CTRI Innovations Residency
list of artists-in-residence
Wednesday October 17, 2018
Met up with artist Mimi Chrzanowski at Seven Stars at 9:30am. I'm a big fan of Mimi's art so it was great to sit and talk with her! We talked about growing up in a small town, tattooing, the joy of living in a busy household, the Sagan "Pale Blue Dot" riff, our mutual admiration for Bosch & Bruegel, sketchbook styles, getting rid of stuff, email newsletters that we like and those that we don't, ASMR, stamps, stickers, and artwork outside of capitalism. We both got hot coffee and we both got refills and we hung out for a long time and I got ZOOTED! I also got a hot pretzel with mustard, that's a new item at this particular bakery. The coffee was good. The pretzel was good. Jim Drain stopped by and said hi. As noted earlier, seeing Jim Drain is good luck.
Thursday October 11, 2018
Hung out with artist and entrepreneur Muffy Brandt at Cafe Pearl at 1pm. I've known Muffy for a long time and it was really great to sit down and talk about art and business and everything in between and tangential to. We met up at Cafe Pearl, which is a place I like sitting at. We almost changed venue because it was about to rain and I was on foot, but what's a little rain? As it turns out I made it there just as it was about to rain, and then we stayed for pretty much the entire rainfall. It was just a mist by the time I had to walk home. We talked about a shared love of changing the floorplan, how architecture shapes your life, being an artist who "changes channels" a lot, ambition, Dwarf Fortress, teaching adults to regain the childmind, and Lauren Pakradooni, an artist and friend who we both admire as both an artist and a friend. We both got hot coffee, it was good. Later I got a refill and we split a donut. Cafe Pearl is in the entranceway of the RISD Museum, and after sitting for a while we walked around the museum for a little bit. CTRI Alumnus Tristan Brooks Munchel was working the counter, and then inside we saw a video work by fellow alum Rachel Blumberg! We spent some time checking out the Fabric / Mending show, which is great. If you live in Rhode Island and you can admit to yourself that you are an artist, you can and should get a free membership to the RISD Museum. You don't have to upload slides of your work or anything like that, you just have to click a box on their website that says "I'm an artist".
Tuesday October 9, 2018
Met up with cartoonist Penina at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. Most people associate having a mononym with being a rock star: Madonna, Prince, Bjork, etc.. But cartooning/comics also has a long legacy of mononymous practitioners- Peyo, Herge, Moebius, Kaz, etc.. I'm guessing it's because you have to repeatedly write your name on something that's pretty small? This was something I meant to ask about but forgot. Anyway we had a great talk, discussing being cozy at home and drafty at work, teachers of influence, sketchbook strategies, the new upcoming printing studio in Providence, my Bill Griffith hiring story, and a shared love of loose drawings. We both got hot coffee and it was good. Neither of us got a refill. The coffee guy asked me "holding court today?" and I suddenly felt conspicuous about how often I'm meeting a different person at this coffee shop and buying them a cup of coffee.
Thursday September 27th 2018
Hung out with musician, chef, and food-arranger Dylan Going at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. Dylan's a really funny dude with kind of a well-dressed pleasant happy-to-see-you boyish-charm-but-deeply-weird John Astin vibe. He's not like "dapper" but he is always well put-together. He was in town for a show with his "tropical noise band" Hand Of Food, and took the opportunity to schedule a residency. Smart move! We talked about food photography, Dylan's experience scoring a movie, my John Williams story, film fests, upcoming gigs, and Jervyn's Clasp. Dylan got an iced coffee, I got hot. The coffee was good. I learned a lot about food photography, like if there's a picture of cereal on an ad for cereal, the cereal has to be the real cereal but the milk can just be Elmer's Glue. Or if there's a picture of, for instance, a bowl of uncooked rice in a food magazine, someone probably went through a bag of rice and picked out only the most perfect grains. After a bit Dylan had to go to prac. I caught his show later, it was cool :)
Tuesday September 25th 2018
Met up with artist, publisher, and musician Arthur Katrina at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. We had planned to go to Cafe La France in the train station, but it was raining so we had a venue change to a closer locale. I've known Arthur for many years now, they contributed a great comic strip called "Rat Radio" to my newspaper Mothers News, have a great zine called ROT, and used to co-run a DIY arts space across the street from me called Witch Club. Right now they're living in the bay area of California, and doing a residency at the Dirt Palace here in Providence. I think this is the first case in which the CTRI Innovations residency is nested inside another residency! That's a cool style. We both got hot coffee and talked about Baile Funk, the Toynbee Tiles, a Zapatista Cumbia concert, plants, intestinal flora, print making, using the tools at hand rather than pining for the perfect toolset, impending moves, and current projects. After a while we both got refills and I caved in and got a chocolate croissant even though the pastries are kind of expensive (or, they're more than I want to spend on pastries). When the coffee shop started closing down we got out of their hair and Arthur gave me a ride home. It's always a pleasure to hang out and catch up with this rare bird!
Tuesday September 18th 2018
Hung out with cartoonist, illustrator, and author MJ Robinson at Seven Stars on Broadway at 8am. No shit- 8am!!! It was great. I don't like getting up early, but I like being up early. We got coffees and sat inside, although it was kind of cold. Do they make it colder in the morning to wake you up? We talked about the benefit of growing up in a small town (knowing you have to leave as soon as possible), working at the museum, grant bullshit, child responses to nudity in art, books you read in the fifth grade, the mummy at the RISD Museum, 1,001 Nights (the book, not the amount of nights), and Fantômas (the book series, not the band). Kate Schapira and James Kuo stopped by on their morning constitutional and chatted for a sec. I've been drinking a lot of coffee lately so I didn't get a refill. Neither did MJ but they did get an almond croissant later in the residency. The coffee was good. The almond croissant, you know that's good. This was my 40th residency!
Monday September 10th 2018
Hung out with musician and performer Noraa Kaplan at White Electric at 11:30. Noraa plays music as Visibilities, and among other notable projects, hosts an annual Erik Satie birthday concert that I really enjoy every year. I forgot that sometimes it's hard to find a seat at White Electric, and for the first part of the residency we were sitting on the bench way in back on the way to the bathroom, which made me anxious. Eventually a table opened up and we moved up. We talked about shoplifting, learning an instrument, Spencer's Gifts, large bands (7 or more members), upcoming projects, donuts, and science fiction. We both got hot coffee, and later I got a can of V8, and Noraa got a donut. The coffee and donut were both good. The V8 was good. White Electric is the place I tend to run into people, so I'm suprised I didn't see more people I knew, other than Jesse, who works there. I've known Noraa since she found my old blog and started leaving wild-ass comments while enrolled in an after-school arts program that a friend of mine taught. I guess she was in... the 6th grade????? That was a long long time ago. We re-met a few years ago. In the blog era I wondered "what will this kid become?"-- it's extremely gratifying that the answer is "a cool artist"!
Tuesday September 4th 2018
Hung out with musician Jeremy Harris at Seven Stars on Broadway at noon. I've known Jeremy for a very long time and I'm a huge fan of his music, recorded mostly under the name Lazy Magnet. He is a very prolific artist and in a very rare situation for prolific artists, everything is good, and most of it is extremely good! Think about how rare and special that is! We talked about foods that grossed us out when we were kids, seeking perfection in art, building an incorruptable chariot for your immortal soul to ride, jazz piano, Little Richard, expressing joy, Jeremy's upcoming 5 (!!!!!) albums, the ways people listen to music, and the mistake of checking the stats on your account. We both got iced coffees and after a while Jeremy went up and got another one and an almond croissant. The coffee was good. The croissant was good. We both got zooted from the coffee and the conversation, although to be fair to the coffee I probably would've gotten most of the way there on the conversation alone.
Monday August 27th 2018
Met up with artist Jay Bibel at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I forget how I first met Jay, I think it was because they subscribed to my newspaper and have a cool name that stuck in my mind. Then later they were roommates with some friends of mine. Anyway it was great to sit and hang out! We talked about hanging out with kids, job interviews, micata and other forms of DIY agate, encasing things in resin, cruising internet forums that are adjacent to your interests, and "materials research", which is my code name for just messing around (which is important). Jay had a job interview later that day and I passed on the tip I got from Yoni about if they ask if you know how to do something you say "I'm more familiar with [related subject], but I'm confindent I can close any gaps in my knowledge". I hope that worked. We sat in the corner table by the window and both drank hot coffee. The coffee was good and we both availed ourselves of the free refills. Kelli Croissant made a special guest appearance. Jay and I both live in the same direction from the coffee shop, so after a spell we walked home together and kept talking about this and that. A walking conversation is different from a sitting conversation, but how? Should I try to include a little walk in these residencies or would that make things too complicated? I'll play it by ear I guess.
Please note: I totally took a picture of Jay holding a cup of coffee, like I do for everyone, but then I accidentally erased it from my phone! If I run into Jay again soon and there's a mug handy, I'll try to get a replacement shot and update this page. Sorry Jay!!!!!
Sunday August 19th 2018
I sat down with cartoonist and filmmaker Tim Wood at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30am. We had planned on meeting later in the day but I had to move it up because I forgot that I agreed to cover for Tsarlag at work later. Anyway it was no problem. We talked about painting, when people have a lousy job and that makes them take it way too seriously, sketchbooks, Gary Panter (making this the third or fourth time during a residency when I made a note to share the Panter sketchbook advice link), the 48 Hour Film Fest, the Mr Rogers movie, and beloved sensual YouTuber Wet Wallabee. We both got hot coffee. It was good. I usually don't do these residencies on Sundays, so I forgot how busy it can get at the coffee place. Neither of us got refills, mostly because the line was long the whole time we were there!
Thursday August 16th 2018
I met up with animator and musician Rachel Blumberg at Seven Stars on Broadway at 12:45. Rachel just came back from a trip to the west coast to shoot a music video, then she had to teach drums first thing in the morning at Girl's Rock Camp- I was surprised how cogent our discussion was! We talked about living in a small town, a shared love of synth demo videos on YouTube, "the Caravaggio effect" of an artist's stardom reflected in their subject's eyes, video games, Jervyn's Clasp, and archaeology. Rachel studied archeaology for some time and I was delighted when she didn't outright dismiss my current fad theory of a race of humanoid giants that inhabited North America in a prehistoric age. We sat in the corner by the door. I got an iced coffee and Rachel got a hot cup. The coffee was good. Rachel had to leave to get ready for a show that evening, which I went to and found packed with CTRI Innovations alumni!
Monday August 13th 2018
I sat down with musician Sean Halpin at Seven stars at 930am. Sean performs music under the name Craow, we talked about the nuts-and-bolts industry side of making music in the genres of noise and (for lack of a better term I'll just say) industrial. We talked about promoters, fests, touring in Europe, the varying needs of different types of record labels, and growing up and moving through different styles of music. We also talked about hockey, even though in his application Sean said "I promise not to talk about hockey". To be fair, I think I brought it up. I got a hot coffee and Sean got an iced. Sean says that the simple syrup mixture at Seven Stars got noticeably better recently. I said I wouldn't know because I always put the crunchy sugar in an iced coffee- I like the texture and I like that it doesn't mix in well and just sinks to the bottom. We sat outside. The coffee was good. I got a refill. I was really shocked how slowly Sean was sipping the coffee but that's really his mood- he's a slow sipper for sure. After a while it looked like it was about to rain so we broke off toward our respected destinations. The timing was perfect- I got only a little rained on, which I like anyway.
Tuesday August 7th 2018
I met up with writer, teacher, and performer Kate Schapira at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. Kate used to write a pictureless poetry comic (my term) called "the Saint" for my newspaper Mothers News, and has been my friend for many years now. She has put out a couple great books and chapbooks and does a regular conversation installation around Rhode Island called "Climate Anxiety Counselling", in which she talks to passers by about their climate-change-related fears and woes. We talked about scaling up a project, PaperRad, the Ben Jones riff about "logical, sustainable, self-perpetuating, and scalable", 2001 (film), and ants. While sitting there we saw Jungil Hong, Jim Drain, and Beatrix Urkowitz, and successfully exchanged waves and hellos. We both got hot coffees despite it being a hot day, and later I got a cinnamon hat, which is what I've been trying to get them to call the cinnamon buns (via whisper campaign). The coffee was good. The pastry was good. Kate had a performance at the Providence Fringe Fest last week, but I was double booked and couldn't see it, I'm trying to see if she can do it again but it sounds like It's In God's Hands. So we just gotta wait and see how it shakes out.
Sunday July 29th 2018
Hung out with singer/songwriter Yoni Gordon at 10:30am at Seven Stars on Broadway. I've known Yoni for many many years, we used to play shows together all the time, and he included me as a minor character in at least one of his songs. As always, I had a great time hanging out and laughing and telling stories with him. Among other things we talked about the Ramones, jobs and job interviews, tricks and their uses, the Body, and high school theatre. Yoni had a great story about meeting Kevin Coster, which to some degree corroborates the story I heard that Kevin Costner is always high. We both got hot coffee, and then when we went up to get refills later, Yoni bought us pastries. The coffee was good. The pastries were good. Afterwards we walked back to my house and drank water, and I looked for my extra copy of Yoni's tape "The Grave Of Marilyn Monroe" but I couldn't find it, it was embarassing. I know I have 2 copies!
Tuesday July 24 2018
Sat down with sculptor and performer Carolyn Gennari at 4pm at Seven Stars on Broadway. I think I first met Carolyn years ago when she worked at the RISD Museum and I have a vague memory of her letting me in the museum for free even though I have never been a student at RISD. Small acts of kindness on the job pay off! We talked about coffee, what's the good kind of thermos, HBML Junk Shoppe, objects, The Garbage Pail Kids Movie, Temporary Services, collaboration, Jervyn's Clasp, CB radio, show caves, and that old chestnut "upcoming projects". The conversation was fun and loose but never strayed far too from a good question or a heartfelt answer. What more can you ask for? I got hot coffee, Carolyn got iced. They were out of hot coffee and had to brew another pot, so I had to wait a bit, but it was totally no problem, no problem at all. Brian Chippendale and his son Rohan came in and chatted with us for a sec, then later Mickey Zacchilli stopped by to grab a coffee and say hi. At some point a cafe worker came around with a tray of some kind of strawberry juice for people to try out, and it was good but a lot like a melted popsicle. The best thing about the free juice was that it brought the total number of active cups on the table to 6 (including 2 cups of water). The coffee was good.
Sunday July 22 2018
Hung out with writer Jim Frain at around 4pm in the area of Fox Point. Our plan was to go to Tea In Sahara, but they were unexpectedly closed, just like the last time I tried to go there. Then we realized that we were both pretty hungry so we got burritos at that place where the vegan ribs place used to be. It was good and some combination of vegetables and spices in the burrito made the whole thing taste like the real-food version of Doritos Cool Ranch, but not even slightly nauseating. I think it was the radish? After that we sat in India Point Park and watched a small brown rabbit hop around. A lady was face-timing with someone on her phone and the rabbit ran right behind her, just inches away, and she didn't see it. We didn't tell her what had happened, we just let sleeping dogs lie, as it were. Finally we went to Coffee Exchange where we both got tea-- Jim hot, me iced. We talked about career decisions, Bashō, the Sci Fi Marathon, a race of giants in ancient North America, grants, wabi-sabi, and trying to let yourself do things the easy way. The tea was good. It started to rain a little while we were walking around, that was nice.
Sunday July 22 2018
Met up with musician Ben Potrykus at 9am at Seven Stars on Broadway. It was a rainy morning, which is a morning style I love, but it wasn't so rainy that I got soaked on the walk over. Perfect. Usually when I meet up with someone I don't know I tell them "I'll be wearing a green hat" so they'll come and find me. In this instance I forgot to say this critical detail but it was no problem, as Ben saw me play a show once 10 years ago and I still look exactly the same. We each got hot cups of coffee. We talked about music recording, learning your instrument, legacy software, intra-band personal dynamics, J Dilla, Noise Nomads, Lazy Magnet, the Minutemen concept of "shows and flyers", and a lot more besides. The coffee was good. We both got refills. At the moment of refill I splurged and got a veggie quiche. Ben got some manner of biscuit. Ben gave me some of his recent recordings, and I got mad at myself for not having something new that I could hand out. Afterwards Ben went to meet up with someone at a nearby restaurant, and I'm sorry Ben but I realized long afterwards that I gave you bad directions. My map skills are really poor. :(
Wednesday July 18 2018
Met up with artist and entrepreneur Marcel Mensah at White Electric at 9am. I knew Marcel's name from mutual friends at the Providence Comics Consortium, it was great to finally hang out! I got a medium coffee and Marcel got a black tea. We talked about animation, loop-based media, my favorite vine (mathm-mathematics), sewing, bags and backpacks, the story about Annapurna's dad and Jan from Jansport, sketchbooks and sketchbook strategies, Gary Panter, use of color in Japanese kimonos, and brush pens. I tried to relay yesterday's thing about head-heart-hand but I mangled it, c'est la vie! Coffee refills are a buck and change, I didn't get one. But a medium coffee was the perfect amount for me. Marcel got more water for the tea. The coffee was good. It's my understanding that the tea was also good. We didn't, repeat did not, see Bob Otis from Dropdead, who I see at this coffee shop more often than not. I was really hoping to write in this space "we saw Bob Otis from Dropdead" but alas it was not in the cards.
Tuesday July 17 2018
Hung out with cartoonist Beatrix Urkowitz at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10:30. I think I first saw her comics via her publications on Chuck Forsman's Oily Comics. Since then every book she's done has been extremely good! We talked about when art gets used for a nefarious purpose, Pythagorus, the head-heart-hand relationship in artistic production, Albert Ayler, Reba, Kirby (video game character), the ghoulish rich (all), horror movies about architecture, and many topics related to the idea of "a mansion full of trash". We both got hot coffees and we both got refills, although I got a decaf refill. When I asked Beatrix if she wanted hot coffee or iced, she said "whichever one is unlimited", which is an attitude I really appreciate. The coffee was good.
Wednesday July 11 2018
Met up with writer and curator Angela DiVeglia at Seven Stars at 9am. I know Angela from when she lived at Building 16, a DIY space across the street from the old Mothers News offices. Angela works in the special collections department of the Providence Library. We talked about overgrown dumps, when a forest reclaims a road, the global utility of poison ivy and mosquitos, Carl's Oxford Diner in Angela's hometown of Oxford MA, snakes in movies, quicksand fetishists, and zine libraries. We both got coffees, neither of us got refills. The coffee was good. We sat in my preferred seat. The Platters song "My Prayer" came on the radio while we were there, which I appreciated. We saw Andrew Cook and Matt Z (who came up in conversation multiple times the previous day) in line as we got there. I'm not sure if this counts but I also saw Gabe, who works there, but he was on his day off, so I'm counting it. Either Gabe or his friend has a wicked cute dog.
Tuesday July 10 2018
Hung out with musician and herbalist Mindy Stock at Pearl Cafe at 3:30pm. I've known Mindy for a long time and am a big fan of her music identity Virusse, it was really fun to sit and talk with her for a while in a pseudoformal setting. We talked about artistic production, peristalsis as opposed to catharsis, playing music as a useful spiritual exercise, Saturnalia and other similar pressure release holidays, Matt Z's reindeer tattoo, and a revolutionary desk design of my own invention. Mindy got iced tea with almond milk in it, I got iced coffee with cream. Both were very good. The cafe closes at 4pm (I wasn't aware of that when we made the initial plan to meet here) so we sat inside until then, then sat outside for a while in the shade. Then we both got hungry so we walked towards our respective houses, which was a common path for most of the way. Mindy's got a new batch of songs on the way, which I am looking forward to. I exercised extreme restraint by not offering to record a radio-style "drop" of me saying her band name in a cool way, to paste into the intro of a song. In my experience very very very few people want this sort of service from me. Please note- in the picture above, Mindy is holding my coffee, because I forgot to take a pic until after she had finished her tea and thrown away the cup. I almost always forget to take these pics this until at or near the end of the session- usually it makes me feel stupid but today after taking this pic I realized that a picture of a person holding an empty or near-empty cup is a nice symbol, meaning both "I did it" and "I'm ready for another one".
Friday June 29 2018
Sat down with musician Tim Woulfe at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30am. Tim used to do a zine called Small Doses, and he first wrote to me a really long time ago, I think he was in high school at the time. It was really nice to sit and talk for a while. He's no longer in high school. We talked about the nice feeling of coding your own website from scratch, Jack Kirby's Forever People, Sister Corita Kent, the Beach Boys, the pros and cons of touring a lot, working a job where your empathy is leveraged against you, Jandek, and games. We each drank coffee and we sat outside. There's a one-legged bird (a starling I think) that I first saw during Tristan's residency weeks ago, which again made a visit. Also Erik Ruin stopped by, he was in town on his way to a family vacation. Tim and I and talked for a while then I got a refill to-go and we walked to the record store I work at on Fridays. Tim got a record and I clocked in for the day. The coffee was good.
Thursday June 28 2018
Met up with writer Chelsea Fernando at Pearl Cafe at the RISD Museum at 12:30. It was really raining hard and we sat just inside the door by a huge window, which was very nice. I think it was just the start of summer session at RISD so the cafe was packed but we were sitting pretty far from everyone so the noise was just a hum and the people constantly coming and going was a welcome bit of visual interest, nothing more. I met Chelsea at a zinefest a few months ago, it was nice to sit down and chat for a while. We talked about ergodic literature, cards, dreams, "bleeding madras", Godel's Incompleteness theorem, mastery as breaking free of the closed path of skill, museum curation, Heathcliff, and many other diverse topics. Maybe because it was raining we both just sat there and talked and drank coffee for a really really long time! It was nice. I tried to get a decaf refill but they didn't have decaf coffee, only decaf espresso, which falls outside of the set of refillable drinks. So at the barista's suggestion I got just a half a cup! That's cute. In keeping with the other times I've come here, the people working were truly really nice, and I had a great time. I think maybe because it's connected to a museum, and it's not located in a convenient place that you can park in front of, run in, and get a cup of coffee, the staff is less likely to run into a grouchy or tempestuous person, so they are more likely to be more at ease. That said, I have no expectation or need for anyone at work to be nice or fake-nice to me in a cafe setting, and if someone doesn't want to smile or say Hi How Are You, I respect that. The coffee was good.
Monday June 25 2018
Hung out with publisher and musician Matthew James-Wilson at Coffee Exchange on Wickendon St at 9:30. I met Matthew a while back when he came to Providence to interview Mickey Zacchilli and Brian Chippendale for his magazine Forge, and Mickey said "you gotta talk to Jacob, he's the keeper of the lore". So we hung out and drank coffee and talked and had a super nice time, and then that time got transcribed and published. Well folks we did it again! Except no one was rolling tape this time. We talked about DIY, being a resource, upcoming plans and projects, artists who change the channel all the time, the Foxfire series of books, and a variety of other topics. I got a medium coffee and Matthew got a peppermint tea. These two smells in combination created a true morning sensation: brushing your teeth then drinking coffee. That's not a flavor I crave by any means, but it's a nice one to be reminded of now and again. I wanted to sit outside but there was verrrry heavy cologne usage on the outside deck, so we found a spot inside, then shifted to a sunny spot in the deep corner when that seat became available. I don't think they do refills there, and anyway I drank too much coffee the day before. Medium coffee was a perfect amount. The coffee was good.
Sunday June 24 2018
Sat down with musician Jace Ewing at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10am. I got a good vibe from him right off the bat, based purely on his name- the only other Jace I know is from the 1980's "Jace and the Wheeled Warriors" toyline I liked as a kid which had was about cool evil sentient cars that were hybrids of plant and machine and covered in thick green tentacles. Ewing of course evokes Patrick Ewing, basketball hall-of-famer, Olympic Dream Team member, and star of Exorcist 3, easily the second-best movie of the franchise. I was delighted to find Jace lived up to the challenge set (by me and not voiced aloud at any point) to compare favorably to these two allusions. To be precise I found him to be a fun easy-going person that makes cool music! We had a loose sprawling convo about gurus, the sensible power structure of golden-age piracy, team building, aliens, methods of organizing sound, tools, and using chaotic subroutines to de-rut an artistic practice. Mindy stopped by at one point and said hi, as did Heather Benjamin, two super stars. Jace brought me his latest record, a gift I received gladly, and we talked about a work in progress, which he had previously sent me a link to. We both got hot coffee, it was good, and we both got refills.
Tuesday June 19 2018
Met up with organizer and musician CJ Jimenez at Pearl Cafe, the cafe inside the RISD Museum, at 11am. What a nice place to get a cup of coffee! The coffee is great, the lighting in the main space is good, nice people, a delight. The person working recognized me and CJ from the QTZ event (Queer + Trans Zinefest) over the weekend, where CJ was an organizer and I was just like, there. I love it when someone is recognized for a good deed and I get to be their +1! We sat outside in the courtyard near those concrete eggs and talked about growing up in (and being truly "from") Providence, gentrification, scary movies, weird rooms in the hospital, when a big project ends and you get to have no plans, the importance of a good handshake, and also some straight-up gossip. Or maybe we didn't actually gossip that much but that was the mood, really fun. I got a large hot coffee and CJ got a small iced.
Saturday June 16th 2018
Met up with sculptor and researcher Kris Brown at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. Kris had just installed a big sculpture (or maybe you say "public art piece"?) at PVD Fest downtown, we talked about stockpiling materials, being an artist that changes their frame constantly, co-housing, low-income housing developement in Providence, and being a parent. I've known Kris for about ten years but lately we only see each other in passing, it was really nice to sit and jam. Kris got to the coffee shop a little before me (and I tried to be early) and as a consequence already had a cup of coffee when I got there. Which is why the mug is a latte mug. I got a refill later. No refills on the latte, it's too involved.
Wednesday June 13rd 2018
Sat down with playwrite and performer Eli Nixon at Olga's 9:30am. I've known Eli for many years through the New England DIY arts scene, and some years ago we worked together on a highly versioned version of Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar". Since that time they decided to go, then did go, then graduated, from a graduate program in theatre at Brown University. We talked about how great it is to not be in school, the benefits of operating under a strict ruleset for a period of time, and the joys of jamming with a small group. We sat outside with Eli's daughter Ida who was reading from a huge stack of books. At one point it rained a little bit, but not enough to move. The coffee was good (though just on the edge of being not hot enough). Refills were free and I got one.
Wednesday June 6, 2018
Met up with artist and fabricator JD Fontanella at Nitro, the coffee place inside Dash Bicycles, at 3pm. The last time I went to this place it was pretty busted, I thought this time I'd get the iced coffee, which they're known for, and for which they have a special method (it's on tap like beer, pressurized with nitrogen). Well it was OK but it was pretty expensive, so now I know. Also I think for this residency I might make iced coffee no longer an option- it's too easy to drink it fast. I like to hang out and sip. Anyway, I had a nice time with JD. I know him from Providence but he lives in New York City now. We talked about the coterie of recent Providence ex-pats living in New York City, how he got into machine work, regional hardware store styles, Jim Drain, the joy of taking something apart to see how it works, the satisfaction of making something for someone else, and the dangers of having a barn you can fill up with crap that you might need for a project (aka "yankee clutter"). JD said I was "famous for doing things all the way" (which is flattering) and wanted to know if I had registered this residency with some sort of artist's residencies registry board. I told him I didn't think there was such a governing body, but that I'd look it up. Well, I looked it up, there isn't. Neither of us got refills. As I said, the coffee was good, and novel, but not incredible.
Thursday May 31, 2018
Sat down with educator and museum person (?) Jeremy Radtke at New Harvest in the Arcade downtown, at 4pm. Jeremy's a cool dude, and I feel a mutual excitement whenever someone does the residency who is deep in arts administration rigamarole world-- it was really fun to sit and chat. And New Harvest is a cool spot- it's in this narrow proto-mall downtown called the Arcade, so if you sit outside the cafe you're in the sun but you're still inside. There's a roof. And I think the upstairs of the Arcade is like lawyers offices, so sometimes you hear someone bustling above you and it's someone in a tie, on the move. It kind of makes you feel like you're in a play and they're the lighting techs. Anyway we got iced coffee and sat outside (or outside the shop, still indoors). We talked about small museums, roadside attractions, digital publishing vs paper, and different approaches to museums. I also got a little gossippy. Tayla stopped by, making her second guest appearance- this time she looked more like a hacker than an assassin, in that she was wearing yellow sunglasses. The coffee was good. I put a lot of sugar in mine by accident, but guess what- it didn't make it bad.
Tristan Brooks Munchel
Tuesday May 29, 2018
Met up with musician Tristan Brooks Munchel at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10am. We had planned to go to Palmieri's Bakery but then someone told me that they closed down years ago. I guess the last time I went in there was a long time ago, and everytime since then I went past there I assumed they were just closed at that time, not closed closed. Oh well. We went to Seven Stars instead, that was nice. We both got hot coffee despite it being a hot day, and we sat outside. Tristan got decaf. We talked about the problem of naming a band, parties vs shows, kids, small birds, dreams, stairs, and Anthony Braxton. Kate Schapira and James Kuo walked by at a certain point and said hi. We also saw a lot of dogs, some with their heads jutting out of car windows. The coffee was good, and we both availed ourselves of the free refills.
Thursday May 23, 2018
Met up with painter and streetwear entrepreneur (?) Nick Carter at The Nitro Bar, the coffee shop inside Dash bike shop, at 9:30am. We asked for two cups of coffee and they said the coffee wasn't ready yet, but they could make us two cups of pour-over coffee, I said fine. But it took 15 minutes to get it, then it came in these ridiculous mugs that were just cereal bowls with handles, and they were filled to the brim, very difficult to drink from. The first couple sips of the coffee were fine but it cooled down very fast because of how much surface area was exposed. Anyway I had a nice time talking with Nick. We talked about the 76ers, basketball in general, The Process, upcoming painting projects, and seasonal artworks. We sat outside and it was nice although someone took our picture when we sat down and then the TV judge whose offices are across the street came out to shake hands and I was afraid he would try to talk to us. He didn't.
Thursday May 17, 2018
Hung out with visual artist Dana Heng at The Shop in Fox Point at 4pm. We had planned on going to Tea In Sahara but when we got there, all the lights were on, the open flag was out, but the door was locked and there was no one inside. So we went down the street to "The Shop". I got a coffee and Dana got an iced tea. We sat outside and talked about Dana's upcoming activities- the QTZ Zine fest, a mural project, and an installation in the window of the Dirt Palace. The coffee was ok, or like, it was good but I didn't like it. What's that kind of sour flavor that's only in "good" coffee? Whatever it is I don't like it. The iced tea was (I'm told) good. Neither of us availed ourselves of refills. We ran into Nick Holstrom inside, that was nice. On the way out we noticed that Tea In Sahara was open! What gives?! If there was a sign saying "back in 5 minutes" we would've waited.
Sunday May 13, 2018
Sat down with journalist Ben Berke at Venda Ravioli on Atwells at 10am. The location of this one was Ben's suggestion, and it was a great suggestion. Venda Ravioli is great, an extensive deli and ravioli store with a coffee and desert counter and outside seating in scenic DePasquale Square! It's optimum (or I would even say "Primo") Federal Hill. Unnnnnfortunately the coffee was TEPID! I guess it's more of an espresso place than a coffee place, so the coffee tends to sit around longer? Anyway it's unfortunate but not a big deal- every coffee place on Earth serves up a coldish cup every now and again, it's really not worth making a fuss over. I still had a very nice time. Ben's writing focuses on buildings, which is a really interesting entrypoint for basically any story- what's the building like, what's the neighborhood like, and how do these things affect the people in and around them. We talked about that, about mills in Providence, and about freelance writing in general. After a while we both had to split to do Mother's Day stuff, and then I ran into Dave Public when I was bringing the mugs inside. He was buying a baked potato to bring to his mom.
Thursday May 10, 2018
Met up with inter-disciplinary artist Salvadora McCaffrey at White Electric at noon. It was pretty full in there so we sat outside, and it was really really nice outside, sunny but not really bright, that perfect temperature where you can wear shorts if you want to, but you can also wear long pants and a sweatshirt if you want to. We had a great conversation and talked about doing your art vs selling someone on your art, small museums and varying approaches to curation, the benefits and drawbacks of working pseudonymously and anonymously, and a lot more capital-A Art topics! We both got ICED TEA! I got black tea and put honey and cream in it, Salvadora got green tea and didn't put anything in it. No refills on iced tea, which makes sense kind of-- coffee refills exist to make sure you get enough coffee, and can only exist because it's possible to have too much. Ice tea you can just drink from now until kingdom come, there is no "enough". Very pleasant. Salvadora took the train in from Boston, which is elegant, and I suggested a few options for what else to check out in Providence and on foot, before the train back in the afternoon. I had a great time. The iced tea was great, that much should be evident.
Tuesday May 8, 2018
Sat down with writer, curator, and installation artist Olivia Baldwin at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. Olivia is the first person to do the residency so far that I stone cold do not know at all, which is exciting. But we have a friend in common who we both adore (Darcie) so I felt we had an immediate kinship. We talked about numerology, boats, the way deadlines force you to shit out an imperfect thing that's sometimes better than the belabored thing, the Italian concept of "sprezzatura", goo, slime, foam, noisefests, and the pros and cons of trying to make something happen in an area where not much is happening. I had a really nice time! We both got coffee but check this out- I got to the cafe a little early and got a cup of coffee for myself, then when Olivia showed up I went up and got one for her. The guy at the counter said "you know we have free refills" and I said yeah I know, I don't want more coffee in the cup I have, I want another cup with coffee in it. So he poured me another cup and said "you're all set"! Didn't charge me for the second cup! At first I thought he was endorsing my magnanimity of buying a cup of coffee for someone else. But after some thought, maybe he just thought I got a dirty cup and was afraid to say something! I don't want to go down in the history books as that kind of fellow, but I do appreciate a free cuppa, that's no secret. When it comes down to it I'd rather get it by hook (charm) than crook (lying), but at the same time, far be it from me to look a gift horse in the mouth. Anyway the coffee was good. Neither of us got refills, although maybe I technically got a refill in a different cup then handed it off? We may never know.
Saturday May 5, 2018
Met up with poet Joanne Hart at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4:30pm. Joanne is an old friend and someone I love to sit and talk with, it was nice to do so in the formal set-up of a residency. We both got mugs of coffee but it being pretty late in the day, Joanne got decaf. Neither of us availed ourselves of the free refills, but there were samples of Danish out on the counter, and I availed myself of that. Then the coffee guy said I should take as much as I want, so I availed again. Joanne and I talked about writing, focus, perception, Zen, and memory. We also talked a lot about being in the habit of writing, and how to get back in the habit when you're out of the habit. We saw Sakiko Mori and Mulligan, both of whom stopped by briefly to say hi. After a while the shop had to close so we went downtown for Ian Cozzen's art opening at the AS220 project space, and we ran into too many people to mention. On the way back to the car from the art show we saw a hawk sitting on top of a lamppost but we were unable to ID it. Joanne pointed the hawk out to everyone that passed by. Later we looked it up in a book. Joanne's best guess is that it was a juvenile Broad-Winged Hawk.
Lord Tess Brown-Lavoie
Tuesday May 1, 2018
Sat down with writer Tess Brown-Lavoie, who I know as "Lord Tess", at Dave's on North Main at 11am. It was pretty nice out so we sat outside, at first we were sitting on wall then a table opened up. Then it started to rain just a little bit and we went inside and sat there for a while. Tess pointed out that when you go to a cafe you don't usually go to you see a crowd of regulars you never see, and sure as shit we saw a couple people I would consider "rare" to just see around- Michael Siegel, Jim Drain, and CJ Jimenez. Well, running into Michael is rare, running into Jim Drain is good luck, and running into CJ is an immediately evident blessing (she had a bag of fresh chocolate chip cookies and she gave me one). Let that serve as some indication of what a truly nice conversation me and Lord Tess had. We talked about writing, poetry, the desire for a mentor, the way of the kitten, Florence Foster Jenkins, and what I call "the basement and the tower"- the feelings of inadequacy on both sides of the underground / academia divide. We both got coffee, and since there's no refills, we both got 16 oz rather than 12 oz. Which for me was the perfect amount of coffee anyway. The coffee was good. Lord Tess's book is forthcoming this year on Fence books.
Tuesday April 24, 2018
Met up with graphic designer Hilary duPont at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. Hilary used to co-run a cool newspaper out of Marfa TX, called "Real News", which I liked, and which was in some part inspired by my newspaper "Mothers News". Either Hilary or her partner in crime sent me a big stack of Real News back issues while it was going, but we never really talked. I reiterate- I liked her paper! I was psyched when I got her residency application, it was really great to meet up. We talked about running a freaky deaky newspaper, selling ads, graphic design, where to eat lunch in downtown Providence (nowhere), living in Marfa before and after Instagram, and Robert Bringhurst's "The Elements Of Typographic Style" (a book we both love). Mickey showed up for a second and we chatted- her and Hilary were friends from the undergrad years. Hilary and I both got coffee and we both got refills. The coffee was good.
Sunday April 22, 2018
Sat down with artist and musician Jeff Hartford at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. Right off the bat, even before we got in the door, we ran into Jim Frain, Ken, Brian Chippendale, Jungil Hong, and Rohan. A real rogue's gallery! Jeff and I got coffees and took that front table in the corner. It was pretty busy in there. We talked about drawing and music and how to stay loose in a sketchbook, which led us to talk about Gary Panter, who we both love. We also talked about Florida metal, Mick Barr projects, Jervyn's Clasp, 90s hardcore, taking time off from shows, and the idea of developing a vocabulary as an improvisor. I've been collecting Jeff's records, tapes, and zines for many years, so I was very happy that he brought me the catalog for his recent show of drawings and paintings at Rozz Tox gallery in Florence MA. Unfortunately I had to leave at 11:30 to catch a cello concert in Boston, otherwise I would've followed Jeff around all day. We both got refills, although I got decaf on the refill. The coffee was good.
Wednesday April 18, 2018
Hung out with painter Tom Bubul at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10:30am. It was pretty busy in there and the only spot was "center stage", right in the middle of the room. We sat there for a while until that spot in the front corner opened up, then we sat there for a little bit. We both got coffees, and then later we both got refills and Tom bought pastries. After a spell we were debating whether or not to get another refill, but I wanted a cup of tea, and that lead to a venue change to Hudson St Market. Not because the tea is bad at Seven Stars, but just because "why not". We sat inside for a while, then moved outside, but it was colder outside than it looked (from inside) so we moved to another outside table that was in the sun, but it wasn't really in the sun, so we just got up and walked around. This makes it sound like we were antsy the whole time but actually the mood was fancy free, and moving as the wind doth blow. We talked about grants, the idea of living on an island, and a variety of other subjects. We ran into Xander and Xander's mom on the way to the coffee place, they were planting things in front of the house. Then at the coffee place we saw Mindy. Outside Hudson St we ran into Dan Talbot and Jeremy Ferris, and then just walking around afterwards we saw Roby Newton! It was a star-studded event. The coffee was good. The pastries and tea were also good. The wind was nice.
Monday April 16, 2018
Met up with community organizer Dailen Williams at the West Side Diner on Westminster at 10pm. It was a really rainy day, which was kind of bad, as she biked over from the south side, but kind of nice, because sitting and talking in a diner while it's raining outside is classic. Luckily we got a booth in the front, because the back room there is depressing-- the front is a diner, the back is like, just a room. Dailen was involved in a venue called CR which was a very nice and welcoming space, we talked about how scenes can default to shitty and/or mean when there isn't a nice option. We also talked about increasing access to cultural tools, video games, the long New England winter, and the difficulties of getting started. We both got food, which was good, and made sense given the setting (and considering that we were sitting there for a long time) but from now on I think I'm going to emphasize the "just coffee/tea" aspect of the residency, even if it means restricting the residency to places that don't have table service. I didn't feel rushed at all, and there was no one waiting for a table, but I did feel like it was common courtesy that we move along. I got coffee and never once said "no thank you" when they came around with a fresh carafe. The coffee was good.
Thursday April 12, 2018
Met up with jeweller/artiste Liz Novak at Sydney on Exchange St, at 1pm. It was full of businesspeople, in a way that I found quite surprising, but then I remembered about the idea of lunchtime. We sat at a big table next to a businessman eating a salad and looking at a laptop computer. After a half hour the place was almost empty. We both got coffee in paper cups- mugs were not an option. We talked for awhile about the kind of famous you are when you work at a coffee shop or restaurant, the goal of "staying loose" in drawing and other creative pursuits, running a business that hinges on your art, and a variety of other topics. I got up to use the bathroom and it was the kind where you enter in a passcode on a numeric keypad. I was pleased to see that they taped over the latch so you can just push the door open. That shows a good community spirit. But it was really really cold in the bathroom! Like, shockingly cold. There were little Australian flags up on the table but there was no other Australian stuff, it was weird. No koalas, no kangaroos, no crocodiles. Liz got a coffee refill, it wasn't free but it was $1.08, not bad. I was good with just the one cup. We didn't see anyone we knew. The coffee was good.
Wednesday April 11, 2018
Met up with painter Maren Jensen at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4:15pm. I had already been there writing for a really long time, which was a bad way to start off, because even though I was drinking decaf, I just was in there too long and I was kind of going crazy. When Maren showed up I switched to standard coffee, and I got zooted. We each had cups of coffee and water, and Maren bought us each a chocolate chip cookie. We talked about jobs and money, Maren's impending move to the mountains of California, the idea of artistic purity, and making books. Tayla stopped by in between errands and we chatted a little- Maren and I both really liked the way she was dressed, all in tactical black, with a beret even! The coffee was good. The cookies were good.
Wednesday April 4, 2018
Met up with multidisciplinary artist Xander Marro at Seven Stars on Broadway at 8am. The weather was a little grey but not rainy, great coffee weather. We each got coffee in a mug and a cup of water in a plastic cup. Coffee was good. We talked about Xander's recent experiences at a residency in Germany, her current work on renovating "the Wedding Cake House" here in Providence, and naturally about the role of art in society. Xander and I have been friends for a long time so naturally we also gossipped and griped as much as can be expected, and she gave me good advice. Kate Schapira stopped by to pick up some pastries for a friend, and chatted with us for a sec. Also Jim from Black Cat came through for his morning cup, but we just said hi. We didn't see anyone else we knew except Xander saw someone she thought she might know but couldn't really remember. We both got free refills.
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