I recently came across a unique project called The Time Wasting Experiments by artist, Alyson Provax. I couldn't wait to find out more as I'm really fascinated by ongoing projects that utilise mundane, everyday moments, in thought-provoking and illuminating ways. Alyson has kindly agreed to a small interview on my blog, I hope you enjoy it. To see more of her work, visit her etsy shop and flickr account.
: : Tell us a few words about yourself …
I live in Portland, Oregon with my boyfriend Anthony Roberto. He and I just started a printmaking studio together in our basement, and you can find me there on most evenings, drinking tea and printing on my Chandler & Price Pilot, Alma.
: : Why did you start the Time Wasting Experiments?
It was honestly a kind of experiment. When I began the project I felt like I was wasting a lot of studio time and not producing enough work. My day job insists that I record my “billable hours,” and at some point there was a crossover: because I was accustomed to thinking about my time in blocks, I began noticing the amount of time I was spending on each of my specific anxieties and doubts. When I started this over two years ago, I thought it would be a two or three month long project. Continuing it this long has changed my perspective on the way that I spend time.
: : How would you describe the project in your own words?
The basis for the project is simple, I record all unique wastes of time with the duration of the initial inspiring event, and letterpress print a 5”x5” card describing it. Since I began this project the way that I define a waste of time has changed a lot. At that time I felt that all unproductive time was a waste, but my feelings on that have really changed. Now I define a waste of time as any situation that I feel was useless or uncomfortable and offered little or no redemption.
I should mention that the physical prints have become important to me as records, and as a way of naming all these amorphous unsatisfying experiences.
: : What artists/projects inspire you?
I am inspired by so many things! I love long range projects. I feel like there are things that an ongoing project can do that a single piece or short series just cannot. In terms of specific artists who have had an impact on my work, certainly Beth Campbell’s drawings, Kate Bingaman-Burt’s Obsessive Consumption project, and Andrea Zittel’s work have influenced my project.
: : What's your favourite time-wasting moment, and why?
The one that I have repeated the most is 0007, dreading the inevitable.
Thanks again Alyson.
P.S. I also did an interview over here. Thanks Angela, for asking me to participate.
All images copyright Alyson Provax.