This animation and music mesmerized me

I saw this video and the music and animation style just made me sit so still to watch. I don't know why, but it really made me think of animation as something I should explore more. The beats and the use of music with the image, the totality of it. The subject of some planetary worship. The movement and it is all done in black and white. Check it out. What do you think?

Music by: Rone

Animation by: Dimitri Stankowicz


Good stuff. It wires your brain to create.


Chat Bots, a Furby, and Going Easy On Yourself

I listened to a podcast on Radio Lab this weekend while I wrestled with my most recent painting. The podcast started with a live audience experiencing chat bots and trying to determine if they where "chatting" with a human or a bot. AI has come a long way and the purpose of the bots is to seamlessly hand off control from the "machine" doing the chatting to a "human" as the problem gets more complex or subject specific. As the podcast proceeded there was an interesting antidote about a Furby. Using the emotional response that a Furby has programed into its system, the tester thought that the same type of response could be used to detect a bot. That is a huge generalization, and it was an interesting segment as they interviewed a man that designed toys for a living.

What I want to get to is the segment where a reporter goes to interview a scientist and participate in a "virtual" session where he moves back and forth between himself and himself as a virtual Sigmund Freud, and himself as his virtual model. He was asked to think of a problem he was trying to solve and ask "Freud" for his advice. The problem he was mulling over was whether or not he did the right thing about leaving his mother, with dementia, in a facility in VA where she has many friends to visit her, or to move her to NY, where it was only him.

He asked his question as himself. The virtual room changes and he finds himself sitting as the virtual Freud, voice changed. He then becomes a Freud-like version of himself. As he sees his virtual self from "Freud's" perspective, he develops an overwhelming sense of compassion. The dialog goes back and forth and it culminates into his seeing his problem in a different light. He caught on that he was in a pattern of cyclical guilt brought about each time one of the people visiting his mother would send an email update. In a guilt infused state, he was constantly questioning his decision to leave her there.

As he relayed his experience in the podcast interview, he was still emotionally affected by this experience. It went beyond the seeing this issue in a different light, it went to a deeper level to seeing himself as a vulnerable human, struck with this guilt loop, trying to do the right thing. He walked away from the experience with not only a sense of ease over his decision, but also a deeper sense of being a human. This was done in a virtual environment.

Can we do this for ourselves and each other in our day to day real human lives? As we lose ourselves in our devices, can we look up more and at each other with a softer approach? We are doing what we can to figure things out, successes and failures.


Listen to the Radio Lab Podcast: More or Less Human -->


Artist: Pat Steir

A friend of mine recently sent me some videos from the artist Pat Steir. How had I not even heard of this woman? Her work is beautiful, and the way she talks about her work and abstract concepts are magical. Man, this woman is amazing. She is so eloquent and so clear on her vision - her abstract, yet concrete vision. That is so hard to do. I love the work and the way that she talks about her work. There is an accessibility that she brings to it when she highlights how gravity and chance take over after she makes her decision.

Don't listen to me, though, just her:

"These paintings are made by gravity. Weight. Weight and gravity." Her series, based around the word Kairos means 'chaos', but she expands and builds on that and adds, "Choosing the opportune moment. But it can also mean, time. Timing. Which is different from the opportune moment."

Thank you Wendy for introducing her to me and sharing your work with me as well. See Wendy's beautiful art >>

Spring in LA

This weekend I worked some more on a new piece. Everything felt like it was coming together and I was meant to be in this place, in this seat, working on that painting. The wood, the colors, the filling in, and even the fussing over. The sun was out, and the blue skies felt like they were witnessing everyone being alive. As spring is opening its door in LA, the smells are different. The seals at the marina are bitching at each other and making way (or not) on their docks as they insert their dominance over each other.


So, this painting reminds me of when I painted back in school. But it is also everything in between. The years of drawing, the marks, the paintings that never made it out of the room they were painted in until I moved and destroyed them. The new work combines my weird sense of color, the precariousness of watercolor I have come to love, the gesso that allows me to celebrate history in its ability to build on a transparent base. I have gone through a period of quiet and a slowness getting back into my groove. I will keep showing up as I know that is the key, even when it is hard, because, like spring in LA, showing up opens the door to the subtle changes and smells of a leap of time.