James T. Green is a conceptual artist, radio producer, writer, and educator from Chicago, Illinois, and now in Brooklyn, New York.

thoughts + feelings

85: Dark Side to Your Strengths

The Fieldwork: “Dark Side to Your Strengths”

It’s a Sunday night and we find ourselves at the edge of Promontory Point. The flicker of downtown begins its orangish glow as the sun peeks underneath the tallest points of date nights and last calls. As we stand on the rocks looking out onto the lake, reminiscing on our south side architecture romp, the blissful nature of burnt wood and the atmosphere’s gradients catch us in our feelings.

“What are your intentions for the year?”

Chins stroke and barbecue ribs drop as the question catches us by surprise. It’s enough to deeply consider the few months before the cold snap scoops us into social hibernation.

“Being my authentic self.”

“Stepping out of the shadows and moving into my own life.”

“Write more than I post.”

“Letting confidence reign supreme.”

“But, don’t you think that there’s a dark side to your strengths?”

Giving us pause, this continues.

“There’s beauty in being able to obscure yourself and move between those worlds, there’s joys in having someone you can look towards to better yourself, there’s importance in being able to take in what you learn and simmer on it.”

We think so much in binaries that, in fact, there is benefit in our self-identified flaws.

As the group of us left and continued on much lighter conversation, I realized there’s a lot more grey area than we give life credit for.

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This Week’s Magazine Clippings

★ “False Luck | USA-made accessories + apparel with attitude”: I’m a sucker for patches, pins, and stickers, so it’s nice to see some Cleveland, Ohio raised work. Go back this Kickstarter.

★ “For National Coming Out Day”: The one, heartfelt, article you need to read this week.

★ “Danny Meyer Is Eliminating Tipping”: Read this on the site, not on Instapaper or Pocket, for the design, interactivity, and wonderful typography. Oh, and it’s a great insight into the restaurant industry and the economics behind making it sustainable.

★ “From Porn to Pizza, Some Post-internet Art Is Deeper Than It Looks”: “The subject matter of the exhibition is not the casually observed pets, porn, and pizza, but rather the existential, philosophical questions about life in a reality that blends the digital with the more conventionally experiential. Like the internet itself, the skein of darker, deeper, more troubling concepts addressed in the exhibition are packaged within a slickly branded, often amusing, and readily accessible layer of mass appeal and good design.”

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Updates

★ CSS Black Lives Matter shirts and hoodies are back until the end of the month! This run will benefit the Black Lives Matter BLCK store. Check out the shop to order yours today.

★ I’ll be visiting NYC from October 21 - 27th, let’s hang out if you are in the area. I’m also thinking about doing a live episode of the Open Ended Podcast so if you have any spaces you’re willing to share, let me know and I’ll bring some microphones.

★ I’m back on the speaking and visiting-artist train for the rest of 2015. If you teach a class, host a residency program, need a speaker for your event/conference, or looking for a studio visit, contact me. I recently had good visits with Columbia Chicago and School of the Art Institute Chicago, focusing on self-employment and creating internet-based art with a human touch.

★ I have two slots open for design and development work between October - December of this year. If you are in need or know of any leads, contact me.

★ Well I’ll be a plate of curry goat, this Wednesday will be episode 25 of Cher Vincent and myself’s podcast, Open Ended. We vaguely talk about humanity and tech from the black perspective, but mostly we trade jokes and talk about the ratchetness of our surrounding world. It’s honestly a great weekly release. This week we bring in guest Rashid Zakat, but you can check out our last episode ‘Let Me Tell You About That Blue Light Special’ on our websiteiTunes, or in any other podcast player. Be sure to rate us on iTunes and send us a donation to keep the lights on.

★ If you’re into owning some art, I’ve got a few framed prints of a piece I created recently, “we(act)," for sale. If you are interested in having some art of mine in your home or studio, reply to this email so we can chat!

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Support The Studio Visit Letters

Thank you for reading issue #85.

These letters take roughly 24 hours a month between writing, editing, fact-checking, and adding items to the archive. Consider sending a one-time donation and becoming a member starting at a dollar a month.

A wonderful and heartfelt thank you to the 14 supporters this week:

Stewart, Molly, Alexandra, Alexandria, Jennifer, Joelle, David, Jessica, Chad, Will, Eboni, Jayson, Subi, Allyson, and Revision Path.

You keep this boat a float. Only $202 to go before making this month’s goal of $250.

Thanks for reading, and see you next week.

-James

James T. Green