Man Bartlett

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On Leaving Wassaic

So in the beginning of December I started a three month residency at The Wassaic Project. Bittersweetly, Wednesday night I’ll be back in New York City.

I’ve made the most of my time here. In the beginning I allowed myself to not do anything, which is basically impossible for a man of my temperament. As such, gratefully that didn’t last long. I now have a notebook full of ideas and have started production on new bodies of video and collage work. Both of which I’m quite excited about. And concepts for new performances are in the heavy brew phase. For now I’m holding on to most of it. Pulling the rubber band a little back further, so to speak.

One thing that has continued to arise in my thinking is that I want the ideas, and the experience of them, to require as little physical production as possible. A reduction of means. Because after all, portability is a critical factor in the impending apocalypse. Haha. No really. But seriously, not to get all RA on you, but there is something to be said about minimizing the physicality of a work in service of the experience of the idea. In service of the dwindling resources of our planet. And finding ways and/or new ways to still turn those ideas into an aesthetic encounter that doesn’t feel overwrought in theory or frigid minimalism.

But I digress… Back to Wassaic: I quickly grew to love this hamlet. And that love hasn’t waned one bit. The locals here are so kind and good-spirited. The air is fresh. The other residents are talented and generous. The folks that run the program are stellar human beings. And so much more. But the city pulls me back. Literally and figuratively. So, see you on that side.