As you might expect, my job as the Resident Manager at the Djerassi Resident Artists Program is heavily influenced by the personalities and needs of the rotating artists in residence. Usually this means I’m surrounded by inspiring, generous, and interesting people. Those are the 99% (and let’s not talk about those 1%). After 2 ½ years here I generally know what to expect and am pretty comfortable with our little routine.
The gift of time becomes evident when you step out of your familiar routine. Time approaches the fluid state, evolving from the linear progression in which we normally view it. I have been given the gift of time while at a residency at Djerassi, the time to "just be".
At breakfast an engineer tells me about his plans to write a book on the science of art materials, observations that will influence the way many of us think about art. While hiking in some of the most beautiful hills in California, a poet, originally from Sri Lanka, explains how poetry can help heal the wounds of war. It gets me thinking of a new way to approach my patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome. Over dinner, a geologist describes her work in Antarctica, studying the bacteria found deep in the ice-encrusted lakes and their amazing art forms.
Dawn working on Dream Vortex Prototype 4 in her Middlebrook Studio at the Djerassi Resident Artists program.
Let the cerebration begin! I have only experienced 3 of the first 72 hours of Scientific Delirium Madness but the words and ideas and laughter are flying. A dream since I first took this job, since I first met Carl Djerassi (the Program's founder), since I first experienced the work of Nina Wise and Ralph Abrams vis The Kepler Story, I was overwhelmed by emotion during yesterday's orientation.
Six scientists and six artists are about to embark on the month-long Scientific Delirium Madness residential retreat starting 1 July 2014 in Woodside, CA. Thanks to Margot Knight, Executive Director of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program (DRAP), Leonardo/ISAST and DRAP have joined forces for this art/science residency for our first collaboration.