The classroom was bigger than what I imagined from the pictures in the online ad, big enough to accommodate my arms. Using small notebooks, I started writing on the small desks. The position of the body was painful to maintain (sitting on my ankles) and required discipline, which led me to Foucault’s “Discipline and Punish” (1977). Who else I was referencing with my work? I decided to acknowledge those influences with portraits hanging in my school. On small canvases I painted some portraits with ink. The first were Foucault and Mierle Ukeles. Then Donna Haraway, Walter Benjamin and VALIE EXPORT appeared, among others. Some of the faces were more familiar for me than others; some were more accomplished as portraits than others. I hung the portraits on the walls of my classroom.
I was trying to write about miniatures, and trying to situate my own research in relation to this maintenance time. My research is primarily about domestic space, but it is also about how my research is situated within my domestic space: what does it mean to negotiate research time in a domestic context: in relation to myself, to the professional work I do (mostly at home), to my family. There is frequently humor in my performative work based on this, because of the paradox, the battle always won by the everyday. It is a self-deprecative exercise–a way to not consider my research seriously– but there is also an aim to blur hierarchies among different kinds of work performed at home, considering academic research one of them. My intention was to inscribe the practice of writing as practice, as crafting (Bogost, 2012). By locating the writing as another practice I intended to question, obliquely, its supremacy as a research output.