So, How Was Your Day?
Greek yogurt with banana. A glass of powdered greens mixed with a liquid antioxidant supplement.
Tofu tacos (even though women aren’t supposed to eat tofu—I’ve decided to ignore this fact for today).
Quinoa with red onion and cilantro.
I try to use the first hour of the day to do whatever I’ve been putting off, which in this case is touching base with the lovely folks I met while doing a reading for San Francisco’s Pop-Up Magazine a couple of weeks ago. Next, I work on the lineup for a show I’m putting on later this month at the Last Bookstore, which will involve large-scale poetry installations and a group of poets arranged into a chorus. Today I’m whipping up a press release for the event, if one can use the word “whipping” to describe a very slow process.
I walk a block to my office, Chango Coffee, and hunker down. One of my favorite things to procrastinate—but there are so many!—is answering written interview questions, and at present I have a bunch outstanding. I tackle the heartiest ones, which concern the ideas behind Collage Culture—the book I cowrote with Aaron Rose—over coconut tea. The meeting I have with a producer I write for, which is supposed to last an hour, lasts three. Upside: it turns into a walk through the hills of Silver Lake, where the greenery is greener than usual. Additional upside: it’s revealed that there will be lots of dance in the show we’ve met to discuss—the latest installment of the Series—which hopefully means I’ll get to develop text for a choreographer, and doing that is one of my greatest and guiltiest pleasures.
I see the play Good People, which is exceptional, top to bottom. Back at home, I pull together a tentative lineup of poems for the reading I’m giving next week, then crawl into bed and read a text from my boyfriend, who’s traveling. I fall asleep reading Edith Wharton’s Summer, which is described by publisher Signet Classics as Wharton’s most erotic novel, and in which—I’ve nearly finished it—nothing erotic happens.
Three Last Things…
1. What’s up with your robe? It is beautiful - where did you find it?
Thanks! I’ve always been into robes because I’ve always been into delaying getting dressed. In graduate school I raised not-dressing to an art—why dress to grade papers in your kitchen?—and that’s about when I was able to convince my mom to pass this robe down to me. She’d received it as a gift when I was a child and I’d always loved it.
2. Your book criticizes our century’s artists and designers for pilfering from the past and then gaining critical success from their borrowed ideas. What are ways we can encourage the next generation to create original content?
Oh—I hope our book doesn’t criticize! What we set out to do was identify trends, examine them and raise questions we thought were important. We wanted, most of all, to get a conversation started where we believed there was a need for one. We love it when we meet folks who disagree with our premise! Think and let think, I say. I do believe creating original new works of art from scratch—rather than by cutting and pasting the works of others—is important because of the process an artist undergoes when he makes work that way. When a person wrestles with the problems of creation while staring at a blank canvas, without the aid of borrowed components, he’s participating in a process that is valuable—as he makes the art, the making makes him. But I don’t want to influence anyone to do anything. The most I’d want to do is make the case to artists that the way they make things matters. From there, they are welcome to ignore me.
3. Use three words to describe your feelings on the popularity of Pinterest.
I don’t know what Pinterest is. I’ve only just recently figured out what Instagram is. I don’t stay up on the newest internet-y stuff. As my father once informed me, I’m roadkill on the information superhighway.
Mandy lives in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. She is co-author of Collage Culture, which had its official launch at Colette in Paris. She is currently a writer-in-residence for the Series, a live monthly event on the rooftop of the Standard Hotel in LA. collageculture.com Photo credit: Shelby Duncan