Video Still, Butter Body Politic (Butterface), 2016, HD Video, 10:53 mins
How did you get into debt?
I went into debt pursuing my MFA in Fine Arts from Parsons The New School for Design, completing my undergraduate degree, and accrued and capitlized interest from these loans. I also carry a mortgage on a single family house I live in, a car I drive daily to work, and a little credit card debt (which I will pay off with my next paycheck). The majority of my debt is educational.
How does your economic reality effect your art?
I have very little time to make my own work because I spend a lot of time working multiple low paid jobs. The administrative labor of applying to jobs and opportunities further eats at any time I'm not physically working for money. I'm exhausted and finding myself preferring sleep and reading over making new work. My studio is our guest room. When we took care of my mother-in-law last year, and a friend the year before, I completely lost the ability to work for several months. I haven't been able to unpack and get back to a working rhythm since. I live in Syracuse, NY where cost of living is very low-- but it's far from most of my creative community. With my partner paying most of the bills, we're fine for now. However, because it's so hard for me to find full-time teaching work; she has to stay at her job (thus stifling her practice). If I do manage to get an opportunity somewhere else-- I worry we won't be able to afford to take it. If she loses her job, or if our relationship ends; it will be very difficult to make ends meet-- let alone make art.
Would your work look different if you weren't in debt?:
I don't know if my work would look differently if I weren't in debt because I've never not been in debt. My work is political; and I think my position as a heavily indebted student, contingent educator in higher education, and labor organizer certainly informs my work. Though it may not explicitly appear to deal with economics at first; economics are present in the research, content, and conversation of the work.