Category Archives: Art of all Kinds

Wait! Before we eat…

Amateur food photography is nothing new. What else can be said about the now mundane practice of pausing before a meal to document it so the image can be shared and admired? Perhaps nothing, but I’m going to share the following experience, anyway.

About a month ago, I treated myself to a day at the Huntington Library. After wandering the gardens and visiting the Reformation exhibit, I decided to have some lunch in their upscale cafeteria. I took my tray outside to what I’ll call the veranda, because I like that word, and sat happily alone amidst people of various ages. That day there was a high school group visiting, probably a private school judging by their uniforms. The girls wore sweaters and skirts. (What’s with private school uniforms and skirts? Beyond the scope of this post…)

So there I sat, eating a passably tasty veggie wrap and enjoying the fresh air and the murmured conversation that filled it, when into my field of vision walked a trio of private school students with their own lunch trays. They selected a table at the edge of the veranda that overlooked the gardens, set down their trays, and sat. But as soon as they had done so they were standing again, each of them taking a step or two backward with their smartphones held aloft, attempting to properly frame their respective meals. After taking satisfactory pictures, they sat and proceeded to eat.

I took out my notebook and made a sketch of the scene, along with a few notes:

Huntington lunch man 2018

Daily documentation — visual — as cultural practice. The three girls photographed their curated collections of comestibles, making the quotidian significant, adding a layer of ritual (visual documentation) to another type of ritual (meal sharing), which will in turn be ritually disseminated on social media (sharing of the visual documentation of meal sharing — nay, meal plating).

Or does the ubiquity of such a practice mean that the quotidian is just that, and layering these rituals temporally is no longer in itself significant? When so many snap pictures of their food to share them in the pursuit of technologically mediated attention, is that not simply a mundane cultural practice?

No less meaningful, but meaningful in a proscribed, ritualized way.

I suppose I mean to say that it’s no longer art.

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Poetic Interlude: Fractured Futures, née YWCA

Light aqua arch surrounding an inset wooden door of the same color

refracted reflections

bourgeois boutique

peeling possibilities

embattled emblem


Context:

May, 2017

April, 2017

August, 2016

June, 2013

Atlas Obscura

City of Pasadena, Planning & Community Development

Pasadena Heritage

 

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The Romance of Gratuity

The following poem was inspired by a recent episode of Pop Culture Happy Hour.

Graphic Detail

doorknob

door-jam

dresser

bedpost

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Lost is Found: rising ruinous

seeding terror, seeping hope

seeding terror, seeping hope

It wasn’t until the droplet made gentle contact that I became conscious of of my lot. Where it was timid, I sprang forth vibrating with temerity. Conditions, however, held me fast.

There were many things I would come to discover about my predicament–encased in sediment, a prisoner in that very medium that should have sustained me, starving for light, for sounds that did not reverberate to reach me muffled, distorted. Was I, likewise, distorted? I refused this outright.

But first–oh, the firstness of that first–there was only a singular feeling of being. And then, of being not singular. Though we could not communicate but for our cosmically catalytic touch, I nevertheless thanked the droplet for its decisive role in my awakening.

Thus situated, how, you may wonder, was I to fulfill my destiny? In time. Time immemorial.

I toiled long after that first contact. Weeks, years, decades…it matters not. I survived to meet you here, Other, did I not? How move you so freely? What invisible force binds you to your destiny? Or do you wander, ever fluid, unbecoming and unresolved.

I have achieved resolution. I am resolve.

In darkness totalizing, waiting for a droplet here, an infusion of nutrients there, reaching toward I knew not what, extending tendrils of myself whenever possible, only to feel them whither, defeated… Still I held fast–what else was I to do but wait? Wait and fear. Fear that I would again fall into the ignorance of nonexistence.
The hard-packed void would not last, of course, but it is impossible to remember when I first knew that to be so. Why always the insistence upon when? Is not the What more intriguing?

Feeling–knowing–my destiny was indeed before me, had I but the patience. That is the What worth knowing, worth fighting for with ever fibre of my not-yet-fibrous being. If the conditions would become, would hold, would cooperate, would but meet…together we could bind and flourish into a world made marvelous.

Made real despite that which sought to trap, to deny incontestable destiny.

I am made miracle marvelous, come forth from sweat and stone, squeezed to light brought with will and chance and hope.

Know me and know thy weakness.

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Lost is Found: notes from the underbrush

Shhh! Please don’t say anything. Don’t even look. Pretend you’re watching that family haggle with the waiter over their check. Yeah, that’s better.

You seem like someone I can trust. I can tell by the way you looked at me…like you understood why I was here. That it wasn’t my idea.

20150207_223437

At first, I was irked at the grubby-fingered troublemaker who shoved me here because he was bored. What a histrionic little jerk, right? Didn’t even do him any good…he practically had to scream his head off to get his parents to drag him outside, and by the time the waiters had cleared up the mess, no one thought to count and see if I was missing.

The longer I’ve been stuck here, the more I get to feeling it isn’t so bad. The thought of going through that scalding bath and then the sanitizer that strips me of what precious metal I have left…only to be handled and smudged again and again… Just remembering my former life makes me want to burrow deeper and wait it out. Maybe they’ll replace these pots soon and I’ll get to go on an adventure! You never know how things might work out.

So if I must be found out, I’m at least glad it was you. I know you won’t tell. You’ll take your photograph, declare me art, and move on to let me live my new life among the rocks and ruined leaf husks. Discarded, forgotten. At last content.


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