Noah Haidle and Kelsey Shultis, (on Playwrighting, Relativity, Goats and Cats)
So how did you guys like lunch?
Noah: Is that part of the interview?
No it’s not, that’s just me.
N: Yeah, it was good, but since you brought it up, let’s go a touch more in depth into lunch.
N: As Emily said to me, as founder of SPACE that the communal meals were not part of her initial thoughts of the residency, but had come out of happenstance… they used to cook all their meals out of here [the corn crib], out of this kitchen, so to make it easier, they ate together. And they kept it going, and the gang would do outtake interviews of people and would ask, “what did you like?” and they said the group meals, and so now it’s become a part of the styloe.
And I don’t remember the last time I had a communal meal… where there was talking during the meal. I mean being in proximity enough that I need to talk to someone. It would be kind of odd if you sat there quietly by yourself.
K: Chatty Cathy over here…
N: It’s an interview, that’s what you’re supposed to do. You’re supposed to talk… There’s no point in sitting around. If she asks, “How was lunch?” it’s my job to talk about it.
Any thoughts, Kelsey?
K: I don’t know that everything you [Noah] said was accurate, but it’s close. It’s been my favorite part, the communal meals, because you get to know the people. I’ve learned so much, way more than I would have if I was just by myself working.
N: Sometimes you forget… doing art stuff, you’re rarely in that much proximity to other people. It’s just nice being around people who are doing the same kind of stuff. That wasn’t a very good answer, I’ll give it a B minus. Anyway, what’s you real interview question, not that lunch isn’t a worthy topic.
Okay, the first real interview question: What is your name/ are you names, and where are you from?
K: That’s a tough one.
N: Wow that’s a tough one. My name is Noah Haidle, I’m from Hamtramck, Michigan.
K: My name is Kelsey Shultis, well we live in Hamtramck, Michigan. We’re both from Michigan. I’m from Birmingham, Michigan, which is just a little bit outside of Detroit, and Noah’s from Grand Rapids.
N: And we’re married.
K: We are.
N: And it’s cool.
What is the project you’re working on at SPACE?
K: I have a couple commissions that I wanted to work on, that I ended up doing a little bit, and then erasing, so I didn’t really do what I was planning to do, but I’ve been writing a lot. It’s something that I don’t do at home as much… and the writing I do is just trying to figure out what’s in my head. You feel like you have so much more time here, which is really wonderful. There are no clocks, really, and I’m not ever looking to see what time it is.
What about you? What projects have you [Noah] been working on?
N: When you were talking, I was thinking about time and relativity. From my understanding, time is very simple: time goes very slowly when your hand is on a hot burner on a stove and very quickly when you’re with a pretty girl, and that’s relativity; that the experience of time is subjective, and to go to the benefits and genius of places like SPACE is that time does go slower because of added stimulus or pressure and in that way, your mind can wander farther I suppose with a longer duration of experience of time. Does that make me sound like an insane person?
K: No, I just kind of zoned out.
Kelsey, you briefly mentioned that you’ve been spending a lot of time with the sheep, and the third question is, “Where have you been spending most of your time at SPACE?”
K: In the Corn Crib a lot, that’s where my studio is, I’ve also walked a little bit, hung out with some sheep, and spent a lot of time around the dining table.
N: We’d be there 3, 4 hours after dinner every night. In my mind, I thought after diner I would toot around and do more work, but I’d actually rather hang out with people, and hear about their lives.
What is coming up next for you?
N: For the past number of months Kelsey got really interested in fairytales.
K: For inspiration or reference for paintings.
N: Then I proposed I write a fairy tale or a couple, and she does paintings of them, and then we can do a show. We’ll give SPACE some red. We could be back next year and read it to goats and sheep.
K: So that’s a joint project.
And the last question is: If you were reincarnated as a farm animal, what farm animal would you be, and why?
N: Wait, let’s answer for each other, since we’re married.
K: That’s hard.
N: Well mine’s easy for you: a goat.
Like a mountain goat or a farm goat?
N: A farm goat. And I only say that because she loves goats, she paints goats, and if you [Kelsey] were a goat, you could hang out with goats all the time. That’d be sweet for you.
K: So what would you [Noah] be? I have to think about it.
N: Think about it. Don’t get it wrong. There are wrong answers here.