“Artistic creation is a voyage into the unknown,” says the writer Peter Turchi in his book Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer. “In our own eyes, we are off the map.
As one of the world’s most time-honoured and leading platforms for art, science and technology, Leonardo is being singled out for recognition by the Prix Ars Electronica with a 2018 Golden Nica. Congratulations to all winners! Since the announcement, the Leonardo community has continued to explore and reimagine what the next 50 years of art, science, and technology look like.
Today, the tenth day of my residency here on the Ranch, and I have been transported back to my childhood.
It is the smell of the sun on the earth, I think, reminding me of those endless summer days staring at insects, playing tether ball, dreaming in the crook of my front yard tree. I spun long, epic tales that I cannot now remember, then climbed down the tree and swept the hearth to make dinner for my dolls.
Summer lasted so long then; a day lasted so long.
Waking to strong offshore breezes, I created a new photographic work, mindful of Nick's observation in The Great Gatsby that "... man must have held his breath in the presence of this continent, compelled into an aesthetic contemplation ... face to face with something commensurate to his capacity for wonder."
I met a fox today, hiking home on the Ridge Trail. This is our first truly sunny day at the Djerassi Ranch, and I chose, perhaps unwisely, to pack a lunch and go exploring for natural pigments. On the way back, I was struggling with an incline, drenched with sweat, stopping for rest at every small pocket of shade along the path. I came over a small rise and there he was, three short paces away, frozen in the middle of the path. He seemed as surprised as I to share this moment in the woods.
Scientific Delirium Madness, Djerassi 2018. An Essay
Here on the ranch, on the western side of the Santa Cruz mountains, the sea mist begins its slow roll back towards the Pacific Ocean.
We saw breakers yesterday out at San Gregorio, a flash of white foam on the horizon, the rest of the ocean blanketed in fog. Drove the Skyline through the Redwoods, past old Methuselah. A tree so old and big we had to stop, all be it briefly, to stand with our mouths agape trying to see the top.
While writing a novel at Djerassi, I've been drawn sideways to create a phootographic work capturing the creative fire and awe induced by this place.
As a writer of a novel, experiencing the first week of the Djerassi Resident Artists Program has been both distracting and provocative.