CTRI Innovations Residency
list of artists-in-residence
list of all topics discussed | project homepage
Sunday September 15, 2019
Met up with journalist Matt Lavallee at Sydney at 12:15. Well actually we met up at the train station, he was coming from Boston. The initial plan was to get coffee at Cafe La France in the train station, but then it seemed like a shame to take the train in, just to hang out at the train station, so we went on a little walk to Sydney. Last time I went here I was dismayed by their failure to really go in on the Australian theme. This time around I got to thinking, I guess modern cities look pretty much the same? I guess they nailed it. Anyway we both got hot coffee and talked about saints, when a religious ceremony has a physical challenge aspect, making a bad first issue, the Hanshin Tigers, baseball, oral histories as a format, breakfast, watching movies over and over again, breakfast (I wrote down breakfast twice in my notes), and Wendy Carlos. We sat outside and the coffee was good. After a while Matt met up with a friend from Woonsocket and I got picked up to go camping. I drank almost too much coffee but just shy of the line.
Ricky Rainbow Beard
Wednesday August 28, 2019
Hung out with performer Ricky Rainbow Beard at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. Ricky and I have been around each other a lot, and we played a show together recently, but we never really had a deep convo. It was nice to check that off the list! We talked about bullshit, swimming, ponds and lakes, Trivial Pursuit, fictitious entries, the Jazz idiom, playing music in libraries, John Cage, the Lakota concept of the Heyoka, Calvin & Hobbes, Tattoos, doing the dishes, Nancy, and Ivan Brunetti. We both got hot coffee, it was good. Some people waved at us while we were talking and we waved back, I thought they were waving at Ricky, he thought they were waving at me. Neither of us knew who they were. Maybe they were waving at someone outside, on the other side of the window? I saw one of them later and he jogged right by without twitching a mustache, leading me to believe it was just an error. Happens to everyone!
Tuesday August 20, 2019
Met up with artist Ezra Guay at Seven Stars on Broadway at 7am. That's right- 7 o'clock in the morning. We both got hot coffee, and talked about mugs, gifts, the Anthony Brazton interview where he says "Garfield Goose", real estate, having not gone to art school, this residency, knitting machines, and a lot else besides. I think I met Ezra when they came to my art show last year. It was nice to sit and chat. The coffee was good. Eventually Ezra had to go to work and I had to go eat something. When I left it was still before 9, I guess that's the benefit of getting up early, you get more of the day.
Thursday August 15, 2019
Hung out with painter Francoise McAree at Ellie's in downtown Providence, near Pizza Queen. I had never been to this cafe, it was nice. Nice place to sit, refills are $1.50, Francoise said the food is good. We both got hot coffee and had a nice long conversation about the residency program itself, what is special about a conversation, working with fabric, discipline in the arts, Sun Ra, Julian Jaynes, contemporary craft, the quilts of Gee's Bend, other residencies, Lynda Barry, and David Bowie. We talked about a lot of other stuff too but I forgot to take notes for a while. The coffee was good. I got a refill, and drank juuuust up to the line of "too much coffee".
Tuesday August 13, 2019
Met up with musician Evan Raczynski at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I think I met them the previous year at the Bach To The Future marathon, but it could've been earlier. We got hot coffees and had a great conversation about music, the Grateful Dead, what time do shows start, Providence underground venue history, fan art, Industrial Sonic Echo (band), the value of a lackluster cultural product that demonstrates a possibility and nothing more, Mothers News, and what happened to the Ms Pacman at White Electric. Former CTRI Innovations artist in residence Kate Schapira stopped by to say hellos, and Jackie Wilson was on the radio, the song from Ghostbusters 2. Both of these occurences I consider "good luck". The coffee was good, and we both got refills.
June 31, 2019
Hung out with musician and video artist Josh Plotkin at Seven Stars on Broadway at 11:45am. Josh and I used to live together and before that he used to advertise in a publication I ran, running ads for his record and tape label, More Records. Josh is an iced coffee all year round kind of guy, we both got iced coffees. We sat inside by the window and talked about being an accountant for Justin Timberlake, cooking, Great British Bake Off, skateboarding (neither of us skate), Jervyn's Clasp, Josh's forays into running live video at music shows, Max/MSP problems, and the benefits of the humble daiquari. Josh loves to have a good set up, get creative with good ingredients, and make people feel good. It makes sense that he'd get really into tropical drinks, cooking Thai food, and doing video at dance gigs. He was only in town for a couple days in between gigs as a touring accountant, it was great to catch up.
Thursday July 25, 2019
Hung out with artist and skateboarder Mike Leslie at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. I've known Mike for a verrrrrrrry long time, we've been in bands together, we were roommates at multiple locations, we're friends. He moved to California a few years ago and recently had some time off from work, so he applied for the residency and flew out to old Rhode Island. We both got to the coffee shop a little early, but I got there a little bit earlier and sat inside to wait. Mike got there a little later but still early, and waited for me outside. Finally at quarter past I texted him and we realized our mutual oops. We talked about Steven King, the kind of movie you watch on the plane, knives, work, the difficulties in starting a band, and strategies for overcoming these difficulties. It was me with the difficulties FYI, Mike's in 2 bands right now, one of which (technically) has a former member of the Slits! I got a hot coffee and Mike got an iced tea. The coffee was good. While we were there the radio played "Do Run Run", wonderful.
Tuesday July 23, 2019
Met up with artist Meredith Younger at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. It was super hot the previous couple days, but then the heat broke, it was really nice to sit outside and drink hot coffee. At one point I even put on a sweatshirt. We talked about beaches both non-magical and magical, having a dog, surf movies, Texas, Chernobyl, Coast To Coast (specifically the "Mel's Hole" episode), my favorite podcast "Re:Joyce", mysteries, and the "Life After People" TV show. We both got hot coffee, it was good. Meredith's moving to Texas, which is kind of a drag, but I feel like we'll still see her a few times a year anyway.
Saturday July 13, 2019
Hung out with artist Murphy Chang at White Electric coffee shop on Westminster at 10am. I met Murph a few years ago at a crafts fair, when she bought a stuffed animal I made. Then we crossed paths a few times and each time we'd talk about what the stuffed animal is doing now. Finally she applied for the residency and we both had the blessed opportunity to sit down and be like, "OK, what's your deal". The whereabouts of the stuffed animal were not discussed, which was no problem at all. We've moved on. We talked about museums, mueseum wall text (aka "the tombstone"), when the art is in the bathroom, hair and hair cutting, The Origin Of Consciousness In The Breakdown Of The Bicameral Mind, the caves at Lascaux in France, show caves of America, Sanbutsu-ji temple in Tottori Japan, rock climbing, when rock climbers have a fear of ladders, and drawing as a form of high-stakes meditation. We both got hot coffees, and the coffee was good. This was the 100th instance of CTRI Innovations residency, and I had a great time as always! Thanks Murphy and thank you to the other 99 participants so far!
Wednesday July 10, 2019
Met up with ceramist, organizer, and lap steel player Adelaide at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. I know Adelaide through mutual friends and shows and stuff, it was great to sit and chat for a while. We talked about lap steel guitar, Lynda Barry, sketchbook methods, publishing, when your work has a creative aspect and then after work you don't want to be creative you just want to play video games, Forrest J Ackerman, the beauty of hand-painted signs, Jervyn's Clasp, robotfindskitten, Pearl Pony, and Halloween music. Something we talked a lot about was how to trick yourself into not looking at what you're working on and say "well, this sucks". This is something I deal with regularly, I'm sure that many do-- I guess I have a stack of tricks for this! Anyway I got a hot coffee and Adelaide got an iced coffee, the coffee was good.
Saturday July 6, 2019
Met up with artist, performer, and puppeteer Rachel Schapira at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I've known Rachel for years via her sister, CTRI alumnus Kate Schapira, and I am a frequent guest at her family's Hanukkah celebration. It was great to sit and have a tête-à-tête. We talked about AI (artificial intelligence), haggling, working in the fast-paced world of window displays, monster trucks, running a successful (or not-abyssmal) post-presentation question and answer session, working groups, architecture manifestos, being easy to shop for, Jaws, blogs, and Ditko-era Spiderman. Rachel is in a working group of artists that meets periodically to talk about and make work about monster trucks (Gravedigger et al). What do you call that, a research group? We both got hot coffee because even though it was pretty hot out, we were inside and the AC was cranked. The coffee was good, and we both got refills.
Monday July 1, 2019
Hung out with artist Jen Booth at Seven Stars on Broadway at noon. I met Jen a few years ago after she sent me fan art for my newspaper Mothers News- a silkscreen print of some drawings I made, in color. She asked in advance "is it OK if I make a print of this?", which I really appreciated, and then the prints came out great, really fun and cool. We talked about needing coffee, the beach, frogs, New Mexico, air conditioning, games, and cleaning up the studio. I made a strong push for knolling as a messy desk strategy. I got hot coffee and Jen got a turmeric tea- both were good. While we were there CTRI alums David Riley and "Roommate Ellen" Zahniser came in, and the radio played Chubby Checker "The Twist". I would call all these events "auspicious".
Thursday June 20th, 2019
Met up with artist Lucia Carroll at Riff Raff, the bookstore / coffee shop / bar on Valley St at 3pm. I had been to Riff Raff for a book reading but never just for coffee, it was nice to go and hang out there, although it's weird being there in the daytime because it's such a night time vibe. The seating is roughly 1/3 cafe seating (low comfortable chairs, low coffee tables), 1/3 bar seating (high chairs at high tables) and 1/3 variable use bar / co-working space (picnic tables). We got hot coffees and sat at the bar-style seating. We talked about yoga, job interviews, job interview tips & tricks, when you work a job that has one or more weird regular customers, karaoke, quilting, metal, disco, being a metal head that gets into disco, and George & Dan of Breaking World Records. I had a great time chatting and the coffee was good.
Monday June 17, 2019
Sat down with musician Annabelle Cazes at Seven Stars at 3pm. Annabelle just moved to town, like, hours before meeting up with me. At first I was worried that maybe we should've picked a different time, but then I felt like I was providing a place of calm in a chaotic moment. Annabelle plays music as Glockabelle, playing two Casio VL-1's, a drum machine, and a glockenspiel. We talked about playing music, moving, stuffed animals, France, precision, stage tricks, birds, merch ideas, Erik Satie, and a lot more. Annabelle got iced coffee, I got hot coffee. The coffee was good. We ended up hanging out in front of the cafe for a really long time talking, which I enjoyed. The street was pretty noisy and twice that guy who drives slow around the block singing along very loudly to Bobby Darin drove by. When we looked over at him he honked and slowed down even more, but we didn't dare look again.
Wednesday June 12, 2019
Met up with artist and educator Walker Mettling at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I've met Walker many years ago through other friends, and I contributed some stories to a story night he used to host. Also I used to publish comics from the comics class he teaches in my newspaper. It was great to sit and talk with him, as it's always great to sit and talk with him. We talked about projects, bikes, "the law of the briny deep", drawing, terrible zines, talking to cops, and a lot more. We both got hot coffee, it was good.
Tuesday June 11, 2019
Hung out with scientist Sophia Tintori at Seven Stars on Broadway at noon. Sophie's cool, she used to write and draw a regular feature for my newspaper Mothers News called "Invertebrate of the Month", now she's getting ready to go to motherfucking CHERNOBYL to study radioactive worms. I asked her what if one of the worms bites her, will she get the powers of the worm? She said the worms are too small to bite you and don't even have teeth. I'm not entirely reassured. In addition to talking about radioactive worms, we talked about science in general, games, Gödel's incompleteness theorem, living in New York City, journaling strategies, and whether the defining thing about nerds is that they love rules or if it's more that they love stats. I got an iced coffee and Sophie got a hot tea. Later she got more hot water for the tea. I didn't get another iced (no refills on iced FYI) but I was very aware of taking small sips and making it last. The coffee was good.
Monday June 10, 2019
Met up with writer Colin Hagendorf at Seven Stars on Broadway at 2pm. I can't remember how I met them but it was a long time ago via punk. Colin had a much beloved blog called Slice Harvester that reviewed every pizza place in Manhattan, and I went on a mission with them to a few spots one afternoon in 2010. The blog turned into a book and now there's a podcast and a newsletter, neither of which are related to pizza. We got iced coffees and sat outside and had a great conversation, touching on their current homebase of Pittsburgh, Bikini Kill, planting the seeds for a new generation of wingnuts, writing newsletters, stamps and stamp collecting, our families, being a kid and starting to develop class awareness, and much more. The coffee was good. After a while we got hungry so we got burritos and later that afternoon we went to the beach and swam and then watched the sun set in the evening. It was pretty magical but that's outside the purview of this residency, which for all intents and purposes ended when we left to get food. After that it was just hanging out.
Saturday June 8, 2019
Hung out with musician and painter MZ at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10am. I've known MZ for a really long time- we were in a weird metal band together called Incisor a few years ago, but our most recent artistic collaboration was when I posed for a painting of Dracula he's working on. In a friendship capacity I see him all the time and for that I am extremely grateful. We talked about a card game I'm working on, the romantic idea of living in a hotel for a period of time while you work on a novel, mid-century gothic furniture, the left-hand path, and a lot else besides. We both got hot coffee, it was good. After a while we got up and changed venue to the East Side Diner, where we sat in the front and ate delicious regular diner food, that's where the picture above was taken.
Thursday May 30, 2019
Met up with writer and painter Sarah Heggan at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30am. It was pretty noisy inside so we sat outside and then outside got noisy, but what are you gonna do? We both got hot coffee, and talked about traveling, the trend towards killing time in contemporary craft, painting, writing, Nancy, short stories vs novels, and artists who have recurring details that you can tell they're obsessed with. My example was Ed Wood and angora sweaters, Sarah's example was how so many Steven King stories mention putting a clothespin on someone's weiner. I was happy to be asked for and then dispense advice about how to finish something without getting close to the end then crumbling it up because it sucks. I said that the trick is to just shit out something stupid, then realize that you can't remove it from the world, all you can do is drown it out with better material. Like if you just met someone and said something stupid, you could hide from that person forever, or you could just try to be cool the next time you see them. The other big thing is realizing that everyone that isn't an idiot (or a child of god like Ray Bradbury) hates what they make for a period of time. For what it's worth, I read one of Sarah's short stories and I liked it. But maybe I should lie and tell her it sucks and she needs to put out another one quick? Tough call.
Tuesday May 28, 2019
Hung out with musician Eric Grieshaber at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3:30pm. I had seen Eric play in bands a few times, he's a sweet guy and I had a really nice time hanging out. We talked about riding bikes, his band POOL, the intricacies of having a band where everyone plays tapes, computer programming, cascading style sheets, and working in restaurants. We both got hot coffee, it was good. We hung out for a while and then I had to break it off because I needed to get to the post office before they closed. Luckily he was headed the same way as me so we walked down to Olneyville square together and continued our talk. I got to the post office just in time to pick up my package. It was a sewing machine part I ordered on eBay.
Monday May 27, 2019
Met up with painter and tattoo artist Jonathan Wisehart at Seven Stars at 3pm. Unfortunately they were just about to close, because it was Memorial Day, so we took our coffees and walked to the dog park and hung out there. That was great. I think the last time I hung out with Jonathan was in a big group of people at the 146 drive in last summer, when they showed Jaws. It was nice to have a one-on-one. We talked about mental health, making 10,000 drawings, tattooing, Japan, strawberries, Jonathan's upcoming art show at RiffRaff, and a lot more. Hanging out in the dog park was really nice, it was like the cafe in that there was just enough background stuff going on, not so much that it was a distraction. We both got iced coffees, it's iced coffee season. The coffee really hit the spot.
Tuesday May 22, 2019
Sat down with writer Janaya Kizzie at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. Janaya and I have friends in common but I would say that we first met at a zinefair, where we were tabling next to each other. I was worried at the time that my neighbor might be bummed that I brought a tape player (and that the tape was a 45 minute Sleng Teng megamix) but Janaya excited about it, which made me more excited about it. We had a great talk about immersive theatre experiences, your friend's basement, LARPing, D&D, Archigram and other utopic 70s architecture, the Missoula Oblongata, Goth ASMR, Jervyn's Clasp, and Dwarf Fortress. Janaya got a hot tea, I got a cup of coffee. The coffee was good. When we sat down the radio was playing "Hooked On A Feeling", no problems there. I took a few weeks off from doing these residencies because I was travelling, it's good to be back!
Thursday April 25, 2019
Met up with musician Wendy Hyatt at Seven Stars at 9am. Wendy's band Suicide Magnets used to practice in the building behind mine and many a night I would look out at the setting sun and hear her voice bouncing off brick and over the river to me. Which was extra nice because I like Wendy and her music! We had a great talk about Elvis, staying nervous, Yukio Mishima, Jimmy Olsen, junk stores, strategies of running a junk store, and paying what you can. Wendy got a turmeric tea and I got a hot coffee. After a while Wendy had to run off to her next appointment and I had to move on to my next mission as well. The coffee was good. While we were talking the radio played my favorite Bee Gees song, "The Lights Went Out In Massachusetts", it's a deep cut, one that I really appreciated. Wendy wanted to point out that flipping the bird in the picture isn't a declaration that this residency sucks or whatever, it's just her way. I respect that. The bird is the word!
Tuesday April 23, 2019
Met up with artist Ian Cozzens at Seven Stars on Broadway at noon. Recently I added a deadline to the residency application, which is one week from whenever you look at the website. It really worked like a charm, and shook out a lot of lurks who have wanted to do this residency for a while but just never got around to applying. Ian is a great example of this. Some people need a deadline and I understand that. No shade! Ian got a hot coffee and I got a tea, because it was too late for me to have morning coffee and too early for coffee 2. I also got a cinnamon hat, because I gave up sugar for Lent, and it was no longer Lent, and I wanted one. We talked about weird dudes, kittens, dogs, family, memory, the idea of "the other side of the gift", DIY, teaching people how to figure things out vs teaching them how to do something, OCD, and quilting. Xander came by and said hi, that was nice. At one point the Drifters song "Under The Boardwalk" came on the radio, and that was nice too. Ian got a refill on the coffee and I got more hot water for my tea. The tea was good.
Saturday April 20, 2019
Hung out with photographer Abby Banks at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. I've known Abby for years, from the New England DIY music scene, and she included my bedroom in her book "Punk Houses" (on the back cover!). Since then she's been all over the place, visiting different artists collectives. She took the bus in from New York City, and I met her at the bus station downtown and we walked to the cafe. Abby hadn't eaten in a while so she got a granola with yogurt, a cookie, and a cinnamon hat. We both got hot coffee. It was great to catch up. We talked about thinking of global capitalism as an artificial intelligence let loose on the planet, Buckminster Fuller and "Trim Tab", touring and merching with bands, the book publishing world, the Battlechess Duck, and many other things besides. The coffee was good. Abby tried to get me to eat some of the cinnamon hat but I gave up sugar for Lent so I abstained. After hanging out for really quite a while we walked down to La Lupita and got burritos, and then went across town to a housewarming party, which was really fun. Abby rules!
Tuesday April 16, 2019
Mat up with sculptor David Riley at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. David and I have plenty of friends in common but we never had a moment of just the two of us-- it was great to have a chance to tête-à-tête. We talked about David's recurring escape room design gigs, having a studio space, CNC machines, furniture, my desk idea, grants, when you decide to have a bad time and then you do (which I call "tanking it"), Japan, and a project I want David to help me with, codename BOP GUN. David showed me some pics of new sculptures he's working on, which were really cool! We both got hot coffee, it was good. I wanted to sit in the sun but then once we were there, in the sun, it was a little bit too much sun. But it wasn't enough to be like "actually, let's move", and I felt like it was still nice, as I have yet to shake off the feeling of winter.
Thursday April 11, 2019
Sat down with painter James Sundquist at Seven Stars on Broadway at 7:30am. It was cool being there that early and seeing the early morning crowd. I got a hot coffee and James got a turmeric tea. We talked about RI drivers, Japan, tom Sachs, Knolling, painting, Ansel Fieffer, architecture, mill living, studio spaces, studio strategies, and Rhode Island developement / gentrification. The coffee was good, and we both got refills.
Monday April 7, 2019
Met up with Tarot reader Elena Cazac at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30am. I've known Elena for a few years through mutual friends, it was really fun to sit and have a deep convo. We talked about the health benefits of cold water, strategies of waking up, Little Andrew, making decisions, Pearl Pony, Fat Day (band), drawing and being "a good drawer", and of course, the Tarot. Elena brought some cards and we looked at them. I idly pulled a card and there was a picture of a heart-shaped lock on it, locked to a hasp. The weird thing is that the hasp had all the screws that hold it in place clearly visible-- anyone with a flat-head screwdriver could bypass the lock if they wanted to. Something to think about! I got a hot coffee and Elena got a tea, and later we both got refills. The coffee was good. I forgot to take a picture of Elena's hand holding her cup of coffee, but I was able to grab a pic of her holding this limited edition JJB Buckmaster mug.
Tuesday April 2, 2019
Met up with sculptor Hillel O'Leary at Seven Stars on Broadway. I got there a little late and he already had a cup of tea, which is a slight breach of protocol but not a big deal, and really that's my fault anyway for being late. We talked about shoveling, Providence drivers, Kelley Square in Worcester, the Pareto Principle (also known as the 80/20 rule), materials, installation art, and art gigs. Hillel is trying to get this gig working for KING TUTANKHAMUN, which is mindblowing to me, that's like working for Dracula or The Creature From The Black Lagoon. He had an incredible insight into the Mummy's Curse. We also talked a lot about lists, which we both love to make, have systems for, cross out items on, and talk about. Hillel, as noted, got a tea, I got hot coffee. After a while we both got refills. The coffee was good.
Monday March 25, 2019
Hung out with cartoonist Dean Sudarsky at Borealis Coffee in Riverside at 9am. I've known Dean for a while as a nice guy around town and as a cartoonist with a weird hustle, it was great to sit and chat with him. Dean is a letterer for comics but mostly for comics in translation, for which he has to copy the original artist's handwriting! So cool! We talked about performance, metal, Morbid Angel, dice, Kamandi, noise shows, M.U.S.C.L.E. (toys), Yello (band), and Maiden (Iron). We also really dove deep into what I would call the peristaltic goal for an artist- easy digestion and regular shits. Catharsis, when needed, is essential. But I feel we should be aiming for peristalsis- it's healthier. We also talked a lot about synth pop, and a lot about handwriting, which is something I'm fascinated by. Dean says there's a distinctly Providence way of making an uppercase letter E, which I'll be on the lookout for. It isn't the CF E (with northwestern curlique) or Ben Jones E (with is almost like a backwards lowercase g). It was nice hanging out in Riverside- the cafe is in an old train station, next to a bike path that used to be train tracks. I've been to a few cafes with this exact history/trajectory, it's nice. We both got hot coffee, it was good.
Friday March 22, 2019
Hung out with mixed media artist Nicholas Perry at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I've known Nik for a while and we were roommates for a few years. He's since moved away to deep Massachusetts, it was nice to sit with him again! We talked about a recent endoscopy he had, the human body, Jung, the YMCA, attitudes around going to the gym, kids, parents, and Nik's forays into circuit bending. I got a hot coffee and Nik got a tea. Seven Stars now has 2 kinds of coffee- light roast and house, so now I say "May I have a hot coffee for here please? House." Ending a transmission with "house" is a cool feeling, makes me feel a little like a dance floor diva. After a while we got up and walked to La Lupita, where I bought a burrito to bring to my job at the record store, then we walked to the record store and I clocked in but we kept hanging out. Nik was carrying a few of his electronic creations and we turned them all on and got wild, it ruled!
Thursday March 21, 2019
Met up with artist Erik DeLuca at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. We tried to go to Vanuatu on Atwells but then en route we learned that they close at 4, so we rerouted to the old familiar. Erik teaches at Brown and was suggested to apply to this residency by someone who saw him give a recent talk. Always nice to know that someone's out there recommending, and kudos to Erik for following through. We had a great talk about Wendy Carlos, a project Erik is working on involving Wendy and her connection to Providence, synthesizers in general, the New Wave Of Dinky Synthesizers, the Bach marathon, grants, "The Queer Art Of Failure" (book), and many other things besides. I was still thinking about the perfect teaching moment of the contact mic workshop, which I talked about with Ellen the day before, we talked about that too. I got a hot coffee, it was good. Erik just had his wisdom teeth out, and didn't want to get anything hot, so he got an iced tea. It didn't seem to cause any additional pain. We sat in the window on the side and a lot of CTRI alumni walked by, smiling because they knew what was going on. I like to go to different coffee places but also it's nice to keep going to the same spot and being a fixture.
Wednesday March 20, 2019
Hung out with dancer / musician / scientist Ellen Foster at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. Ellen was just passing through town on a quick stop between Philadelphia PA and Troy NY, and luckily we were able to schedule a residency during her brief stay. I know Ellen via the noise music scene, it was great to sit and talk about things other than noise music (although we did talk about noise music). We talked about arts grants vs science grants, Austria, our favorite astronomer Johannes Kepler, Astronomy and amateur scientists, Julian Jaynes and the bicameral mind, teaching, when a student catches you being a normal weirdo, contact mic workshops, homemade synthesizers, Nic Collins (we love his book), and Jeff Hartford (we love him). We both got hot coffees and we both got refills. Ellen's vibe is like, even keeled excitement, so I didn't feel like my mind was racing under too much coffee, it was just like "smooth sailing".
Tuesday March 12, 2019
Met up with poet Claire Robinson at Seven Stars on Broadway at 11am. Claire showed up wearing a sweatshirt that my friend Sam made (Double Vision Embroidery) which right away gave me a good feeling. We both got hot coffee and sat at the corner table in the front. We talked about poetry, chapbooks, the way of writing where you excavate an area, teaching, the difficulties of collaborating, my fake blog, and a variety of other things. The coffee was good. Claire also got a yogurt with granola and offered to buy me something, and I selected an orange Danish. But I forgot that it was Lent, and that I had decided to give up sugar! It slipped my mind. What can I say but "oh well"? I'm not even Catholic, I just like Lent.
Wednesday March 6, 2019
Hung out with musician and artist Lee Tindall at Seven Stars at 9am. I've known Lee for many years and have enjoyed his music, lately he's been doing more drawings, which I've been enjoying as they roll out. We both got hot coffees and sat in the front corner window and talked about drawing, sketchbooks, getting rid of stuff, hoarding, marble runs, "wood guys", open studios, when an artist has a non-main pursuit or sidequest, goth ASMR, gabber, Peter Blasser (he's great), and Keith Fullerton Whitman (we love him). Even though we were both pretty wired on one cup apiece we both got refills, which generally isn't advised, but in this case getting totally zooted was fun, and I have no remorse.
Emily Dix Thomas
Monday March 4, 2019
Met up with musician Emily Dix Thomas at 4:30pm at White Electric. Emily just got back from a tour with her band The Huntress And The Holder Of Hands, they were opening for Flogging Molly and played, among other places, Foxwoods Casino. Siiiiiick. We had a great talk about sugar (we love it), café fame, giving stuff up, Lent, being an opening band, the difficulties of naming a band, Cool Breeze, the Backwards Business Model of the band Bone Zone, playing shows, and recording. I got a hot coffee and Emily got an herbal tea. The coffee was good. It seems like there were no problems with the tea. As we were talking about band names, Les Rallizes Dénudés came on the stereo, which I appreciated. We were there until it got dark and until they closed down, which they signified by turning the music off. I thought that was effective.
Thursday February 28, 2019
Met up with illustrator Beatrice McGeoch at Small Point Cafe on Westminster. We talked about books, bricolage problems, moving, and grants. We both got hot coffee, it was good. Small Point is nice, something about it gives me a Degrassi Junior High feeling. After Beatrice left I sat there for a little while finishing my coffee. The baristas were listening to Suicidal Tendencies "Institutionalized", which I appreciated.
Rosalynde Vas Dias
Tuesday February 26, 2019
Sat down with poet Rosalynde Vas Dias at Sin on Westminster at 3pm. We both got hot coffee and talked about abysses, fixing material items, pseudonyms, the poetry-writing idea of "the speaker", taking the bus, double A batteries, REM, and music in general. The coffee had that taste I don't like, so it wasn't "bad", but I didn't like it. We sat in the sun, which was quite nice, but then the person working opened the window and I got cold. What's up with that? And why is this place called "Sin"? The only temptation I felt was to leave, which I did.
Monday February 25, 2019
Met up with musician Dominique Matelson at Seven Stars on Broadway at 11:30. Dominique was in town for a couple days from LA, and found out about the residency from a friend who found out about it from an instagram post from Abby Banks. We talked about James Turrell, light, Mass MOCA, the Ramones, songwriting, coffee, that sour taste I hate that's sometimes in Good coffee, youtubes, having a daily practice, the LA scene for music shows, and working in a record store. In regards to the coffee flavor I don't like, Dominique told me to "avoid winey notes" which is great advice all around I think. We both got coffee and then we both got refills. The coffee was good and we both got absolutely zooted. After a while I had to go and run an errand so we walked downtown, it was windy as Hell!
Wednesday February 13, 2019
Hung out with sculptor Colin Bliss at White Electric on Westminster at 4pm. I met Colin only two weeks earlier at a gallery show, it was a nice to sit and chat. We talked about chess, pen pals, the problem of the lettter writing debt spiral, gambling, when a kid is a dinosaur savant and knows everything about dinosaurs, Bach, the difference between Pokemon and Digimon, the satisfaction of training your hand to do something in absence of your conscious mind, Colin's gallery/studio space The Wurks, and the story about emperor who wants a drawing of a frog. We both got medium sized coffees. The coffee was good.
Elliot K Goldman
Monday February 11, 2019
Met up with artist Elliot K Goldman at Dave's Coffee on South Main, at 9am. I like Dave's but the seating isn't to my taste- there's a bar along the window, then a large shared picnic table, then an alcove, like a nook but larger, with an open floorplan co-work vibe. There's no good tête-à-tête location! We sat at the window looking out, which is generally nice, but I had to keep checking myself to not let the convo get too external. We had a cool talk about developing phone apps, learning things, being good at yo yos when you're a kid, Sir Richard Burton, Duchamp, throwing rocks at water, Dick Miller (RIP), Phillip Glass, and the strong benefits of Shitting Or Getting Off The Pot (regarding artistic production, with a strong emphasis on Just Shit It Out). "Dream Baby Dream" came on the radio, that's a plus 10 to any mood. Dave's doesn't (does not) have a refill policy, and sadly "not having a policy" doesn't mean "yeah dude just bring up your cup and I'll put more coffee in it". Or not in this instance. I got a regular coffee and Elliot got decaf. It was good. Sometimes good coffee has a sort of sour taste, which I find repugnant but some people love it. Dave's coffee has echos of that taste, but it didn't go all the way there, and not only did I not not like it, but I even liked it. Elliot found this residency by searching the web for "weird artists residencies"! That rules.
Thursday February 7, 2019
Sat down with writer Edward Cone at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. I met Edward by chance a few weeks ago, during James Falzone's residency, also at Seven Stars. We (James and I) were talking about Duchamp, and Edward was sitting next to us, reading a book that suddenly veered into the same subject. So he said hi. And then he wound up applying! Very nice! We had a great talk about Duchamp (again), writing, the recent New Yorker piece about a pathological liar, goals (specific), ambition (general), upcoming projects, spooky narratives involving a cello, and getting an agent. For what it's worth, I think the best "spooky cello" movie is Witches Of Eastwick, though the one that probably brought the most joy into my life is Ghostbusters 1. We found out were at the same Metal/Hardcore fest in Worcester in 2003 (the standouts for me were Opeth and Bongzilla), and we were probably both at some of the more recent fucked out noise events at Tommy's Place in Providence, though we couldn't definitively say. We both got coffee, and then we both got refills. "Green Tambourine" by the Lemon Pipers was playing on the radio when we started, which put me in a great mood.
Monday February 4, 2019
Hung out with singer and composer Chrissy Wolpert at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I know Chrissy through music- she leads the Assembly of Light choir and was one half of Bone Dust, a metal two piece with Pippi Zornoza. We both got hot coffee and talked for a long time, about having a morning routine, drinking coffee, sharing food, music, strategies of lyric writing, the Shirelles, playing drums, imporovisation, jobs, jobs where you have to cover up your tattoos vs jobs where you don't, what is success in the arts, how being a rock star is actually a lousy job, singing, the spiritual utility of music, and JJB Buckmaster. The coffee was good. I got a decaf refill, Chrissy abstained.
Monday January 28, 2019
Met up with cartoonist Mickey Zacchilli at Seven Stars on Broadway at noon. I've been friends with Mickey for a really long time and we have an extensive and delightful history of meeting up and drinking coffee together and talking about art. But it was nice to formally declare it A Conversation. This time around we talked about comics, Mickey's on-going (?) comic Space Academy 123, when a storyline moves location (like the Leprechaun movies), Jervyn's Clasp, when you're used to doing things underground and then you deal with an organization that actually has money, agents and how to get them (neither of us know), the majestic blue whale, Mickey's dogged pursuit of framing everything in terms of the surface area to volume ratio, and 2015's "The Dress". Despite (or maybe because of) our shared legacy of drinking too much coffee together, I got a black tea and Mickey got a decaf. Mickey got a refill later and I got more hot water. The tea was good. If anyone knows how to get an agent and then be a successful and internationally published artist please either email Mickey and CC me, or vice versa.
Wednesday January 24, 2019
Hung out with composer James Falzone at Seven Stars on Broadway at 3pm. I met James a while back when he sent me an extremely good tape of his music out of the blue many many years ago. Since then it's been a treat to catch him in concert and in conversation many times. He likes slow music and drinking a ton of coffee. We had an extremely deep and lively conversation about music, harmony, art, and consciousness. We got pretty far out but some touchpoints included Bowie, John Cage, diary writing, thesis writing, Duchamp, Breton, the Surrealists, Ad Reinhart, when artists are funny (a lot of the time), Sun Ra, and the idea that Jazz continued the advancement of harmony after Western classical moved to Serialism. James also dropped on me a bunch of dynamite gossip about the Wandelweiser group, which I found absolutely delightful. And of course we talked about money and grants, as all artists do. James was basically the last recipient of the RISD Museum fellowship when it was still a fellowship. It's since morphed into a projects grant based (uncredited) on the work of Walker Mettling, but for a while it was a regular "you seem cool, here's some money and institutional support" sort of thing. James said it really changed his life! I wish there were more things like that. We both got hot coffee, it was good. Well into the convo James got a refill and I got a chocolate croissant. CTRI alumnus Noraa stopped by to say Hi, always a pleasure. James was delighted to be artist in residence number 64, that's 26. "It's so composite...". Like I said we got pretty far out.
Tuesday January 22, 2019
Met up with printmaker Lois Harada at Knead Doughnuts on the east side, at 9am. A couple boutique "doughnut" places opened up in Providence at around the same time, and while I admit that they are good, I almost never ever go there, because the doughnuts are $3.50, which is too expensive. In my opinion doughnuts have a strong connection to class and low prices. Anything more than $1.50 is no longer a doughnut, it's a brioche. Whatever the hell they are, Lois got a lot of them to bring to her workplace later, and we tried bites of each one. I felt frankly unsettled by the amount but she said she was going to write them off on her taxes as a business expense, and honestly that's extremely real. Also my friendship with Lois has a decadent appeal-- I can't remember ever getting margaritas with her but that's the vibe. So anyway having lots of pastry, that was par for the course. We talked about the endless frustration of applying for grants, the frustration of being on a grants panel, making big prints, emperor Maximilian I, and the problems and benefits of pricing artwork low. In re the doughnuts-- We both have a favorite flavor at this place, and it's passion fruit. We both tried a good spread of different flavors, and at the end our favorite was still passion fruit, and I felt like we both wasted time and stomach space trying out the other ones, and gained nothing. Is that a metaphor or what???? We also got hot coffee, it was good. Also the chocolate babka was really good, I'd be lying if I said otherwise.
Saturday January 19, 2019
Hung out with artist Sto Ly at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10am. Sto lives in New York City, he was town to do a window display at the Dirt Palace, which I saw on my walk to the coffee shop. I thought it was really good, and it was a good use of the space, which is difficult. Also it looks cool from far away but rewards you for looking close. Good one. Anyway I got to the coffee shop and met Sto, we both got hot coffee, it was good. We talked about his installation, the Dirt Palace, studio setup, his current print practice, boats, shacks, how to get lore of an area, going on walks, hanging out by the river, Ad Reinhart, and Sammo Hung. Xander Marro showed up for a second and said hi. Sto and I have known each other, or at least known of each other's work, for a long time, it was great to sit and hang out! His installation in the Dirt Palace will be up for what, a month? It's in Olneyville Square, you can't miss it.
Thursday January 10, 2019
Met up with artist David Colannino at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. I've known David for many years, it was great to sit and chat. We talked about New York City living, dub music, David's new arts collective L'iat, shoehorning an arts pracitce into the format of a band, the team dynamics of Wu Tang, the Dungeoneers, being a teacher, having a daily practice, Pumpkin Belly, and the great benefit of being exposed to underground art while you're young. We also talked about other artists residencies of note. We both got hot coffee, it was good.
Thursday January 3, 2019
First residency of the new year, and residency number 60! I met up with sculptor Alicia Renadette at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30. I know Alicia through mutual friend (and CTRI Innovations alumnus) Neil Young, and I saw one of her installs a few years ago, it was cool. I was excited to meet up and talk about Art, which is exactly what we did. We had a really productive talk about new year's, hoarding, bricolage, homework, "distress effervescence awakening delinquent", approaches to collaboration, the process of building up an artwork and then excavating, and "getting inside". We also talked a lot about jealousy and when you go too long without learning someone's name and you miss your window for introduction, two topics I think about a lot. We both got hot coffee and we both got refills and we both got zooted. The coffee was good. Super Troopers came on the radio, and we were both happy to hear it. After a good long while we left, I had to go to the Sutton St gallery space to work on an upcoming installation, and I showed Alicia the zone, then we parted. Later in the day Alicia sent me a text that a strategy we had talked about was already bearing fruit. That's what I like-- results!
Thursday December 27, 2018
Met up with printer and organizer Katie Gui at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4:00pm. I've been waiting for someone on staff at the coffee place to finally ask "what are you doing" in regards to meeting a different person twice a week and buying them a cup of coffee, and it finally happened this time. I was happy to clear the air. Katie and I had a great talk that was mostly about having meetings. I had some tips and tricks for "how to have a meeting" based on my many years living in a variety of consensus-based collective living situations, including experiences in which I was someone else's bad roommate. I'm not proud of it but it's something to acknowledge and grow from. Katie and I both got coffee and we both got refills, which seemed extra appropriate because we were both in like, "business mode". The coffee was good.
Monday December 24, 2018
Hung out with artist and educator Jo Dery at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10:30am. I've known Jo for quite some time, long enough that I can't remember where we met. I love all her zines, movies, and bands. It was great to sit and have a one on one. We talked about Jo's grandma's dish "spaghetti on the platter", a love of landscape features, kids books (especially "Sweet Pickles"), free boxes, taking time off, and getting back to it. Jo launched me on an extended riff on Bruce Lee's "empty hand technique" in Enter The Dragon, which made a big effect on me as a kid but I hadn't really thought about in a while. Special guests this round included Glenna, Jim Drain, and Pippi Zornoza. Since we met at 10:30 and I had already had my coffee, I had black tea with cream. It was good. Jo got decaf, which seemed to fit the bill. After a while I got more hot water for the tea, and Jo got an almond cookie and a macaroon, which she shared with me. We were talking for a long time, and after we left Jo went to her mom's house, from which she sent me the recipe for "Spaghetti On The Platter". On a big platter put mashed potatoes, then spaghetti, then ground beef, with tomato soup (not tomato sauce) in a cross shape on top, with dollops of mayo over that. I asked if this was a Pawtucket-specific regional cuisine, she said no, it was Grandma's own invention.
Thursday December 20, 2018
Met up with musician Clara Zornado at Seven Stars on Broadway at, check this out, 7am. I was worried that I'd mess it up as this is the earliest I've ever booked a residency, but it turned out to be a breeze. I got to see the streetlights turn off as the sun came up, that was a rare treat (rare for me). We talked about Steven King, what time authors wake up, biographies, Jervyn's Clasp, the Karpman drama triangle, when a journal feels is too nice to write in, NeoPets, web design as folk art, being a character in someone else's story, the idea of the masterpiece, Dwarf Fortress, and many other things besides. I had a great time. Gracie stopped for a sec and said hi. Hi Gracie! Clara and I both got coffee, it was good. After a while they went to work and I walked home, it was only 9 o'clock! That's the appeal of getting up early I guess.
Thursday December 13, 2018
Met up with artist Jeremy Ferris at Seven Stars at 10am. I met Jeremy a few years ago and I have to admit the circumstances had me a little bugged. In Providence we got this guy Jim Drain, then Jim Frain moved to town and that threw me for a loop, but I finally confirmed that they're both cool, real, and independant. But then Jeremy Ferris moved to town, and even though I just went through this with Drain/Frain, I thought, what is he some kind of weird freaky of Jeremy Harris? It this a joke by Jim Drain? Does everyone have their F version? Later of course I learned that Ferris is a good guy, unconnected to either of the Jims or to Immortal Warmaster Jeremy Harris. He stands on his own. We talked about finishing things, magic, the Exorcist (movie), chess, and one of my favorite zines, Rochester Teen Set Outsider, which is based in Jeremy's beloved Rochester NY. We also talked a lot (too much) about me complaining. Or I talked too much in a complaining vibe. I'm trying to work on that. We both got coffee, it was good. Jeremy bought us cookies, that was also good.
Monday December 10, 2018
Hung out with playwrite and performer Ellen Zahniser at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. I know Ellen as "Roommate Ellen", not because she's my roommate, but that's how she was listed on a show flyer once, and that made a big impression on me. I met Ellen at the Providence Fringe Fest over the summer, where she was performing a play about Saint Theresa, and I was writing a daily periodical about the festival. I liked her play and I said so much on paper. We got hot coffees and had a nice long conversation about plays and comedy, with brief flourishes on the subject of Noise Nomads, Salieri, Henny Youngman, and the difference between Fred Astaire and Gene Kelley. Mostly we talked about comedy, which is a fun topic for me, not because it's easy, but because it's hard. We both got coffee, it was good.
Friday December 7th, 2018
Met up with cartoonist, sculptor, and librarian O Horvath at Seven Stars at 9am. I've known them for many years, they used to live across the street from me in a cool warehouse zone / venue called Witch Club, and we've worked on a few projects together. They moved to Baltimore a few months ago, and were in Providence for a crafts fair over the weekend. O & I have a long-standing coffee relationship that involves going to Mary Lou's, the decadent iced coffee franchise. Unfortunately I had something to do later in the morning, no time to drive out there. That said it's nice to meet someone outside of a regular habit. We talked about group living, the Saturn return, Ocarina Of Time, Baltimore, Iris Murdoch, being nice, Cathy from the 02909 post office, internet dollmakers, and when an activity has a "dollhouse vibe". We both got hot coffee, it was good. It's a bummer when people move away but it's exciting when they move and it feels like the right move. And of course it's great when they come back, if only to visit.
Wednesday December 5th, 2018
Met up with musician Joshua Marcus at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4:15pm. Joshua's really tall, as am I, and the lady behind the counter said "Wow, both of you are really tall!". I sort of have my stock responses to this but I wasn't ready for a double, I got flustered. Joshua got a coffee but I had a hot tea, which was nice. We talked about board games, jokes, 1,001 Nights (the book), soup and rice (the meal), rice cookers, loop pedals, and the economics of the one-person band. Joshua's into open-mic nights, and my immediate reaction was "yuck", but then I thought about it and realized that all my open mic experiences have been pretty positive! Something I forgot about Seven Stars is that they play Christmas music during the holiday season and the staff isn't allowed to turn it off or skip it. Huge bummer. If I'm still doing this residency program next year I have to remember to avoid this location in the time after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. The tea was good, and Joshua said the coffee was good. Joshua bought us each cookies, those were good too.
Alexis Wood Trujillo
Tuesday December 4th, 2018
Hung out with farmer, organizer, and musician Alexis Wood Trujillo at White Electric on Westminster at 9am. I got to play a show with Alexis, at this year's Bach To The Future marathon. Technically we both played with like 50 other performers, as the show was 12 hours long, but we played right next to each other on the bill, so I'm counting it. Also we both played at like 6am and the show started at 7pm the previous night, so that's somewhere between the intimacy of playing a show with someone and the intimacy of going to camp with them. Anyway I was excited to sit for a spell and talk without any other distraction. We talked about why New England has a stronger ghost vibe than other places in the US, about people moving away, about sailing for a long period of time without seeing land, the practical mystery of music, and the spiritual utility of playing music, both alone and with others. Alexis is in the What Cheer Marching Band and a band called Coochie Coochie with CTRI alumni Dailen (which makes Coochie Coochie the 2nd full band to have completed this residency as individuals). We both drank hot coffee, it was good. Usually I get a small coffee wherever I go but at White Electric the small is smaller than most smalls, and there's no free refills, so we each got a medium. No problem. The coffee was good. After a while they had to go to work so I drifted home and had an incredible series of thoughts about the metal / rock "devil horns" gesture (pictured here), which unfortunately this margin is too small to contain.
Wednesday November 21, 2018
Met up with musician and filmmaker Neil Young at Seven Stars on Broadway at 10am. I've known Neil for many many years, through being a fan of his long-running musical project Bromp Treb, plus the supergroup Fat Worm Of Error. His latest big project is a movie about the drummer and composer Milford Graves, called "Full Mantis", which is a great name. Neil tried to book a residency months ago but it was a rare instance in which we couldn't get our schedules to line up. This time he was playing a show in Providence and sleeping over my house, so it was a breeze- we just got up and go'ed. We both got hot coffee and had a nice long talk about making movies, touring, synth pop, structures of collaborative groups or two or more, one-person bands (or "oners"), the Tenor Saw song "Pumpkin Belly", maintaining the mystery, starting with the chorus, playfulness in density of a creative work, and the idea of confident ineptitude in performance as an aspect of gendered priveledge. The Del Shannon song "Runaway" came on the radio and we were both delighted. The coffee was good. Please note this is not the Canadian musician of the same name-- this Neil Young is from Central North America, not Northern North America.
Monday November 19, 2018
Hung out with museumiste (museumer?) Christina Alderman at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. Christina works at the RISD Museum, and is the third person from that fun-loving museum to do the residency. We had a great talk about working in a museum setting, museums that focus on conteporary art vs museums that try to energize their existing collection, the benefits of a shitty events space, self-discipline, how to meet people, the function of obscurity-security in underground spaces, real estate, and a lot more. We riffed for a while on working in the museum and after a while I got hung up on the idea that I was yapping out too many "you know what you should do"s-- Christina reassured me that it's all grist for the mill. I had a really nice time! We both got hot coffee, Christina got decaf. The coffee was good. This was the 50th installment of this residency program!
Friday November 16, 2018
Met up with social worker and musician Claire Macon at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9am. It had snowed the night before and then in the morning it was raining- it was a gross and slushy walk to the coffee shop. Claire and I both got hot coffee and had a really great talk, right up until the point that I had to rush to get to work because I was late. We talked about Worcester MA, growing up in the South, townies, loving a place that sort of sucks, roads, bread, Sister Corita Kent, and what we want from a scene, show venue, or gathering. We also talked a lot about this residency program, sort of continuing my previous talk with Joan. Claire really got me to rethink some aspects of the program. I've been kind of a stickler about people self-identifying as artists, but there's a lot of baggage tied up with that. Now I just ask that people have "a creative practice", which I feel is less likely to exclude people I want to talk to. When I went home after work I changed some parts of the website, including the intro spiel and the application, and at Claire's suggestion I added an "about me" section. I really appreciate the feedback, Claire!!!! Like I said it was gross out when I got to the cafe but by the time we left the rain had stopped and you could even see some blue sky and catch a little bit of sun. The coffee was good.
Tuesday November 14, 2018
Met up with artist and teacher Joan Wyand at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4:30pm. I've known Joan for a long time, maybe since before she lived at the live/work/show space Building 16, which is already like a lifetime ago. She doesn't live there anymore. I see her for a second or two every couple days now because she runs a pre-school program called The Joan Zone (great name) which marches kids past the record store I work at as part of their morning constitutional. It was great to sit and talk for a spell. We talked about The Joan Zone, Rhode Island drivers, the delight of buying new tools for a new project, and what "social studies" really means as a school subject, which I had never really thought about. It means "how does our society work". We also talked a lot about the CTRI residency, and Joan helped me workshop some phrasing on the application. Specifically we talked about the part on the application where an applicant has to choose to erase or leave intact a sentance reading "I'm cool", which people interpret in a variety of ways but isn't a trick question! This led us to talk about subculture and security and "How To Speak Hip", the comedy beatnik record I'm obsessed with. We both got coffee, Joan brought her own cup. The coffee was good. It got dark outside and after a while the music in the cafe got loud, a nice cue that they're closing up. So we scrammed.
Wednesday November 7th, 2018
Hung out with sculptor and musician Molly Hastings at Seven Stars on Broadway at 4pm. This was the first CTRI residency in daylight savings time, and it got dark while we were sitting there! It was kind of spooky but also nice. We had a fun and freewheeling conversation on a variety of topics including cafe fame, not being a snob, space dogs (dogs that have been to space), electronics, being in a band, changing your output, desiring recognition, and the upcoming "Bach To The Future" 12 hour Bach event, which I was in the end stages of preparation for. I don't know why but there were many guest stars this time- people who stopped by the table or at least waved include Brian Chippendale and Rohan, Jonathan Wisehart, Joshua Marcus, and former CTRI Innovations artists in residence Beatrix Urkowitz and Kate Schapira. A star-studded event! Molly is the second member of the band "Beverly Tender" to do this residency, I appreciate that they both took solos rather than asking for a double (which is outside the scope of this residency). We both got tea, which was very nice. The tea was good and it was nice that we got it. I was pretty stressed when I got to the cafe because I was approaching a deadline, but then we just had a great conversation and then I felt better, and the task I was working on before the residency was easier to accomplish. It's ghoulish to make this seems like a Productivitiy Hack but it's important to have some unfocused time and regular human niceness!
Tuesday October 23rd, 2018
Met up with artist Nick Vyssotsky at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30am. Nick is from Baltimore and was in town checking out grad schools so he applied for a residency to concur with his travel plans, great move. We talked for a nice long time about all sorts of things including fancy ketchup, show caves, coffee mugs, body builders, which city is Metropolis and which city is Gotham, celebrity bands (bands that include celebrities from non-musical fields), Mamma Mia (film), Mallard Fillmore (right-wing cartoon duck), newspaper comics, and Krazy Kat. We both got hot coffee and after a spell we each got refills. The coffee was good. Eventually we went our separate ways, me to work and Nick to go find Lovecraft's grave. It was nice out but there were stormclouds on the horizon, a great day to find a grave.
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 Ana Woulfe at Seven Stars on Broadway at 9:30am. Ana used to do a zine called Small Doses, and she first wrote to me a really long time ago, I think she was in high school at the time. It was really nice to sit and talk for a while. She'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. Ana 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. Ana 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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