Monthly Archives: August 2017

Socially Engaged For Just an Aggressive Moment

TW-The-Genius-of-the-Deplorables-(2017)-9x18-Rijks-Museum-Stephen-Calhoun-copy

Roots-of-An-Approval-Rating-(2017)-10x18-Rijks-Museum-Stephen-Calhoun

TW-Your-Post-Modern-Republican-Party-(2017)-(8x18)-Rijks-Museum-Stephen-Calhoun

TW-Trumpocracy-(2017)-12.5x18

My art practice is not directed to be socially engaged in the conventional ‘art world’ sense of my intent and the work itself referring to social problems or political challenges. (In noting this, if I needed to, I would make a case for its capacity-building potential at the scale and level of individual consciousness. This increase in self-awareness may fund constructive benefits in the social domain.) However, I am a bit of a trickster, so i noted upon visiting the Rijksmuseum’s digital collection that they allowed for open use of available downloads of digitized images from their vast collection, Plus, upon request, the museum could supply to artists hi-resolution images. One has to ask nicely it would seem. Because I had previously manipulated purloined images (via Google image search,) of favored Flemish proto-surrealists of the 16th and 17th century, when I revisited the online Rijksmuseum I had already hatched an idea.

These four works are the result.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, cultural contradictions, current events, visual experiments, my art | Tagged | Leave a comment

In the Range of Perfection

FREEPLAY-FRANCISD-AUG27-17_DSC0047

The world is run as much by folly as by wisdom, as much by order as by chaos, but–and this “but” is huge–these accidents may still intend something interesting.—James Hillman

FREEPLAY-NICOLE_AUG2717-_DSC0050

Nicole joined us for the first time. Mia came back. There are several additional first year players. This year has seen the return of second and third year players.

To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness. – John Dewey

FREEPLAY-AUG17-17_DSC0052

Hyakujo, the Chinese Zen master, used to labor with his pupils even at the age of eighty, trimming the gardens, cleaning the grounds, and pruning the trees.

The pupils felt sorry to see the old teacher working so hard, but they knew he would not listen to their advice to stop, so they hid away his tools.

That day the master did not eat. The next day he did not eat, nor the next. “He may be angry because we have hidden his tools,” the pupils surmised. “We had better put them back.”

The day they did, the teacher worked and ate the same as before. In the evening he instructed them: “No work, no food.”

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, play | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eclipse Coda

Eclipse 2017: One Nation Under The Sun | NPR from NPR on Vimeo.

If you want to become whole, let yourself be partial. 
If you want to become straight, let yourself be crooked. 
If you want to become full, let yourself be empty.
—Lao-Tzu

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in current events | Tagged | Leave a comment

Briefs 3

Stephen-Calhoun-Totem-artiststatement-III

Straight-forward enough; my art practice is not rocket science. Here is the index of all my best work.

Stephen-Calhoun-Totem-artiststatement-Kabir

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, visual experiments, my art | Tagged | Leave a comment

Briefs 2

Stephen-Calhoun-Totem-artiststatement--II

I could explain these statements, but then the point of their needing to be unpacked is negated. Dewey offers a clue.

more

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, visual experiments, my art | Leave a comment

Briefs 1

artist stephen calhoun

There could be a subset of the literature of art and of art practices that is concerned with only the so-called artist’s statement.  Such a scholarly endeavor might go far in going beyond the rote qualifier about such statement, that they are a necessary evil.

For my own part, I have no hesitancy seeing my own statement being the integration of intent and brand, and, alas, psychological priming.

This first of four parts seems nicely tuned, and I wouldn’t offer a statement that I didn’t deeply resonate, yet I intentionally managed to throw in a word the reader might have to look up. Isn’t a law that the artist’s statement has to include a minimum of one such word?

More: artiststephencalhoun.com

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, visual experiments, my art | Tagged | Leave a comment

DIY Eclipse

soundtrack:

The coniunctio happens in the underworld, it happens in the dark when there is no light shining any more. When you are completely out and consciousness is gone, then something is born or generated; in the deepest depression, in the deepest desolation, the new personality is born. When you are at the end of your tether, that is the moment when the coniunctio, the coincidence of opposites, takes place (Mary-Louise von Franz).

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in analytic(al) psychology, personal, visual story | Tagged | Leave a comment

Setting Up

Burnt Patch from Museum Trade on Vimeo.

Andrew Goldsworthy
Rivers and Tides: Andrew Goldsworthy Working With Time, is an essential documentary about creativity in the world.

Lori Nix – "Pull them in with beauty" from Derek Means on Vimeo.

Lori Nix

Nix & Gerber

video+article

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, creative captures, visual story | Tagged | Leave a comment

Live From the Well

The idea that what one has long held of a person is apt to stop one’s eyes and ears. —Marcel Proust

Elders from GLEN MILNER on Vimeo.

The self is a metaphor. We can decide to limit it to our skin, our person, our family, our organization, or our species. We can select its boundaries in objective reality As the systems theorists see it, our consciousness illuminates a small arc in the wider currents and loops of knowing that interconnect us. It is just as plausible to conceive of mind as coexistent with these larger circuits, the entire “pattern that connects,” as Bateson said. Do not think that to broaden the construct of self this way involves an eclipse of one’s distinctiveness. Do not think that you will lose your identity like a drop in the ocean merging into the oneness of Brahma. From the systems perspective this interaction, creating larger wholes and patterns, allows for and even requires diversity. You become more yourself. Integration and differentiation go hand in hand. From: ‘World as Lover, world as Self’ — Joanna Macy

Work. Keep digging your well.
Don’t think about getting off from work.
Water is there somewhere.
Submit to a daily practice.
Your loyalty to that
is a ring on the door.
Keep knocking, and the joy inside
will eventually open a window
and look out to see who’s there.
(Rumi, version by Coleman Barks)

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, creative captures, experiential learning, my research, psychology, self-knowledge, sufism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Free Play Softball League Last Up’s

David A. Kolb

A 20-8 lead was almost completely vaporized by a nine run rally in the bottom of the seventh inning. I believe the largest comeback for a win was nine runs. Several years ago there was a fourteen run comeback that tied and ended the game, and, I vaguely recall a ten run comeback that tied the game but led to a one run loss in an extra inning.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in play | Tagged | Leave a comment

Upside Down

Jeff-Koons-Balloon-Dog-Orange-Sculpture
$58.4 million

“If the aforementioned tendencies—the event-driven turn in the market, the market’s ongoing globalization, the continued ascent of formerly ‘alternative’ practices to the mainstream, and persistent complication around investing in art—have all come into greater clarity over these past five years, one final factor arguably trumps all others with respect to the present vitality of the trade: the growing divide between the top of the market and everything else.” Noah Horowitz, author, The Art of the Deal

There are around 2,000,000 working artists in the USA. Many of them work at other jobs. I do not know of any social science research that is aimed to accurately capture the varieties of business models being deployed by individual artists. That said, there are tiers given by the global art market.

Regional art markets are variously describable, with specific institutional and commercial concerns leading the description of their local ‘art world,’ and, to a lesser extent, the success of some of their resident artists also adding to the description.

The top of the art world is the art world everybody is fascinated by, yet, working artists in their hometowns are much more likely to be fascinated by their local art world.

The amazing paradox of the world of art commerce is that its model is thought to scale all the way down to the lowest tiers of local art worlds. This is paradoxical. The results speak for themselves! I’ll demonstrate this soon. The scaled-down model is preposterous on its face. However, its verities infect most everything in the local art worlds, especially the nature of gatekeeping in those worlds, and, how a simple problem is mediated, that there are many more artworks than there are post-transactional places for the pieces to end up at.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art markets, art, artists, cultural contradictions | Tagged | Leave a comment

Instructed

Sol LeWitt 1928-2007

bonus:

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, creative captures, experiential learning, visual story | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Chronic Outside Art Worlds

Nugs Hero (Stephen Calhoun 2017)

Nugs Hero (Stephen Calhoun 2017)

This is not a post about bongs-as-art. Unfortunately the video I’d like to feature is from VICE, and it can’t be re-embedded. Still, it’s right here and needs to be viewed (5m) before I note its few exemplifications of what I call the 01% thin art world.

First, the subject of the short video is a twenty-one year old college student, although, truth be told, he joined a venture capital group, and, the location for the video is his sleek Manhattan apartment. The young man is clearly monied, entrepreneurial, and, conversant with bongs. He is addressing the question: how such implements might instantly constitute a high end in either the smoking pot or art world?

$100,000 glass sculptures are not unheard of; Dale Chihuly’s chandeliers have sold for well over that amount. (Chihuly chandeliers are large 4-8 feet in length.)

…is actually an accomplished glass blower.

(Edward L. Milstein, Mr. Grey’s father, was around twenty when he co-founded a venture capital firm in NYC.)

Art is flourishing in New York more than anywhere else in America.

The people buying this right now are smokers.

Millennials in Manhattan go to a party implicitly tasked to, hopefully, begin to elevate bongs costing tens of thousands of dollars out of their current niche as high end devices for mere smokers.

Young Benjamin Milstein briefly comments without any guile about how a market might be made in NYC. Take aways, one, throw family money at the challenge, two, enlist apparently accomplished artists/craftsmen and give them a shot at upending the world of 2D hanging art joints on walls. An,d strike while the iron is hot in flourishing NYC!

mid-to-high market bongs

working class art appreciation:

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, creative captures, cultural contradictions | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Sound and Sense

Music of the Spheres from Emic Films on Vimeo.

I say we are obviously as nature around us is. So that is also how our music is. But then our music must also be as we are (if two magnitudes both equal a third . . .). But then from our nature alone can I deduce how our music is (bolder men would say “how the cosmos is”). Arnold Scho?nberg

When I began, I had a very weak voice although with some melodic quality. I did not feel at all in touch with my body.

Through the use of the various sound practices, I occasionally developed a vague sense of being enlivened and having more energy, but this sensation came and went. About one year after beginning, in a group musical practice, I experienced feeling as though sound were coming, not from my vocal box, from my a place in the middle of my chest, near the pulmonary center. At the same time, I heard a ringing sound above the musical notes. These, I later found, were called overtones. I also felt a warm, expanding feeling from the heart and a kind of emotional release of joy.

This condition came and went for another 6 months. Then I had another “heart-opening” experience, which was felt as both massive pain and release of tension around the heart; I cried uncontrollably and felt I was coming apart.

Following this, I began to use the primary sound/music practice of finding a note that resonated in the heart, and singing that note every day for 15-20 minutes, using various mantric sounds. At the end of about 8 months, I could always find my way to this sound. At the same time, any catches in my throat, voice or breath that came up I began to re-experience as inhibitions and old memories that prevented me from intoning a natural sound (that is, saying who I was). report of a client of Dr. Klotz; The Key in the Dark: Self and Soul Transformation in the Sufi Tradition Neil Douglas-Klotz

A Beethoven string-quartet is truly . . . a scraping of horses’ tails on cats’ bowels, and may be exhaustively described in such terms; but the application of this description in no way precludes the simultaneous applicability of an entirely different description. -William James

Rana Gorgani – Sufi dance – Auditorium Musée Guimet – Paris from Rana Gorgani Official on Vimeo.

What we call music in our everyday language is only a miniature from that music or harmony of the whole universe which is working behind everything, and which is the source and origin of nature. It is because of this that the wise of all ages have considered music to be a sacred art. For in music the seer can see the picture of the whole universe. (Pir H.I. Khan)

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, creative captures, experiential learning, music, psychology, science, sufism | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Objectively, There Are, Sometimes, Adjustments

david a kolb

Objectivity, no matter what it is in practice, or within technique, or in philosophical specification, lands always as a sort of brutish given. It is a species of truth claim that is paradoxically about the independent nature of the so-called real object, and also is reliant, even dependent, on a subject having derived this truth claim from perception, mechanical observation, or from all the methods of grasping. Still, objectivity is not an interpretation; oh, it is said to not be so!

The potential for discrepancies between features of the subject’s perceptual impressions and the real qualities of the perceived object generates philosophical questions. There are also philosophical questions regarding the nature of objective reality and the nature of our so-called subjective reality. Consequently, we have various uses of the terms “objective” and “subjective” and their cognates to express possible differences between objective reality and subjective impressions. Philosophers refer to perceptual impressions themselves as being subjective or objective. Consequent judgments are objective or subjective to varying degrees, and we divide reality into objective reality and subjective reality. Thus, it is important to distinguish the various uses of the terms “objective” and “subjective.” (Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Objectivity)

(see also: Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Scientific Objectivity)

I remember as a thirty-something man–so, sometime ago–Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic moved me to tears one lunchtime while contemplating the nature of nature from the sun-warmed bank of the Otter Creek, Middlebury, Vermont. The other learning at the time was to finish the book before investing in the emotional reaction!

Soon enough I would find my way to the practicalities of William James. Yet, A.J. Ayer of course goes all the way around his circle too.

Evidently, there is no general answer to the question what constitutes a
meaningful life. A life lived in one culture at a given social and economic level
which satisfies one person might well fail to satisfy another who dwelt in a
different or even in the same environment. Treating the question subjectively one
can say, platitudinously, that it is a matter of the degree to which one achieves self
fulfilment. Treating it objectively, it is a matter of one’s standing in one’s society
and the historical influence, if any, that one exerts. We have seen that the results
of these different viewpoints need not coincide either with each other or with
what we humane and liberal persons would regard as morally commendable. (A.J. Ayer, The Meaning of Life)

 

Since everything is an apparition, "perfect" in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may as well burst out in laughter. (Longchenpa)

Since everything is an apparition, “perfect” in being what it is, having nothing to do with good or bad, acceptance or rejection, one may as well burst out in laughter. (Longchenpa)

In common, folk, practice, with respect to the social sphere, objectivity is pragmatically the non-confounding ‘just so’ of commonsense comprehension of the ecology of human objects, structures, regulatory features, and so is graspable as being constituted by the clear description, the sensible abduction (or explanation,) the operational model (or map) of mechanical interrelationships, and, at the extreme where objectivity quickly fades into intersubjectivity, the shared truths or norms. These latter elements also reflect a hypostasis of collective interpretation, and churn the just so into the good enough. Not everybody need be in agreement on these, now, subjective, matters.

We recognize that objectivity-proper doesn’t need to come up much. Our sight and cognition is fairly dependable once it is well understood what interpretation tends to cloth perception “in.”

For example, it could be observed that the Free Play Softball League meets around 10am on Sunday. A dude looks over the roster of players who have showed up and starts to design line-ups on a piece of notebook paper. Thinking  of a more particular recent instance, this same dude could be observed to have made an adjustment to the line-ups midway through the game.

(I suppose we’ll have to make an inquiry to learn why the dude did so.)

Still, such goings-on are clearly and objectively aspects of the game. Such goings-on may be observed, described, explained, as objective parts of the game.

The dude last Sunday was very pleased, and this was observable, at the conclusion of the game. It reflected a tally of runs. Dude liked the tie score. He could be seen to be smiling.

A 1-2-0-7-0-5--15
H 2-0-3-6-3-1--15

 

 

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, philosophy, play, social psychology, organizational development | Tagged | Leave a comment