to shape the static

There are some things I like about the way my brain is made. But sometimes the things that are strengths become weakness if not tempered (isn’t that the way with personalities?). I think in big pictures– arcing ideas. I love to synthesize ingredients that might not arrive in proximity to one another. Remixing and drawing parallels are my delight. But. If I haven’t had the time to reshape all of the stimulus that comes to me by way of drawing, painting, writing or (less publicly) singing, my mind becomes a wash of multi-colored static. It seems so rudimentary and simple, but I really need art for clarity. It just helps me slow down and shape the static into something recognizable.

Speaking of focusing all the noise into a hum, I can’t get these images out of my mind . Performance artist Marina Abramovic sits across from anyone who is interested in staring into her eyes. They choose the duration (included in the caption beneath each photo), while Abramovic commits to around 420 minutes a day. My suggestion for the slideshow… pause it and take it at your own pace. Click ‘info’ under ‘options’ to see how long each participant sat. It’s amazing how many are moved to tears. The act of staring into another person’s eyes for any length is a vulnerability that we don’t enter into very often, if at all. I’m also totally wooed by the beauty and variety of people’s features. It’s not the most diverse crowd, but even so, the differences are striking and stilling. Three women:


out in the garden where we planted a seed

{Cinematic Orchestra + Patrick Watson}

So there’s land and here’s sea:

The Swimmer {Mary Oliver}

All winter the water
has crashed over
the cold sand. Now
it breaks over the thin
branch of your body.
You plunge down, you swim
two or three strokes. you dream
of lingering
in the luminous undertow
but can’t; you splash
through the bursting
white blossoms,
the silk sheets– gasping,
You rise and struggle
lightward, finding your way
through the blue ribs back
to the sun, and emerge
as though for the first time.
Poor fish,
poor flesh,
You can never forget.
Once every wall was water;
the soft strings filled
with a perfect nourishment,
pumping your body full
of appetite, elaborating
Your stubby bones, tucking in
like stars,
the seeds of restlessness
that made you, finally,
swim toward the world,
kicking and shouting
but trailing a mossy darkness-
a dream that would never breathe air
and was hinged to your wildest joy
like a shadow.

(thx, Shawna)

oh my zeitgeist.

Some of my drawings were posted a few months back on booooooom, and someone commented that they’d been seeing a lot of “these hair illustrations.”

“What?” I asked innocently, “What hair illustrations?”

Since then, my field of vision has been inundated with the stuff from every direction.  Just a couple examples: from boooooom, again, and then flavorpill. Sheesh. Nothing like channeling the zeitgeist, huh? I mean, it’s even called “trend watch” on the latter specimen. So what is going on? What are we trying to spell out with these hairy twists and disembodied tresses?

So maybe it is a trend… but I can think of a line of influences that date much further back. How about this short time line of hair:

Albrecht Durer (1471 – 1528) Portrait of a Young Furleger with Loose Hair

Gustav Klimt Mermaids 1899

Meret Oppenheim Breakfast in Fur 1936

Frida Kahlo Self Portrait with Cropped Hair 1940

Jim Dine Braid 1973

Ann Hamilton Tropos 1993

Sonia Boyce Black Female Hairstyles 1995

Lin Tianmiao, Braiding 1998

Mona Hatoum Traffic 2002

Pop Culture? Cousin Itt. Fur. Where the Wild Things Are