Hi everybody. I'm going to try to post periodic updates while our residence-thing is going on.
Our first-ever Pinky Show human-in-residence participant arrived safely from Australia early this morning. His name is Giordano Nanni and he is a researcher, historian, writer, musician-composer, and also one-half of the RapNews team. The first thing we did was feed him because traveling makes you hungry (we gave him a fish). Then we sat down and talked for a long time about settler colonialism, both in Australia and also in the United States and Hawaii. We also had some time to compare notes about our respective media projects - we found out we have a lot of very similar long-term objectives, which is nice because it kind of makes us feel less crazy. Then Bunny cooked dinner for everybody (he got another fish). Then after dinner we got a call that our friend was having difficulty breathing so we used a van to take her to the hospital. That wasn't work-related but it is life-related, which in some ways more important than work-related. We just got home a few minutes ago, it is now just a few minutes before midnight.
Giordano is very nice (I don't use that term lightly), we all like him.
On a project-oriented note, one of the interesting things that came up was a conversation about how to choose a media format to work in. Specifically, Giordano was asking why we did not make any Pinky Show videos last year, because he thinks our videos are probably the most accessible format (as opposed to things like, say, an art installation, which only a few hundred or thousands of people will see because it's primarily an in-person experience). Bunny and I have talked about this to each other a lot in the past, but somehow I guess we never really got around to explaining this stuff here in our diary.
The main reason for the lack of new videos in 2010 was that we had decided to use last year to explore other formats: reports, comics, flat art, art installations, lecture-presentations, face-to-face dialog and so on. After being so video-focused for the first four years, we thought we should be careful to explore the limits (for us) and possibilities of other formats. It's not that we want to find a replacement for making videos, because we do think videos are very useful. But sometimes other formats allow us to build-in more ambiguity or mysterious aspects that are different from what we can do in our usual video presentational style. Or other things that are difficult to show in video - like Bunny riding her bike - is just easier to show as a static image. Or the different ways you can play with the portrayal of time and space in formats other than PS videos simply allow us to use different narrative strategies to talk about stuff in ways that otherwise wouldn't be so easy or natural. Finally we think it's very important to test our ideas and work in different cultural and institutional spaces. For example, whereas in the first four years of our project most of our communications have been with students, activists, and educators, in 2010 we had a lot of interaction with art-world people (they are not mutually exclusive, I'm over-generalizing here). And since art schools/artists/museums/galleries/culture-writers tend to bring a different slant to their approach to political material, it was a nice opportunity for us to look at our work again with different audiences. So I guess what I'm saying is that altogether, the main reason why we spent so much time experimenting with non-video forms in 2010 is that we wanted to expand and test different ways of communicating. Although it may not look like we did much from the outside, for us it was a very important and productive year because we learned a lot about how people are understanding our work, and we will be bringing all of this with us as we move forward. We think it's important to periodically re-theorize, test, and reflect, otherwise we could easily spend the rest of our lives doing the same things over and over again and before you know it oops we're dead. Anyway, that's just one of the things we talked about with Giordano. Bunny told me to write all this down because we had kind of forgot that people might be wondering why we suddenly stopped making videos, like maybe we're lazy or something.
This has turned into a not-very-short entry. (Bunny says I talk too much.) I will try to keep my entries shorter from now on, but make them more often.
Okay, I have to go now. I have some split pea soup on the stove - that will be our breakfast tomorrow morning.
Please take care,