Featuring my lovely sister, Phoebe.
I’d like to mention a new cancer-related blog I’ve recently come across: Ultra Sounds. It’s written and curated by a woman named Samantha Albert who is undergoing treatment for cancer herself. She writes about her own experiences, as well as shares works by other people who are creating and expressing as they deal with issues relating to cancer. She was so kind to write in her post today about my mom, sister and me. You can read the post (and check out the rest of her blog) here. I am touched by her words, and appreciate the support.
I have been finding more and more internet blogs and comics by people dealing with cancer. On one hand this illustrates just how big cancer is and how many people it is affecting right now, which is scary. But it also gives me this little feeling of being connected.
Cancer World is so lonely. Even though I know I am far from being the only one having these experiences, it’s hard to reach out, even to those who are having or have had similar experiences. Because at any moment it could all take a turn for the worse. I don’t want to be reminded or remind others that it might not turn out so well. I want to hold onto the hope that my situation is totally different– and in a way it is, as each cancer patient reacts uniquely to the treatments and the disease itself. I don’t want to risk falling apart, letting go, crying in public. Or maybe it’s all just such a big experience that these feelings are simply too big to talk about.
But the internet is something we interact with alone. I can go online and read these blogs/comics and relate to them– laugh, cry, feel– without anyone else in the room. I can be alone and not alone at the same time. I can post my own comics and be part of the conversation without having to directly interact in person.
So. This is a beautiful and funny thing, and I’m a part of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about contemporary art. I like interactive, weird, crazy stuff, breaking boundaries, making us question the definition and impulse of art. I don’t even mind if you sound a tad pretentious by telling us in the brochure about the “raw sexual energy” that your piece represents. But please, in this day and age, when the environment and “being green” is on everyone’s conscience, how can anyone justify huge, styrofoam, mountain-like structures covered in spray paint? The only way this piece could have been worse for the environment was if it had been powered by gasoline. What happens to all this styrofoam once the exhibit is over?
Which brings me to my next question: what is the artist’s responsibility to the environment? It is our duty as residents of this planet to consider the world around us in whatever work we do, artist or not. If you work in an office, you have to consider the amount of paper you use, and do you have paper coffee cups or reusable mugs. Artists need to be creating with a consciousness of the world around us and our effect on it. There needs to be a world for future generations to make art in.
Check out these links of artists using the garbage and destruction around them to create environmentally conscious art (as well as a clip of Slavoj Zizek at the dump):
Hey, y’all, it’s birthday week, and I hope you enjoy this special art bitch gallery adventure. I want to thank the woman who gave me life, art bitch herself, who is the best mom anyone could ever have, a best friend, and dialogue consultant for this strip and others. (My dad is really awesome too, someday there will also be a comic about him). My parents were the first ones to put a comic book into my hands when I was very little, and they always let me read The Funnies first.
Thanks, Mama and Pops, for making me! And a happy birthday week to us all.