Monthly Archives: February 2019

Whitney Biennial Here I Come!

So it’s finally public! I am in the Whitney Biennial! I’ve been sitting on it for ages and just like, amassing a large collection of nice shirts while I wait for the news to come out. Unfortunately I didn’t also collect many nice pants, so right now my wardrobe is like, nice button ups and shabby jeans. BUT I am going to New York in May when they do the opening receptions and so maybe I will go to Macy’s and get something decent from the plus section.

This past weekend I was at OUTsider Festival in Austin Texas and it was amazing. I got to see so many old friends, and be with an old girlfriend of mine I had dated when we were way young. It was nice seeing so much amazing art and meet amazing artists. I showed an early career retrospective of my work, 9 of my videos from Lessons In Baby Dyke Theory to Reclamation. People loved it. I was so nervous, I don’t know why I still get nervous. I think maybe because I was at the end of the festival on the last day, and everyone was doing amazing work. I admit I still have some insecurities.

Anyway, I was in the cab on the way back from the airport yesterday when they announced the artist list for the Whitney Biennial and I was like “OMFG FINALLY” because I kept waiting and waiting and WAITING to be able to talk about it. And now I can!

I have so many feelings about it. I think the audience reaction to my work at OUTsider Festival kind of made me feel a bit more secure like “OHhhhh maybe it’s time, maybe people are ready.” I mean I have had a LOT of opportunities, I don’t want to sound like I have been toiling in obscurity. But my work is weird, and because it uses a lot of comedy (sometimes but not always) people often kind of dismiss it I think, especially as experimental film. Like I’m not really a formalist of any kind, I just like making weird videos with political points about my communities and because I don’t know what other genre to put them in I say they are experimental. Some of them are WAY experimental tho, like not all of them are laugh fests. Although the two videos that will be in the Whitney are pretty funny.

I think maybe I was worried when I first found out I was in the Whitney about sort of, professional jealousy from friends. I don’t know why I worried about it. Mostly people have responded really enthusiastically and are happy for me. I’m trying to remember that we really do want to see each other succeed. It’s not a competition. Although admittedly sometimes it feels that way.

I think the other thing I was worried about was like, getting ungrounded and turning into a diva or something. But it’s been public for over 24 hours now and even though my name is out there and I am getting congrats from people, I also did all my laundry this afternoon, and I think I gotta clean the house, and I still have an ant infestation to deal with. I found another nest they are living in, in my cactus, and so I gotta use diatomaceous earth on it. I’m trying to get back into my work because I do have a couple of short scripts to write, a video/performance to make by the beginning of April, rando paperwork from other things that needs to be done. I need to update my bio and my C.V. Just art junk ha ha.

I’m a little worried about the public scrutiny that comes with things like this. But mostly I am trying to just enjoy what is happening for me. I’m in the screening so my work won’t be seen at the Whitney until the end of the Exhibition, in September. But I am gonna go down for the opening receptions and stuff. I want to meet the other artists. And see it in all it’s glory! And wear some of my super nice shirts. Hopefully I can get better pants by then.

Long Work Week Over

I’ve managed to cobble some kind of decent living as a freelancer/self employed artist. Last week I had a gig from Monday to Friday doing video training with Indigenous youth from all over Ontario. It was sometimes fun and sometimes challenging and in the interests of being hired again I am not going to get into specifics. BUT I did get to fly a drone for the first time, which was so fucking fun. I didn’t fly it outside, just in this ballroom where we took the training. The instructor got us to fly in boxes with it and do take off and landing and then take a selfie. So because it was so damned cute, here is me with the drone taking a selfie of myself.

created by dji camera

Ridiculously FUN!

Anyway, these youth got to take home video tech to their communities to make more videos, including a drone, 4K camera, lapel mics, Macbooks, editing software (the entire Adobe Suite), and iPhones. I mean holy shit those youth are so damned lucky. It’s good tho because none of them live in centres that have artist run production centres which is where I first got access to video making technology. I think more stuff needs to happen like that, just giving youth and others access to equipment to use anytime.

BUT I am a disabled pup, so it was kind of hard hours on me. We had breakfast at 8:30am and worked often until 6. And sometimes longer. And I managed to sustain it but fuck by the time Friday rolled around I was ready to go to bed and sleep for hours and hours. I usually work from home, so work comes in short bursts with breaks to snack and walk the dogs and even sometimes have a nap and an orgasm. But like I do work almost everyday otherwise. Just in a very specific almost lazy looking way. I’m always on my laptop, or else watching movies for work. It’s disability freelancing so I get my work done but it’s in a certain way. So usually these workshops aren’t as long. But this one was intense. And took a lot out of me. It’s okay I’ll be fine. It just confirmed for me again that I am not designed to do the Monday to Friday 9-5 thing. Like for a week, yes! But as a permanent job? Nay!

It’s funny because someone sent me a link to apply to Emily Carr to become an Indigenous faculty member. And like I didn’t even wonder if it was possible, I was just like NOPE! For one thing, the above mentioned reasons of having a disability. I just can’t have a full time job like that. And the other reason is I already HAVE a job which is being a full time artist. And I have all kinds of gigs and things that I don’t talk about here because some of it is secret stuff. But mostly I am busy and working. Once I was talking to a friend after I had just finished doing a weekend workshop that paid $3000. And she had a sessional gig that was paying her maybe 5-6 thousand for four months of intense work, WAY more work than it had been to do a weekend workshop for me. I’m not saying I didn’t work hard. I’m just saying proportionally I get paid more for doing these workshops and things than people get paid for doing these “legit” academic jobs. Which says something profound about the lack of respect and care these Institutions have for their contract employees. Like actually if I was a sessional I would be making less money than I am now.

So I’m not sure why people keep sending me jobs in universities. I know I have a masters degree and originally I had wanted to teach. But it’s not worth it right now to go down that route. Maybe in the future sessionals will be paid decently. But not right now, so they won’t get my labour.

ALSO just the fact that Emily Carr is in another city. I don’t want to move. Vancouver depresses me. And no one else was hiring me when I was there but call centres, so if I had to quit this teaching job I’d probably be back in a call centre trying to survive. And my career is better here for a bunch of reasons. BUT THE MAIN REASON I don’t plan to move is because I live in a co-op. I have rent geared to income, which is something not a lot of people have. It’s practically a luxury and it’s a nice co-op in a nice area close to downtown. I don’t have tons of space, but also it’s not like most of my income is getting sucked into rent right now. And I can apply for a bigger unit when I get a partner and family and stuff. So I really want to hang on to it. My portable air conditioner is not great and I might have to buy a new one. But that’s my only real complaint about this place. Which is not a big deal.

ALSO FUCK my eggs are here! ha ha omg. But it’s true! I have frozen eggs down at the fertility clinic and I don’t know how I would move those to Vancouver. It sounds like a hassle.


OMG SO I FORGOT to let you all know I got a new tattoo. It’s this Pie Daddy tattoo on my stomach. This is a shot of it the same day I took the bandage off, when you can kind of see where the square of tape stuck to me. It’s healing well. On Wednesday it will be two weeks since I got it. There’s still some scabby stuff on it. But mostly it’s good, cute, makes me happy!

It’s kind of a joke/sexy tattoo. I dunno ha ha someone will be wanting my Pie Daddy body ha ha. I mean I like making pies for cute femmes, and once in a while I like getting called Daddy, and I like mixing weird things up into new things, which is how this tattoo came to be. It was a spur of the moment decision and then only a couple weeks after getting in touch with the artist, she got me in to get it done.

Getting my stomach tattooed was weird. Some places hurt SO FUCKING BAD and she sprayed me a couple times with vasocaine which is a topical anesthetic. Other places getting tattooed just made me kind of sleepy and zone out. Until she would hit a painful spot again.

BUT overall I am happy with it.

I’d write more but I need to wash some dishes and get ready to get picked up for going out of town for the work week. I’m going to be helping youth make videos.

Life is good other wise. Things are happening. I’m feeling hopeful mostly.