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Positive Signs #21 & 22

Positive Signs is a weekly series of interpretive diagrams, quotes, and speculations on creativity, optimism*, and the lives of artists, published every Wednesday through June.

explanatory style: artists & setbacks example: an artist receives a rejection letter. permanence / pervasiveness / personalization. the pessimist: permanent “i never win anything.” universal “the art world runs on nepotism anyway.” internal “my work is no good.” the optimist: temporary “there will be different jurors next year.” specific “my work WAs not thAT committee’s tastes.” external “the odds are unfavorable.” Inspired by Martin E.P. Seligman, “Learned Optimism” (2007)

Christine Wong Yap, Positive Sign #21 (Explanatory Style: Artists & Setbacks), 2011, glitter and neon pen on gridded vellum; 8.5 × 11 in./21.5 × 28 cm

explanatory style: artists & successes example: an exhibition is well received. permanence pervasiveness personalization. the pessimist: temporary “the gallery made good choices this time.” specific “this series fits with current trends.” external “people always say nice things at shows.” the optimist: permanent “i’m hardworking and pick good partners.” universal “i put on ambitious exhibitions.” internal “my work is strong.” Inspired by Martin E.P. Seligman, “Learned Optimism” (2007)

Christine Wong Yap, Positive Sign #22 (Explanatory Style: Artists & Successes), 2011; glitter and neon pen on gridded vellum; 8.5 × 11 in./21.5 × 28 cm

*Notwithstanding brief forays into the nature of space, stuff, experience, and cognition.


Next Wednesday: Positive Signs #23 & 24 on space and experience.
See all Positive Signs to date.

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