Proxy Family

Sandra’s childhood home in Paramus has original 70’s details and nice tenants inside. The mom of the family helped Sandra and Crocket look through Chinese newspapers to find deals on warehouse spaces, and the son helped translate/haggle with landlords over the phone. The mom made feasts two nights in a row.

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Everyone around the table stumbled over Mandarin/English phrases except the son, who is fluently bilingual and wanted to know why we didn’t eat meat.

I was trying to make room for lettuce in the fridge and the son offered his mini fridge, which he doesn’t use much because his mom checks it for beer. I asked if he was under 21 and he said no, they were Christian and didn’t drink.

Because we wanted to experience New Jersey culture, we went to the mall. Crocket and I spent some time selecting the optimal configuration of legos from the bulk brick bins at the lego store.

Lego Judd

Lego Judd

I bought 2 collarless rayon shirts for ½ off at Uniqlo. A cheery voice would come on between songs and inform us about the different floors of products. “The first floor has cheap basics for men and women and fitting rooms, the second floor has cheap basics for men and women, and fitting rooms, there is no third floor… Nothing happens after you die.”

We came home to a lovely family dinner and didn’t eat meat or drink.

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Vacation Vacation

The streets outside the hotel were full of clubwear-people in lines for clubs. As Crocket and Sandra were showering Chris and I snuck away. In the morning they asked where we had gone. “Clubbing” we said.

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More accurately we had waited in a fuschia-lit line twice (post dresscode rejection) and then thought $20 was too much to dance to some mall-ass songs.

Upon arrival in Virginia I slow cooked farmer’s market .99/pound tomatoes with fresh basil/oregano and red pepper flakes and made a mock parmesan with cashews/nutritional yeast. We offered some to the Page Bond gallery staff but they just took pictures of our picnic and put it on their blog.

Virginia to DC was an easy drive after a night of craft beer/couchsurfing and a vegetarian-restaurant Reuben for breakfast.

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We walked around in DC and looked at the stuff you’re supposed to look at. There were pineapples at the botanical garden. We have been dreaming of pineapples and wanted to take one.

Most of our time was spent at the Hirshorn Museum/Smithsonian. The courtyard of the Smithsonian was the best piece. I will live in there.

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In the evening we stayed with a friend of a friend and made Vermacelli salad with hell of herbs, sauce, and vegetables while watching parks and rec.

I got a nice couch to sleep on and in the morning we went to a vegan restaurant staffed by hotties where they had COCONUT MILK for their fucking coffee. They also had the best goddamn cookies I’ve ever tasted. Vegan Reuban for breakfast AGAIN?

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Garden

I displayed Proxy in Raleigh at CAM. On top of setting up in air conditioning, Iceshelf received unlimited free microbrew and while I was installing my friends brought me food from a sort of fancy vegan restaurant. All the stereotypes of what I like. Unparalleled fortuity.

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The acoustics were great in the open concrete museum, formerly a produce warehouse. I used the little plastic compass-ring that signified my VIP status to get drinks for a journalist and watched people interact with Proxy.

A little kid was being told he couldn’t touch art and I told his parents he could touch my piece. This was one of those overly-cute moments of art education that involved a lot of the child saying: “WHOA!” His parents “look Stuart! Touch this part, it makes a sound, see?” He yelled: “I don’t like art” and ran away.

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At the end of the evening an artist wanted us to participate in his project of making a friend, having a portrait taken with the friend, and writing on the back of the polaroid where we would visit together and what we would do. I made friends with Fern, who owns part of a restaurant. I was peckish so I asked if his restaurant was open/had vegan options. It wasn’t/did not. Here is the back of our portrait.

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Lit Blue

The people we stayed with in Birmingham were inordinately friendly, as was everyone else in Birmingham. Space One Eleven put out a lawn on the street and we made tacos/DJ’ed. We prepared the gallery owner and her husband meals and they bought us beer/housed us. The gallery assistant took us to a punk show.

We all sat in a tree house, talking about “the Art World” (Crocket was there).

I liked the sound of frying sizzle with the sound of the rain.

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Everyone at the opening asked where we got the blue corn tortillas and we explained that we are New Mexican and can find blue corn tortillas wherever we go.

“Sandrayouhavetotrythis.” Which dish – the chips?

We had all these leftovers and were frying some of those tortillas in coconut oil. After being overstimulated and preparing food for gallery attendees/going to rainy Tuesday punk show we were all suddenly starving.

We listened to The Stone Roses and Ros Sereysothea in the car in the rain. Chris said there was something about Sereysothea that was undeniable. It reminded me of being a teen, with my friends, driving in the rain, listening to music.

In Atlanta we crashed an opening at Beep Beep gallery. It was lit with blacklight and the quinine in the drinks glowed. We made our host tacos and he made us drinks.

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Sandra has been taking a picture the cats at every place we stay at and thanking them for their hospitality. This cat, Marsha, peed on my bag after cuddling with me all night.

We were eating at a not-very-good vegetarian restaurant in Athens when the UGA coordinator asked us if we had had any drama on tour. The next day the truck broke down and she told us that her friends had been staying in Athens for the past two years for the same reason. After troubleshooting and looking for diesel mechanics all day we decided to get ice cream.

A nice guy with a diesel truck came to take a look and we were able to start the car before sunset. It was a calm and logical day. If there were a reality tv show about us it would be very boring. Also, pecan toffee almond dream works well with crispy rice crackers. When we start our ice cream sandwich empire we’re going to make crispy waffle cookies.

So we drove to some in between town in North Carolina through night and through spots of rain. As Sandra and Crocket used their Best Western points to get a room Chris and I drank Heineken in the parking lot. We set up a kitchen on the hotel desk and I made tortilla soup with salad. Each of us bathed for the first time in some days so that we could sleep on white sheets.

John and I were at a meeting/party which we left to exist in a large blue-lit pool. I ran into Sadie, Freyr, and Xandra. Seeing people in pool dreams is a good indication that I am myself.

York

Had such a good sleep in York Alabama, at the Coleman residency, which used to be a bank.

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There was a dark room with papers and objects on the walls that functioned as Hoku’s diary. One of the entries was about the most important people in his life and I found myself among them.

Then I was going to a party with the mayor.

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Doing push ups and lunges, drinking lime water, making a shake out of coconut meat, avocado, cacao, almond milk, and brown sugar. Crocket got up and started playing music, Sandra practiced Pimsler’s Mandarin 1.

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This town is so small you can be all the way zoomed on the map and still see the edges. When we got here we biked a few feet to the Piggly Wiggly. The director of the residency showed us the garden. I slow cooked smoky black eye peas, collard and mustard greens, and brown rice.

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On the street everyone stared at me, then waved when I noticed. I was offered rides by a couple people while walking from the store, even though the span of the town is only a few blocks. Of all the places visited, I would live in New York, or York Alabama.

Under Sea Level

New Orleans wasn’t real. Below sea level air makes it so you are never have to drink or sleep. We walked around getting rain-drenched and spent two nights at gallery/residency Press Street.

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The first night I made pizza and salad for all the attendees using the two-top electric stove at the residency. The woman at the grocery store gave me free zucchini after accidentally ringing it up at $200. After the event second night we drank rum-based tourist-beverages and walked around.

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Before leaving LA we drank coffee on a big porch in the rain, eating pastries, and talking about greasle with the gallery owner as he rocked his infant child back and forth.

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From Mississippi to Alabama we were back underwater.

Rainland

We were underwater from Dallas until Louisiana.

We played catch in the field in the rain in Dallas, and drank lite beer with the gallery personal. We stayed in the luxury loft of a Santa Fe friend and made dhal for her and her boyfriend. The boyfriend makes  new media work with live video feedback of virtual topography.

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There was barely visibility in Iceberg, whose windows were foggy and tires were bare. I swam the ‘87 civic to Super Happy Funland, where we were stayed for two nights.

Super Happy Funland is as bad as it sounds. Hoarder-like piles of objects in a hugely dirty and dark warehouse with perpetual disco-lighting over a sea of dank couches. A nice but addled woman expressed her incoherent thoughts through pursed lips as we unloaded equipment and discussed dinner.

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The nice woman approached me repeatedly to explain that the pizza truck in the parking lot was out of vegan cheese, that the store was out of vegan cheese, and that the pizza maker was grumpy. I was like: “We can cook food, it is not a problem.” She was like: “You can’t cook food the pizza guy is grumpy.” I was like: “No, we can cook food, we have a butane stove.” She was like: “I will talk to the pizza guy again, here is the menu.” So my friends ate some kind of gummy-looking pizza as I made spaghetti/salad and we all drank Lone Star, which was a popular thing to do at SHFL.

We spent a quiet day drinking coffee and working on individual projects at the Lawndale Art Center. In the afternoon it rained and we went to a hardware store. One of the pals I made in Austin came to visit and joined us for Martinis at SHFL, where we mainly stood around outside, mosquito bites as payment for not being in someone else’s Super Shaken Psychological Space.

Debut

The nice lady who owned the gallery in Fort Worth recommended a restaurant with the best fish tacos. I inquired about vegan options and there was a place 6 minutes away. Crocket said being vegan was making him hungry and I said he should consume more calories. I showed him the menu for the vegan place and he was like: “We have those ingredients.” So we set up a table with the camping stove and guess what I made?

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People walking by asked what I was doing and I said it was sort of like Rirkrit Tiravanija’s “Pad Thai,” because I thought they may have also just viewed the focus on Rickrit at The Modern, and because the gallery personal kept bringing me beer.

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Mid meal, a board member of SITE mentioned he was a board member of SITE. I mentioned that SITE is the source of my income. The board member took us into his home, and gave us an hour or so tour of the art he has collected, which read like a little kid showing off his toys – if the little kid was an older white man who’s toys were the cultural appropriation of a rummage-sale-like medley of global and historical interest.

“These sculptures are from Africa, which I became very interested in after visiting Africa, isn’t weird how they did all these rituals? Anyway, these are their artifacts, I had this wing of the house built to display them.”

There was also Native art, pop-art, contemporary sculpture made by the gallery owner (the board-member’s wife),  a few photographic prints, and a piece by SCUBA.

The last room featured the dog sitting on its chez lounge. I was distracted by a stately marble sculpture of cock and balls in an un-lit room that we never went into. The board member was telling us about the hide of water buffalo that a certain tribe used for battle shields. I wanted to go swimming in the pool I saw outside, and to resist thinking too much about racism/colonialism/patriarchy/veganism. It started pouring rain.

Crocket had passed out upstairs while we were learning about rich white Texas culture, and the board member described the wall of family photos. A number of them featured different eras of dresses, all in highly-posed portraiture of females during their: “debuts.” I didn’t know what that meant, but after I learned I thought it was funny – particularly in the context of the board member painstakingly describing cultural traditions that were foreign to him. Turns out I was the over-privileged pseudo-anthropologist all along.