This detail shot is the first piece of a series of monoprints I began working on this morning. On Monday I go in for a cochlear implant for some rather severe hearing loss that I somehow managed to obtain. Instead of writing about the whole experience, as there already is much of that on the web, I am going to document it visually with my artwork. The cochlea is a magnificent feat of nature, it so much reminds me of a snail that I’m beginning to think we possibly started out as snails!
I have been studying ASL (American Sign Language) and thought a really good way to remember it might be to do artwork based on signing. So, for this series I’ve taken one of my favorite poems of my mother’s, “Stealing Corn”, and each line of the poem is signed in a piece of artwork. Since hands are one of the most challenging things to draw it has been a challenge, but I am having a great time with it! The hands in this piece sign “Faster than Time”.
This is just a small little piece, part of a larger series I’m working on about sound. I’m still working with poetry, I’m just expanding it and working on both at the same time. I’m reading David Byrne’s book “How Music Works” and in one very interesting section he talks about how he was selecting dancers for a show. There were just four rules:
1. Improvise moving to the music and come up with an eight-count phrase.
2. When you find a phrase you like, loop (repeat) it.
3. When you see someone else with a stronger phrase, copy it. and
4. When everyone is doing the same phrase the exercise is over.
It took four minutes for all the dancers to move in perfect unison! In this way they could pick the strongest dancer—virtually by the other dancers deciding! There is a phenomena called entrainment which was discovered by Christian Huygens in 1665. He observed that all of his pendulum driven clocks over time synchronized with each other—even if he deliberately started them swinging at different times. This site by Dr. Frank Lipman has some fascinating information about entrainment. Because of how quickly we communicate now I think we’ve gone into hyperspeed entrainment!
When you think about it makes complete sense that this phenomena occurs throughout nature. Hopefully in this way we are all always working to become the best we can be, to think when people copy each other—it’s a form of entrainment!
I recently read “The Power of Music” by Elena Mannes and found it so inspiring for my artwork. There is a film I must see that she mentions in it “Rhythms of the Universe” by Grateful Dead percussionist Mickey Hart and George Smoot III, a noble prize winning physicist—I found a clip of it on utube. In one part of the book Mannes talks about how Hart is convinced of the connection between music, the cosmos, and human life. He says, “It comes down to the fact that it’s vibration and fundamental harmonics that causes it all to be linked together…..” I find this all so fascinating, the piece above is my visual interpretation of our connectedness and interconnectedness.