[Field Notes] Where do we start?

The difficult thing about starting a project like Bait/Switch was simply deciding where to start. This is often the most difficult part of any project. In the beginning of a project, the normal rules of logic and physics simply do not apply. The cart always comes before the horse. Gravity works against you as you slowly push the boulder up the hill, only to become your opposite enemy when it starts rolling out of control as soon as you’ve made it over the apex.

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All that being said, in this case the choice seemed especially loaded. What Bait/Switch offers is the chance to respond to a prompt, with the understanding that whatever gets submitted will become a prompt for someone else. So, what is the first prompt, and where should it come from?

When I thought about this more deeply, I thought about the bizarre experience of starting a sourdough starter- the process of seemingly creating a living creature from inanimate objects. To make a sourdough starter, you simply mix flour and water together and leave it out on the kitchen counter to catch the wild yeast that is floating invisibly in the air. Once you catch the yeast, you start to feed the starter, and it begins to grow.

For the first prompts, we chose things with creative ‘yeast’ floating around them- things that have metaphoric connection to creative works and movements that we admire. If this sounds self-serving, it is. But, if you want a good working relationship with your sourdough starter, you have to grow it in your own kitchen. This project is extremely close to my heart, and I want it to flourish and eventually grow into something that reaches far from my grasp, and touch more people than I can ever meet.  

Lucy Valena