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Cognitive thinking refers to the use of mental activities and skills to perform tasks such as learning, reasoning, understanding, remembering, paying attention, and more.”

Some of these are useful for some parts of day to day activity. What I like to do is rid myself of these traits. To get to the bottom of what I feel and think. Cognitive thinking to me, gets in the way of what is deep inside the mind. Intuitive, raw emotion that drives the human psyche. Some don’t have either the desire or ability to turn the cognitive off, or even want to turn it off for fear of freeing their mind and facing their “demons” or their true feelings and lucid thoughts.

Denying these basic human responses is a true travesty to me. How can I react and process these ideas if I cover them with reason. As an artist I’m frustrated with having to conform with the cognitive part to do my day to day when the intuitive is always knocking at the door. Releasing the art from within is the only way I can deal with the necessity of having to deal with the day to day cognitive issues and sometimes denying them.

If I wanted to live in the “real” world I would have started a long time ago. Let it shine

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“Do something 1000 times and you’ve got it down” My Father.

“Your first 10,000 photos are the worst.” Henri Cartier Bresson.

I struggle often, to find the thing that satisfies me artistically. As we all do, I’m sure. The time it actually does is like a Phoenix rising from something that has been inside you and begging to come out.

Getting there is the journey. Everything you do seems is either futile of so frustrating the end seems as if it will never come. Hitting the note, getting the capture, mixing the right colors, all seem so difficult. Then it hits……. and you realize that everything you’ve done to this point has led to this moment. Without realization or the ability to see it coming.

Everything you’ve been doing has led to this moment of clarity. Yet you’ve not been able to see the forest from the trees until you have cleared the tops. If only you could see the path, or the beast as its being built. Would it be the same? Would you reach the point of satisfaction if you didn’t have the struggle?  I’m thinking no. But it would be fucking easier…

Keep building your beast until you can look it in the eye and say “hey, there you are.”

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I heard fans of a band that recently passed through the Twin Cities recently say that the band didn’t allow the fans to even to look at their phones during a concert. If they did they were asked to leave. Many thought it was extreme, some said to live in the moment is a good thing.

After a little processing, I can see where the band is coming from. After posting images social media and seeing the constant posting of others, I’ve come to the conclusion of….. why?

I mean I get it. Promote and share. But whats the cost? Not that I want to go back to the past, however, if “everything” out there, what makes anything special? When the band plays with no phones is it playing worse?  I just seems to me that the fan who wants to live in the moment has something. Live the moment and let the music change you as it happens.

The thing that happens with seeing photos no stop for one after the other 2.3 seconds on your phone, it becomes a numbing of what is really happening. The images are produced, then posted and scrolled. then the viewer looks for the next post.

The desensitizing from looking at a piece has become the new numb. I plan to change that. At least in my work. I’m not in this to be a part of the cog. Its easy to get sucked into the “Right Now” mentality.  Show me show me show me, Look at me look at me look at me. Then its gone…..

Is it worth it?

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So you have emotions. Congrats you’re human. Hate them, love them, what to do with them. Capture the good ones in a jar, flush the bad ones down the toilet. Well, I wish it was that easy. Going through an array of feelings, thoughts and situations, I try to use the things that cause these as a catalyst for my creations. taking the sublime and making the subject help me create a feeling that can be artistically personified.

Although I don’t crave the darker feelings and emotions, they are the ones that drive me more than the lighter ones. When feeling “good” I tend to just enjoy the moment. I don’t want to think to much into it out of fear of spoiling the moment. Darker emotions seems to trigger a response that lingers longer and strikes a chord more than the others. Perhaps I have a need to get this out of my head or to release it in a attempt to not to have the feeling again. Or, most probably the truth, I like the feeling. I like the drive it gives me, the need to face the fears or the need to show that we all have these emotions and we hide them out of embarrassment or presumed weakness.

I guess I have embraced the side of me that gives me inspiration. Whether it be light or dark, I get a rush when I feel it. I want to do something to explain what I feel therefore I create. Most times these these creations are only in my head and sometimes they come to fruition. The ones that do get produced, even I sometimes dislike because they are made from raw emotion and that can awaken a feeling that starts the process all over again.

Emotions causing emotions that produce ideas that in turn cause emotions that sometimes produce creations that cause emotions. No wonder I have a hard time remembering what day it is……

Circles of emotional motivators. The beauty in it is perceived by the viewer who has no idea where it came from. Which hopefully will set off their own set of emotions.

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Witnessing a performing artist to me is inspirational. Watching a musician or dancer or comedian expose his or her soul on the stage seems so fulfilling to me. Not just to the audience but to the performer as well.  The look of not even knowing where they are, just doing what they do is something I’m a little jealous of. As a visual artist I can only hope the viewer sees my work and is inspired by what I have put to paper. The inspiration I have in producing my medium is hidden in not only the studio, but in the post production. Then it is sent out to fend for itself. No live audience or ticket sales, no street posters or t shirts to be purchased.  It HAS to stand alone and be powerful enough to live on. The passion is there, you just have to hope someone else gets it too.

It doesn’t mean that its not passionate or produced with passion but just that the physical part is just not expressed in town after town or club after club.

I know some performers venture into or desire the visual side of the arts and that to me shows that either of the side of the arts you are on, the passion to produce and be seen, heard or perform is at the same level. Still, I want to show my soul on stage too. I want the viewers of my work to see that even though its not a live performance, no applause, no oncore, the passion and soul exposing is still there.

Next time you see a product of a visual artist, think about what they put into it to get it there. You should take what you feel when you see it and know that that is the performance.

 

When I take a journey into art, there is no road map. You just have to drive. Sometimes you take a wrong turn but you can get back on the path by re-routing. Sometimes the lesson and thoughts that come along the way show you were on the wrong route anyway. It’s truly amazing the things you can see when you are lost or looking for a path that you were told to take. 

Cutting into the “normals” in life let’s the inner truths of this world bleed out and be seen. Just take the time to take in all that you might forget when the cut is gone. You will be the one who is healed. 

There’s so much in front of us that we don’t see, or want to see that can change us. Look out the window and enjoy every drive. You never know what’s around the next turn.

“The most violent thing is what we do to ourselves when we hide who we really are.”
Just when I thought it was safe to go out..

After coming to the realization that things are not what they seem, I realize I’m part of that equation. Giving in to who you really are is a battle that is waged by one. You.

The part of me that fights for normalcy uses its weapons to suppress. It is a well organized army. Its supply line, fed by societal influences and human dogma, is a well oiled machine. Experienced in its task and rarely changing.

The inner army is crafty. Guerilla like in its tactics and ready to spring to the front at any moment. It uses emotion and imagination to coerce the mind I to thinking that it can conquer Goliath.

This shit sucks…..

The battles fought are not simple. The ones won by the big army keep you feeling safe. They give a feeling that this is the way it should be, no matter what that guerilla band of fighters says. Until they strike the engine is purring. But when they do, all hell breaks loose. You start feeling uncomfortable, things look different, you get ideas and different points of view.

I know where I want to spend my time but I don’t always have the courage to fight the uphill battle, even though I would rather have the scars of being who I am, then the non callus hands of living the life of a lie. I’m aware of the sacrifice that must be made in this battle but carrying the weight of satisfaction will slowly kill you in a life already short.

So those short periods of times when one creates a work, is the time where both armies work towards a common goal. The brevity of these times allows me to let loose from the struggle. You are free to be as you want. Or at least feel you are.

Should I fight on the side I believe or the side that has the best odds?

Weight weight, don’t tell me.

After watching a documentary on Greenwich Village, a couple of things I picked up were the same things my 90 year old mother told me for years. “There is nothing new”.
As we grew as a country through the fifties, sixties and and early seventies, we had a a group of artists looking for change. They found it in the village. They could be who they were even if they didn’t know what that was.
They spoke out and challenged authority. They knew that change needed to happen and fought with their words, music and visual expression, made for what they believed in. The art wasn’t nessesarily good, but they used it to express what they felt and it worked for the times, at the time.

Some of the art survived. Some didn’t. Topical work is risky, but serves a purpose at the time.

I do know one thing, that my mom didn’t factor in social media. Imagine the outrage and debate when the NYC police banned Sunday singing in the fountain in the village. It would have changed things much faster.

These people brought change, much like the changes going on today. Social activism is a huge force in letting people use not only art but using their ” social voice” to create change.

Although my mother was correct in her statement, the true meaning of her passage, as I grow older, is clearer. Don’t forget the past. We as artist, activist and just people with passion can change the world with a song, and painting or a photograph. Don’t think your voice doesn’t matter.

There won’t be anotherVillagee like in New York. But there will always be the idea that will plant itself in our souls. We should just look to the recent past for motivation.

And when we are old and gray, remember that our children will be looking at us and what we did to instigate change. Don’t let them down.

For a long time I’ve wanted my images to say something. I’ve seen other artist say the same thing. They just shoot. Henry Cartier Breson said just that.”Just Point and shoot”. I’m making a point from now to do just that. Putting my head down and doing what is in me to do.

The main issue I deal with is when the subject shows itself, will I see it?

Whatever happens happens.

Cha cha cha changes….
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I wonder what’s its like to have nothing to do but express what you want to, whenever you want, without consequence. I wonder what its like to be free from bounds that keep the inner you, from the inner you?

At this point I can’t imagine what it would feel like.

What I do know is that I think I have enough life references to finish out this life artistically, picking up some more inspiration along the way.

I think I want my images to say something. I mean, they do now to an extent, but I want more. After all the life I’ve had so far I think I can say a lot. I hear some say that I’m the only one holding me back. Perhaps, but also all these things that made who I am are the things that drive my imagination.

As my mom always instructed me, “Remember who you are.”

Don’t worry mom, all that cerebral memory ain’t going away. It just needs to come out to play.

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