Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Performance At Mucsarnok

I had the great chance to perform exhibit at the museum of modern art of Budapest, Hungary.  I performed with the groups asztaltarsasag and "fanzine show" both of these groups were part of a larger show "No one belongs here more than you."

I have some pictures of the performance, where I performed together with 5 other artists.  I was talking about my Nümod project and giving demonstrations of the nümod rituals. The works I displayed in the fanzine show are from my visual diary, which you can find a link to on the top of this blog.  The fanzine show link is the best... click on it.

Artist Statement

First, I seek to see the world through a pseudo-spiritual shamanistic view point, where every material and interaction has a greater meaning regarding the overall collective state of human and nature.  Then, I try to look and find the shadow cast.  The shadows which we often try to deny within ourselves, and the extension of ourselves into our environment through the triumphs of civilization.  When I say shadows, I mean the byproducts of modernization including, mental illness, pollution, and war.  We have a tendency to push these shadows away; with the motto “out of sight out of mind”.  Within my art, I attempt to restore the  growing imbalance through fully embracing our shadows.  To accept the conditions in which we live  and use our flaws to advantage.  Thus, it is with the most physical manifestation of our shadow side that I use as sculpting material--Trash.  This abundant material I craft into costumes, instruments, structures, vehicles and masks. Materials of darkness are crafted into objects of light.  Providing me with a useful means to incorporate “shadow” into an identity that embraces the full spectrum of human civilization.  Communicating the less physically tangible shadows of mental illness and war.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

We are living in Critical times and therefore need to be Critical.

1.               inclined to find fault or to judge with severity, often too readily. 
2.               occupied with or skilled in criticism. 
3.               involving skillful judgment as to truth, merit, etc.; judicial: a critical analysis. 
4.               of or pertaining to critics or criticism: critical essays. 
5.               providing textual variants, proposed emendations, etc.: a critical edition of Chaucer. 
6.               pertaining to or of the nature of a crisis: a critical shortage of food. 
7.               of decisive importance with respect to the outcome; crucial: a critical moment. 
8.               of essential importance; indispensable: a critical ingredient. 
9.               Medicine/Medical. Having unstable and abnormal vital signs and other unfavorable indicators.
10.               Physics. 
a.               pertaining to a state, value, or quantity at which one or more properties of a substance or system undergo a change. 
b.               (of fissionable material) having enough mass to sustain a chain reaction. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Yoruba Ritual

I began my freshman year in college at SUNY Purchase. There they have a permanent exhibition of african art.  It was from this exhibition that my brain really began to turn.  It was here that  I considered the pratical applications of performance art. The origins of peformance art. The spiritual meaning of costume and mask, and the meaning behind embodying the traits and characteristics of a spirit/demon.  I began to consider the application of these rituals to my life, time and world.  I realized that these performances allowed for a release of the bad energies or the demons of a group of people.  It brought to the front the reality of the human experience.  Energies that can only be felt, where personified in the costumed transformation of the actor.  The actor took on these qualities that could not be said with words.  And gave them movement and life.  For a child this actor really was, the spirit.  Like a child of western civilization really believes that he sits on santa's lap.  For the adult it is understood that this spirit actor is not the spirit, but embodies the same vibe of the spirit.  How can we understand the spirits of our time.  What are the spirits of our time and how do we represent them.  In what objects did the spirit demons of our society manifest.   It was in the things that we wish to separate ourselves from. To distance and to push away.  Junk. This way junk can become the material to be used in the costumes that explain the essence of the demons of modern society.

Please follow this link and find the video of the Yurba tribe ritual: Link. 

Saturday, March 5, 2011

S.S.P. Trash Raft

Maybe like this, but bigger. That way we can fit a party on the raft.  Perhaps a musical performance!  Only down side is we won't be able to make tips! (unless there are other rafters and boaters floating around.)

"So I found these three 4X8X2 Extruded Polystyrene sheets in a dumpster."

Not as cool, less sustainable....but nice cheap canoe design. 

Junk Ship

In protest of the massive amounts of trash being dumped into the Pacific Ocean, Dr. Marcus Eriksen and his team of like minded supporters have put together a boat to sail 2000 miles from the California coast to Honolulu, Hawaii to help raise an awareness for this problem. Piloting their vessel made from motor-less craft from 15,000 recycled bottles, fishing nets, and a Cessna cockpit, they are sailing 2,000 miles to raise awareness for the problem. With a little less than 1000 miles to go, they expect to arrive finish the trip in a couple weeks.

"Yes, we are risking our lives, but the issue of petroleum-based plastic and our national dependence on petroleum, warrant urgent action," explained Dr. Eriksen on the teams blog.

Nümod: Sea Gypsy

The Danube river floods at the end of march.  The Nümods are drawing up plans.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Common Criticisms of "Parasitic Living"

This is a commentary by Ran Prieur regarding common criticisms to his essay: How to Drop Out  I strongly suggest checking out this guys blog (and reading his essays).  He posts links daily to really interesting current events, research, technology and "easy living."

Isn't it hypocritical to use the resources of a system you oppose?

No. Hypocrisy is when you say something is wrong for others to do, but you do it yourself. I've never said that it's morally wrong to participate in the present system. My position is that it's a tragic collective mistake that we need to work our way out of. I do think it's tactically wrong to participate in it more than you have to, but different people have different tactical opportunities. I understand that many people are more stuck in it than I am, and I'm using my relative freedom to try to help them.

Anyway, what's wrong with using the resources of something you oppose? If you were in a prison camp, wouldn't you look for ways to avoid forced labor but still eat? As I said in the essay: it's not about being pure or avoiding guilt -- it's about adapting and becoming more free. 

Isn't it a contradiction to preach independence while accepting help from others?

Certainly not. We have been confused by the many meanings of the word "dependence". I think it's good to be dependent on equals, on friends and family with whom you have a healthy relationship, and it's good for them to be dependent on you. The kind of dependence that I'm against, that I would like to wipe off the Earth forever, is where someone has you over a barrel, where you have to do what they say because if you don't, they will withhold something that you need. The essence of "dropping out" is to cut dependencies on a system of power-over, and replace them with dependencies on a system of power-with. 

But you use the internet!

Again, the reason to avoid connections to the system is to maintain autonomy. So I'll use any by-product or resource I can, as long as there few or no strings attached. I'll especially use a resource like the internet, a powerful tool to find allies and to transform human consciousness. As William Kötke said, not only is it acceptable to use the resources of the present system to build the next one, ideally all its resources would be used that way.

Dropping out is elitist because not everyone can do it.

But everyone can do it, just not right away. I figure it's going to take thousands of years, if humans don't go extinct first, before all of us can live in societies that are sustainable and non-coercive. In the mean time, we all have to do the best we can, and take any opportunity to get a little more free. The key is, when you get more freedom and autonomy, you have an ethical obligation to help others instead of exploiting them.

Isn't living with somebody without paying them anything called "mooching"?

Yes, it is called that, because we live in a slave culture with a slave language! Before the 20th century, it was normal for extended families to live in the same house, with most of them supporting the household in ways other than paying rent -- if rent was paid at all. The very idea that you have to pay to occupy space is radical, and it serves to concentrate power: if I already have power (represented as "property"), those with less power/property have to give me more. We have it backwards! It is the alleged "owner" who is mooching, benefiting from the legal right to deny someone their natural right to occupy space in this world, to build a shelter and gather food and live in a cooperative community. (Not that rent-chargers are bad people. Many of them have been forced into a situation where they have to charge rent so they can make payments to still more powerful people.) 

What if everybody dropped out? Who would you scavenge off of?

In practice, the problem is not too many people looking for different ways to live, but not enough. The dumpsters are still full of good stuff that is not scavenged but wasted in landfills. Too many people still buy pre-made junk food instead of making their own healthful meals, or drive cars instead of riding bicycles. This world is full of people with the skills and knowledge to build paradise, but they can't even begin, because they would lose their jobs shuffling data in the command structure, or manufacturing attention-wasting gadgets, or laboring to provide excess to the elite. As these roles are dropped, life will get easier, not harder. 

Health care is not a manufactured need but a necessity.

Good health care is a necessity, but the industrial medicine that we've been trained to call "health care" does more harm than good at enormous expense. A good book on the subject is Medical Nemesis by Ivan Illich. Another good book is The Health Of Nations by Leonard Sagan, which presents evidence that modern improvements in health and life expectancy have not been caused by "advanced" medicine or even by better sanitation, but by social and psychological factors.

What if you get hit by a car? I hope the doctors and nurses haven't dropped out.

I hope they have! I'm already excluded from the American medical system, because it's so expensive that only rich people can afford it. If I got hit by a car, I might try to hide from the ambulance and crawl home to splint my broken bones with sticks and rags, rather than go a hundred thousand dollars in debt and be effectively a slave for the rest of my life.

But if more doctors and nurses "dropped out", if they carried their interest in healing outside the money economy, then they would have room to be more helpful than they are now. The less money they needed, the more they would be free to treat people without asking for money. It's true that expensive industrial medicine is ideal if you get hit by a car, but other forms of medicine are adequate for acute injuries, and much better for chronic sickness... and if everybody tried to live the way I'm living, in a few decades there wouldn't even be cars!