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

thoughts + feelings

56: Space

Is it the non-existance or physicality of mass? Digitally, is it blocking out free time on your calendar or having an empty void waiting to be filled?

Space brings inward thinking, allowing accidental bumps (or shoves) of circumstance. It praises slow, finds luxury in mindful, and embraces uncertainity. It was something I saw as weakness and unimportance. Blank spaces were a sign of “not having your shit together.” Leisure time was non-existent, games were trivial, and self-hate was masked in File > New Event.

Craving escape, I attended an event that was a celebration of mindfulness, except I was 30 minutes late. My chokehold on planning fell apart in my fingertips due to forgetting about a race downtown, choking all public transit to massive delays.

Strolling in, stress was in my spirit. My diagnosed anxiety bubbled to the surface far beyond the pills meant to keep it under control. My chest tightened, teeth clenched, and stammer amplified between words. Surely I thought I was judged as an inconsiderate asshole but guess what, nobody cared.

I chatted with a gentleman sitting next to me at the dining table and we got on the subject of anxieties and fears of external perceptions. It was then I realized, beyond his blissed out energy, that circumstances cannot be fully controlled with life being a beautiful mixture of responsibility and uncertainity. Standing in the center of that fulcrum leads toward a life that not only has direction but rides uncertainities like a wave. Embracing the space.

Sensuality seeped into my senses. I tuned into the rhythm of room’s rituals, leaning into the evening’s uncertainties. My mind began to meld into the room’s temperature, the vibrations of my phone began to melt into my thigh becoming invisible to where I was. Do Not Disturb slid on my device and brain. Sustainable greens, cornbread, and pinto beansmelded with the famililar smells and textures of the soul food of my upbringing.

Breathe in, breathe out, I was present.

My stammer disappeared to a slower speaking voice. My mouth opened and my teeth separated. My chest loosened. My anxiety burrowed back in the ground where it belonged.

World space.

Mind space.

What did I find interesting this week?

★ The Hating Game: On seeking validation through publicily declaring what you hate.

★ Anti-Social Media: Two friends, one with a big social media prescence and one without any digital trace, have a conversation on the role these tools place in their lives.

★ The Unbearable Whiteness of Indie: “White art additionally dilutes and flattens aspects of other cultures’ music that it adopts in the process of making them more “accessible” for those whose curiosity does not extend beyond the parameters of Europe and North America. White “ambassadors” decide what parts of these musics of cultures get to filter through based on white notions of what is good, or real or what ethnomusical practices appeal to an American sense of authenticity.”

★ The Only Black Guy at the Indie Rock Show: A beautiful essay exploring not fitting in …anywhere.

★ Run The Jewels, “Close Your Eyes (And Count to Fuck): Their latest music video tackles the struggle between police and black men in an endless, tiring fight. Beautiful visuals and storytelling.

★ New Web Series “You’re So Talented” Gives Us a Black Female Protagonist to Root For: If you aren’t watching this web-series, what are you waiting for? It’s Chicago-bred art at its’ finest.

What do I have coming up?

☞ April 10 at 6pm will be the opening of “exceptional/respectable” at The Arts Incubator in Washington Park.

☞ A new episode of Cher Vincent and myself’s podcast, Open Ended, will be released on Wednesday. Our previous episode, “You Wanna See It In Color” is a series of interviews with our parents on how they assimilated to changing technologies over the years. Find it on iTunes, or subscribe in your podcast player of choice.

Thanks for reading and have a great week,

-✌ James

James T. Green