Monday, August 13, 2007

The Light (Truth in Marketing)

The Light.

That's what makes Cornwall so special. For Cornish artists as well as the tourist bureau that successfully markets the region not just for its Riveria-style beaches and locally sourced produce (including organic beers, wines, and hard ciders) but also its phenomenal light.

Can you imagine?

"Come to Cornwall -- and see the light."

But it's true.

This evening, at sunset, outside my window, with no Photoshopping whatsoever, I see this:

The picture does not really tell the whole story. With my naked eye, I can see a huge shaft of light emerge like a prehistoric creature out of the distant horizon. What only a few moments ago was a shiny, tinplate sea has now become a trippy wonderland. The horizon smudges with a remixing cloud palette performing on autopilot, one that paints the field of vision for me, and is the kind of pinkish blue eyemelt that you would associate with looking out at sea as far as the eye can see.

From my rooftop flat, this mystical explosion of color that washes the sky in less than a minute and that suddenly appears before my eyes as if I hallucinated its fringe-flow sensation into some readymade perception, enables me to not only underwrite my experience with an intuitive series of mobile video gestures that I now know will eventually appear in my film, but reminds me that I still have more creative potential to tap into and that, as always, I must be patient and let the film make itself the same way my life, like a cloud, changes as it goes.

A recent visit to Tate St. Ives was a real trip (and a beautiful one at that). [A piece of advice: don't drive into St. Ives, take the train and the last leg, from St. Erth, will amaze you]. The Tate St. Ives has two shows that, for me, especially with my focus on light, landscape, body, waves, rhythms and autohallucinations, resonate with one another. The first is Coast to Coast and features "artists associated with West Cornwall," one that "gives context and a splash of coastal heat to Tate St Ives' summer season" including "Patrick Heron's sensuous Horizontal Stripe Painting November 1957 - January 1958 and Naum Gabo's dynamic crystalline forms, as well as Alan Davie's surreal Entrance to the Red Temple No.1 and Bryan Wynter's, psychedelic IMOOS." The second exhibition, one floor above, is "If Everybody Had an Ocean: Brian Wilson: An Art Exhibition," which "considers the interplay between avant-garde art and popular culture [...] multi-coloured, more or less abstract images and objects that share what Wilson called the ‘psychedelicacy’ of his kaleidoscopic studio productions and [...] the gap between the popular image of The Beach Boys and Wilson’s own more turbulent internal world. It suggests the dystopian flipside of the Californian dream, together with the loss of innocence that 1960s baby boomers underwent at the close of that revolutionary decade."

There's a third show too dealing with Social Systems which given my interest in what I call open source lifestyle should be the focus of this blog entry but is not [truth in marketing: my sense is that the increased monetary value of social / relational / participatory art is indicative of a rapid commodification of the social aspects of "the life of the artist" whose practice reveals a desire to share or network their wares but whose institutional gambit risks cheapening said "social practice" so that it becomes worse than buying a unique art object ever could. Let me get this straight: First you want me to make things so that you can buy them (cool, how much?) and now you want me to sell you your social practice back to you as a reflection of what it means to be human in an inhuman world? Or would you rather I just sell my art practice to the highest bidder as a way to reflect an overdetermined, idealized social practice? This is starting to get confusing. Can I just get back to work and play to play? In the early days of net art, we just made stuff and put it on the WWW and that was that. But then the media and institutions sniffed us out and before you knew it, we were hot. Then the crashed and we know what happened next.]

The rainbow is open source content par excellence (and if you look close at the image above, you will see the rainbow's natural double resonating its deeper internal reflection).

Better yet, it has now completely disappeared.

What shall I make of its trace?

Or what shall I make of my trace after it disappears and find myself internally reflecting on the hallucinatory effects of its massive dosage?

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Blogger Muindi Fanuel Muindi said...

yo, we totally dig what you're up to man. we hope you dig what we're doing too.

6:42 AM  

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