Nils Folke Anderson: I’ve been thinking through some ideas for donkey trail.
Molly Stevens:Like what?
NFA: Well, for one thing, there's the idea of site-responsiveness, that relates to donkey trails I think.
MS: Sculptors talk a lot about site-responsiveness, I’ve noticed.
NFA: What have you been thinking?
MS: About site-responsiveness?
NFA: About the work/artists you've been seeing, the progress of the idea and show. Let's talk about that first and then site responsiveness.
MS: Deal. Actually, I'm a bit confused about the idea at this point, and I'm not sure what to do with the blog anymore.
NFA: Getting some dry mango…
MS: What does Donkey Trail mean for you these days?
NFA: A very rich idea to mull over and also to mull over with you.
MS: What's the idea again? I'm not being facetious.
NFA: Maybe more an image than an idea I suppose, of a donkey carrying something and making a trail in the process; or an image of a trail that a donkey makes and how that relates to what we're making and looking at. For example that site-responsiveness: on one hand I guess one could say that a donkey trail is site-responsive, that a donkey has limitations in terms of the terrain it can handle and it makes its way in the straightest line possible given the site.
NFA: But then I’ve been thinking about the Le Corbusier essay we talked about as well. Using caterpillar tractors and dynamite to make big orthogonals is also a response to a site...
MS: Right The way I’ve been thinking about it is: when I make something, there's a figuring out as I go along, and that's donkey trail-ish. But, other than that, I'm at an impasse. Except that I was thinking of a visual presentation (like my text talk) but about the line. I was thinking [CONFIDENTIAL INFO].
NFA: There's also an aspect of patience and perseverance that I like.
MS: In making art, you mean?
NFA: And with donkeys.
NFA: And a sense of humor.
MS: I agree.
NFA: And of simply doing one's best and making one's way.
MS: That's what art-making feels like. But, in your mind, how does this all translate into concrete terms, like actually making something, asking people to make something, writing about it. I think this is where I’ve been feeling lost.
NFA: I think some lack of clarity is part of the idea. This can get precious and annoying really easily, but it’s possible to be principled and rigorous and interesting and still not know exactly where things are heading.
MS: I agree. It can also be stressful.
NFA: And in concrete terms, a big part of this for me is simply finding an occasion to write, and discuss art with you.
MS: Ah, that sounds good! Have you been thinking at all about what you'd like to make for the show?
NFA: Maybe that [CONFIDENTIAL INFO].
MS: I love that idea. I don't think artists want "curators" to help them develop an idea though too much. So I don't know what role to play here. So, wanna just talk about art?
NFA: I think your role is to simply make happen what you want to have happen. Mine too.
MS: Not sure what that is sometimes.
NFA: I have some ideas.
MS: Like what?...I am working on humongo drawings though.
NFA: ...an amazing group show with tons of reviews; brisk sales of your work, gallery representation, museum shows, a community of artists, a lively presence as a blogger, a solo show of humongo drawings, etc.
MS: That puts a lump in my throat.
NFA: But is that along the lines of what you're aiming for, generally? I don't think these are the "right" or wrong goals, by the way. And I think the goals for the show are more particular and specific, but should be aligned with what we're aiming for generally.
MS: Of course! That's pretty much what I want exactly. So, you're hoping for the same with this show?
NFA: For the show, I hope it's something that- if I'd had no involvement in it- I’d still want to go see.
MS: Well put. I think a lot of this can be discussed on the blog; even if there's no correlation really with organizing the show, or maybe even the show itself.
MS: It's like the show is one thing. But the possibilities of the blog are far wider. Although I like seeing more than reading in many respects. And what you see, you can’t read in many regards.
NFA: On that note, I’ve been thinking about donkey trails vs. caterpillar tractor trails. Maybe we could have an ongoing post of images of each? This is getting at two modes of mark making or organization or response. For example, a road is typically a caterpillar trail, but then again a caterpillar tractor sometimes makes trails like a donkey. Does that make any sense?
MS: It does. In the south of France, the roads sometimes go around the mountain in a coil, and sometimes they just go right through the damn thing.
NFA: Precisemont (sp?)
MS: Close enough.
NFA: Not a good word to misspell.
MS: Road runner.
MS: Also a cartoon character running through a wall leaving his imprint. By the way, I'm reluctant to see Urs Fischer.
NFA: How come?
MS: I have a fuck you attitude to the hip and famous.
NFA: I’m pretty psyched to see it. Hype aside, I like his work.
MS: Yeah, I do too! I'm just jealous. Ah, all of Molly's lovely sides are coming out today.
NFA: So go beat him to the next punch!
MS: I’ve been thinking about it. But I think it's a fight I'm not up for. I'd rather just focus on what I'm doing. You going to give him a run for it?
NFA: Yeah, by just focusing on what I’m doing.