Extra Practice spring
Hey friend! As April is ending, spring is springing and baby geese are growing, we are wondering how we want to blossom and bloom this year and what individual seeds can sprout within the communal garden of Extra Practice... Inspired by Katrina's latest GTBT show, we decide to welcome a little mysticism into April's studio meeting as well, because why not??? Emma has been learning to read the tarot cards that manifestation-queen Camila gifted her, illustrated in the style of Mucha's flower series, so get floral and fluffy with us as we dive into the subconscious of XP and figure out our future 🌝
Witchy, woolly or self-care trend, these cards can be a great tool for reflection and access to intuition and the subconscious mind. If you aren't familiar, the Tarot is a deck of 78 cards, each with its own imagery, symbolism and story. It was originally just this medieval card game, then used for fortune telling in the 19th century, and apparently it had a big come-back during the pandemic:p It can be a fun and intuitive way to connect to 'inner wisdom'. Here's a beginners guide
A reading usually starts with a question. We first ask: What do we want from XP? Of course we've asked ourselves this question when we started the space. We wanted to recreate what we loved most about art school: a space to work and learn, individually but very together. But as time goes by and our individual practices grow in different speeds and directions, it feels good to check in with everyone's expectations from the studio now and then. Knowing what you want can be hard! It helps to look for it in a mysterious card! And saying what you want out loud works wonders. (this is your sign to say what you want out loud today!✨)
Many cups and pentacles appear. Cup cards represent intuition, feelings, emotions and creativity. Pentacle cards deal with business, finance, work and material items.
(you can click on each card name to read its full meaning online)
From left to right: 4 of cups (Kirsten) - the lovers (Ben) - 5 of pentacles (Emma) - 6 of pentacles (Gijs) - ace of cups (Jack)
Kirsten's 4 of cups, so fitting to her lingering practice as it stands for boredom and contemplation, but also discontentment and a lack of motivation, tells her to wake up, have fun and be more grateful for what XP already has to offer her.
Ben's lovers obviously show how much he loves us (love u 2 ben), and how important unity and community are to him. He would like us to bond more over a communal commitment and vision, and 'the mental activity' aspect of this card reminds him he would like to be challenged to think about big things.
Emma's 5 of pentacles, quite a dark card portraying a beggar in a church desperately needing help, made her realise she would like to feel less alone and get better at asking for help, and she realises XP is already there to support her. Jack remarks that she usually only shows finished things and Emma realises she would benefit from sharing more of her process and struggles.
Gijs' 6 of pentacles shows a generous man spreading wealth, which could represent his own supportive role in the studio, the wish of being supported by us, or simply a huge grant that will pay XP's rent and adventures. Others note that Gijs has been giving his wisdom for so long, he can count on our help in developing his practice now.
Jack draws the ace of cups, showing a huge cup overflowing with joy and happiness, and a dove about to drop a little piece of holy bread into it. It reminds him of the internal conflict of individual work versus collective output: working together in a meaningful way brings the greatest joy but requires setting aside the egos that want to be independent successful creatives.
Do we have the guts to drop our holy bread into the communal cup of XP????? What would it take to prioritise collaboration over individual practice?
Our second second question is: What do we bring to XP? This time there's cups, swords and wands, a sun and a star. Swords represents thoughts, words and actions. Wands represents energy, motivation and passion.
From left to right: page of cups (Kirsten) - king of swords (Ben) - 6 of wands (Emma) - the sun (Gijs) - the star (Jack)
Kirsten draws the page of cups, suggesting emotional vulnerability and sensitivity. Everybody nods. Kirsten is not afraid to show up in her true mood and discuss her raw feelings with us. Jack notes it helps create a safe space for all of us to also be vulnerable and honest.
Ben gets the merciless king of swords, known for his intellectual power, clear thinking, discipline and warrior mentality. We are surprised at first, as Ben is a sweetie, but actually he does have a reputation for making sure things get done around here. In fact, we agree, XP truly needs Ben's persistence and ideas on doing things together.
Emma brings the 6 of wands, showing a proud victorious horseman, celebrating the crowd that helped him triumph. Indeed, as much as she struggles to promote her individual work, she will proudly promote everything XP, and share our vibes with the world, like right now lol
Gijs offers us the sun, the happiest card, radiation joy, truth and confidence! He is always a warm presence and enlightens us with his philosophical wisdom and knowledge. We also read in this card his future as a shining playful artist.
Jack virtually draws the star, another blissful card. He doesn't know what to say, but we say that we recognise in him the trustworthiness, clarity and hope this card represents. Although in his mind things might often feel messy, whenever he articulates thoughts or ideas they come out so clear, and we have full trust in his visions for XP.
That's it for now. Next month will be all about putting this wisdom into (extra) practice 🌝. We will definitely be hosting more public events in the near future, so stay tuned! Until then, drop by for a reading any time.
Love you, have a magical weekend!
Good Times Bad Times have began a broadcast collaboration with Radio Robida in Topolò, Italy where Jack is currently doing a residency. Keep it locked at the usual time on goodtimesbadtimes.club for field recordings, music and discussion about radio’s role in connecting remote communities.
Jack is currently gardening; continuing on Philipp Kolmann and Suzanne Bernhardt’s excavation of a Vineyard. Reflecting a lot on what he does. Thinking about vines, metaphors and the stories behind/that are created from the tools we use.
Kirsten is doing a performance at WORM on May 12th with Staging Stasis
On the 25th of May, Ben and friends from Varia will be launching and opening up the Infraschool: a peer-to-peer learning initiative focusing on digital infrastructure, cooperative organisation and digital tools. On evening of the 25th we will gather in the Varia space for an open-day style event with presentations, discussions and food.
Gijs is busy building a small garden on the web that invites him to publish things with confidance.
Emma is planning to use the month she's not going to New York due to visa issues to work on various fun little projects.