The Windy Poetic Landscape
The wind made me think about the fragility of the landscape...and poems, images and breath.
Woah!! Hold on to your hats...or in this case, the steering wheel, LA. It is so windy out there!! (early Feb. 2011)
On the way to class (said class may come up in another lens some day) I was driving along the ubiquitous LA freeway from the Inland Empire and there were tumble weeds everywhere on the freeway! Luckily none hit my car.
However, even more strange, was an entire car bumper, license plate and all, coasting alongside me. Mind you, there was no car attached to it...it was just the bumper! So surreal!
The Sky was in Turmoil (but not falling) - The Land was cluttered (with things falling on it)
When I was coming home from class, (the above mentioned class that may come up again in future postings), I noticed that the ground was littered with palm fronds. Our neighborhood is lined with palm trees and the wind really knocked a ton of the fronds all over the road.
This was reminding me of how quintessential and fragile some landscapes can be.
Then I remembered my substantial archive of landscape photos that have become inspiration for the art I make,
which reminded me of poetry that I love, landscape poets and more Scripted Landscapes in general.
The Sky is a LandscapeClick thumbnail to view full-size
Wind(instruments)y City - ...a breath of fresh air for your listening pleasure!
music: beautiful Wind instrumentals/themes
Landscape Photography Books - some beautiful recommendations:
Haunting and Beautiful...
This is a gorgeous book because each photo has the feel of a painting...and I know plenty of photographers and painters who would love to sit in on a debate about this!
a new piece inspired by air
...and the quality(or lack-thereof), and the need for it.
This is an excerpt I wrote about the piece pictured to the right.
It is for a project in conjunction with the American Planning Association.
As with everything in life, there are challenges and solutions. This could not ring more true than in dealing with not only an artistic collaboration, but with the well-being and health of everyone, as it pertains to representing the planning of...AIR!
It seemed so unbelievably overwhelming. Not only is it the largest portion of our landscape, it is the one environmental element that we absolutely must have to live. We need to breathe, period.
What we breathe, what causes us harm to breathe, what needs to be done to create clean air
and who is responsible for this was the point of departure for the project.
We chose to focus on California as a basic framework because that relates to the initial project at hand with the Inland Empire Planning Association. At first it seemed like a good idea to outline the various Air Quality Regulation regions and Counties. Early into my research I found it peculiar that there are outlines to compartmentalize the accountability for the SKY above a particular location.
After about 3 more weeks' worth of researching maps and reading about natural aspects and man-made impact, it seemed important for me to portray the nebulous nature of air quality in general. This felt natural to me, since my work already revolves around the landscape and conceptually translating the sky. I also work with maps or conceptual mapping.
A map is a strong educational tool - it defines the landscape, helps us get somewhere, tells us where we have been. It tells a story within its information and helps us make decisions - whether tracking a small journey across the state, or a prompt to plant more trees or a reminder to use recyclable products. This poses the question, what will a map like this show us in 10 years, and what would a new map look like?
History will be our guide, but now is the time to rethink our understanding of sustainability, and to take action to make a difference for the future. I hope the map I created prompts people to think about environmental issues and how we could create new habits.
A long winded haiku
by Allen Ginsberg (very slight excerpted version )
Traditional Japanese haiku is so beautiful (and popular), but I decided to share this Ginsberg one, because it is more urban and in keeping with the whole theme today!
Drinking my tea
The sparrow sh*ts
--ah! my brain & eggs
Mayan head in a
Pacific driftwood bole
--Someday I'll live in N.Y.
Looking over my shoulder
my behind was covered
with cherry blossoms.
I didn't know the names
of the flowers--now
my garden is gone.
I slapped the mosquito
What made me do that?
I am unhappy,
longing for the Nameless.
A frog floating
in the drugstore jar:
summer rain on grey pavements.
On the porch
in my shorts;
auto lights in the rain.
has past-the world
is no different.
The first thing I looked for
in my old garden was
The Cherry Tree.
My old desk:
the first thing I looked for
in my house.
My early journal:
the first thing I found
in my old desk.
My mother's ghost:
the first thing I found
in the living room.
I quit shaving
but the eyes that glanced at me
remained in the mirror.
emerges from the movies:
the street at lunchtime.
Cities of boys
are in their graves,
and in this town...
Lying on my side
in the void:
the breath in my nose.
On the fifteenth floor
the dog chews a bone-
Screech of taxicabs.
The moon over the roof,
worms in the garden.
I rent this house.
Some of my favorite quotes about the sky:
"There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky;
there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul" - Victor Hugo
"In the sky, there is no distinction of east and west; people create distinctions
out of their own minds and then believe them to be true" - Buddha
"Music fathoms the sky" - Charles Baudelaire
"My witness is the empty sky" - Jack Karouac