Twenty Instructions for COVID-19Charlott Isobel Dazan (MFA SC 2020)
In loving memory of Raymond Queneau.
⇒ There will be no news in the morning.
⇒ So, you have one room. NO! You don’t! Separate the room into a grid system. Now you have a living room, a bedroom, and a studio. Congrats, you are officially part of the tiny house movement.
Photograph by the author.
⇒ A bed is a bed you say. Nay. A bed is a ship, you’re a pirate and the blinds are now sails. Need a pirate hat, make one out of paper. Ship ahoy! Problem solved.
⇒ Rain and shine: go outside, this is non-negotiable. Bring your camera and a sketchpad. Walk the same route several times but force yourself to see it differently. (Rules of walking: one day only walk on the left side, other on the right, next in the middle, walk backwards, or pretend you’re Bowie and Jagger … dancing in the street. Avoid all shadows, walk only in the light. Take one step forward and three to the side. Walk with your head up, or down, or sideways—see what happens.)
⇒ Spot dogs.
⇒ Talk to a tree.
⇒ Throw stones.
⇒ The strange kid in the house is a surrealist hero, be inspired; canons shoot bicycle seats, Breton, go to bed!
⇒ Feeling the funk: watch Futurama.
⇒ Pretend you’re a private detective, or better yet, be one! You have a camera, it’s a bad one, but still … Set out on a mission.
⇒ Don’t sweat your style … yes you have many. Just create and see what happens.
⇒ This is a journalist haven. Be one. Document the changes, they can be small, but … Just be brave and do it.
⇒ The solitude is a killer: watch Futurama.
⇒ So, you haven’t seen people in weeks: create some on paper.
⇒ Set aside time every day to daydream.
⇒ Feeling nervous touch your knee, still feeling nervous continue towards the nose.
⇒ Lose yourself in photoshop. You are not allowed to edit mistakes, instead embrace them.
⇒ One photo should not take more than five minutes to make. Set a timer.
⇒ Go treasure hunting, use what you find in your sculptural photos.
⇒ Let your hands do the thinking.
⇒ Take at least one photo every day. Write. Draw.
⇒ So, you lost your immediate future in a week: LAUGH! And then put a hat on a banana. Let’s party!