Two weeks from today I leave Boston for NYC, then on to an incredible international art adventure for the next six weeks. As I scramble through final preparations (and tech for a show that closes the night before I leave) I'm putting together the finishing touches on my #BusyIsTheNewBlack experiment. You may have seen a few hints on Instagram or heard me talking about it in the last few weeks. Here's the rundown of what I've got planned. There are already some really awesome people lined up to participate! I can't wait to introduce them all to you!
These days it's all the rage to be "so so busy." As an artist I am always working many small jobs and no two days look the same. Since turning 30 I suffered and recovered from a series of strokes, I seriously kicked up my role around Monkeyhouse after Karen's family was killed in a car accident and began co-teaching all of Karen's classes as we deal with her health issues. Busy doesn't begin to describe what my life looks like. Did I mention that I don't turn 36 until next week?
So, for 6 weeks this fall I will be hitting pause on all of the chaos and focusing on what it means to slow down. In an age of digital communication and instant gratification how do you truly engage in the world around you? What can be gained from not taking the fastest/easiest route? What are ways you can find in your own life to cut back on the "busy"?
Each person will receive a small package from me consisting of a small handmade book filled with #geochoreography challenges (Learn a little more about #geochoreography here!), two mailing addresses and the topic of "slowing down". The first address is to my PO Box here in Somerville. The second is to another person in the group. Where they go from there is totally up to them!
There are no rules to how to participate or what the final product should be (if there is one at all). There's no pressure to write a certain number of letters or fill every page of the book. There's no standard for what "slowing down" means. The goal of the experiment is for each person to take the "starter pack" and see how it makes sense in their life.
Once I get home I'll collect the books from anyone who wants to share and hopefully, paired with any items I make while traveling, put together a small exhibit!
Interested in participating? There are lots of ways you can be part of the experiment!
1. Follow along! I've asked participants to use #BusyIsTheNewBlack and #geochoreography for anything they post about the experiment. You can also follow me at @n.i.c.o.l.e.h.a.r.r.i.s on Instagram!
2. Play at home! Visit Monkeyhouse on Instagram or Facebook to get weekly #geochoreography challenges, or play with what slowing down means in your life. I have obviously taken the idea to the extreme - leaving town for six weeks on an international cruise. But slowing down for you could simply mean taking 5 minutes before you fall asleep to remember the good things that happened in your day. It could mean getting together with friends you keep meaning to catch up with but haven't been able to find the time. Maybe choose to walk to work instead of take the train, or take the train instead of drive. Call your best friend instead of send a text message... It's up to you! Don't forget to use #BusyIsTheNewBlack and #geochoreography for anything you post!
3. Join the group! Want to fully be part of the experiment? Email me by Saturday, October 15th for more information on how you can join us!