November 2017

robohemian

Meditation 1 : bloom in a petri dish

I stated last week that I’m writing a neo-bohemian manifesto… yeah? I must point out that I’m not attempting to rewrite the old ways, rather I’d like to draw parallels between periods from the past and today, in order to reflect on how things might be different, the same, or better. I’m doing this to understand what makes neo-Bohemians unique, so that those of us who identify as such can celebrate this common identity.

The periods of time in question are those which provided a fertile environment for creative folk to thrive, enabling an overlap of disciplines that resulted in high concentrations of revolutionary innovation [ ! ]

Why does this sporadic burst of new ideas happen? I believe that the intersection of professions, skill sets and cultures concentrated in a consistent public forum during unique social circumstances (like a war or regime change) results in action backed by fresh thinking.

Is this happening now?…………… Yes! But where??

CROSS-POLINATION OF EVERYTHING

I don’t have to argue this idea much; when different people meet who have the common desire to make stuff, creative dialogues occur… ideas are exchanged… influence takes hold… and you end up with a bunch of new things that are a sum of the added components.

At the heart of every bohemian movement was a slurry of inputs that resulted in an infinite potential for unique outputs.

LOCATION

As necessary, some level of migration occurred in order for people to participate in these movements. To meet and mingle with those stirring the waters, you had to stand on the boat they were rocking (a hundred years ago this pilgrimage would land you in Paris, a thousand years ago it may have led you to Alexandria). You simply had to be where the stuff was happening.

Due to the relocation of people from many different areas of the world to one city or region, there was a byproduct of cultural overlap. The cross-pollination of ethnicities, cultures, and religions manifested in all forms of creative expression.

Now is just another one of many similar points in history, however it’s different and remarkable in that today’s creative epicenter has no physical location. The bohemian heart of today is the internet. With blogs, forums and youtube channels acting as caravans and stages that feed us the content we are influenced by, social media functions as the coffee shops and bars where we meet to discuss how and why we’ve been effected by these exposures.

UNIQUE SOCIAL CIRCUMSTANCE

Wherever you’re from, the current and trending flavor of the world is freshly licked butthole. Whatever your beliefs, there is something in the media attempting to incite an emotional response from you. You are bombarded by this daily. It’s slowly chipping away at your otherwise *relatively-stable* emotional foundation; distorting you into a paranoid, pissed off person (at least it is to me, so I figure I’m not alone). At the end of some days, you’re completely exhausted and you aren’t sure why.

It might be local politics, mass shootings, the shit show running the government, the unnecessary reminder that your race, gender, or sexual orientation is still mistreated and unequally regarded in society, the fact that religion is still a thing, tax reform, net neutrality, dogs and cats, lions and tigers: – because we are so connected we are that much more aware of everything, even the stuff that might be bullshit trying to get the best of us.

While this sucks… and I agree wholeheartedly that it is a tremendous emotional burden and does make for a constant distinct butt-flavor in your mouth, it can also be seen as catalyst.

Those with the most adversity to overcome typically end up achieving the most. Without something to push you, animals tend to stay comfortably in place. So maybe all the inflammatory garbage in our face is a blessing in disguise?

To conclude this meditation, 

In a funny sense, Reddit is the Montparnasse of now. Twitter is the shitty coffee shop on the corner that we keep going to even though the people who work there suck, and the coffee kinda sucks too.

We, humans of now, aren’t limited by our geographic location as were the movers and shakers of the past. Everything is happening everywhere and we are intrinsically tethered to all of it as participants, due to accessibility. If you want something, you have it (and because of Amizon, typically next day). If you want to know something, you’ll learn it (because we are all students of youtube). If you want to meet someone, you can with little effort, usually without having to leave your desk. Even if some things going on in the world are toxic, we aren’t helpless to fight them. If we want to speak out, our voices can reach farther than ever before and are immutable. Every one of us are potential all-knowing, all-seeing, influential vehicles of change. So what are we going to do with the power?

I think in my next meditation, I will discuss the bohemian principles a little more:

TRUTH, BEAUTY, FREEDOM, LOVE… that old bag.

I’ve come to realize that the principles shouldn’t change just because we humans have… but there is still much to discuss.

As always, if you have input, or just think I’m full of shit… I’d love to hear your thoughts.

All is full of love,

-Sarah

noodle says

where do toes come from?

Thanksgiving was a couple of days ago. My family is one of those that gather together at grandma’s place for a massive socially challenging feast. There is chaos in the kitchen, as much booze available for consumption as courses on the table, and that table is practically a mile long because everyone brings an additional someone who doesn’t have anywhere else to go (which is kinda nice). If you’ve ever seen Christmas Vacation, you’re familiar with the format.

Like any mother, I bring my child to all of our family gatherings. As my baby is a robot, this was strange to everyone at first, but three years of events later, NoodleFeet’s presence has been normalized as part of the family tapestry.

While at grandmother’s last week, Noodle perched in the corner of the room to stay safely away from the fourteen people stomping around the house.

Within his view was the traditional Thanksgiving hors d’oeuvre platter of radishes, carrots, mutant pickles and olives. Noodle quite literally stared them down all night…

To Noodle, nibbles are perfectly scaled tasting shapes, so he was disappointed that no one offered him a sampling. Since all he could do was gaze longingly in their direction, he became curious about the red piece inside the olive.

What were these shy pieces poking out? They looked so much like a part of his own anatomy, it was uncanny.

Noodle wondered: did the olives have a retractable toe like him? Or was the olive maybe a tiny womb where toes are grown…

Was this where his toes came from?

Maybe somewhere there were fields of little green growing chambers, each bearing a tiny developing pimentoe; a toe farm. He imagined hundreds of brine-filled sacks synthesizing infant toes within their supple flesh; the ground caked with those which had grown to maturity and pushed free of their fleshy sheaths through the exit hole… The implications were devastating.

What if every olive consumed by cousin Kevin was a potential toe that would never get to grip or knead the pliant texture of lint?

And we wonder why machines will overthrow humanity…

save the pimentoes.

robohemian

Life Pie

find the key to lime pie! Avant-garde cooking edition

“Things are going to change,” I decided.

“I have the power to forge my own reality!”

“Life will get better from here.”

I woke some time last week with the clarity to realize I needed to grab the steering wheel and aggressively guide the vehicle (myself) back on corse. Naturally, this meant I had to make a pie.

Pie is an essential part of life… and healing. When I desire it most, I won’t cheat and acquire crappy store-made pie. No no, I must create my pie the way I make my mechanisms: from raw materials.

So Friday became Pie Day. With everyone I hold dear bearing witness, I committed to producing my favorite type of pie, a key lime pie, to the best of my abilities.

I should note, the point of this cooking exercise wasn’t to eat a pie. The pie was a symbol, and the act of making it would become a metaphor for my life, one which I could observe in action as it played out indisputably before my eyes. I wanted to learn something, so I planned to pay close attention.

I would state my intentions, and then without any further intervention, allow the task to unfold:

“Tonight I am making a pie. I’m going to do it by myself. I wish to enjoy the process, so just keep me company and help only if I specifically ask for it.” I’m paraphrasing, but this is more or less what I announced before the cooking began.

My boyfriend, Mark, and my best friends, Matt and Tony were present. I hadn’t picked a recipe, nor bought ingredients yet… the “pie” was effectively a Tabula Rossa.

Here is what happened:

I was going to write a poem about the pie, but decided it was best to give a play-by-play.

-The grocery store did not have “key limes” and Mark urged me not to attempt making my own crust from scratch, so we bought a bottle of lime juice and a pre-made crust.

-Mark was starving and couldn’t wait for me to finish my methodical process, so he decided to prepare his dinner of hotdogs over and around my cooking space.

-At some point Matt had to pass a bowl of sweetened condensed milk through a sieve because I may or may not have gotten glass in it after accidentally dropping a ramekin on Mark’s pint glass, shattering it into a million tiny projectile shards.

-Where the glass didn’t actually end up in the pie filling, some did manage to bounce into the cheese Mark was grating for his hotdog. He found it with his mouth.

-Matt and Tony had a lime squeezing contest.

-Tony otherwise sat at the kitchen table and drank beer, spitting out snide remarks for his own amusement.

-Matt drank three Irish Car Bombs. While removing the pie from the oven, he accidentally let the flimsy pie plate collapse in half. It fell and partially inverted.

-Even after returning the pie to the oven three times to cook it a little longer, the filling wouldn’t set. We later found out this was because we needed to place the flimsy foil pie plate that came with the pre-made crust into an actual pie plate.

The pie couldn’t hold itself together, however still managed to taste pretty good (and it didn’t cause anyone internal bleeding!).

The state of Sarah: can barely hold itself together. More or less a complete mess… but is still somehow pretty good in spite of itself… also hasn’t killed anyone yet.

All and all this was a fun exercise. The strong personalities in the room did what they normally do when left to their own devices, but I was able to assume control over the making of my pie. Everyone wanted to help, and with or without it… the outcome was inevitably a big mess that everyone enjoyed the process of… as much as the result. Pie is pie. Life is life… and even in the darkest times, is worth celebrating… with pie.

robohemian

I’m Writing a Manifesto

robohemian - feeling strange? you might be a new strain of bohemian with an insatiable lust for technology!

I attended a magnet school for the arts called Las Vegas Academy back when I was in highschool. All I’ll say is, every sort of nonsense occurred here during my teenage years. It was my spawning ground, and an integral part of me becoming me.

At some point I walked into my core art class and written on the white-board was the prompt: “Invent Your Own Cult!”. This was our in class project for the day.

Since I was a wee fledgling, my weirdness gland wasn’t pumping at full strength yet, and this experiment in creativity was somewhat lost on me. I didn’t come up with anything meaningful, or clever, or funny (nor did I have the charisma to make up for it).

This memory was on my mind for a couple of reasons while driving home from SuperCon this past weekend:

I self identify as an artist, writer, hack, hacker, mechanical designer who pretends in her imagination to be a machinist… OH and a philosopher. This is a confusing and convoluted list, which usually gets abbreviated into “artist” when talking to other people (as it did at SuperCon this past weekend). The problem is that when you tell perfect strangers you’re an artist, for whatever reason, in spite of this being the year 2017, folks instantly get the mental image that you stand in a field somewhere with an easel and paint sunsets… or something.

So, for fun I will begin calling myself something slightly absurd from now on that might facilitate in creating a more accurate mental picture of the type of person I am and what I do with my life. (don’t worry, I know I shouldn’t care what others think, this is for fun =F)

TECHNO-BOHEMIAN. BOOM.

Or Robohemian in my case…. I could go with either. The term is nice because it is descriptive of the art side as well as the technologically capable side.

When I was a hatchling, one of my clutch’s mantra movies was Moulin Rouge, which is famous for its quintessential depiction of the “bohemian” life style. My friends and I longed to be part of the era where creativity and overlap of disciplines was booming in a streets of Paris back in the 1900s.

It is defined in the big internet book of defining things that:

Bohemianism is the practice of an unconventional lifestyle, often in the company of like-minded people and with few permanent ties. It involves musical, artistic, literary or spiritual pursuits. In this context, Bohemians may or may not be wanderers, adventurers, or vagabonds.

This use of the word bohemian first appeared in the English language in the nineteenth century to describe the non-traditional lifestyles of marginalized and impoverished artists, writers, journalists, musicians, and actors in major European cities.[1]

Bohemians were associated with unorthodox or anti-establishment political or social viewpoints, which often were expressed through free love, frugality, and—in some cases—voluntary poverty. A more economically privileged, wealthy, or even aristocratic bohemian circle is sometimes referred to as haute bohème[2] (literally “high Bohemia”).[3]

It occurs to me that this culture and lifestyle cited in early century Paris exists today in a modern sense all over the world. Today’s Montparnasse is simply the internet. The coffee shops of then are effectively what hackerspaces are to us now.

… Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love

These are the four principles of bohemian mindfulness; the things they lived by in the world of Moulin Rouge. Theirs isn’t so much a manifesto, as it is a mandate of common values that sets the tone for a proper bohemian head-space and heart.

Truth: Always be genuine vs. fake. Gravitate towards that which is real, honest and just, instead of people who are misleading or purposely withholding.

Beauty: All that we put into the world, as energy or physical manifestation is to make it a better place to exist within.

Freedom: (gonna quote Ayn Rand here) I will not live for the sake of any man, nor will I expect any man to live for the sake of me. Never be afraid to freely express yourself or who you are. Never be afraid to fight to defend that right.

Love: The undefinable thing that pulls us like gravity towards that which we desire most in life. May our love of things and people bring out the best in us. May all of our actions and words be spoken out of love vs. negativity. (to quote Bjork, All is full of love!)

While those ideals are good enough to float your boat on, I wonder if they need to be tweaked in any way to better suite today’s techno-bohemians.

I intend to meditate on this over the weekend and compile a description of what it is to be what we are, this particular flavor of human with these frustrations, feelings, needs and desires. If you have any input at all, let me know! If you feel that the term “techno-bohemian” applies to you, what would your four principles be?

Ex: Creativity, Innovation, Passion and Coffee

In a sense, I’m revisiting that in-class project from high school just for fun. Maybe also because I feel a need right now to reflect on who I am and why I am this way. 🙂

I will post my conclusion shortly.

my thoughts on...

An open letter to those in the ocean

It’s been an interesting year, hasn’t it?

I’m writing this because it’s my nature to disclose pretty much anything and everything that skirts through my mind. I find that the seemingly unmanageable monsters of my life are deflated, simply by saying their names out loud. So, that is what I’m doing right now. Also, by sharing my feelings, I’m more likely to find others who relate to what I’m going through. So if you’re one of them, hello!

Things are different now. I’m entering a new decade of my life and my self-image has changed drastically without my own permission. Ten years ago, when I first shouted “CHARGE!” And ran head first into battle, I thought of myself as a smart, sexy, young thing that couldn’t help but be liked by everyone and as a result was strong and unstoppable. The world was mine. The present was my time. I had all the energy I needed backing me up.

But you know where this is going. We climb our mountains and eventually find ourselves questioning the stamina we were once certain we had. I suppose I’m there.

If you ask me what I “do for a living”, I will tell you that “I am an artist”. I’m also just as broke and aimless as the title suggests.  I knew long ago when I first put my chips on the table what I was signing up for. I’m not surprised by the grinding and chafing inflicted by the unpaved road I’ve been dragging myself along, but I am marred to the point that I can’t recognize myself anymore.

Additionally, who knew that this fresh era of my life would begin simultaneously with heaping gobs of social disillusionment. After eight years of relative optimism, I’m again parsing broken expectations as our country is led into shady uncertainty by a brand new shit storm. So this is the theme of now.

There is a metaphor in my comic, relating life to a stormy ocean. We either (a) drown, (b) wash out somewhere safely stranded on an island we can never escape, or (c) we fight and struggle to keep swimming.

At times we find chunks of debris to hold onto for a while and there happens to be someone else clinging along with us; cosmically at the same place at the same time.

The water is rough, but I know I’m not alone. That is why I’m writing today, and will continue to write from this point on. By continuing to call out the monster’s name, I want this little shitty piece of debris that I find myself on to become a raft. We don’t have to stay here forever, but it’s nice to catch your breath for a while before continuing to paddle on.