It seems like Alexander Pope might be talking about the tension between hope and the present in Essay on Man: "Hope springs eternal in the human breast; Man never is, but always to be blessed: The soul, uneasy and confined from home, Rests and expatiates in a life to come." It seems sad in some ways because, if hope is a willing exchange of reality for fantasy, what happens to the present? (??)
I stopped working on Spes (Hope) this week while I think about it. I may just be dragging my feet because I'm not quite ready to move on yet (Hope shows me beautiful things everyday - who would want to give up on Hope?) On the other hand, it's close to finished, and I only have the one almost-unbroken-up wall in the studio. I've been moving things around, trying to free up as much other wall space as possible, but I'll need to dis-assemble/erase it to use that wall pretty soon. :(
I'm feeling a bit of time/space pressure because last week and the week before lots of work returned home at the closing of shows, and I've been scrambling to find homes for everything. And, because I can't help myself, I keep making new stuff too. I end up feeling like a goldfish in a baggie that's springing leaks, whose only fishy response is to swim faster and more energetically (which probably sloshes more water out...eep!)
So, I stuck with something small, repetitious, and consuming - I made another animation :). I think the black ink unifies the different elements in stills, but it was too dark on film; so first, I reprinted all the blocks (oy!)
Then, I decided it needed ants so the continuous motion of the ants could be in contrast with the more spastic motion of the hummingbird. It took me a whole day to carve the block for the ants, print them and cut them out, which was frustrating because I could have drawn something similar in about 10 minutes (er.) But because I wanted to stay consistent with the idea of "repetition with variation," I stuck with printmaking. (I'm irritating to myself, but on the upside, now that I have a block, maybe there will be lots of printed ants in my future? ;)).
Then I shot the stills. This animation has 20X as many frames as Everybody (heart)'s Owls. Photographing this was not my cheeriest moment (drowning goldfish ;)), and I was envying the Quay Brothers their twin-ness as I struggled to work the camera and move the objects (I ended up duct-taping the camera to a chair.) Then, each frame was cropped, resized, edited (good thing I have a high tolerance for repetition ;)). There were some frustrating moments, but I enjoy seeing it move (magic!) Still haven't made it to NYC to see the Kentridge show, but my computer and I - we're "like this" [fingers crossed]).
During this time, I listened to Daniel Kahneman's Thinking, Fast and Slow - and finally finished it! I started it in March, but it's 19 discs, and I ran out of renewals from the library, so I had to bring it back. I re-checked it out, and this time - success!
I found it informative in identifying common cognitive illusions (like M.C. Escher drawings for the mind :)). One troubling quote: "one recipe for a dissatisfied adulthood is setting goals that are especially difficult to attain. Measured by life satisfaction 20 years later, the least promising goal that a young person could have was "becoming accomplished in a performing art." (Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow, 402)
:o (Does Tempus Fugit count as "performance art"?!?) I kid (sort of) - but it did get me thinking - maybe the "art" isn't what/where I think it is? I like incredibly impractical stop-animated ants. When it comes to my work, I'm not unlike my feline assistants, (as soon as I'm sure it's stopped moving, I lose interest). But because there are lots of steps involved, I've been wondering if I couldn't expand some aspect(s) of the process?
I made this from the same blocks I used for the animation. The idea is that it could be the first in a set of individual but sequential pieces (like a Muybridge, but with each frame being a collage.) They could be seen together, but each one can also stand alone. Making one might not be that interesting for me, but if I make them as a "set" (they aren't really an edition, since each one is different), they might hold my attention better (ah, repetition with variation - my heart goes pitter patter.)
|I plan to paint the beams|
In para-art news, I made polka dot brownies! I hadn't made brownies since the summer when the last batch ended up in the trash ( sadness); but, it's a new year, so I gave it another shot (key - more dark chocolate and just a tiny pinch of ginger - thumbs up).
I also took out a drop ceiling and dismantled the metal grid by myself (mighty!) and read a textbook for work (necessary!)