Luck is a residual of preparation: visiting artist talk


Monica Forsythe wrote an an article on Medium regarding my visiting artist talk for UMBC at the Spark Gallery during the Light City Festival in Baltimore. I’m honored and gratified to have made such an impression. It was a curious and enlightening endeavor. The preparation for the talk took me backwards through time, and reminded me where I came from. In college I was, oddly, a technophobe about computers— I was all about physical media.

In recent years, conversely, I’ve found the opposite to be true. The blank page or canvas can hold a terror it never did when I was younger; a result of reliance upon ‘save as’ and ‘undo.’ Yet I’ve never given up on the analog. I found ways to incorporate the flexibility of digital into my analog works. Scan, scan, scan; add, edit, layer.

The preparation for this talk had me go through years of process; recalling how I got from one place to the next. It was a revelation of remembrance; a kind of rejuvenation. It also reinforced how quickly things tend to change (the thesis for my whole talk)— how that’s more true than ever.

Thank you, Monica! I’ll be reading more Between the Frames in future, and keeping an eye out for your work.

Below: some selects from the presentation, for fun.
Title slide for ELizabeth Daggar visiting artist talk at Light City for UMBC

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From the archive: an outboard motor and a few lines

A vector illustration that was used for a poster a number of years ago, around the same time the poem below was written.

An outboard motor,
its rotors dull and pitted,
hangs from a century-old beam
among the rafters.
The darkness up there
would be forbidding,
were it not for the string
of lights ‘round the mirror

Which smudged reflection
is filled with faces,
flickering in shadows
Of candles
and various states
of inebriation.

The man behind the bar wears a smile
He flashes it often,
but only at targets, and only
when warranted,
like any conscientious
man-at-arms.

(@JimO)

Multidisciplinism? I’m gonna talk about it in Charm City. (update)

Poster for Elizabeth Daggar, visiting artist at the Light City Festival in Baltimore, April 2017Observations of a Visualist

If you’re in the Baltimore area for the last night of the Light City Festival on April 8 at 7:30 pm (that’s 19:30 World Time)— do join me in the at the UMBC pop-up gallery in the Inner Harbor for a chat and presentation regarding the importance of  multidisciplism (see also: generalism) in the technology-driven world of design these days.

See you in Charm City! x

 

A telegraph from Elysium

red-and-liz
As he is in my memory, Handsome Redred
Two of our horses were in the dream, the Arabians, both of whom perished last year. So, too, the miscreant aptly named Pyewacket— a fierce disagreeable little cat whose provenance is known only inasmuch as she is the progeny of one of the feral cats that took up residence in the barn a few years ago.

I was trying to connect with the horses at turns. But my Night shade was finding them, not the real me— a defensive version, relating to Pye; always the trickster version,

It spooked and scared the horses, the gentle kind— So they told me, in their way, I must find them as myself.

I whispered in my sleep “I don’t know how.”

And Red somehow telegraphed the message to me through what technology he found in that place, it told me

When the stars are going out—
And you’re looking for a face before you leave—
Make it mine.”

And I tried like hell to escape the deep molasses of sleep, to find him; to remember— To shake it all off and just recall that one moment, of him.

Him, merged with my childhood; Magic; the Elysian Fields, the Farm— the Infinite; revisiting me. And I did, sort of— but he was talking about when the Stars Go Out. So I’ll meet him when I die.

I have to wait. (I’ll always look for his face.)
Animals are the closest I get to religion.

.   .   .

Later on,  I painted that little sketch of him. Here’s the one I did when he passed:

Red_square

And here’s one of Red and Comet, our red and black Arabian gentlemen:

red-and-comet

Engagement in media + free art giveaway!

engagement
An abstract of the Time project that I undertook in 2006, showing hours in the day and in what ways they were spent)

One of the aspects I’ve long understood about getting more engagement on a blog (or any interactive medium) is the importance of directly addressing one’s audience, and asking questions or requesting feedback.

Anyone who’s read this blog for any length of time knows that I rarely employ either of these strategies. The main reason for this is that I began this as a kind of archive, or a conversation with myself, so I rarely have an ‘audience’ in my mind.

Another reason is that no one wants to address an audience to the deafening sound of crickets.

According to my stats, the most consistently searched and viewed posts here continue to be a series of How-To posts I published in 2010 and 2011 regarding printmaking processes. Yet for all that they are viewed, they receive little or no interaction. This is a curious thing.

But, as anyone who is on twitter, for example, knows: a post can garner thousands of views and receive only a few or a few tens of likes or retweets. You can see the same phenomenon on Medium. I believe this has to do with vulnerability, among other things.

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Prima Vera

magnolia blooms
A photo from last March; blossoms on the magnolias of Brooklyn

Here’s something that I apparently saved as a draft last spring. I found it a week or so ago, and I don’t think I’ll spend any more time on it, but as it was just recently Imbolc, and we had a 60º day Wednesday (despite the blizzard since) I thought I’d post it as a welcome to nascent Spring.

Rain replenishes groundwater,
refills the well
for creation after a fallow.

When looking results in seeing
and metaphor puts pretense aside—
you can pull focus,
delineate the shapes of things.

Eventually, the miles catch up with you;
in some way you needed them to.
Some things realign and make a sense that’s
recognizable.
Sleep refreshes; the coffee works; neurons fire.
The sun; the rain—
it could be molecular, or down to a change
in the weather.

So long as the waltz repeats.

The mythical rituals in Autumn, in Winter— for Spring,
for Summer. Everything is rooted
in something ancient.
Repetitions are inherent, genetic.

With or without a destination,
walking is never wasted—
You always arrive
somewhere.

Looking out upon falling snow in a fierce wind

snowy fire escapeLooking out upon falling snow in a fierce wind,
having read the latest news
(that has spoiled my coffee, again—)
Gone cold, with my views or once-belief
regarding some inherent goodness—

A bleak feeling that renders even this
brutal, unkind weather beautiful
Gentle, by comparison.

Each day, what counts as News
defiles sense. Escalation,
unsustainable (please)
Noah’s mythical flood
Now upon us, manmade
(Man-made, man-mad)

I feel hatred, and fear
Twin emotions, unaccustomed—
whose visages remind:
How lucky I’ve been (so far)

Each morning one awakes
with some hope,
or threads from a dream.
This morning, this blanket of new fallen snow
a metaphor:

Darkness, sold as Light.