Category Archives: creative captures

Happy Birthday Thelonious Monk

I first heard Thelonious Monk in 1970, several years before I put my jazz head on. Probably it was my classmate Warren who auditioned an LP track. I don’t recall which one. I didn’t care for it. However, in the winter of 1971 I began working part time in a record store next to the post office in Cleveland Heights. In Budget records and Tapes’s collection of vinyl promos were two Monk records, Monk’s Blues, the big band record arranged by Oliver Nelson, and, Criss Cross, a quartet record from the sixties with tenor saxophonist Charlie Rouse. The former record was one of the owner’s favorite records. At the time the available discography of the master was quite slim with the exception of the Columbia recordings, all of which dated from the sixties beginning in 1963.

“To be nobody but yourself in a world that night and day wants to make you like everybody else is to fight the greatest battle you will fight and never stop fighting.” – E. E. Cummings

The iconic Cleveland jazz maven Harvey Pekar scoffed at the big band record one day while in the store, and lamented the unavailability of the “class Blue Note sides.” But, never mind, Harvey, despite your influence on my tastes and your insistence on the store bringing in the Black Lion trio dates recorded in 1971 and released in 1972, it would not be until those Blue Notes were issued in a stirling twofer in 1976 that I got bitten by the Monk hard.

How hard? ‘Life-changingly hard.’ Monk is second to no one in my estimation and surely in my experience. Happy 100th birthday to the khidr of sound, Thelonious Sphere Monk.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, music, personal | Tagged | Leave a comment

Sound of the Spontaneous

Psychedelic Blues from Drew Christie on Vimeo.

Captain Beefheart was asked what the greatest concert he ever saw, and he answered something like this:

Thelonious Monk was to play a solo piano concert at an old Victorian theatre in San Francisco. I got to my seat and waited for the concert to begin. On the stage was a glistening Steinway. On it was stood a beautiful bunch of flowers in a large crystal vase. The lid was open and framed the vase of flowers. The lights softened and from stage left strode the tall Mr. monk. He slowly approached the piano, stopped, looked out at the audience, took a few steps to the piano, grabbed the prop for the lid and set it down. The lid of the Steinway came down and it caused the vase to tumble backwards onto the piano’s strings with a striking eruption of sound.

Monk took a step back, turned to the audience, turned away and walked off the stage. The sound was still reverberating.

Voiceworks -Singing at the Cistern from Al Bergstein on Vimeo.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, music, serendipity | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tripping the Light Fantastic

2047 APOLOGUE – a concept performance by Zhang Yimou featuring KINETIC LIGHTS from WHITEvoid on Vimeo.

Reality doesn’t impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.
? Anaïs Nin


Goggle, bring the goggles…

The world belongs to the energetic. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

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

Art and Science of Laika

Kevin Parry

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, dada, humor, technology, visual story | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Collaboration & Serendipity

Cleveland Ohio artist Stephen Calhoun
I.

FORTUITY [f. L. fortu‹imacbreve›t-us, f. forte by chance, f. fors chance + -ous.]

That happens or is produced by fortune or chance; accidental, casual.
OED

Between 2005-2012, when I was researching serendipity as a decisive aspect of adult development, I brought together a simple insight with the older language of Albert Bandura to formulate a central concept, strategic fortuity.

This concept describes the accidental event that changes everything, and so generates ensuing connective reconfigurations far into the future. But this is not linear at all, so the actual cascade of fortuity acts as a multiplier–as the singular event broadcasts potential and actual instantiations causally related to, but not necessarily in the same order, of the originating serendipitous event. This applies also to the conditions at the time of the eventuated fortuity because those conditions are themselves brought about by prior fortuities.

Example. You met your partner through a marvelous happenstance and soon enough this happenstance sets you on the doorstep of a new house and as it turned out this new dwelling came to you by accident. A strategic fortuity concretely synergizes other fortuities, fortuity fueling fortuity, contingency chained to contingency.

Once you know how strategic fortuity works as a kind of gating and connective circuit completing factor in a social cybernetic routine, there can be very few truly innocent (and naked of contingency,) arrivals of novel data, and, at the second order, of transformative experience, and, at the third order, of novel opportunity or exceptional possibility.

Artist Stephen Calhoun's studio

Amina and grandfather Roger

II.
My studio in our house on a quiet inner ring suburban street on the east side of Cleveland is, during its summer season, split between the garage bay where an assembly line dedicated to sorting materials is located,  the front porch where most photographs are taken, an attic that houses the old recording studio and now is transformed into the computer-based image processing, printing, a framing center, and, the lower rear porch that is where materials are organized and stored and the still-lifes are set-up. This last location provides me with my own magical cabinet of curiosities. My art practice is centered in this room that overlooks the flower garden.

An inveterate collector of possibly useful materials and items, the set-up room inventories both the objects and the experience of obtaining each bit of stuff. Garage sales are prime sources. In 2015 I picked up a gaudy Chinese ceramic lamp and chatted up the owner, a new media curator at Oberlin. I told him how “you never know what you’ll find,” and he responded,

Of course all art is based in serendipity.

This surprised me. The normative supposition is that art reflects the masterful, thoroughgoing, control of the application of technique to materials, and these then are dynamically brought together to serve and realize an artistic vision. Because, at the time, I was clear about the odd element of serendipity, and, moreover, of underdetermination, in my own art practice, I was not prepared to embrace the man’s assertion, thinking I was a different kind of artist who was really using serendipity. Although it seemed to me that there might be a similar relation between fortuity and event in art-making as there is in scientific research, the confidently delivered ‘of course’ threw me; at the time.

III.

stephen calhoun, cleveland ohio artist
Last year the neighbor’s granddaughter expressed the single best thought yet said to me about my own art. In response to being asked what her experience of Four Observers was, Zoe, eleven years old at the time, told me,

“I had to re-adjust my brain to see farther into your picture.”

Zoe and her younger cousin Amina came to visit their grandparents a few weeks ago. When I learned the two girls were coming for a few weeks, I decided to hatch an experiment involving the two coming over to my studio to intuitively piece together set-up still-lifes. It seemed to me it was likely the girls would jump into playing around creatively in a medium not part of everyday artistic/kids’ routines. I thought I would then photograph what the two came up with and set the girls to discovering what manipulation of their own image each liked best. The bonus for me was an opportunity to do some informal, observational, qualitative research about how young people might approach a simple request to use stuff from the room full of dried plant material and objects to learn and build a, by definition, unique and personal still-life.

The experiment developed to the point I was able to capture photographs on my iPad and import the photos into iColorama, an application that provides an entire suite of manipulation routines. I showed the two how to create the mirror symmetries and other geometric recastings of the source image.

I asked the two to save favored images, as each took turns to use the iPad to manipulate the source images taken from their still life. Then each pointed out which manipulation was their single most favorite. (Those choices were later published to my timeline on Facebook.

IV.
A few days ago, while exporting photographs from my DSLR camera, I noted I had taken photographs of their set-up still-lifes! I had forgotten I had done this, and then recalled I took the raw set-ups outside to photograph right before I deconstructed the still-lifes.

The deconstruction process was one of the remarkable aspects of the experiment’s qualitative aspect. (I primed the girls’ agency right before setting each to the task by reviewing what it means to approach creativity and creating by using intuition, setting aside rules and ‘right ways,’ and, from their own sense, using the ability to ‘wing it,’ and ‘go for it.’) As I deconstructed each piece, I noted a whole slew of qualities, made especially clear by virtue of my understanding the difference between their fresh and inexperienced (with respect to my experience,) operation of the task, with how I tend to build a still-life.

Amina&Zoe_DSC0037

For example, I noted both gravitated to larger objects. Both also seemed to realize a set-up that could stand on its own. I noted there were some concealed yet clear positional coherencies. Amina’s still life is more densely packed than that of cousin Zoe.  Were either girl trying to tell a story?

Yet, it wasn’t until I saw the high resolution images pulled off the camera that I was struck–and I gasped–that I was looking at two completely novel images that could not be obtained except through the realized agency of the two cousins, and, crucially, the images could be entered into my own creative process.

Both creative products were obviously consequentially serendipitous. And, anything I might produce by subjecting the images to my own experienced, (and less fresh!) ability to manipulate the images would represent in a singular way my own result being entirely contingent upon, anchored to, the outside creative product of the two cousins.

Any art I might create from the source material provided by others would denote a collaboration forged by means of starting from novel, and, (in my terms,) a “non-reflexive” starting point. Looking at the opportunity with my own eyes I soon saw how I could leverage each of the image’s distinctive compositional and ‘field’ qualities. The images possessed strengths I could not have intentionally brought forth on my own. The strengths were of a different sort than the ones I tend to realize.

By doing a series of manipulations, I generalized and greatly abstracted the objects and object relations of the two still-lifes. The result was this art work.

artist stephen calhoun

I’ve worked in this vein several times in the past. This bundle of approaches yields a curvy dancing psychedelic energy.

V.
Next, returning to the originals, I spent time in trial-and-error mode, a mode itself networked via fortuity and possibly happy accidents. I played around with the integration of both of the cousins’ images in a single image for the sake of retaining their detail and some of their object, (or symbolic content.) Eventually, I came up with a circular mandala-like image that is tagged by several whimsical features, none more so than the lips originally found in the mask in Zoe’s image.

Unity for Zoe & Amina #1 (2017) 36x36a Stephen Calhoun

Unity for Zoe and Amina #1
 is, in my own judgment, a terrific art work. It is demonstrably so in my art practice’s given aspirational terms, in that it scaled up to a thirty-six inch diameter circular image able to realize what I am usually after: an overwhelming experience of intriguing detail and dynamic, visual, object relations. (The piece will go into my primary catalog and someday will be exhibited along with my best 36-48 inch diameter mandalas, mandala-like, and, what I call, unity, pieces.) This art work will always conceal its story of collaboration and serendipity.

VI.
The imperative of being open to unusual and original instances of source material is a pragmatic consequence of understanding that one of the only ways to assure novelty is to network and collaborate with definitively external human agencies and their unique capacities. In the case discussed here it matters very little that the capacities are naive because it matters greatly that the capacities would nevertheless support the distinctive production of materials unable to be realized any other way.

Agents like this, collaborators like this, bring unique potentialities to the table. The threads of serendipity are structurally most obvious in setting to a task people about which little is known, or, are in practice, strangers, unpracticed, inexperienced, outside the norm, or, even, randomly selected.

The over-arching conditioning of new collaborative potentials are also constructed out of all the hidden and obscure factors which, were these concretized and examined, would showcase all the accidental developmental relations which arrived to produce the actualization of exact contingent conjunctions of agency in time and space. You knock on the wrong door, I invite you in anyway!

The shorter idea about this concerns what had to happen to bring the collaborators together in the instance for which collaboration is possible. The example described here possesses critical ‘priors’ which set my studio down across the street from Roger and his granddaughters. These necessary fortuities are, as I like to put it, innumerably prolix.

The promise of novel heuristics was clarified in the experiment and its later ramifications in my art practice. It is worth supposing that there could be a possibly worthwhile problem-solving routine that involves running the problem by, for example, your children. The point of doing so has to do with networking potentially fruitful resources that are by definition possibly powerful precisely because the steward of the external resource, the outside agent, is going to come up with provisional discoveries and findings which may only be sourced in the agent’s unique flux of experience, global and local aspirations, resourcefulness, and, as it is described, fresh eyes.


 

Grandpa Roger’s blog, Fear Not, Living the Second Half of Life Unafraid, is superb.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, art, artists, creative captures, experiential learning, my research, psychology, serendipity | 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

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

Settled It!

I would use such a rarified technical term to better describe my artistic position, that there is no reason to actually deploy it! While I contemplate the problem of the insider/outsider artist, I also play around with the designation I grant to myself. There is no way to summarize or integrate the slew of positions that are–at a minimum–personally vibrant. On twitter I have at times tagged posts #outsider, #visionary, #archetypal, #generative, #experimental, #experiential, (and more.) Each such designation fits in their specific way.

Nothing rides or rests on this designation even if it might find its way into an explication gathered from possibilities which inhere to ‘here’s what I am about as an artist.’ Nor can any designation capture the thick part of my practice, the part that is partly described as being underdetermined, stochastic, heuristic, etc..

Still, to my self and for myself, I am an enactivist artist. My subjectivity is situated in a body, in a time and place, in an interface, in a constructively vital ecology. This settles it for the time being.

And, yes, I am dedicated to articulating designations that rub the post-modernity of the art world’s predispositions and normative designations differently. Why?

It seems to be a universal feature of human perception, a feature of the underpinning of human epistemology, that the perceiver shall perceive only the product of the perceiving act. He shall not perceive the means by which that product was created. The product itself is a sort of of work of art. (Gregory Bateson, A Scared Unity, p217)

If we relate this to seeing the art object, the crucial tacit element to this point of Bateson’s is that the entirety of the second and third orders given in the cognition, processes and history of the artist, and which are behind the art object, are not at all features of perception.

enactivist theory:
etec.ctlt.ubc.ca/510wiki/Enactivist_Theory

Tutorial on Embodiment

Tutorial on Embodiment (eucognition.org)
5.1.3. Embodied dynamicism and enactivism

“Since the early 1990s the computationalist orthodoxy has begun to be challenged by the emergence of embodied-embedded cognitive science (e.g. Clark 1997; Wheeler 2005; Varela et al. 1991). This approach claims that an agent’s embodiment and situatedness is constitutive of its perceiving, knowing and doing. Furthermore, the computational hypothesis has been challenged by the dynamical hypothesis that cognitive agents are best understood as dynamical systems (Van Gelder and Port 1995). These developments can be broadly grouped together under the heading of embodied dynamicism (cf. Thompson 2007, pp. 10-13). While this approach has retained the connectionist focus on self-organizing dynamic systems, it incorporates this emergentist perspective into a non-computationalist framework which holds that cognition is a situated activity which spans a systemic totality consisting of an agent’s brain, body, and world (e.g. Beer 2000).” (Froese, 2009)

“The paradigm of enactive cognitive science originally emerged as a part of the embodied dynamicist approach in the early 1990s with the publication of the influential book The Embodied Mind by Varela et al. (1991). However, while the enactive approach also emphasises the importance of embodiment, situatedness and dynamics for our understanding of mind and cognition, it has stood out from the beginning by promoting the cultivation of a principled phenomenological investigation of lived experience as a necessary complement to a standard scientific inquiry of the mind (e.g. Varela et al. 1991; Varela 1996, 1999). Moreover, it has recently set itself apart even further by placing a systemic biological account of autonomous agency at the heart of its theoretical framework (e.g. Weber and Varela 2002; Thompson 2004; Di Paolo et al. 2008). This complementary focus on biological (living) and phenomenological (lived) subjectivity clearly distinguishes the enactive approach from the rest of the competing paradigms in the cognitive sciences (cf. Thompson 2007).” (Froese, 2009)

bonus:

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

Ngaphandle – Part One

Edward M. Gómez on Outsider Art from Sinnlicht on Vimeo.

Definitions?!

RAW VISION : The controversy surrounding the exact definition of Outsider Art and allied fields has been going on ever since awareness of the phenomenon began so here we try to clarify the different aspects.

Essay offers sub-divisions without defining the term itself.

Outsider Art Fair: Over the years, the parameters of Outsider Art have expanded dramatically to include art made by a wide variety of art-makers who share this common denominator of raw creativity. Outsiders come from all walks of life, from all cultures, from all age groups. In recent years, Outsider Artists may have even come to outnumber Insider Artists who have achieved critical validation within the elite art world, and yet who speak with increasingly less clarity and relevance to us about the human experience.

It seems to me obvious that there are more self-trained artists than there are academically trained artists.

Huffington Post 11/20/2014 10 Outsider And Self-Taught Artists Who Use Art To Create Their Own Worlds: The term “outsider art” was first used by art historian Roger Cardinal in 1972 to loop together art made by people living with certain disabilities, as well as those living on the outskirts of society. Unlike most other art movements, outsider artists don’t have much in common besides straying from the norm. They work in different media, throughout different times and places, without shared assumptions or aesthetic styles.

In fact, most outsider artists have or had no idea they would be categorized as such — or even that their art would be seen by someone other than themselves. Therein lies the conundrum — is a celebration of outsider art redemptive tribute or exploitation?

In “How to Look at Outsider Art,” Lyle Rexer defines the tricky genre as “the work of people who are institutionalized or psychologically compromised according to standard clinical norms.” This definition was amended to include those enduring an altered state of consciousness — whether from marginalization or incarceration. “Self-taught art” is a category that often overlaps with outsider art, referencing artwork made without schooling that strays from the norms and styles of the time.

Christie’s : ‘Outsider Art is perhaps a catch-all term,’ explains Christie’s specialist Cara Zimmerman. ‘I tend to classify it as art made by people who weren’t working within the artistic establishment.’

In the United States, she says, the material stems from a folk-art tradition. Most Outsider artists received no formal training and were influenced by pop culture and the world around them rather than other mainstream artists.

The Atlantic The Rise of Self-Taught Artists. Out is the new in. : For an artist to be considered an outsider, he or she must first be brought inside the professional art world by an insider.

Huffington Post 1/30/15 What Is The Meaning Of Outsider Art? The Genre With A Story, Not A Style: There are various ways to make sense of outsider art as a genre. Roberta Smith calls it “a somewhat vague, catchall term for self-taught artists of any kind.“ Lyle Rexer defines it as “the work of people who are institutionalized or psychologically compromised according to standard clinical norms” or “created under the conditions of a massively altered state of consciousness, product of an unquiet mind.” Jerry Saltz argues it doesn’t exist at all, except as a discriminatory boundary preventing untrained artists from their rightful places in the canon.

Artsy – About Outsider Art: A label applied to artworks that have little connection with the art world or are created by people with no formal art training. The term is also applied to artworks by people with psychiatric disabilities and others on the margins of society. However, as more and more examples have been exhibited and subsumed into the historical canon, some have argued that the ‘outsider’ label should be retired.

Hyperallergic. What Does “Outsider Artist” Even Mean?: In a blog post from 2007, dealer Edward Winkleman discusses the issue of intent and his changing perceptions of outsider art:

Being the stubborn loggerhead I am, I can’t get myself unstuck from an assumption about the importance of intent in art. Especially intent with regard to communicating.

Taken to its logical extremes in our debate, however, this assumption has led me to conclude that the work of Henry Darger, for example, is not “Art” because (or so it’s been reported) he had no intention of ever showing it to anyone, meaning it was not created with the intent of communicating anything with anyone, and that then made it something other than “Art.”

Now I can look at Darger’s work and feel my jaw involuntarily drop. I can marvel at the vision. I can delight at the composition and especially the color. But because I know (or think I know) these works were the result of a masturbatory effort, they don’t meet my own definition of fine art, which goes beyond just intent to communicate to include what bnon called, in the thread on child prodigies yesterday, the act of “submerging [one]self in art history as well as surveying the contemporary field and carving out a niche.

Jerry Saltz on the Outsider Art Fair — and Why There’s No Such Thing As ‘Outsider’ Art: Which brings us to the the horrible Rubicon that still separates so-called “outsider,” “self-taught,” and “visionary” art from institutionally sanctioned official art. Now that even immigration reform can happen, it’s time for MoMA — and all museums — to integrate “outsider art” into their permanent collections and erase that distinction for good. They need to allow these artists to take their rightful places in the canon. In addition to the artists mentioned above, visionaries like Hilma af Klint, Emma Kunz, Bill Traylor, Adolf Wolfli, Martin Rameirez, Minnie Evans, John Kane, Clementine Hunter, Hector Hyppolite, and others must be integrated into the canon. At the Fair, there’s a 1939–1942 town scene by one of the greatest “outsiders” of them all, Bill Traylor, that would easily compare with any Picasso from the same period. Or, indeed, any artist.

With this outmoded discrimination still in place, the story of art is woefully misrepresentative — a lie, even. Millions of viewers and thousands of nascent artists are being denied the chance to see some of the best work made in the last 100 years simply because it was once decided that to be an artist meant having had pre-approved training. It’s a self-perpetuating false distinction…

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

Discrete Charms

Admit something:
everyone you see, you say to them: “love me.”
Of course you do not do this out loud; otherwise
someone would call the cops.
Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us
to connect.

Why not become the one who lives with a full moon
in each eye that is always saying,
with that sweet moon language,
what every other eye in the world is dying to hear?

(Hafiz)

Thus Adam might have called the animals “by their own names” in two senses. Either he gave them the names that, by some extralinguistic right, were already due them, or he gave them those names we still use on the basis of a convention initiated by Adam. In other words, the names Adam gave the animals are either the names that each animal intrinsically ought to have been given or simply the names that the Name Giver arbitrarily and ad placitum decided to give them. (Umberto Eco, Serendipities, Language and Lunacy)

Natalie Johnson Dance presents: AGEN, Sunday 1:30pm, March 2017 from Natalie Johnson Dance on Vimeo.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, cultural contradictions, philosophy, psychological anthropology, Religion | Tagged | Leave a comment

Tubular Transmissions

I really like the rumored-to-be-cancelled Netflix series, Sense8. As we finish catching up with season one, it strikes me that the saturated globe trotting opening sequence provides a nifty psychological priming for what follows: a transcendental thriller, created by The Wachowskis, J. Michael Straczynski, and Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski.

The series explores the aging sci-fi trope: evolutionary advances are to be punished and eliminated by the regressive powers given by consensus, convention and everyday jeopardies. Unfortunately, the series adheres to the biases of the film modality that favors the regressive working through of this conflict in violent ways. Still, with eight international principle roles split between men and women, the show’s recombinations of its cast for the sake of plotting the advance of egalitarian and social justice themes, even if these are contracted to the scale of the various relationships of the sense eight.

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

Extreme Cases

cavepainting

NUMINOSUM

At the threshold of the divine, how to know
But indirectly, to hear the static as
Pattern, to hear the ragtag white noise as song—

No, not as song—but to intuit the song bird
Within the thorn thicket—safe, hidden there.
Every moment is not a time for song.

Or singing? Imagine a Buddha, handmade,
Four meters high of compacted ash, the ash
Remnants of joss sticks that incarnated prayer.

With each footfall, the Buddha crumbles. Ash shifts.
With each breath, the whole slowly disintegrates.
To face it, we efface it with our presence.

An infant will often turn away as if
Not to see is the same as not being seen.
There was fire, but God was not the fire.

Eric Pakey is the author of ten collections of poems, most recently Trace (Milkweed Editions 2013) and Dismantling the Angel (Free Verse Editions 2014). A new collection, Crow-Work, is due out from Milkweed Editions in 2015. He is the Heritage Chair in Writing at George Mason University. Kenyon Review Fall 2011

Werner Herzog on Chickens from Tom Streithorst on Vimeo.

Since most categories are matters of degree (e.g., tall people), we also have
graded concepts characterizing degrees along some scale with norms of various
kinds for extreme cases, normal cases, not quite normal cases, and so on. Such
graded norms are described by what are called linguistic hedges (A4, Lakoff
1972), for example, very, pretty, kind of, barely, and so on. For the sake of imposing
sharp distinctions, we develop what might be called essence prototypes,
which conceptualize categories as if they were sharply defined and minimally
distinguished from one another.

When we conceptualize categories in this way, we often envision them using
a spatial metaphor, as if they were containers, with an interior, an exterior, and
a boundary. When we conceptualize categories as containers, we also impose
complex hierarchical systems on them, with some category-containers inside
other category-containers. Conceptualizing categories as containers hides a
great deal of category structure. It hides conceptual prototypes, the graded
structures of categories, and the fuzziness of category boundaries.
In short, we form extraordinarily rich conceptual structures for our categories
and reason about them in many ways that are crucial for our everyday
functioning. All of these conceptual structures are, of course, neural structures
in our brains. This makes them embodied in the trivial sense that any mental
construct is realized neurally. But there is a deeper and more important sense in
which our concepts are embodied. What makes concepts concepts is their inferential
capacity, their ability to be bound together in ways that yield inferences.
An embodied concept is a neural structure that is actually part of, or
makes use of, the sensorimotor system of our brains. Much of conceptual inference
is, therefore, sensorimotor inference. ( George Lakoff Philosophy in the Flesh )

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, cultural contradictions, social psychology, organizational development | Tagged | Leave a comment

Three Into Four, Repeat. . .

zontalstainedglass

The shuttling to and fro of arguments and affects represents the transcendent function of opposites. The confrontation of the two positions generates a tension charged with energy and creates a living, third thing—not a logical stillbirth in accordance with the principle tertium non datur but a movement out of the suspension between the opposites, a living birth that leads to a new level of being, a new situation. (C.G.Jung)

Four-Elements

see:

On the Importance of Numinous Experience in the Alchemy of Individuation Murray Stein, Ph.D.

River Dharma 46x46

RIVER DHARMA (2017) Stephen Calhoun

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in analytic(al) psychology, creative captures, experiential learning, psychology, self-knowledge | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Compare and Conjoin

creativity

Cube-O-Probe – Locate Creativity?

creativity probe

  • From the symbolic potency of the solar system, which generates the sense of depth suggested by McGilchrist, astrology offers us what in neuroscience is called environmental enrichment, in other words, stimulation of the brain by its physical and social surroundings. As an enriched environment for imagining incoming archetypal energies that can feed bio-dynamic entities such as ourselves, astrology stimulates the brain through its imagination of electrical, chemical, and network charges, arousing us to satisfy our needs for: 1) attachment; 2) control; 3) self identity; 4) pleasure. With astrology these needs can be met on the cosmic and personal scale of an imagination that transforms presumably random events into the narrative of a soul’s journey through the space/time of earth. (Kenneth Warren)
Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in adult learning, creative captures, cultural contradictions, Kenneth Warren, psychological anthropology, Religion, self-knowledge | Leave a comment

360 degree Longing For Wilderness + Evidence of Existance

Longing for Wilderness from EpicScapes on Vimeo.

Watch on tablet. Retina iPad is spectacular. The point of this new technology is the user can use the touchscreen to move around the image frame. Browser kludge allow for this navigation too if your desktop system is up-to-date. Negs on Safari.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in art, artists, creative captures, visual story, web 2.0+ | Leave a comment

Addenda: Zeitgeist

I was asked by someone why I thought President-elect Trump was mentally ill. During the campaign I was chastised by someone, by a few someones, for stigmatizing the actually mentally ill by casting mental illness as an insulting description.

Cluster B: flavors of anti-social personality disorder, narcissistic personality order, with some inflections of both sociopathy and paranoia; (plus, how else might we describe Trump’s birther fantasy except as a delusion?) Just sayin’.

Will he successfully bully people into doing his bidding? Will he threaten Iran with tactical nukes? Over on the alt-right, there are some who think a state of emergency might afford Trump the opportunity to do something about all those pesky hippies, tree huggers, SJW’s, feminists, snowflakes, and ivory tower elitists. I won’t locate another source, but there is a blog I frequent that has reached a fever pitch in anticipation of either the defeat of the deep state, DC insiderism, progressivism, collectivism, and both “very similar” political parties, or, alternately, the victory of these same parties over their Drumpf problem.

For my own part, besides understanding how population density is the real explainer here, it strikes me our current government is hoping to etch a black chapter in the future history books. After all the newly fashioned white nationalist Trump/GOP Inc. hopes to to erase the output of the first black U.S. President, and, dial back the policies of the New Deal, (the deal that came to eventually rescue many of the elderly from poverty, while, at the same time, making it possible to visit your elderly parents rather than feed and clothe and take care of them.)

Healthcare, everybody eventually needs it! How to square Christianity with Paul Ryan’s dream of ending some of what he believes is mooching, with this same end also promising literal killing fields–except these fields will be defined by not being located in the homes of GOP congresspersons? Luckily, Trump has promised the new Trumpcare will be cheaper and offer better coverage.

The ACA is spilt M&Ms compared to the bigger eats on the agenda. Trump has come to vanquish the antichrist! Or, he is the antichrist! Maybe not.

Parachute.

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, cultural contradictions, dada, death to fascism | Leave a comment

Lesson Ideas

Every day is a god, each day is a god, and holiness holds forth in time. I worship each god, I praise each day splintered down, and wrapped in time like a husk, a husk of many colors spreading, at dawn fast over the mountains split. (Annie Dillard)

The fundamental premise of alchemy is that there are precise correspondences between the visible and invisible worlds, the worlds of matter and spirit, inner and outer, heaven and earth.

Stephen Calhoun artist cleveland ohio

Be Sociable, Share!
Posted in creative captures, education, Religion, self-knowledge, visual experiments, my art | Tagged , , | Leave a comment