Sunday, April 12, 2009
By Kate Kretz. See more of her work here
Lately I've spent most of my time talking to papermakers in small villages, and travelling between big towns. Living life offline in Laos. I spend time online to keep up with R, with my publisher, and with colleagues at ThingsAsian. With the occasional foray into Facebook & Twitter.
The "Artworld" concerns that saturate my google Reader are irrelevant to what I see around me here, to my paper research, and in some ways to my personal work, which falls into a no-man's-land between "fine art", illustration, photography, and travel-writing. I'm not pursuing a conventional art career, and many of the directives for that field aren't relevant to what I do. But neither am I "just" a travel-writer.
I subscribe to around 60 blogs, most of them art-focused. This is how I stay free of the obligation to live & mingle with arty folk in London, Berlin, or Brooklyn. But in recent weeks I'll open my Reader and just click "mark all as read", after scrolling through a few of my favorites. I can't read through hundreds of blog posts after spending days reading several languages at libraries, landing on-the-spot sweaty interviews, or jostled by knees and cargo on long busrides.
This offline life is more present than wired life.
To write my Paper Apprentice book, I must be all here, in these places where the paper is made. Take in the scents of musty indigo-dyed shirts and fresh fish sauce. Notice things like the pigs loaded beneath fellow passenger's feet. I can't afford to be distracted by pixels and artworld egos. And - especially - distracted by my own.
Posted by Ebriel