Process Letter to My Advisor 4.5November 13, 2008
Wow, the semester is over. Does it feel like we’ve worked together for a year (at least academic-wise)? Thanks for the feedback last packet. I’m just happy that I’m done with my Teaching Practicum, Long Critical, Short Criticals, and annotations (everything now is above and beyond). Oh, and as of now I pretty much have a draft (more or less) of my manuscript, that if I spend the next two months rewriting, will almost be a readable first draft by the beginning of next semester.
Since this is my last semester before manuscript mode, and the last one we are together, I’d like to run some ideas past you. I’m looking at applying to a couple PhD programs next year for either art critical theory or curatorial. Two of the schools that look interesting right now are U of Toronto or U Western Ontario. Since I’m too poor to afford eurotrash, I’m looking at canatrash for a couple years. A nice excuse to go away, and I like Toronto. Montreal would be nice, but the school there is French (PhD in a foreign language… egad). The other thing that I’ve been thinking about is applying for the Whitney ISP program for Critical Studies. Is that crazy talk? I’m also putting together a proposal to curate a new show at a couple different spaces (that will hopefully happen right after I graduate). My goal would be to put together a catalogue for the show. I’d like to start having catalogues for everything I coordinate since you can get them printed as needed online these days and I have so much desktop publishing (does anyone call it that anymore?) experience. So that’s where I stand with my after Goddard plans… that and poverty. This is the kind of stuff that you never know which way it’ll go, so I’m trying to keep various irons in the fire. Any advice/opinions?
Also I was planning on asking for XXXXX as my advisor this time around. Does that sound like a good plan to you? Who should I go with for backups? Would you be willing to be my second reader? Can I have you as a second reader? I’m a little unclear on the rules. Several months back XXXXX suggested maybe I ask XXXXX if XXXXX could be my second reader, but I’m worried that could be a logistics nightmare since the deadlines for the two programs are staggered.
Here’s a summary of what I did this semester:
This semester I read/annotated Alain Robbe-Grillet’s Jealousy, Peter Schjeldahl’s Let’s See, Remix: Inner Space, Op Art Revisited, Douglas A. Martin’s Branwell and worked closely with John Dewey’s Art as Experience, Kenneth Koch’s Rose, Where Did You Get That Red?, and John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction. In addition I completed my Teaching Practicum entitled The Written Image, and submitted a Teaching Essay and the supplemental teaching packet. In addition I worked closely with a number of sources exploring work by and about various visual artist (Bridget Riley, Yves Klein, David Batchelor, Sol LeWitt, Agnes Martin, Sigmar Polk, Gerhard Richter).
Would you be willing to focus on some of my visual art/critical theory work in my eval, so my degree looks flexible enough if I apply for a PhD? That helps, don’t you think? Thanks for all your know-how and input!
So on to my creative work for this final packet… The bulk of this chapter was written over election week… and it was REALLY hard. I was preoccupied in a way that was nearly impossible to write. Was it just me or have you heard this from others? It felt like an uncertain time to have an opinion on anything. So for this packet’s creative work I planned to go back to a chapter I wrote for XXXXX and rework. It was supposed to be a sort of bridge between the work I had done with you and the next section of the novel, but when I went back there just wasn’t anything there to work with. Like nothing. It didn’t serve any purpose. In my mind I’d thought I had an okay chapter that just needed some reworking/writing, but going back to it I basically cut everything and started from scratch. My approach this time (initially) was to write a chapter almost entirely in dialogue and to bring back some of the themes from elsewhere into one place where they directly interact. This current chapter had to go through a number of rewrites to get the structure to work. It’s still rough in places, but hopefully it’s successful. I re-cut it so much in a short period of time that it’s hard for me to tell if it’s successful.
This chapter is mostly the kid and the guy who moved near him at the end of the last chapter you read.
Anyway, I hope your semester is wrapping up well. Oh, now that you aren’t my advisor anymore I can ask the dorky questions I’ve had! You’re at the New School too, right? Ever bump into Tim Gunn when he was there? Is XXXXX there now? She was at Columbia too? I’ve always been at smaller schools, so don’t know the department realities. Phew. Oh and be on the lookout for a scarf in the near future. I got a little behind, but am almost there!