Sunday, June 7, 2009

Time Enough to Be

I came across an interesting, contemplative, personal discourse on art and art history that includes how it is critiqued, valued, accessed and evolving. Written by David Byrne he recalls his experience with libraries (which would include a similar consciousness raising experience for us all, undoubtedly). I'd like to share it here. He writes this, in part, about a displaced library supplanted by a gallery expansion:

...But where did the books go? Reading, the part of the Victorian outreach that involved more interaction and could actually be brought into one’s house for a while, is gone.

Maybe, with the sheer volume of text on the Internet, it isn’t deemed as important to make books available for free to the poor and newly arrived in the East End. Art you have to visit and see, for the most part, and books you can buy, browse at bookstores or now download. Maybe part of the museum or gallery’s attraction is the social aspect — reading is solitary. The Whitechapel was crowded, and people would presumably discuss their visit later over dinner, or at the office the next day. Picture viewing is also fast, while on the other hand, it takes many hours to read a book — which is another reason the literary experience has such a profound effect. Viewing an exhibition can be done in an afternoon or much less, and if you don’t like it you just walk out. The speed of the visit doesn’t make it less deep — a short experience can also be profound — and visual experiences can imprint if we are receptive enough. (Movies and music, I’ve noticed, are like books — you have to commit a sizable block of time to the experience.)

I found the entry quite sincere and thought provoking. I find myself rethinking how we are working over our concept of time or time is working us over as a bi-product of our willingness to speed it up (...or both) and how this has affected my personal relationship to art. Is experiencing art at a clip or in a meditative focus of equal or lesser value? These are some of the questions I find myself contemplating.

The journal entry in it's entirety can be found here along with many other interesting entries. Treat yourself.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


My week has been spent in a sad and reflective state. Rose Johnson, gentle, spirited and impassioned woman, artist and cohort in all forms of southwestern warmth passed away in Bali last Sunday. She left us in a storm of her being. She was doing what she loved - traveling and finding treasured hearts and passionate luxuriant colors to add to her palate; filling herself to the brim of life to such a degree that all who came to her even just in passing would recall her pleasantly.

I have been looking at all the bits of Roses life available on line and I like the interview by TheBisbeeChannel the best, I think, as it exhibits her sweet generosity of spirit (thank you for making it!).

The details regarding her death is the stuff of legend and Shakespearean tragedy with tainted wine being sipped and a flurry of grief and loss. Some of this news can be read here

Rose is gone now as if passing into the brilliance of her very own work and I am stunned, saddened and grateful to have been able to have met such a tremendously creative and compassionate woman. I imagine what Rose would like me to do to honor her passing and I hear her whisper, "Create something and put all the joy in your heart into it!". That's the kind of woman Rose was and the kind of inspiration she leaves in her wake. I see a million mermaids floating and waiving with goblets to their lips and stars in their eyes; they are waving goodbye...

I hope our paths cross again, Rose, till then...