Saturday, August 10, 2013

To my mind & experiences, New Mexico is so very soft compared to the deep Mojave (both the high Mojave and the low Mojave) and the Chihuahuan and Sonoran deserts, and the Great Basin. I love it all - these arid lands.

In the desert, water IS sacred because it is scarce.

It forces us to change behavior.

On a personal level, I see better in the desert. Something about the horizontality. My vision actually improves - both close and distant. I have no rational explanation for this, but have experienced this many, many times.

Perhaps it has to do with the ability to see the curvature of the Earth.

The way one can watch the weather move in. Then a blasting electrical storm! And then watching the weather move out.

The focusing-in on the tiny, hearty, resiliant life forms..... Lichens on lava flows. Tough desert plants that store up all their energy for years to explode into full bloom when the rains eventually come. Big black beetles moving herky-jerky across the sand. The reptiles - snakes & lizards - reminding us of ancestry. The ravens and raptors so keen and canny and chatty.

The way one can see geological time in the stones and strata. It sets the record straight for me. Reminding us that we are just foam on the surface.

I love it all. And it saddens me that the arid desert lands are often perceived and conceived as "empty" space, wasteland. Where most of our country's nuclear waste gets dispostioned to, with disregard for the indigenous cultures and life forms.

The desert is both a fragile ecology, and a resiliant one.

Contradictory. Complex. Paradoxical.

There are so many astonishing things I've witnessed in the desert. Meteor showers. Lava caves near Zuni with ice in them all year long. The hundreds of thousands of bats flying out of Carlsbad at dusk in a tornado-like spiral. Orchestras of cicadas blasting their songs; their clumsy flight, the shedding of their exoskeletons. I've chimneying up a vertical passage deep underground at Lechugilla and was eye-to-eye with a cluster of crystaline selenite needles that took tens of thousands of years to grow - like a little puff of mineral smoke - you could see right through it. I once saw a moon-bow in the Guadalupe Mountains - an uncanny atmospheric phenomena. Staggering with the Milky Way as the celestial backdrop.

Eve Andree Laramee

Monday, February 4, 2013

School of Missing Studies

Artist Bik Van der Pol on The School of Missing Studies: The knowledge that slips through singular disciplines seems to flow freely in an unbound space and networks. It takes a collaborative and experimental practice to scout for it, rather than wait for it. SMS is a network for experimental study of cities marked by or currently undergoing abrupt transition. More info on the artist: The artistic practice of Bik Van der Pol is collective, leaving the studio as a place of production and using the artistic workplace itself—practice—as a site for research and production. This conscious political and artistic choice has set the conditions for a (social) space generated by dialogue and collaboration where an encounter may happen that might result in a work of art.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Random Walk

Cincinatti-based artist, Frederick Ellenberger, has created a project and self-published book, Random Walk, mapping the movement of paper leaves. Over the years Ellenberger's work has fallen into the categories of performance, installation and objects.

Each of 800 leaves were individually cut out, painted with watercolor and inscribed with text. The source of the paper was a friend whose mother had recently passed away.

Since their creation, these golden leaves have been distributed across three continents, given to people who have been meaningful in Ellenberger's life.

This poetic, beautiful and haunting project on memory and loss is documented in the artist's book, Random Walk, which may be purchased at this LINK.

Photographs are by Joel Quimby and are used with his permission.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Paths are Made By Walking

Peripatetic philosophy of walking one's life. Presented as the 2012 Graduation Speech at the University of Pennsylvania by Nipun Mehta, founder of ServiceSpace, promoting a gift economy.

And his TedX talk:

Sam Bower of shared this link with me.

While searching online for a walking image on Wikimedia Commons, I came across these Walking House images by Rainer Halama. Walking House is a project of Emscherkunst2010 Künstlergruppe N55.


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Wandering Tug o' Peace

Photo of Kathryn's spatial dynamics piece...the eternal wanderers' tug o' peace.
We must begin wherever we are, in a map where we believe ourselves to be.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Magnetic Movie

"Magnetic Movie" by Superconductor: the collective project of Ruth Jarman and Joe Gerhardt
made during residency at NASA.
shot at the NASA Space Sciences Laboratory, UC Berkeley, California, USA.

UX - Underground Space-hacking "Artists" in Paris

This is the most inspirational thing I've read all year.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Superb set of Google Street View photos captured by Jon Rafman

The Nine Eyes of Google Street View

The Google Street View panopticon camera has nine lenses for capturing images. Sometimes unintended content gets photographed. Artist, Jon Rafman has brilliantly selected these screenshots and assembled them on his website:

Also a set of these images can be found here:

Friday, February 24, 2012

Drive Across Mongolia in Four Minutes

Jeff Diehl drove across the barren landscape of Mongolia, and made this video of the 11 day trip condensed to four minutes. It's a time-lapse video with real-time breaks and his comments. A great way to represent wandering

"Experience the roadlessness, the bandits, the breakdowns, the yaks, and the camels, without ever having to figure out how to steer and shift a right-driving mini-car through some of the remotest land on the planet. And see it out the windshield just like we did."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Nancy Holt "Sun Tunnels"

wandering the cosmos while sitting still
the sun illuminates the concrete through holes that align with constellations in the sky

Monday, February 20, 2012

What is Nothing?

Is the possibility of the "Void" or nothingness possible in space? This animation is from The New Scientist" online magazine.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

51 Declarations for the Future, by Francis Whitehead

1. Climate change = culture change
2. Sustanability is a cultural problem
3. Culture is everywhere
4. Ethics and aesthetics are inseparable
5. We need a new metaphysic
6. This is ideological
7. This is pragmatic
8. This is a call to arms

9. Opt in
10. Question autonomy
11. Seek agency
12. Claim knowledge not just creativity
13. Move beyond critique
14. Demonstrate alternatives
15. Put up or shut up
16. Connect the dots
17. Be suspicious of expertise
18. Redirect contemporary practice

19. Think systematically
20. Contend with complexity
21. Champion diversity
22. Create legibility
23. Solve more than one problem at a time
24. Sit at the collective table
25. Innovate through collaboration
26. Account for intangibles
27. Subvert the cultural quo
28. Violate your own taste
29. Get comfortable being uncomfortable

30. Start where you are
31. Re-localize radically
32. Envision place-based practice
33. Develop spatial literacy
34. Work at all scales
35. Create situated knowledge

36. The world is dynamic
37. Adaptation is key
38. Our perception is limited
39. The future arrives every day
40. We are running out of time

41. We are world makers
42. We are culture workers
43. We are change agents and double agents
44. We are proactive
45. We are problem-finders
46. We are at home in the future
47. We claim intentionality not morality
48. We practice in public
49. We know we don't know
50. We make new knowledge
51. We change culture.

Monday, February 13, 2012

inner/outer explorations

explore inside your mind and body, engage with your surroundings in a deeper way
check out Deep Listening Institute Deep Listening Institute website
What is Deep Listening?
Deep Listening® is a philosophy and practice developed by Pauline Oliveros that distinguishes the difference between the involuntary nature of hearing and the voluntary selective nature of listening. The result of the practice cultivates appreciation of sounds on a heightened level, expanding the potential for connection and interaction with one's environment, technology and performance with others in music and related arts.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Florence + The Machine_ Leave my Body

The words in this song relate to the inner wandering research I intend to do

(...I don't want your future, I don't want your past, one bright moment is all I ask  
I'm gonna leave my body, going up to higher ground, lose my mind, my history keeps pulling me down...)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Janine Antoni_Walk on Water

                                 Janine Antoni talking about practicing walking in imbalance...

Monday, February 6, 2012

Gomez & Gonzalez | Zoe Strauss

Philagrafika Presents Gomez + Gonzalez: Doing Time / Depth of Surface from Philagrafika on Vimeo.

Maybe a few of you know of these artists already, seeing that they came to MICA for a talk, but I'm posting this in the hopes that this will be news for some. These two have done a body of work titled Doing Time/Depth of Surface, in which they've tried to preserve the interior of closed prison in Philadelphia by means of large scale monoprints. How they do this is by a technique (similar to one used to preserve frescos) called strappo (literally translating in Italian as "pulled"), in which they apply fabric to the wall with glue, wait for it to dry and pull it off with the top most layer of the wall on the fabric. Another part of the project (that's not shown in the video) is having to do with the prison guard's log books that the artists stumbled upon. In them, there are reports, at fifteen minute intervals, of the status in the prison. Most all lines, with little interruption, say "All appears to be normal". The irony is twofold: That prison life is much less than normal, and that the guards seemed to be "doing time" in the same way as the prisoners. The artists included this discovery as a sound piece in which a former guard read from the book over a six hour period. The show is up at Moore College of Art in Philly, so it's not too far from here if some of you wanted to see their installation in person.
You can read more here:

Simultaneously, Zoe Strauss is exhibiting her decade long project at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In it she gives an "epic narrative" or portrait of Philadephia, its related cities and the people who inhabit them. She first launched her project to the public by exhibiting her photographs under Interstate 95, and continuing to do this once a year over a ten year period. In this way, her artistic practice, her subjects and her art fan base mingle.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Possible life supporting planet found just 22 Lightyears away

"A potentially habitable alien planet — one that scientists say is the best candidate yet to harbor water, and possibly even life, on its surface — has been found around a nearby star.
The planet is located in the habitable zone of its host star, which is a narrow circumstellar region where temperatures are neither too hot nor too cold for liquid water to exist on the planet's surface.
"It's the Holy Grail of exoplanet research to find a planet around a star orbiting at the right distance so it's not too close where it would lose all its water and boil away, and not too far where it would all freeze," Steven Vogt, an astronomer at the University of California, Santa Cruz, told "It's right smack in the habitable zone — there's no question or discussion about it. It's not on the edge, it's right in there."
Vogt is one of the authors of the new study, which was led by Guillem Anglada-Escudé and Paul Butler of the Carnegie Institution for Science, a private, nonprofit research organization based in Washington, D.C.
"This planet is the new best candidate to support liquid water and, perhaps, life as we know it," Anglada-Escudé said in a statement."

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Map of Energy Use in NYC Buildings
Columbia University Engineering school creates model to map energy consumption in cities across the globe. As urban places develop plans to cut down their energy consumption and lower their carbon footprint by reducing the associated greenhouse gas emissions, a visualization tool focusing on individual buildings helps renters, owners, and real estate property managers understand their energy use, and work towards lowering that use. By incorporating more energy efficient lighting, windows, and building systems, deeper reductions will call for changes beyond individual buildings, requiring a rethinking of how future infrastructure and energy policies should evolve.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Maurice Merleau-Ponty on the Phenomenology of Perception:

Merleau-Ponty, Maurice [Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy] - The Critique of the Phenomenology of Perception

 The Visible and the Invisible does attempt to effect a transition from something like a phenomenology of consciousness (which is basically just an analysis of how the objects we perceive present themselves to us), to a philosophy of Being. Being is another of those words in philosophy that is frequently thrown around, but perhaps relatively rarely understood. This is partly because it is not something that we can pin down or define, because it exceeds all of our resources for attempting to describe it. Let us suggest, hesitatingly, that Being is that which allows existence to be possible at all, and Merleau-Ponty becomes increasingly concerned with such matters. 
Merleau-Ponty also makes one other important comment about the Phenomenology of Perception, and his reasons for writing a new ontology, which is worth exploring. According to him, a major factor behind him setting out upon this different path, was the conviction that the tacit or pre-reflective cogito of his earlier philosophy is problematic (VI 179). The pre-reflective cogito is basically just the idea that there is a cogito before language, or to put it crudely, that there is a self anterior to both language and thought that we can aim to get in closer contact with. The notion of a pre-reflective cogito hence presumes the possibility of a consciousness without language, and it exhibits something of a nostalgic desire to return to some brute, primordial experience. This is something that thinkers like Irigiray have criticized Merleau-Ponty for, and in The Visible and the Invisible he has come to share these type of concerns.  
In his own words, he suggests that while this concept of the pre-reflective, or tacit cogito, can make understood how language is not impossible, it nevertheless cannot make understood how it is possible (VI 179). While a logician might grimace at such a suggestion, Merleau-Ponty is certainly aware of this paradox, and seeks to explicate the problems that he associates with this concept of the tacit cogito. He suggests that like all other philosophies of consciousness, his notion of the pre-reflective cogito depends upon the illusion of non-linguistic signification and The Visible and The Invisible attempts to call into question the very coherence of such a concept. As he states in one of his “Working Notes”:
  •  “What I call the tacit cogito is impossible. To have the idea of thinking (in the sense of thought of seeing and thought of feeling), to make the phenomenological reduction to the things themselves, to return to immanence and to consciousness, it is necessary to have words. It is by the combination of words that I form the transcendental attitude” (VI 171).
He later goes on to speak of the “mythology of self-consciousness to which the word consciousness refers”, and contends that “there are only differences between significations” and language (VI 171).
According to Merleau-Ponty, the tacit cogito is therefore a product of language, and the language of the philosopher, in particular. He continues to speak of a world of silence, but the concept of the pre-reflective cogito imports the language of the philosophy of consciousness into the equation, and hence misrepresents the relationship between vision and speech. The famous phenomenological reduction to the things themselves, which tries to bracket out the outside world, is hence envisaged as a misplaced nostalgia rather than as a real possibility.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Greenpoint, Brooklyn, believe the hype!

The BBC just did this short video about the neighborhood where I live in Brooklyn: Greenpoint or as the locals say, Greenprnt.

Traditionally a working-class Polish immigrant 'hood, it has transformed to a hipsterized domain fringed with luxury condos. Thankfully, there are still lots funky old woodframe houses covered in ugly vinyl siding (like mine) camouflaging the beautiful backyards that are the green-core of each block. A neighborhood where one wakes up to the sound of birds in the middle of New York City.

Here's a pic of the Greenpoint Rooftop Farm:

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

most distant object in the universe

while on the subject of the universe,
The most distant "object" or "place" detected in the universe

the small red dot in the image may not look like much but it is a burst of light traveling 13.1 billion light years to earth...

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Renee Gladman on Language/Space/&Narrative

I was reading these essays by Renee Gladman, and I came across these passages about the space(s) of narrative and the distinctions between Poetic Time vs. Time of the "Object World." 
"Recently, I had found that to talk about something that was in essence everything was simply too exhausting, and that the only way around it was to talk about the question of the thing rather than the thing itself, since in the end, it would become both. “Narrative—” I went on with my talk, “Was anybody still interested? I didn’t want to open my eyes to it. I hadn’t wanted to think about narrative at the same time that I was conscious of my body lying in the object world. It was a problem of space similar to what Martha and I were discussing yesterday: Was it possible to say that something was gathering outside of a thing with the intention of meeting something else when this something else was the larger space in which that first thing existed? Could I talk about narrative as I was operating within it?" 
"I wanted to tell her that the problem of poetic time was not a fiction, as I’d been, for years, calling it. Fiction did not concern itself with problems of time. If there was a problem inside a fiction—a problem of any nature other than what's happening inside the plot—then the whole thing would swell and small holes would form across the surface and the swellings would become as large as mountains while the holes would fill with water and become river valleys and soon we would be so far from the surface of the water that we’d recognize the picture of the mountains and valleys as a part of a geological map and recognize ourselves standing in an object world much larger than the object world in which we’d been lying when we began this essay." 

She dives more into explanation of Poetic Time and Language Space in this interview:

LI: What should you be doing with your writing?RG: If I were a really good drawer I would give up writing and just make beautiful line drawings, or at least for a while that would suffice, but I don’t draw well enough to abandon writing. Sometimes I go around and talk about the sentence and prose, and for a while I was really stuck on how thoughts exist in a preverbal way. I was thinking about how in our minds we have many things going on simultaneously, as images, half words, gestures, partial marks, and from that multiplicity we go into the single line of articulation, of expression. I kept trying to point back to that threshold moment, that translation or becoming. The linguistic selection process, what you decide to privilege, is fascinating to me, but it’s hard to know what to say about it. It makes writing a very interesting space. Writing is not a map, but something that comes after mapping. 
LI: Why prose?RG: I came up through poetry, but I am a sentence writer. I don’t know if it’s so much creating narratives as narrative space. I’m interested in time and experience and the sound of telling a story as opposed to the story itself. I have a love and deep interest in fiction, especially fiction in translation, so I teach that. But often in my workshops now I’ll bring in texts that are hybrid, cross-genre works. It’s useful as a way to get students to take more notice of language. I have students read poetry and then enter it from a sentence space. 
LI: So the poem also contains the sentence?RG: You can’t avoid narrative in any kind of language space. And poetry is interested in experience; time is there, and the day. There are places where it pushes toward documentation and begins to remind me of what you might do in prose. Maybe not fiction. But in prose, how you might build sentences around an abstraction or feeling rather than plot points. I think it can only benefit literature for fiction writers to employ various degrees of compression in their approach to narrative. 
LI: At the risk of going backward, what’s the difference between fiction and prose?RG: Fiction is interested in a certain kind of unfolding or sequence of events. Time is more intact in fiction. Prose, I think, introduces the element of the awareness of yourself in language as you are unfolding things in time and allowing yourself to be distracted or interrupted, allowing yourself to question the difficulty of what you’re doing and be stalled, not to move. I want more fiction to do this, because it changes the way we read and understand story. With fiction that repairs all doubt and interruption and experiment by being fluid, coherent; what we expect doesn’t leave much room for me as a reader. But I think the more you talk about these categories, their distinctions, the quicker they break down. Ultimately, what I want is for there to be a blur over everything.

It's a very powerful idea to me, the distinction between using language to create "narrative space" vs. a  narrative plot. I gravitate toward the former infinitely more; I'm affected more by literature and and text linguistically/formally/experientially than I am by the plot of the book.  
I definitely need some more time to flush out my ideas around this topic, but it struck a chord, and I'm interested in the use of of the term "space" in this context: as an experience or mindset. Something intangible, but very real. 

I found this artist, Rune Guneriussen, over the summer, but I find these installations/ photographs relevant because his work reminds me of nomadic groups or herds of wandering animals.  He speaks of his work as a path or a collection of moments creating a story.

obliteration room Yayoi Kusama

Tent constructed from old umbrellas in Australia

Monday, January 30, 2012

Felix's yard

There is a dog named Felix who lives at a house in the neighbourhood of Ocean Park, in Surrey, British Columbia. As there is no fence in the front yard of this house, he is often tethered up on a leash to a post in the middle of the yard. Whenever a stranger walks down the street he goes wild. He barks and growls and and doesn't stop running until the intruder passes the house. As he is held back by the lead, he runs the same semi-circle back and forth, over and over. He has made a very visible path in grass which you may find relevant (and entertaining).