Category Archives: Out of a drawer

More or less ‘incognita’?

Well, l cannot avoid this question now -not after almost four years of studying art and over two years of writing the blog with the ‘unknown’ promise in its title… How ‘known’ my land has become – to me and to others who – just due to my appearance within the ‘art-world’ – have been gracing me with their attention and often a friendship in here and in the ‘real’ life?

As l stated introducing the blog, and with some inevitable degree of audacity in all those happy beginnings – this writing of mine has been devoted to an exploration of an ‘unknown’ – ‘Terra lncognita’ of the contemporary art and my own personal expression. So – more or less ‘incognita’? Or – shall l rather ask – have l failed better or worse?

Some of my long-followers may already have an answer and l won’t blame them for that – where has the drive of the ‘old good times’ gone? And – the author’s ability of abandoning the site seems to be the only thing that got ‘better’ with time…

Right – cannot or won’t defend myself here. Not because of my apparently innate self-indulgence which had made this adventure possible at all, but cos – believe it or not – l’ve been trying to display some sort of integrity all the way through. Hence , never this very virtual profile has appeared better (hopefully not ‘worse’) than my actual experience had been-  day to day – enfolding the world as seen by the ‘painter’s’ eyes… Mirroring all the tides of emotions and the intellectual gain, as well as meaningfully keeping silent throughout the toughest bits…

But – to return to the dilemma – is it all more or less known/unknown right now? How do l feel about embarking the ‘professional’ board? These and many other questions need to be  addressed within the next few months in a way that nothing/nobody could have ever been able to teach me to deal with…

Am l afraid? Perhaps more than my sensibility and sentience can admit for the sake of my own well-being. Yet – in all that fear l’m still lucky to have all those beautiful individuals who will stay be me… and l’m still able to write it down in here… how truly and undeservedly lucky one can get…

Change again…

What I’ve noticed, my dear readers is that you keep dropping in this very ungrateful space looking perhaps for fresh ‘art news’ to stimulate you – and what you can find are weeks old reflections taken from dead guys and somehow outdated artistic expressions…

Well – it’s time to cease to mock the expression ‘news’… This art blog is what it has always been – an art blog… not a journal, not a private newspaper, not an ambitious magazine – just a blog. But it’s been over two years adventure and it will always stay as a formative part of my artistic journey. A student’s blog – it’s on its threshold of a transformation – it needs to move on, just like its author is bound to do…

What the change exactly is and how it manifest I cannot pin down yet – but I hope to discover soon… At this stage I would like to direct your attention beyond this space; and this is what the virtual universe becomes – never a place of any destination but a clue, a code, a link to something beyond itself… A never ending story of some sort…

First of all – notice my Twitter’s updates on the right hand side – this micro-blogging service gives that mind-teasing potential to ‘read’ people’s thoughts the moment they are being thought. Furthermore – I enjoy my Facebook activities, which can be compared to meeting like-minded people in clubs and cafe shops once such places existed…

At the continental Europe there was a huge tradition, especially before the wars – to gather in places in order to cultivate the intellectual and cultural exchange. Poets would have their own ‘bunkers’, artists they own, ‘intelligentsia’ will join them or flock in their own ivory towers…There was where the greatest thought and works would spark – from tobacco’s smoke and cutting wit of those nonchalant, yet deeply world-conscious people… The violence and a roller coaster of the cultural change would shatter that world to pieces – if it exists in any substitute form – its thanks to the Net…it’s here where we still can communicate in a way – we choose to believe – is comparatively free and uncorrupted. It’s our 21st century’s blacksmith’s workshop of ideologies and projects; our international, multicultural pot we boil our humanity to soften it, to make it edible…

The virtual status of all that fascinating phenomena seems not to bother us, at least not as much as it should have… It’s like telling a 6-years old mesmerized by the “Star Wars” – ‘It’s just a fairytale, it does not exist’ – He would never get the idea of ‘not existing’ if it’s accessible to his sensory system… Very much the same with the world created in an artwork – a piece of music, a painting, a poem – it’s the matter of believing -and once there is the belief – the Bosch’s creatures exist, Lord Jim might have been closer to meet in flesh than we’d ever thought… And consequently – my fragmented, in moments confused, sometimes exciting online exchange of ideas and feelings DOES matter, because it IS real in some sense – it’s a part of my contemporary identity and I cannot be fully divorced from it not losing my integrity to a certain extent…

Anyway – getting to the point: I cannot support “Art News” any more in the title of this blog – let it stay as it originally was – “Terra Incognita” – the unknown land of human creativity – not a hair width more ‘known’ to me after over three years of studies… Below are the links to other spaces (‘clubs’) you can find me. Thanks for your patience for months to stay with me here, to read and reflect on my shared world…

‘The Crawford ARTicle’ – Crawford’s students first platform of an exchange and share

‘Twitter’ – Katarzyna on Twitter

“Crawford College” – Facebook’s official site

Do you speak ‘Twitter’ ?

What can I say? Blogging is a privilege, but blogging is also a luxury, which few can afford. Blogging means ‘time’ and a ‘longer meaningful statement’ – both goods more pricey than pure gold.

Few years ago, thousands of those caught in the Web for good were thrilled by this very opportunity – to be one’s own publisher and editor. Dozens of hospitable platforms hosted amateur and serious writers, journalists, thinkers who quickly found ingenious devices to gain more and more public, and to make their online hobby profitable or even – a sort of a permanent occupation.

Blogging-world has been, right from its birth, a faithful reflection of the market as it evolves everyday – it’s got its ‘celebrities’ and ‘niche’ authors, its outstanding examples of intellectual ballet and creativity, as well as the pools of pure spam. Blogging has changed the way humans think and express their everyday experience. Blogging was and is all about the challenge, beauty, mystery, wonder, torment and curiosity of living ‘here and now’.

Then something even more groundbreaking has occurred. Social networking services like “Facebook’ (FB) and recently “Twitter” failed to become, as their critics predicted, online hangout places for teens with lots of strong language and weak sense of any significance whatsoever… If any of us has ever dreamed about the supernatural power to know the thoughts of people as they spark – here it goes… Take “Twitter” – one can easily follow a scientist from Washington, a politician from Warsaw, a journalist from London, an unknown brilliant x from y who brights up a day by his ideas… One is able to share all the worthy, meaningful bits and pieces of one’s online and offline experience as it goes with friends and strangers. And this very common, hyper-democratic spirit and habit of free-sharing of one’s humanity – thoughts, emotions, beliefs, tastes, choices is possibly the most important, most positive and amazing aspect of this comparatively new Web development.

Generally, one could write essays and books about these phenomena (and many do). As a member of an art-world I’m simply overwhelmed and enchanted by their potential, especially when considering theoretical and practical benefits that art and artists may gain. If art is all about communication, about projecting our humanity – what happens online now is like a new, never-seen language in making – fractured, grass-rooted, highly experimental code of communication that a man of 21st century chooses to express himself in.

Does contemporary art speak this very language, does it follow closely enough? Or maybe – IT IS the thing per se – from time to time I cannot escape the impression, that by making my own mind a public venue, by contemplating the same condition from a distance thanks to others generosity – I take a part in a deeply artistic experience. What’s the difference after all, for a contemporary of Rembrandt to see his/her world reflected and transformed in his canvases to a point of alchemical strangeness, and – for us right now – to experience the same when literally – ‘reading minds’ of ‘real’ people in a virtual realm; the effect is the same – uncanny illumination of one’s own power and futility – the essence of all art.

Where you can find me (Whilt 19)

Remember this one of my series – Whilt – What Have I learned Today?

Trying to come back to it – little day-to-day discoveries of a starry-eyed kid, which lives in me (despite my daring attempts to evict it) and within all those interesting people I’ve met.

I followed that link – contemplating a personal story of a man close to me I bumped into that movie: “Into the wild” – loyal portrayal of a real drama of Christopher McCandless – a top student from a privileged background, who – bitterly disappointed by vanity and hypocrisy of his parents, by mindless brutality and shallowness of his society drops out of the picture trying to reclaim shattered identity and personal integrity. He does it through an impossibly romantic, extreme means of going into the wild of Alaska, living only from the land-resources and in a total isolation. Being only 24 and after two years of his adventure Chris dies out of starvation in his adopted ‘home’ – a wreck of a green bus. That bus in itself becomes a destination for dozens of McCandless’s followers, his uncompromising choices in life are being interpreted in equally extreme fashion – from glorifying the ‘hero’, who had to paid the highest price for an attempt of a noble self-discovery, to scolding the ‘spoiled, egocentric’ kid.

One of the most poignant discoveries this run-away’s parents had made was, that he didn’t want to be found. One can save someone who is temporarily lost, or help the one, who plays hide-and seek game out of lack of confidence or confusion or pain, but not the one, who makes a conscious decision of ‘disappearing’ from your life. Thinking about that I started to approach this question if I, indeed, want to be ‘found’ in this very wilderness of the Internet reality. Energy and dynamics of the Web-World acts as ever-expanding multiverse – once you lose the track of its actual demands and nature – you share fate of a micro-organism completely lost somewhere in a vast vacuum of a Tropical Forest. And it doesn’t matter, if your performance here is of a poor or great quality; or of any importance to humanity in general… who really bothers after all…

Here are the online services, where you can find me, except of this site (obviously) – join and use the fun of Facebook (my name: Katarzyna Skonieczna), where you can quickly connect with those you know, check the latest ‘what’s up’ with them, compete in various (deliciously childish) games and share your thoughts the moment you think them… Twitter (my name: skonieczna) is another, very immediate and natural way of sharing your online experience, you simply answering the one and only question: “what are you doing?’ – what are you doing right now – share the article, you’ve just read; picture you’ve discovered, new web-site, follow people, who make it all more fascinating and inspiring… There is where you can, if you want to – find me – the moment I will dare to disappear – you will be one of the first to know…


Enjoy thoughtful song from ‘Into the wild’ above. Eddie Vedder signs ‘Society’. More about the philosophy behind this movie, which, I believe is worthy to explore – in my next posts

One particularly high-brow inspiration…

Royal Society (of Science) site is a goldmine of wonder, high-quality information and an inspiration. It’s made and kept going with passion, flair and open-mindedness – it’s inviting and educating to all… as opposed to some of the elitist, obscure sites (also blogs), which tend to draw clear lines between the ‘patrons’ and the ‘folk’…

Here are some of the Society ‘s propositions (present and ongoing) designed with the concern for the general public, to promote the culture of using minds actively and creatively:

Summer Science Exhibition 2009 (30 June – 4 July) – featuring some cutting edge, pioneering research from UK, great opportunity to meet projects and minds behind them.

The New Alchemy: Rutherford and the Atom (1 December 2008 – 26 June 2009) – What is the world made of?
Philosophers and scientists have tried to answer this question for centuries. In 1911 Ernest Rutherford FRS made an important leap forward, unveiling an atomic model in which electrons orbit a central nucleus.
This exhibition celebrates Rutherford’s achievements and traces the history of the atom from the ancient world to the sub-atomic age…

Culture Evolves (28 – 30 June 2010) – The capacity for culture is a product of biological evolution – yet culture itself can also evolve, generating cultural phylogenies. This highly interdisciplinary joint meeting with the British Academy will address new discoveries and controversies illuminating these phenomena, from the roots of culture in the animal kingdom to human, cultural evolutionary trees and the cognitive adaptations shaping our special cultural nature.

One can also listen to talks/discussions/lectures recorded in the recent years and featuring the life -sharing of thoughts/concepts by excellent academics. Here is an example (to make a little self-indulgent remark): Dublin-based psychiatrist – M. Fitzgerald speaks about links between autism and creativity – (talks from September 2008) – and it’s great to sense his personality, wit, and the concern behind his ideas, so well-know from different publications.

Well, one can only admire and be stimulated by that intensely humane spirit of generous sharing and intelligent inclusiveness, continuous striving for a development and excellency, as well as the great sense of the public service. All of these qualities not so often, unfortunately, to be encountered in the art-world today…

“Fractal Ontology” – Blog on WordPress

Here is the new fantastic blog I’ve just discovered – FRACTAL ONTOLOGY. ‘Powered’ by a formidable erudition and the searching spirit by two young guys: Joseph Weissman and Taylor Adkins.

These two gentlemen – graduates of philosophy, have an ambition to.. and here, if I may dare to give the voice to them:

So, basically, our idea is this: it is possible to plot a complex path, tracing connections through both clinical and critical theory, towards a new kind of science — a de-centered, non-hierarchical science, capable of grasping and bridging the ruptures between cybernetics, language and society.

What we’ve been doing: mapping out connections between psychoanalysis and philosophy to other fields and disciplines, including theoretical biology, cultural studies and artificial intelligence. We also provide notes, outlines, translations and textual analyses of important contemporary theoretical questions, works and writers.

Above that, they use images – photographs, fine art paintings or digital art – in a way, that actually made me think about impossible – that pure art is made purely to… serve other reasons than its own sake – that it exists to illustrate and enhance ideas that science and philosophy convey in words, graphics and numbers; and vice versa – pure art can and should be made to inspire scientific breakthrough-s.

What a boring, small-minded talk after all – to preach self-importance and superiority of lets say – painting or sculpture – in a clear isolation from what may be regarded as its actual ‘womb’ – I mean all the dynamics of a particular TIME, a moment in the TIME – with all the theories (all major and affluent from the fields of philosophy, science, psychology etc), as well as the cultural and political movements influencing an artist with his/her consent or without it…

And what is that ‘fractal ontology’ after all, and how it may be interesting for visual artists? Well, those of you who may miss the points made by Weissman and Adkins or may find them too cryptic, I will try to explain in my next posts (without any promise though)…

Coming back…


Photo by K. Skonieczna

Yep. Want to say ‘sorry’. Please – do accept that…lemon as a gift… and things like that… Don’t know why actually, don’t know what for. Yet – feel it’s a right thing to do.

No, I’m not going to assure you with woolly excuses (‘have been busy’ and stuff like that), instead – I will just do what, I think, you all there expect me to do – I will continue writing and sharing my view on art, my art, myself. After all, our common humanity is all we have, only sometimes we forgot, how important are those little steps: few words each day, one smile, one or two communicated meanings, a value shown and defended…

With me it’s all the same problem – wanting too much of myself, dumping a great deal of everything I’ve managed to achieve, both as an art student and a person shaping her identity…

Chasing the perfection, the excellence, being to impatient to ponder over ‘small things’, silly matters, immature attempts… And to share them? No – I would not put THAT to my curriculum…

Well, it’s an ongoing struggle, yet – I’ve got over that particular difficulty a little… What I’ve realized recently is, that this web-space of mine has become a bit like a public venue, more than just a personal site. In a sense, I let it open to my ‘invisible’ guests to come and visit, both longing and being frighten because of that possibility – to have dozens of eyes focused on my writing. I like to sense this very online ‘creation’ of mine, this blog, having its own life – new visitors coming despite of me abandoning it. I like to feel just like one of you, my readers, co-creating something what asks, what needs to be created or re-created in order to have our life enriched, our spirits ennobled, our hearts warmed and our minds challenged.

What I promise now is that I can’t promise anything. Thanks for you out there for dropping in here and spending your priceless time reading this.

Copyright Issues for bloggers…

Here is few issues to consider for all of us:

(as outlined by Georgia K. Harper, Manager, Intellectual Property Section for the University of Texas System Office of General Counsel):

1) What is the character of the use of my image/text/video?
2) What is the nature of the work to be used – educational/entertaining/’mature’?
3) How much of the work will you use?
4) What effect would this use have on the market?
And my own reflections:

– do you intent to present the image/work in a way it was meant (by its creator/s) to be presented/read?

– why do you use the image/work – is it because you want to illustrate/stress your educational point or due to the pure ‘decoration’ of your site?

– how clearly/fairly  the credits to the authors are displayed?

– have you made an attempt to contact the owner/s, how long are you prepared to wait for the response?

– have you considered your own intellectual property to be shared, how would you inform your readers/viewers about it?


Copyright may apply to a wide range of creative, intellectual, or artistic forms, or “works”. Specifics vary by jurisdiction, but these can include poems, theses, plays, other literary works, movies, dances, musical compositions, audio recordings, paintings, drawings, sculptures, photographs, software, radio and television and broadcasts.

Copyright does not cover ideas and information themselves, only the form or manner in which they are expressed. For example, the copyright to a Mickey Mouse cartoon restricts others from making copies of the cartoon or creating derivative works based on Disney’s particular anthropomorphic mouse, but doesn’t prohibit the creation of other works about anthropomorphic mice in general, so long as they’re different enough to not be judged copies of Disney’s. In many jurisdictions, copyright law makes exceptions to these restrictions when the work is copied for the purpose of commentary or other related uses (See Fair Use, Fair Dealing). Meanwhile, other laws may impose additional restrictions that copyright does not — such as trademarks and patents.

Copyright laws are standardized somewhat through international conventions such as the Berne Convention and Universal Copyright Convention. These multilateral treaties have been ratified by nearly all countries, and international organizations such as the European Union or World Trade Organization require their member states to comply with them.

Text in italics reprinted from (emphasis mine):


The IQ test… (Whilt 11)


The original post has been deleted.


Well, what I have done was to participate in one of those frivolous IQ tests available in an abundance on the Web, than – being over-enjoyed with the results (haven’t you known, that you are a genius, after all – now everything is clear…) then (goodness gracious…) I have put the outcome on this blog, in this very section – what have I learned today (whilt)?…

Pardon me, that was pathetic – even done for fun – and this is, what I have really learned today – that you need to be highly critical about everything what you are about to publish, that the responsibility for your text/work online should be not less stressed and imposed than your taking charge for all your activities in the ‘real life’.

I have never removed a post yet… have you? Do you consider your published posts to be ‘set in stone’ – or maybe, you would rather come back to them to verify issues once firmly stated, and – to modify/delete if needed? How about the ethics – we share/borrow/lend/use each other property crossing the boundaries which would be much more difficult to cross in the ‘real life’. Can it be named as clearly ethically ‘wrong’ or ‘ok’ – if our intentions are those of the self- and the public education and promoting the values/thoughts we believe in – all without any financial profits?

I keep pondering over these issues. I feel bad and ‘right’ at the same time illustrating my post with an image/video of an artwork, that doesn’t belong to me. What, if the artist doesn’t wishes it; yet – how to reach him/her – that would make the blogging morbidly time-consuming (I have tried, of course) and free of any fun; just completely devoid of that very characteristic intuitive spirit of improvisation, which makes writing/reading blogs so rewarding. To cease to write about and to display art? Who, on Earth, would like to be confined to his/her productions only? I would rather prefer  to enrage or to disgust all the guardians of the web-ethics…

Well, have I passed my IQ test? What is all about, after all – to label my mental ability with the number assigned by a computer after some mathematical calculations? That in itself is insulting…


The New Beginning…


Terra Incognita (from Latin: Unknown Land) has been established on 30 October 2007.

On 11th January 2009 the name of the blog has been modified from Terra Incognita to Terra Incognita – Art News. The change has been made in order to underline the contemporary and ever-changing character of the site’s contents as well as its specifically ART-related character.

This site has been created and is kept in order to support its author’s visual art studies in the Art College towards BA Fine Art. It’s meant to show studying and making art as a complex, fascinating and never-ending process of the world and self-discovery. It’s also the motivational and disciplinary device to ensure the acquisition and fostering the theoretical, intellectual and practical competency in art, both for its creator and the readers.

This site shows the issues both from a purely personal (e.g. art diary) and a general point of view (e.g. articles on artists). Its designed to display day-to-day findings and re-discoveries and to present an opinionated outlook on these.

Terra Incognita – Art News is a web-space created for you with pride and enjoyment. Its main goal is to acknowledge, embrace and get to know the “Unknown” – the modern Art, Art-World and the place of a contemporary artist, art student in it.


The text above is the up-date I have made on “The Site” page of this blog.

I’ve realised how extremely important is to re-think, re-dress, re-create things from time to time; especially when art is involved.

I already feel like being weeks ahead of my own blog, as an artist and an art student – I guess this is what happens when one is half-present in his/her activity.

I need to form a new shape for myself, for my artwork – and, naturally – for this site as well.

The main changes will focus on adopting more practical, the profession, purposes and goals – orientated approach.

I will continue, I hope, to keep the posts and articles on a high level. Yet, the more ‘public’, magazine-like outcome will be imposed.

The main reason behind it is to prepare me for my future, professional path which I intend to follow as an artist, art critic, art expert, art teacher (who knows?).

Thank you.


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