Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Going Gets Weird, The Weird Go To Texas

In March, next year, I'm traveling to the USA for the first time.
I've been invited to participate on a panel titled Millionaire Or Artist, How About Both?, convened by Amrita Chandra, of the Toronto-based Tinku Gallery and chaired by Hugh Macleod, at the SxSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. As well as being a renowned breeding ground and forum for new media ideas and technologies, the even better-known festival component of SxSW offers some kick-ass music.
I don't know much about Austin but any city with an Independent Business Alliance that promotes the slogan "Keep Austin Weird" sounds promising. I booked a room for a week at a cool boutique inn some distance from the chain-hotel headquarters for the event. The über-professional house manager added a personal touch to the confirmation email she sent me:
"I checked out your website. Nice work. Very Queer. We like that here. I like the Self Vs Self. I wish fighting myself would look that sexy."
I'm not even there yet but my first impressions of Austin are funny, geeky, weird, sexy, and queer. I think I'm going to love it.


Rachel said...

Sounds like it will be fantastic!

I love the ink drawing very much!!

faunawolf said...

Mmm, my parents recently travelled down south after learning that there is an entire hidden art world in the netherlands of the USA. They successfully found it and have been raving ever since, encouraging me to joint hem when they go next. I'm jetting off to London instead, but would love to go find what they did.

I'm sure it will be absolutely brilliant. Oh, and on an unrelated note, I found a link to an 'Art Competition' that seemed more your style.

Enjoy your trip.

Caio Fernandes said...

the way you describe .. it seems to be a heaven ... i didn't know Austin could be this promossing .

this work ( the image ) is really cool .

see you .
now i am crazy to read about you in Texas .

Adelaide Damoah said...

I don't know about anyone else, but the thing that has enticed me to comment on this blog is the "millionaire or artist, how about both" question. Yes please.

Fabulous concept for an event with great panel guests. Wish I could be there to experience it, from the link, it looks like the discussions are going to be very interesting.

The whole thing about being a starving artist is so last century. We all need to learn about business and art, using social media and the net to make some serious money for ourselves as artists.

Have a great time Hazel. Looking forward to reading all about it.

Aaron B. Brown said...

"holy dog shit, Jesus only steers and queers come from Texas Private cowboy, and don't much look like a steer to me so that kind of narrows it down" (Full Metal Jacket, Stanley Kubrick's take on old U.S. Army saying)

"Must be Texans...the lowest form of white man there is" (Geronimo: an American legend, John Milius' take on an old Southern jibe).

Texas is generally not very well regarded here in the states these days, having produced George W. Bush, and most recently threatened to secede from the Union over the election of Barack Obama.

Though it's true, Austin and Houston are relatively progressive and even cosmopolitan, trying hard in recent years to overcome the tremendous drag factor that West and northern Texas place upon them. West Texas is a lot like Western Australia climatically speaking, hard, dry, hot and unforgiving.

Just don't venture too far afield without guide, some Texans still shoot homosexuals, artist and Negroes on site. And everybody has fucking guns, so don't reach for anything to rapidly.

While there be sure to try some of the local delicacies, like armadillo pie and real Texas barbecue. The food alone makes braving the dangers worthwhile.

sue beyer said...

It must be cool because Austin is where flat track roller derby started in the early 2000's :-)

I have also heard that the art scene is pretty good too :-)

JenXer said...

"Just don't venture too far afield without guide, some Texans still shoot homosexuals, artist and Negroes on [sight]. And everybody has fucking guns, so don't reach for anything [too] rapidly."


Stereotype perpetuation, much?

Come to Houston. We'll take care of you.

Aaron B. Brown said...

I forgot to mention that Texans have absolutely no sense of humor, and live to correct spelling errors like retired English

Anonymous said...

from an Austinite - Austin is the oasis of TX (which means it is not like the rest of TX at all)! Lots to do and see, just get out and about a bit.

Anonymous said...

"Buy the ticket, take the ride."


Aaron B. Brown said...

I like this drawing something about that wall in the background makes the picture flow, and the silhouette to the right. The words add dimension and depth. Makes me think of a motel, a divider or curtains, what's happening outside, people walking by, and inside on a bed.

Aaron B. Brown said...

[Continued, another kind of life artist]

All her life she's had explosions of sexual expression, those primal desires so tightly controlled break free of their shackles to run quietly amok. Clandestine liaisons with strangers or acquaintances in hotel rooms, role-playing fantasies constructed in her mind to help release the jungle cat sexuality that prowls so deeply within.

Then it's back to her upright uptight hyper proper conservative life, carrying those secret encounters with her each day through the libraries and halls of academia, to be relived like the books she reads, while friends, students and colleagues are never able to fully grasp what makes her smile so broad at the mention of something innocuous to them, to her a reminder of those encounters, tiny details that only she noticed, and keeps secret within her. They don't understand why their demure mercurial professor or peer reacts in the oddest ways to the oddest things. They'll never know about any of it, they can never know, because the excitement relies upon the maintenance the secret.

She never gives herself away even while playing the part on a larger scale with seemingly more permanent personal relationships, which can last for months or years, only as long as the illusion gives satisfaction.

Then one day, when she just can't go on with the performance any longer, when it's become stale and boring, when it no longer excites, the mate who thought he knew her, finds her gone from his life. His attempts to contact his one-time lover are in vain, she's done and will not discuss the abandonment, except to say it's over. If he continues to call, the number changes, if he continues to seek her she changes residence, if he persists she picks up and moves to another part of the world, better that than to have to explain herself, better that than to be exposed. A new job, a new place, new people with which to start over. She finds safety and security in this.

Behind her a trail of baffled and befuddled fools that she laughs at when she's alone, but feel sorry for at the same time. In the end they are left with only fading image, a ghost image of a person who never existed at all. Perhaps years later she will reach out and contact them, to see if some remnant of the illusion still exists, in an attempt to relive the experience, a small escape from the collapse of her most recent construct.

Sherri Woodard Coffey said...

Even though Austin is the state capital and, thus, full of politicians, it is still the capital of weird. I love to go there and visit. I probably know which motel where you're staying. Plan to stay there myself next time I head that way.