It’s the beginning of my last semester and the beginning of my seminar with Barbara Campbell Thomas. It’s been quite a while since I’ve written a proper blog post (though I have been posting daily on the Traipse tumblr.) But today, I had a strong urge to come back to this. I was reminded of the significance of the title “traipse” and also realized that naming it “traipse” was much more poignant that I could have imagined.
Traipse is (as the subtitle reads) “to walk or travel about without apparent plan, with or without purpose.” I began this blog in the spring of 2012. I’d just finished applying to graduate schools, but didn’t know where I was going yet. But I felt that I was going somewhere. Or at least I had faith that a journey forward in any direction would take me where I needed to go.
Almost 2 years later, I’m beginning my thesis semester at UNCG. And what a hard road it’s been. So much self-doubt and desperation. I’ve often felt unrecognizable to myself. But interspersed among the moments of despair, I’ve felt that I was still moving in the right direction.
It was Barbara’s “Notes on being an artist” in her syllabus that reminded me that “traipsing” (despite it’s perils and uncertainties) is what I am determined to do.
“Being an artist is, to use age old language, being on a quest/setting out in ardent search: for what you see but do not know, for what you know or sense but do not see. (And I so believe THIS encompasses all manner of work, from the most interior and esoteric abstract painting to the most overtly community-oriented/anti-modernist/social practice/anti-object manner of working.)
Do we possess the conviction that what will be found at the end of the quest is worth the effort of taking it on? What I will learn/realize/see is found in the “making”—which is active and does not end, and it is important to remember that “making” is not “product.”
Being an artist is about pursuit of a question— a question that necessitates a high degree of focus, a willingness to question basic assumptions of who we are/what we do, and quite simply, engage with consciousness.”
When I read that today, I immediately thought, “Oh yeah. That’s traipsing.” And that’s what I’ve been doing all along. Life is a hard f*cking road. And I say that with all the awe and love available in my being.