A rainy day outside the Corcoran but there are plenty of people on the streets. Even with umbrellas, they stop to take a look, to chat, to pick up cards. I sit under the overhead tarp and continue making my work. Today I add some cans and bottles, captured by the net .
I get two kids from Pennsylvania to come into the Habitat to draw. A young man and I wonder what we will do with the trash that comes out of the ocean – Lorenzo and Edwina’s installation offers som epossibilities. We all agree that there needs to be some rethinking about our needs and our resources.
I’m back at the Corcoran today. Today is definitely a social day.
Lorenzo’s performing. Edwina has her mom handing out cards. And I’m working on more fishing net. The fact that the Habitat is on a
concrete platform surround by smooth river stones really makes me feel like I’m on the water. I’m from New England and I’ve been on some rocky beaches.
Gabrielle from Paris really made my day. She was about 4 or 5. When I asked her name, she said, “Picasso.” I sat her down on a table with some paper and crayons. She gave me one of her drawings when she left. I’m still smiling.
People come by from many different countries. They admired the art they were seeing, close to the White House. We talked about sustainability and waste. One young woman asked for suggestions for decreasing the build-up of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean.
Some art can offer solutions while some can focus on awareness. We had a student looking for a school that encourages graffiti art (he drew on paper rather than walls.) We had photographers wondering how they could get involved. And we had people, who seeing us at work, were willing to break whatever barriers exist and participate in aconversation. Who could ask for more?
Michael Asbill's studio project for HFA at the Corcoran began in the field. On Wednesday, 8/15, Michael visited the private garden of Jeffrey Herrel in Anacostia, Lula Evan's (Mama Lula's) community garden also in Anacostia, and the Neighborhood Farm Initiative in Fort Totten.
Jeffrey talked with Michael about Hugelkulture and worm composting. Mama Lula talked with Michael about her Okra crop. Kristin Georger from the Neighborhood Farm Initiative talked with Michael about the purpose of NFI.
Today I arrive at THEARC. It will be quieter today, more of a studio day than a day of interaction.
The setting is quite beautiful and bucolic. The sun is shining, yet I am able to work in the shade, within the trees, listening to birds and
insects around me. I’m still in the city, 15 minutes from my house. I have brought along a dress dummy. I am very interested in the use of mannequins across the city and how their location within the citychanges their “identity.” We’re hoping to work with a bunch of YMCA kids on Tuesday - I will invite then to make their own objects to pin to the dummy. What personality will emerge as we layers a wealth of materials onto this armature?
My own contribution will include the plastic disks and cable ties. I envision long shawls and scarves, hung from the Habitat, in and around the dummy. My placards / posters (here, I used photographs of mannequins) layer one image on top of another to produce a third. They become a visual introduction to the installation.
When I talk about my work today, I am told, “Hey, I’d like one of those for my wall.” and “I’m gonna make this guy wear that, with a
red thong and big red beach hat.”
You can’t beat the conversation that the making and seeing of art starts.
Find me at Iratt.tumblr.com
Today I arrive at the Corcoran. Where do I work? Where do I install?
I am feeling a rush of energy and activity. It is great to be here.
Luckily, Lorenzo and Edwina are working. They started on Monday. I
am starting on Thursday. They welcome me and clue me in.
It’s good to have Michael leading the way. He’s done this before and
is completely accommodating.
I’m constructing an oversize fishing net out of black plastic disks
and cable ties. I want my construction to open up discussions about
the Marine Avenue Fish Market in Southwest DC, a favorite spot for
locals but not very well known to tourists. In addition, I plan to
discuss plastic pollution, especially in the middle of the Pacific
Ocean where plastic debris accumulates and creates garbage islands.
The plastic fishing net becomes a metaphor for collecting the plastics
in the ocean.
My favorite comments come from two visitors.
“Artists are such thinkers and philosophers.” and “I never knew that before.”
Hopefully, some of folks I talked to will research the plastic piling
up in the middle of the ocean.
Find me at Iratt.tumblr.com
Yesterday was very hot, yet still in the middle of the day, a number of people came & engaged with us at the sheds. My very first 'customer' for my psychogeographical consulting services was Tonya, who works with the DC Arts Commission. I couldn't have asked for a better audience! She was very taken with the project, and said that she wanted to take her selection of postcards with her, in order to really seriously think through her narrative. (I'm attaching the text of the directions, etc for the project also.) She promised to come back on Saturday to turn in her grouping & narrative.
Setting up today at THEARC, where they're having an opening this afternoon for their youth art program. I'm very much looking forward to connecting with that group, and to see how they want to look at the images and information I've assembled.
Texts for signage at HFA sheds
Organize your own narrative of time, space,
place and history with the assistance of amateur
psychogeographer and occasional pataphysician
Beth E. Wilson, A.B., M.A., M.Phil
PSYCHOGEOGRAPHY. A term that has become strangely familiar -- strange
despite the frequency of its usage, no one seems quite able to pin down exactly
it means or where it comes from.
According to Guy Debord (whose opinion on the matter is hardly the only
one), psychogeography is defined as ‘The study of specific effects of the
environment, consciously organized or not, on the emotions and behavior of
And yet it partakes of ‘a pleasing vagueness’, perhaps an appropriate openness
given the disparate experiences of time and place offered by various locales.
Historically, psychogeography has been most closely linked to the cities of Paris
London; here, we seek to establish a beach-head for it in Washington, D.C., a
DIRECTIONS FOR USE
1) Peruse the images & quotes made available,
relating them to your own experience and
2) Request any desired clarifications or
information from the consultant;
3) Select 5-7 cards (or create new ones, as
needed) to construct your own psychogeographical
narrative. Think of this as organizing
your own, unique mental walking tour;
4) Submit your concatenation to be punched
and finalized by the consultant.
All narratives are welcome.
Make the place and the history your own!!