Saturday, May 30, 2009

looking for lucia: a web project and art objects

a few years ago i realized that the most comprehensive view of my diffuse lucia project would be an art piece for the web. slowly i learned software and tinkered with how to make lucia more visible. is nearly ready to upload.

there are also many physical artworks in this project that are available to be seen in galleries. much of the work is threaded across multiple media, copied and reworked with alternate processes, before being output into a stable object. the website is also in progress, and should soon be ready to view.

cave practice

i am a student of lucia, the kind who practices mostly by herself in a cave at a distance from the sangha. my formal life practice is art and writing. now it is lucia, a personal fiction, who spins out the ongoing movie, and i who follow the leader.

lightness and radiance of view inspire the lucia work. mercurius wants new forms, and so we make them.

if you meet my lucia on the road you should kill it; lucia is not a system to be joined, but an example of one artist's work. i wonder if you have a parallel interest by another name...

philosophical lucia

lucia is an example of a romantic, neo-platonic mindset that is irrational but, for some, compelling.

the clearest articulation of what i call lucia comes from years of study and a residency of ten months at the nyingma tibetan buddhist institute in berkeley, california. it was here that i encountered the self as a sort of movie, a self as luminous and translucent as a computer screen. a self you can put your hand through, as through a light or sound or ghost.

lucia is not more about contemplation than action, but it does require connection to and respect for the diverse inner lives of all beings.
for this i am indebted to the community of the c. g. jung institute of san francisco, the teachings of c. g. jung, and the community of the department of arts & consciousness, john f. kennedy university, in berkeley, california, where i have taught for many years.

lucia and "spiritual" machines

lucia could not have appeared for me without years of work on computers. i consider them to be prosthetic machines that lead us into new possibilities of being human, which includes new ways of considering "art." maybe i am deriving from technology the same kind of re-presentation, or simulation, of things that baudrillard brought into view. computers used creatively allow representations that are otherwise impossible to make, and, more to the point, are iconically representative of our culture. software and code are media, like charcoal and oil, and it seems obvious to me that art finds its way into the machines that so define our time and place. what is art for?

i will go further and say that there is something tentatively "spiritual" (the feeling of being in relationship with a numinous quality or entity more complete or omniscient than my small i) in what the machines have to teach us. this is pure intuition that i cannot back up; nor am i able to let this feeling go.

you may disagree with much of this ... i speak only for myself, and make the influences clear. i am aware of the many critical dialogues about surveillance, the deadening everyday use of computers, and my
possible projection of interior qualities onto machines.

i stand by the machine as my necessary collaborator. there is something in the electricity, the 0-1 architecture, and the light of a monitor that generate for me, physically and metaphorically, a state of mind that i continue to cultivate.

by the way, lucia time is not the same as clock time

lucia as evolutionary field

i usually think of lucia as a fictional reality that can seem more real, more conscious, and more beautiful than any other reality. paradoxically, it becomes available fully and consciously only when a sense of self within the everyday world has become stable.

maybe this state of mind is related to the work of jean baudrillard
who in the 1990s might have pointed toward lucia consciousness as a mediated [re]-presentation or copy of something. in the [re] is an absence or separation from the original, natural mind. after a time, the original is lost and the copy becomes accepted as the new REAL. in this sense lucia is related to lucifer and the time falling bodies take to light.

yes, this seems right. lucia is an energy or space or neurological fold whose creative possibilities allow alternative moves outside our more familiar patterns; change becomes possible in such a mutational field.
if lucia is derived from an archetypal human energy, then it presents in both "positive" and "negative" forms.

maybe, in fact, what i am calling lucia is a layer of the brain that is needed collectively and personally in liminal times of great transformation. it can be seen, in its breaking up of "the way things are," as an evolutionary appearance, which we can resist or accept gracefully or ecstatically. for me moments of lucia are interior, deeply quiet; if you saw me possessed by lucia, you would not know what a movie was playing behind my eyes, though you might be aware that i am following you at the same time as i am occupied by another unfolding stream. both can be present at the same time.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

what is lucia mind?

like dreams and movies, lucia is a translucent and tricky state of mind that dissolves when someone tries to hold on to it.

lucia may be related to the alchemical myth of mercurius, who is a shape-shifter.

lucia as mind is both a receptive viewer and a conscious projector of its views.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

beginning lucia

many years ago, while waiting at a bus stop in the fillmore district of san francisco, i first became aware of an experience i now call lucia. behind the cracked sidewalk, a scrubby vacant lot was bordered by a heavy cyclone fence. on the other side of this fence a leggy, dark green bush struggled to survive in the parched summer ground. i looked more closely and was startled by the unexpected radiance of a single torn leaf. something in my belly turned over, as though a physical vibration from the leaf were sympathetically resonating in my body. although I had no word for the experience, the leaf entered my belly as energy and my mind as an image. the bus came and the leaf was carried away into the city and across time.