Old posts

Jun 26, 2009: Stravinsky knew the brain craved organization, "He realized that the engine of music is conflict, not consonance. The art that makes us feel is the art that makes us hurt.", by withholding and consenting the patten that we crave, it pulls you in.  Reread Proust was a Neuroscientist, better the 2nd read. Jun 3, 2009: Wouldn't it be nice if you could slightly reorganize a big lumpy collage painting....and put the marks exactly where you want them? No, really -- what if you could adjust the piece made by someone else....just the way you wanted it.

May 28, 2009: Been to the Dollar store in Chinatown (multiple trips), Flushing and 7th Ave in the Fashion District. I'm interested in the idea of the lumpy collage. How much does your mind see in 3D?

May 19, 2008: Back to work. Can other materials ping the same brain pattern as a collage of cut paper? Been to the Dollar store, and have a pile of new stuff.

May 13, 2009: Still hanging the show, I think people imagine it more glamorous than it actually is. BAM party was packed last Saturday, Arthouse Texas has 5x7 show this Fri night. Go look, totally great.

May 10, 2009: OK to experiment for decades, I think a combination of intense problem solving with building brain myelin can produce work that goes to a new place.

May 2, 2009: What you can actually remember is triggered by the emotion accompanying the event, how many times you reconsider it, and the oddness or novelty of it. One researcher wrote that during sleep, the brain gathers those things that have been considered, reconsidered and helps cement them into more lucid and clear memory.

April 25, 2009: "Gabriel returned every few weeks to add to his growing arsenal of body art. Resurrection was a slow process. He had the old piano he'd given her for her birthday tattooed on his right leg, the image of one of her mix-tapes on his ass, a pair of cut-offs she'd left at the house on his forearm. Then, he moved on to her favorite foods: beets, Brussels sprouts, mangos, milkshakes. Gabriel filled up his skin until every inch of epidermis looked brand new; overlapping images, memories that he would no longer have to remember. After all, they were right there, writ literal on his body." -- Mary Helen Specht. Collaborative show Apr 2009, Mary wrote a piece in response to 3 collage pieces.  Amazing writer.

April 19, 2009: Proportion and relationships of patterns are hugely responsible for what is considered beautiful. Fibonacci sequences, golden sections, and geometric relationships are massively studied in art as a means to deliver a positive experience to the brain. I think it’s about mirroring back an organic experience that is innately familiar yet perfectly proportioned. I think the brain see’s something of itself and likes what it sees.

April 6, 2009: "Artists and writers have led the exploration of identity, consciousness and memory for centuries. Yet even as scientists sent men to the moon and spacecraft to Saturn and submarines to the ocean floor, the instrument responsible for such feats, the human mind, remained almost entirely dark, a vast and mostly uncharted universe as mysterious as the New World was to explorers of the past."

Brain Power article in April 5, NYTimes -- "What could that engram actually be? The answer, previous research suggests, is that brain cells activated by an experience keep one another on biological speed-dial, like a group of people joined in common witness of some striking event. Call on one and word quickly goes out to the larger network of cells, each apparently adding some detail, sight, sound, smell. The brain appears to retain a memory by growing thicker, or more efficient, communication lines between these cells."

April 5, 2009: "Collage engages us with an immediacy that is distinct from other mediums. The artist confronts us with a vision of the world that is literally constructed from the physical context of his/her own experience. Found images and objects function as signifiers of both individual and collective experience. By incorporating materials that are inextricably linked to the realities of daily life, the artist establishes an immediate identification, both real and imagined, between the viewer and the work of art. The simplicity of the collage process adds to the sense of immediacy and spontaneity. Collage allows the artist to explore simultaneously the mysterious spaces between high art and popular culture, text and image, figuration and abstraction, past and present, two and three-dimensional space." -- Pavel Zoubok

April 4, 2009: I contend that memory is complex and multi-layered. It’s true that immediate vision of real-time events is actually little pieces of visual memory stitched together (you only see a tiny spot – so a panoramic view is really little pieces stitched together via memory). Super-short term working memory is somehow different than an experience you recall from long term memory of an earlier time. My view is that recalling an event from long-term memory is complex and fires multiple neurons in multiple places, it’s something like a symphony or a jazz sextet going full steam in your brain. A painting that similarly fires multiple parts of your brain from words, fonts, color, pattern, rhythm, proportion, perspective and shapes can begin to deliver a similar experience. That's my belief.

March 30, 2009: Neuroscientists even today, don’t understand how memory works -- really. People always refer to memory like storage files or computers disc drives, couldn’t be more wrong. The best description I’ve read is that memory operates more like a blender on high speed, and all the little bits get chopped and diced and chemically wired to different places. Because when they test memory of those with damage or malfunction, scientists can watch what is broken, and realize that one piece will work fine, and another can be totally absent. Like the woman who could use and write consonants, but not vowels. But more interestingly, what’s cool about researching memory is that you can try things out on yourself, and experience how your own memory works.

March 23, 2009: "... the artist is in a sense, a neuroscientist, exploring the potentials and capacities of the brain, though with different tools. How such creations can arouse aesthetic experiences can only be fully understood in neural terms. Such an understanding is now well within our reach. The first step is to understand better the common organization of our visual and emotional brains, before we can even proceed to enquire into the determinants of neural variability. But there is little reason to doubt that a study of variability, of how a common visual activation can arouse disparate emotional states, will constitute the next giant step in experimental studies of the visual brain." --Semir Zeki  -- Saw Prof Zeki and Peter Sellars talk over the weekend. www.neuroaesthetics.org

March 5, 2009: Favorite neuroscientist, Daniel Levitin talk last night at Brainwave - multiple neurons are firing, competing for attention, the loudest make it above consciousness. Creativity is a reach for the quieter transmissions. When you do a brainscan of auditory memory, the same neurons fire as when the music was originally played.  Familiarity and prediction is important to the listener, there needs to be a feeling of connection with the artist...with the ability to anticipate without boredom. Can a composer take you on a journey and then deliver a payoff.

Mar 3, 2009: Chaos. Is not actually chaotic, but has patterns that repeat. The random is not random. Patterns repeat, but are not repetitive.

Feb 24, 2009: The power of a piece of art may rest in its ability to trigger the brain in a way that is reminiscent of a personal memory….meaning it fires similar neurons in a sequence that feels like bits of time you've already experienced.

Jan 31, 2009: One of the brain books explains the purpose for memory is more about anticipating the future rather than remembering the past. Human memory and the ability to recognize patterns of danger helps us survive. Memory is all about anticipation and predicting.

Dec 5, 2008: Been working on aluminum panels.. Weird combo of tech - modern with paper pieces from another time. Totally makes sense to me. And -- yes we can! Election euphoria still in the air. Thank god, there's hope. Meanwhile financial turmoil and tough decisions pushing the collage work to a slightly different frenetic feel.Am struggling to make the words both important and unimportant.

Oct 26, 2008: Posted several new works on the site this morning. What strange times we live in, there's anxiety in the air. But am excited by the upcoming election.

Oct 8, 2008: Who are these people who update blogs everyday? Shocked that it's been a couple months.  I've been working on several new large pieces, have been experimenting...some are total duds, and others -- especially the work directly with paper on aluminum panels feels good. Has a high-tech, handmade quality that feels like the times. Still reading about memory, interworkings of the brain and putting the pieces together in my head.

July 9, 2008: Just returned from Venice, Siena and Rome, Italy....after just over a month. Aaaaaaah. I think I have enough drawings, and memory of color to work for a year. Rome is so orange, and Venice is so blue. Everything inside the buildings in Venice is gold, not like gold, real gold. Unreal.

June 24, 2008: Greetings from Rome. Took a bit to understand what's, what here, and what shape the work will take.. Am in Italy for a month, most of that time at the American Academy in Rome as a visiting artist. All the 30+ Rome Prize winners are here, very cool to meet/talk with them. Seriously high-octane. Drawing from archaeological sites that you can see in Central Rome, they're recessed and filled with all these organized and disorganized bits. But really, the rhythm, the proportions are all original Roman. And pretty perfect. Can imagine the birds-eye view, and from above they could be a lumpy-collage.More to come. Am still working.