home town paper - page one

i’ve decided to write a bit about boxcar studios. it’s a rather magical place, and i don’t use the term magical lightly. two words really sum up the place: anachronistic and anatopic. but these are somewhat dry words, and i suppose you will get a sense of their meaning as time progresses. sometimes i want to believe that the progression of time is just the sedimentation of words. 

today i walked into boxcar surprised to find the room transformed. i shouldn’t be surprised by this any more. i mean i shouldn’t be surprised at my own surprise, because the transformation of the space is really what makes boxcar a magical place. it’s really what makes the space feel alive, like its churning, like there are people in there with minds as wild and unruly as the room is. just a week ago the space was set up to be a sort of large dinner table, almost in a norman rockwellian way, with a long table and a managerie of folks gathered around. but today it looked more like an abandoned apartment, or a librarian’s feverish dream. there were shelves with books, and furniture that was huddled in the middle of the room. i like to think the furniture was cold, and so they all came together with their backs to each other, keeping their eyes peeled for wolves. it is rather cold in the space, and there’s something unnerving about that in our world of comfortable temperatures. it reminds me the the pink-nosed moments i had as a child, digging holes in the snow, or that one night i went into the backyard while it snowed and i layed down on the ground and pretended i was either dying or succumbing to nature, but what’s the difference between those two, really. 

i had a several hours long conversation with graham brown and rick curtiss, about an upcoming show we are working on (and i sheepishly use the term we, only because they are the main brain-fathers of the project, and they have agreed to allow me to ride their coattails as they stroll through their imagined world that unfolds the more steps they take). at one point kelly larsen came walked by with his son gus. kelly no doubt was working on some paintings. the other night i spoke with him and he was preparing for a group show at the UMOCA. later chase henson walked by to his studio. i think i noticed on facebook that he was working on illustrating a set of guards for the king, and now i feel that i must ask him about this new project of his. previously he had been working on a series of indian goddesses, i think specifically hindu. jake buntjer came in with his son cohen, and, after he disappeared into his studio, oakley burst onto my lap with the full candor of a dog’s unabated excitement. i am somewhat mystified at my own humanity when i am overwhelmed with oakley’s doggish enthusiasm. she really is a puppy, one that wants to play. i can’t think of any temperment that she feels other than her playful one. i am often stopped in wonder … well is it wonder that stops me. i sometimes wonder if wonder is more like a fog, more like sunlight, more like a specific alignment of the room and the things within the room, maybe a clicking of the scenery, where the wind is just so windy, and the trees are just so much trees that the body feels uneasy, alarmed, like the air is kicked out of the mind’s lungs and it begins to gasp, it begins to feel the sudden need to feel the vacuum of the mind with the forces of the imagination. i wonder if the mind needs to have some element of thought in it at all times, much like the lungs has a cycle of air, or the heart has a cycle of blood. i’m almost sure of it. i’m almost now a disciple of this idea: that the mind must have some sort of cycle of thoughts that flow in and out, and that if we still our minds like we hold our breathe, we will feel the fear of drowning from the inside out.