Give until it feels good is a series of sculptures made for residents of Los Angeles’ Skid Row over the summer of 2020. With the exception of Lot #15 and Lot #10, which were made in New York, this work was strategically placed in view of the houseless in California. Documentation images are available as photographic pigment prints upon request. 100% of proceeds go towards the operating costs of a food distribution charity run out of Ubers.



For two months I’d been living in a penthouse in downtown los angeles “as a journalist”, or under the auspices of journalism. (It occurred me that I’d spent most of my adult life this way despite not having published a single piece until the age of 29.) The IWW sent me a press pass for having an instagram account and Leon and I drove out to Palmdale and witnessed the lynchings there, or the aftermath of the lynchings there-- for the Black community there is no difference. Meanwhile I made around a sculpture a day. By the time #metoo popped off again I couldn’t say anything online without making somebody I didn’t know angry. “I hate speech,” I said, whenever I managed to piss someone off.  
Usually people choose to either ignore my choice of my words or ignore my choice of activity. In this case it was both. Or maybe the gesture just seemed so obvious to me I didn’t see the point in trying to explain it. The lack of market context or my lack of storage space. The virtue of the art audience-- the assumption of a public, this undifferentiated whole with progressive ideas and an urgency to “question” and “engage” was what we all complained about. Until “the public” was a euphemism for getting sick. I found myself having to explain that I wasn’t making art with homeless people and that homelessness was neither the medium nor even, particularly, a thematic interest.

It’s just that the idea of the art object felt pointless, neurotic. Else it was liberating in its vacancy, in its psychological persistence. I couldn’t (after the pandemic) imagine ever being packed into a room full of strangers and an open bar regardless of how clean the walls were. Dean invited me to come talk about the death of art on his podcast, the galleries were falling like dominoes, and the age of the international contemporary art fair was coming to a close. It had to. The temporary morgues resembled a bit too much the pavilions. They were made of the same materials. They occupied, in New York, even the same park grounds.

“The homeless” is countless but not plural. The homeless never quite amount to either mass or mob. The homeless are not defined by not having a home - because by that definition, I would be homeless. The homeless are not defined by the amount of money they possess- because by having $150 in my bank account, I would be among them. And I’m not. My poverty is freedom. A man came up to me on Spring St. and asked if I had any money to give him. He said he’d just gotten out of jail. I didn’t have anything smaller than a $20 and the liquor I’d just bought. I gave him the $20. I thought about the feeling of getting out of jail and the first person you encounter who isn’t a cop. A friend asked me “shouldn’t you be worried?” I said no, the guy has nothing, and besides, $20 gets you a lot farther at the CVS than it does at the commissary. She directed me to the fact that I was now only $130 richer than the man and that I could have given him food. But he didn’t ask me for food.

Journalism was to me professionally what studio art had been for me academically: active leisure. Refuse to launder a conceptual art practice through a six-figure art institution and you can count on everything you do being totally illegible regardless of how well you document it. When people asked me about my work as a journalist I just talked about “the language of democracy” because that’s how I understood it: democracy, like journalism, is a front job.

I’m the daughter of financial crisis and the single-income household. By the time I graduated high school, the year of the 2008 crisis, becoming a homeowner was as transcendental a concept as walking on Mars. I had to explain to people that I didn’t feel an affinity with the homeless because I’d grown up poor but because by the time I grew up I was rich.

I’m of the generation that understands unemployment as a mode of production. Millennials are freelancers. We’re known for little more than an ability to live beyond our means. Often I don’t work for months at a time and if you ask me what I’m doing I’ll say that I’m working. It’s all so abstract. The sculptures I made in Los Angeles are less about the object than they are about assets. They’re photographed on a glass balcony with the digital camera my father bought in 2001 just before he went on disability. Many are made out of ice or with ice, the ‘ice sculpture’ being not quite a language of form but a dialect of ornament. Ice sculptures belong in cruise ships and high school proms. Ice sculptures are the only thing you cannot have.

Anyway this project felt like one of the more straightforward things I’d ever done.

For more information on this project, please contact me.