I recently played a game of scrabble and was reminded of why I don’t like that game- mostly because I don’t feel like there’s much room to build a strategy. The majority of the choices you make are based in luck… Second to that, I’ve never been the best speller. I recall having a small argument with an adult during another game of scrabble when I was in middle school. I was convinced that John was spelled Jhon (I guess we were ignoring the proper noun rule). Anyway, I lost the game of scrabble the other night, came in dead last. But, also, after the game was over I noticed that one of the other players had spelled something wrong and I had challenged a different word of his at a different moment in the game which turned out to be spelled correctly! …
I bring this up because recently I’ve been thinking about text, and working on an animation that involves text. After a few weeks of drawing, animating, editing, exporting and uploading the whole thing, I finally noticed that there was a spelling mistake in one of the clips I had drawn… incredibly irritating. Now I’m wondering whether or not to can the whole thing, and questioning how I overlooked it.
I had a friend who once did a piece involving text, who also probably would have been the last person picked for the spelling team. She had found spelling mistakes in the piece after making it, but the work had been about people being imperfect, and she felt that the keeping the mistakes kept a certain humanness within the work. Unfortunately I don’t think I can fall back on that this time around. My friend Nicholas Johnson suggested I do many more animations with same word and spell it wrong every time.
Recently, I was having a conversation with my new friend Jody Zinner about painting, and whether I should take my painting one way or another. Her take on it was that ultimately you already are who you are, that you’re going to paint what you’re painting anyway, so why stress about it too much. In her own words (and I’m quoting from a different conversation, but it seems related) “It’s just one more thing to add to the cluster fuck of aneurysms in my mind.” I tend to fight against the idea of not changing, it seems inevitable that we change with age, but I’d like to think I have some control over that, and am not just drawing letters from the proverbial scrabble bag.
The other night I went to a reading here at the Vermont Studio Center, and one of the writers mentioned that she had been thinking about how “an error is a natural occurrence.” I like that idea, it makes life seem much more approachable. Anyway, there’s not much I can do about it now, so here it is, the new animation titled “Subject to Object: I destroyed you.” Watch it full screen. Special thanks to Heather White for finding the and reformatting the Winnicott text. Keep an eye out for further collaborations between me and her.