Monthly Archives: May 2012

just in case you were wondering

we’re all just trying to figure this shit out

its only when you start to try and understand the world using your entire body and mind that you begin to touch upon the universal — that wonderful and utter simultaneous beauty and misery of our existence here on earth that melt together as the very molten crux of the human condition

our bodies and minds have the unexplicable divine power to emotionally heal inconsistencies that were directly baked into our experience of the natural world and we all face an individual struggle that can sometimes feel so incredibly lonely and insurmountable, but by living a life that follows the heart and mind through creative expression we reach out to one another and break the discontinuity of our individualities: through feeling; through emotion; through wordless, pure vibration

this is when we start to comprehend a bigger picture and when we can begin to realize the fragile interdependence of humanity — that we are not just a collection of organisms scattered on a ball of dirt and mud and piss, somehow left to fend for our solitary disparate survival in little patches — but instead we are really one people: a living, breathing ball of flesh and blood and emotion — a sort of liquid emotion

if you tune in, if you really focus and start developing a greater personal awareness of the world, you’ll start to learn about these connections — connections that can be at once miraculous and joyful and at other times completely horrifying, sullen, too real — and no matter how hard we might all try to scientifically prove the empirical reality we all see, hear, think and breathe, it is only the nearly hopeless and desperate struggle to try and express our emotionality that touches the truth behind all of this shit to break through to another world, to the other side, let’s say, to feel the spiritual continuity of our collective existence through the heightened perspective of our individual inexistence

the anatomy of a pinecone

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i think i found yet another connection to some previous threads in my work as a fine artist and designer, this time an interesting cosmological coincidence deriving from my lifelong obsession with pinecones

these photographs of a pinecone on my notebook at work inspired me to finally take up Joseph Liberty’s suggestion to look into the natural geometric wonder in the structure of these reproductive artifacts that quite literally litter the landscape surrounding our home in a fascinating, ubiquitous way

according to a Wikipedia article on the conifer cone, there are both male and female pinecones, both made up of essentially the same spiralling configuration of rigid plates that are more officially known as scales — the reproductive materials of the conifer, either pollen sacs or ovules, are tucked up inside each of the scales, with the actual act of reproduction almost seemingly performed by a miraculous happenstance fertilization of the ovules by airborn or insect-carried pollen from the male pinecone

interestingly enough, as in previous pieces where i purposely confounded the notion of a phallic object with overall feminine qualities, the female pinecone in some strangely personal and symbollic way represents this interesting crossing of male to female energies, a female object that looks and feels very hard, rigid and almost uttelry male — the other aspect of pinecone anatomy that i am focusing in on today, however, is the interlocking connetion of the scales around this almost spinal central, linear object — there is, in a sense, an implied relationship between the pinecone and the human { or at least mammalian } nervous system, and in fact further Wikipedia research for the initial surface information reveals that the pinneal gland located at the very heart of the brain is named for the pinecone and actually connects the left and right hemispheres, ‘tucked in a groove where the two rounded thalamic bodies join’ 

i am still very consciously looking for certain psychological and mystical connections in the subconscious themes and imagery that rise to the surface during periods of active, unthinking creative exploration and making — besides the fact that Carol and i are quite literally surrounded by a soft wooded forest of fir trees, pinecones, needles and plants, besides the sheer convenience of immediate material availability, i believe i’ve been obsessing on the vessel, the actual container of natural objects like the pinecone or the seashell for emotional and spiritual reasons — i think its time to dig a little deeper

the collective subconscious

40688526-8i recently think of the web as the data-realization of our collective subconscious — we wear our emotions and thoughts on our sleeves, lately, and it shows — at least 88.8% of what you might read on various blogs or the social web most likely just puts it all out there, which i personally find exciting and intriguing as someone interested in the psychosocial aspectations of life

and now, with our interesting move to more mobile and portable devicery, the subconscious pops out of little Pandora’s Boxes we all carry along through our daily, lifestreamed journeys — the phrase ‘left to our own devices’ suddenly rings a different set of bells in the church of the newly digital and secular

this is not a book

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just a simple thought to share — does the name of Barnes and Nobles’ newish reading device ‘the nook’ in a near-literal sense imply the phrase ‘not a book’

 

i know, i know … its probably more of a metaphor for a little reading nook, right? something you might set up for a kid at home, a little shelf for her / his books and a cozy Spongebob chair or something … i get it, but when i think of the physical space of a Barnes and Noble Bookstore i guess i don’t think of anything all that inviting and small … the very brand they’ve established over the last 10 years while destroying the bookselling industry vertical feels a little more along the lines of a slightly more intimate version of Costco, its more of a warehouse of books, and mostly the bestsellers at that

and now we have this ‘nook’ — this mini-digital anti-book of sorts, or maybe better yet, this little anti-Barnes and Noble device living and breathing in the very heart of more and more of these warehouse cemeteries for what the book used to be

you can still come in and get your Grisham, your Oprah’s Cookbook, your Chelsea Lately product or the Shades of Grey book, the Hunger Games … go ahead, go get ’em

but you’ll get a better deal if you buy ’em online — i don’t quite understand what that is, but i even recently decided to buy ‘Claes Oldenburg: The Sixties’ from bn.com because it was more than $20 cheaper than what i found on the shelves of an independent bookstore in the physical world — i don’t know how or why they do that, this offering up of the goods at almost a third off when shopping online

is it re-training incentive? maybe Barnes and Nobles wants me to buy more and more of my readerly consumptables via online distribution and delivery mechanisms? is it cheaper, really cheaper, for them to sell us thy daily goods online? i’m just wondering outloud here … hmmmmm

i should really try out ‘the nook experience’ — as an experience designer i should really enter that vast new central ‘Apple Store inside a store’ thing they’ve got goin’ on and really give Barnes and Nobles little nooks a whirl, right? see what its like to read a book on a tablet device that’s specifically made for readers — i’m sure i will someday, someday soon perhaps — i’m sure i’ll bring my Fuji point and shoot and document the entire experience, including any human to human interactions that ensue whenever a camera gets involved — but for now, i’m still wrestling with this incredible strange nook invasion — i mean, its right there in the middle of the store! — and to top it all off, the room our little nook nooks seem to take up in most Barnes and Nobles replaced actual bookish inventory and more often than not any music section { i guess this would more likely be called the CD and DVD department? } — so now, with Borders Bookstores gone, the big, monster bookstore that took the world by storm over the last decade or 2, totally crushing independent bookstores and subsuming what were once more independently-run university and college bookstores, now the megastore of books and all things intellectual { ha ha } gives us these toys, these digital relaxation toys for adults, well, mostly for teens and young twentysomethings — and they expand their toy department to at least twice the previous size, er, ehm, i mean, i guess i should say their chiildren’s section — the paradigm is basically flipped now, what we have is a gift shop with some books in the periphery, oh, and a coffeeshop with no plugs to potentially keep your nooks nicely charged while you order from the nookstore in the clouds