ericamerylthomas [at] gmail [dot] com

Filtering by Tag: art

real estate as conceptual art

Added on by Erica Thomas.

As both research into my interest in the city as art material and as a potential means to sustain my art practice, I have been studying to obtain a real estate license. I have struggled with what this means for my identity as an artist. Can I still call myself an artist if my income is generated from real estate? (Of course I can, but the voice of self-doubt can be quite loud and difficult to tune out sometimes. I mean, just ask any musician/bartender. Teacher/playwright. Etc.) Ultimately I believe so deeply that I simply AM an artist, that I cannot not be an artist, that I am forging ahead with this pursuit of financial sustainability. And occasionally, mired deep in the thickets of appraisal processes and valuation concepts I find gems like this,

"The principle of change holds that value estimates are valid only as of a specific point in time as neighborhoods and properties tend to go through a four-stage life cycle: 

1. Integration (development or growth)
2. Equilibrium (stability or maturity)
3. Disintegration (deterioration or old age)
4. Revitalization or rehabilitation"

Hard stop. With all of my willpower I finished this section of study first and then spent the rest of the evening thinking about this concept. I understand the utility, for the purpose of state licensing prep, of putting it in succinct, black and white terms like this, but I have so many questions. Is this still true? In Portland? In Pittsburgh? In Detroit? In SanFrancisco? How is it unique in each city? In each neighborhood? What would a step 5 look like? How can this cycle be interrupted? Can art be the interruption? 

idea #5

Added on by Erica Thomas.

I say this with as much humility as possible, knowing full and well that that following is true (and in no way means that I think I am somehow exempt from making mistakes in my relationships): I am great at giving relationship advice. How do I know this? Because I read about relationships as a primary resource for research for my own life and my art practice constantly. And because friends, loved ones, and acquaintances come to me for advice A LOT. In addition, because I spend so much time reading, thinking about and discussing relationships, I'm fairly adept at getting to the nuances of what makes them work, for myself and for other people. I have chosen a particular kind of way to structure the relationships I have in my life so that I can continuously build them, and as such, I have vested interest in finding and growing strong bonds with those I choose to love.

I have used the online dating website OK Cupid to find people to talk with about alternative relationship structures and their approaches. You could call it curiosity, but in art we call this research. Sometimes people, strangers, mostly men (who am I kidding, it has only ever been men, but I suppose there's always the possibility that someday....but I digress), ask me to talk to them about their relationship problems. I have rarely done this in person, but again, for the interest of curiosity and research for project ideas, I have occasionally met on here or there for a coffee and conversation. I have often prescribed books to read, advised on conversation starters, and given my personal read on their descriptions of arguments, conversations, and opinions of their wives, girlfriends, partners and so on. So, I have this idea...

IDEA #5: NEW PROJECT: Whenever someone asks me for relationship advice on OK Cupid I agree but on the condition that they meet me in person and fill out an Advice Request Form,

which I will create to facilitate our interaction. I will agree to keep the form anonymous if requested and will agree to store it for 10 years, as one would with taxes or other data. 

idea #3

Added on by Erica Thomas.

So I have some improving to do on follow-through with my daily idea, but I'm committed to keeping on trying. I'll post a makeup idea for missing a day.

I've been experiencing a block around a project idea I want to develop further so my collaborator Emily Fitzgerald and I decided to give each other prompts to shake our ideas loose. We want the project use photography as a tool and the content we are interested in is intimacy and relationship dynamics. So here is our idea...

IDEA #3: Each week we assign each other a photo prompt that requires each other to create a visual representation of a relationship.

We both answer each others prompts and our own. When a month has gone by we begin to publish them as a body of work together. Examples: A photo of someone or something that makes you uncomfortable. A photo of someone you love.