Wednesday, November 4, 2009

MARK RICE: A Little Hungry

Mark Rice, 2005

Mark Rice used to live in Bloomington IN, where he was well-known for his artistic and musical contributions to the sleepy city's generally transient and collegiate culture. He's toured the world, intermittently exercised some songwriting muscle, and as co-founder of Art Hospital (a Bloomington music venue and art gallery) he regularly showed his paintings, drawings, packages and installations. He once tried to fly off a roof with wings he made, and regularly frequented the same Subway sandwich shop as Jared. These days Mark performs as THIT and pursues graduate studies at RISD.

What do you do? What are you doing the most lately?
As of right now, I am listening to Oneida's record Come On Everybody Lets Rock. It sounds exactly like you think it would sound.....satin-y smooth.....Tonight is the night of my going away party. I am leaving my home of 11 years for the the east coast, specifically Providence, RI to go to graduate school for printmaking. So to answer this question, I would have to say that I am moving...To all who have moved or are planning to move, I have realized something about the entire process....The first is rather sucks...bad...Its nostalgic and physically demanding, not to mention, if you are a pack rat like me that loves to write run-on sentences, then it is also, heart-wrenching and frustrating. The second part is rather difficult to realize when YOU, the mover, are caught in the depths of a powerful MOVE.....It is not only boring to discuss to friends who ask,"how's the move going?" It is boring to the speaker of the lumbering complaints that follow such a question...Its strange to hear yourself boring yourself to death....So, to answer this question in the public forum in which I have chosen to participate, I will answer a different version the question......"What are you planning to do?" Many things actually, thank you so much for asking!..........I will describe 2....considering there are many questions to this interview, this only the first question, and that I don't type very fast....The first will be my VERY first solo music performance. This with happen in Providence, RI on October 1st at the RISD Museum. It is part of a group show curated by RISD grad students entitled "This Show is About Rock n Roll." The second is a project that is in the planning stages entitled "The Private Self-Assurance of Poor Paul Portmoy." It is an interactive sculpture featuring music by Jordan C. Geiger of Minus Story and Hospital Ships (Lawerence, KS) It has to do with self-image, lies, and how not EVERYbody has a good sense of humor or is good in bed, but we all think we are, or have to think in some way that we are special....Also, for the last 10 years I have been in both national and multi-national music bands. In the past six years, you say that music was my job...although I was always terrified of thinking of it as that. Previous and current bands include: Magnolia Electric Co., The Coke Dares, The Impossible Shapes, The John Wilkes Booze, Ativin, Early Day Miners, and some more.... boom boom bam! NEXT!


How long have you done these things?
My mother, Judith Ann Rice, is a Renaissance Woman in her own right. Sculptor, printmaker, painter, ceramicist, teacher, and puller of amazing salt water taffy, just to name a few. Her and my father have always been more than supportive of not only creative ventures, but being true to yourself no matter what the consequences. I know that last one sounds a little cheesy. I'm a little hungry right now. I get a little hectic and sappy when I get hungry.....Long answer SHORT......I have been making things in someway or another for the entirety of the memorable part of my life.

Why do you do them? How does it make you feel?
Ummmm.....A seemingly easy question....I suppose I prolly do it (this is real deep down now) because of control. I like a little tiny area that I get to be GOD. I do it for many more reasons now, but that one has definately been a long runner. I spent a lot of time alone and made little cities. Being able to get lost in something and have hours go by.....This can happen with anything (lawn care, cake baking, CLEANING, staring, etc.) Now that I am getting a bit older, I try to put this Zone to good use in the music, art, or the curation or organization of each, respectively. I really like the Zone, the concentration mode that when you emerge you get to step back and see exactly what Mr. Hyde happen been working on. Feel? Well, I feel nothing in the Zone. If all is going well, I feel nothing in the Zone. Exciting Pressure? It might be called that....I guess I dont know...NEXT!

THIT stage

When was That Moment in your life that told you you would become what you are? What happened?
I am constantly oblivious. Only in retrospect to I usually realize what big "life trends" like that mean. I really didn't even know you could go to school for Art until halfway through my undergraduate degree. If I'm not having to make money to pay the bills, sleeping, or doing some sort of simple math, I am prolly making something or thinking about making something. It not usually a very intellectual process nor is it a strenuous one, nor does it happen always the same way...been little baby steppers towards a product and hopefully that one inspires another one and so on....Let me think a little more, but I really don't think I have a "Moment." Lots of little ones...

How has your life changed or not changed to accommodate that moment's effect on you?
Well, I slowly started living in buildings and homes that have less of a focus on comfortable living space (kitchens, beds, couches, cable tv, reliable gas/heat/electricity/water, etc.) into spaces that accommodate a larger range of projects (i.e. trailers, warehouses, tarp houses, garages, etc.) And also, learning to live on a fluctuating and low income (bartering, recycling, simplifying, etc.).

How has your work affected your life in return?
Well, I have only lived once that I remember (sometimes) so the only other way to answer would be to compare my life to someone else's life and I feel that to be a dangerous and weak argument. I am happy when work is going well and I am frustrated and annoying when work is going bad. Mostly happy though. HAPPY!

Does David Lee Roth affect who you are? If so, how?
I respect the man's taste in fashion. If he is a sex symbol (is he?) that is heralded by heterosexual women and he will choose to wear say, a woman's one-piece bathing suit, wear his hair like a WWF skydiving instructor, and paint his face like a sun-burned Avon lady then, shit, man.....Now that I think about it he has inspired me a lot!

Do you have anything you'd like to ask me?
That "Moment" question really got me......can you answer that one for yourself? I would like to hear that....and then when you are done could you answer it for me?
When I was 15 I was listening The Clash London Calling for the first time ever through walkman headphones and when the first bars of that song came on, I looked up at the sky which was perfectly blue with Octobery colors drifting all around and I thought "YES" just like that in big large letters and felt whole and thrilled by it.

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