Just for the record: doing thesis stuff for six hours every day (not weekends) is GRUELING work. And I have been pretty good. Listen to this:
Monday – 6 hours
Tuesday – 6 hours
Wednesday – 4 hours
Thursday – 4 1/2 hours
Friday – 6 hours
I think I have been doing enough new reading to qualify as a graduate class. So far I have read, in full, Art and Intimacy: How the Arts Began by Ellen Dissanayake (2000) – with a chapter titled “Mutuality,” how could I resist? The Third Hand: collaboration in art from conceptualism to postmodernism by Charles Green (excellent text – made think think a lot) and most of At a Distance: Precursors to Art and Activism on the Internet eds, Annmarie Chandler and Norie Neumark (most interesting when she talks about her grandfather, who invented the envelope folding machine [?!]) and Sound by Artists edited by Dan Lander and Micah Lexier (where I had a research breakthrough).
I got help and direction from a stranger I’ve been emailing while chasing down Janet Cardiff blogs. No, really! I found myself at great little blog, apparently by a guy running an alternative art gallery in Montreal of all places. Now, this guy really, really doesn’t like Cardiff’s work, which is exactly what I have been looking for, since her work seems to avoid criticality somehow. Then after every one of Zeke’s posts just bagging on Cardiff’s work, there would be a response from a guy named Cedric – a very thoughtful, well-informed response. I thought to myself – OMG I haven’t even spoken to one Canadian about her work… and I quickly wrote Cedric an email introducing myself and asking what resources he might recommend in terms of placing Cardiff in an art-historical context.
Next morning, I have an email – not from Cedric- but from Zeke, that gallery owner guy in Montreal! Well, not an email, but an email notifying me that he had posted a response on my blog. I was astonished, because only a handful of people know my blog exist.
Then, I got an email from Cedric: a great email, five pages long with tons of info, book title recommendations and links! So, there you have it: my first two strangers online,and it was because of my thesis. ( I won’t count the time I accidentally got on an “adult” chat room…)