January 12th, 2011
the sky is falling

My favorite working artist right now is Michael Oatman (who ironically lives and works in Troy NY, where I lived for many years and still own a house). There are pieces that he has created that make me absolutely giddy with joy. He captures something that I have tried to create with a couple of my books, where you enter into an imaginary world in which you are unsure of what is real (the book I am currently working on also falls into this category). Then you realize that you want to exist in that world where anything can happen. It’s as if a Terry Gilliam film came to life and you are walking around in it able to interact with everything. He has a new installation at the Mass Moca which I cannot wait to see. All Utopias Fell is a three-part, multimedia installation. It’s also a 1970s-era DIY satellite concocted from a vintage Airstream that just happens to have crash-landed in North Adams, Mass.

“My installations are sort of novels by a non-writer,” says Oatman. “They are stories that I want to write, but I realize that I’m not a good writer. So I use art to create a scene where you can go to the place physically where I report that things happen, but it’s up to you to put the story in its order, and there is no specific order.”

Jan 12 2011
4:01 pm
Trece writes:

I don’t get it – why is it ironic that he lives in Troy?

Jan 12 2011
5:09 pm
Zom G. writes:

Oh my. Thank you for introducing Mr Oatman. I will have to keep my eyes wide open for his work. Terry Gilliam movies are unstable terrain and I love watching my brain fall into all the little bumps and grooves. I am a little bit envious of those near Mass MoCA…

Jan 12 2011
5:23 pm
Meghan writes:

Very nice! I’m the reverse: A writer who isn’t good at art, so I use writing to make the stories I want to tell.

Jan 17 2011
9:12 pm
Julia writes:

i recently took a class about the genre of “Magical Realism.” we read and wrote some amazing stuff. One of the books we read is called “Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonders,” and I would definitely recommend it to you! It blurs the line between imaginary and real, centered around the trend of “wonder cabinets” that existed when the New World was first being discovered (supposedly). New World artifacts were displayed in Europe, and some were real, some imaginary! Interesting stuff. I didn’t even know this genre of literature and film existed before this class!

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