Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Squeaky Wheel

Uh oh, I've been reading again.  I've been reading more about the history of Japan, its mythology, and their relation to mainland Asia, in order to understand the people better.  There are not many good books out there but I've found a couple to keep me busy for the summer while I try to become more familiar with the language as well.  My kickstarter project, Send An Artist to Japan is now 36% funded which is good news, but I only have about 40 days left to raise the remaining 64%If I am unable to find more backers then I do not receive any of it.  I've looked into "buying" out part of the project so I would be able to utilize the funds, but it seems kind of shady and the website does not make it possible anyway.  I don't want to cheapen, or change things on the people that have already backed this project.  Everyone that helps to back this project does receive something in exchange, most of which is artwork.  This is not money for nothing, and while I'm not quite in dire straights time is closing in. 

  I've traveled to different states to promote the project, approached businesses, and utilized communal networks.  As the deadline draws near, a final campaign will be pushed.  It is more about what I am learning and how it is informing my artwork, and how in doing so I am able to help others as well.  Combining the two is no easy task.

Exciting is that I have already been able to set up an exhibition for mid March of 2012 for the works if the project is funded for travel. 

As the Mississippi floods and tornadoes destroy towns, we are affected in our beliefs and daily lives.  I believe it is important to be aware of our folklore, myths, and religions in relation to geology and meteorology.  We can look at the modern history and back to the Mississippian Culture's mythology in how to better handle it cresting its banks.  Egyptian river myths and Osiris are easier to hunt down, but still retain the basic principles of life along mighty rivers. I believe that by looking at other cultures in relation to our own we can gain valuable insights that will save lives and bring new awareness to our daily lives.  In the past, different technologies were "shared" among nation states through warfare, as artisans and craftsman were made prisoners and relocated to the conquering states.  In today's world, this is very possible through peaceful exchange.  For those in the right positions, there are residencies and Fullbright scholarships.  For others like myself it is a much more difficult task, to create a project, find people that believe in it, and raise the money for its completion.

The Apocryphal Pecos Bill.
As tornadoes shred communities, not only may we prepare through drills and shelters, we can tell our children stories that not only will connect us culturally with the past but provide guidelines in parable to the youngest in our communities.  The information on how to prepare, act during, and deal with the aftermath can all be relayed through mediums while building a diverse and healthy culture.  I believe it is essential and beneficial to augment the culturally shared movies, television, and online experiences with our own in a tangibly bonding way.  An amalgamation of theories and processes are needed to deal with and understand the processes of the planet we live on.  It is folly to believe that we have at this time the ability to completely control our Earth's geological processes even though we definitely affect them.  By building levees along the Mississippi River, sediment isn't allowed to rebuild the southern marshes that help shield the state of Louisiana from Hurricanes.  The differences in sediment deposits can affect algae blooms which affects carbon and oxygen levels in the ocean which can affect fish populations which affects what we eat.  And so on and so forth.  Everything affects everything and if anybody digs through my past artist statements, chaos theory has led me to this.

CERN Searching for Building Blocks of The Universe

This project is more than preachy environmentalism, I am looking to understand a part of humanity that is often overlooked culturally except what is made popular through an importation of cartoon's and film.  Not that I have anything against them.  I can dork out on some of them, but I wouldn't want to be represented by "Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid" to the rest of the world even though its an awesome movie.

I am trying to dispel my own bias and rhetoric, in order to become something more than I am and share this with others.  In order to do so it is imperative that I immerse myself within the Japanese culture whenever possible.

The first step to fully understanding a culture and language has to be an understanding of their mythology, folklore and religion.  Can you imagine someone trying to read Shakespeare without any Christian referential points to rely on?  So I delve into mythology to understand language.  I try to understand language to become aware of landscape.  I try to understand concepts and perception of landscape to explore geology.  I try to understand perceptions of geology to understand people, and I try to understand people to understand myself.   If I understand myself then I can change myself.  If I can change myself I can change the world, right?  I've heard that its easier to change yourself than it is the world, so I'll start there first.

While I try to keep all of that straight in my head, I'll be creating artwork that deals with all of these questions and tries to serve a larger community with out compromising.  The question is, do people have a belief in what I am doing?  Is this project viable, and interesting?  Will this project happen this year or will it be postponed for a couple of years?  If it is postponed will it ever happen?   If you would like to help back my project please visit its main page by clicking HERE, and please journey back through the archives of my blog for more detailed information.  For each Backer level there are awards!  And they are well worth your venture.

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