"Speech is an arrangement of notes that will never be played again."
-F. Scott Fitzgerald

I have realized that the past and future are real illusions, that they exist in the present, which is what there is and all there is.
-Alan Watts

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Excerpt from a film: Ninteen Eighty-Four

Winston Smith: It’s not so much staying alive, it’s staying human that’s important. What counts is that we don’t betray each other.

Julia: If you mean confessing, we’re bound to do that. Everybody does. You can’t help it.

Winston Smith: I don’t mean confessing. Confessing isn’t betrayal. I mean feelings. If they can make me change my feelings. If they can stop me from loving you, that would be real betrayal.

Julia: They can’t do that. It’s the one thing they can’t do. They can torture you, make you say anything. But they can’t make you believe it. They can’t get inside you. They can’t get to your heart.

Say you find yourself in a dark or dimly lit room and before you, on a table or pedestal or what have you, there is a bright object. We needn’t give shape or label to what this object is for that will only delude ones thoughts. This object is giving of a light so intense and bright that one cannot bear to look at it even through partially closed eyes. Now, you have some options with what to do, you can choose to continue waiting for your eyes to acclimate to this bright object and in doing so wait an undetermined amount of time and endure the pain of staring at it in wait. You may always choose to simply locate the exit and leave, but I ask that if you chose to do so, observe your choice; figure out what within you is saying that you needn’t spend the time here. Keeping with the idea that you have chosen to stay and not leave, you may choose to shield your eyes from the object because you find it too bright to look at but then, how would you observe the object? One might ask, is it important that I even observe the object. Is it important that I know it’s form or it’s possible markings and that’s a logical question in it’s own right. However if one searches the walls of the room so that they come across a switch, and in activating that switch a larger, softer light is introduced unto the room, is not the brightness of the object somewhat subdued. Can our eyes not now adjust to the larger amount of light shining in so that we may view the object. The important part is not the object you see, that is a finite end result if your goal is simply to view the object and to understand it. Rather, the important portion in all of this is the introduction of additional light. Bring into the situation, that which is beyond yourself.



Saturday, December 17, 2011

Self Curatorial Project

–Press Release–

Emotional Impressions:
Visual Cognitions of Spaces
A duet of visual explorations presented by Stephen Shilling II and Alexey Titarenko
Curated by: Stephen Shilling II

Grouping view: Top Row: Stephen Shilling II's images 
Bottom Row: Alexey Titarenko's images

     Alexey Titarenko received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the Department of Cinematic and Photographic Art at Leningrad's Institute of Culture in 1983. He began taking photographs at the beginning of the 1970s, and in 1978 became a member of the well-known Leningrad photographic club Zerkalo, where he had his first solo exhibition (1978).
     Titarenko has received numerous awards from institutions such as the Musee de l'Elysee in Lausanne, Switzerland; the Soros Center for Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg; and the Mosaique program of the Luxemburg National Audiovisual Centre. He has participated in many international festivals, biennales, and projects and has had more than 30 personal exhibitions, both in Europe and the United States.
The artist is represented exclusively by Nailya Alexander Gallery 
41 East 57th street, 10022, New York, NY, USA  |  Phone: +1.212.315.2211

     Stephen Shilling II is a photography student currently exploring the photographic medium at the School of Visual Arts. Tired of the traditional and enduring past–mind of photography he focuses on energy and the theory of the “universal vibration resonance” of life’s energies. Believing that photographs, sculptures, paintings and so forth are not works of art but rather art products, a phrase first coined by Prof. John Dewey, he works to explore photography with a present–mind. The current norm among art institutions and in the critical world of art is focused on speaking about work in a predominantly non-progressive way, utilizing, to a great degree, only it’s “past–mind.”  he believes that, “if one begins to speak about a photograph so that in their mind they have formed an image from their memory, which is already in their “past–mind” or if one begins to consciously reference a previous work of art then what has happened is they have accepted a previously existing authority on the matter and transformed the current art product to the past object, to what has happened and neglected to look at what is happening.”  It is his own firm belief that “there should exist no criteria for producing or experiencing art” and that “art is either successfully brought about or not, and this of course depends on the personal cognitive interactions laid forth by each audience member individually.”
  These thoughts have not brought about a radically new style of photography, nor has the artist expressed a desire to produce something that has never before been seen and is totally, visually original.  “I merely wish to produce objects which I feel embody a visual hint towards the emotions, the energies, the truths of a place, an object or what have you. Other than that how the audience interprets my work is up to them as it is and should be totally out of my control for, what authority do I have to tell people how to think? None. I’m merely dissatisfied with the current ‘past–mind’ point of view from which we approach art and the lack of progressive thought that’s restricted for not just photography but art as a whole form of expression. You see, art is a language, and languages should not have limitations, least of all art. There should not exist this photographic dialect that cannot be quite so understood by the painters, the carpenters, the designers, writers or the musicians who each have in turn their own dialect. Rather, art as a language, is an expression of emotions in hopes that members of the audience will be given a doorway into an experience similar to that of the producer.”
   “What must be brought about is not necessarily a new form of art. Rather, there must be a change in our consciousness from which art or the art product is created and thus, how it is viewed. This, I feel, can manifest itself in the minds of man as a way of transforming already created art products into new products themselves, almost as if a new style had come about. In the free mind, in the mind done away with past–mindedness authority, man can observe absolute truth in the world around him. By freeing the mind when viewing anything, something new can be brought about. This I believe to be totally true.”

       In Emotional Impressions: Visual Cognitions of Spaces curator and photographer Stephen Shilling II pairs his own work with the work of established contemporary Russian photographer Alexey Titarenko.  Titarenko has expressed that with the images of St. Petersburg he focused on trying to visually represent the feelings and emotions of places he found stimulating throughout the city of St. Petersburg.  His use of multiple exposures intend to assist in providing a disconnect between the viewer and the place represented in the photograph by showing a non-objective reality of the location. What’s photographed cannot be actually and objectively seen if one were to go and view those spaces. However, what is apparent is the sensation that Titarenko has translated inner emotional experiences into a sort of legible or understandable, visual language.
     Stemming from a similar philosophical approach to the photographic medium, Stephen Shilling II chose to focus more on the printing of the images rather than simply the photographing of them.  The rich tones of the images combined with the heavier contrast (in comparison to Titarenko’s work) create the sensation that some of the spaces photographed are about to experience an earthquake. There is a sense of vibration in the total and absolute stillness of his images. The relationship between Titarenko’s flowing and breathy, multiple motion exposures and Shilling’s stark and stagnant still images play very well together. Both artists bring about the sensation of emotion, and movement which can be thought about as Shillings’ “universal vibration resonance” theory.

Citation Notice: All information about Alexey Titarenko was gathered from his "About" page on his website.

-ALEXEY TITARENKO | PHOTOGRAPHY. Web. 3 Dec. 2011. <http://alexeytitarenko.com/about.html>.

Note: All my images are my own and all of Alexey Titarenko's images are under his Copyright protection. I've merely appropriated them for use in an educational context.

Additional Note: The beginning eight warm-toned images are of mine while the second group of eight neutral-toned images are Alexey's.

Universal Vibration Resoncance is not yet a set in stone term, nor has the definition been entirely laid out yet. Another possible and the original term was "Existential Vibrational Resonance(s)"; I've not yet decided which term to use. There may still be a better term out there.
This is similar to but working separately, apart from the information located on this site: 


Friday, December 16, 2011

Our Responsibility as Man

"We are each one of us responsible for every war because of the aggressiveness of our own lives, because of our nationalism, our selfishness, our gods, our prejudices, our ideals, all of which divide us. And only when we realize, not intellectually but actually, as actually as we would recognize that we are hungry or in pain, that you and I are responsible for all this existing chaos, for all the misery throughout the entire world because we have contributed to it in our daily lives and are part of this monstrous society with its wars, divisions, its ugliness, brutality and greed - only then will we act. "
-J. Krishnamurti

Friday, December 9, 2011

An Old Poem by Jiddu Krishnamurt

An Old poem of J. Krishnamurti:

I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.
I have no shelter;
I am as the wandering waters.
I have no sanctuary, like the dark gods;
Nor am I in the shadow of deep temples.
I have no sacred books;
Nor am I well-seasoned in tradition.
I am not in the incense
Mounting on the high altars,
Nor in the pomp of ceremonies.
I am neither in the graven image,
Nor in the rich chant of a melodious voice.
I am not bound by theories,
Nor corrupted by beliefs.
I am not held in the bondage of religions,
Nor in the pious agony of their priests.
I am not entrapped by philosophies,
Nor held in the power of their sects.
I am neither low nor high,
I am the worshipper and the worshipped.
I am free.
My song is the song of the river
Calling for the open seas,
Wandering, wandering,
I am Life.
I have no name,
I am as the fresh breeze of the mountains.

Source: http://www.messagefrommasters.com/Life_of_Masters/Jiddu/An_Old%20poem_of_J._Krishnamurti.htm

Saturday, December 3, 2011

A Very Interesting Book Review

A "friend" of mine (at least by Facebook's standards), Makenzie Wark recently wrote a new book called The Beach Beneath the Street. I'm not going to give you my opinions on the book cause I've not yet read it. However I will direct you to an article reviewing it. This article is of particular interest to me because of the standard in which it's presented. It's a story, more or less, of two characters who meet up and discuss the book in detail. It's formatted much like a play, or the transcript of an interview. Now, I've read interviews before and found them to span the full spectrum of the mundane unless of course, the interviewee has interesting things to say, not always the case. Here however, we have several instances of location change and a linear moving plot that forms a sort of 'sub-text,' if you will. Anyway, it's an interesting and well written review about what I'm sure is an equally, if not more interesting book.



Click HERE to read the article.

Brief history of the Situationist International

This was my response to the article:

"This is an extremely interesting and quite engaging format to present a book review. I would enjoy seeing more articles written in this sort of scripted play/interview style. It gives a very good sense of the reader as a third party disembodied viewer constantly floating amidst the two characters like a spectre. We engage the text and therefore the “situation” presented to us with a more personally driven opinion. I find that I was able to participate (in the realm of thoughts) with the two characters as though I was there, constantly forming opinions and then having them altered as I continued listening to the two speak, but all the while I felt secure to stray from the path of their thoughts and even mine own. I felt protected by the fact that even if I were to physically speak my thoughts, my ideas aloud such trivial attempts to contribute would fall ‘silently’ on my laptop’s monitor. Truly, for me, this is a better way to present ideas, reviews, responses, etc."