Past a Stupid, digital print, 2009
*I look at my own website sometimes. For a while after it was published I thought it was pretty good. But now I think it looks stupid. I couldn't even spell words right. This does point to a larger problem though: Am I not smart enough to leap my own stupidity? (or at least creep around it?)
The question comes up once a while when I look at the works that I have done. The feeling is two fold. First, I cringe a bit because things I had been thinking and saying would seem immediately naïve and immature even though it might be only three month ago. (Was that I?) Secondly, the cringing would turn into ecstasy because I would feel that the present-me have improved, learned, and matured as an artist. There seem to be a demarcation, a clean separation between the past-me and now. This part worries me the most. Is it possible that I have such a learning curve I could be always be improving? Not possible. Also, this would imply a linear structure of time which looks like a ladder. The present-now me am cheering on how much higher I have gotten by looking at the past-me which is seen as a marker in the lower position. I don’t like this ladder structure. It’s boring and it’s not generative.
Then there is the bubble thing. I realized that one is always surrounded by a bubble, a bubble that is created by virtue of present-ness and makes it full of presentness. The past-me is inside a bubble but he does not know. Inside the bubble is air of confidence, which works like nice drugs. Now I am higher up on the ladder; looking at the past-me he seems naïve and is annoyingly wearing that smirk, but at the time, he thought he was doing everything right. He had no doubt. He is breathing the wrong air. Now I am higher up, the air is much much better.
Cough. Cough. No. But I know now a bubble is on my head. Even though I realized, the bubble also realized and transformed on its own. It now has a different kind of transparency, different kind of air, different kind of hallucinogen. The bubble on my head now is only noticeable by the future-me. Do I pretend I don’t know about the bubble and continue doing whatever I am doing (writing this essay) and end up laughing at myself three month from now? Or do I try to avoid the whole vicious circle by thinking ahead, and out of myself.
No! That’s too tedious and it hurts the gooey stuff inside the skull. It is tiring if one has to be cautious and calculating every step of the way. That’s not my style (also the dagger). Also, trying to move one step ahead of the bubble would disturb the order of time continuum. Time travel should be banned. Otherwise how would artwork be any kind of document if it were not time/site specific. Classic and timeless art bores me1. No one has yet talk about the possibility of time travel would make art dreadful. So should I act stupid and pretend there is no bubble-thing and continue the half-blind parade?
The point is, what the present-me has to do is to ignore the bubble completely and continue roaming around riding my temporary thought horse2 while enjoying the air of confidence. I just need to be disillusioned enough to trust myself, act like I don’t know about the bubble, and be oblivious enough to continue climbing? Wait, am I disillusioned about the ladder? Wait, should I knowingly be oblivious while I am surrender by bubble of stupidity? Am I stupid now or was I stupid then? If both are stupid then I really don’t know what is the point to it all. Plus, I'm not good at pretending. Hello future! (Are you there? I have been waiting for you forever on this station platform3.)
I think the key word is epiphany. I thrive on epiphany. It is the best high. But I just realized, sorry, the epiphanies I had disqualified as such because they no longer apply to the reality in front of me. They are relics. Epiphany can be outdated faster than you can say "bubble." (It is itself a bubble) They are merely (morally) documents of the past. I stalk my own epiphany. How narcissistic. I look over my shoulder and there is me, looking over his shoulder, looking over his shoulder to see me looking over his shoulder. It is like those elevators with two mirrors facing each other and I wave and I wave and I wave. It curves a bit to the left…oh my, infinity curves left?
I wrote this essay so the future-me can cringe and then be excited about the possibility of his future. Let’s name the future-me Albert. I am simply doing something now so Albert would have something to do three month from now. Stupidity is the new T.V. programming.
Time is fool’s gold. There is plenty of.
1 Then there is the Art Today thing. Those are the book I am afriad to invest in. I rather get a classic monograph like Robert Smithson’s or William Blake. So what I am contradicting myself.
2 It would be a good idea to date this entry: April 12, 2009
3 I am actually quite surprised that I didn’t have an imaginary friend growing up. I am the type. I fit the bill. I suppose to have one. I deserve one. Now I am worried that the friend is just late. If he takes on my flaws at all, then he is probably late for that train and jumping on the next one he sees. He might show up anytime now.
the letter / a rock / la couple / main