This painting is the result of a long day and a long night of work between Jack and I. We used plywood scraps from around the neighborhood and cut out the design in the morning, loaded it all up and took it up the street to the Mississippi Cathedral to set it up for the evening.
Solstice Painting detail
We spent the rest of the afternoon running around and getting supplies, including blacklights for the UV reactive paint we used, then started painting at nine when the Sol Ball started. We worked through the night until about 4 am when we called it done. Here's the sketch we were working from:
This morning, first thing, I watched two trains before I did anything else.
One of them was new, from Union Pacific, advertising that they were
and the other was old
a mix of rail lines and rust spots
covered in lettering from up and down the coast
And many I couldn't read
encoded in the aesthetic
The Pigeons were also watching the trains go by
from their linear perch atop the lights
like moss on the oaks of the Oregon woods
but moss that moves in fluttering shudders
everytime a truck goes under.
This is me running Granite in an Inflateable Kayak. By some miracle of unknown wonder, I stayed in my boat. Not that you can even see the boat in this picture, I guess you'll just have to believe me on this one. Click on the photo to see more from the same series.
I had a lot of fun last night at the City Repair Fundraiser. I painted an imagination of portland while JuJuba and Albino killed the afrobeat and Chebba went late into the night with his DJ set.
Here are some photos from
It's a hard place to capture, even a hard place to place, as it lives outside of possibility, a place so harsh that to survive, you must engage the world as a porcupine, an agave, a raptor, a barrel cactus bristling with anticipation of external contact while patiently awaiting the rains that come in sheets and rub you from your minuscule perch upon a rocky precipice.
The land in the southwest is marked by particular geographic features that are the result of worlds prior to this one. Long ago, the world was an ocean, and beneath its waves, layers of sediment slowly trickled to the bottom, stacking themselves into a thick mud containing all the signatures of its time.
When the world shifted, the waters receded, the armored plates of our iron core floated abruptly into each other and wrinkled like the corners of the eyes in a aged smile. The rocky mountains rose from the depths of the sea, creating a rugged spine across our continent, and at their base, the Colorado plateau was formed when the ancient seabed was thrust upward.
When humans arrived in this new world thousands of years ago, they were greeted by an eagle. They had just crossed the pacific ocean, island hoping for hundreds of generations as one island disappeared and the next appeared, until they arrived at the rocky coasts of this world.
The eagle tested them, piercing their hearts with an arrow, but these first humans did not flinch, and the eagle allowed them passage into this land. The first humans to walk this new world crossed it upwards, downwards, east and west, living in the highlands, the lowlands, the ice and snow, the tropical forests and finally, after generation upon generation of nomadic life, came to the great southwest to build their final home in the harshest desert they knew.
It was by choice that these people came to live in a land so hard that life becomes the great uncertainty, a land that required them to live on faith and diligence to a universal plan, an assurance that the world would continue to be as it should provided its occupants live within its fold.
As I descended into the canyon, pushed by the force that powers Las Vegas, with no hope of pushing back upstream against it, I was engulfed by stone walls a mile high offering no route to their pinnacles. This is the fortress of the earth, and I am pulled into it with an uncertainty that smells of fear but leaves the sweet taste of anticipation lingering.
Humans have indeed tamed this wild river, or as Floyd Dominy said, "put the river in business", we've built two concrete walls that hold back its flow and harness it's energy, we've spanned it by foot bridge and road, and we've devised resilient craft to navigate its swift waters. We have guide books that detail each of the side canyon's perilous hikes and describe the hydraulic formations that have drowned many a life. Our great birds of the air can swiftly pluck us from the fray, and our satellites above guide us with precision by passing on our signals with ease. Yet despite this great feat of our minds, or persistent domination of the natural law, as I floated into the mouth of marble canyon, two hundred and twenty five miles upstream from the nearest road, I suddenly felt very alone, and firmly in the grasp of a force much greater than human imagination.
Each day in the canyon became a contract, wherein I, the dutifully informed, became subject to the actions of the universe. In exchange, I was given awareness of my place among them, a human, a wanderer, and observer and an actor, the spirit of love an laughter, alive to sing praises and vibrate in harmony with the world around me. I had no power to change my universe, to construct my reality, to place a phone call and lift my spirit from the depths of the canyons, to grow my food, to build my home, all this was decided for me by the current, the waves and the eddies, the shape of the rock walls towering over me, the spinning of the stars around the anchor Polaris, the decision of the sun each morning to shine its radiant glory upon my face, the slow and steady departure of the moon from the sky and its gradual return, the first wisps of cirrus clouds drifting across a sliver of blue sky, and coming around the corner to find the canyon blocked by a deep, dark grey wall of wind and water traveling my direction. These were the forces that conscripted my participation in an obligatory manner resulting in my survival and emergence from deep within the earth. Within a few days it became quite clear that this contract was not optional and that a failure to honor it would entail certain death.
Life within the canyon, in the desert, is regulated by necessity, not desire. The frigid water that carves through solid rock was once the life blood of the canyon, depositing silt upon the shores to create deltas and beaches hospitable to human form, carrying a multitude of fish and other life along its boulder-strewn path and offering food and nourishment to all those that lived by its waters. But now that we have put the river in business, its wild and unpredictable floods have been tamed, its silt is sifted by the sieve of engineers, and its waters run a life-less, frigid course from the depths of lake powell.
Although evidence of prehistoric human life within the canyon exists in places like Nankaweip with its masterfully built stone granaries and Unkar delta's ruins, life in the post dam canyon with out the aid of modern technology seems impossible. Their is little food in the desert to be found in adequate quantities to satisfy a human's metabolism, and the few camps that remain provide scant evidence of agricultural opportunity.
Today, life in the canyon is a transit, from one dam to the next, with the concrete assurance of safety from its torrential floods. All food must be carried into the canyon, and all waste carried out to maintain a semblance of an ecosystem. A permit holder is the government sanctioned pioneer of a well-trodden trail through its walls, and an expedition the predictably equipped crew carrying out its legislated duty to observe and protect this great wonder of the world. We are not here to be the canyon, to play a part in its life, we are here as documentarians, recording the world we separate our selves from with layers of polypropylene, neoprene, vinyl, nylon, gortex, polyethylene, polyester and polyurethane, and returning to broadcast our results.
As we travel, our bodies are worn, despite our protective covering, and they begin to look like the canyon walls themselves. The desert consumes, slowly and surely, with a defiance of all protective layers, spines and extrusions, the solid form of stone becomes fluid with the wind and the waves, and our skin becomes cracked and separated like the drying mud. As we flow downstream in our steadily degrading rubber rafts, our food gets soggy, then moldy, rancid and spoiled. Our clothing frays, our bedrolls grow irreparably soiled, our water filter laden with sediment, and our spirit of perseverance is worn through by the relentless tide of the elements. Yes, humans have lived here, in the heart of the desert for thousands of years. Many of them have come and gone, entire cities packed up and disappeared, perhaps because over time, their spirits were also worn through, but some have stayed, some remain perched high on the mesas. living simply and harmoniously through it all, unafraid of the wind and rain, unchallenged by the scarcity of food and the rarity of water, the Hopi, their name meaning 'peaceful', adherent to the the universal plan, compliant to the way things are.
As I emerge from the canyon, tired, no exhausted, scraped, cut, torn and bleeding, my first view is of the Hualapai reservation town of Peach Springs. i see rows upon rows of delapidated, fenced in box homes of sheet rock and commercial negligence, the bare bones of what the government can provide and still consider 'aid', a redskins flag hanging in one window and a fence around each and every yard, government issued as an answer to escalating violence. We continue on, leaving the dirt road for concrete and asphalt, confronted by a string of billboards offering lavish and decidant rewards for our participation in this new contract, we continue over the dam that holds back the mighty river, a fortress of engineered perfection, standing in defiance of nature, an act of water conservation that stops the river and transfers its force into powerlines as thick as your arm, strung across steel titans that receed in rows towards the glowing light on the horizon, the spotlights projecting miles into the sky to bounce of the growing clouds and back onto the illuminated strees of las vegas.
I am now aware that I passed through the canyon as an act of will, but survived as an act of grace. I delved into the depths of the canyon seeking adventure, stories, documentation of this wild and inhospitable chasm of the earth, and I returned solemn, aware and akward in my former surroundings. For nearly a month of my life, I signed a contract with the universe, allowing me safe passage through treacherous waters, and I fulfilled my terms with adherance to the order of the universe and I paid the price through a fundamental reconstruciton of my heart. I asked for the power of the canyon, for the healing of its walls, i listened to the stories of its history and heard the tales of its futures, I obeyed its irrefutable command with the diligence of a feather in the wind, and I returned knowing my place in this world is small, on a narrow rocky ledge that I must struggle to cling to, growing as the water and sun provide and standing tall and proud, knowing that all is right and good and the universe is unfolding with certainty, exactly as it should.
I'm on my way to the Grand Canyon to spend the next month living on a fourteen foot inflateable raft on the Colorado River. I'm bringing a book for the trip with walnut and sumi dyed pages, a set of my pens, some water colors and a book binding kit. I'm also bringing my research from the last few weeks on Hopi and Anasazi mythology and "The Book Of The Hopi" by Frank Waters. Oh yeah, and my flute, I've got my flute with me. Kokapeli and I can play a duet.
Here are some preliminary sketches for a porta pottie that uses evaporation to cook the shit into ash, reducing the volume by 90%.
I'm hoping to submit this as a art proposal for the 2007 burn.
I'll be rafting the Colorado River all next month, living on a boat in the Grand Canyon. Human civilization has been around the grand canyon for the last 4000 years, in one form or another. I've been researching Hopi and Anasazi mythology so I can journal on the trip with an appreciation for the history of the place.
See you in November...
In an age where corporations hold the legal title of "persons" and are affected as such by the governing documents of our nations,
In a place where convoluted, subdivided, multi-tiered horizons separate the earth from the sky,
Tangible reminders of forces much larger than ourselves pull power lines like puppet strings and require all vehicular and pedestrian movement to comply.
These buildings are titans, these highways reach out like the tentacles of scylla.
Pavement is our blood, like a bird to the air, above us, below us, and even between us.
We are awoken by, fed by, addicted by, inspired by, beaten by and pleasured by these corporate, constructed, concrete, rebar, silicon, petroleum, and asphalt demi-gods.
How can we, mere mortals, hope to affect the affections or reject the restrictions of something so impossibly large? Only a titan can conquer a titan.
Here are some of my favorite collaborative projects from this year's burn:
The Uchronians (aka the Belgians) built the bird's nest everyone thought would collapse,
The Do Lab, brought out the 80 foot flower and the venus fly trap,
The Flaming Lotus Girls turned up the heat this year,
Entheon Village created an amazing controlled atmosphere,
Earth Tribe threw down NorthWest style so give up three big cheers!
Here's a picture sarah took while I was hard at work Saturday night at EarthDance NW.
This was a great opportunity for me to get some exposure, share what I love to do, and talk with a lot of wonderful people about art.
i started the painting friday night, worked a few hours on it, then went to bed and woke up just before sunrise to start again. I worked off and on through the day, then at sunset I began working again and worked straight through the night until sunrise. It was wonderful painting to the music and i loved having all the people come by and check out what I was doing, engaging in the story i was creating about the event, the intention.
so i was trying to paint this skate deck while drinking red wine in the lounge car, and I kept on nearly dipping my paint brush in my wine. I thought it was pretty funny.
Well, this isn't actually the live painting I did at the trade show, but it is a deck that I drew at the shorty's booth on Friday. They had a bunch of blank decks on the wall and pens for people to decorate them. I spent an hour working on this "freemontapus" deck, which I used as inspiration for my live painting.
Check out a few of these photos from the last week of black rock city construction. Jack and I have been busy setting up a shade structure, tinkering with wireless antennaes, and conversing with crazy construction crews creating...
I was talking with some friends a while back and we decided it would be cool to have a wiki version of our US Constitution, where individuals could log in and change the constitution however they liked. It might not be a practicle form of governance, but we thought it would be a fun way to see just how people would change the document. Afterall, half the fun of wiki pages is seeing how articles get changed back and forth when they concern 'hot' issues.
Just recently, I found Congresspedia, a wiki on our US Congress. Check it out. For starters, I reccomend looking up your state senator.
this is a great lecture given in 1996 by frazier clark at stanford u.
click here to give it a listen
Just returned from a bike trip with Jack and my brother Mickey. We rode a five day loop from Eugene, to the coast, south to Bandon, then turned inland and North. We ended our trip on the road to Roseburg where a small mechanical problem with my derailure that I had ignored turned into a large mechanical problem at the top of a downhill. I skidded through my back tire when my rear wheel locked up, and bent up a few other parts of my bike. When a pick-up headed to Creswell pulled over, we took the ride and finished the day with a ten mile ride home. Now I plan to spend some time at the community bike shop, Eugene Bicycle Works, fixing my bike. Enjoy these pictures from Jack's camera:
Watch the SlideShow
Our handBound zine found a home in the digi-world, so now you can download it and learn to make a book!
Click Here to Download the PDF
smaller ink rag book
the pages are one paper lunch sack, the cover a linen rag I use to clean my pens (india and sumi inks) covered in beeswax from the farmers market.
check my flickr account to see more books like this
just added buttons to my hoody and imagined a tree sewn on it.
this photo by my mom makes me realize my artistic vision is probably more the result of a lifetime of influence rather than just a localized response to a certain enviroment or mental state that I may be in at the time of the drawing.
The detail that did it for me was the birds flying off the building. Without ever seeing this photo, I drew those same birds on the grain tower in portland.
this is a photo by aaron rogosin of me standing in front of those same grain towers
this is the drawing I did from the freemont bridge, where aaron photographed me.
this is aphoto aaron rogosin took of me ont he freemont bridge, where I drew the opposite shore.
to see the rest from that night, check out aaron's flickr site.
I've accumulated a good list of artists I like the work of, so here goes: