A digital print on fabric,The Universe. The scale, the depth of color, the flourishes and design surprises. That elephant is no elephant, it’s composed of many beasts and figures. I love how the savage lion’s tail puffs out from the trunk about where tusks might show.
This is the rambunctious work of Heather Ujiie which delights with its shear galore-ness. Color, horror, erotica, humor — bursting with florals and animalia. This woman has never heard of staid and uses her unstaid for energized compositions that sprawl.
I enjoy the sense that she loves making images. You can’t imagine a dabbler attempting work so challenging. Or a nail-biter taking on anything this strenuous.
If you pay attention to details you’re rewarded for it.
I’ve been a digital artist for decades; I work with free digital images from wildly differing sources. Never in my craziest dreams did I consider art of this caliber, without a whiff of digital about it, being printed on fabric of significant size. Heather Ujiie wows and delights me.
See also Eric N, Mack. “Painter” for work with fabric
See Kehinde Wiley Paints Black for another artist’s take on florals
A conundrum ensnarled with an enigma. Reality is tub water too hot to step into, augmented reality turns the tub in your viewfinder pink. As far as I understand, augmented reality requires a viewport — technically-equipped goggles (you swim, the software counts laps in your field of view), the digital camera in your smart phone (responds to local wifi and delivers an artistic effect over your view of a whirlagigging wind farm. Lady Madonna? Cute kitten? Mobius strip?)
The turbines twirl, real wind energy is translated into real electricity. Reality. What plays out in your viewfinder at the same time? Dealer’s choice.
Or, a step into another level of consciousness, you the viewer get to choose whether the bathtub looks pink or pea green. Whether you are color blind leads to a maze that certain philosophers enjoy exploring. I leave it to them.
Humanity also recognizes visions that appear to certain people. Calls some miracles. If Mr Wobbles suddenly finds he’s in a field of sunflowers, then is he? Is he even though we’re standing and talking to him and we’re at the seashore?
Reality on the grass, alas. Gertrude Stein becomes apt here. Reality is reality is reality.
I imagine as humans get more used to augmented reality that some people will accept it the same way they do the experiences of psychedelics. They’ll lose the sense of separation between normal and created. I remember a friend talking about driving on LSD. Suddenly the car was driving along upsidedown so, ok, he figured he just had to keep driving. No other option.
Last I heard, he’s still alive.
Many of us have negotiated these metaphysic roadways. Castaneda, drug-augmented visuals, the soggy dormouse in the teapot. If we’re lucky we never have a bad trip. I was delirious for three days after surgery in 2017. I discovered that an artist had been in the room before me and left marvelously clever kinetic sculptures all over. Afterward I wrote:
Part of me (an itty bitty but real part) still believes in those artworks. In La-la land. In what I connected with. Like Dorothy and Toto after Oz. They knew the Tin Man, the Cowardly Lion, the Wicked Witch. They knew the Ruby Slippers. They didn’t make those up. But no one back in Kansas will buy it. They’re in a place of knowing what other people don’t, real people don’t. Because they can’t, they didn’t go there.
They stayed home.
As we stir augmented reality into our routines something has to shift. The credulous may start believing the inserted material. A horrible tale in recent news about a teen who attended a giant church party, contracted Covid, and was dosed twice by her parents with hydroxychloroquine. She’s dead. Some people will always drink the Kool-Aid.
So much time tending the website, so much less time creating the art. So I’m switching to a new protocol — I’ll post new art and Playground examples every other week instead of weekly. Every second Monday will remain my target.
A few recent works –
Reboot, the abashed blogger said, looking red-faced and rather silly. I muffed my opportunity on Sunday to post new work in both the Create and Playground sectors. The collections were there, sure, but I misjudged my new software so you, my audience, never knew.
Please enjoy them now that they’re alive. And please follow me if you don’t already.
miso – a combining form meaning “hate,” with the object of hatred specified by the following element: misogyny.
I’ve never forgotten the fact of the Nazi Kristallnacht, an incident so horrible it does not allow you to tuck it quietly into some drawer of yourself. Or have you read Babi Yar? I actually couldn’t finish it.
Babi Yar is a ravine in the Ukrainian capital Kyiv and a site of massacres carried out by German forces during their campaign against the Soviet Union in World War II. The first and best documented of the massacres took place on 29–30 September 1941, killing approximately 33,771 Jews. Wikipedia
At one time I felt I must understand the Holocaust. At Babi Yar I could stomach it no more.
Butchery. The unfathomable ability to commit cold murder of terrified others. And still live with yourself forever after. Seemingly normal beings, the whites at Tulsa, bartenders, investors, actors. Swept up in a frenzy of hate that blinds them to the simple equations of humanity. To terror in the eyes facing the ghoul in you.
Was the ancient Greek Procrustean iron bed where unwary travelers were stretched or amputated to fit — was that a true tale? Not even a frenzy but an after-dinner routine. A sociopath. Did he waste food on them for dinner before they discovered his hospitality?
Can the perpetrators of Babi Yar, Kristallnacht, Tulsa be described as anything but sociopaths? And yet they faded back into their barrooms, their counting houses, their troupes as if they’d merely burped once in polite society.
Perhaps later they became more fervent in their religion.
The Tulsa attack was ‘carried out on the ground and from private aircraft.’ White people got into their airplanes with bombs. Premeditated bombs. That they felt the right to drop. Their consciences in cold storage. But not dead, oh no, not dead.
Those of you following this website from the beginning know that it is still in a shakedown mode. My coder, metazai Productions, says railroad folks call this the teething stage.
The groupings of art I’ve been posting have been more or less eight images each. But it occurs to me that my sheer volume of output may be overwhelming.
What I want is that you find things to look at and ponder in the art and the accompanying topic, not that you blitz through examples. So I’ve started posting about four images per topic. Each group has a theme, a story, as usual, but not every dish is on the menu.
Looking is a skill that there’s no end to getting better at. Bare-eyeballs is the kind I mean. Forget lenses, machines, AI. Just you and what you’re looking at.
Size and resolution matter. The bigger your screen, the better you see. We think we’ve outgrown that. How? Eyes don’t have any new skills than they had before.
Ask questions of what you see. You ask, you answer, how can you be wrong? However if you don’t ask questions however will you learn?
Where I grew up you went up a short road, then had to turn right or left. For home, I’d turn left. At some point, probably in college, I realized that my eyes were glued in a scanning pattern for that corner. I noted the same inconsequential landmarks every time I turned. It was darn near impossible to change that longstanding routine. I’d been practicing ever since getting into the driver’s seat.
Seeing can easily devolve into a physical habit during which you’re thinking blah-blah-blah about your lunch.
White Humans are Whites who identify as humans rather than as better-than-any-other-humans. Simple. I’m white as skim milk and secretly wish I could be browner for beauty’s sake. But I’m not fool enough to sincerely wish that.
Dear Black, Asian, Latinx, Samoan, Maasi humans, I was born white. It happens when your parents are white. They can’t help it. Same as you can’t help mirroring those who gave you life. Most humans know that before they’re teens.
Honestly, I can’t deny that I’ve rolled in White privilege like a frisky horse in grass. I can’t help that either. Wouldn’t you? But I keep wanting us all on the same greased chute into life. I’m a White Human. And I don’t care whether you have a different eye flap than me or another tone of skin.
Well not much. Because I am a woman and I admit that strangling the sexism out of my brain has not been completely successful. I bet you’re sexist too. If you live in a New York loft or a house of straw and mud. Apache, Haitian, Parisian. Sexism. Us.
And to that extent I admit to you I’m a racist. I bet you are too. I was reading Ta-Nehisi Coates and getting mad. OK sir, but what about us women? You can’t be that aggrieved while ignoring the rape, mutilation, income inequality. Etc. Of women.
So here we all are. Imperfect, abjectly human, pimpled, third grade teachers wanting kids to thrive, pimps. Hooked noses, button noses, blond, white-once-brown, jet black. Crooked toes, crossed eyes, hunger. Anyone here not belong to that group?
And I’m tired of hearing Black Americans. How about Black Humans? Isn’t that the point? Black Americans can’t come out of your mouth without dragging hundreds of years of intolerable history along with it. You can’t say it without hearing chains clank. But Black Human? Level playing field. Which biology tells us, folk wisdom (when wise) tells us, common sense tells us. We’re human animals in a world of other animals. We’re animals with pretty music and Vermeers, but we’re meat. Meat.
No Munchkins, no Oz. That guy behind the curtain whispering trash? He had to fly home to Kansas. Good luck to him assembling a following in Kansas.
Best of all would be “We’re humans.” But none of us has gotten that far yet. But now there’s ferment in the human lab, beakers bubbling, odors changing. Let’s get going folks, change.