25 January 2015

What is the practical function of art?

As always, I am struggling with the internal dialogue: why make time for art when there are so many problems in the world? Shouldn't we be working on the front lines instead of making pretty things? What are the practical applications of art?

I don't know the answers, but here are some contemplations that may spark your curiosity. Please comment and expand upon these thoughts, as you wish. I have been focusing on a few distinct kinds of art these past few weeks, and thinking about the exact purpose that type of art might have in the world.

Here are my inconclusive conclusions:

Art: Function

Surrealism: to Distort
Land Art: to Expand
EcoRevelatory Architecture: to Improve
Street Art: to Arouse
Permaculture: to Connect
Folk Music: to Reflect
Theater: to Portray
Collage: to Assemble
Ephemeral Art: to Give
Monster Art: to Deviate

16 January 2015

Seeds: Time Capsules of Life, a book Review

Kesseler, Rob, and Wolfgang Stuppy. Seeds : Time Capsules of Life. 2nd ed. ed. Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books, 2009. Print. This is a mind-boggling display of electron microscope images of seeds from around the world. This book makes me want to paint giant murals of tiny things. I love this book.  I am obsessed with this book. It is everything I want to do. It combines high art with science with subversion and ecological awareness.

15 January 2015

Taming the Beast

hungry monster, born
feast of folly and form
I write with my body
naked and warm
I sing with my face,
I scream at the the storm
terrified of pleasure
fat-nourished by shame
this beast is my burden
one and the same
a leviathan of truth
nobody to blame
my hands are the cauldron
my spirit, the flame

From 2012 thru 2014, I was in grad school, an MFA program in Interdisciplinary Arts. My primary areas of study started with creative writing and land art. But quickly I realized that the real thing I needed to learn was how to overcome the negative self-talk that was serving as a massive block to my overall creativity. I dove into a study of trauma recovery, connecting that to a daily yoga practice, and responding with my writing and artwork. This poem and painting are from the intro to my final MFA portfolio. I will be posting more excerpts and artworks from that portfolio over the next few weeks. Let me know what you think!

Food Not Lawns book excerpt: Make Time for What You Love


The ancient Mayan calendar followed the cycles of Venus, the first and brightest star in the sky. Our modern clock and calendar system is based on the movements of the Earth and her moon. However, these heavenly bodies never return to the exact same place twice. They rotate, they orbit, they speed up and slow down, but they do not do these things the same way every time. Because of this, the tools we use to document the passage of time must fudge the truth into predictable, repeating cycles, which are programmed into machines and printed out years ahead. 

Billions of people organize their lives around this little ruse, and see the passage of time as a straight line from birth to death. Any little quiver, any bump on this long and narrow road is seen as a perversion, an unlikely superstition best reserved for mad scientists and acid heads. But nothing in nature moves in a straight line, and time is no exception.