There’s nothing I like better than starting a new project: the initial planning stages, organizing the tools I’ll be using, working out a concept or design. As many of you may know, I love to incorporate aspects of random chance into my work, whether that means text, imagery, or materials.
Last week, I received an invite from the Brenda May Gallery to participate in just such a project. The “On GOING GaGa SaGa” (curated by Akky van Ogtrop) is an exhibition featuring multiples, artists’ books, zines, and printed ephemera.
Given a mere three minutes in which to work, artists create a zine or artist book out of materials at hand. After assembling a handful of key elements, I was sprinting out of the gate!
Three minutes can feel like an eternity or fly by at the speed of light (in this case, it was the latter). I had put together “something” by the time the buzzer went off, but I felt like I was really only halfway finished. So I gave myself another five minutes to wrap up the project!
Having that extra five minutes made me feel better about my fast-and-furious project; there’s something about the addition of a cover on a book/zine that gives it an air of legitimacy, makes those loose pages feel like a “real” book.
One of the most rewarding aspects of the project was the time constraint. I was reminded that a person really can make something interesting in 10 minutes. Sometimes I get caught in the hamster wheel of overthinking projects; spending waaaay too much time on a single postcard will result in putting it at the bottom of a pile. “It looks so overworked,” I’ll think and eventually shred it up (months later) to use in something else.
With a 10 minute time limit, you don’t have the luxury of “thinking”; it’s all about the “doing”. Happy accidents and creative concurrence can take place, without the brain chatter of “move this to the left” or “why don’t you try blue colored pencil?”
Needless to say, doing this project helped me out with another upcoming project; creative roadblock: removed! In just a few short minutes of whirlwind “making” via one project, I was able to problem solve a different project – funny how that worked out!
So now it’s back to the studio with some fast-forward momentum; look out October and November – I’m comin’ at’cha with a whole slew of new zines and book projects!
PS: if you’re interested in following all of the different artists for this project, take a look at #gagasagafluxusbox on Instagram