Art as an altered state

Making art for me… is not unlike a slow moving, constrained–but not entirely contolled–mystical experience. I’ve always known this, but not always… how to put this? … consciously. Only recently has it seemed to flow together as one thing, aware that this is what I’m doing when I say, I’m making art.

This is the story of LSD told by a concerned yet hopeful father, organic chemist Albert Hofmann. He traces LSD’s path from a promising psychiatric research medicine to a recreational drug sparking hysteria and prohibition. We follow Dr. Hofmann’s trek across Mexico to discover sacred plants related to LSD, and listen in as he corresponds with other notable figures about his remarkable discovery. Underlying it all is Dr. Hofmann’s powerful conclusion that mystical experience may be our planet’s best hope for survival. Whether induced by LSD, meditation, or arising spontaneously, such experiences help us to comprehend;the wonder, the mystery of the divine in the microcosm of the atom, in the macrocosm of the spiral nebula, in the seeds of plants, in the body and soul of people. More than sixty years after the birth of Albert Hofmann’s problem child, his vision of its true potential is more relevant, and more needed, than ever.

LSD My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science

AMAZON.COM.AU

LSD My Problem Child: Reflections on Sacred Drugs, Mysticism and Science

Remembering Rosebud

When I was kid I had one of those sets of blocks, large, plain wood blocks: cubes, cylindars, arches. I would spend hours building impossible structures. Asymetrical, precarously balanced cantilevard towers. Order courting chas.

I was remembering this as I worked the other day–,how many of my paintings are like that. Shapes and pieces that don’t quite fit together, puzzles that have no finished shape. Order courting chaos.

It certainly had to do with how arranging scraps of trash on a table brought me back into making art. Maybe I should name all of my paintings: Rosebud.

#757 Watercolor, ink 9×12.

What more is there to say?

I wrote this 9 years ago… could not say better what I’ve been feeling these past days and weeks.

The Great Disaster we’re all a part of isn’t the one in the headlines. It’s not a sudden catastrophe. A day of horror. An explosion on a street. Planes hurtling into high rises. It’s long and drawn out, incident after incident, law after law, arrest after arrest, murder after murder–none of which are the Great Disaster, but each are a part of it. More like a movement of techtonic plates–every tremor, every seismic event, is but the visible part of an imperceptable change of the landscape, of the shape of a continent. More like the melting of the Greenland icepack… we see the calving of the icebergs, spectacular as they are, but not the rising of the oceans–which doesn’t happen in an hour or a day.

I’m speaking of the end of this civilzation… of all that’s been built on and dependent on the delusional autopoietic machinery of capitalism and the nation states that it created to serve it.

We can feel it cumulatively… feel that everything is changing, the world as we have believed it be is already no more, but then… it looks not that much different than yesterday, or the day before, and we go about our lives, oblivious of the escalator of extinction we’re all riding together.

lnevitable as growing old… noticable only when we look back a decade, or two or three, and see in a mirror, the marks of death written across our every feature.

A revolutionary idea…

There are so many artists who live and work like this– with maybe a few who notice and enjoy what we do, maybe buy some of our art. But we know it’s as if it doesn’t exist out there, in the “Art World,” where artists with connections, make these enormouse and costly technologically complex– and often, wonderful– works.

We don’t exist for them. But we matter… or so we tell ourselves. By believing in what we do for it’s own sake. Like taking care of a friend, or neighbor, matters.. .because they matter. For their own sake.

It’s a desparate, end-of-the-world thing, ya know. To assert that a person, a work one does… matters, has value–for it’s own sake. Not for what anyone can get for it.

Almost like… a revolutionary idea.