I recently made the acquaintance of Sarah Pierce. I was visiting Boston for work and staying in a warehouse full of artists, crafts people and dungeons, uh, I mean, electronics repair shops.
I’ve only visited Boston five times and while I am growing a greater client base in the area my free time is typically spent holed up in the dungeon nerding out on the internet in between sessions. Last night I got a knock at the door at about 11 p.m. There stood a lovely woman who looked surprised to see me. We’d passed one another in the hall and I’d spied her walking around her apartment in her underwear while smoking on the fire escape. I confessed this to her feigning guilt and hoping to get a bite-I didn’t. I introduced myself and she invited me to come hang out across the hall in her studio. Hoping for a shower, I joined her.
Her space was littered with wires, circuit boards, welding equipment and tiny glass beads hanging from a huge board suspended from the ceilings; I was immediately turned on.
“Umm, I’m kinda a mess,” she said apologetically bending over to pick up some trash. “That’s my glow worm piece” she said. I already knew I was going to like this woman.
“What’s that?” I squealed reaching for what I thought was a crown of thorns.
“Oh! It’s a head piece I made!” She stood up, leaned over and crowned me Queen Of The Beasts.
We sat down to chat as she strung glass beads on lengths of fishing line to add to the 3,000 lengthes of beads strung on fishing wire that she had designed to represent silk worms. “I’m learning how to program LED lights” she said. “It’s kind hard but I’m making this for a Burner party next weekend.” She showed me an amazing video of real live glow worms trapping their prey in a deep dark cavern; it was delicious.
She leaned towards me and placed her hand by her mouth as if to make a confession. “I’m kind of obsessed with anthropomorphism.” she said.
“Me too,” I breathed lustily.
She showed me some of her animation (that’s what keeps the lights on and the rent paid) and concert set design work as well as some lovely films of her kinetic pieces. I shared with her the work of my lastest art crush, Gina Kamensky.
“I am so jealous! I am so competitive! I want to do stuff like that! I just don’t have the skill set yet! Her work is so polished and clean…” she said.
“Well you know she’s probably about twenty years older than you.” I assured her.
“I know… But I don’t care. I am still jealous. I wish she would mentor me.”
“My last girlfriend was also an interdisciplinary artist and she was always frustrated by having to learn a new craft or skill, for example, programing LEDs. Is that ever a frustration for you?”
“No, I love being interdisiplinary, I love learning new things. The challenge. Except for when I am on a tight deadline.” She glanced over at the enormous chandalier of glow worm threads hanging suspended from the ceiling. Her grey tabby batted at one of the threads with a lazy paw.
“How many beads on a line?” I asked her.
“You really don’t have to help.”
“No, really I enjoy your company.”
I sat there stringing glow worm beads until her art school friends showed up for third shift. I went back to the dungeon and have since been fantasizing about being The Queen of Beasts.