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February 16, 2010

A main idea in this project for me has continued to be that of control. On the most obvious level, I am literally giving up control of my life to anyone on the internet that feels inclined to exert it over me. I am interested in what happens when this level of control is sacrificed… do the restriction and constant subjection to the inconvenient, uncomfortable, and nonsensical cause stress or anxiety? Or could the removal of decisions and worries about making the wrong ones free you and allow for a more peaceful state of being? It seems so far that both have been true at different times, depending largely on my state of mind going in.

Beyond this level of giving up control in terms of my daily activities, there is another equally important one for me. That is, trying to give up control over the outcome of the project. A source of dissatisfaction with my first quarter work was the feeling that the final product followed too clearly from the original concept. That is, my initial idea for the project had a definitive trajectory and finishing point, and while much was learned along the way, the end was so expected. It sometimes feel easier to work this way because I can have all along a sense of what I am making and a confidence that it will be something at least. However, I find that determining the end makes it much harder to remain open to completely different possibilities that can only come through getting deep and dirty with it all. These are possibilities that may be relative failures, but also possibilities that could reach far beyond any original vision. So with this project I have attempted to give up the ability to know how it will turn out, to relinquish control over the outcome, and to just ride this experience where it takes me, and to be ok with that.

[Setting: Boston airport, 7am. LAUREN gets on a plane to LA.]

[LAUREN decides that she wants to learn more about the people she comes in contact with today and strikes up a conversation with the person sitting next to her on the flight]

[LAUREN gets home to LA, tired, but reinvigorated. She is still not totally sure about the future of this project, but she decides to try an experiment for a month. Focusing on what is happening in the present moment as much as possible, fostering that relationship. Every time an emotion comes up, especially negative, before it takes her over, she will for an instant (at least), see herself having this experience, see what caused it, see how the mind perpetuates it. She will slowly separate herself from the ability for external things to determine her state of mind.

Along with this will be a meditation experiment, every day for 10 minutes - remembering that patience is one of the things she will learn from this, she will see her frustration and impatience with the process as the process itself. Just telling herself she is going through with this specifically to work through that, it dissipates. Every day in a subtle way, she realizes she has more control over these internal states than she imagined.]]

[LAUREN invites someone to review one of her performances.]

[LAUREN puts out a casting call to find others that might want to participate in her performance.]

[Setting: 4th floor computer lab, 12:30pm. LAUREN holds office hours.]

[Setting: Franz Hall, 2pm. LAUREN arrives at metacognition class.]

[Setting: MARS library, 5pm. LAUREN attends studio meeting.]

[Within the next couple of days, LAUREN'S STUNT DOUBLE performs one or more of LAUREN'S tricky, difficult or dangerous daily routines.]

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