Dante at Djerassi

Dante wrote "Nature is the art of God", and we feel the art of nature here at Djerassi.  The old master wrote The Divine Comedy while in exile from his daily responsibilities in Florence, while modern master of science-based fiction Andy Weir (The Martian) channels what Dante called "forza", or  the force of action, in his thrillers.  I'm feeling a kinship with both authors as I construct my new book Continental Shift during this Leonardo-Djerassi residency in exile.

New Landscape Artwork at Djerassi

WATCH. A new landscape artwork at Djerassi ranch. This work was constructed by subtractive writing on a historic Djerassi ranch sign bearing the bullet holes of bygone days of exuberance. It invites the viewer to enter a timeless landscape by watching, and having once possessed this connection to eternity, find peace.

Misinterpreting the landscape

This year I started to use computer fluid dynamics software, or maybe better said misuse, in my art practice. So far, I have been feeding data from specific environments in technical CFD software, creating a series of simulation situations and then projecting the results back on the very same physical environment (here link to a previous work). The idea of this process was to evoke a transcendental, psychedelic and poetic relationship to the environment by means of technical and quantified imagery.

Steve Wilson Fellowship for Scientific Delirium Madness and Women

These winners happen to be women but were selected simply because they most represented Steve Wilson's ideas with the quality and breadth of their work. Equally important were their philosophies of searching for what was needed for society's advancement in the education of the next generations (Ramirez) and looking for the roots of the meaning of art in distant cultural pasts (Brady). In each case, the two women stood out above all as confident, hard-working and skilled in their work. Above all, they each had a vision and a determined path.

Tracing Lichens

Since my time at Djerassi, one cannot help but admire the beauty of lichen, following their tangles and patterns. It is everywhere, growing on and over things, pale green strings. Each pattern unique to its kind, with incredible adaptive abilities. Its structure and symmetry decenter their objects, covering them in fibrous threads that allow for a means of transformation. They are nature, alive, ancient, not built by humans. Lichen can undergo photosynthesis in outer space and found in the earliest fossils of plant life dating 460 million years ago. They grow slowly over time, immortal, in evolution and harmony. Yet, a litmus test for pollution, which is why they are only found in abundance above the Santa Cruz mountains.

Perfection...maybe not needed

The maquette for my sculptural installation completed, I turned to making a larger version: five and half inch square faces. Since I’m working with cubes, the sized is not doubled, but cubed; of course, this makes for much more wood!