Tuesday, March 22, 2011

"Far from being fully accounted for

and catalogued, it deploys and poses problems in several dimensions.  In short, it is an 'open' situation, in movement.  A work in progress."
Umberto Eco, "The Poetics of the Open Work"

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Inspiration of Late: Yifat Gat

In a lovely turn of events, Yifat contacted me through Facebook--to let me know of a post of my work on her blog.  I then came to know her enigmatic-while-being pointedly-precise images through her website.  Again, there are many more treasures than this one...

Inspiration of Late: Garima Saxena

Of late I've been having these moments of intense visual love!  I think the world is looking out for me--giving me amazingly inspiring things to see just when I need them most....
One of the biggest delights recently has been seeing the collage-marathon of Garima Saxena posted on her blog.  I love the frank willingness to try anything and to show us that really so much more is possible here than we thought.  I've just picked out six here; there are many, many more to see, and I urge you to go look now!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Teaching, teaching, teaching

Yesterday was the first day of crits for a Variable Topics in Drawing Project--a 300 level drawing class I teach at least once a year.  My students have worked on these mid to large sized collages for over a month at least, and they've done a wonderful job translating the still-life they set up into various interpretations of reality.  I asked them to think about how one might present multiple views of any given view of reality, and they embraced the challenge with gusto!

From the top: work by Marilyn Barr, Elizabeth Weiland, Sara Phillips, Scottie Bottenus, Ashley Jones and Ivana Beck.

Oh, I should say that these are all about 4'x5' in dimension.

Writing, writing, writing

Spring is arriving in North Carolina.  While fall is the spectacular season in Pennsylvania, spring is our dramatic time in central NC.  Nearly every tree is in bloom!
I continue to write, write, write--making progress day by day on my tenure dossier.  I do look forward to a more balanced studio schedule soon, but until then, I thankfully see this row of purple plum trees as I work.

Monday, March 7, 2011

W.S. Merwin in coversation with Michael Silverblatt

Michael Silverblatt: I have a final question.  It would once have been impossible for a poet to easily accept the invitation to be a country's poet laureate, this country's poet laureate.  It certainly once would not have been possible for you.  What makes it possible now?
W.S. Merwin: When I was invited to do it the terms of it were--we talked about that--and I was asked whether there was a theme that I would want to have to string the whole thing on, and I said, yes, if I accept to do it that will be one of the main reasons why I would do that, and the theme would be something I want to talk about.  My words won't change anyone's behavior but the connection between the human imagination, which I think is the one really distinctive thing that humanity has, not intelligence or language--both of which are dubious in different ways, but imagination--the thing that allows us to sit here in the Palomar Hotel in Los Angeles and be distressed about the homeless people and Darfur and the whales dying of starvation in the Pacific and elated by a little girl getting a prize for playing Mozart in China when she's seven years old.  Other animals have this quality but it's not primal in their lives.  It's not the center, and it's what makes us.  Each one of us is here in our imaginations seeing the world a little bit differently.  I think this is our great talent.  It's the source of compassion and it's the source of our respect for the rest of life and for our, oh I would say more than that, our gratitude for it, our love of the rest of life.  And if we don't have that, we are in every sense deprived.  We're narrowed down to little selfish blobs destroying the world around us and in so doing destroying ourselves.