Tag Archives: blogging

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fresh ‘art news’ to stimulate you – and what you can find are weeks old reflections taken from dead guys and somehow outdated artistic expressions…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

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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…

P.S.

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


Studying Art (20) – some loose thoughts…

Being ‘graduate’… I mean, how ridiculous it feels…

Being ‘graduate’ in Fine Art… I mean, one cannot get it more absurd… There is no ‘graduating’ from art, unless one can ‘graduate’ in ‘being a human being’…

Having first show, first chat with a journalist, first reviews from the public – at once one’s is able to see what art is really for – I met with those attentive eyes… hungry for any sort of a thoughtful, emotional expression from another human creature…. ‘C’mon – show me a bit of yourself, prove that there is still that thing called ‘a soul’ in us, let me witness your humanity here and now, whatever’…

Looking back at past months without a shadow of any sentiment – I mean, only my innate stubbornness kept me digging in that hell… Guess, that meant I really had started to ‘study’ and ‘make’ art… Only guessing…

Getting really cross with myself due to my perfect failure to prevent my private life from taking over my studio work during the last year. How it calls to be called – a lack of ‘professionalism’, or rather opposite – daring attempt to ‘master’ human condition despite of all odds, or maybe – just the natural event in one’s life?…

Naturally observing art-life around and having those ‘improper’ yet intense thoughts, that art is not and is never going to be for everyone, just forget all that ‘democratic’ rubbish and populists’ talks… Classical music is not for everyone, hard-rock is not for everyone, learning Chinese is not for everyone and even driving cannot be mastered or even tolerated by some people… Some are driven by irresistible forces, some only let to be guided, sometimes only by one’s vanity or greed. Ethos of an artist needs to be re-established, made clear to all and supported at all costs. Otherwise, we don’t have ‘art’, we don’t have ‘artists’ any more – we have ‘art-world’, ‘occupation’, ‘business’, ‘creativity’; we have ‘professionals’, ‘graduates’, ‘MFAs’ and all sorts of folks having no idea whatsoever, how bl…y serious game they involved themselves in…

One needs a break even, or – especially – from the things one puts no price on, simply cos there can’t be any price… things one would die for, if needed… A step back instead of grabbing and gaining even more control, just letting go… I excelled in making things more complex that they probably are, now – I have to learn, by ‘letting go’, how to make simple choices and obvious statements.

Having tendency to ‘over-intelectualize’ my work, and  that’s surprising considering that I’ve started as a completely intuitive painter. Now, I build an entire elaborated construction of theories in order to touch the canvas with a brush. I guess, it’s a protective mechanism (as a shrink would say) – use your head when using your heart and instincts feels like a torture…

Keeping on exploring links between science and art – funny, how the questions and problems of both echo each other, not to mention that it all seems to generate from the major philosophical systems of the past and present. Everything is so deliciously cross-feeding and inter-depending that it seems crazy to chop up human culture on so many ‘self-sufficient’ institutionally defined parts.

Preparing for a hot summer in the Middle and East-Europe. Wishing you all fruitful escapades for fun, meaning and maybe some inspiration as well!


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…



Coming back…

0

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.


Liminality in art (2)

The notions of boundaries, borders, limits, thresholds and so on may be as ancient as the human population itself. In Greek/Roman mythology they are expressed by names of different gods/goddesses, hybrids and monsters – Zeus cares for the Olympus, Poseidon is a guardian of waters, Hades rules in the Underground; forests, agriculture, arts and law – every human (divine and monstrous as well) activity and embodiment of the spirit has its own powerful protector/ rules maker and no interference is into each other territory is tolerated.

Religions exist due the numerous polarities, and the most popular story of creation (Book of Genesis) had started exactly from this – from a separation and making sharp divisions between elements and the mater. In order to survive the species would have to define and fight for the territories and the evolution of the human race is an ‘epoch’ of transcending the boundaries of nature, space and time…

The social, cultural and personal identity couldn’t be possible at all without the ongoing, often uncompromising process of the differentiation. And when philosophy tends to look for an unity and structure in the universe despite of all the intrinsic and imposed/created dichotomies, art in general would indulge in exploring the world as seen within the “frame” (think now about Derrida’s “The truth in painting” and his deconstruction attempt of all the ‘frames’ we tend to see the art through) and beyond it.

And so it goes – Christ would be a ‘worthy’ subject, but even some of his disciples not exactly; harmonious human body was only true representation – the ugly/mutilated one was worse than some of the animals; one ‘breed’ of art-view was ‘high’ (read: ‘true’), the others were ‘pseudo-‘; painting the landscape naturally excluded the sky-view and the figurative works were exorcised of all the abstract elements (and vice versa). The universe seen as in an atom of a very particular concept/meaning or a set of those (lets say: christian version of god, humanists’ vision of a man, romantic vision of a landscape, modernists’ subversion to the classical art) which had to be frozen, clearly and in a division to its possible and apparent opposites… This is basically what all the history of the Western Art is about. About Old Testament God’s job of making the world happen by creating borders between chaos and order, good and bad, light and dark, sky and earth, the animals and the human beings, the human beings and the Holy one.

Where the ‘liminal’ creeps into all of this? Well – right at the start, I guess and simply because the artistic activity in itself situates man on the existential threshold; a bit like a prayer or a sexual act – two different worlds meet and penetrate each other; the universe as it is (or appears to be) and the universe to be created… And the conscious artist is very likely to aim at or to be the ‘passeur’ -‘a boatman’, ‘smuggler’ – the man of passage, the guide who leads his audience beyond the status quo crossing social, cultural,  psychological, spiritual and sometimes very physical boundaries in order to show/explain/challenge…

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This article is a part of a series “Liminality in art” where I intend to define and explore the philosophical and aesthetic notion of the liminality. Please, refer to other articles from the series in order to get the fuller view.


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