A POSSIBLE PRACTICE


This page is a virtual commonplace book where we’ll share the thoughts, readings, art, and everythings that are feeding our creative process as we explore this year’s theme. You can share your own artwork and thoughts in conversation by using the hashtag #apossiblepractice. Please clear time to visit again as this page continues to grow. Please help us water it.

A POSSIBLE PRACTICE invites Maine-based artists to create alongside us in conversation with this theme. Throughout 2019, we will host site-specific art installations/open creative spaces around the state, culminating in a retrospective artist’s book that catalogs our time together. This season’s theme is “Etymology of Butch” by Kristin Chang. ↓

Originally published in BOAAT (October/November 2018).

AS IN—
consumption/to consume/to be consumed by [something], to name as an attempt to know, “language is the fugitive of meaning”, lineage, human as animal, body as home, a fluidity of being, how power is wielded to define us, violence as or against creation

AS IN, COME MAKE ART WITH US!—
Do these words slam open a window where the breeze blows wild in you? If yes → make art! Clear the time and space to DO IT. Make art that surprises you. In any medium, in any way. Go deep. Sink in. Read and re-read. Stare into the center of yourself and bring something back. Share it with us at #apossiblepractice. We’ll be doing the same.

READING LIST

Over the past couple of years, we’ve spun out about why (and even if) writing and art making matters right now. In “Why Writing Matters in the Age of Despair” by Lyz Lenz, we hear echoes of our private and collective despair—and the resolve, at all costs, to not be erased. We work to welcome the nuance, the tangle, the hard questioning. We make art as proof of our lived experience, of our enduring existence.
“On Becoming an American Writer” by Alexander Chee cuts to the heart of it. Chee guides us through his memories to access our own. We meet on a bridge magically suspended between his words and our associations. When read in relation to Kristin Chang’s “Etymology of Butch” (Our theme! Read/revisit! Apply now to have your visual art/words featured!), we see our dead, our past, our ancestors. We see what’s been made for us and what we, in turn, make for them. Our art, our words—to live beyond our lifespans.
The wisdom is brimming in Leona Chen’s interview with Kristin Chang. GO FOR IT. Make the art that would have saved the younger you. What you needed to see, to hear, to feel possible. For us, this season’s theme—Kristin Chang’s poem “Etymology of Butch”—taps into that feeling. Allow this GO FOR IT to permeate your practice.
We could read Ocean Vuong everything forever… This generous interview, overflowing with reminders of why and how we make, how and where we place our attention. To have the ambition to reimagine and arrive here: “Attention is the most common and purest form of generosity.”
This week, we’re preparing to open our month-long popup in Farmington, ME—which we’re affectionately calling BUTCHER SHOP. And this week, we’re revisiting a poem that we’ve been holding close for months: “Still, Somehow” by Hieu Minh Nguyen.because darling, before I came alive, I watched the world / without knowing what to look for, but I swear, it was there, again / above the tall grass, the headless hawk / still alive, still, somehow, flying. Still, somehow, we are, again, again.
Cycles of orbit, cycles of touch. This week, we circle Franny Choi’s “Perihelion: A History of Touch.” No moon in sight, so I howled at the exit sign instead. Red runes, electric. Telling an old story of escape, of wind, a wide cold. A distant car alarm. Otherwise: the dark, and our bodies, two strange women trying to touch each other. Breathing strange. Moving toward or away from each other as the red ghost in the sky opened, called us gone, showed us the door to another world. Otherwise, the dark, and our mouths, tearing at what bones we could find. Grinning and hungry for something — something we couldn’t, with all our words, name.

Support for A POSSIBLE PRACTICE 2019 is provided by the Kindling Fund, a grant administered by SPACE as part of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Regional Regranting Program.

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