Escape of the Day: Miranda July

Miranda July

Visit the website of Learning to Love You More (LTLYM), a bizarre and wonderful project launched by artist, filmmaker, and writer Miranda July. Do some of the kooky stuff the site suggests, like (#18) Recreate a poster you had when you were a teenager, (#41) Document your bald spot, or (#1) Make a child’s outfit in an adult size.

Now those are some serious ways to escape.

July is on my brain lately, because I am reading her recently released collection of short stories, No One Belongs Here More Than You. It’s pretty good, but what I really love about this artist is the way that she helps us all see what’s flawed about ourselves, then somehow shows us how to hold that in a beautiful light. I’d almost forgotten about LTLYM, which I think does that best.

Escape of the Day: Off the Map

Off the Map

It took a whole swarm of bees and the sight of a nude gardener to inspire him, but William Gibbs finally bailed on his government job and took up painting in the remote desert of New Mexico. He had no plan, and no way of knowing that his artwork would actually become famous one day. He was just following his gut, which is the best any of us can do.

So who is this wonderboy?

He’s a character in an obscure film called Off the Map, directed by Campbell Scott. If you don’t mind a loosely woven plot, the film is gold. We first meet Gibbs as a young tax collector for the IRS, arriving on the doorstep of a homestead in the most godforsaken land you can imagine. His purpose is to perform an audit on a family living under the government radar, a self-sufficient band of three with stockpiles of food and no desire to join “the real world.” Instead of auditing them, Gibbs finds his inner bohemian and falls off the map. 

See for youself.