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.

The Social Forms of Art (SoFA) Journal is a bi-annual publication dedicated to supporting, documenting, and contextualizing socially engaged art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal focuses on a different theme in order to take a deep look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions, and the public. The Journal seeks to support writing and web based projects that offer documentation, critique, commentary and context for a field that is active and expanding.

The SoFA Journal is published in print and PDF form twice a year, in June and December by the PSU Art & Social Practice Program. In addition to the print publication, the Journal hosts an online platform for ongoing projects.

SoFA Journal
c/o PSU Art & Social Practice
PO Box 751
Portland, OR 97207