Monday, December 4, 2023
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Taking up Space


“It’s interesting, isn’t it? Being in the world.” -Eiji Yoshikawa

Existence can be thought of as our presence in the universe. Regardless of how infinitesimal, each one of us takes up space in the vast expanse of all things. At any given moment, we occupy a unique space wherein no others can identically exist. As we move through time and space, our actions imprint indelibly onto the fabric of the universe. What small traces we leave behind become part of the record of all existence. Our actions both separate us as individuals and tie us to every other living thing that has existed or will exist around us or in the spaces we occupy throughout all time.

Petah Coyne‘s work can be found in the Whitney Museum, Guggenheim, and MoMA among others. For her work, Coyne obsessively gathers. She views materials as a form of language. There is a relationship between artist and material in which Coyne must determine what it was that drew her to a particular object and how she can inflict her own ideas on it in an honest way. Coyne’s work holds change. Her evolutionary work process can sometimes stretch across decades. Because of this nature of her work, the question of how particular pieces will hold up archivally has often sat on Coyne’s consciousness. At a very young age, Coyne knew she would be an artist. Growing up in a military family, she moved all over the world changing schools every year. By middle school, with her parents’ permission, Coyne began advocating for herself with each school in order to test out of academic courses and attend art classes at area universities. Coyne delights in taking up space with her work but does not create large work out of any sort of rebellion. Rather, she feels the space of a room and from there feels the size that a piece should be. Coyne’s relationship to objects is all consuming. Objects compel her and inform her work completely.

Tim Murphy is a writer whose latest novel Christadora centers around a well known East Village luxury condo building where protest riots spilled into the well-appointed lobby. The Christadora became a flashpoint for the fight over gentrification in New York City. Murphy’s book tracks a single family through three generations pulling in the AIDS epidemic as a central theme. Additionally, as the story moves from the 1980s to the 2020s, Murphy explores the sweeping change and gentrification that have visited New York. Murphy points out that the neighborhood of the Christadora was once the seat of creativity, home to Ginsburg, Basquiat, and others. Today, the neighborhood is fully gentrified, consumed by NYU, and financially out of reach to those who pursue a bohemian existence. By jumping between past and present, Murphy captured the feeling of modern day New York in ever present the shadow of the past.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket:

Existence is predicated upon the spaces we inhabit. Our actions determine the threads we weave into the tapestry of time.

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a shareable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. Tim Murphy’s book Christadora is available now in paperback. The author himself has just finished reading Call Me by Your Name by Andre Aciman.

Opportunities / Open Calls

Ace & Tate Creative Fund is accepting applications for its artist funding grants. Eligibility is open to individuals and collectives. More information can be found at Call For or on the Ace & Tate website. Deadline for applications is December 31.



Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.






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