BIOGRAPHY is over on this page.
I begin with a simple motive to add to the beauty in the world. I felt an intrinsic pull into the arts from a young age and pursued several disciplines. Growing up surrounded by nature landscape and sounds, my imagination and senses were trained to rhythms in perceptions. The ways art creates knowledge (epistemologies) around perceptual senses of space and time (proprioception and chronoception) continues to hold my interest. Relating epistemologies with space and time led me to making photographs, videos, and come into an interdisciplinary practice with installation and performance.
The theories I am most occupied by are: histories happen on purpose, the metaphysical and material are related and the divide a myth, and the invisible senses of places make people. These areas of thought and philosophy are largely influenced by growing up in the Midwest where artists in Chicago used to seek solace from summer heat, near a nuclear power plant, Native burial grounds, and a place with strong values in conservation. I would later come to learn the complex history between the Midwest and Japan. My great great grandmother, Ellen Amman and her sister Harriet Sündstrom, as well as the Bavarian and Venetian conflicts came to my awareness as I probed the lineage of family history. I continually find myself creating at an intersection of Eurasian culture.
As human life continues to morph through technologies and sciences, I noticed the effects of social policies of individualism forming separations. By focusing on a crusted layer of ideas, the deeper wells fed by forms of heartfelt beauty birthed crisis of psyche and emotion. The photographic lens, literally, historically, philosophically and psychologically became the way I worked to give structure to chronoception and proprioception. Eventually multi-media installations involving vision and body expanded the solitary practice of psychologically oriented nature photography influenced by Minor White and Edward Weston toward my roots with performance and developing practice with handcraft.
In understanding that psyche means spirit, the deployment of social policies through systems of thought exposed a covert conflict tactic. My personal perspective aligns with organising around virtues and principles as they tend to endure. While ideas and emotions employ an analytical and systemic approach, I worked to find ways to champion interests in traditions and rituals in service to healthy maturation of knowing. By working with embodied functions, I noticed the ways social policies morphed behaviours to create detrimental patterns. For example, the fluxing boundaries with surveillance, social and dating apps, disruption economies, the rise of petty tyranny, thought and disability policing, and the slippage in undermining healthy structures to create a simulacra of pseudo-hypnogogic state of awareness. While bettering material conditions improves the appearance of life, the qualities of life that illuminate the mind from the beauty in the heart arise from within. The fissure between the virtual and real can conflate or dissolve. Therefore the nearly-universal experiences of the sublime in awe and reverie, invited me to bring value to traditions in observing nature and ways the internal arts can be realised in the technocratic present.
We become what we practice and develop where we focus. Therefore the Vision-Body relationship brought my work with cameras and poetry into the realm of the senses, the tactile and performed. The research of Elaine Scarry and Robert Sapowlsky gives words to what I believe people have awareness of deep within their bones.
Seeing the body as the generative force in cognition takes up a biological way of reasoning. Biology already being physical, informs materials and perception. This bottom-up perspective often confronts the top-down route (ideology). The bottom-up understanding affords greater agency in creating beauty and harmony as mother nature ultimately runs this show regardless of ideological understandings or misunderstandings. An ideologically driven or bottom-down motive has merit as well, though as defined clearly in Hito Stereyl’s work, a favoured mode of psychological warfare.
In a world mitigated by telematic interfaces, I persist in making art because of its unique ability to work on subtle layers of culture. While culturally antagonistic trends in art continue, I aim to work in service of beauty, common ground, vitality, healing, harmony, and truths. Since truth is a touchy word, here’s an example: a notion humans are born and leave alone denies the reality there are usually a mother and father and supporting group of people involved in various capacities throughout the process. The notion of aloneness pervades social policies deployed in subtle and persistent methods through media, professionals, and often culture. Therefore, art’s purpose and place in creating knowledge stronger than ideas, can nurture the psyche with truths, that water the heart with beauty.
After years of wrestling with images and questions with free-will, determinism, subjectivity, and agency, I saw an entry point through technology and sciences to reorient my visual work materially and performatively in joining images, performance, textiles, and magnetic resonances (or the ways the interior of material phenomena is depicted using the quantum mechanic effect of oscillating dipole frequencies). The project has a working title of Magnetics In-Material and serves to create a common ground for people who live in places and can relate with each other through seeing and sensing the tactile qualities of the invisible and eminent energies in nature elements.
This past few months, I was hired to write four factual articles. In this experienced I noted two key qualities:
Quality 1. Writing about facts requires effort in checking, re-checking, and re-checking the checking to make sure the facts are up-to-date and cited. Writing about opinions and various perspectives, with use of metaphors and stories requires much less effort. Mind you my cognitive efforts are largely practices in divergent, intuitive, critical thinking for a creative process. Those trained in linear or algorithmic forms of thinking may find fact based writing to require less effort.
Quality 2. Writing about facts involves presenting useful material exempt from personal persuasion tactics. Writing without personal persuasion tactics requires several points of view to be considered while retaining the author’s original voice. The result offers the reader autonomy to decide the best course of future choices for themselves and does not attempt to point or spin the person in a direction the author desires. Such attempts are considered bias and are mentally limiting the reader in the exclusion of information, facts, or perspectives.
In considering these two noticeable qualities, I began to see the contemporary state of media and news as having defended the means to make Quality 1. underfunded or unfunded, and devoid of freedom such as in Quality 2. as media writing attempts to sway people one way the other on a prosed problem or issue.
This style of writing based on persuasion reminded me further of sales-pitch writing from my days as a copywriter. Language can be a powerful tool for convincing people how to think and behave, but language can also be a tool for powerful critical thinking.
For this exercise, I will convey a non-thinking exercise as a proposed routine for you, reader, to do your own thinking and not be swayed by misinformation or persuasion, as a means to weigh reality based on information consistent over time.
Come back and do the process until all the nonsense falls off the page, and see how much reality matches what is written or not.
Consider how much value you would experience in your life had you been offered quality information, and consider paying for services, content, and other ways people rely upon to earn a living.
Consider the cost of excitement, there are great riches in the realms of boredom, great chasms of interest, life, and love.
Please add your proposed steps in the routine, experiences, and results to the comments, or not of course. As one time things used to go without saying, now the internet has given the steam lever to say everything.
social media makes personal universes
with walls permitting those who agree
to graffiti, erasing those who differ
an echo chamber of personal sovereignty
privilege became an assault word
joy became something to hide
someone so over communing
serving a discourse in fiery minds
a way of saying this way not that
no because I know better
wondering how communion breaks down
the gaze, the look, assumed empty embraces
discourse tracks adjacent opposed to communication
a train wreck destined to happen
the path clear from ivory towers
farmers, human callers
cities have also their beaches
the blame media and material objects
and hold in their body a free will
to say, to do, to choose
turn up a nose
face the fellow who tossed out the trash
reached beyond a respectable grasp
common sense says we sense
right and wrong
long before anyone tells us to
the limits of tolerance
when did fighting corporations
unholy alliances and snide marks
become valued more than
making the most of everyday.
-R.Wolfe, Oslo, Norway