For my MFA thesis I produced three videos. This was the furthest thing from my initial idea. My idea was to shoot a full feature film. I was super lucky to have on my committee Ann Hamilton, Michael Mercil, Ed Valentine, and Tony Mendoza. They suggested that instead of focusing on a 2 hour film, that I might take a few clips I shot during my studies, and approach them in a way that was less outcome concerned and more process oriented.
Thankfully, I was smart enough to realize at the time, that I was in school to take some direction. I sat a long time with this footage, and it drove me completely nuts in the beginning. But what I learned about myself and my habits was unbelievable.
I became aware that for most of my art making life I had a very aggressive approach to making. I never gave the material the time to reveal itself to me. I spent far too much time imposing my will onto my work, and that approach was the reason I had such a hard time finishing pieces.
Ann forbid me to rush through my edits. At first it was torture. I wanted so desperately to control the process. I wanted to control the outcome, and it made me very uncomfortable letting go of this urge. But as I kept my focus and committed to this exercise in patience, I found a new artistic identity emerge.
I didn't end up making any pieces that I would consider particularly successful, but that wasn't really the point of going back to school. What I did gain was a totally new way of making.