Sunday, November 25, 2012

Another Kind of Relationship

The co-creative relationship, that's it!

I believe this to be what i've been looking for. Two marriages (dissolved) and  many relationships later, i found this phrase. It helps me give meaning to what i was seeking in a loving partnership, i wanted to find the more in myself and in another, in the together.

 I was born knowing i had something special to deliver, i was unique for a purpose. I think we are all born knowing that we are special, then we "lose" it.

That is a problem; for we are in a culture that wants to plug us into a system that is touted as the best ever possible thing and when you look at it and say "i am pretty sure it needs work," you are the trouble. When the messenger is deemed a troublemaker, the problem festers.

I was considered smart, so i was kept on a fast and interesting track until it failed me by not looking at the Viet Nam War. Any system that sanctioned what i saw as murder, could not be "right." I had seen photos of Soviet women in Life Magazine when i was in grade school. I looked at them and decided that no mother wanted a kid blown apart in a war, therefore it isn't the people who want the wars, so who does ?

My politics were being formed but in the love story, the alternative track was like a zero.

 I was fed on stories of romance and diapers, of prince charmings and comatose princesses. This colored my world. These stories, like the other cultural tales, were laid down, layer after layer, telling me who i was supposed to be. Some i questioned, others i didn't and should have.

Education did not stifle my inner truth but it buried it. The flame stayed alive, undercover, flaring up every once in awhile, burning me and who ever else was around.

 I didn't know enough about relationships to consciously question love stories.  Fighting back was a subconscious attempt for survival.

It wreaked havoc with relationships.

One problem with the old Love and Marriage Story, was that it was a prequel for a procreative destiny. I had nothing against having a child, it was just not a priority.

On the flipside- I love my son, i am glad i decided to have the experience when i did, i am just saying it wasn't the plan.

I didn't have a plan, because i only knew the stories i didn't want. The domestic reward for marriage seemed under compensated. Even in the "you can have it all"era there were missing pieces, like time.

The whore, old maid with cats, exec women who could cut a throat as well as a man -these stories didn't cut it.

So i looked elsewhere and landed on rock n roll. A superior story was being told in the urban underbelly. Art was laying claim to city blocks. Clubs opened to share the voice and in the music, i found heroes.

I loved many, most of them men. Then i heard Patti Smith, she said things i recognized as true.

She was one of the few women rockers that toppled the construct; she had something real to say. i needed her to be in the world.  A few days ago i read "Just Kids." This is a co-creative love story. Patti's relationship with Robert Mapplethorpe is one of  unconditional love that supports the soul, if not the body. It proves another level of love. Once again, Patti Smith has come through for me. Angels are everywhere and they are Dancing Barefoot.

"We never had any children," he said ruefully.
"Our work was our children." (Just Kids, p 174)

PS. This is where having it all counts. Romance and co-creativity- Waiting for the star man.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Water Cycles: The Good and the Bad

The Greenpeace report "Toxic Threads," is out  and i am feeling warmed by the kindred spirit of changemakers.. This is what Thanksgiving is to me. These are my heros. This is what i appreciate.

"Toxic Threads" is a focus on the toxins used in clothing during manufacturing and finishing.  You can support the campaign to eliminate this idiocy from our planet and make many ever more grateful.

There are non toxic substitutes, both the known and the yet to be discovered.  It seems that the more "cheap" rules the consumer oriented capitalist model, the more everything is cheapened. (Belief directs outcomes)
Companies blame the manufacturing subcontractors and yet force them to keep prices low (call it competition) so this game of "whose fault" ends up as "our fault." How?

If we buy these toxic garments we are agreeing to the idea that it doesn't matter.

Agreeing doesn't eliminate the responsibility or the after affects. Agreeing is a form of denial. However when a cancer of "unknown" origin enters your field of vision, the blame game gets uber serious. (Cancer causing toxins swimming at large in chemical pools are mixing it up, there is no way to predict all possible outcomes)

You see, what is thrown into gutters "over there" flows eventually to "here," in the water, via the sea life, even in evaporated water that is released as rain and snow. We are only beginning to be able to measure the consequences of our ignorance. However we can extrapolate from the knowledge we have acquired. That is where we can make the difference that will change the story.

If that isn't enough to alarm you, think about that garment next to your skin. Your skin absorbs these fine micro particles. Sometimes your skin reacts with a big red "no."

I wrote an entry a few years ago about toxic reactions to garments and started the wash first campaign to protect babies, in a first line of defense. The sign is a free download, post away ..please!

That was an immediate response, however, washing releases that crap into the local water systems and even water utilitiy companies know they are not able to filter these chemicals out. What you can't measure, see or don't know, can sometimes bite, is that really an acceptable risk under the circumstances?

So instead of supporting the patterns of dis-ease, support health. Support whole systems thinking. Weave the threads and pretty soon a new "design" appears. New designs equate with new possibilities. Its simply that simple.

graphics from the Toxic Threads PDF, more where these came from.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

WaterRIP, The Flow


WaterRIP studio shots

 I was thinking this morning,  how amazing it was to have 2 articles show up on 2 consecutive days that effortlessly tied the next Kerf International Gallery show together.

My work with WaterRIP started with fresh water issues and since our bodies are 50-70% water, depending on age and hydration levels, what messes with water, messes with us. I then started recognizing patterns of biology repeating in ecology which helped me understand how dis-ease enters sytems and imbalances provide it residence.
This is also how each chapter of fashionRIP influences the next. This is the organic process.

 WaterRIP is a story and a "painting" with fabric. I am culling from fashion, as image, as sensory appeal and the changes new contexts provide. All the while, i am playing with how myth orchestrates reality, as beliefs show up in systems.  Get it?

Yeah, my mind has a tendency to weave like crazy. I untangle old stories and rework the material until something fresh has a chance to emerge. I incorporate new materials as needed. This is true in my art work and in the behind the scenes research. My life becomes a catalyst for the work and the whole process is ever more a flow. Borders are illusions that no longer seem relevant. The new story is coming to life.

WaterRIP is chapter 2 of fashionRIP Project. The installation is a pause and a celebration. It is made all the better because joining me this time, is Beverly Naidus. She is a new friend, who is currently teaching at the University of Washington, Tacoma, where she has created and facilitates a unique interdisciplinary studio curriculum in art for social change and healing. Is this spot on or what?

Beverly's installation, And Now Behind Curtain #2, challenges us with questions about the trance created by the mainstream media and the perils and rewards of activism. This is an interactive piece, so bring friends or make some new ones while playing the game. The work debuted in a museum show in Germany and headlined a Northwest Ropom art space during last spring's Folklife.

" The experience of sharing this work was one of the most profound interactions I have ever had with an audience.  Visitors have asked me to produce the game board as a real game that can be bought and used at parties and at home.  They have also asked me to turn the stories into a published book.  There was such a hunger for discussing what was shared in this piece. "  Beverly Naidus

 photos of And Now...

I see connections all over the place, they appear like holograms, so putting words to it  can be time cosuming and ..well it is an entirely other thing. These articles arrived like angels, gifts from the authors, Yes Magazine and the universe. The experiment continues as resources show up and help to smooth the path.

 Your Body is a Body of Water, by Jourdan Keith and Why Your Health is Bigger Than Your Body by Claudia Rowe,  really help explain the  December show at the Wallingford Center, Seattle in a most wonderful way.  Social justice, health, water, fair play, happiness and ecology are all on the same page. To experience the collusion please come by and see/ test for yourself.

And please let us know what you think, what you are seeking and why and how we can make 2013 the leap year of another kind. It takes a village, more, but so what?  We have all had challenges and we can rock when need be.  The time is now!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Work Integrated

TOGETHER - How cooperatives show resilience to the crisis -The new documentary by CECOP - CICOPA Europe from Cicopa Coop on Vimeo.

Co-ops are sane reactions to insane extractive economics. Plundering the commons, literally and figuratively, is not worthy of praise -so why reward the behaviour?

The mainstream extractive economy has a symbiotic brother,  the phantom economy, which  is an abstraction designed to pillage and rape from far away. This Nowhereland is designed for numbers, not people. This is where only numbers matter, where only numbers have identities.

Oops, what about life? What about love? What about real meaning?

This economic boondoggle is how we seem to have lost our way. Eventually the current design will totally collapse as it will run out of resources and have to eat itself to stay alive. (The spiral down, the nihilistic super dumb of current systems and why i rant)

Getting out of the extractive loop to build the generative living economy with roots in deep ecology will heal us and our cultures. As we heal, we will better understand the way the world works and as we align with this bigger reality,  we will open new possibilities.

It makes sense to seek light, love and understanding, why not design with that in mind?

fashionRIP Project: experimenting with process, learning from oputcomes. It matters because it is shared, and the unfolding continues to evolve the whole.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Eve Option

Alleluia, this documentary - The Eve Option- looks like good addition to the slew of documentaries out in the world telling us the story of now.

The mainstream press, no longer delivers the news, we see through its protective agenda and sponsored stories. We have grown up and no longer see the authority of the old world as worthy of the power they thought theirs to use.

Always dipping twice for the one benefit delivered to the public, the compounding agenda is now poised to take, extract, financialize everything. ( The Ghost Economy that floats above real goods and services, the alchemist's lab of creating wealth-  a take away from Owning Our Future the Emerging Ownership Revolution by Marjorie Kelly)

This man made rhythm is pounding across the planet. Like a synchronized march across a bridge ( take away from Bridge on the River Kwai)   will collapse the bridge.This time the  bridge is the biosphere, the march a systemic pattern that influences all of our disciplines.  Continue the pattern and collapse will follow.

The informational films are cries of alarm, sketches of the possible future and screams of protest. They are shown in tangible theaters, meeting spaces and
in homes. Many are delivered at the speed of light via Youtube; reaching across borders, divides and all the smokescreens and barriers erected by the old order.

I love this trailer (Eve) because it validates much of what i have been writing, thinking about and setting into the storyline of my next work. This kind of validation supports the front line artists as story installations are not the "hang it in the foyer" kind of work that is easier to sell.

In The Eve Option, the story about God telling man to multiply, giving man dominion over plants, animals and resources has had many repercussions, most of them negative. (Sir David Attenborough)

WaterRIP is deconstructing the line between humans and nature. We are organic, natural beings and that means the health of the natural environment is directly related to our own health and well being. We are a collection of cells in relationships with other cells in other collections, within and without the different species, elements -everything. We are energy interrelated with all energy. We are that more and i think exploring the realm opens possibilities galore.

However if we lose the capacity to maintain the health of our home in all senses of the word, we will not be able to explore that new horizon . We are growing up, cool is that. Let's not let ignorance and old beliefs blow it for us!