April 30, 2008

Waves of Thought, Revisited

Today's post is a repost, from July 27, 2007. Last summer I was having a stressful time, work wise, and I was also dealing emotionally with an online group I had started which was dissolving or at least changing to another form outside of my control. I had just attended the NOW conference as a vendor, so Feminism was also on my mind. I was studying Dali at the time too, because somehow in my twisted head, studying the work and words of a madman helps me understand things more clearly *shrugs* Anyway, I am in a similar state today, so this repost seems appropriate.
Surrealist Composition(Inaugural Gooseflesh)~ by Salvador Dali, 1928

Today is going to be a random series of thoughts, I am just riding the waves in my brain here. There's a lot going on in my head, wow~

My Dali studies have continued. I found a dusty box of books in the basement and have been looking at paintings while eating lunch. The one above struck me yesterday. It was an early abstract from Dali, in 1928. Notice the same road structure as the one I posted several days ago. That's the thing about Dali, is that you have to consider his work as a whole, as an epic story almost. It is beautiful and stands on its own but it is so much more meaningful as a whole collection, and when taken into context with history. Art history, political history, science and technology history and personal history are key in really understanding it, I think.

Anyway, nothing quite so deep connects me to this painting today. I totally ran out of porcelain, having to scrounge up the dust and little leftover bits and reprocess them in order to finish my orders last night. To get more, its a bit of a drive on the freeway. I see the painting as the road and those blobs look like lumps of porcelain. Pretty literal connection, lol! That's the wonderful thing about art, you can connect to something and have your own personal reasons and experience as well.

I am fascinated by the Dalinian Paranoid-Critical method, and I desire to learn more about it, as well as other surrealist techniques. From what I understand, the method is a surrealist technique that involves linking things from dreams and daydreams, and perhaps hallucinations, and combining them in ways that might not reasonable be connected. I think it is about limitations, and deciding when to break away from them, and when to abide by them, in this case with art and visualizations. At the time Dali was revolutionary, since he seemed to be painting such bizarre other worldly things: they really upset people. But when you look at it in context, the paintings are actually very calculated and controlled, just in a way that one was not accustomed to. In fact, in this painting, the blobs are numbered, and Dali has said that it reflects his fascination with the metric system. A seemingly mundane subject, but what he probably saw in his head while thinking about measurements and distance.

Federico García Lorca wrote in his 'Ode to Salvador Dalí, 'A desire for forms and limits overwhelms us. The man who measures with the yellow yardstick comes.'

I am thinking about waves as well. Not really literal waves. I am reading about Feminism and the three waves of it. When you study history like that it can easily be segmented by time. It seems clear cut. But when during the second wave did the third wave start? Does a specific event mark the change? Do you know there is a change happening while you are in it...can you identify the beginning and end as a participant? It is the same thing with art movements. You can read about Dada and Surrealism and Modernism and Postmodernism, but don't they really flow into each other, instead of distinctly beginning and ending like you read about?

I think of this because I feel that the Beads of Clay group that I have been active in over the last few years is in a similar situation. Not comparing our little group to an art or social movement, of course! Just connecting the things I am studying right now. Anyway, I feel that I was part of the first wave of Beads of Clay, helping to found it and organize it, and also promote and raise awareness of it. Many great strides have been made since we started, and I feel some of those goals we made are being met, and I am feeling that my ride on this part of the wave is coming to an end somehow. I think it may be time for a new wave to start, and while I want to be a part of it, I am thinking my part will be much less active. I hope it is not grandiose to think of the group as a whole going through the waves or changes just because of my attitude towards it, but I really have played a major part, so I don't know, that might be realistic. Its like I said about recognizing the change while you are in it. Maybe it starts as just a feeling, or a change in attitude of one person. Or perhaps it is just my own internal wave that is changing, and moving my own mind in another direction. Maybe time will tell what the tides have in store.

Isn't it funny when things start connecting? I was thinking of this song "That Wave" by XTC while writing this and found this homemade video of it on You Tube. It is strangely sort of surrealist, but I guess the song itself is too...

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