After some discussions on Monday night I’ve been thinking more about the theoretical academic job that I will someday get, that I do not currently have. I do not believe that an academic job is a kiss of death for the artist. I have known some great professors that also make really great studio work, and who keep their studio careers moving forward even though they have or had solid academic positions. Not coincidentally, these professors have influenced me a great deal (they have also been unfailingly kind, supportive, and generous with their time—I hope one day to return the favor to my students) and have helped me to see what I love about teaching and what I want from a job that would allow me to do so.

But I am very specialized as far as my academic qualifications go. So it would have to be the right job, in the right place. And there is not what exactly a deluge of book arts-critical theory-art history-independent publishing jobs out there. So for now I am content to labor in the “real world.”

Many of my friends from graduate school that finished at around the same time I did are spreading across the country and moving into teaching positions. I am jealous. Summer vacation would be amazing. A clearer picture of where all this (the press, not this post) is heading would also be helpful. It all sounds nice, but the most important thing is to continue to move, to make, critically, crucially. Make, making it count.

Sometimes when I am working on something for NewLights, doing something ridiculous like cutting 12 pt letters or peeling paper or fingerprinting, I get this strange feeling where I feel a little bit detached from myself, like I can see myself doing whatever it is I am doing clearly, and something about the absurdity and the intensity of the activity strikes me and I think I’m doing it. I’m doing what I said I was going to do. I’m doing what it takes. All of those dreams and plans are here, right here, in this activity. This is where it is at.

1 comment:

Travis said...

Give us any chance we'll take it
Read us any rule we'll break it
We're going to make our dreams come true
Doing it our way

Nothing's going to hold us back now
Straight ahead and on the track now
We're going to make our dreams come true

There ain't nothing we won't try
Never heard the word impossible
This time there's no stopping us
We're going to do it

On your marks, get set, and go now
Got a dream and we must know now
We're going to make our dreams come true

And we'll do it our way, yes our way
Make all our dreams come true
When we do it our way, yes our way
Make all our dreams
Come true
For me and you