Notes from an invisible a.i.r.

Jesse 11:30

We arrived at enterance 16, directly into the Handbags Section, and were pleasantly and vocally greeted by all! They seemed genuinely happy to see us.  We immediately began to ascend via the escalator, past men’s casual, men’s formal, women’s formal, outdoor, golf, and electronics floors, to the 8th floor, The Academy, where all of the other Artists-in-Residence were playing with their children and learning to cook. There were no event posters advertising anything today …  not even us, but I guess that’s OK, as we haven’t told them precisely what we plan to do yet…

Then we walked across the bridge to building A, and went up to the sky park, and back down to the parking floors.  We toured through the fashion street, had a short site visit at the location where our photo exhibition will open this evening, then went to have a snack. 

Mirae 13:33

We’ve already been here for 2.5 hours and it’s going fast – but well – we’ve completed a dance video and are making plans for our photo exhibition. We’re lucky that the facilities are so complete: there’s lots of opportunities for inspiration, tons of stimulation here – but most important, the center is supporting us well with several places for food, rest, and relaxation.  They even have their own rooftop park! It’s good to get away from everything and just create work.  It feels so productive AND glamorous.  What a combination.

Mirae 14:18

Got drunk off of free beer samples at Emart and just thought of our exhibition theme: secret AIR photos – we’ll disguise our identities in various ways and take artistic pictures of ourselves hiding in the architecture, behind objects, maybe in wigs and sunglasses. Some beer notes:  Heineken: a bit bitter. Carlsberg: cold, crisp. Saporo: dry, really dry. Now … maybe there’s a wine or rice wine sample around here someplace … 

Mirae 15:25

Lunch break.  The staff here helped us pick-out some good food and we’re eating lunch upstairs in the park.  The sun is out and we’re finally absorbing some vitamin D after a long, dark winter. Trying to resist the urge to shop for things. There are so many souvenirs to bring back home – but we’ve got work to do!  Although, all this art-making doesn’t exactly feel like work. It’s more like play, a kind of leisure pursuit.

Mirae 16:35

Marathon feeling setting-in. Headache from lack of water, obsessed over buying new shoes.  Don't forget the art!  Just lined-up with like 2,000,000 high school students to buy office supplies – actually, school supplies – we got some post-it notes for our changing room project.  Sitting in Parsuco coffee shop. This espresso should help.  Wait! There’s another shoe store across the way, maybe I’ll go check that out …

Jesse 16:00

Wow!  There’s an unbelievable audience here – the center must really be on top of their outreach. There’s a lot of social media going on, and it’s a really young demographic. Sometimes I catch people staring at us like they know we’re part of the show, but maybe not … There’s a lot of other artists here … most of the other performers seem to work with the industry as a conceptual conceit, obviously playing with notions of established beauty, and there seems to be some guerilla theatre troupes in some of the galleries too, judging by the uniforms and microphones. It’s so inspiring to be amonst such a vast creative community!


Jesse 18:30

We just saw two concerts, and both were really well attended! I hope we get the same crowd! Everyone was filming it on their phones – that definitely means our exhibition has the chance to go viral!

I'm really impressed with the multi-disciplinary nature of the artist programming here. It kind of reminds me of the Banff Centre!  There was this band, they seemed so serious, it was like they were ripping-off the Rodney Grahm Band or something. And this other performer, she was so brilliant!  She just went up on this stage (and it was circular – how anti-4th wall is that, eh?!) with just a guitar, and these totally ironic  covers of really sentimental poppy songs, so it was like a brutally intelligent comment on female identity and the performative gaze.


Mirae 19:08

Finally!  Got some new shoes.  Distracted me a bit from my work but that’s OK, I’ve needed some shoes for a while.  Been re-arranging trash into a kind of installation in public space. Did three sculptures so far. Really productive day.  Stopping for dinner now. Can’t wait to make some more art. Got a few dance videos to shoot in the sky park and the people in the bedding department are waiting for us.  Going to the printer in a few hours. Can’t wait to install our show! As we get on in our time here and there’s more work to complete, I’m feeling the pressure.  This place seems far less leisurely.  Also, culture shock seems to be coming into play.  It’s so stimulating here and the people are all so eager to help us, it’s almost getting to be a bit much.