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Q&A 2020-05-05

Tom Sachs. (office-hours)

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Tom Sachs hosts a question and answer session on Instagram live from his basement workshop.



“I would encourage you all to get next skin, which is like a crazy glue for skin. It's really good. Crazy glue will work, but next skins optimized for it and invented during Vietnam for field sutures.”
“A lot of those things you cannot control. But the thing that you can control is how you take care of your body. Is scheduling enough sleep get enough sleep? Exercise. Take enough days off.”
“Everything has value. I do not make a distinction. You know a sneaker that we make with Nike is a sculpture.”
“Have you ever made something you didn't like and still send it out? Never. Don't do that. Burn that shit or put it in your Indiana Jones warehouse if you're not sure if you want to throw it out, but do not send it out.”
“It ain't bragging if you can back it up. Do the work. Love the work and they cannot take that. Away from you.”


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00:01:21 Tom Sachs: Welcome back to office hours. Can you guys hear me OK? Erum can I get a thumbs up if you can. Can you hear me alright?

00:01:36 Tom Sachs: So.

00:01:40 Tom Sachs: OK.

00:01:42 Tom Sachs: Um, I really appreciate you guys sticking with us for all these weeks. Um, I’m going to start out with. Question from jor. Jordan_Shelby. How do I bring the creativity and mental openness cultivated through I.S.R.U. back to work? Remember I.S.R.U. means in situ in situation resource utilization. It means. It means you’re in this situation. You’ve got your existing limited resources. We all have a limit and how do you best utilize them? So. The best way Jordan that you can utilize that you can bring what you’ve learned in these past five weeks is by remembering that this always exists. You always have limits and take advantage of of the resources that you have and the number one resource is your body and it’s not forever. So make the most of it. And and enjoy it. Take care of the things you own. Repair them.

00:02:49 Tom Sachs: Uh, I was going to take a minute to to recap the five weeks, um, you know, the first one was setup. Jordan, take a look at your setup at work and at home in your workshop where you work and whatever you do in your job and whether you’re doing your studio, whether your studio is a notebook you know, get ready, have your notebook ready so when the moment strikes, you know what to do. Week number two was pencil to paper, which is just go for it every day. Before you look at your emails, write in your notebook touch clay dance, do that home repair. Do whatever brings you joy. That is the key to success. Uh, and also have that notebook by your bedside table, so you wake up in the middle of the night. You don’t have to struggle looking for it. Week three was re purposing repurpose things like this pizza box or whatever too so that you can utilize the things in your life, but also so that you have a history of is my favorite restaurant in the world. Wits end. And I get to have it on my record player. Doesn’t make any sense except it makes every bit of sense ‘cause it’s for the spirit #4 artist is athlete taking care of your body. Nothing is more important. There’s no tool more important than your body. It will die. It’s not. The years in my life but the life in my years, said Abraham Lincoln and we must take care of this husk. #5 repair. A Week #5 this week repair. If you look online we’re showing your repairs and what you’ve done. You’ve done amazing things and you will continue and we will continue with ISRU as we have from the beginning, so shall we so shall we will until. There is no more. So let’s dig in, shall we?

00:04:57 Tom Sachs: What’s that from at Emblow 84? What is the worst work related injury you’ve ever received? A broken heart.

00:05:10 Tom Sachs: From at Bruce U_NYC Bruce. Hi, uh, can you speak briefly about shop safety and first aid kits? Yeah, um, it’s not an injury unless you go to the hospital. So if you cut your finger real bad. An you can tape it back together or glue it back together or physically stitch it back together. We don’t count as an injury, it’s an injury. If you have to go to the hospital. So I would encourage you all to get next skin, which is like a crazy glue for skin. It’s really good. Crazy glue will work, but next skins optimized for it and invented during Vietnam for field sutures. But also learn stitches. It’s one of the five basic knots at the studio and you can stitch yourself up if it’s real bad or someone can help you with it. This isn’t some crazy Rambo shit, but like get this suture kit and learn how to do it, it’s an important knot. Uh, I see legal bells going off, don’t stitch, don’t tell people to cut themselves up and I’m just saying. You might want to consider in these difficult times if you can stitch yourself back together, it might. Be a better deal than taxing the already taxed hospitals right now. Just keep it in mind.

00:06:36 Tom Sachs: Ah.

00:06:38 Tom Sachs: How do from at reese.jpg how to get your art seen online? How to get your art seen online. We are living in this. Incredible time with the world’s most powerful advertising medium is 100% free and that’s your website. That’s Instagram. It’s YouTube. It’s all there just. Build your channel, build your website. You have a following. Embrace it, do it. Show it. Get there, get involved, do it, make it. It’s all entirely up to you there is. No one else, there is only you.

00:07:16 Tom Sachs: favorite way to Combat Stress? From athuman format. Take care of your body. Exercise every day. Rest everyday. Eat really well the that’s the health triangle. If you observe that the health triangle, you can minimize your stress. There’s another question down the line, we’ll get to it. Maybe not today, but have you ever had mental health issues? And the answer is yes, and we all have issues. The only thing we can do is. Do the best with what we have so. Uh, you might be neurotic, like I’m extremely neurotic, or you might not be neurotic. You might have confidence you might have confidence. You might have an injury. You might have economic woes. A lot of those things you cannot control. But the thing that you can control is how you take care of your body. Is scheduling enough sleep get enough sleep? Exercise. Take enough days off. Don’t maybe exercise every day or exercise every day, but find your limits finding him out ‘cause you can do too much, bowerman said recovery is as important as the work itself. You must do it all and you must eat. There is no escape from the triangle.

00:08:47 Tom Sachs: Oh from Saults Moto. When satisfying your greed, how do you choose between buying and making? I don’t know what greed is, but I only make things that I cannot buy. I make things ‘cause they do not exist anywhere else. I’ve also made things that I cannot buy because I do not have those resources like I do not have the resources to buy NASA. So I made my own. I did not have a resource to buy my own Kelly bag. I really wanted a Kelly bag. So I made my own from plywood. Make use, study your resources. Study what’s in your situation and study what you’re trying to achieve what you want out of the situation, what you love, what someone you love wants. Make it come true. It’s called sympathetic magic.

00:09:37 Tom Sachs: How do you recognize studio assistants, collaborators? Bye, it’s one thing. And this is to quote Bryce Williamson. I see how well they sweep. Sweeping is a job we must all do. How conscientious are you? Anything can be taught but attitude. I am not interested in teaching attitude. You come pre equipped with that or you do not come at all.

00:10:04 Tom Sachs: From at K Jason Adams. What’s what single achievement are you most proud of professionally? Without a doubt? That is my studio team. Um? My greatest skill, and I’m going to brag for a second, is picking good people an I have the. Best team ever. We are. I don’t really know how to describe it. Kind of like I don’t know Delta force or Green Berets or or or seals or the OR the PJS or whatever elite fighting force metaphor you want to make. Yeah, the PJS there are the ultimate. Best team ever. We are. I don’t really know how to describe it. Kind of like I don’t know Delta force or Green Berets or or or seals or the OR the PJS or whatever elite fighting force metaphor you want to make. Yeah, the PJS there are the ultimate.

00:10:44 Erum: Chicago Bulls.

00:10:45 Tom Sachs: What? What you say?

00:10:47 Erum: The Chicago Bulls.

00:10:49 Tom Sachs: The Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Bulls of sculpture and um, I am so grateful that my team is so dedicated. An focused and. Dedicated to. The work of the studio and dedicated to their lives and the art that they make on their own on their own time. They way they take care of their bodies and the way they take care of their bodies so they can show up when they’re in the studio and together we are like doing great work and today that includes some of you. Some of you who are out there earning your I.S.R.U. Patch just by being part of us by fixing stuff and by showing the scars of your labor.

00:11:38 Tom Sachs: Why do you have an online store by? DD, David Jesus SS. So that everyone can have something so we can all be part of it. I love the Elitism of art because it provides us the resources to large projects like space program, but I despise it because it’s elite and we want everyone to be part of this. A Zine is the same as a shoe. Is the same as a bronze sculpture. Everything has value. I do not make a distinction. You know a sneaker that we make with Nike is a sculpture. A sneaker is a sculpture, a bronze sculpture of a bonsai tree is a sculpture. Their. Money is not part of that. The store is a is a way to access what we do for everyone and we will continue. That also is a question about why is the shipping so fucked up expensive, I know. We are working on it by the end of the year. By 2021 it will be the way it’s meant to be. Thank you for your patience.

00:12:54 Tom Sachs: What’s the best Xerox machine from at ice coffee puppy? Um? By Xerox Machine you mean a photocopier and, uh, I’m not going to pick any one brand, but I will say this. The older analog ones that are not digital are better. They’re faster from the time you plug him into the time it scans against the piece of paper out the other end. So you can use it. The analog ones are quicker. And if you’re doing one copy at a time, so I would encourage you to. If you have an old one, keep it going. They’re great if you are a genius at fixing these old ones and have a company that fixes them professionally for money. DM me please ‘cause I need a service person who I can trust. For my old machines I’ve got 5 old machines and I keep him going and they’re dying and. I want to keep em going.

00:13:56 Tom Sachs: Do this.

00:13:58 Tom Sachs: What is the best thing that happened to you today or you did for yourself? Besides hugging my little boy who I love, I think. Eating and having coffee and doing a collage before I. Looked at my phone was pretty epic an I’m not gonna kid you. We have all these crazy rules like Do art before you look at your phone to do output before you do input. It is still a struggle. The temptation is irresistible, the the device applies to your to your. To your limbic part of your brain. So it’s irresistible. But you must resist. I also worked out with will Taurus from will space and you gotta check out what will space is doing. He’s the best. It’s great.

00:14:49 Tom Sachs: How do I turn emotions into art? Again? We talked about this before from Noah AZEIBDAWI. You must make things for love. Make things for people that you love. You will, through your love and dedication, for the reason you’re doing it you will. It will turn into art. Just think about someone you love. Make a birthday card. They can make someone a birthday card. That’s the secret.

00:15:21 Tom Sachs: What do you do when you are about to sleep and a great idea comes to your mind? From at PHA Panama. I love this. This isn’t the answer you’re asking for, but uh, I every night I go to sleep an I think about the sculpture I want to make in the morning I drift off. Going through the moves planning my day so my subconscious has a time to work on that. If I have problems in my art. Which I love having problems in my art. It’s so tedious when you know what you’re going to do, but what I I, I I set up all the parts in the night before and then I Weld him first thing in the morning an that setup is just like doing the hard thing first. Doing the hard thing at the end of the day and the easy thing is a warm up to do. The hard thing in the morning, so end up by the way, don’t worry, your ideas will come back. You will you will remember them and also have a. Have a piece of paper. And a pen by your bed. That’s what they do at hotels. That’s one thing you can stay at a hotel every night. Your mind if you just have. Piece of paper and pen and have you have a good pen, you have a good notebook piece of paper. With a rigid back. JPL notepads are good for that.

00:16:46 Tom Sachs: From at, have you ever made something you didn’t like and still send it out? Never. Don’t do that. Burn that shit or put it in your Indiana Jones warehouse if you’re not sure if you want to throw it out, but do not send it out.

00:17:06 Tom Sachs: What’s your process when the end product doesn’t match what you envisioned and this is a long person’s name? So sorry, but that’s who asked it. Um? I don’t take commissions. Because there’s no sure way to guarantee disappointment than promising something that you’re not sure about. I also don’t like to make things. Um, when I know what the answer is going to be, I think discovering it part of the way through is. It is good because the best art and artist best work lies just his ability to understand it. Uh, it doesn’t exactly have to match, but it’s more about the intent. That’s what I’m always going for, and they’re pleasant surprises and sometimes their fuckups and you gotta burn it but. That’s.

00:18:03 Tom Sachs: How do you keep humble in the art industry from Max dot HPT and? How do you keep? Your ego in check. Confidently humble from long will. Long long well. It ain’t bragging if you can back it up. Do the work. Love the work and they cannot take that. Away from you. People might talk shit about you or be jealous or. Think that you’re not serious or that you’re too serious, or whatever. You must only do work for your own standards of excellence. And the work itself is the reward. Is that is that it is that enough there to that one Erum ‘cause like? You don’t need to say more than that, but but you really gotta just do those. Things there’s no…

00:19:11 Erum: Year. That’s perfect. Those are words to live by.

00:19:15 Tom Sachs: If you went back in time dual over what skill would you want to relearn and 1st and why? From at Old Sodko? Math, chemistry, French. Taekwondo. I wish that I spent more time in school. Learning all those things when I have more time for when I have, I get to have like immortality. I will learn all those things I I am. I really really. Wish I spent more time learning the French language but. You make choices. You cannot do it all. You cannot do it all. You must like. Dig into the things that you do and love them.

00:20:01 Tom Sachs: What brand of your record Player? So many people ask me that this. Is a techniques. Um? A turntable, it’s an SL 1300. Many of you know the 1200 and the 1200 is the industry standard. The 1300 is an automatic version of the 1200, so it’s got a return at the end. In all truth. Definitely not as robust. The 1200 is a monster. You cannot back backslide. You cannot do the thing where the turntable spins into slipmatt stays in one place on a 1300. It is not the same. It looks a lot like it. It’s not as good. I mean it’s good. It’s cool because I think Autoreturn is great, but I think one of the things we love about the 1200 and one of the reasons why pros use it is it’s very limited. It only does it only plays records and it doesn’t. Trying to have a record return thing at the end that can break so, but whatever, I think they’re all good. Any record player is good. Do not. The record player doesn’t matter. You can DJ on anything, just. Anything. Yeah, it it. You know it don’t even called DJs in Jamaica, they’re called selectors and you only need one record player. You don’t need two, it’s not what you do with it. It’s the song and the choice in the decision and the time in the moment.

00:21:24 Tom Sachs: From Old Sodko again, in your opinion, was the difference between art and design. There is no difference. It’s the same thing.

00:21:33 Tom Sachs: Rank Kubrick from Jordan ha. Good. Ready to hate on me? The Shining. Doctor Strange Love. Barry Lyndon. Clockwork Orange. Space Odyssey. Paths of glory. Full metal jacket. The killing. Killers Kiss. Spartacus, Lolita and Eyes Wide Shut. That is the ranking that is the order. The list the short movies before like flying podre and data fight and and fear and desire are juvenalia so we’re not going to get into those.

00:22:18 Tom Sachs: Um is it worthwhile to invest in quality footwear for fart school dropout. Absolutely get the best of everything and keep it forever invest and fix. It get stuff that you know is going to be good when you can fix it and think about that when you get it. Get absolutely look good, Oksana Todorova says. You must spend the most money on your underwear because that is your intern. It’s like a metaphor for your internal confidence, so it’s matter on the outside. What matters is on the inside, where you can feel it. Would you rather live in a beautiful house. Um, with a shitty view or a shitty house with a beautiful view?

00:23:10 Tom Sachs: From Cinder block coffee. How can I waterproof a wood basin and I don’t want to keep it getting mouldy? Cinder block coffee. There are two ways I like what Masa does not see sands the counter every night with 400 sandpaper at the end of the sushi serving. So sand it everyday sand the wood basin and if you want to build a plywood basin and you’re going to use West systems epoxy you to epoxy it. You must follow the Go John Brothers Handbook and prepare the surface properly. I’m not going to get into that, but do not forget to lay a thin rebar mesh. So like very very thin fiberglass mesh when you lay down the fiberglass so that fiberglass doesn’t crack, ‘cause then you will get mold. It will leak again so I don’t forget the mesh.

00:24:10 Tom Sachs: From Herman Otsuka Maury sorry I really screwed up your name there. It’s always our fear to be a copy of someone else. How to use references in a correct way. Um, the only rule is, yeah, steal other people’s work, but do it better if you’re gonna take it, do it better, see a lot of people making their own Tom Sachs’, you know, go for it, but. Please do it better. Honor me and the tradition of which we both are in. You know, I did not invent this. You are not stealing from me. This is part of a larger thing. These these ideas are inside of a mountain of information and we are digging them out together. So please build on what I do. Don’t just copy it, take it to the next level.

00:25:05 Tom Sachs: From Noah Xibe Dowie How do I get over my perfectionism to start working with a new medium? Just do it and don’t worry about what other people think. They maybe don’t show it until you get your shit together, but as you’re exploring. Take some time, get your private space. Do it, you know, do it in privacy so that you can fail. The only way you’re gonna get good is by failing and and an an like. Pick something that you’re that you’re. That you’re good at, like your old medium that you’ve got mastery over, or that you are ready to show and show that. But you gotta take time to explore new mediums. That sucks. That’s why I do ceramics. I’m like very bad at it all. It’s only one in 50 bowls that I make survives. The rest get smashed ‘cause they’re not good enough.

00:26:00 Tom Sachs: So I think we’re pretty much out of time today, um. Wow. Um, I really want to keep going, but I think we’re kind of done with time. Do I?

00:26:15 Erum: Tom, maybe just a reminder to everyone that we won’t have fixed lessons anymore, but we can all continue to make I.S.R.U. projects. Yeah, in our own time and we’ll be sharing ours.

00:26:29 Tom Sachs: Yeah, we did five weeks of programming and we’re not going to have any scheduled programming. There will be continued projects that we will release, but the I.S.R.U. continues. It’s forever. So, um, you know, keep the projects and keep Hashtagging ‘em and we’re collecting them and we’ll do some recap eventually and just know that these values have been there forever and they will continue even if you think of some company like NASA who spends sends. Space ships to other worlds. They too have limited resources. They’ve got budgets to deal with. If we had unlimited resources in NASA, we’d be at Alpha Century by now. We would certainly have people walking on on Mars. But instead we don’t have those resources, so we send robots and we’re doing the best we can. We’re sending people. I’m sorry robots to Europa soon to fly by Europa through the clouds to see if we can find evidence of life and if we had more resources, we would definitely have. Kevin Hand would be there with a little robot drilling in under the. Under the ice and finding some octopuses or whatever it lives under Europa and sending it back so. Thanks for watching. Oh and will continue with these office hours too because there are a lot of questions we didn’t get to have so many and I really appreciate you sending em all in. And we’ll keep talking so?

00:28:06 Tom Sachs: And keep working hard and do what you love.