Tuesday, September 30, 2014

agent as object. yes, I can only think and act under the influence

Judith Butler when discussing the doctrine of constitution, makes a distillation from phenomenological ("more radical") viewpoint that "takes the social agent as an object rather than the subject of constitutive acts."

The notion of me as an object vs the subject screams Roland Barthes' "Death of the Author" in a nicely explanatory way. An object moves only under the influence of another force outside itself; it does not stand up and walk away of its own accord. The are attributes inherent to the object that may impact a portion of the nature of the movement but the movement is a direct result of something else.

As I write rebuttals in opposition to some of Plato's extremist notions, i.e. the separation of the body from intellect with the body being highly problematic and bad and the mind, the intellect, being the good, the reasoning reasonable, I am left to discover that my entire rebuttal mirrors what I've only just read in Bonaventure. So did I independently derive my notions or were they shaped hundreds of decades after Bonaventure's thinking had spread through Western philosophy. Barthe's argument would surely hold in my case that I am surely infected with Bonaventure's notions that have become embedded and remain in culture. Sigh. So I am an object writing under the influence of an amalgamation of cultural, historic, and sociological phenomenon. I cannot even claim the words to be my own since they where acquired through exposure to others already operating under the influence of language.

I am lost as sole originator because I can only function on the influence. Even within the first page of Butler's essay, I know find her pushing on the object that is me.


Thinking and working under the influence with my blood level cultural and historical levels off the chart, I may be chargeable by the thought police as not author just object. No matter that I might isolate myself I am simply not a discrete autonomous object.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

that simply cannot be right! there is no match made in heaven that would every place me with PLATO. Dang it all.

OMG. I ran a language style matching comparison between my blog post titled without unruly regret and chapter 10 of PLATO's Republic. I intended to use the results as a silly set up for a philosophy paper I am preparing to write in which my argument will be -- THERE IS NOT A CHANCE IN HELL I WOULD MARRY PLATO. Clearly I will throw out the obvious of temporal and geographical displacement, language, social class issues etc. It is really just a fun vehicle in which I can argue against a few points of his thinking that ring hollow (irk me) but with a humorous twist and academic compliance dragging it out to ten pages of supported and cited argumentation (sigh)...hmmm, perhaps like a marriage.

Anyhow, I used a psych/linguist software that analysizes writing styles in terms of relational compatibility. This was meant to be some of my outside humorous data to support my argument (the paper). I will still use it, but I had not assumed compatibility. As a matter of fact I was sure that the nature of our writing and thinking was in absolute opposition. He does irk the heck out of me. THE DAMN PROGRAM says we are mirroring one another at the high rate of 87% (90% is off the charts high -- maxed out). DANG. I guess I'll have to change my argument as to why Plato and I should marry after i channel him back from the dead.

In Synch: Language Style MatchingAre you and your Special Friend on the same page? Are you clicking? In synch? Seeing eye to eye? Communicating effectively?
Your LSM ResultsThe LSM score gives us a sense of how similarly two people are using language. It can indicate how synchronized their use of words is.

Your LSM score is 0.87Compared to other general writing samples that we have analyzed, your LSM score is far above average. To give you an idea, most LSM scores for general writing samples range between .60 and .90, with the average being around .78. The more the authors of the two samples are thinking in similar ways, the higher the LSM....


Upon further reading I discovered that I can salvage my argument by one of the primary researchers in this field, Dr. Molly Ireland. '"We think of similarity and synchrony as good for relationships,” Ireland says. And usually they are. “But of course matching another person’s mental state won’t bring two people closer together if both are thinking about how they can destroy each other.”'-- Ha. Perfect. She will definitely be cited in my argument.

Ha. The more I read the more clear it is that i miss read the intent of the mechanism...basically it shows engagement, like thinking. It is independent of liking or disliking...The research indicates that in a conflict the more the two people match language styles the more likely they are to arrive at an impasse. That is PERFECT to support my argument. AMEn...At some level however I am still misconstruing her research and need to do more homework (why? besides my silly Plato paper, this totally relates to my research agenda for my PhD)! Bam.

TEST YOU AND YOUR PARTNER, a friend or your frenemy. Enjoy.

blah blah blah....thoughts while reading between centuries, between classes

I may in fact be learning more within the temporal and disciplinary tweenness rather than in any one course. The course content dances together oddly and reasonably creating something more fair than foul.

Griselda Pollock in Agency and the Avant Garde derives from Roland Barthe:
Writing is not a personal property or expressive medium for the creative self. It is cultural, social, historical, a field of codes and conventions in which meaning is produced through the play of its signs, within its traditions, through its connotative systems over which no one person can claim mastery. 
Yet this is seen much further back than Barthe perhaps to Augustine...the Augustine, De Muscia VI, might argue the autonomy of the man and free will and such, but still...
Whatever I make out of anything which I have seen, I make by means of memory...(and of what is not seen)..comes from mental movements arising out of other mental movements which are contained in memory. (admittedly pulled out of context)
It seems pretty straight forward that memory stores  and it is going to store all that is experiential and code based "cultural, social, historical, fields of codes and conventions...signs, within its traditions...connotative systems over which no one person can claim mastery." Thus all making comes from an assemblage of the re-membered both at the reasoning cognitive and the direct experiential levels, as well as incorporating the undercurrent baselines established by communal living. "No man is an island." Making is a hybridization of all that is directly and indirectly stored in memory.

Though I am still trying to wrap my brain around these notions because I am pretty sure I slept my way through my reading of Augustine and only now upon rereading am finding him of any interest.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Responsive textabation #2

She, Griselda Pollock, lost me at…
…I have to work out to WHAT I shall be referring if I use the word Van Gogh.
Griselda Pollock, “Avant-Gardes and Parisians Reviewed” (pg 319)
How she intends for this statement to function vs how it functions within me as reader co-creating the text with her probably differs. Not only does this statement reveal the death of the artist/author, it strips artist/author of any residual humanity. The quote functions to highlight the dehumanizing dilemma of authoring (ha) a text or an analysis of an art object or artist when holding tightly to a theoretical model of approach. The situation is made humorous as she reasserts herself, her agency, her role as interpreter, through the repetitive use of the word “I”, which appears three times in the short string of text. The quote functions to reveal how unstable structuralist/post-structuralist theory can be in practice.

—- end of requested response ——
Writing is not a personal property or expressive medium for the creative self. It is cultural, social, historical, a field of codes and conventions in which meaning is produced through the play of its signs, within its traditions, through its connotative systems over which no one person can claim mastery. (pg 323) 
 A beautiful summation of how these theories play out and ring with a “truth”, yet in practice of analyzing the entity that channels an object/text, the non-claiming producer becomes dehumanized. The artist or object simply function as an X variable in an equation. Finally, moving beyond the dehumanized, Pollock arrives alongside of Raymond William’s idea of art as practice for her approach. Sigh. She wore me out as I sat on her should working together through the problems of various theory driven art writing approaches and finally to arrive at a satisfactory approach method via the practice of art.

Anything we can read as a coherent
ensemble of messages constitutes a text.

Gerald Rabkin, “Is There a Text On This Stage?” (pg 151) 
After a real world discussion of the complexities of authorship, ownership, interpretation and text in the realm of theater, Rabkin revisits the basic notions of structural and poststructural ideologies concerning what is the text. He derives the above quote from these notions and sets this quote as a baseline from which he can then distinguish between a work and a text as they relate to the actual theatrical performance. In this case he is setting up the text as the performance from which the audience will read and the script as a work, a source document from which the performance was generated. The source document, the script, remains legally connected to the one who penned it, the playwright. For Rabkin to create a viable conversation around these topics in theater, he must at least temporarily throw down a line on the stage to define what is the text that is being read. Tomorrow he can draw a different line and we can begin again in this exploration.

—- end of requested response ——

 It is an interesting dilemma of where the text is even located when there are so many intermediaries between the source document (script) and the final reader (ticket holding audience). Who is generating the text for the audience’s reading—the playwright, the director, the performers? Is the audience reading a reading of a reading? And to whmo is the script actually written for? If one considers the structure of the script, one may question who the intended reader is—the director, the performers and stage designers, the ticket buyer? For whom is the work constructed, penned? So interesting.

Monday, September 22, 2014

textual + physical influences. if i were to pick again tomorrow, the list would shift about a bit. at the moment of writing this is what i called to mind.

Five nonfiction texts (scholarly sort of) – In order of exposure

1. Debord, Guy. The Society of the Spectacle. New York: Zone Books, 1995. Encountered – 2005
I read this while drifting maplessly afoot through Paris’ historic district in a lame imitation of Walter Benjamin. I would stumble onto cafes, enter, and consume croissants, hot tea, and Debord. Every margin became filled with comments about my own experience in within the microcosm of my affluent neighborhood in the suburbs of Houston. At the time of consumption I had no idea the text was applying Marxist theory and philosophy to American culture. I had no idea that it was a seminal text for the Situationalists, I just recognized that he was calling a spade, a spade, and speaking into my lived experience. The book is significant for me in two ways: it inflamed my interest in the observing of patterns of agency in culture, and the form in which it was written, though critical, seemed to not take a dry academic approach to the topic. 
2. Gergen, Kenneth J. The saturated self: dilemmas of identity in contemporary life. New York: Basic Books, 2000. [In process of reading Relational Being: Beyond Self and Community, 2009] Encountered – 2006
In this text, speaking from the domains of social psychology, specifically around the topic of agency/identity, Gergen grasps and plays with notions that we are not an autonomous, free-willed selves, that there are manners in which we form agreed upon structures that we work within. He addresses the fluidity of agency within the context of ongoing cultural conditions and shifts. This text actually is highly related in terms of social psychology to Debord’s text, just more focused on the individual. So what? This search for patterns in human function, agency, and the relationship to the larger structures of other and otherness just frankly fascinates the crap out of me. Here is a research academic in the social sciences presenting his data, ideas, musings, etc in a softer narrative form that is atypical of my stereotypes of the high and dry academic past (and often current). This is important to me because the idea of producing high and dry is one I don’t want to spend my life pursuing. I prefer the nitty gritty where the theorist does not separate himself from his work nor from the reader. 
3. STAR/WAM/BAM SO RELEVANT. Pennebaker, James. The secret life of pronouns. New York: Bloomsberg Press, 2011. Encountered – 12/2013
Damn. When I found this, it screamed this is “my lucky day.” I had stumbled upon a methodology for my research (Latent Semantic Analysis (LSA) and Linguistic Inquiry and Word Count (LIWC)). The horror of reading every artists’ writings over the last 100 years to hunt for some patterns within the body of texts (subjectively) kept me at bay from pursuing questions about the nature of the writings that seem a part of so many visual artists’ practices. Hmmm, if I were a fast or even average reader, that might drop the sense of horror, leaving me with only the subjectivity of pattern hunting within the texts. Pennebaker, a psychologist and professor at the University of Texas, has been studying the patterns of function words (those words that lay between content words). He and his grad students have developed software that analyzes patterns in writing. They have developed and continue to a database identifying many of the patterns correlated to likely meanings. They have found relationships to texts and rates of physical healing, job acquisition, overcoming trauma, deceit, social hierarchy, personality type, affluence, etc. Win. The methods and software are available for scholarly use, available to me. I emailed Dr. Pennebaker (“Dear Famous Professor”) earlier this week about my ideas for study and ask if I might cyberbug him with questions over the next five years. As he is of retiring age (perhaps soon), he replied and gave me his personal email address. Even better the next day he was interviewed on NPR. Here again is another researcher in the softer sciences who wrote a book in which he does not stand outside of his own research waggling the size of his authority and knowledge with language of his priesthood. Instead, he humorously and personally parses out his academic research findings, study methods, etc. His is a style I might hope to match. 
 4. Wolf, Naomi. Vagina: A new biography. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2012. Encountered – 2014
Yet another text written in a very intimate style presenting a wide variety of studies on the current female condition with relevant historic backstory right down to some language studies as to the origin of the word cunt. Her main topic, which she supports with current medical, cultural, and historical studies, is the “vagina brain connection.” Alongside these studies she is unafraid to layout her own personal experience within the context of the issues addressed. The personal and academic are blended. Wolf is a social critic and activist. This is relevant to me because my writing style probably will not match that of an art historian, nor is it my burning desire to do so. 
5. Dan Ariely. Predictably Irrational, Revised and Expanded Edition: The Hidden Forces That Shape Our Decisions. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2008. Encountered – 2014
Another social theorist, Ariely, a professor at MIT and now at Duke, working in the dominion of psychology and behavioral economics, presents experimental data on human behavior without divorcing himself from his own text. You read his text and akin to all of the aforementioned researchers writers, he makes you laugh, cry, blush, and look at some damn interesting experimental outcomes. He does not distance himself from the reader but engages as though in direct dialog. Like all the works mentioned, the reader can easily extrapolate the findings to their own observations and research interests. The priestly exclusionary language and structure is set gently aside to allow others access to the domain of behavioral economics. 
Five initial artists’ whose bodies of work clicked something in me that allowed my move from designer to maker. The first encounters with this whole batch was in 2004 while in a mandated Contemporary Painting Art History Class.

1. William De Kooning. The numbered women paintings, 1950-53.
2. Philip Guston. Bad Painting period, 1970s.
Both De Kooning and Guston’s work gave me some kind of odd permission to make bad art. The idea of this kind of cultural permission granting set me free. I had to make a lot of bad art to get to the more formative works. Without De Kooning, Guston (to an untrained designer lacking a background in the high arts) and the likes, I would not have begun. So I partially blame an art historian at the University of Houston for moving me from a consistent livable wage to an impoverished wage I associate with migrant workers. Though she gets credit for giving me permission to finally walk in my own skin. Amen. 
 3. Robert Rauchenberg. Combines, 1955+, and his black paintings, 1951.
The idea that a painting didn’t have to involve paint or that it could be embedded with the everyday was shocking. I simply didn’t know it was an option. So my first work as artist (not for school) was a series of black paintings involving tar, nails, mattress pads, and found ropes. Hmmm. I like to say that Rauschenberg heavily influenced it but then again I did just returned from three weeks in Europe with my mother-in-law (former). Even today much of my work still harkens back to black paintings, I just happened to have moved away from tar toward remnant combine tractor tire tubes. 
 4. Marcel Duchamp. Three standard stoppages, 1913-14 (and of course all of his work).
 While Duchamp was still painting but moving continually away from being “as stupid as a painter” his work that incorporated random chance I found provoking. Not quite as random as Duchamp, I am still at the mercy of materials that don’t allow me the precision or control that a designer might require. There is no cmd-Z, no infinite undos of the digital. Always my work incorporates an element of chance with an unknown outcome. 
5. Womanhouse. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Feminist Art Program, 1972.
This goes back to Rauchenberg and away from Greenbergian thinking on purity of medium as well as allowing the personal to enter in to the work and not holding to any specific materiality but harnessing whatever work for the ideas at hand. Specifically it introduced to me the use of materials that were metaphorically personal or descriptive of my condition. 
6. Eve Hesse. Sculpture beginning with the works done in Germany, 1964-1970. Frankly Hesse’s work tapped my need for the tactile, the repetitive and the use of industrial materials to convey feminine forms.

Unread but expect it and author to be useful in my studies at Tech is Stiles, Kristine’s Theories and Documents of Contemporary Art: A Sourcebook of Artists' Writings. California, University of California Press, 2012.  


Bonus books : who can only eat 5 potato chips?
Annie Dillard. The Writing Life. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 1990. Encountered – 2005. 
Merton, Thomas. Echoing Silence: Thomas Merton on the Vocation of Writing. Massachusetts, Shambhala Publications, Inc, 2007. Encountered – 2009.  
Annie Lamont. Bird by bird, some instructions on writing and life. New York: Anchor, 1995. Encountered 2013.  
Brown, Brene. The power of vulnerability: teachings on authenticity, connection, and courage. Sounds True, 2012. Encountered 2013.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

A responsive textabation

I've a need to re-enter my blogging practice. In this case I shall simply dump a responsive reading assignment. The task at hand was to pull a quote from the text, explain how it functioned in the author's argument and to give a tad of context.

TEXT #1 Roland Barthe "The death of the author"

literature is that neuter, that composite, that oblique into which every subject escapes, the trap where all identity is lost, beginning with the very identity of the body that writes.-Barthes (pg 2)

This quote functions however I damn well read it since I now occupy the privileged space of meaning maker becoming the texts defining author. I consume the text into my here and now. This consumption, this mulling over, this reading, builds a mechanism in which I layer a multiplicity of understandings derived simply from my own shifting dominion of self, context, and language overlaid upon his string of words. Barthe who penned the quote experienced his own detachment, death, in its writing. He was buried under language’s power to perform independently of him. The author and his intent is but a residual fragment, “a gesture forever anterior”, an assemblage of pre-exisiting signs, a “void process.” As reader author, I choose to hunt for Barthe and his residual “readymade” of meaning and only in this choice may a “remote imitation” of his intent reenter the text. My own textabation now ransoms me not as meaning maker but as obsolete. These strings of text I thumb out are no longer able to act upon my here and now, my reality. As you birth its meaning, I am lost.


TEXT #2 Sally MacArthur. Towards A Twenty-First Century Feminist Politics of Music. “How is the Composer Composed?”

…use the matrix…they are told…they are told…fed…a diet…tossed with a hefty dose…to…condition…upon some…system, which had to be justifiable…progress…derived from…prompting…doctrine…dominance of…being indoctrinated…in the…endless reproduc[ion]…of…training…locked into static conventions…the…repetitive…the…narrow…the…deterministic…the…normative…
access…is buttressed…by privilege…reinforce(ing)…status…and the dominant…produces the composer; and the composer produces the dominant…endlessly…ignor(ing)…the…creator…as...enclosed…in…a… homogenized…system.
The new…the autonomous…is oblivious…and forges…necessity…in..elitist and hierarchical…to avoid risk…to seek…safety and predictability…new…is replicating itself…ceasing to become…removing the possibility…of trajectories of…unfolding.– Sally Macarthur (pgs 41-45)

This assembled fragmented quote of sequentially pulled keywords condenses the author’s descriptor of the current conditions and conditioning of the “high brow” artist as a result of their emersion in the academy. She argues that the academy’s ongoing rejection of relatively current “isms” reshaping our understanding of creation, construction of meaning and its intersection with authorship, has impeded the institutions capacity to train artists to be truly innovative. Pinpointing weaknesses in poststructural and postmodern approaches that remain strongly binary, she outlines excuses for the academy to brush them aside – Barthes’ death of the author that privileges the reader, Foucault’s sidestep of meaning, Grosz’ remnant male/female, author/text attachment to positive/negative constructs. Macarthur proposes that striping the composer from under the privileged label of the rational, all-knowing, author and promoting the composer instead as one to be “continuously…under construction” will allow an unfolding of alternatives within the “high-brow subsector” of art music. Using poststructuralist notions of the dissassemblage of the author, she looks specifically to Deleuze’s “machinic (re)assemblage” for a metaphor and method. Unfortunately she fails to logically link the machinic assemblage to her well-crafted pedagogical closing example, a shame because her example is a fine alternative practice to compose the composer for innovation.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Sold. On to the next adventure!

Soulful puppy making the transition from dog heaven freely chasing rabbits, deer, cows and horses to the life of leashed leisure out in Lubbock. She will adjust (I hope).

Goodbye my sweet, sweet hermitage, microforest and minimeadow!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Up, down, sold (ok, well, under serious contract)

I I suppose it is just bragging, butttt my realtor first showed the hermitage at 11 am, by one I had a viable offer, by three a contract was being drafted up. Bam! I feel fabulously giddy (til I think about missing her, the hermitage and microforest. Fortunately I will be far to occupied in a pleasurable endeavor to give a rip very long). She was a beautiful gift I cherished for the time that was gifted to me.

Now I really have to clear it quickly. Whoop!

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

Last add to the hermitage

Originally there was a view blocking picket rail between the two levels. I ripped the eye sore out within the first five days of owning. When I bought it I always had this idea in mind, shelving in the dead space, extending up to second level for seating AND allowing me to look out the front window to the meadow each morning when I awaken.

Sweet to realize it. Tonight I'll prime this baby and tomorrow paint her with good old fashion oil based paint to match all the trim and window sills. 

The perk if being artist is that you can build awesome functional stuff not just useless art. :) art self slam. And you've already got the tools to get the job done even if it is your first ever shelving to build. :)

Yup. Proud of myself and very satisfied with the add. It is perfect with the rest of the house. 

Thursday, May 22, 2014

the hermitage draws close to being market ready and my floors arerocking!

admittedly i've been showing her anyway because the micro forest and mini meadow and she built deck can sell themselves...the finishing of all the reno projects on the hermitage just make her totally smittenable.

one more layer to be laid down. the final will be a satin finish.

dining room


bedroom #2

Monday, May 12, 2014

hermitage flooring coming along

pro floor finisher comes next week as i have finished with cutting, fitting and securing the floors in the bedrooms, den, living, dining and stairwell. yay.

I cut and laid 8" planks in the bedrooms which contrasted nicely from the adjoining den that is laid with 36x36 squares.

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

hermitage, microforest, minimeadow going on the market

I have loved on this space I call home, I call gift. But I will be going to do my PhD in Lubbock and don't know where I will land at its end so the hermitage in the woods must go. It is located on ten acres two miles from the NW corner of Sam Houston National Forest. A fifteen minute drive from Sam Houston State University and 76 miles from the heart of downtown Houston. It would make a fine weekend place.

Monday, March 31, 2014

if I avoid the unsightly, the inappropriate, that negates the bulk ofmy living and leaves me straining in falsetto. damn the unseemly.

get stuck. the only way i know to unstick is to approach the very moment in which i reside. so i do. i drag myself down the aisle. pulling one more box from the shelf, the smallest yet, i trudge the cart-rolling trek back shamefacedly to the register. i am sure i still blush at purchase and think with each passing month it is my last.

but no. NOoo.

george is here again, sitting with me in my mom's chair. i rock wedged between the big open windows of the hermitage and its fireplace. his presence, not that comfy. with his added weight, the wicker bites ridiculous patterns into my rump as i wait his leave. i hate his visits.

i distract myself with the thumbing of my keypad and the muffled morning rain thrumming on the metal roof. from here, i see that the leaves are beginning to clump, cling and mat. i rock; it drizzles; i bemoan the visit. still, hunting for distraction, i damn yesterday's rotten log with its belt busting force decommissioning my tractor's mulching blade. now i will have to work up the words to ask mr. bushee for a lesson in belting my banged up red babe. i am hard on my tools and toys, haranguing them to work in irregular ways. as a she-child, i did not get the useful learned lessons in machined mechanisms or their care. frankly even now, the shop bought fixetties leave me wanting. the red babe, my bladed beast, has returned from the shop more broken than not. whaaat? i paid work earned money for these repairs. they alleviate her nonfunctionalness, but bang and break something new every fricking time--broken fender, dangling head light. grrrrr. superficial i suppose, but my hard wear exasperates their bangs and breaks -- front face plate recently gone as the broken fender caught hold and ripped free from a limb clutching branch. admittedly i only forked over a hundred bucks for her, a divorce trophy from some poor souls' split.

my mind wanders back to george. how can it not, as he asserts himself with a fierce, unforgiving force. bastard. try as i might to avoid his impinging, he arrives with foreseeable frequency. here but a few days then gone again for twenty six. his nature, damn cyclical. only now has he begun to slow, stutter, and wane with the wear of age. why must he come for these excavations with his little cutting, barbaric detissuing knives? i bleed each visit. damn bastard. a week early from his habit, he sits with me in this chair. sit still, rock, he cramps me. this fall he has toyed, failing, fluttering and fluctuating in his visits, as though to leave me. i am ready for him to be gone. i yearn for the flat lake calm that will settle with the absence of his hormonally driven storms. perhaps i will be less of a woman in his wake. i've premourned his leaving for sometime -- fretting my fading femininity. he has had his damn stay for near thirty nine and three quarter years! i am ready for him to be gone. bastard.

i suppose menopause will be his unseemly boxless bitch. perhaps she will linger longer.

Monday, March 17, 2014

memory is often far too big
not actual size and most certainly not to scale

stripped loveseat. who knew i could learn so much from its undoing. i did

extend back

new legs


wing back

ottoman. plus Home Depot rubbermaid lawnchair for full sized humans as a measure of scale.

oh yes. it is modular. the gallery has a standard sized door. the original loveseat flipped on its side just barely slides through. so, needless to say, the back and legs slide off. always, always know the size of the gallery door, elevator, stairwell, and turns before fabricating your work. :) i once watch a semi grown woman cry as i finished my deinstall. she arrived only to discover her work could not pass through the doors! dang.

helpful side kick.

rebar for me to fold to construct skeleton of new chair cushions upon which i will sew with tie wire my trashy materials.

pipe clamps become my metal bender

waa-laa. even chica muscles could apply a little physics one O one via simply lever

apply a little metal hot glue (lincoln wire feed welder).

ottoman cushion.

in process for exhibition opening may 17, 2014 in houston. details forthcoming.

rarely do i purge but my big ass art footprint makes it necessary why i sketch at full size, i don't know

my life has never been a straight path and I've never backtracked vocationally--jr high science teacher, youth minister, graphic designer, director of communications, interactive media instructor, art foundations professor. no back tracking. surprisingly each has built on what came before. artist isn't a vocation, it is a way of functioning. that will not go away...it was there in the jr high classroom right up to the collegiate studio and lecture hall. it will take me into my future of making, writing and research. there is something I need to find and I am pretty sure I am in route and I will stand on the shoulders of what has already passed, not a single year unneeded.

Yet, my big ass art footprint reduction is needed. begun. it's got to go. how to decide is beyond me...all that is legal to burn, will. purging begun! though these are four feet and larger, they are more like sketches on board. dang heavy board. two D is not my primary format. drawing just sooths me. my primary format occupies far more than flat planar (ha pleasantly redundant) space and tools, they to take up real space. i cannot imaging hauling it all, 2d and 3d, to lubbock and storing it AND CERTAINLY NOT PAYING TO STORE. space occupation always cost money no matter how tamely and passively the materials lay there. 

most, admittedly, are from the before i even thought of myself as artist when i was just superficially reacting to a contemporary art history class--reacting to expressionism, bad painting, feminism. I didn't know prior to that that it was ok to make bad art. once I discovered it was ok to make bad art my inner world and making practice opened right up. bad art literally set me free. 

purge. tear. wipe. 

it is certainly freaking me out. but i just can't manage all the work i have. 

most is far more beautiful or at least interesting in the purge, in the mid burn process. kind of takes to a new level. so glad I documented the purging. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

new adventure that will require proofing and capitalization. dang

my intent to which they've agreed is to drive my bum, belongings, and my big ass art footprint out to the dust driven plains of academia in lubbock, tx to pursue my Fine Art Ph.D. in Critical Studies and Artistic Practice at the crossroads of Visual Arts, Creative Writing and Psychology. see i've already given way to proofing and grown up lettering...sigh...oh wait i was discussing my intent...here goes...not just my intent but also how i got to this intention...the adventure begins now that i've signed the dotted line on a multiplicity of agreements and funding (YAY!)...

the arrival of and my intention...

Hair matted and clinging, man-beater tank top saturated with sweat in embarrassingly feminine patterns, the salt and grime stings my eyes as my chica muscles finally give way to the working of these damn resistant and disobedient materials. At times, I make nine-foot vaginas, and I make a lot of them. I attempt compliance from these evolving gender specific beasts--stitch, weld, and suspend large masses of remnant rubber from gallery ceilings and walls alike. Even the pine of my microforest, unyieldingly bear my works weight. Initially in exhaustion, I would sit, scratching pen to page, unpacking my thinking, my methods, my mistakes, my making, my life. Somewhere in the space between visual making and plying this pen to page, writing has taken hold. I mistook this gesture as a respite of sorts, only to watch the centrality of my writing unfold as lead, the core of my making. I cannot get to the form without the writing. The working is an unruly pushing and plying, a raw and intimate play back and forth between text and artifact. It has taken me a while to grasp the role writing has taken. I’ve had the habit of leaving it as first draft, a mere trace of my making. My understanding of it now shifts. The ongoing act of writing, the dependence on it, the hunger and need for it, the resultant smittenhood of the art critic in reviews and residency directors in person who speak more to my online texts than my making, all drive my awareness of the needed shift. 

Consistent with my interdisciplinary practice there seems a constancy of writing in the life of visual artists whether it be the letters of Van Gogh, the essays of Donald Judd or Robert Motherwell, the journals of Anne Truitt or Annie Albers. Art journals, memoirs, diaries, anthologies of visual artists’ writings proliferate on the bookshelves. Yet, I’ve not found anyone asking why? Not why the all these published writings, for people generally are curious and a tad envious of the artist’s journey, but why all this writing from artists known as visual makers. What are the functions writing fills for the visual artist? Is there a key component in the writing, formal or informal, published or not, that sustains the visual making throughout a lifespan? Is there a correlation to success in terms of being “known” or remembered? Is this drive specific to a specific trait, introversion or extroversion, gender, learning style, art process, personality, or familial expectations? Am I just biasedly seeing a pattern because it matches my own process? In the field of the social sciences, researchers have been publishing studies linking writing to increased rates of physical, emotional, vocational, and spiritual healing and health. James W. Pennebaker’s research in linguist inquiry and word counting-LIWC seems a viable source and methodology to bounce my questions off. Other theorists and researchers, Kenneth Gergen, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Brene Brown, and Charles Duhigg, seem to come at the questions more indirectly, perhaps simply tangent relationships. Interestingly their primary mechanisms of data collection appear to be their subjects’ writings, self-reporting. Can the social sciences provide an avenue to peer into the writing practice of visual artists to identify its functions? As well, is there a parallel or a method of insight to be gained in the literary arts, writers writing about their own process of writing as seen with Thomas Merton, Anne Lamont, Phillip Lopatte, Madeleine L’Engle, Joan Didion, and Susan Sontag?

My gut leads me to believe that there is a correlation between a writing practice and a life long sustained making practice. Through the vehicle of contemporary art history, the social sciences, and the literary arts, I intend to collect and analyze relevant writing patterns through the literature and the lives of contemporary artists via qualitative (leaning toward grounded theory methodologies) and quantitative (linguist inquiry and word counting-LIWC) research, and through my own process of writing and making. Additionally I intend to take the identified components of the writing practices and develop a series of cohesive essays, a book being desirable. I would also like to harness and test specific applications of relevant writing components within the academic setting for studio artists..

Finally, my teaching experiences as Visiting Professor of Art at Sam Houston State University [4.5 years] developing a contemporary interdisciplinary foundations program in conjunction with a contemporary art history lecture component [WASH] and as a teaching fellow, Graphic Communication MFA at UH [2003-2006], along with my writing and making practice equip me to competently develop a series of seminar courses for visual artists that introduce the writing practice beyond the artists statement—writing as sketching, writing as a sustaining practice for the visual.

I am thrilled to have this opportunity to pursue these questions with the Fine Art, Experimental Psychology, and Literary Arts Faculties.

Sincerely, Me.

PS I am very nervous about moving from my lush microforest and artist altered hermitage to the barren dusty plains of west texas and moving my big ass artistic foot print. feel free to buy any of my work to help me offload it!!! feel free to rent (or even buy) my magnificent hermitage in the piney woods.

Friday, March 07, 2014

upcoming outdoor exhibition

Color Up/Color DOWN
Art Installations Opening March 15, 5-7pm
Russ Pitman Park - 7112 Newcastle, Bellaire

How does an artist respond to the theme: COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN, within the context of a nature conservancy? Now a sixth year tradition, this evolving group of artists called Municipal Dirt, will explore materials as media which translate the statement of nature and that of artist into a visual public experience for 'Art in the Park'.

Take a detour from traffic to the calming ambience of a stroll through this 4 acre oasis, Russ Pitman Park. Enjoy the tranquility of leaves rustling under your footsteps, fluttering wings, and then silence as you pause to hear the laughter of children on their own exploration of nature's abundant curiosities and glimpse into the artists' world of COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN.

In keeping with the mission of the Nature Discovery Center, the artists celebrate the function of observation and understanding of nature, while exploring the systems that create form, surface and color within the park, whether it is by natural formation or artist's impetus. The following internationally recognized visual and performing artists have been invited to participate: Karen Brasier-Young, Margaret Braun, Vachu Chilakamarri, James Ciosek, Jordan Dupuis, Daniel Esquivel-Brandt, Tonatiuh Esquivel-Silva, Orna Feinstein, Jeff Forster, Mikey Georgeson, Lydia Hance, Mark Hirsch, Kathryn Kelley, Ann Johnson, Mari Omori, Loueva Smith, Carol Scott, Paul Tecklenberg, Justin Varner, June Woest, Jo Zider(curator), and Grace Zuniga.

the wake of memory
laps, opening and closing
within the pull of time

Opening reception for "COLOR UP/COLOR DOWN" art installations and performance by Frame Dance will happen from 5 -7 pm on Saturday, March 15, 2014. The Exhibition runs March 15 - May 1, 2014. There will be an artists' walk and talk on Saturday, March 22, starting at 4:30 pm. Also you may join the Nature Discovery Center Adult Lecture Series for a guided tour, with curator, Jo Zider, Wednesday, April 2, at 7 pm. Russ Pitman Park is located at 7112 Newcastle, just north of Evergreen, in the City of Bellaire and therefore no pets, alcoholic beverages or smoking are allowed on the grounds or parking areas. Park hours are 6 am - 9 pm, every day. For more information, contact the Nature Discovery Center

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

without residual unruly regret.

at the periphery of perception, i extend my hand gropingly feeling for my dreams of future casting. i must have them, mustn't i? i facilitate workshops in which i guide the group into the gaps of peripheral space in hopes of pulling down into recognizable forms these their hidden dreams. i'd love to say i am so selfless, i am there as purely guide for other, but not so. in my own ego squawddling and skittering, i hunt for my dreams. many have smacked me in the face as an open palm plant to the forehead. they have come without my forerecognition, without the grope or hunt. no dream quest set upon. in the wake of even only the temporally near "has beens", they are easy to list when my palm is pulled free of face -- the dopt, the hermitage, the microforest, my WASH and WASHers, my BOXes and C.SAWs, my borrowed side sliced trailer tire that led me to tubular harvesting and stitching. i haven't asked, i haven't had to grope or fumble foolishly like an adolescent on his first date. the peripherally unperceived dream just arrived, gifts finally consciously unwrapped with that forceful facial palm plant. not a one could i have done without, nor one i count as earned, not one that could be passed off as anything but grace. no dream quest ventured upon.

there seems a cultural bestseller trend in the soft sciences that indicates i might accelerate this process of favorable foward motion, of future dream casting, that i might speed and direct the forceful forehead palm plants of fulfillment. i must simply pull down the damned dream, define it, askingly cast it into existence. a kind of positivism. if you build it, they will come. hmmmm. but heck, i don't know my dreams enough to grab hold and say this one. though the closest thing to which i am a true expert is on myself. i know that my expertise is lacking, even filled with wrong thinking and the nightmarish mental meanderings shaped by my shoulds and the deforming embracing of words and habits not my own. my expertise is clichedly muddied by should haves, would haves, could haves. the skittish dreams, like smoothered stars in the daylight, have been lost in the goods of and plethora of SHOULD ofs. there are a lot of goods. because of the lost skittish nature, the light smoothered stars, i cannot sneak upon or know my own dreams and visions directly. can i fully know my own mind? know what is best? what if my reasoning is actually irrational? for that matter, am i even truly a descrete entity that can be defined outside of other? what of my agency or if i ask for the wrong thing, the untrue thing, for which i am not wired? these dreams or at least my capacity to trust in them are so freakingly seriously skittish to the direct, hungry, or aggressive. i try to slide up to the unsleep driven dreams, my head turned just so, and i slide my groping hand up into the peripherial perception of these spaces filled with my dreamscapes and castings.

i am frightened at how my groping hands must release their current contents to touch these scaped castings. i am terrified to release my microforest and hermitage -- the crunch below my footfall as my gait swings out long upon the graveled lane, the meadowed and leaf foddered spaces in which i lay as the trees' canopies sing in whispered breaths, the hawks' soar stirs the kiss of wind upon my spring warmed cheeks and closed lids, the tendrils of grass caught hair stir gently cascading the curve of chin, the my mineral painted walls remain bare only to hold the entering and ebbing day's light in an almost wholy glassed hermit shelter. it's where my pup found me riding my red mulching bladed machine one Sunday taxed (an April 15) morning. i am terrified of leaving my corner of the forest for the barren dust ridden high plains of academia. i am terrified of leaving a space, the only space where i've so fully attached, its calling not just home, but womb. birthing is such a bitch!

may i lay my hand to these scape castings that are true to who i am. may i pull ones down that brim with meaningful purpose. may the things released be so without residual unruly regret.