a really fun party--all the kids seemed really engaged and happy to work with clay and paint. And they were remarkably well-behaved (and quiet!), too. At the end I overheard Sophie saying, "that was the best party ever!" It was great. Her mom told me that they had something they wanted to bring me, but forgot it at home. She turned to Sophie who told me what it was: "my white fuzzy bunny slippers," she said. They had seen the article in the newspaper, and Sophie wanted to lend me some shoes. They brought them the next morning when Sophie came to art class (still eager to make more art).

I was so happy that Sophie was excited to share her shoes with me. As she said, they are white fuzzy bunny slippers. They have little light pink noses, ear-insides, and bottoms. The bottoms reveal that they are Old Navy brand shoes, size 10/11.

I wasn't sure how they might fit--Sophie told me that her mom puts them on sometimes, so they should work on my feet, too. And they did...sort of.

My heels of course stuck out past the edge of the slippers. They landed squarely on the cute little tail at the back of each slipper. It wasn't that it was especially uncomfortable, but I was really concerned about squashing the bunny tails and ruining a little 6-year-old's slippers.

I didn't actually do a whole lot of walking in Sophie's shoes, which I think was fortunate if only for the sake of the bunny tails. I stayed at home most of the day, slowly working through a tall stack of books trying to make some headway on research I have to do for a paper.

So Sophie's slippers stayed on my feet as I read about performance art, and theories around transgression, the grotesques and the abject, cyborg bodies and so on. I made lunch, and noticed how my feet were really, really turns out that fuzzy bunny slippers aren't just nifty to look at, but are quite functional as far as slippers go.

In the late afternoon I went to the art studio to teach a class. I decided it wasn't wise to try to wear the slippers outside (they are just so white and lovely). I brought them to the studio thinking I could wear them during the class, but realized that that was just as unwise. Things can get pretty messy in there.

Instead I left them at the studio for Sophie to pick up. It didn't occur to me until after I left that I should leave a note for her...I thought it would be a nice thing for her to come across. I came by the next morning to do so, but the slippers were gone. I felt sad that I had missed the opportunity to thank Sophie--our last art class was the day that she brought me her shoes, and I haven't seen her since then. I also feel crummy that it has taken me so so long to finally post this.

Sophie's shoes are cute and warm and cozy. Wearing them, I couldn't help but be reminded of her genuine and unbridled enthusiasm, her cheerfulness, thoughtfulness and generosity. I was ever so touched by her eagerness to participate in this project, and her eagerness to make art work more generally.
Hopefully I'll see her some day soon and be able to thank her properly.
In the meantime, I sure hope those bunny tails are okay.