Thursday, January 27, 2011

Immortality and Killer Robots.

I just read the article "Body: Tomb, Temple, Machine and Self" by Anthony Synnott... and needless to say, it was quite the compelling read. I was intrigued by the last section of the work, which discussed recent paradigms, debating the body as plastic, bionic or holistic. After absorbing all this, I was hit with this impression: Should we be scared that we aren't at all scared that we are viewing the body more and more as something that should be bionic or plastic? The way I see it is this: the benefits of becoming 'cyborg' far outweigh the negativity of using this sort of technology at this point. So we all go along, jovially accepting that life is just what it is... I wear contacts, my sister has about a billion screws in her knees, and we all get in our cars and drive to work everyday, talking on our iPhones and paying the parking meter to dwell in a certain spot from 9 to 5. We are all cyborgs in one way or another. Just like any other completely natural way of living (one does not dwell of breathing) this is accepted and ignored.

So... maybe I'm paranoid, maybe I saw I-Robot one too many times, and maybe I need to remove my tinfoil hat and crawl out from under my bed, but there must be some distant future in which this plasticizing and metal work will be our downfall. As I see it, the more we rely on machines and surgeries to make us "better people", as opposed to our very own mind, body and self, the more we may ultimately become weaklings... a de-evolution. There is a famous evolution illustration entitled "The Evolution of the White Collared Man", where the picture starts out with a monkey, crawling on it's fists, then rises to the pinnacle of a tall well-formed man, and then back down again to a misshapen human, crouched over in the glow of his computer screen. Is it going to come to that? Should we not be more worried that it already has (thanks World of Warcraft and Facebook)? All these questions just lead me to more worrying and paranoia, and, really, who has time for that when there are legions of robot time-travelers to fend off? All joking aside, I do want to find more ways to re-humanize my own body. Our body has limitless powers, of developing and healing, if only we (I) would take the time needed to deeply work and grow. I believe that it is time that is expensive, and the normal/natural/expected thing to do is use enhancing outside sources to speed up the process. It is patience that we lack to more holistically approach our bodies, in healing, beautifying, and enhancing. I wonder if there was limitless time on this earth, would we all be Olympic status athletes, and altogether smarter and stronger? This perfect timeless world is starting to sound even more unbelievable than the robot time-travelers. For the present age and time, all we can do is what feels truly right and fulfilling for our own bodies, be it going the natural way to health or becoming the bionic woman.

I guess we'll figure out the whole future thing when we get there.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


I want to move here.

Another way to say this would be: I want to go to there... but that is getting overdone, don't you think?

... NO. Never.

For a vampire, you sure do look like Audrey Hepburn.

Kate Spade does spring right.

Also... I think I want to be
Bryce Dallas Howard when I grow up.

AND AGAIN... Let's go eat candy. These quirky colors make me hungry.

Dear Barb,

This is the story of my favorite teacher.
It started with a handshake. The year is 2007 and my boyfriend-of-the-moment and I have made a deal, a bet of sorts. Boyfriend and I would take a class in the other’s art form, thus gaining some sort of understanding of each other’s perspective on life, passion, blah blah blah- other eccentric couple type blather. Hands were shook, the trash talk began, and while he pandered about, wondering how taking a modern dance class would affect his masculinity, I immediately enrolled in my first photography class. This bet, deal, and handshake, as silly as it was, not only was the inception of one of my now favorite hobbies, but led me to one of the best teachers I have had the pleasure of learning from.
From the moment I walked into Barbara Frazier’s beginning photography classroom, I knew I had walked through that proverbial rabbit hole. This was a new world, a world of imagery and wonder that I had only marginally known through extensive myspace/facebook photo shoots with my friends. This new world, this photographic world, was daunting. At first, taking pictures seemed to be quite opposite of my first love, dancing. Being a dancer I was used to the sprung floors and open, well-lit space of the dance studio, and the deep cavern that is the dark room intimidated me. I was well-versed in my own body and the movement, life, and in-the-moment artistic expression that performance art, but the life in still imagery was barely part of my artistic vocabulary. Barbara Frazier, or ‘Barb’ as her students and friends fondly call her, was fascinating and well versed in the knowledge of her art form. Not only did she make the technical aspects of photography clear and legible to a scrambled mind like mine, but she also tightened the seemingly vast canyon between photography and movement for a dancer like me. She was showing me the life and excitement inside of still imagery, giving me a passion for understanding moments and the story of shapes.
Barb had (and has) the knack of being a very intimate person. She teaches from the heart, drawing from her own life and personal experiences to explain a principle of art. There were times in class in which I wanted to run and trip up the aisle and give the women a hug, as tears would well up in her eyes and words came slowly and tripped out with trepidation. But she never held herself back from her emotions. This intimacy endears her to her students, who, in their own turn, strive to lay bare their souls for examination in their own turn, as if the rule is one soul for one soul. One forever longs to top oneself in the level of meaning and clarification that their art might bring forth. This venerability made for a good dig into the art, and I saw my class progress rapidly and almost unbelievably.
The most phenomenal thing began to happen in my beginning photography class. My relationship with Barb began to change from authority figure and student to chums and confidantes. If I had to pin point the moment in which Barb turned from being a just another teacher in my circle of university classes and became a good friend, it would be a moment in class when she started talking to me about ME. My then-boyfriend had prepped her with my background as an artist and a dancer, as well as our deal about dabbling in one another’s art forms. Maybe it was that her interest was piqued, having worked with dancers before, or maybe it was (and is) that she is one of the best conversationalists I have ever met, but when we would talk, I felt that she was completely interested in what I was saying. It was if my words held great meaning and experience, almost as if she believed I was someone great and that she could learn something from me. I usually hate talking about myself, but with her, someone who I felt really and truly wanted to get to know me, my words seemed to come faster and faster. Learning from someone I considered a friend was a very rewarding experience. It was if the critiques she offered me held greater power, and I was inspired to work harder to keep the standard she set for the class and me. One of my greatest goals is to be an artist the way that Barb is an artist; one who can see possibility inside of everything- in every moment and in every movement.
Barbara Frazier has remained a confident and friend, the kind of friend who will remain pure and sweet despite weeks and months without talking, and has continued to support me outside of that initial classroom setting by attending my dance concerts, sending me inspiring texts and messages, prodding me to take more photography classes (which I have leapt at the chance to do... especially if she teaches), and occasionally letting me grace her photos as her muse (the most flattering). Barb was able to help me through some very trying moments in my personal life, pushing me to use my art forms to clarify and better understand my own inner dealings and dwellings. Every conversation, I feel that she is grounded and present inside every word exchanged. She simply absorbs everything that is said and then presents you with something and anything and everything that holds wisdom and great beauty. She believed in me and cared for me, and this, in turn, gave me the inspiration to believe and care for myself. Her esteem and confidence for my talent as a photographer, a dancer, and an artist has helped further my art forms by leaps and bounds. She spreads life, beauty and light, teaching those to reach for the heavens and not to be wary of rolling around in the dirt. You have to live your life, fully, with eyes open, in order to make your art and live in beauty. This is a friendship that I want to hold fast, but if I were to never see Madame Frazier again, I would go into this world and hope for the very best: that I could keep being the kind of person that could be friends with a lady like Barb.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Watch Out.

Pretty sure I'm going to cover this song on my harp:

Baby Jesus -Regina Spektor

"you know that statue
that statue of baby jesus
in the window
in the window of the 99 cent store
last night I saw the owner kiss it
and whisper in its ear
I was walking home from walgreen's
and he did not hear me see him
and on the
very very next morning
all the subway cars were hallelu-leluing
welcome back the baby king, the baby king
all the believers they were smiling
and winking at each other
I could honestly say I was scared for my life

they said, all the non-believers they get to eat dirt
and the believers get to spit on their graves...

you know that statue
that statue of baby jesus
in the window
in the window of the 99 cent store
they've been showing it on the news
it was thirty times its size
with a megaphone and a heart-shaped bruise
it was hovering in the skies
and all the
subway cars were hallelu-lelu-leluing, hallejuah
welcome back the baby king, the baby king
all the believers they were smiling
and winking at each other
I could honestly say I was scared for my life

they said, all the non-believers they get to eat dirt
and the believers get to spit on their graves...

you know that statue
that statue of baby jesus
in the window
in the window of the 99 cent store
when I woke up I ran and bought it
and locked it in my closet
with a little bread and water
and a flashlight and a first aid kit til he grows"

"More of a art project then a concert."

I wish Feist would come play a show in my backyard.

Watch The DVD Preview:
Look at What the Light Did Now

(Relax, I'll eventually get the full film, then we can watch THAT in my backyard with popcorn and blankets... NOT AS GOOD as a private concert, but we'll get there eventually. Maybe now I know what I want to do for my next birthday...)

Friday, January 7, 2011

"You never know what it is that draws you to that person..."

... and so he fell ...

. . . and no one noticed and life went on, as it always does.

Musée des Beaux Arts

About suffering they were never wrong,
The Old Masters; how well, they understood
Its human position; how it takes place
While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along;
How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting
For the miraculous birth, there always must be
Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating
On a pond at the edge of the wood:
They never forgot
That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course
Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot
Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer's horse
Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.

In Breughel's Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away
Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may
Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry,
But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone
As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green
Water; and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen
Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky,
had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.

W.H. Auden

(Thank you, Jackie Surpriseme.)