Call for 2017 Residency and Intern Applications now open
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The call for 2016 residency applications is now closed
the call for 2017 residency applications will open on Nov 15, 2016
Some say we are assigned the life we live: fundamentally deterministic; others say our lives are prevented from unraveling because we have the will to choose, linked to cause: an agency guided by reason during periods of difficult reflection and uncertain direction. But when apodictic results elude us, our values and our experiences become the arbiters of validity we feel is reliable scaffolding, as we build with the invisible bricks of emotions, for moral decisions and priorities in relationships between individuals, groups, cultures—the world, and is the driver of what we feel is obligatory behavior: kindness, proof of trust, and the gain of respect and loyalty are positive examples. Equally, values animate less constructive features of profoundly impaired and constricted elements of brittle and unrepentant retribution thought as necessary to cleanse life of social or cultural contaminants.
Thus equipped with a faith in the functionality of improvisational illusions, we are being confronted by a global climatic system in the process of change we struggle to fully understand, articulate our response to, and control with pragmatic effectiveness in order to avert apocalyptic suffering worldwide, but the realities of folly and tragedy plot misconceptions into every scientific fact and technological advance, leaving indecisive how the asymmetrical balance of political power, the clash of irreconcilable expectations, entrenched entitlements to economic resources, and the contagious consensus of dogma, whether it derives from religious, social, economic, or intellectual influence, might be reduced or resolved. That this is true or that is false, it’s our beliefs that motivate us.
The tintinnabulated alarms of climate research try to serve as foreplay to action, but remain too abstract to wake and arouse our desire for change. An alternative outside the rational model, somewhere between atoms and galaxies, with a chance to restructure the direction of humanity and bequeath us insight and perspective are the arts: like a lit match, though its light seems dim and distant, the arts can set ablaze every shadowed corner of our culture’s living tissue as reliable reconnaissance to expose unpredictable consequences from the actions of our sentiments. Truth is not a single calculation derived from collected data points, but comes in a thousand forms of dynamic representation: formed and reformed, and cannot be grasped easily without fictional mediation: fables, parables, myth, allegory, eccentric fantasy—life epically dramatized in vernacular idioms: it’s truth embedded in these narratives that we crave and understand, aiding us in feeling and thinking deeper for longer periods to care and act with a passionate and resilient intensity that amplifies the quality of our collective lives.
If climate change becomes The Big Unstoppable spreading its brimming blush over us with a mesmerizing vastness, then we can do no more than be in awe of it as we are of the starry night sky above: too immense—too enigmatic for us to comprehend, but looking up into that dark dome, as we fail to thrive amid the neoPermian dilemma and ruins of our own doing, it is worth remembering that the drift of life is filled with inexplicable imaginative vitality to continue on in slight, slow, steady strides with no assurance we will be among the resurrected.
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It is to the disquiet of today's emerging artists, confronted by art's variety of denominational terrains, in searching for their strategic call to contemplation and expression: do they choose abstract cognition versus subjective experience; form a relationship to process or objects produced, or simply apply their principles to the business of art. Where might artists look or listen to assuage their anxieties, laying them into the everlasting calm. Should they elect to grope their way through the business of art world, it may require some major aesthetic gym time to train for competing in this 3-part sequential endurance career event, as in the order below.
Academia is the institutional structure, through which aesthetic styles tend to pass, with its mission of mentoring visionaries within mainstream orthodoxy and inculcating in them skills of spontaneous self-invention under scholarship's shroud of accumulated, athletically linguistic narrative, with curriculum corrections inserted as needed to assure students that they backed the best horse in the gallop to the galleries.
Commercial galleries are the perfected aesthetic arm of the capitalist state, their existence bankrolled by patrons to benefit the higher levels of investment interests, while they provide the hierarchical value of art in gold plated perspectives through the electrolytic bath of publicity polished with a propagandist's optimism, phrased to burnish brands.
Critics complete the triad of commercial grasp, with their glittering credentials of collected wisdom and aesthetic authenticity, authoring firewalls of exalted standards to preserve a sparse firmament of stars, as well as being the Disembodied Hand scribbling the necessary documents for posterity's investment concentration.
What is the herd bewildered to do, those who ran the race, but fail to be embraced by this trinity at the finish line? Perhaps it's the Idiomaticalness of their aesthetic witness perceived as containing overabundant zesty zeal or crimped and stunted in their provincialism: their membership bestrewn with flinty eccentrics and their existence seemingly too bereft of aesthetic bequest to be ribboned winners. As their night draws nigh and shadows lengthen, they wonder if ever they'll be seen—consider that it depends on who holds the light and upon whom its narrow beam is aimed, not the race.
In a world that fetishistically venerates the allure of money, for those artists in Icarian fall from the cutting-edge of this economic contingency it often means landing in the zone of artistic extinction, but there does exist a wider universe of creative flourishing and the intrinsic glow it gives life: in it you find that the exhilaration of discovery, the empowerment of independent thinking, the immersion into concentrated effort, and the denial of self are characteristics which stir into our souls greater humanity each time we encounter and recognize these in others and ourselves: it's possible this might be when you're the sharpest you'll ever be...only a few more>>
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If your flame of concentration is snuffed out by the dense screed of syntactic complexity above, you may wish to select individual text items or move higher to the menu bar above where verbal deescalation and other thrills of aesthetic sensation abound.
It's said that 83% of the universe is elusive and can only be inferred as existing. This proposition might be compelling speculation in understanding the invisible mass of an artist's creative process: their intuitive instinctual self, the abiding voice of their variegated inner nature and the vulnerable distance of their forbear concealed by the standard exposure on gallery walls—the nexus novelty of private direction against public disclosure: the sacred and intimate traded in the spectrum of negotiated exchange for the irregular voyeurism of public mass trespass and the economy of trophy assets.
The porosity of process forming into art is also the formation of intimacy with the artist: the incoherent spasms of their mind in motion, their indistinct self in perpetual internal drama, their rambling choices dancing like tumblers on cracked glass over a chasm, unconscious of the cracks while searching for matches to light the fire that illuminates the inner sky as the way to find faraway. It's a feral aspect of the philosophical reduced to the visceral where the axes of identity kiss with head-on collision in free-ranging experience hoping to form a bond with ecstasy's idioms. Sometimes it hits gold, but mostly it's lead and as some claim, in the quiet afterward, this was their beginning, others claim they still live with mysteries.
Contemporary life has cleared the table of the need for edictal intervention decreed from Perfection Above in charting an autonomous course, but this moment of freedom is an unsustainable grace, as the intrinsic elements of life's crumbs remain, indisputably on the verge of chaos from daily fissures of contingent and reversible relationships with the world and others. Capitalism's placebos of constant consuming offer tinctures of fame and tithes of fortune, but its insistent compulsions compresses the emotions of experience to the awareness level of a performing dog, leaving a feeling close to the impossibility of going on.
The process of the creative urge is not a placeholder for existing and is as inexplicable as love, forever a surprise reforming anew—the endless sparkle of going forth...still more>>