command, but I gave Iris the benefit of doubt out of politeness–I began drafting an email describing how I really had no time, prior to the screening. The excuses included the fact that Holding Graz requested to approve not only the footage I had shot and agreed to share, but also the final edit of the video, which they requested retroactively. This was a real delay. I then wondered whether I should provide an excuse at all for not being able to perform this task; afterall, was that in anyway my duty or obligation? Before sending it, I deleted it and instead thought of the request as an opportunity, a privilege even, to make the art event out of the art event.
We used a sequestered shopping cart that was abandoned outside of Schaumbad to shop at the local Billa. Iris and I chopped, sautéed and stewed all of the chili ingredients in about three hours. I added the spices and left it on a low simmer. Eva was in charge of turning it off, since they were engaged in another administrative meeting for the next several hours anyway.
In the evening I returned to Priesterseminar to deal with the issue of my gear. For the last week I had been trying to sell most of my gear on a website called WillHaben. This is the Craigslist of Austria. I was hoping to dump my gear prior to flying so I wouldn’t have to pay as much for my luggage and I could profit from the smaller pool of gear in Graz compared to New York. Lastly, I was a firm believer that all of this technology was just trash in an earlier stage of being thrown away. From the minute that most electronics were purchased, their value was decreasing, sometimes as fast as 50% within a few months!
A few strange things happened in this process. First, I tried to post everything in English, expecting most of my audience, video and filmmakers, to be fluent English speakers. But then I received an email saying that everything had to be in German. German German or Austrian German? I conceded. The next aberration were the requests via whatsapp for me to ship my gear to various parts of the world, like London. Scams like this aren’t unusual in New York, but I was surprised to see them in the law-abiding land of Austria. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to sell anything on Willhaben, or to any of the artists at Schaumbad.
But my gear was just part of the problem I uncovered while preparing my luggage. I had acquired more junk during my stay in Graz: papers, brochures, artist books, my own books, souvenirs and gifts. The object with the largest volume was a ten-pack of toilet tissue, which I had purchased at Spar, since the cost of 10 was only 10 cents more than a two pack, had to go. I decided to deal with the problem by turning each into a signed artwork, which I could give out to members of the audience who asked the first questions after the talk.
1 Can (15 ounces) Kidney Beans, drained 1 Can (15 ounces) Pinto beans, drained 1 Can (15 ounces) Black beans, drained 1 Can (15 ounces) Fire Roasted diced tomatoes with juice 1 Can (6 ounce) Tomato paste 1 large Red onion, chopped 1 Red bell pepper, seeded and chopped 1 Jalapeño, seeded and minced *optional 2 Cups vegetable stock (this can be in dried cubes or in a tetra brick) 1 Tablespoon Dried oregano 2 Teaspoons ground cumin 2 Teaspoons Kosher salt 1 Teaspoon ground black pepper 1 Teaspoon Smoked Paprika 2 Tablespoons chili powder 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce 1 Tablespoon Minced garlic
Garnish Sour Cream Cilantro Cheese, shredded
Cut and sauté all the vegetables, add the spice and stir on low for 5-6 hours.