In the video [link above] Ed Moses talks about his early work in the 60’s & 70’s.
My personal take-aways from this talk.
Art is proof that we exist. It is our “mark” that is no different from footprints in the mud or handprints on the cave wall.
Art is a path we travel that documents our journey from confusion to reality. The journey is the goal.
Art is about our attempts to control our environment only to realize we don’t have any control. Or, as he say’s “…realizing that I don’t want to be in control, I want to be in-tune.”
Click the link above for the video. Enjoy.
And if you like the first video here is another great video of this artist.
Over the years I’ve heard so many people talk about vacations. The build-up and anticipation of a vacation, the vacation itself, and the return (from). My imagination is startled how the vast majority of people really don’t understand vacation at all. For most it is simply an escape from the routines of daily life. A vacating of the premises of daily routine. But is that all there is?
I ask that question because have you ever noticed how people talk about the actual “vacation” and how they feel when they return from vacation? My observations conclude that people merely replace one itinerary with another. The time away from routine is another schedule that must be filled and every moment of that schedule occupied by doing this, that or the other. In fact they are so busy on vacation that when they come back – the vast majority of the time – they talk about it in terms of how they might define work and their daily routines. In fact most people over-work themselves on their vacation and they end up coming back to work, to the daily routine exhausted. They vacated one routine and replaced it with another more itinerant time-filler. What’s missing? What’s wrong?
People miss the one important thing of a vacation. They forgot about the vacant. The emptiness. The space to breathe and just be. The space to sit, relax and re-energize. Finding that vacancy in vacation is the key to a true vacation.
When one finds this vacant space they can then actually find ways to incorporate it in their daily routine for mini-vacations. My daily lunch time is a mini vacation for me. Most people eat their lunches in the workplace and in America many corporations have “working lunches” while people have their mid-day repast while they work. In fact at the company I work for they will frequently provide food to make this more attractive and people buy into it because all they think of is “free food” instead of the break from work they are entitled to. My lunch break is only 1/2 hr long yet it allows me time to decompress, regroup, relax and re-energize for what’s to come for the rest of my shift. How do I do it? There is a small park about a 5 minute drive from work. I drive to the park. Sit in silence, eat my sandwich or cup of yogurt – whatever I’ve packed for that day – I round it out by closing my eyes for about 5 minutes before I head back to work. I have a solid 15 minutes of peace, quiet and “escape” from the daily work routine. It really is quite marvelous. Of course there are those odd days where I’m required to be in a meeting that has a working lunch but fortunately those are few. A vast majority of the time I am able to experience some vacancy during my lunch break.
These are things I learned over the years. My vacations from work (whether a week, a day or an hour) are wonderful vacant spaces that I purposely try not to fill. Sure I do some activity, I’m not just “bump on a log” but again the key is not to crowd out your time with activity but to maybe have an idea and then let it evolve. And ultimately having to freedom to change your mind and cancel an activity.
One of my favorite films is Les Vacances de M. Hulot (Mr Hulot’s Holiday) This extremely short clip shows a pair of my favorite characters in the film. An older couple who just meander and amble through the film not really doing anything. Yet their vacation is truly a vacancy an itinerary that is empty yet fully experienced. Enjoy. And if you get a chance watch the whole film because it contrasts both notions of vacation: those who are concerned with over-occupying their time and those who are genuinely experiencing the “vacant”.
“Poetry. The better you understand how it should be done,
the less you are able to write it.
Virtuosity comes with the void.”
~ Philippe Jaccottet
…and I have found this true of all things in my life, whether at work or play. My study of music theory destroyed my ability to perform. My study of Theatre disabled my ability to act. My beginning studies of art history nearly destroyed my ability to see & create. All have blinded me to the possibilities outside of limitations. In the “void” I was free. But the muse of creativity is fickle; for some, she inspires through seeing while others she inspires through blindness. How can anyone say, “There is ONE way?”
Who co-opted our values
Who changed the primary meaning of the word
Who dared to stare at the face of God
and say, “Who are you?”
and, “How much?”
When did values change to only mean
When did the noun co-opt the verb
Will we ever be able to recover
which cannot be defined
by material value
Maybe some day
it will be an innocent child
who recovers the truth
and once again
focuses and directs
away from materialism
the values of humanity
breathing new life
into old meanings
So last week I went to the greeting card store to purchase a fathers day card.
Scccrreeeeeech (sound of needle being dragged across vinyl) For those who are familiar with my work you may ask, “Why not just make him one of your own artwork?” Well the simple answer is that he doesn’t care for my work. Which is fine. Different strokes for different folks.
Now, on with the story.
If you are in America there is nothing more cliche than holidays, which is why I loathe them so much. The best thing about (most) holidays is that it just means I don’t have to go to work that day.
But everything else is pure cliche and pablum.
Father’s Day is no different. When shopping for a Fathers Day card and this is echoed in news stories and media coverage, you will find everything narrowed down to the following 5 subjects many of which are combined in some sort of competition:
- (humorous) Grilling
- (humorous) Sports (fishing, golfing etc)
- (humorous) Power Tools
- (humorous) traditional gifts satire (tie, socks etc)
- (serious) Thank you/Religious/Inspirational
Now this is just extremely disappointing, frustrating and maddening. I think the greeting card industry should be boycotted for all the garbage it sells. On top of that every news program has some sort of Father’s Day “gift list” which includes gifts of/related to …you guessed it… grilling, sports & power tools.
Of course it’s even sadder that almost no one questions this stuff – it’s just accepted blindly as the norm. So, goodbye individual expression and creativity. Out the window and down the garbage disposal. Father’s Day is just another holiday to loathe.
So what kind of card did I end up with? A sound gadget grilling card. The front states, “I’d like to give you a big grilled steak for Father’s Day” and when you open it up you see the picture of a cow (that actually mooo’s) and the words, “It just isn’t cooked yet”
I feel so unclean.
I’ve been a fan of so-called ambient music ever since Brian Eno coined the term in 1976. And while ambient music has come to mean a multitude of things of the past few decades it is generally associated as a sort of quiet minimalism. In 1987 Editions E.G. Records released a compilation of their artists who were associated with the growing instrumental electronic music movement, many of which were associated with ambient music. This electronic music compilation included Brian Eno, Roger Eno(his brother), Harold Budd, Michael Brook, Bill Bruford, Patrick Moraz, Hans-Joachim Roedelius, John Hassell, Robert Fripp, Laraaji, Phil Manzanera and, last but not least, The Penguin Cafe Orchestra. This compilation was titled ANGELS IN THE ARCHITECTURE and had extensive liner notes explaining and detailing what ambient music involved. This was my first exposure to the Penguin Cafe Orchestra (which used electronic and also folk instrumentation). I went on to collect all their albums based on the 2 tracks that were included on this compilation.
The song I want to focus on which I’ve revisited again is from the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s debut album, MUSIC FROM THE PENGUIN CAFE. It is titled (and perhaps would be a model for the lengthy titles of later post-rock masters…) The Sound Of Someone You Love Who’s Going Away And It Doesn’t Matter. Yes, that really is the title. This song has so many nuances and it expresses what Penguin Cafe Orchestra does best in this period; taking a melody and deconstructing it then reconstructing it again – a sort of compositional breathing.
This song starts out with a beautiful melody that totally draws the listener in and wraps the listener in a warm blanket of comfort and serenity. Then it slowly deconstructs and before-you-know-it the sound has become more like a wailing child. After that harsh realization has set-in the melody returns like a lullaby to comfort the “child” and soothe the emotions. Then for a second time it starts to deconstruct and it’s not as extreme but the awareness and expectation is greater as the distance grows. Because we know the suffering that can come, based on the first go-round. But, once again the melody returns. This third time the melody does not seem to return fully but just sort of lingers on, hints of deconstruction then fades away as if it just doesn’t matter any more. Life, relationship, loss and the life that remains. It’s what makes this music so “true”.
I hope you enjoy this wonderful music.
For more info:
And for the new Penguin Cafe – a project by Arthur Jeffes where he is continuing the work started by his father Simon Jeffes with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra.
The featured image on this post is from a photographic series of mine titled Celluloid Impressions and features abstracted images created by photographing the moving image in cinema. This featured image is number 10 in the series.
7AM ONE JUNE MORNING
The muffled sun
A quiet hum of tires on pavement
Sleepy twittering of the waking sparrow
Mournful train whistle in the distance
And Discreet Music by Brian Eno on the stereo.
The day comes alive in the city.
This is a selection from a series of images (so far totaling 30). In this series I am exploring the edge of image through over-exposure. All these images were taken on a photo-walk in downtown Akron one Sunday morning. Just more of my further adventures in Non-representational, non-pictorial and non-objectivism with the camera as my paintbrush. It was interesting when I submitted these to my printer they contacted me and were reluctant to print them because there was so much white. I assured them that this was intentional as I want to explore the very edge of photography and question what we define as a photograph. I’m glad I insisted. I just got the prints and they are gorgeous!
I’m imagining them all hanging on a wall next to each other much like this presentation here where they create details of a much larger work.
One of my favorite poets is Philippe Jaccottet; from Switzerland (the country of origin of my ancestors). Here are two quotes that Fit this series and the soundtrack that I’ve selected for this presentation.
“White as the absence of colour, or death;
white as the essence of color, or, perhaps,
“Things can fall apart again at any moment.
I can barely hold on to them, if I hold their shadows.
What I devour like a desirable meal is perhaps no more than absence.”
~ Philippe Jaccottet
The soundtrack I’ve chosen for this is An Ending (Ascent) by Brian Eno.
ASKING & HEARING
A photo-based digital creation.
Asking & Hearing – posted as a tribute to the late Ornate Coleman 9 Mar 1930 – 11 Jun 2015.
Cheers to the man who showed us “THE SHAPE OF JAZZ TO COME”. He also taught us that the “CHANGE OF THE CENTURY” would affirm “WHEN TOMORROW IS THE QUESTION!” and answer “FREE JAZZ” and involve “THE ART OF THE IMPROVISERS”. Right up to the end he espoused “THE NEW VOCABULARY.” Thank you for teaching us the “DANCING IN YOUR HEAD” and opening our eyes and ears to all of life’s possibilities “IN ALL LANGUAGES”.
“The idea is that two or three people can have a conversation with sounds, without trying to dominate it or lead it,” Coleman said in a 1997 interview with the French philosopher Jacques Derrida.
“What I mean is that you have to be — intelligent,” he said.
“I think the musicians are trying to reassemble an emotional or intellectual puzzle, in any case a puzzle in which the instruments give the tone.”
He had a notorious relationship with music labels. His groundbreaking works were considered on the cutting edge and he had little patience for the industry’s business side. “I’ve never had a relationship with a record executive. I always went to the record company (because of) someone that liked my playing. Then they would get fired, and I’d be left with the record company,” Coleman told Cadence Magazine in 1995.
For more info:
The continuing exploration of over exposure. This adventure began in my previous series “LUMINOUS IMPRESSIONS” [which can be seen here https://www.behance.net/gallery/24471909/Luminous-Impressions ] In some ways I think over exposure is a perfect metaphor for the internet era. When a photograph is over exposed it leads to “white out” situations where details become fuzzy and unrecognizeable. I wonder if that’s what will happen to us on the internet. Will too much exposure lead to a sort of personal and cultural blindness? And, is this a bad thing?
On the other hand – because of over exposure where things are not easily identified we are left to explore other realms of the over exposed image. It can give us new feelings and be an almost spiritual exploration into the non-pictorial and non-representational image. In other words, because we cannot readily identify something we are free to redefine it on our own mental, spiritual and emotional terms. Ten people can look at a photo of a kitten and all agree that it is a kitten they are viewing but when the image is over exposed each individual can come up with their own interpretation of what they are looking at.
Click “play on the video” then click on the first image and you will be able to see it large and then press arrow button to go to next image.