Interview with Blake Daniels

Interview with Blake Daniels: SAIC, Spring 2013, Painting graduate

Worked at Logan Square Intelligentsia from March 2013 – July 2013 (~3-4 months)

Excerpts from Interview.

Mixed Enjoyment; it was a trade job. Intelligentsia did a pretty good job in mixing it up in terms of every day tasks and mundanity.

Enjoyed working at Intelligentsia while he was in school, gave him something else to do outside of an intensely art focused degree. But this did not meant that it was helpful for career development.

Working as a barista helped with immediate bills.

Coffee considered as a process, similar to tobacco & art. The process aspect of it was interesting, but not what he wanted to do with the rest of his life.

Bureaucracy of employee & employer in Intelligentsia and how coffee is produced. The model that Intelligentsia provided was great, but it was not what the Logan Square community wanted. Intelligentsia was shaping coffee culture, but it was relying on the name, the brand, too much.

I would drink 1 cup a day.

I purchase coffee from a local roaster when it’s on sale. I don’t actually drink Intelligentsia coffee now that I do not work there anymore.

Hobby Products

Undertones of culture as seen through coffee as opposed to overtones.

I’m interested in coffee as a system and the coffee shop as a location.

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Curatorial Blurbs

The Ritual of Everyday Consumption

The Constant Consumer focuses on the dilemmas and evolution of contemporary daily consumption. Struck by how disconnected we are from the products we consume, the Constant Consumer allows us as curators to delve into issues of consumption, community, morality, commodity, and ethics. Through the elevation of the most mundane of coffee-drinking vessels – the white paper cup – to the status of a precious “art” object worthy of our attention, Ashley Szczesiak’s LATTE dada showcases how modern coffee-drinking practices can impart “carefulness and thoughtfulness in regard to consumerism” (Szczesiak).

The ways our daily consumption consumes us.

SAIC undergraduate student Stephanie Chu’s animated feature Coffee satirizes the consumption of coffee as habit forming and at its extreme, addictive. Chu’s corresponding chalkboard drawing, a growing pile of cups representing a small percentage of SAIC’s coffee consumption will be executed at regularly scheduled weekly intervals. The artist will extend the pile each week to mirror the coffee consumption by students at the Neiman Center Café. Coffee plays an important role in the exhibition Constant Consumer in a humorous nudge at the personal and social ramifications of our daily habits, such as coffee drinking.