Eureka Garden Episode #5: Language of the Birds

Over the past couple of years, sculptures that resemble what I imagine might be produced by the very first artists on earth, have passed through my studio.  Many who see them either ask me why they were created or suggest that I undertake some sort of inquiry as to why they have appeared in my life.  While the idea of having some sort of dialogue with these creatures appeals to me- after all, Carl Jung did this with his art during the development of a process he called “active imagination”- I’ve yet to follow through on such a project.  I’m not sure whether it is because I’m lazy or because I am in accord with Thomas Moore who wrote:

Usually when we explain a painting precisely, its mystery vanishes

along with its value.  The very point of a good painting is to keep

us wondering, asking questions, offering interpretations and

contemplating.

Who knows?  I may eventually end up doing some of this Jungian analysis where I treat these creations as archetypes and inquire into why they exist.  For now, I am having fun creating new art using this strange cast of characters.  I invite you to follow the link below to a video where some of these creatures show up.  It’s called Eureka Garden Episode 5: Language of the Birds. I’d suggest listening with high quality headphones.

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to my personal email address or to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

Eureka Moments Episode 4: Collaboration with Artist Charley Taylor

 

 

 

Those who have seen earlier videos from Eureka garden know that “collaboration” is a recurring theme.  I am interested in this topic, not because I am an expert, but because I feel like I probably could learn some important life lessons by being more collaborative.  Collaborations of all types require that one enter into relationships where one’s ego is on the line, so to speak.  Once you are involved with other people, you are not in complete control; you have to become flexible.

There are different levels of collaboration and most of us collaborate at elementary levels.  For instance, I have the good fortune of being a member of Art Group of North County (https://artgroupofnorthcounty.weebly.com/) , a group that meets weekly to critique one another’s creations and to jointly promote exhibitions.  What I call “higher order collaborations” are rarer in the arts and entail creating projects jointly.  In these cases, each of the participants must listen to and consider ideas from the others and this means they may have to “let go” of pet ideas or insights.  From what I have read, those who engage in such collective creative processes find them extremely challenging and also extremely satisfying.  Understandably, artists from different disciplines (e.g. music and visual arts) find collaborating especially difficult, as well as rewarding.  Interestingly, those reporting on such experience all say that just sitting down and getting to know the other person is the most important part of collaborating.

One of the reasons for establishing “Eureka Gardens”, (which mainly entailed giving a name to my back yard), was to set up a way of practicing collaboration in a semi-formal way, with someone I trust and feel comfortable with; namely my wife.  By thinking of our joint effort as an artistic collaboration, I believe I have become more mindful of how my ego works and how it often gets in the way of maintaining harmony in the garden.  I have no clue of what the future will bring, but I would hope that the Eureka Garden concept may lead to some “higher order” collaborations with various artists.

You can see a small step in this direction in the 5-minute video below.  In this case, we collaborated with artist Charley Taylor- whose painting we purchased- to find a suitable context for viewing her piece.  There are no blank spaces in our house or garden, so when looking for a place for new art we have to give some thought as to how it will interact with surrounding elements. This is something I had not paid much attention to in the past and I’m finding it to be an interesting challenge.  In this case, we thought the artist should have some say in the process and this is what the video is about.

https://youtu.be/RJOL9krwBO0

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to my personal email address or to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

Eureka Moments Episode #3: Modern Mud Men Remixed

“In some societies, adults don’t seem to be nearly so different from children, or to have forgotten the values of childhood. They may paint their faces the way children do and ritualize all of life in dance, song, story, and many forms of play.”

                                                       Thomas Moore

What do adults wallowing in the mud in Youtube videos say about the state of affairs in Eureka Garden?  Whether or not you’ve already seen the video “Modern Mud Men”, check out the video below to find out how and why I  decided to “clean it up”.

To see previous episodes or other videos on the ART AND ZEN TODAY Youtube Channel, click on the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKjCTdN9J7bhP7QCS16d1sA

 

To see previous articles published since 2012, scroll down to the bottom of the page.  You can also search by topic; write your search term in the box and hit “enter”.

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to my personal email address or to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

EUREKA MOMENTS: EPISODE 2, EVERYDAY COLLABORATION

Most days my wife and I will have several conversations about changes we want to make in the garden; changes in planting or the placement of art objects.  Most of the time, I do not have my video camera at hand.  The video featured in today’s post consists of those rare times when I did remember to record our efforts. Most of the “collaborations” captured in the video are continuations of earlier conversations and so the full context may not always be evident.  However, I hope you enjoy “Eureka Moments #2: Everyday Collaboration”.  You can see the video by clicking on the link below: https://youtu.be/z6ncpQcCrvE

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to my personal email address or to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

A Brief Shamanic Tour Through Eureka Garden

Today’s post is a video entitled “Eureka Moments, Episode 1: A Brief Shamanic Journey Through the Garden”.  This is the first of a series centered around our Eureka Garden.  A recurring theme in this new series will be “creative collaborations”.  The producers of this video make no claim that the Journey depicted represents an actual Shamanic Journey. This video was made for entertainment purposes only; mainly our own.  Our goal at Eureka Garden is to foster creativity and fun through collaboration.

To watch the video, follow the link below.  Please use headphones for optimum audio quality.

https://youtu.be/h0hj2W4L1BI

To learn more about the history and meaning of the word “Eureka”, check this link:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eureka_(word)

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to my personal email address or to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

“HOW DOES JESUS SAVE US?” : NEW RELEASE BY WILSON BROS/ SHRINK WRAP

 

 

 

Today’s post consists of an audio and video experience.  The first is Wilson Bros/Shrink Wrap’s newest release “How Does Jesus Save Us?”  Also included is a video where I describe the process of teaming up with my brother to create a music that is related to increasing our awareness of death and dying.  I’d suggest scrolling down to the music first and then viewing the video if you are interested.     

Link to Video Entitled “Some Thoughts on Music and Death”

https://youtu.be/jZqEHGJ9h04

Here are some suggestions for listening:

1) Play the music when you have enough time to mindfully listen without worrying about being distracted by other issues.

2) Use whatever rituals you usually use when preparing  to move out of the  flow of ordinary life.

3) The music was especially created to be heard through headphones.  Try to avoid earplugs, if possible.

4)  As you listen, focus on your bodily reactions (i.e. sensations, feelings, emotions etc., whether positive or negative) rather than the meaning of what you are hearing.

5)  Try listening to the piece more than once be open to having different experiences with each exposure.  Try dancing/moving while you listen!

An Incantation to Time’s Disintegration of Memory: The Art of Gwyn Henry

 

Sudie by Gwyn Henry

I often feature artistists whose work seems to exemplify the perspectives on  art and spirtiual practices that I have developed over the years on this site.  As I have pointed out in previous posts, art practice can often be meditative in nature but it also seems to inevitable bring up “issues” which, if faced fully, can be transformitive.  A good example of this, I think, can be found in the work of Gwyn Henry of Excondido CA.  This post consists of a video, a series of images and a short statement  by Gwyn.  My suggestion is that you watch her short video first and then scroll down to see the still images and her account of how her work has evolved.       http://choctaw44.wixsite.com/gwynart

 

 

 Click on link to see Video by Gwyn Henry:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vIKNnFjtKac&feature=youtu.be

 

“An Incantation to Time’s Disintegration of Memory”

                         by Gwyn Henry

When I acquired software that allowed my computer to communicate with an old-school VCR player, I was eager to put my parents’ vintage home movie footage into my film editing application for viewing. The footage was in VHS cassette format, and had been stored for over half a century. Once the frames began to move in front of me, I suddenly became aware of, and shocked by, the way those cherished images of my childhood, were decomposing. They had become a chaos of fragments, like shards from a broken mirror…. a disembodied head here, an arm there, torsos flitting briefly across the sceene. What images were still discernable held striations, static, their colors fading fast, and large sections were already and simply gone.

This disintegration struck me as a profound metaphor for what happens to human memories. In the same way one might discover, years after a loved one dies, calling their face to mind has become strangely impossible; or we have forgotten the ending of one of our life’s important narratives; or have confused one long-ago friend with another…

 

Watching my childhood flicker and sputter before me, it was as if the most fundamental connections to other humans… my parents, grandparents, brother, sister, aunts, uncles, cousins… were literally, before my eyes, saying good by, breaking up & vanishing. More than a few times I reached to touch the screen, as if to stay them, as if I could hold them in my hand to keep them from leaving.

 

Yet even as I experienced this human aversion to the way Nature imposes a time limit on the stuff of this world, I must admit to finding Beauty within that disintegration and vanishment. The nascent Images of my life, preserved by this outmoded technology, reveal an eloquence that speaks to many things: the fading of the history of our lives as it exists in memory, the temporary nature of our lives, the physical decay of the tapes themselves, and just as much, the conceptual worlds of technologies that come and go with the quickness of ephemera: Today’s high-cachet iphone is tomorrow’s rubbish.

Immersed in making video art at the time, I created and produced a “video poem” from the home movie footage, presenting the images as art as well as artifact. The video poem was intended to be an abstraction, or embodiment, of the essential qualities of my discovery of the connection between the loss of memory, and the loss of the vintage tapes. An attempt to show the way I experienced it. It is titled, AN INCANTATION TO

 

TIME’S DISINTEGRATION OF MEMORY.

A few years later, I revisited the video poem, which resulted in me excising single frames, “stills”, from it (perhaps, unknowingly, another attempt to keep the images from disappearing!). After adding more digital effects, then printing and framing them, to my surprise they became icon-like in their stillness, images frozen for contemplation. Like icons, they offer entry to the world of the subject (my family and my childhood).. a world where discovery and revelation can be found and explored.

I have determined that not only traditional religious icons can lead to revelation. A single human life also encompasses its own world of personal iconic images which, if entered, offers a path to deeper knowledge and understanding of that individual world. Those images can allow us to see and feel even more keenly what we have lived.

—Gwyn

NOTE:

Some of the images carry a visual conversation between my inked traces, and the landscape of the image. I found this process to be meditative, and evocative of feelings and impressions that were often beyond words. Each ended with a sense of a completed entirety….something had been brought full circle. –g,

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

1) “wow, I felt it as a dissolution of the Self…
thank you for this Steve”  A.

2)

Thanks for that Steve… I don’t often take the time to ponder and reflect regarding where I have been and where I am going as a result of where I have been… Yet, when I do, very much like Gwyn, I am apt to walk through doors which have been closed for years or perhaps doors that I never even stood in front of before – Deep stuff, my man!!! again, thanks for sharing.  S.
3)

I know Gwyn.
Jon

 

“MONEY (THAT’S WHAT I WANT)” FEATURING M.C. DONALD TRUMP

Over the past few months I have been using my Digital Audio Workstation to put my personal signature on some of my favorite dance tunes.  In one, ” Money (That’s What I Want)”, I used selections from some Trump speeches to create a “Trump Rap” section. Probably because the Republican Convention began today, I remembered this revamped tune and decided it might be interesting to post it on Youtube.  So I quickly downloaded a bunch of photos and videos that I thought might go with the music.

Here at Art and Zen Today, we tend to try to remain bipartisan or at least bi-polar,  so this is not the usual type of video featured here.  However, I just could not help myself and hope that you enjoy it.  Believe me, it’s huge!!  “Money” is a great dance tune, so if your going to listen to it, you might as well get up and dance as well. To watch the video, click on the link below:

 

https://youtu.be/sIhXrihI2QQ

 

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

 

ART FROM THE HEART: BETH TALKS ABOUT HER SUMI-E AND ZEN PRACTICES

Beth (Esho) is no stranger to the pages of Art and Zen Today.  Three years ago we published Beth’s article “BETH MOSKAL MILLIGAN ON SUMI-E PAINTING AND ZEN PRACTICES”  where she wrote about her studies with Sumi-e master Takashi Ijichi and Zen practice with Jake Roshi. ( http://artandzentoday.com/?p=3243 ).  The short talk from the Shuso Hossen , captured in the video below, expands upon this earlier article.  Pay attention to the points that Beth makes in the video; I think they are very consistent with my musical responses to the Shuso Koan as seen in a video posted earlier (   http://artandzentoday.com/?p=4678)

To see Beth’s “Art From the Heart” talk at the Shuso Hossen, please click below:

https://youtu.be/VJ4aP_xNhyA

Scroll Down to see other performances at the Shuso Hossen Ceremony.

 

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@

 

Shuso Hossen Ceremony: Eric Kuniholm Reads Short Story “Ziggy”.

Today’s posting is a video of Eric Kuniholm reading a short story called “Ziggy”.  It is a part of a novel that Eric is writing that is about dog detectives.  Eric has been associated with theVistaZenCenterfor 20 years and brings his Zen insights to his writings.  You can see this video  at the link below:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2DzjK6b9hk

 

Recent posts on the Art and Zen Today site have involved segments from my Shuso Hossen Ceremony in March of 2016.  The last post was a video of the last of my musical performance during the ceremony. Last I looked, the count of those viewing the video was unusually low. So, if you haven’t already, you may want to view this one as it is really the most straightforward response to the Shuso Koan of all my performances.  (See this video , titled “Art and the Four Vows” at:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr_1080EtN8

 

COMMENTS.  The comment feature has been turned off due to massive amounts of Robo-Spam.  However, please send any comments to the following address at G mail;

artandzentoday@