Wednesday, May 13, 2020


One of the things I am really appreciating about pouring sand is its imprecision. I have spent so much of my artist efforts in getting things done perfectly. I can't escape the impulse- it is hard-wired into me. This particular sand artwork is done on a precise grid and I'm doing my best to keep everything tight. However, my lack of practice in this medium, meaning lack of muscle control, lack of best positioning to keep my arm or hand from quavering just slightly, combined with the spillage and inherent sloppiness of sand come together to create a whole lotta "errors". I have to pour at a certain rate or else sand piles up. My eyes constantly fixate on the lack of uniformity or straightness in the lines, the variability of the negative space. And yet, I am finding this to be the part I love best about this medium- my mind is forced to free itself of the tyranny of perfection. 
I have had a few accusations of PhotoShopping my beach artworks- people disbelieving their material reality. My intensely physical large beach artworks lost their physicality when seen on print or on screen.
I love traditional tribal art. Often there is a geometric component, frequently done in an imprecise manner. What this speaks to me is that there is an acknowledgement of a conceptual perfection (of geometry, in this case), but an imperfect human is allowed to be seen as the artist. It is saying that the artist matters- the final form is not the priority, not the true aim. My work is a human creation, not made by a robot or computer. By virtue of being human it will have errors. It's the errors that say "a human made this". And actually, by virtue of being in the actual world, errors will occur- human or not. It's  the errors that say "this was built in the real world." This aspect of imprecise renderings of otherwise precise forms brings a warmth, they are more relatable.
In contrast, precisely rendered art can often feel outside of this world, accounting for geometric forms being such an integral part of most religions from the start of humanity. The shapes speak to a  transcendence of 'reality'- something beyond the world of our material form but also at its core.
Life, and our species, evolved within chaotic natural systems. We resonate most deeply with that which connects us to this primitive recognition. Hence the therapeutic qualities of being in nature. And geometric perfection presences our awareness to truths that transcend all circumstance. 

I'm finding my path both in art and life is to be unwinding my efforts at control, allowing life to reveal itself in it's unpredictable ways.

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