Monday, February 19, 2007

One Track Mind

Until a couple of years ago, I only ever did two things well and even then, only one at a time. I painted for ten months a year and spent the other two doing publicity and preparing for the opening of the exhibition. It was fulfilling – isn't that the point of making art? – but after a decade, it became tedious and routine.
These days I work on about half a dozen projects in as many different media simultaneously. I am booked eighteen months in advance for commissions and solo shows. I am working on three large-scale installations. I have a commission to write a 3,000-word essay for the Griffith REVIEW. I'm about to begin a short course on digital video at NIDA.
Every night I print out a detailed schedule of chores, appointments and correspondence I have to get through during the next 24 hours. This is in addition to a long list of phone calls I have to make. I have to organise myself this way. On the days I don't, I'm lost.
I used to think that it saved time to do only one thing at a time. I've discovered, instead, that the more I do, the more varied the stimuli, the quicker I work. It's a little unnerving for a natural mono-tasker like me.

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