20 Questions: Zeph Fishlyn

Daily questions:

  1. Why is it so hard to justify the time I spend on making/planning/practicing/thinking about art? Who am I justifying it to?
  2. Who cares about what I’m doing? Whose caring matters?
  3. What would I make/do if I lived alone in the woods?
  4. How much of myself gets to show up in a work? How much am I holding a framework for others?
  5. When is participatory or service-oriented art just another way of avoiding being seen?
  6. What is the right amount of self-expression that invites others to express themselves too?
  7. How do I invite meaningful exchange without being deadeningly “serious”?
  8. How do I develop a practice that draws from both gut and head?
  9. When it is important to “push through” something that feels hard, and when is it important to relax, wait, and listen for what is quiet and tentative?
  10. What kinds of creative work bring me closer to the sensory world and things that feed me?
  11. When does art make my hands and heart tingle?
  12. How do I bring this into my daily practice?

Specific Projects:

  1. What questions am I asking myself in this work? What questions am I asking others?
  2. Will working on this project deepen connections to people and things I care about?
  3. How much screen time will this project demand, vs. hands-on work and in-person interaction?
  4. How does this project connect me to questions that people in my community are invested in?
  5. How does this project connect me to grassroots organizing? How does it support, or not support, wider efforts towards collective liberation?
  6. In what ways are my experiences of privilege and marginalization showing up in this work? How can I leverage those experiences, and in what ways do they expand or limit what I’m able to accomplish?
  7. How is an artist’s “outsider” position liberating and strategic? How is it alienated and ineffective?
  8. When should I just put all this creative energy into hosting a great BBQ?

To learn more about Zeph’s work, go here.