Art Immersion

Beltane                                                                              New Garlic Moon

One of those days.  Into the museum, leaving at 10:30 am and just got back now, 6:00 pm.  Had a Japan Art Cart, oh boy, with very few visitors.  A group of autistic kids and a classical musician and his daughters stopped by and that was about it.  The art cart business is just too passive on the one hand and too intrusive on the other, i.e. we have to encourage people to stop.  On the other hand, I do love talking about the Japanese tea ceremony, a great gift to world civilization.

After that, and I mean right after that, the art cart closed up at 1:30 and the continuing ed for the day started at 1:30.  Celia Peterson gave a very interesting presentation on games and art, both physical and virtual games, as possible adjuncts to museum experiences and as art objects themselves.   It really cranked up my thinking about the possible, the nearly possible and oh boy I can’t wait until it is possible.

(screenshot from acmipark, a virtual version of an Australian museum)

Example.  How about a museum that displays its objects inside a virtual world like second life?  Or, a virtual museum where interaction with objects could bring up art historical, geographical, biographical information, for example, about an object that interested you.  This kind of stuff turns me on, makes me want to get involved.

After that a meeting on my direct action idea, a rolling, international projection of the artist’s image on museum walls from eastern Europe to California on June 30th, the night before the 90th celebration of Chinese Communism.  A docent has agreed to take the idea to our museum president.  She’s also president of an international association of museums that would probably make this pretty easy.  It’s a big, yet simple idea, and it would have plenty of media punch.  Hope it happens.

another artist on Ai Weiwei

Beltane                                                      Waning Last Frost Moon

A reader of this blog has created a poster for Ai Weiwei.  It appears on his blog artotrical.

Here it is.  The Chinese script reads:  Love the future and is a visual pun on Ai Weiwei’s name.

tumblr_ll0tsb66vf1qcjt34o1_500

Be Patient With Yourself

Beltane                                               Waning Last Frost Moon

An afternoon of thunder, swirling clouds, torrential rains.  Another episode in the missing spring of 2011.  We sat huddled in the basement amongst our workout equipment, watching the downstairs tvs with green rectangles and red rectangles.  Occasionally, the EAS, Emergency Alert System, would blare its attention getting noise giving us notice that the national weather service had released a tornado warning for our area.

As we sat down here, I reconsidered my smug comments about those people that live near:  the ocean (sea level rise), in earthquake zones, beneath volcanoes, where hurricanes play.  Someone out there, watching the TV and pictures of damage in north Minneapolis, just said, “God.  How can those people live there when they know tornadoes come along all summer?”  Good question.

The first 12 Tai Chi classes have ended.  Next time, starting June 5th, I can go to the 6:00 pm class and practice the first few moves, then move on to the 7:00 pm class and learn the next moves in the form.  My learning curve here remains steep though I have seen progress.  I read it in Monkey’s Journey to the West, and our Tai Chi instructors have said many times, “Be patient with yourself while training.”  Very useful to me.  Very.

On Monkey’s Journey to the West.  This is a delightful story.  I’m a bit over 30% through it, I imagine it will be June before I’m done, maybe into July.  It’s so different from the Romance of the Three Kingdoms.  Romance is a military and political epic; Journey is part fantasy, part religious and cultural instruction manual, part adventure.  I see Ai Weiwei as a Monkey King figure.

DB BFA

Beltane                                                                Full Last Frost Moon

I now have a full degree in dog barrier visualization, construction and maintenance.  A guest dog, Gertie from Denver, has discovered the joys of orchard exploration.  In her case she  cropped2011-04-20_0896crawls over the fence, runs over to the blue berry patches, jumps in and digs.  Furiously.  So.  In this instance a temporary barrier since said Denver dog returns home soon.

We have some metal roofing left over from project or another so two sheets of roofing now stand secured to the fence Gertie most loved to jump.  We test our barriers using the empirical method.  That is, we let Gertie out and see if she ends up in the orchard again.  If not, great.  If yes, back to the design.

After the barrier erection, I went into the MIA.  A panel explained an interactive art event that will take place at the MIA during the Northern Spark festival on June 4th.  I got a great idea from the lecture that I plan to turn into an effective Ai Weiwei protest.  More on that later.

Tonight I’m going to UTS (my seminary) for the final event of the year long mentoring I’ve done for Leslie.  With that event marking the end of that work and the session coming to an end next week, life will become less hectic.  I can relax into the garden and Latin since the summer pace of the Museum is slower, too.

A Garden, Some Latin, Ai Weiwei

Beltane                                                     New Last Frost Moon

The potatoes are in the ground.  The lettuce has two leaves, as does the spinach, a few beets have emerged.  The leeks look a bit droopy, but they’ll pick up.  The garlic is well over 6 inches now as it makes the final push for harvest in late June, early July.  None of the carrots have germinated yet and most of the beets have not either. The onion sets we planted havecropped-free-ai-weiwei mostly begun to show green.  The bees show up now around the property, working as we do, tending the plants in their own, intimate way.  The gooseberries we transplanted look very healthy.  The daffodils are a carpet of yellow and white.  A few scylla out front brighten up the walk with their blue.

Most of today went into Diana and Actaeon.  I’m down to verse 227, the finish line is 250.  I’m close and moving faster now than I was.  One of the things I’ve learned is that doing this at a pace which would allow you to complete a project in a reasonable time frame would require real skill.  I’m a hobby Ovidist, to be a Latin scholar would take decades.  Who knows though?  I might make it.  When I finish this first tale in the Metamorphosis, I’m going to have some kind of celebration.

Buddy Mark Odegard has come up with three remarkable designs for a Free Ai Weiwei t-shirt.   Here’s an example and the one most seem to prefer:

Ai Weiwei In Jail

Spring                                                                  Waxing Bee Hiving Moon

In all the tsunami/earthquake, nuclear crisis, air strikes in Libya, brother coming, dog biting haze I missed this story about Ai Weiwei, a Chinese dissident artist whose marble chair is in our Wu Family Reception Hall.  I’ve attached a summary from the Financial Times and a video interview with Dan Rather (see above).  Especially in the Rather interview I can see the problem he poses for an autocratic regime.  He gets the notion of freedom, of individuality, of free expression.  That’s frightening stuff to autocrats.

As a man who admires Chinese civilization, its arts, its literature, its inventiveness, its long, long history, I know China and Chinese civilization has room for Ai Weiwei and his kind.  Wandering Taoist sages, eccentrics all, the mountain poets, literati painters are just the ones who come to mind right now.

The more I read Chinese literature and history I do know that they inflect the dialectic rebel/government in a way not easily understood by Americans.  That is, the rebel is bad and the government good.  Or mostly, anyhow.  This has to do in part with the notion of the mandate of heaven.  As long as the government achieves order, the people are fed and happy, then the government reflects the will of heaven.  But, if the people are starving, crime and violence becomes rampant–see the Warring States period and the end of the Han Dynasty as examples–the government has lost the mandate of heaven and must be replaced.

I have also added a TED video (above) about China, one that defines it as a civilization-state rather than nation-state and speculates on the impact of China’s rise.  I think the idea is germane to this topic.

Enough.  I’m thinking about how to impact this man’s detention in a positive way.  If you have any ideas, let me know.

Fears grow for Ai Weiwei’s safety

By Jamil Anderlini in Beijing

Published: April 5 2011 15:22 | Last updated: April 5 2011 15:22

Fears for the safety of China’s most famous artist are growing amid international condemnation of his extralegal disappearance at the hands of the country’s increasingly repressive state security apparatus.

Family members of Ai Weiwei, whose “Sunflower Seeds” installation is currently on display in London’s Tate Modern gallery, said on Tuesday evening they still had no idea of his whereabouts after he was detained at Beijing airport on Sunday and led away by airport security.

Friends, family and associates have been warned not to speak to journalists and Mr Ai’s wife and eight employees were temporarily detained on Sunday after police raided his Beijing home and studio. Beijing police have refused to provide any information concerning his whereabouts.

A member of Mr Ai’s family said at least one of his associates remained in custody after being detained on Sunday but the others had been released.

Human rights groups and associates of Mr Ai say he is in grave danger of being tortured and is probably being deprived of medicines he needs to take regularly.