An update on life in Sausalito, California – from Will Rogan
Will Rogan, Filter (Stress, What Stress?), 2018
My wife, Lauren McKeon, has been making a video every day since the stay at home order started. They are one-minute long, fast-and-loose videos made around our every day lives. She puts them on Instagram to share with friends and family. It has provided her, and by proximity me, some focus in our days. I asked her to make a video to share here about what is happening in our world recently. Lots of skateboarding for me, teaching in computer “rooms,” falling down, passing time carving wood…It’s weird out there right now. I hope everyone is safe and has everything they need.
Some things that have been on my mind:
We are in a position where the whole system has pretty much stopped. The whole mechanism has changed. So we are left to look at the whole thing, consider which parts did what and how… and which parts we won’t let disappear.
So far I have a desire to whittle wood into things my hands are already familiar with, everyday objects my fingers encounter. Like the car key to my Honda Civic, a pipe, my own fingers, and functional hooks. There is a part of making art that helps me process experiences. Sometimes making things (even straightening a wire or making homemade pasta) gets in the way of the active mind’s desire to troubleshoot everyday realities. There are so many brain itches right now, so many stressful narratives in our lives. If I make things I find that I am not scratching those itches all day.
Left to right: Will Rogan; Untitled (Finger), Untitled (Car Key), Untitled (Pipe with Smoke), and Untitled (Carving Knife); 2020
I have the desire to support projects that I don’t want to disappear.
Projects like: Colpa Press, Ground Shots, Altman Siegel Gallery, Pied-a-terre, 8 Ball Radio, and other projects run by people in pursuit of meaning.
Artists are antennas, overly sensing the world, looking for new meaning. It’s a vulnerable state to be in. Making can be a way of self soothing. To be making something takes my mind off of my mind and puts it in my hands. Some of my students right now are making things that are highly tactile and some are wondering how to make things at all. I can relate to both of those responses. We wonder, is this useful? What are these things for?
Art is the one thing I have unrealistic faith in. I can’t believe how much I believe in it. Despite how useless it is to so much of culture and how uninterested so much of culture is in it.
It’s how we get to new places.
It’s how we change.
It’s tools for your mind.
Artists are of use.
We are making things that people use.
Art affects us in ways that aren’t measurable by this failing system.
– Will Rogan
Will Rogan, Squad, 2016
Will Rogan, Buls Island, 2018
Will Rogan, Elliot, 2018