Friendly discussion…

07

Recently, there was an article in the New Yorker about the influence of Brian Eno. He had this to say of the art schools he studied ‘I thought that art schools should just be places where you thought about creative behavior, whereas they thought an art school was a place where you made painters,”…..

John Waters had this to say of his short stay at New York University, where he was to study film ‘NYU…I was there for about five minutes. I don’t know what I was thinking about. I went to one class and they kept talking about Potemkin and that isn’t what I wanted to talk about. I had just gone to see Olga’s House of Shame. That was what I was more into.’

So, what are your thoughts on art school? Yea? Nay? Great opportunity or financial waste? Do you think people can be taught art? Can a mentor encourage the ‘creative spirit’?

What do you think are the benefits and the pitfalls of such creative institutions?

Be polite, but speak up if you have some thoughts on the matter.

Keep it kind and courteous.

Mind your manners, etc, etc….

PS. Next week I’ll be giving you guys an actual interview again. This time with local sax blowin’, guitar shreddin’, record store entrepreneur Jim Marlowe. We talk about his creative venture such as Tropical Trash, about Astro Black Records, and music in general.

Stay tuned.

 

 

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Age of Aquarius..

If you’ve been listening to NPR, you’ve probably heard quite a few stories lately about aging. Speaking of which, a question for you Blind Date bloggers…is 28 still a young age? Relatively young?

I only ask this as a transition to something I’ve pondered often, which is how to stay motivated and creative as you age…I wonder often if I’ll keep creating as I ripen and my responsibilities increase. There are many artists I admire who seem (or seemed) to stay quite prolific in this sense; such as Moondog (aka The Viking of 6th Avenue), the blind musician and instrument creator. Or the ambient music loving multimedia artist Brian Eno. He has been turning up more than ever lately, even at the age of 65. And Mrs Laurie Anderson who is right up there with him at 66!

If you grant some of your time, I’d like to talk about two more artists creating well into their lives. The first I’d like to talk about is an artist who is definitely at the top of my list. Still spry at the age of 85, is Alejandro Jodorowsky. Jodorowsky is an avant-garde filmmaker, playwright, actor, author, musician, comics writer and admirer of the Tarot. He is probably best known for his psychedelic masterpiece The Holy Mountain (fun fact: this was funded by John Lennon) and acid western, El Topo (The Mole). He was also slated to director the Dune movie adaptation, which sadly didn’t happen (there’s a documentary about Jodorowsky’s concept for Dune. Check out the trailer here.)

Though he refers to himself as an ‘atheist mystic’ much of his work focuses on religion and spirituality as well as violence, sexuality, psychedelia, and his childhood. And just last year his newest film The Dance of Reality (La danza de la realidad) was shown at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival with a standing ovation. The film is based on the autobiography of the same title. The film blends Jodorowsky’s personal history with metaphor, mythology and poetry, reflecting his view that reality is not objective but rather a “dance” created by our imaginations. Besides all this, he also finds time for lectures and writing about his personally created spiritual system known as ‘psychomagic’ or ‘psychoshamanism’. He is a machine…a creative bullet train.

The next artist I want to talk about you may already known of if you follow music news at all. Her name is Linda Perhacs. I just recently discovered her through her ever growing media coverage. Her’s is an interesting story. Speaking of age, the more elder of my readers may remember her album release in 1970, Parallelogram. Unfortunately, it was a commercial flop.

As the story goes, Perhacs was a dental hygienist in California. And many of the teeth she cleaned happened to belong to some rather famous people, including film composer Leonard Rosenman who helped her get the record deal to record her debut.

Slowly but surely, despite the lack of commercial success, Parallelogram turned into a cult following and in turn influenced many of today’s musicians in the more experimental side of the folk scene.  Now, forty four years later at the age of 70, she has released her sophomore album, The Soul of All Natural Things, to much praise. Above is a music video for one of the tracks off her new release.

I hope that I can someday reach this point of achievement…leaving a life spanning body of work. I’d love to know your opinions and thoughts on this…readers of any age! How do you remain creatively focused and inspired with each passing year? What techniques do you use to keep fresh? How do you keep your adult responsibilities from clashing with your creative ones? I’d love to see some dialogue in regards to this on either the blog, Tumblr, or Facebook.

Oh yeah, PS. If you’re privy to what’s happening in Louisville’s music scene, then you’re probably already acquainted with my guests for March..the band Black Birds Of Paradise. Since I talked to them, they’ve had many bits of press, showed up on a local news channel, and celebrated their debut album release at the New Vintage. Be sure to listen in at the end of the month for our discussion.

Computer Love

Hey listeners…readers…general Blind Daters.

Whether for work or play, I spend a lot of time on computers. And much of that time is on the web. I admit that sometimes I feel like I spent a little too much time. When those feelings bubble up,  I bounce around ideas on how to better utilize the internet; use it in creative ways. More and more I hear of artists using computers and the web for projects. Canadian group Arcade Fire has created multiple interactive music videos powered by Google Chrome; most recently for their newest release, Just a Reflektor. Another musician, Steven Shade, builds sound from the ground up only using software and coding (you can read an interview with him about his music project sevendeaths, here.) Of course, there’s technology loving multimedia artist Brian Eno, who’s most recent projects have involved creating Apps for smart phones. Even at home, we have artist Sara Pitt who’s developing a digital installation with what’s she has learned about HTML & CSS.

So, the short end of it is, I finally jumped on the bandwagon. Recently I registered for a free subscription to Treehouse through the Louisville Free Public Library. Treehouse is an online interactive education platform that teaches students how to make websites or mobile applications using programming language such as HTML and CSS. To learn more about how to get your own subscription  through LFPL, click here.

So, why am I bothering you with all this? Well, I’ve come to believe that these kind of skills are important for creative folk…if not folks in general. Web development coding increasing becomes a presence in our lives, in so much that many scholars are considering it the equivalent of a foreign language. Whether you want to expand your artistic horizons, learn how to create a presentable online portfolio, or polish your design skills for career opportunities, I highly recommend you look into it. I don’t have to harass you with the fact that technology is constantly evolving, and with it, how we live our lives. I also shouldn’t have to tell you that more now than ever, creation is so accessible to everyone through various software and technology. Film makers can shoot and edit films at a fraction of the cost. Musicians can record, produce, and distribute their albums without big record labels. Authors can self publish easier than ever….

I’ve made amends with technology. The love/hate relationship is now mostly love.

End rant.