arbitrary and subjective

Arbitrary and subjective

so the other day I was working on exhibition with someone as a helper ,not really any official role and the judges came in to see the exhibition so that they could pick a winner and second and third place. when they came in they really asked us like what are you interested in as far as artwork . The people running the exhibition really didn’t have an idea they said like well that’s what we got you for so you guys pick something. so the judges spoke amongst themselves and they really had quite different ideas one was a art dealer and the other an artist.  so they fed off each other and didn’t really have an idea about what what they want it as judges occasionally they would pick something that the other judge had no interest in and so they would have to say like look if you want this you’re going to have to tell me why you want it what is good about this cause I don’t see it.

and so this made me realize is that when you’re an exhibition when you’re submitting a proposal  some kind of grant or as in this case a juried exhibition .that the decision  making process is very arbitrary,  that it might be the judge had a bad day, that if they looked at everything the next day they would come up with a completely different set of selections . it might be that tomorrow if they came in tomorrow they would’ve picked you.

everything is so subjective an arbitrary that it’s amazing that anything happens to me when you’re when we were doing an artgarage benefit.  we pick people they came they showed up I don’t think we ever said no to anybody but we had made our decisions and the end of it a  friend  approached us and said look you know a friend of mine is an artist, he was really easy upset that you guys didn’t ask him again.

We explained that we just compiled names and didn't leave him out on purpose so we included hi but we said that we had just got as many artists that we needed and stopped for no real reason . participate we just didn’t work off the list we just picked new people all the time so we include but are not good and was completely stood an oversight and when we talk to him he really thought that we had made some decisions against him not to include him just wasn’t the case

So now when I have my problem is that I have him our people is it there they having a bad day with a pick me and if my proposal came in yesterday or they were never gonna pick me because of this guy has too many problems and its just easier to pick an artist that doesn't have problems . or is their friend  fault in it or where we want to show solidarity with the other people against him but the case against him so you don’t know what why you’re not being picked. after the judging we asked them about the process and they admitted that it was very arbitrary and that had they come in another day it would have been a different set of selections , and that because of this arbitrary aspect , artists should apply no less than three times to each grant, gallery, exhbtions and not project
 

artists should speak up for themselves part 2

when most artists work in their studio on paintings or water colors they dont think of critics, art galleries or collectors , but when confronted with them out side the studio they are very sheepish or feel like they have to cow-towe to what ever the critic ( I say critic but I mean critic, curator, collector) several years ago I read an article by Nancy Princinthal she was writing about artists in the 1950-70s saying that they would confront critics about their opinion and or writing, and that artists now a days dont , they let critics un ruff-shodd over them ,I wrote to her explaining that artists now are concerned with the power that the critics hold over them stopping them from speaking up. but in reality the critics pay no real attention to arts or weather they dont criticize them . I have seen it over and over again critics being blow hards and artists standing by agreeing trying not to often the critic, this is a fools game as the artist has no intention of helping most artists, So in reality the artist has nothing to loose by speaking up . we had a back and forth for a little while but most critics write now on the internet with out comment or real way of commenting to them.

many years ago I was in a gallery , after a meeting with the dealer about a show I was having later in the year, we walked out on the side walk when the dealer said to me I have to walk to this restaurant , this artist is showing me a birthday party thinking I will show her... I asked well are you ? and she of course not ! .I was horrified that the art dealer would accept this big party from this artist with the unspoken intention of showing her. it is this unspoken intention that gets artists in trouble , they are always hopefull that their work will be shown , it gets them in to bad agreements with galleries, over extended by throwing favors to dealers, not speaking up when confronted by blow hard critics, Artists talk about themselves alot they are always talking about what they are working on ,so its hard to tell them not to talk or be themselves but , in the end they should stand up and be them selves always, I have been guilty of this too , and I have decided that it has not served me well

artists whould speak up for themselves and tell critics what they think

I read another artists post ,she was very funny , I think I am writing to seriously and giving people the impression that Im very serious , which I am ,but also not very serious ,when you have so many things happen to you that are out of your control, at a certain point really not that much bothers you anymore, can you eat, do you have a roof over your head, then everything else is gravy . I am going to start doing some things that I had hoped to do review shows from the comfort of my home , alot of times when you pester galleries or critics to come to your studio it is horribly difficult as they have a path they go on, every month every week , and if you try and take them off the path then they start resisting you , I had a show up on 57st I thought that was great , how ever people had stopped going to 57st as a path , so I became a kind of car sales man trying to get people to come to the show , ------- nothing I finally was going to have lunch with a art critic so I thought great he is having lunch with me and then we will go see my show together , as we were having lunch he was complaining about being a critic and a professor and then it slowly dawned on me , he is not going to see my show, he had just come form a class ,he had a article to write and he was on his way to china after lunch, no he wouldnt be able to see the show, shit this was my only chance after my show was up for a month ,I got one critic to talk to me and he was on his way to the airport, so I just blurted it out ,- would he have time to see my show , what Im going out to lunch with you and you think that because your buying me lunch I would go to see your show, " how presumptuous!" yes it was but what do critic think people want , I offered to drive him to my show wait and bring him to the airport, he said yes as it meant he didnt have to get a cab, weeks after the show ended I waited to see if he would write something - and it never appeared , he wrote about other critics shows , shows that were in big galleries that other people would also write about, so that you would have a show at MOMA and there would be 5 or 6 reviews of it Zzzzz . alot of times Artists are nice to critics because they think that they dont want to make them upset because then they wont write about them, the truth is that they will never any way so you might as well express your opinion

Artists should be themselves and express their opinion as critics , dont really pay attention to anything but themselves ,and they need artists to be less afraid of them , . well my attempt at being funny didnt work I became serious again , but I guess I want artists to trust their own ideas and chalenge critics and galleries more on what they thing

art class in prison

I first wrote a very detailed lesson plan and my rec counselor ,told me she didn't care what I taught them ,I then decided to use drawing from the right side of the brain as a base for the course , my course was listed on the bulletin board ,unlike the other classes you could take health/fitness , smart money , my classes happened , some of the other teachers just marked everyone attended and never had the classes, the guys were bored and needed to fill their time so they wanted the classes, our camp did not have lot of facilities some camps were boarding schools or hospitals before they were prisons so they had tennis courts or class rooms ours was a rec building to a golf course so ,it was never meant to be lived in and it was certainly never meant for 130 guys to live in , I was given the runaround on where to have the class room , so I choose the rec trailer ,it was a double wide that had lots of other things in it, the first class I had set up the tables to so everyone one could concentrate . I need #2 pencils and copy paper that was the extent of what was needed for most of the course, things like mat frame ,plastic sheets were not so easy to get, if you reused anyhitng for its non intended purpose it was considered contraband and you would get a shot .so if I took a cardboard box and cut a frame out of it so the guys could understand where to stop drawing the scene -that was considered contraband , if I had sheets of plastic that was contraband ,if I had the fake flowers from the church that was contraband so I would collect these things and every once and a while they would get thrown out, and I would have to start over again. eventually SIS (internal affairs found a cell phone in the trailer , (guys would sneak cell phones in to the prison to call home make bets some of the hedge funds guys would use the cell phones to keep working ,while your in federal prison you cant continue to run your business , say me Im an artist I couldn't talk about or work on my exhibition or selling my art work while I was in prison even though they would make more money to pay the government back, kafkaesque aspect of prison. some guys just ran out of minutes and wanted to talk on the phone you would get 10 min a day to call out.) So SIS closed the trailer the trailer would be closed for 6 months while they did their investigation alot of times it was done just because ,they wanted to punish us more.not because it actually took that long . then I spent the next week trying to find another place to have the classes and I was really becoming stressed out, I would set up a class area and then it would be taken away and I would have to find another one. I decided that it was to much stress and if the class was open then we would have it otherwise not. I finally got the class room, and that lasted until some idiots snuck outside and the class room was shut for 6months that meant that the guys who had GED had no class, the guys who had english had no class, it didnt open up until the regional control found out that no one had passed GED in 2 years so the education counselors were in the dog house because they were supposed to be teaching the classes ,but they didn't they had us the inmates teach the classes because they were to lazy they just wanted to sit in their air conditioned office and play on the computer or talk to the other counselors, I eventually got to be in the cafeteria after dinner, this made some of the other inmate jealous , I was being protected by some of the long term inmates who respected the fact that I ran a real class-I was unaware that I was being protected until one day one of them came into the class and told me that he wasn't letting the guys in to play cards or watch TV because it would interfere with the class and then  the class would become like everything else ,no existent. the first day I had class in the cafeteria , I went to get something from my REC counsleor and she asked me how the class in the cafiteria went, I had shut the door out of habit and told her that there were some guys who were courious and came in that someone had made a grilled cheese in the toaster but I kicked him out, and then i went to work,after I left she called the Cafiteia officer in to her office and then on the pa said if anyone went in the caifiteia afterhours she owuld close the trialer ,I came back form work at lunch time and My bunkies stuff was packed up and he told me I had fucked up that I had talked to the guard and that ,he was considering going .as we were talking about it he said that some of the other inmates had told him that I ... in reality nothing happened in prison so there are a bunch of old hens who gossip and talk all day they have nothing to do ecspect make thier minds pry on parinoia , they would gossip and talk about everything , I told him I had no idea that she would threaten to close the trialer ,and he said I shouldnt be tlaking to the guard . so from then on I never closed the door so the guys who listen could hear waht I was talking about, there are guys who watch and listen , and then they tell the old hens they tell them whos cars come into the parking lot, what gaurds are on , what time they leave .everything and some times its right like who is getting out of solitary and some times it wrong , my friend was on the goonds crew, he had something on his balls he was worried so he told the doctor we had a mersa scare so they came and took him at work to go to the hospital, the grounds guys said they took him to solitary by the time he got back form the hostiapl the guys had sold his stuff and someone had taken his bunk. I eventually made it back to the classroom and taught 80 inmates most of them sent home claical drawings of family members home 

artists and art assistants 2

I was an art assistant for 27 years and a showing artist for 35 .I have been on both sides of the conversation , and I have treated the young artists who work for me based on a reaction to the way that I was treated. the young people who work for you are artists themselves and are trying to show their own artwork and move forward in their career,this is fundamental part of the relationship that the artist should recognize,and if it is dismissed then it is a recipe for disaster , some artists like robert longo credit their assistants when they list their work in the gallery, some artists like Murakami help their assistants get venues for their artwork , while others hide the assistants like a secret , pretending that they themselves made these things by themselves .  it is a delicate balance frot with pitfalls and expectations , When I first started to work for ARTIST I did very simple things as he didn't really know if I had the skills needed and also ,the way that ARTIST works ever effort towards making art work should become somehting, working material ,mistakes all become part of the final product,so if I did somehting wrong doing it over would be wasted time, also the way the studio worked everything was hidden from the public so if I had started to learn encaustic Painting then I might take that with me , if I learned how he transferred drawings on to canvas then I might tell others , so Like Vermeer taking apart his light box and hiding the parts around the studio so when visitors came it was gone and only the mystery remained, how far do you let these young artists in to your process, some newer artists have a contract so of a disclosure  contract legally spelling out what the assistant can disclose or use in their own art work, we had nothing like this, for the first year I was to do really mundane tasks so that ARTIST could continue to work, shop do the dishes, clean the rooms, after the first year when it was clear I was going to be there a while ,I was starting to learn encaustic (a wax based medium of painting at that time there were very few artist who worked in encaustic and there wasn't very much literature on it, so most of what you learn was thru experimentation now there are several school where you can learn these technics and buy supplies, we made all our own paint and the supplies were raw materials ) it took me several years before I could make medium or prime a canvas by myself. IN the beginning I shared ARTIST'S life I traveled with him to different studios he had a studio in NY city in an old bank building the studio was the main lobby , he kept his paintings and archive in the vaults down downstairs, sometimes we would work in his studio upstate new york and he had a switch on his phone that turned the ringer off , so we would work in the studio for weeks on end living eating together, to take a break during the day we would hunt mushrooms in the woods and he taught me what to look for, but if someone from a museum or gallery came I was to get small fade into the woodwork , not have an opinion, I eventually went to the foundry and approved casts, worked on paintings and lithographs made wash plates because I had become so proficient in the way he worked, sometimes he would take working material I made and simply sign it as his . some times I was lent out to other friends who were struggling or needed help, Annalee Newman ( Barnett Newman's wife) viola Farber, Morton Feldman ,who was going blind) Lois long a mentor to jasper who had gotten old while I didn't mind helping these people it was definitely weird being lent out.

IT is for these reasons that I would tell the young artists who worked for me that I could pay them as a full time job and that if they needed to do anything for themselves they should just tell me and go and do it. sometimes this back fired and my assistant left just before a exhibition ,but I felt it was important for them to take care of themselves. I gave them things that they worked on and showed up at their openings of their art work, the hardest part is thinking of somehting for them to do , or working in front of them as making art work is such a private thing that the self consciousness of working in front of some one is hard to overcome . I didn't think I wanted an assistant , a friend's daughter called out of the blue and asked if she could be my assistant , I said that I didn't really need an assistant , her mother called and asked me to reconsider, which I did and it became one of the best decisions I ever made the people who worked for me had skills I didn't have ,it became part of the way that I worked ,I could lay out something in the morning and they would work on it and could pick up where they left off.now I am back to working by myself ,as it is a very big decision to have someone so far in your life,and it must be a good fit.

The thing that young artist should be aware of is these disclosure agreements, and what they mean to them are they going to learn skill they will never be able to use in their art work, are they being treated with respect for the help that they are providing,also galleries and art dealer are constantly pressuring the art assistants for access information , where you are going to be so they can inadvertently show up there and run into the artist . what are they working so the assistant ,have to run this type of gauntlet. is the assistant seasonal ,are they expected to work full speed ahead during exhibitions 18 hour days until things are finished for the good of the art work. these are all questions young artists should ask themselves 

I learned so much that I would never trade, 

toastmasters

on my second day ,I was told keep myself busy ,walk around read exercise by a guy who was helping me get adjusted told me to go to the toastmasters meeting at 2:30 pmI had belonged to toastmasters on the outside,
( toastmaster is a public speaking club started in the 1920s it has a MC and different jobs you can do to help you over come your fear of speaking publicly)  I was very happy to go, the meeting was packed there were 40-50 guys at the meeting the meeting are set up so there is participation with everyone, the toastmaster was very comfortable , the jokes were very dirty sexual about the guards the warden.... I was called on as new guy #1 , and I was called on to see what I was about,there is a section called table topics . its to help you answer quickly off the top of your head.) the thing that made me think was how comfortable these guys were with each other, how little reservation they had in speaking in front of each other . as the months went by I came to realize that they were comfortable with each other because it had been the same people in the meeting for years, that they knew each other so well because they had spent years with each other, that you had no privacy but no one did, the lawyers in the audience were the brunt of alot of jokes , I would go on to make a speech about Malcolm X and how he would have been a forgotten burglar had it not been for toastmasters it gave him the foundation for speaking in public , his prison had a toastmasters meeting every two weeks it was a debate club about non inflammatory subjects , how long should a mother nurse , which is better for the baby mother milk or bottled milk. I  would be elected to the board at toastmasters every week I would walk around asking guys to make speeches, tell jokes, some of them would back out at the last minute and I would have to fill in myself or ask someone in the audience to step up. this was a great asset to me and my mind it made the weeks and months go by faster ,after we got elected two things happened it became clear that the president had bought the election , and that he was not liked by anyone, that he constantly lied to everyone would tell us the board and then do somehting else. the real trouble came when we got a new education counselor who didn't like the idea that we had titles and that we were elected she said it went against ,everything that it created a hierarchy, so the administration spent the following months trying to derail toastmasters , from taking away the credits it gave you towards going out to  on your paper work. during the meeting one of the guys who they called the professor ,I caught up with later , the Professor had some art education so we were able to talk, he was one of the few people in prison I could talk to , he had articles on Eva Hesse - one of the other guys had given him colored pencils a jar of colored pencils , he leant me the pencils so I could have somehting to draw from. these things were passed down from prisoner to prisoner ,drawing boards ,I would eventually leave my watercolors and brushes water color paper,I was able to get to another guys who was in my drawing class, Getting back to toastmasters I had seen many guys learn english in toastmasters, talk about the things they loved family ,or jobs they had done,it made everyone closer and more interested in each others lives , this was a great assesst 

interstellar and the subtraction of time :FLATLAND

we got the movie "interstellar " mike my friend who was part of the geek squad was very excited ( the geek squad- was my friends we weren't career criminals we didn't bet or play cards or run scams , Dave and I thought mike had been down for a number of years and was white collar but didnt fit in with the lawyers or hedge fund guys ,we all liked sci fi which wasn't exactly a all prison thing,) mike was very excited about "Interstellar" so we were all set up to see it, ( the movie room ,the tv room had 5 TVs in it , you wore your radio/walkman and listened to the TV on the ear phones ,the seats were all assigned by inmates ,movies started at 5pm and then after they were shown there we got it and played it in the classroom the nice thing about the classroom was 1. we didn't have to fight for a seat, 2. you didn't have to listen to the movie on headphones you could experience it with your friends share popcorn ... I would go to the guard on duty ask him if he could open the classroom so the guys without radios and the old guys ( who couldn't fight for a seat) could watch the movie and then I would go back to the class room and wait, as when you asked a guard to do somehting they could be seen just doing it for you , you would have to wait, if they got up and just did what you what you asked them they would lose face with the other guards , so sometimes it would be 15 min sometimes it would be 45 min. you got to know the guards and how much time they would make you wait so you go ask accordingly . once you got the class room open then a runner (who had a chair in the movie room) would bring the movie down, when I was leaving (prison) the class room had become really popular as we got a influx of new guys who hadn't fought for seats so they realized they could sit in the classroom without fighting , but then our seats were in jeopardy uhh so we now had to fight for seats , it was a drag but if you didnt do it  then you didnt watch a movie or eat , or what ever you needed a chair for. we got a white collar guy who was a real dick and it almost came to blows he had taken Dave's seat and mike stood up to him asking him at first to move so Dave who was teaching could sit, we explained that I got the room open and that we had set this up as a side thing and that if he contiuned to yell and fight the guard would close it down , he moved and grumbulled .I told him seats were stupid but he hadnt been here long enough to understand its importance and the weight it held ,that in a year he should think back on this convesation and see if he felt the same way , angry joe (thats what we called him ,becasue he thought he was better than all the other inmates and shouldnt be there) got up and left.

INTERSTELLAR  is 3 hrs long normally we would not be able to see a long movie like that because ,we got the movie at 7pm and lights out was at 10pm and we got shut down at 9:45 -but the general population wanted to watch a game so they gave us the movie at 5pm, GREAT ! this movie is about a father who leaves his daughter on earth knowing that when he comes back she will be his age that he is now because of space time ,so here we are fathers ,husbands leaving our families behind , it was very powerful and hard to watch as they had some fuck up in space and the father got back to earth in time to see his daughter die of old age, FLAT LAND: prison reminded me of edwin abbott's flat land in it the main character a square is going about his business in his 2 dimensional world when he see a dot-a line -a he doesn't know what she turns out to be a sphere,who can come and go from his 2 dimensional world ,we in prison have been subtracted a dimension , we are 2 dimensional characters time goes on without us,we can see it pass-like from a space ship window ,but your like a ghost you can have no effect on the outside world ,you can see it but like light from space by the time you see it it has already passed, the movies we got were all disaster movies or fathers fucking up , who picked these movies ,why were they so cruel . time went by out side life went on outside and like someone watching from edwin abbott's flatland as a 2 dimensional character you don't have 3 dimensions so you had no bearing in the outside world. funerals graduations marriages you saw them all from a distance , I had 2 friends who had their children die and they missed the funerals.(the warden could have granted their attendance ) when the main character in interstellar left earth and got into space human nature was the thing that derailed the project , a astronaut had gotten to a planet that could sustain life, his mission was to report that information and then starve or die so they could continue to look for life on other plants but instead he lied and said it was a paradise tricking them in to picking him up., early on in the 1980s I made a painting astronaut in a sand trap, the astrosunt is back on earth his mission over now has to deal with time and reality ,his knowledge and importance passing his by .

instituionalized behavior

 

one day early on when we first got to the camp ,we would sit outside under the trees, all the new guys would sit here, when I was there for awhile I noticed several sets of new guys sitting there wave after wave, the town driver who was an inmate was a predator he used his position to size guys up and see who he could take advantage of, one day we "new guys" were joking about all the odd habits that guys had, being unnerved by someone shuffling their feet, the whole not reaching across your cafeteria tray thing, if you reached across someone's food you could get punched in the head, as their tray had some kind of air rights, if you offered some one food you decanted it into a bowl or napkin this was to not transfer germs, we were sitting laughing about all these habits, and he got very serious as he had some of these habits and said that it sneaks up on you and after a year or two in prison if you could still have this position he would be surprised , that it was inevitable that each of us would develop these habits, It was up to your bunkie to make you aware of any issue the other inmate had with you, the guys didnt have alot to do so if you shuffled your feet , or walked to slow, or walked around in your underwear, it was up to your bunkie to set you straight , our friend paul his bunkie would wait until lights out at 10pm to tell him , Paul paul- the guys are complaining that you don't pick up your feet when you walk,- you have to stop...paul paul you leave your ... his bunkie at the time we called "he who runs with dark clouds" after years of being locked up everyone had differnt things that bugged them ,

every morning I would wake up after count and have coffee in the same chair looking out the window watching the sun rise ,or sit in the dark and , the guards would do count at 5 I would wake up and see if they were kind enough to open the kitchenette , (some times if they had caught some one out of bounds during the night they would leave it locked until 8am ) I would wake up get my instant coffee and go to the hot water dispenser, if the kitchenette was locked I would use tap water,in sitting there you could watch guys and their habits, like me they did the same thing everyday, one guy who actually could read would , sit by the light and recite the bible , the head of the unit orderlies would stomp around and complain about what a bad job cleaning everyone else had done,his got to was hate he ated everything and everyone , he wasn't bitter enough to derail your release like some guys but he was very vocal about it . other odd white guys were changed for life, it was looking at these behaviors that made me realize how easy it was to fall into these behaviors , some guys would stare into space , other guys would habitually spit into garbage cans going around from one garbage can to another . then the guy who runs the inmate store who never sleeps because he is always moving the store around a young guy a ex heroin dealer, would just walks around like a caged lion back and forth,back and forth , other guys are so worried about germs, they wear blue rubber gloves all the time  during the day all day, these behaviors they dont see anymore, they have been in a world where it is normal , they dont realize that it is odd, some guys  have come from decades inside, where the sink in the cell is a cooking thing, that is kept clean and dont ever spit in it , they get very upset in the common bathroom we have where people like me who have just come in whether its a year or six months its still not 10 years , brush thier teeth and spit in the toilet ,you see many guys who have these odd behaviors , who dont realize they have slipped into them can you catch yourself when you slip into these things or is it ,what do I have that is left over, being worried of not getting enough to eat, drinking hot water with lemon in it , when I came home I had all my licence and money in a plastic bag so you could see everything , she turned to me and said you know that looks really weird is that left over form prison and it was I had to remember to not do these things, when they happen I catch myself 

 

Featherbedding- or working for the BOP

I got to Prison and I was told that I needed to go to A&O before I could get a job, but since they had just had A&O the day I arrived I would have to wait until there were enough new inmates, and to just keep myself busy {A&O ,you meet every dept, mostly SIS which is like internal affairs SIS trumps everyone, if SIS is having an investigation they can close down the building they can investigate guards or counselors so everyone is afraid of them,they come in the building its like the SS has come in , mostly they are interested in telling you the shot series the rules so they can hold it against you, education come in , rec come in ,the phycologist DR brooks comes in ,and then you can work,} but since I didn't have A&O and my unit counselor was going on vacation for 3 weeks I wasn't scheduled to have A&O for 2 months ,keep yourself busy, time is so weird in prison its like being a ghost ,or living in a hole and trying to get messages out by throwing rocks with notes out on the ground. my mentor told me to get a schedule fill it up and then before I knew it it would be time to go to sleep, so I had a firm schedule of exercise meals reading drawing, the other thing that not working made it was easy for me to watch people and see what they were up to ,so I could stay away from them or try and ask them advise, I used this time to get a sense of what happened in our small world, the grounds were a 1/4 mile track and what was a small rec building to a golf course ,it looked like a grade school, there were signs every 100 yards that told you where out of bounds was. before MR P went on vacation he said go see the unit orderly and he will give you a job. I saw him and he said I was to be the weekend orderly for the bathrooms, so I worked sat and sunday at 3,5,8 I was to go in and do like a freshening up of the bathrooms clean the toilets and a quick mop. it was easy, some white collar guys saw work working as beneath them so they would hire other inmates to do their job, some inmates had 4 or 5 other jobs they did, and would make enough to live on , the lawyers were the worst they were used to everyone one listening to them also they would write appeals for unsuspecting inmates charging them $5000 or more, they would have their families pay on the out side and since they never put their names to anything they never got caught but they were the worst con artists. Prison jobs are either important or filler, the prison runs on a few inmates who can fix things make things , and the other jobs are really to keep you busy or embarrass you, the worst jobs were working at the Admin building because there was really nothing to do , so a guard at the front desk would spill a coffee and call you over waiting until you came over and wiped it up , they would have friday parties and have you clean up the break room, if you had everta food or small change on the floor pennies nickels that could get you in hot water with a shot ,so it was easier to stay away as the admin guards took great pleasure in to embarrassing  you and yelling at you.  after 2 months I had decided that I wanted to work in the welding shop, you walked to work, and fixed and made things, I put a cop out in and waited it took 3 months for me to get my job , I didnt want to jostle the hierarchy,so I stayed back and took instruction , after a few weeks my boss asked me to make some thing I passed I wasn't full of shit, I could make things, I was told that I could practice all day on the arc welder as long as I used scrap, I would weld for 8 hours a day .then one day my boss said get the small arc welder and put these things in the truck,your going on a job, we drove out of the prison and down the road it was really weird to be in a car drive down the road see people on the street,it had happened so quickly, me not being used to being outside. we got to the warehouse some guys had driven the truck into the loading dock and smashed it up ,my boss said IM going to visit this is your job and I want to see how you do. the lading dock was made out of 1/4 plate steel it was heavy,my boss went in to talk, when guards are talking which they do all the time you cannot interrupt them if you do , you could get a shot ,go to the SHU get extra work, be told to stand all day,so its better to let them play out, even if it means you stand there for hours. I repared the loading dock, My boss came in one day and he was very serious he said that he was going to offer me a job and I could refuse it if I wanted to ,I was to make cells for other inmates, the prison had a section for the criminally insane they could not be near other people their first reaction was to kill them , so they stayed in solitary all the time -for the rest of their lives , the feds had come up with a program to give them group therapy but they could be near each other , so we were to make therapy cells for them , the specs the DR had given us for the cells were 4'x4'x8' with a door I started to make one I could make a panel a day they were 4 walls and top, and looked very barbarick , they looked like a 19century lions cage with 1" round bar . we made one , and the first one they put a guy in it to see how he did the first one the little door in the front was to open so when you took his cuffs off , he climbed right out, so I had to make it smaller and with a steel door, then they gave them a plastic chair like we have and they broke the legs off and started stabbing at people , before  I went into production the prototype took several months with various changes making it more and more brutish ,in the mean time I made covers for thing the inmates would break into everything so I had to make covers for things so they could monkey around with it , covers for soap dispensers ,covers for oxygen tanks, covers for toilets,out of aluminum stainless steel,I got a lot of practice ,One day my boos had a top secret job, and they locked us up in the back they had been asked to cut up all the old shot guns we could see thru the shop,the guards cutting them up and joking around ,because we had skills ,we weren't bothered most of the time, if you ran into a guard they could ask you to do anyhitng wash their car, pick up garbage stand there , to refuse them was to be in direct violation ,so you could say no unless you wanted to go to the SHU, for the most part because we fixed the powerhouse boiler that made electricity ,heat air conditioning, we were left alone , we had one guard at the powerhouse that mostly treated his inmates like slaves, and the only time we had to deal with him directly was when it snowed ,we all got a shovel and shovled a path aorund the powre house , the power house was 1000 feet long and 100 feet wide it took all day we didnt really have winter clothses so you were outside with . in the cold just getting wet ,I reemember seeing a episode of orange is the new black where the inmates are out in the middle of the night shoveling snow with little shovels and the snow just keeps blowing back on to the path this is what it was like,I was ammused by this. I got to be #1 welder, I got alittle cart and would be sent out on jobs all over the grounds.this made the time go by very quickly, and my boss let me make scuptures out of scrap, I amde 3 schulpres and hung them up on the walls of the shop. I had a little bit of civiliy alittle piece of sanity that I could hold. 

drawing classes in prison

After I spoke to the Rec counselor at prison she told me that I could take the class over, the inmate who had taught the class had left and he had not given it to anyone { classes,jobs that are desirable are sold or given to friends and family,} I didnt want to step on the inmate who taught the calligraphy ,card making class so  I went to him and asked if he would mind if I taught the drawing class before I had a chance to do this he found me and said he had heard that I drew and ,that he had the class,but he didnt know how to draw,if I taught him how to draw, then we could share the class ,I didnt really want to share the class, I eventually ironed it out with him , { his classes like a lot of the classes never happened or if they did happen attendance was given everyone was present/ if he taught the card making class then no one would hire him to make cards,if he taught calligraphy then everyone could do it , so he never taught it the guys got credit , the counselor got a attendance sheet they could file. everyone was happy cards cost 25-40 dollars in commissary )

I waited until the days got shorter beforeI taught classes, we could still be in the rec trailer a small double wide that was used for church,exserisize, classes. I had to kick the exercise guys out which they weren't to happy about, I had a paired down version of drawing from the right side of the brain I kept some things, and didnt use other things and added some projects, one of the things I didn't use was drawing a self portrait, I thought that these guys are confronted with themselves everyday having to study yourself and make a drawing you're unhappy with was a bit much. so I stayed with the safe things: drawing a image from your past, drawing your hand, and drawing a scene from the room. but what I didnt count on was that nothing was safe every draw triggered something , draw the room was very hard as there was nothing in the room everything was taken out of it so the guards could check the room quickly with out havinng to dig around, so it was an empty trailer with some chairs and folding tables,the chruch had soem posettias so I took one and put it on a table , this worekd out great as it had color and softness that nothing else had. HOWEVER  when I asked the guys to draw thier hands I had some issues,one day a guy was drawing his hand and I walked by and said , the idea behind this practice was to learn to look-and that your not quite looking at his hand ,he insisted that he was-this went on for a little while and I tok his hand and turn it over to show him what was missing from his drawing as he had failed to draw all his fingers when I turned his hand over he didnt have those fingers he had two fingers on his hand, this exact thing happen 2 more times where I got a student with missing fingers. another time a student for some reason had chosen to draw his palm and when I pointed this out all his fingerprints were burned off. 

my rec counselor : got me some pencils and paper she told me to keep it in my bunk area ,I wanted her to not this as we were only allowed to keep 5 books and current magazines in your bunk area no magazine over 3 months old , they would go thru every once and a while and throw everything out, I would be able to keep most of the supplies only once just before christmas when the guys were working on drawings to send home ,we had a big shake down they brought us all into the TV room and turned over everything and strip searched us ,did they throw away all the drawings the guys were sending home for christmas, they had been working for a month on these drawings, I tried to get them back the 3rd time I went back I was told that the SHU van was still outside and if I Asked again they more than happy to put me in it, the net class was hard I had to get the guys to start their drawings all over again,

the most important thing to the prison is there count,and punishment , the classes they could care less about- so they found some cell phones in the trailer so the trailer was locked for 6 months ,so I had to find another place to have classes, I went to the class room, I looked at the 3 schedules the regular schedule the rec schedule and the education schedule I realized that they all used the same time the they were in complete conflict, I asked my rec counselor if I could use the class room and she said yes ,butI would have to ask the inmates and figure out when it was open, this negotiation took 3 weeks to find out when the class room wasnt in use. one of the education guys had sold his time to the gambling house so they could have their weekly meeting about the house take,the house took 10% of all the gambling sports fantasy football card games ,it didnt matter if you had a card game with friends if you bet on some hting you had to give, so this involved all the runners who reported on what they saw, then the accountants tallied and the bosses decided on who owed what. I walked in on one of these meeting once , I got the class room and it was great for a while until we got kicked out some kids(20 somethings were sneaking out the classroom window at night and seeing their girl friends , one was to fat so he broke the window , this closed the classroom for 6 months while they investigated and decided what exactly to do so there were no GED classes no classes for credit, I still wanted to teach drawing so I asked if I could teach in the cafeteria after dinner, the cafeteria had been closed since they were caught gambling in the cafeteria and using the toaster to make grilled cheese after hours, I got the cafeteria opened up , and my class was allowed to be in there ONLY this created some bad blood with the guys who wanted to play cards and watch TV, at first some inmates who decided that because I was so serious about my class that they should guard the door and not let anyone interfere with my class this work for a few months , until the main guy who was guarding the door for me Scotty got sent tot the SHU ,he brought moives in game of thrones , current movies and they had a sting operation and caught him getting his movies at the drop . so now guys came in and played cards and watched TV , I had to police the cafeteria , and I only had to kick the  card game out, some jerky old nightclub owner was annoyed that the other guys weren't taking the card game seriously so he started yelling and throwing things , I didnt like this guys anyway , and then I found out that he threw away all his plastic utensils and cups , so that ever few month we wouldn't have any the cafeteria guard was mad that all the plastic utensils and cups were gone so he wouldn't replace them. so we would go months with no utensils to eat with or any cups to drink . so I was more than happy to ban richard from the cafeteria. we eventually got kicked out of the cafeteria , and I gave my friend Dave my class when I left so the class could continue, teaching gave me an extra $40 / month I only made 30 working every day at welding so this meant that my family didnt have to send money for me to live,I will save this for another time but if you dont have money coming in , you can't live in modern prison , you have to pay for everything . 

Prison Diary second

After I had tried to sleep thru the night I woke up and went to Breakfast Breakfast was at 6:30-6:45am it was either grits,oatmeal,cold cereal , with some kind of muffin or roll , and coffee all meals were to be eaten in 15min we were supposed to have a 1/2 hour but that was never followed ,I didn't know anything after I went to Breakfast I went to my bunk and sat, I thought of a few questions to ask the unit counselor , I wanted some art supplies ,I wanted to teach a art class ,I wanted a job, when I had asked to go to camp I was interested in the dog program but you had to be in prison for 6 months first and then have at least 18months after that, since I had 18 months this ruled that out as they could keep me for the minimum time if I entered the dog program . which would mean I would be in 6 months longer, The unit counselor was know to be reasonable ,I also had a meeting with my team leader, (a Team leader is a counselor who helps you keep track of your record and make arrangements for you to go back home, 

counselor ,MR P had a open door policy if his door was open you could knock and ask him questions , I went after breakfast and knocked , he said I would have to ask the rec counselor for information about art supplies , when I was in there Dr Brooks showed up again and was harassing us as we talked , like a little devil in the conversation he kept telling mr P to let me redo the murals that I was an artist and it would keep me busy, mMr P wrote it down on a pice of paper and told Dr Brooks to get lost. occasionally Dr Brooks would have to prove he was treating someone so he would randomly run up in to guys and ask them their number, write it down and ask them if they wanted to kill them selves, his goal was to get 5 names and then leave, Every counselor is separate and the guards , the unit manager the rec education counselor are all separate and they don't talk to each other, so if one make a rule that runs over someone else's , they just keep both. so certain things like the class room have 3 schedules , religion ,education , rec all using the same space , and they keep all 3 schedules , so most of the time 3 different things are scheduled , in the same space since this is impossible the inmate instructors work out the real schedule ,this takes weeks of negotiation . this took me 6 months to figure out .as I kept looking at the schedules printed on the wall and nothing would be there or something completely different would be there so often , when asking a question the answer would be why don't you ask one of the other inmates. 

I went to my team meeting and had a bunch of questions for my team leader, she was mainly concerned and rightly so that my paper work get transferred to my home state, after we got that out of the way she told me stay out of trouble dont get any shots or she would throw my paper work in the garbage and she wasn't going to do it over . (shots are violations listed from 1-5 1 being the worst ,killing someone or smuggling drugs into the prison, 5 being sneaking food back tot he bunks, each # has 10 violations with it , 1.01 1.02 etc. most of the time for a 4 or5 series shot the guard would make you do extra work or push ups in front of everyone  as the paper work was a headache.) I asked my team leader if she could tell me how to get art supplies she said no, after along silence I asked her if she could tell me who I could ask and she said the rec counselor - she said her office was down the hall,, I went to the rec office and knocked after a while someone waved me in , I said I was looking for the rec counselor and she said she wasn't the rec counselor I asked her if she could tell me when the rec counselor would be in and she said no. I asked her a few questions about art supplies and she said to ask the rec counselor and she sent me out. I asked my friend and he told me what car the rec counselor drove and what her license plate was, I said do you know what car every one drives and he said yes and you will too if you want to talk to them, their schedules are erratic and they dont have a schedule that you can follow after a week I finally got in front of the rec counselor , she asked me my # and got me on the screen this was often the first thing counselors or guards would ask you as other would leave notes about you, I asked her about the art supplies and she looked me up and well you havent taken a BOP approved art course so I couldn't order art supplies , I explained I was a artist and had worked in the field for 30 years and she said I still had to take a course, I mentioned on my way out that I wanted to teach a art class and she well you can teach a rt course "but no paint .no Paint in camp" just drawing .I said i would love to teach a drawing class I had a outline for a drawing class I had been working on she said she didnt care what I taught them , but while I was teaching the class I should enroll my self so I could order art supplies . she said she wouldn't recommend starting it until fall as the guys stayed outside as long as possible and they wouldnt show up . unless it was cold outside .I took this advise and would start my class in sept. 

the first day

so after a few days in the SHU I was pushed out into the parking lot at the admin building ,I meet a inmate who had a job as a driver , the inmates at the camp ran the prison we had various jobs form repairing plumbing heating air conditioning to nothing "feather bedding , a term that means there is really no work but you have a lot of guys doing the same job mopping the floor ,dusting, alot of white collar guys saw working beneath them so they would pay others to do their job, they would have $20/ a week sent into your commissary account. "

I got dropped off at the second place ,my family had dropped me off the little grade school ,I was told to go in and talk to the guard on duty and he would tell me where to go I had my glasses and my list of contacts my friend's address on the outside phone #s for my lawyers that held tight in my hand, I we inside and guys were walking all over the place back and forth , I turned left to the guard and knocked on the door after be pushed and prodded by the SHU guards I was scared and reluctant to talk, he told me to go thru the door that says "out of Bounds" and that was the first and only time I would be able to walk thru that door, if I was caught going thru the door again it would be a shot, I went thru the door and our unit counselor was at the first door, we spoke he had my file I shock his hand and he said that he would shake my hand but that was the last time that guards didn't shake inmates hands ,safety germs.... he was very nice and set up my visitor list so my wife and kids could visit that weekend I was very lucky in my timing as some guys got to the SHU in self surrender and waited weeks months to go to camp . I had nothing still I hadnt shaved brushed my teeth changed my clothes ,I had slippers and ill fitting clothes that siad R&D on the name tag these were decommissioned clothes by someone who had gone home.I was bunk 1A , the worst noisest bunk in the camp , the light never went off it was right by the card tables and guys played cards and chess all night the night guard would pick on you becasue you were the first person that he saw when he came in . as I was getting the rules form the unit counselor the hamburglar came in and started talking over the counselor, he ignored him and just kept talking I could hear him but the psychologist didn't care he just kept talking about my case and how the camp should get me to redo the murals in the waiting room. he would bother people and push them all the time ,Dr Brooks he was quite crazy and everyone even the guards didn't take him seriously the problem was with us he could get you locked up so we all stayed away from him . I was told that the mayor pete who was an ex mayor would give me a bed role and show me where my bed was, I walked down the hallway and I saw my bunk right in front 1upper 1 A , I meet my bunkie who never left the bunk, he stayed there all the time unless he was playing cards at night but all day he stayed in his bunk , he looked like mike tyson but he was very nice , he told me what to do who to listen to , always ask him first , if I had any questions don't trust anyone , I my clothes would come for a few days so I was just going to have to wear what I had , he found someone to give me a pair of short pants as it was july and 90 degrees .I wanted to draw but I dint have any paper art supplies pencil , I had just showed up at lunch time so I went into the lunchroom I had run into someone else who would help me a lawyer named craig, I just happened to talk to him and he told me to sit, next to him that there were 130 guys and only 75 seats in the lunchroom to get a seat and keep it defend it kick anyone out who sat in it because come winter I would want it, he lent me a pair of sneakers that were size 13 way to big but they weren't the boots that I had been given , or the slippers I layed down on my bunk after lunch and just stayed there as I was scared to walk around to much , my bunkie got me some copy paper but still no pen or pencil , the cmap system was developed in the 1970s for white collar guys they didn't fit into prison, in the beginning the Feds got any building they could get their hands on old schools hospitals , the buidling were what ever they were the rec building to a golf course , the building was never meant to have poelpe live in it year round , some places had gyms or auditoriums , we did have a track that was godsend , in the 1980 the camps were a joke , guys would leave, hookers would come in, guards didnt care, then they had inmates from prison get their point low engouh to come to camp so if you were in prison for 15 years and you got your pionts low enough you could come to camp your pionts had to be 10 or belwo to get into camp and you had to have less than 8 years , anyone with more than 8 years had to go to prison , my bunkie had 9 years in of a 13 year sentecne he had worked his way intot he camp, my pionts were 1 , my papers said capacity for criminal activity ,none , my buknie told me I was to nice to open that my kindness was percived as weakness that I had to be careful , that I didnt get taken advantage of, the first night I stuggled to stay away until lights out, we had to get counted at different times we had resting counts and standing counts our counts were 5am(resting) 8:40am (resting) 12:40 (resting) 4pm (standing) 10pm (standing) 12 am (resting ) 3am(resting)  there ws a blue flashing light in every room when it was on you were being counted and you had to stay in your bunk area some guards would leave the flashing light on all night so they could always call you out of bounds and try and get you sent to the SHU , the guardds goal was to send as many inmates to the SHU as Possible , if they caught one of us doing some thing or with somehting they would get promoted , so they weer always looking, the first night the guys played cards until 3am the light never went out I stuffed toliet paper in my ears and wrapped a touwle around my head I eventually got to sleep

Prison Diary

the first day: My family dropped me off , the GPS address brought us the the back entrance of the prison as I drove up my children and wife started crying when they saw the razor wire, the fence 20' high had an iner fence and an outer fence the outer fence had 2 spools of razor wire on the ground and 3 spools of razor wire at the top. it was shimmering in the sunlight of the early morning we were told to get to the prison at 7:30 I was self surrendering . as we pulled up I got out of the car and a man came from a garage door in a big warehouse looking building on the side of the prison,( this was the power plant and welding shop that I would eventually work in and I myself would come and redirect families later-as only guards drove up and parked where we were any family that showed up or civilian you knew was lost,as the address of the prison is not really posted anywhere and the Websites and information online is usually wrong or out of date it is not helpful either. he told us to go down the road and make a left . we got back in the car went back down the road and made a left- and pulled into what looked like a grade school as I got out of the car - al large female guard ( the guys called her the wookie ? she was actually very nice but had a swear mouth , and knew that most of the things the guys tried to get away with didn't matter, stealing food etc so she would let us get away with it ) she came out and started yelling as she walked "not fuckin here, stop your crying and get back in the car not fuckin here" she sent us back down the road to the Admin entrance . we pulled up and my family started crying again I said goodbye , got my glasses ,contact list and books as I was told I could bring, and kisses everyone goodbye and walked to the entrance . they would later tell me they stayed there crying to see if it was the right address and eventually left, in silence . I walked in side and told the guard at the desk I was a self surrender , he called down and told me I was early and there probably wasn't anyone in yet.- so sit down and wait .

 The other side : I was called in a Guard came over and told me to put my stuff in the scanner and go thru the metal detector, we walked and I walked in front of him , imates always walk in front of the guards we went down stair to a U-shaped desk he took , asked me a few questions about who I was they asked you questions about your case trying to trick you do you know so and so, where did you least work ,who is the person, I guess people pay other people to do their time so they want make sure that you are who you say you are.  every few minutes the guard would walk away and bull shit with the other guards and tell me to stand there, I would learn that this is common something the might take 15 minutes to do would be dragged out, at the inconvenience of the inmate, if you said something , you might get handcuffed and put in a room or simply wait there all day, I saw a nurse who gave me a TB test she was very nice , I was brought into a room and told to take off all my clothes for some reason thie didn't bother me to walk around with no clothes on in front of guards , they were doing their job and didn't like it either but had to do it, I was given brown clothes which were the color of the prison uniform ,they didn't fit they were too big , I had silp on shoes ,I was directed into a holding cell , it was all fucked up the toilet was bent the paint was all dug up with was a cement bench and cold, I would learn that heat and cold is a way of controlling us , they would keep it really cold or unbearably hot, nothing was going thru my head when this was happening , I was just there, I bald headed man with a lip and very comic came in I was put in a room with a desk and asked to fill out a form it asked you questions if you were suicidal were you on drugs , did you have a drinking problem , he told you to say no to all the questions and teased me about my case, telling me how smart did I think I was now, and of course Im under stress Im being sent to Prison, ( would later learn that this man was very dangerous that he was the Prison Psychologist and could have you put behind the fence the other real doctors made fun of him because he was a hack we called him the hamburglar as he showed up on hamburger Wednesday to harass us ,in camp), I was eventually hand cuffed with my hands behind my back and walked into the Prison , we walked in the sun down between the busilding, past the indian sweat lodge to the SHU door a small door in the side of a buidling with no windows, I was handed off to the SHU Guards who are trained to be mean and abusive , they dont really answer you of say anything , I was put in a holding cell and orange clothes were thrown on the floor, I was told to turn around and back into the door ( all the doors have a little door just above waist high , to get food clothes or get your hand cuffs off) you back into the door and they take your handcuffs off, then you take all you clothes off the brown clothes they just gave me and after you naked you turn around and then after you kick your clothes over to a corner you can put on your other clothes, I put on the orange clothes and was told to back into the door ( oh I forgot when I was brought in they put all my belongngs into a box to send home they took my books and put them in there and tried to take my second pair of glasses and put them in there too, but I said Iwas alwod 2 pair of glasses, when I was in the SHU they took my second pair of glasses and my contect list , and thru them away /is what they told me,they just put them with my brown clothes)  I was walked to a second floor cell and the guard asked me if I could read and I said yes he gave me a book he just grabed one, it was a nystery about the love cannal trial , he put in my cell becasue I was still under my TB test and becasue my securty Level was 1 out of a possbile 30 I couldnt be with any other prisoner the cell was narrow and cold these cells are kept very cold, the prsioner before me hand taken toliet paper and out it in the the poliet made it into a big paper mache wad and thrown it up at the grill blocking most of the cold air from coming in,there was no time here no sense of the day passing , I was wondering if this is were I was to stay for a year in a half nothing was exsplained to you, after a while I was wondering about Jasper the man who had sent me here and wondering if this was his intention or if it was somehting he even thought of, after a while a guard came by and opened the little door and yelled, he had a tray of food , I took it the food was all kind grey every item was the same odd color, but it tasted good, there were other imates in other cells you could hear them but the cells are set up so you can see anyhitng , they would yell and sceam all the time day and night kick the door so the building shook , the hamburgerler came in and would give them a setitive and I would have some peace for a few hours, but then they would wake up and kick the door and scream again , I would learn later that guys would be in the SHU for 6 months or so , you could really get punished any more than that so they would break everything be a pain in the ass. after a while the love canal book started to look very good, I read it it was very technical and alot about court proceeding ,but after a day I got into it, I went to the top bunk even thought it was very hard to get up there ,I was slow getting down when the guard came and yelled so he took my lunch away , so the next time I heard him come I stayed down in the lower bunk, As I looked up I saw that someone had scratched into the bunk "dont believe the guards they iie about everything"  when the guard came by with dinner he told me there was no room in camp so I would be in the SHU for a few weeks to get comfortable .I remembered what I had read and was comforted by the information not to believe them . the lights were really bright so when I thought it was night time I got up and pushed what I thought was the light switch, the guards came running in with batons , and asked me what was wrong I said I was trying to turn the light off , by pushing the button, they yelled at them that was the murder button and if an inmate was killing me I would push that button , dont ever push that button, now we have to do paper work.... to punish me for doing this they left the light on all the time except when I was eating then they would turn it off. After a few days I had almost finished the book when a guard came by and told me to get my shit together and dont be late when I come back I was moving, I rushed and got my blanket and glasses book together ,I backed into the door and she a mean little guard I would come to fear later, she was known as the chicken hawk  , she pulled on my arms and strained them, pushing me , I was put back in the holding cell they took my book and thru it back in the pile I would never find out how it ended.  A guard came from the A&D admission and distribution and walked me back down as soon as we were out of the SHU door he took my cuffs off he said he wasnt really supposed to do that but I was going to camp so he did see any point in keep ing hand cuffed  . we walked back thru the doors into the area I came into the took my brown clothes away and gave me green clothes  they told me that the camp has alot of freedoms and alot of rules , dont fuck it up , its easy to fuck it up and get sent in behind the fence , while I was in camp 75-80 guys out of the 130 total would be sent out of camp to the prison, some for nothing,for looking or being difficult, some for real things drinking or having drugs, I was sent down the corridor, I was brought back out to the entrance and I was pushed out side alone and told to get in the SUV that was sent for me , I saw a white RAV 4 I opened the door and a indian guy with a beard and a pony tail told me to get in , he was very laid back and and told me I made it ,( I would learn later that everyone in camp is dangerous and that most of the predators are the best actors, I have friends that are actors they are blanks in sense they can be anything with out a trace of tier interiors ,the conmen in side are experts at this,I was very lucky I got some good advise , you come in alone and you go out alone, dont be fooled this is prison. I had a good bunkie he had been in for 9 years and told me to do things that kept me safe. the next time  I will write about my first week in camp

artists and art assistants ,

Artists and assistants : I Am trying to create a dialog about the relationship between artists and their assistants in the renaissance assistants were a part of the artists school all working together on the same painting the artists would be commissioned to make a painting the assistant depending on their skill would fill in the landscape work on fruit, paint hands the artists would come in when most of the work was done and paint the face correct things about the work the assistants did . the assistants had this idea that they would have their own school someday , but that was the goal and everyone was clear on it. currently artists work with assistants some have 2 or 3 assistants that do mundane tasks such as cleaning shopping for food , so the artists can spend all their time focused on making, or thinking, other artists have such large works or so many that the assistants help with making, I will run down some of the scenarios that exist and talk about each one. some artists have a very professional studio with clear boundaries of what is expected , time off compensation ,bonuses other artists use the grey vague area to whittle away on the assistants conscience so the assistant is always wondering if they had done the right thing , I feel that as the art world demands art to be more 21 century the artists and assistant roles have to also get out of the middle ages . often the guilt of the show must go on , the artwork must be made ,everyone working towards the common good ,is used as a guilt chip to move the assistants ,weather it is working days on end or not taking time off until the show is installed or the sculpture or artwork is created , these are all things that should be talked about . but the artist either because they are not used to being in charge of a business or because they like the vague quality because they know the assistants will always do their best . so they get more work out of them . 

some artists like Robert Longo have credited their assistants in the description of the artwork, some artists like Chuck Close and Murakami  know their assistants have ambition of their own and help them with their careers so that they can leave on a positive note. other artists trap their assistants so that they can't leave and wont work for anyone else. but the artist assistant relationship should be out inn the open so that it is not a dirty secret .I was recently made aware of a newer version of this that the sweat shop in art ives on , art fabrication studio as sort of one stop shop of making art objects from paintings to foundry arts the artist no longer has to keep track of assistants they all work under one roof , how ever they are treated as common workers and have very few rights. When I worked with jasper I helped bring prints to BAT ready to print , this was long process and would often take months to a years , I would often work on the washes for the plates , the printers after they worked on the edition would get a copy of each print they worked a sort of retirement fund , and archive for thier old age because as a asst I had none of these protection I worked on 100s of print editions and never got one of these compensations , because jaspers prints became worth so much he would meter out how often he would give the printer a PP printers proof , the printers got pissed off at this and would make them any way for themselves and slip them in the pile of the edition during signing embarrassing the artist so the artist would have to be a real dick not to sign these prints the were in the tradition of what the printer could get, but because I was not protected by this tradition ,  I was seen in this case as another artist , not a worker ,these are the types of grey areas . Art asstants are prtected and can file with the seane painters Union but they are not told this and it is not encouraged , but it would help them , when someothing like this is done the artists cry that they are only a mom and pop store and how can the asstants be so crass as to make these demands