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the shut palace of the queen
I turned my insomnia into a writing project and temporarily cured myself because I became so engaged with the process.
From 4:15 - 6:15 am on March 7, 2015 I lay in bed writing and sending short messages to myself on my phone. Much of the initial writing was odd if not poor but the experience engendered a writing practice and style which I continue. It also served as an experiment to test how and whether my writing would differ under varying times of day and states of wakefulness. (It did). shut palace is rooted in a night of insomnia..
I wrote sentences and I didn't try to join them. Later I shot photographs and made other images to supplement the words and to create something whole: a little blanket for my experiment, which I kept as is; neither adding to nor editing the initial texts. I've continued to work this way - short lines of text that I think of almost like photographs (time-fixed/highly momentary narratives and ideas) - although I do now sometimes string them together as intentional, longer works.
I don't, presently, write in the middle of the night. But I found my 3am "studio of the mind" to be an effective if aberrant prototyping space, unfettered by the usual concerns of fear, logic, scrutiny etc. To amplify the color and the energy of sleeplessness I made custom wallpaper for the installation, starting a set of investigations into the distinctions between high and low art and also how to make work that appeals to a broad audience while retaining a strong conceptual foundation.
Shut palace of the queen is a modification of the title of an alchemical text
"Secrets reveal'd : or, an open entrance to the shut-palace of the King : containing the greatest treasure in
chymistry never yet so plainly discovered". I'm constantly engaged with the interplay between impulse/intuition
(alchemy) and more intentional conceptually grounded acts.