I have a terrible problem with always trying to understand people. I am not sure why I haven't given up on humanity, but I still try to comprehend why people do what they do. Their interactions usually leave me frustrated, annoyed and perplexed, but then the sun comes up on a new day and there I am again trying to get the meaning behind why people do what they do, again.
Curiously enough this entry was inspired by something here on Flickr. I was not interacting with anyone yesterday evening just sitting quietly trying to catch up on all the programs I am behind on when I get a notification across the top of my tablet.
"(subject line) an another artist
I wonder if you're aware of Carlos Martiel. I just discovered his work today via hyperallergic though you can find him on Flickr as well.
Now if you were looking at my face when I tapped on this message and opened it, it would have looked like a great big question mark. Let's start with the subject line 'an another artist' besides being grammatically confusing it leads me to believe that I was in conversation with the sender about an artist, I was not. But of course, trying to glean a meaning from this I think maybe it's an artist who covers similar areas of exploration as I do.
The message, first sentence, I am not sure why I would be aware of Carlos Martiel. Anyone who knows me knows I am NOT an art historian and show little to no interest in other artists unless I am friends with them. Clearly, the sender doesn't know me, so I rely on Google to fill in the blanks. Mr. Martiel seems to be an Afro-Cuban performance artist, now let me stop you right there, performance art has never been my cup of tea, I know a few performance artist but their work usually leaves me confused.
I have no social or educational context to understand why you would sit shirtless and let someone play with your body nor do I understand the abstract reasons laid out in your artist statement, it's not logical to me. Do I support performance artist and their need to express their work, yes, do I show up at their performances, probably not.
The next natural thing for me to do is to go to the Flickr link, maybe it will provide me the answers I am looking for, ummm nope. I get there and it's a Black man unclothed on a cobblestone street in a very curious pose and I am seeing that this isn't even his Flickr account, this is someone else who has happened to capture this artist. I started out with a few questions and now my questions have had children of their own.
Random ass email, on a random ass night, I reply and try to keep it classy.
"I'm not sure why I would be interested in him...
Damnit I went down the rabbit hole! My mentor has advised me when people send you either inappropriate or nonsensical message the best thing to do is not reply. I was able to successfully do that a couple of times, but it seems my default is that if someone engages me I engage back. As an artist, I am trying not to appear aloof or a curmudgeon so I respond to every DM, Snap, Inbox or text message. I think it's also just good manners to reply to someone who has contacted you, and I think my need for good etiquette over-rides my need for peace and serenity.
I think my message was concise, direct and polite.
"you can find out tomorrow:
Now this message quite frankly pissed me off because he was being deliberately obtuse. I asked for clarity and you send me another fucking link, really?
This is when I should have just gone back to my television program and ignored his ass, but see now I was in my feelings. He had annoyed the shit out of me, why the fuck do you think I would be attending some performance of some random ass artist that YOU'RE interested in and just learned about and not me. What the flying fuck! You know good and well I didn't, not reply.
This is where I admit I need to do more work on not being reactionary. I am better at it when I am more prepared. I have to get better at non-responses when they pop up out of nowhere.
There is bile and bite in my reply, even if it's not on the surface of the words, there was great anger behind them:
You send me a random message, where you seem to be in the middle of a conversation that I wasn't having with you.
I am a very literal person and this entire thread is illogical.
In the middle of a conversation that I wasn't having with you, that is pure sardonic laced shade. I was on some, I am not sure what you're smoking, but I am not high shit. These kinds of interactions just leave me very disappointed in my own humanity. Why do I continually try to understand people when frankly people don't understand themselves.
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