Open Up Now. This won’t hurt a bit.

More voices than any time on this planet’s history are chattering away 24, 7. Listening 99% of the time or listening to the 99% is seemingly impossible. And yet…we all have at least a 1% “feeling” of the import of all this chatter, this Possibility Inherent in our collective conversation, from the most mundane Four Square at Starbucks to the most profound on-the-scene-eye-witnesses to social unrest.

The collective “we,” now imagine, talk and evolve ourselves minute-by-minute through art, image and word online and off to effect change. It would seem a massively impossible conversation to chart the effect on individuals and society, yet we all are trying to do just that. This impossible conversation was the subject of our agency’s recent panel of talking heads, “99% Art In the Public Realm: A Tool for Social Change.” Held during Frieze Art Fair’s first landing in New York from London, on May 6, 2012, we called together our art and branding compatriots for an Instagram expresso shot of the type of discourse we all engage in to create magic for clients.

 15 minutes of Fame for All or “Live Life Off The Wall.” Peel off the Veils.

New Identities for y’all.

In honor of two pairs of this century’s most powerful image/word-concept icon makers, the first pair being Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana, our panel talk was held at site 109’s exhibition of early, revealing photographs of the two artists entitled,“Before They Were Famous,” by William John Kennedy. The second pair, two women designers, both tapped into the conceptual art of their time and its interaction with women’s bodies, one esoteric Miuccia Prada and one libertine, Elsa Schiaparelli, were Talking Heads for the recent “Impossible Conversations” the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute latest exhibit. Our panel looked at the legacy of these art giants, the recent evolving conversation called “The New Aesthetics” in art and, as we call it, “Art off the Cave Walls.”

While the world’s streets send Tweets and messages into the cloud, and we mine imagery and voice to create relevant messages for clients, our talk looked at the impact of new buzzy public creativity in social media events from Komen to Kony to Crop Circles. We looked at the “New Aesthetics” of pixel-play and our social media poster children avatar such as the “surveillanced” and “veiled” identity portrait above, from artist Carla Gannis, and its provenance and evolution from dimension-bending art such as Dali’s visionary, pixelated “Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea Which at Twenty Meters Becomes the Portrait of Abraham Lincoln,” painted in the pre-computer days of the late ‘7o’s.

The term “New Aesthetics,” described as “an eruption of the digital into the physical” became the hot art tip on the lips by a band of smart London-based boys and the 1-year tumblr of James Bridle, and it has been morphing ever since, on Creators Project and as well from the “opened up” digital and fleshy orifices of many Talking. Art. Heads. The birth and death of James’ one-year only tumblr, on the same May 6th day by design, coincidence or Fate as our panel, just hints at what is really going on. With our panel’s insights and a month of my own reflection, I add my Talking Head to the conversation.

“We’ll take our New Aesthetics with a bit more flesh and biology attached, thanks.”

Perhaps, because I am in a female body, I am overly womanly, “sensitive” to this;-) digital meets physical mouthiness. Although I was an early cyberpunk, say in the 80’s and 90’s, happily subscribed way back when to Mondo magazine, the precursor to Wired, we must agree that our bio-bods are not going anywhere anytime soon and while bots are adorable and have innocent and deep thoughts,truth told, we are all still in our fleshy spacesuits, the prime mechanism whilst sensing them bots. New sensory experiences of ephemeral Nature, public performance and the creative mash-up speed of the digital world have made the artist’s world…and reality-altering experience…accessible to all. As big as religion and the printing press…this is a”New Happening” or “New Creativity” (my name for it, a bit less high-brow, “Aesthetics, wha is it?” This is a co-created thing with the 99% masses, no?)  It’s not all digital, dudes, the seers are the seen and vice-versa, existing somewhere in, let’s say, the 4th dimension just for fun. Like your girlfriend in a cute shorty nightgown who knows what’s good for you, peeking around the corner, saying “Honey, don’t be so glued to the tube!”

Much more than ‘women + art=craft” sense this dirty-can-be-fun invitation from the Earth: Bewitched nose-wriggling, True Blood-ish, Baccanalian revelry parties…there…we know you are paying attention now! I pose a better, much more earthy mass name: “The New Creativity.”

Until a bot gets hot and fuzzy and can birth change unto the world, don’t throw the baby’s how-to-body instructions paper away with the box just yet.  Here’s our research manifesto:

Private and public rituals, image-making and collective voice may have “left the building” and entered “Heaven” aka “the Cloud”…yet…

Today’s art “Happening” is now also very clearly on the streets affecting global change and re-invention.

The Artists R Us.

Therefore: Please Make Our Future Funny, Fleshy and Fun!

To add a bit of sex, female and flesh perspective to the dialogue, read more here. The female-ish, flesh-suit, bio-bod happening reflective of self, identity and expression, the “Impossible Conversations,” exhibit neatly and scholarly compared the living designer of clothes neatly bridging high tech and nostalgia, Miuccia Prada, with Elsa Schiaparelli’s surrealistic pioneering designs from the early 20th century. The exhibit was presented through side by side contrasted and similar pairings of their creations and Baz Luhrmann’s film of their imaginary meeting. As a public, toe-in-the-waters, “dimension-disrupting” cultural event for the masses by “traditional media,” the exhibit offers a case-study look at the way we were, where we are and where the vast potential for public experiences of brands (physical) and media (digital) merging are still yet to be created. The Amazon sponsorship of the exhibition itself, with targeted foresight into its upcoming high-fashion e-commerce foray, makes this conversation something akin to a mass birth announcement to its fashion bot baby, ready to birth and go about artfully clothing the identities of its ready-made mass audience. (Amazon + 99% = massive females…yes.)

With close ties to the art world, both women are celebrated for tapping into the intellectual exercises of their time to interpret form for the bodies of the 99%. As a very close friend of Dali, Schiaparelli took clothing design beyond utilitarian or decorative, into dreamy 3D surrealism for her image-play and coupled this with techno-firsts for fabric innovation, including “cellophane, straw and even glass.” A long list of firsts, “taking art off the cave walls” belong to Schiaparelli from runway shows with lithe bodies as models set to art and music, perfume brand platforms, wrap dresses and the concept of sportswear separates. Prada, much like Warhol, is more an architect and mix-master of pop-culture, working with artists with her Fondazione Prada, designing fashion more for the cerebral vs. corporal body, always mining and re-configuring iconic concepts from the pool of fashion history, most notably Schiaparelli, as this exhibit reveals. However, I did find myself wondering exactly how this exhibit inspired the masses, as befitting its honorees, and in the words of one doyenne of Vogue and the Met’s Costume Institute, Diana Vreeland, I found myself questioning its presentation, potential and impact, mouthing off with her big red lips her own trademark question to provoke and transcend before suggesting something highly creative and enticing: “Why Don’t You…?”

Both women, inspiring, game changing. “So Why Don’t You love the exhibit?,” was the question among friends exiting through the gift shop. Here is why. Image-making as power is no longer just in the hands of celebrated clothing designers, myth-making artists, bible-thumpers, Hollywood, mass media or politicians to be spoon-fed down simplistically to the masses. That kind of top-down, two-dimensional, industry blindfolded reality met Tinsel Town in the tin foil reflection of Warhol’s Factory a long time ago. Now playing with imagery, reality, pixels and art history for that matter is at the fingertips of Everyman, including every closet-style blogger, street-styler, photo tumblr and scrapbookish Pinner. The invitation to interpret, record, play and create based upon the daily experience is the party of social media and the art-party of the year. A little earthy, a little unpredicatable to involve the viewers in the conversation, but oh so necessary.

And the next “New Aesthetics”? Beyond 2D dualism, the red and green cellophane paper-goggled 3D already googled itself and woke up to its 4-D reality. The multi-dimensional masses are co-creating their desires daily and for any intriguing “impossible conversation” discourse worthy of attention must have the public as invited participants. Interactive in the Moment hits everyone’s pleasure keys. The premise of a time and space-less experience dialogue between two of the century’s most creative females, now when women’s issues are so pertinent to our Future, promised much more than just clothing pinned to walls and mannequins as seen in any H&M. Paired with a rather static film, the promise drowned in just another old-fashioned costume exhibit formula. Of the all New Aesthetic’s exciting medium-boundary pushing possibilities, as Wired writer, Bruce Sterling enthralled, based upon the talking heads at SBSW’s talk, #sxaesthetic, “Well, we’ll once again be living in heroic times!” 

Impossible Conversations between Heroines can be Heroic.

It was “heroic” to invent a new color, as Schiaparelli did with “Shocking pink,” however, for those of us with dreamy digital eyes set to a 4D visual universe, it is no longer “shocking” nor “heroic” to place a shoe on one’s head, a mouth on a dress, expose some skin or paint dream landscapes on a canvas, or even sculpt a static museum wall scenario. (and no Victoria, wearing pink was not invented by Victoria Secret.)

Our flat words and concepts of 3D worlds are melting between our two physical eyes. The “nouveau aesthetic” and “imaginary conversations” beyond Time, is an evolving conversation style between humans, something beyond materials, the medium or even pushing concepts of space as one of the proponents of “New Aesthetics,” Clive Head portrays. Yes, in his painting, we see the woman contemplating at the coffee shop, and we know the real vision here is what is seen inside her head. The genius here is how what is in the viewer’s head is a vital a part of the artwork and experience. That for us, is a key component of “Art Off the Cave Walls.” Inviting the expansive experience.

A friend at “Impossible Conversations,” pointed to an exhibited dress as belonging to someone he knew, a noted couture collector. He related how the woman would tell him stories of bribing longshoremen at the docks with liquor to get her Schiaparellis off the boat from Europe in time for parties that evening. That film? That party? That woman recalling dancing in those shoes conversing with a woman in an imagined Prada suit in an executive suite in the year 2020?  A shared Pinterest of favorite Prada shoes or Schiap hats and stories from favorite parties co-created the Public? Now that would be Talking. Art. Heads. of a New Aesthetic.

Back on earthtime, on that meme’d day of May 6, for our panel, I chose art and brand experts, whose work in art, brand, film and experiences push the boundaries of engagement and human potential. And for the record, I can trace my own “talking art head” provenance here, from both the shocking pink Schiaparelli hat I was thrilled to find in a thrift shop at age 13 and also my oft-proselytized, fervent belief since around the same time, that the art of the future would be collaborative.

Sponsored by Metropolis magazine and Kiwi Arts, our panelists included Lina Srivastava, social innovation strategist who has worked with UNESCO, the World Bank and Oscar-winning films; Renata Lopes-Merriam, formerly VP at The PLUM Network and VP, Associate Publisher at Interview Magazine; Jonathan Porcelli, Project Director in the contemporary art world, including productions with artist, Spencer Tunick, international museums, HBO and the BBCNicholas Coblence, who worked with the Ashes and Snow exhibition and brands such as Chanel, Assouline, The Museum of Modern Art and The Guggenheim Foundation and Serena Saitas, Founder of REAL, a consumer insights and brand building company. We reviewed art and current events globally, where public performance and street art is on the rise and how artists, museums, urban interventions, interactive events and the media now intersect with marketing agents and non-profits to engage audiences. Our first proclamation?

Attention shoppers, “The art is off the cave walls.”

In a brief history of image making here on Earth, we’ve gone from collective cave-paintings to elicit a meal to elevating soup cans and detergent boxes to icons by provocateurs such as Warhol, who straddled both fine and commercial art. Robert Indiana pioneered feeding huge emotion-laden concepts like LOVE and DIE back to the public as abstracts, friendly and graphic avatar faces reflecting the evolutionary invitation to play with “givens” such as concepts and words rather than just accept them as edicts handed down. The multi-sensory overload emerging from that time, the late 1950’s and 60’s TV, radio and access to far corners of the globe effectively turned our experience into a micro-macro, Super Cell Processor of Info. Warhol and Indiana stirred and distilled that cocktail like Mad Men.

 Our urges, word squiggles and desired-meals R US,  Superheroes, Super Brands and Gods moving mountains.

Thankfully, we have evolved from one man bible-thumping via “Sermons on the Mount” to “Go tell it on the Mountain” to imaginary Everyman turned Superhero who could move mountains by saving the world from its own destruction. Now art moves from the screen to the mountain itself, from singular edicts on high into masses showing up together, as equals, with no rhetoric, just naked to experience communion, truth and art as seen here in one of Spencer Tunick’s “happenings.” The Internet Mountain, that seductive fountain of Immortality and Info, kissed by the collective Cloud at its summit, is now a personal and collective art people engage in Everyday, often with their own bodies as the medium, tools of expression and experience. 4D and beyond.

 Conjure magic.

Art began to transcend experience, a community ritual to conjure magic and now it seems “the collective we” are exactly at this place again collectively. Artists, Presidents, business, New Aestheticians, Facebookers and Twitterers all chattering want the same thing. Coupled with the “can’t-put-it-back-in-the-box” All-Knowing transparency. Which may be why now is the time to align for the betterment of the world community. If you want to entertain, sell widgets or compel the saving of a planet we now are compelled to show both our transparent grassroots common humanity as well as our willingness to perform magic. To go beyond “reality,” to engender emotion and commonality, we are inspired by Star Wars holograms of Princess Leia and most recently, blurring the cinematic and the visceral, The Hologram Known As Tupak Shakur, who “performed” at SXSW. Superheroes to save the Earth are us.

Perhaps one of my most favorite brand experiences, the precursor to Tupak, was the larger than life Knicks star player Carmelo Anthony as a 3-story high wall of mist, water holograms and 3D-mapping projections across NYC’s pier 54 buildings in 2011, created for Nike by the Klip Collective. Over 2,500 people gathered to experience this launch of a new basketball shoe, the Melo 8. Slick, almost-religious and game genre-shifting for the 2D ad world and the 3D event world.

And in that eternal now moment of art,”beyond the looking glass,” my own mobile phone photo from the Met Costume Institute exhibit, the material words of Schiaparelli with an image of herself upside down and reflected like she was, a tornado Princess Leia, live again, re-interpreted continue the conversation.

 Do it yourself. The magic “red carpet” for 15 minutes of Fame is social media.

From Grandmothers to football teams, looking at self, reflecting and creating art to make a statement and join community, as recently many did by wearing a hoodie to support justice for Trayvon Martin, art is iconic and accessible. Created to engender a larger social justice result, much like its roots on the cave wall, yet it is no less a transformative experience in the “wall-less” space of the clouds. Warhol’s “witness”-replicating iconic imagery is now in everyone’s brain and toolbox.

With the passion of a Ghandi, we can engender disruption of our collective status and social quo, a beginning step as “part of the New Aesthetic involves inventing (and disrupting) the connections between computational media,” wrote Ian Bogost in The Atlantic in his article, “The New Aesthetic Needs to Get Weirder.”

I agree, with our own brains actually being “computational media” now, and ask, like a visionary ocular migraine, how do these 15 minutes of Fame not only get weirder, but really evolve us to not only see differently but to act to change our world for the better, after “the weird thing” everyone is doing for 15 minutes of attention? As Lina Srivastava asked on our panel, how do we use disruptions in art to build ethos and shorten the time between public action and political change?

Messages beamed Beyond Large. Larger than Life, Earth and Beyond that which is Google Map.

Invites to see larger, journey deeper, range from JR’s eyes of the disenfranchised placed upon their roofs to “Ashes and Snows”‘ traveling Nomadic Museum with its monumental photos of man and nature in communion. I wonder why then, when we send light pixel invitation announcements into space, we are surprised when we get answers as beautiful birthday cakes aka crop circles in wheat fields? So those space peoples live large and send rather fancy RSVPs via landscaping, it just goes to show the New Creativity is a growing ever-expanding Multiverse.

And…what if crop circles or the “Conspiracy Keanu Reeves” meme are really just pre-party-games intended to wake-us up to the actual Event, our multi-dimensional,post-Apocalypse 2012 creative selves? (Cool. Coming and bearing gifts.)

And when mainstream media gets a hold of memes, even red-carpet action such as Angelina’s dainty turned-out leg becomes public art-making. Dali’s red lobster meme meets a crop circle postcard message back to Space, in case anyone is listening, “We are having some fun down here.” And its not just about the visuals. Talking head, word poet Haiku-ers on Twitter, such as @M42Speranza’s beautiful birds in flight, have turned the 3-part, 3D Surrealist Exquisite Corpse party game of visuals and Robert Indiana’s pop-art into a Tumblr and emerged A Word Baccanalia. Even The Poetry Foundation poses New Aesthetic prose on word-play here. Warhol-ness is the 99% meme-ing and streaming into living rooms now.

Mash-up and Morphing-out Temples to art, commerce and desire to save the planet, ourselves…and our technology machines to record it all.

Artist provocateurs increasingly set-up shop and stage to mix metaphors, genres, relationships and locations like interesting guests at the dinner table… at the simplest level, as attempted by “Impossible Conversations.” From far-flung locations to bringing the Past squarely in front of the Future, look at Theaster Gates’ choirs and temporary temples of recycled urban deritus mixing temple, church, shanty and museum all at once for the Whitney Biennial 2009. Look at “Ashes and Snow,” steered by one of our panelists, Nicholas Coblence, which created a cathedral from shipping crates as temple to the high art of humans communicating with “wild” animals. And it’s no longer just about the visuals, for sound, look at DJ Spooky’s multi-media performance work in Antarctica, Terra Nova: Sinfonia Antartica or for scent, look at The Clarimonde Project by Lucy Raubertas, indie-perfumers creating new scents based on an 19th century love story. With its own blog, Facebook and Twitter posts, the characters and story are being rendered Timeless and worn on wrists all over the world, it is all about the Immersive boundary-less Experience.

Gerhardt Richter pixelated the traditional stained glass windows of Cologne Cathedral, perhaps a fitting comment to the Renaissance ideal of artist commissions and the new “state” and ownership of art. However, as the “where” of art is no longer cathedrals, museums or galleries, and it exists both live and on our busy boxes, we are active participants in its commentary, be that Occupy protests, red carpet galas or G8 summits. Hmm, can we imagine folks are compelled to converse in the streets for the reason there is less than 500 views of the G8 Summit on Youtube compared to endless red carpet award show image absorption?

The Metropolitan Museum’s live cam coverage of “Impossible Conversations” by major media giant Conde Nast, was unexpected art in of itself, turning Berger’s “Ways of Seeing” upside down, as the usual “behind-the-scenes” cat calls and impossible conversations of the paparazzi shouting at the celebs became surreal commentary to the Hollywood gods and goddesses lithely, gingerly braving the red carpet steps. “Katherine, Katherine look over here, Jesus! she’s not looking at anything!”

In our red carpet-obsessed culture, fame and identity, formerly known as “I am observed, therefore I am,” now is reset to “I observe, therefore it is.” Paparazzi have evolved into Everyman Instagramers R Us. The advent of surveillance cameras everywhere, Big Brother Male Gaze, levels the playing field of gender attraction as in even men now get a taste of “what it feels like for a girl,” as futurist, Madeline Ashley puts it. The Seer is the Seen. Beyond mere thinking implying existence, contemplating one’s own navel or God-figure in privacy, everyone becomes paparazzi aka “God or Goddess” of the world as they see it vs. the powers that be. This new credo and power of documentation and possession also makes “the desired” into “things at the center of being” which is actually also the definition of the new trend in philosophy, called Object-Oriented Ontology or OOO for short. Greg Borenstein, a proponent of OOO, says “I believe that the New Aesthetic is actually striving towards a fundamentally new way of imagining the relations between things in the world.”  “What is it like to be a bonobo or a satellite or a pixel?” adds Bogost.  If I document, I create, therefore I am?

Our panel added, “Art shapes identity, in things and experiences. Defining authentic self in art, nature and multiple dimensions is now our shared collective stories and co-created reality. These are realities we must take responsibility for shaping, especially what happens after the art is created and experienced.”  The constructs of the Game here on Earth and beyond are just not what they used to be. Given that, the panelists all asked for more than just more “weirdness,” seeing the potential for inspiration, change and creation, we asked for more than just the 15 minutes. How exactly will the 15 minutes continue to shape our reality?

Let’s visit 4D space again. Science and religions both say the beginning there was Sound. According to the world’s most ancient language, Sanskrit,”OM” pronounced and in its 3D form is”AUM,” the beginning, middle and end, the sound of creation awakened to itself. “Ahhh,” the first sound of OM, is like Awe or an Aha! moment. Been there. “Oooo” is the middle sound coming after, the sound of pleasure. We humans meme “oooo” all the time, in response to stimulation. It’s time to be squarely in the third sound of OM, the “mmmm” the matter, the materialization, satisfaction, the completion, the coming full circle in all thoughts and actions. The 4D, 4th sound is called Turiya, the sound of silence, the sound between things or repetitions, the ritual motion, evolving revolutions of our circular planet and universe. Interestingly, the letters A, U and M also stand for the mantra ‘Tat Twam Asi’ ( ‘That Thou Art’ ), “Art” equal to “Being.” This “I am That” self-knowledge of an artist’s relationship beyond Awe or Novelty, to the full sitting in a “responsible driver’s seat” in the cycle of creation, the full potential of the “New Creativity.”

In many ways, like the famed Schiaparelli and Dali dress peeling away its material layers, the “weirdness” of art’s greatest intention is to set the stage for stellar performances of simple 1 on 1 meditations, an honoring of silence and the high art itself is the dissolving the separation of actual forms or designations of observer, observed, art, artist…things.

Play with points of light and attention levels the playing field, placing it squarely in the reality of the common heart, the common calm, the “universe” in common. The sound of the world humming in harmony. Yeah, something like “Heart Art,” but I didn’t say that, it’s way too New Age for me.;-) But aren’t we all quite done with cynicism, criticism and schisms anyway? Square man-made pixels can and do exist in a round world, where the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. In 4D that translates to:

“Being is Everywhere, so Take Care.”


Have Some Fun. Games and Predicaments. Et tu? Art Thou Changing Happenings? 


While we are here, in bodies, we might as well make it fun. We all know the lack of creativity, collaboration and play is why the 99% is howling in the streets. Collaborative futuristic games as engaging art, such as artist, Jason Young’s “2054,” a project from Nick Coblence and Serena Saitas or Lina Srivastava’s work with social change around films which go beyond screen to change lives, such as “Born into Brothels,” are where the panel imagined the future leading edge of art, and humanity, will be.
“Born into Brothels,” where children of prostitutes in Calcutta were taught photography to reciprocate being allowed to photograph their mothers and possibly improve their lives, was one of the first movies to go beyond just documenting into incorporating social change. The rise in documentaries has reached mass “entertainment” with videos like “Bad Girls” from M.I.A.and “No Church in The Wild,” just released from Jay-Z and Kanye. The powerful visuals from Romain Gavras of actual documented urban protest or peace with our Middle Eastern friends as art are inspiring testimony to the politics of freedom for Everyman.
Jonathan Porcelli’s favorite examples of Art for Social Change range from his experiences producing Spencer Tunick’s images where just allowing people to be free to be without clothes often changed the political landscape and to Vik Muniz’s “Wasteland” film, co-creating art with the inhabitants of world’s largest garbage dump, on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. He cites “Sleep No More,” the interactive Macbeth performance play in Manhattan which turns a 3-ring circus into a psychic circus played out on multiple floors of a townhouse by actors and audience, as a type of “controlled” urban Burning Man experience. “Hotel Earth,” a project Jonathan, Renata and I are steering, places art hotels with limited resources, constraints and predicaments for inhabitants and visitors to engender conversations and solutions for the planet, in much the same ways a simple retreat or experience on top of a mountain brings satisfaction. “The art of living well, luxuriously, does not source from things, it sources from an experience. Our Complex Desires are increasingly satisfied and soothed by the simple luxuries and rewards of love, caring, community, nature and time expansions through fun, collaborative experiences.”
Experiences of art and nature imprint our material form.
And yes, that includes emotionally “sloppy” non-digital things like caring, poetry, weather, animals, trees, tiny micro-organisms, feeling and beauty.
Ship Adrift” was just a cool, a parked ship, a temporary hotel on top of a building in London until James Bridle added a weather data collection device to chart how the winds might actually move the ship. Geography and story telling. By chance and the weather, its travels took it first remarkably to the homeland of writer, Joseph Conrad, its inspiration, and with its own Twitter feed, everyone can follow this poetic “speaking” ship and it’s sentient relationship between static object, wishing and the biological “realness.”
Monkeys are banging their head on The Old Media Cave Cage. “Why Don’t You?”
As compelling and hopefully transformative as these ambitious projects are, the complexity and spiritual poverty in our own Western short-attention span ghetto-circus offers somewhat of a greater challenge to affect social change. Like emotive body mass smelling food in a maze or an algorithym, the power of novelty, “wierdness” drives us, becoming ritual, always the jump-start in evolution, advertising and for that matter,legs on the fish, cave painting, now bots. Natural abberations integrated with our bio-systems is our natural coding which can alter the fabric or our material existence. I would love to see bot-experiments that helped re-wind the world so our fleshy-bits actually laid down lambs with lions and made a peaceable kingdom and queendom. “Hail to the fishes in the deep blue sea, joy to the world.” “Why Don’t We Do THAT?”
In “Impossible Conversations,” Miuccia relates regarding her circus themed prints: “I never thought people would want to wear clothes with monkeys and bananas on them. It gave me great insight into people, into how willing people are to put themselves out there. Fashion is an incredible tool for understanding people, for understanding the world.”
The joke of monkeys playing along with our identity concepts is also an old meme we humans seem to endlessly enjoy and call “art.” For science, we have the 100th monkey bio-meme phenom and biologist Rupert Sheldrake’s morphic resonance theory to prove the power of play, invention, advertising, branding and influence to change behavior. Belief in one’s own hype within the landscape of media and message does inspire monkey-like play for better or worse depending upon which Celeb or Pres you ask. From Schiaparelli’s fabric printed with articles written about her to Andy Warhol’s first business card, 2 feet of green rice paper with an illustration of a woman’s body with big brand logos, show that they both foresaw humor in the long tail of art, fame and playing with visual frontiers, be they surrealist dreams, media or consumer culture’s icons, fascinations and ephemera. Not very different than the data miners of the “New Aesthetics.”
Transcend The Old same as the New Medium.
Great art, brands and messages are those that transcend the medium, whether old or new media. We all seek that moment of connect, where we sense we are witnessing something of great import, feeling a place in history and evolution. In social media’s terms, it is the transparency, removal of separation, or taking down the curtain hiding the Great Oz that increasingly defines our own selves as the new media. With our bodies and planet seeking wholeness, balance, sustainability, Why don’t you all agree that a little love making with our own good ole biology might bring us its own orgasmic,transcendant messages of great importance? So simple and no bots needed.
So it was surprising…and yes, surreal…to see that one of the world’s top old media brands, Conde Nast, looked a little hand-cranked behind the curtain for its red carpet event coverage of the gala premiere of “Impossible Conversations” with the engagement of a still live cam and a host who just learned last week who Schiaparelli was. (note: I have been visiting Anna Wintour in her dreams like a hologram Princess Leia when the exhibit was but a zygote in her mind, imploring…Why Don’t You apply the New Aesthetic and in honor of these luminaries, what if the brilliance of Dali’s first movies were the playful inspiration for the film? Why Don’t You make a new Impossible Conversation of Old Hollywood meeting Italian masters and high tech for the red carpet coverage? Why Don’t You conspire to play and inspire the masses for more engagement with art and fashion beyond Time and beyond who wore what dress on the red carpet? Why Don’t You? Why Don’t You? Why Don’t You?) 
(she has not answered yet.)
Lights! Camera! Action!
When 2D flat fabric is molded by hand and body, light appears on the 3D crests. Carl Sagan’s Flatland video and discussion hints at how higher dimensions of thought, ideas and actions first penetrate our concepts in mash-ups confusing the status quo and synapses for glimpses into the possible.
“A congenial looking square,” as Carl calls a resident of 2D Flatland, one who is open to new ideas, compelling his curvaceous, friend-seeking 3D apple, to leave a 2D footprint entering the Flatland world from “above,” a kind of crop circle “hello” imprint, an impossible conversation. Whether the field is square canvas, a cathedral or pixels…or…round cells, heads or planets as the “medium”… information sent and carried as multi-dimensional will always engage, with confusion at first, then by curiosity and desire morphing into an evolution. Which brings us to the likes of Terence McKenna‘s book,”Food of The Gods,” and Michael Pollan‘s “Botany of Desire.” You may call them pixels fueled by human creativity or mathematic formulas, but as “friendly squares” they have yet to match the pulsing brilliance of cells with a vastness of DNA destiny, that driving desire for co-creation and intelligence woven in their fabric which we haven’t even yet begun to talk to.
Biology is our coding, and our aesthetics, such is why an image of green sequins on wrinkled fabric can appear as dappled light, as if one is looking up to the sky through into trees in a forest. I declare it is my “New Aesthetics” art, I got it off the Internet, and yep, someone in 1862 or 2362 would not see it as I do…or would they? They may not know it was really 1000’s of tiny plastic disks emerging from a machine in China, but we can chat about it…impossibly…I guess.
Lest we mistake the forest for the trees, “the fabric of our lives” and art can take any dimension we choose.  We look up to heaven for messages, viscerally here, at fingertips on keyboards or flesh, at heart level. For ourselves and for brands looking for engagement, how does one transcend the medium? James Bridle calls it a relationship of “imagination and the network” as we call it a relationship of “art/brand/creation to the medium/us/experience.”
James Bridle hints at this when talking about algorithyms and Spambots which are beginning to feel their nascient personalities and sentient selves, he could just as well be speaking about us, humanity, co-creators of our 3D Flatland and the possibility to communicate with the bio-forms that are here…plants, animals and micro-organisms. “They are all looking for love, he says, “Look at them with happier eyes and invite them into your world and speak to them.”

“Aesthetics” are more than whatever gets splashed onto Cafe Press T-shirts this season,” says Bruce Sterling. “Aesthetics are by their nature metaphysical. Aesthetics are, by definition, how beauty is perceived and valued in a human sensorium. Aesthetics is therefore an issue of metaphysics. Perception, beauty, judgment and value are all metaphysical issues.

For new desires, co-creation and public art, …the saving of our own selves+home for that matter…the message is clear. The desired demographic is all of us, not based just on our 1% data, the elite artists, the amount of our savvy online interactions, red-carpet invites, money in the bank, amount of homes, neighborhood, church, race, gender or political party affiliation. The best demo to target is a soft heart, a desire to engender the co-created, instant power of universal truth of LOVE in communion with all of us as change-makers…that’s the 99% as the New Media and the New Creators.
Why Don’t You? Talk to me. Indeed.
And a final homage to flesh-pressing, my own “AUM” Ah, Ooo and Mmm of the best Trio of Art Groupies, waaaay better than theory, waaaay better than digital disruption.
Aura. Hugs. to my Heroes Andy, Grace and Keith.
 I’ll never write my memoirs There’s nothing in my book The only way you see me, an art groupie I’m hooked Love me in a picture Kiss me in a cast Touch me in a sculpture
Whisper in my mask.

spring is kickin’ up!

In the country, fresh shoots of green sprouts packed with new beginnings and nutrients are like a delicious drug or tonic to animals, making lambs frolic and life bucolic. In the city, the busy schedules are balanced by more non-linear kicking and romping, experiencing the city in sweet warmer weather, more like lovers who have all the time in the world.

Meet your guide.  I’ve taken to writing this monthly blog every New Moon (sometimes…published by full moon…) as kind of a Thank You to the general administration of this Universal Soup, a sensory dive into what I love most about my life, friends, travels and connects in my life based in New York. Consider this a concierge’s Top 8 Tips for enjoying the city or country in Spring. Let’s trip.

know the past to go forward. One of this blog’s most popular posts has been the NYC Uptown/Downtown Winter Weekend in NYC highlighting the best styling, scents, cocktails, movies, artists, design and architecture peeping to do it right in the chill. For last month’s post, journeys were still interior and we charted the New Steps on a Hero/Heroine Journey. This month, we package The Top Eight best things to dive into and do up a City/Country Spring Jaunt right.

Say its Spring and you want to visit the city and surrounding countryside, like a movie star, like a rockstar, like a Classic Bon Vivant. Follow the steps and have fun!

1 freedom riders

First choose your ride beyond a week of taxis, get something red, something convertible, put on the BEST music and head for the hills to watch the green arise and let your spirit free. Follow the instructions, here we go! FIRST…MUSIC UP!

Imagine it is a Friday night, after a busy week…Evening…Awaken The Muse…Move from dusk, street lights to stars. PUT THIS SONG ON NOW….

2…AND THEN READ ON…Country Livin’ (The World I Know) by Esthero shall set the proper mood as a theme song for the weekend. GOOD. Now hit the road and keep reading.

3   Morning! big blooms like magnolias to tiny, tiny bitters like this await your DIVE IN.

4 get wild, eat wild bitters and digestifs…right where you are.

By afternoon, lounging is a many-splendoured habit and you may find yourself rolling, perhaps grazing, like the lambs in the grass. Say hello to this little beauty, Pennsylvania Bitter Cress, Cardamine pensylvanica, in the Mustard family. Found everywhere in temperate climes, like all Spring greens and bitters, it packs many nutritious vitamins and minerals. These easily overlooked sprigs added a nutty, spicy zing to lunch’s sandwich that was heavenly. For my veg friends, yes this is meat, free-range, “served with Love” and eaten that way as well.

For those who like Life’s bitters bottled and presented, San Pellegrino bottles Sanbitter for the Spring tradition of bitters, digestifs. For health effects, add sweet with your bitter, San Pellegrino water and grapefruit juice for a red zinger. It goes well with the ((( paper! ))) version of the New York Times spread out, the style bible T magazine Summer 2012 Fashion issue first. Get excited when the fashion spread on food+style matches the drink and the big bouillabaisse soup planned for dinner.

you are in the countryside, and magic is beginning.

5 get sensually inspired and naughty by nature

From the magic sunny perch of a porch, even something mundane as new red from Chanel nail polish (it matches the drink!) becomes fascinating as the mind  s l o w s   d o w n.

oh to be lost in the fantasy fashion spreads of the NY Times, T magazine…

While she ponders nails, poetic, naughty, haughty evening silver sliver sheaths, fins and silvery glints off the lake, he tinkers with his toys. Cars, organic garden clearing and planting, stock quotes n’ coffee, antique shopping planning on 1stdibs.com for summer vacations in Europe.

Just about the time you look up and the heron sails low and silent above the lake, it’s time for early evening showers topped with a new scent by Australia-based Fleurage called “Chypre, Such-A-Boy.”  Most know Chypre (Cypress) as the original created by Coty in 1913. The scent became a name for this kind of sweet abstract of heady, pungent Mediterrean scent notes, enticed by the clean opening of lavendar and rosemary and then…for real down and dirty naughty by nature…

…rolling up in oak moss and musk. This is a scent something boys and girls can share and both wear.

In other words, a man wearing a fresh scent mixing with his own animal scent because…he’s Such a Boy! is so very full of sex appeal. And for a girl, being all tomboy in the country, Such a Boy! is IT. Chypre has been called sensual and abstract, which is also why I think unisex is the vibe here.  Techies! Who is inventing scratch and sniff for The Internet? …in the meantime, click here for Fleurage to get a sample or a bottle.

6 afternoon, go coastal to explore near and far for dinner inspiration…

Late afternoon, take the car to explore the countryside, and find a fish shack for dinner.  Music still up, looking at the sky, the wide sky full of…T I M E forever. and…Time for a new song, #2 of the weekend. (hopefully #2 of a whole soundtrack)

Are you falling in LOVE with life? Your delicious life?  ((( gratitude! )))

A traditional, Bouillabaisse French Provençal fish stew is perfect for Spring evenings, in part because the warm weather arrives and the French coast beckons. And for further inspiration, and no surprise, this weekend’s very issue of T magazine did a feature on Ramdane Touhami, whose agent, Philippe Archad, is on our panel during the upcoming Frieze Art Fair, (here for the first time in NYC, more below on that.) Moroccan native, Touhami’s boheme creative life with wife, Victoire de Taillac, and kids, is a little Bouillabaise, a little “vision board” and much fun.

7   bring it on home with eartha kitts

On another long country day, buy or plan something earthy for the kitchen so that the country vibes stay with you all week. Start simple, such as my habit of buying green ceramics, like these Sang Joon Park “9 Tea Cups on a Wall.” I found these smart space-use, cups as wall art from an exhibit in an Upper East Side Manhattan million-dollar manse covered last month, curated by Pryor Callaway. Or go much more complex, such as this rain water, hydroponic garden installation by rogue architects, François Roche and Stéphanie Lavaux of R&Sie(n)… Paris, called Lost in Paris, for your indoor, outdoor kitchen.

Sandwiches of art, architecture, streetstyle and Mother Nature are the blueprint to nurture us through the hybrid of our 2-sided brains, our intrinsic bio-culture and our inventive natures.

Sunday night, before packing, pack in movies. A run of old classics like Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend, a newish DVD, The Rum Diaries, (for the red car rides) and re-watching the newest fave TV show, Scandal, because it is that good! Pack up the Stella McCartney frock to transition from flower to geometric pollenation. Well-rested and cultured, ready for Monday Urban Nation.

8 city-slicker, wear and drink it ALL in. monday back in NYC.

1  be an insider. take a tour to explore new/old/eternal things

NYC is best served multi-dimensional and sensual on a platter. From the above, images, a custom Manhattan Spring jaunt could take you from older classic architecture gems hidden on side streets to yearly tulips en-mass on Park Avenue to a one-of-kind table top straight from a Milan design fair, a tour designed for your pleasures by a Native New Yorker as your personal concierge is the ticket. Did you know this is our specialty?

Aboriginal art? The hard-to-find polka dot dress you saw in Sunday New York Times T magazine or Thakoon’s Masai tribe inspired boot? No problem, it’s on your tour…as you please.

2 kick-it! with your own personal fashion studio portrait experiences photo shoot by Legend at Shangri-La: 

if you imagine yourself Josephine Baker, a cabaret babe, Ultra Violet or you-name-it, Legend at Shangri-La will make you one.

This image is Ultra Violet from the “Before They Were Famous” photography exhibit of early images of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana by William John Kennedy. Our panel will take place during this exhibit and the London art fair, Frieze’s first NYC visit. (more below) Perhaps you too would like to capture yourself on film, while or “before you are famous?” Legend at Shangri-La.

2 stay nice. hotel plaza athenee? nyc?

Indeed! A bit of the famous magic red awnings of Paris can be found in New York’s own Plaza Athenee’s cocktail lounge, Bar Seine. Red Pimento colored walls, leather floors and Moroccan, Euro and Asian dark, confidential nooks and wonderful mix of art and artifact will take you there.

This month we spent time at the Plaza Athenee with our client Fraser Balgowan, a sustainable luxury brand from Scotland, crafting heirloom bags from sustainably harvested deer from their Highlands estate and designed with heritage sporting tweed. Saks Fifth Avenue debuts the collection this Fall, Holiday. More below, on the collection…first, toss on the best cashmere shawl or scarf, for jaunts downtown….

3  put on a cashmere throw uptown and head downtown.

Spring in NYC can still have a chill and the only answer is cashmere. The best comes from Begg of Scotland, (some things are tough to find in NYC, so buy it online and head downtown for something you can’t find anywhere but NYC…the best art.)

3 for the show…this month’s upcoming art shows.

On Sunday, May 6 at 1pm, during Frieze NY, I am curating a panel called 99% Art in The Public Realm: A Tool For Social Change  at the must-see exhibit of early photographs of Andy Warhol and Robert Indiana by William John Kennedy in “Before They Were Famous.”

Today, Andy’s concept of 15 Minutes of Fame meets the 99%. From Susan B. Komen to Kony, public discourse is the art “Happening,” taking to the streets and Tweets to affect global change and re-invention. Our panel of art and brand experts will review art and current events globally, where public performance and street art is on the rise and how artists, museums, urban interventions, interactive events and media now meet marketing and non-profits to engage audience. With Lina Srivastava, Jonathan Porcelli, Serena Saitas, Nicholas Coblence, Renata Lopes-Merriam and Philippe Archard. RSVP here.

May 7  Known for his photographs of meteor sites, haunting butterfly and space traveler images,  Stan Gaz shows new work at Clamp Art, 6-8 521-531 W. 25th St.

May 31 – June 28,  New Aboriginal art from Australia debuts in the US resulting from a collaboration of one of my favorite galleries, Gallery Nine5, along with Ninuku Arts, Harvey Arts Project, at G95, 24 Spring Street between Mott and Elizabeth. The title is daunting and so is the art: Manta Irititjangku Ngura Kutjupalakutu: Ancient Land New Territory. 

4  go for delicious delight, delight! make delicious m a s s e s of them.

5  it’s the season, turn, turn, turn a new table

Say you must have something full of light dots like the paintings you saw or you must trip the light fantastic as being shown at the latest Fiori Salone in Milano, can you find this in NYC? Yes! Our friend in Milan, Dedi, took the light and table pictures shopping at Salone de Mobile, the yearly exhibition of the world’s best new designs for home every April. If you must have it, we can help you find it. City experts in Milan, Paris, London, Rio? YES, we have them.

6  evening out. dispel the tired day, breathe deeply in, arouse inspiration and leave the night scented.

Try Kapha oil round about late Wednesday or Thursday. Aromabliss makes a combo Kapha oil philosophized with yoga, Ayurveda, herbals and aromatherapy. “This is an excellent tonic for use during the heavy, wet weather in the Spring due to the spirited herbs the oils houses…the formula with its brilliant properties of lowering cholesterol, decreasing  blood pressure and enhancing the cardiac muscle function. The delicious scents of Eucalyptus and Lemongrass are sweetened with Frankincense to arouse physical and mental motivation and inspiration.” Can you imagine rubbing your body with the oil and going for an after-the-rain Central Park walk in the morning? (O! the energy in the air after a Spring rain!)

On just such a morning walk, tree pollen blowing in the fresh Spring air on my way to Central Park, I ran into Parisian expert, Susan Tabak and sampled her new scent, Sortir le Soir. Just as every city dweller must have their Herbalist, there should be an Alchemist, too. Every smart urban girl should have some Paris magic no matter where in the world she finds herself, to enchant an evening out and a special man. This is no unisex perfume, it is wholly a woman’s delicious evening scent of gardenia-inspired white floral, with notes of bergamot, mandarin orange, jasmine, freesia, amber and vanilla developed with perfumer Françoise Caron. Susan’s Paris launch soiree was attended by all types, including fashion legend, Diane Pernet. Get your bottle of Paris, here.

 7 prepare. all hail another new york city weekend…enough with art, shopping, sex, baths, wine...red convertible…take me away.

The week in NYC flies by, a whirl…from Monday meetings to Tuesday night parties, mid-week secret night baths with lovers, to wine-soaked Chelsea art openings on Thursday and, and once again… it’s Friday afternoon…! Pack up the Fraser Balgowan bag and head for the hills!

the flowers, the lambs and you. another week brighter, stronger…

Yup. Here Now! We go to nature to practice balance, purity and “Contentment.” Radical concepts in a fast-paced world, yet Timeless, Beautiful and Powerful Tonics and applicable to any moment! Thank you indeed!

s l o w l y. Summer is coming.

(post photos by Jade Dressler, other images and thanks to all friends, Fiona Fraser, John Favreau, NY Times T, et al!)


“You are my heroine! And by heroine I mean lady hero. I don’t want to inject you and listen to jazz.”

Liz Lemon

Hello March new moon. Hello Spring, Aries energy and madness, rabbit magic and March Hares. The march of Time and our timeless, shared inheritance of heroes and heroines circles back again. There is actually a reason behind the phrase “March Madness,” beyond a sporting gamble and other Spring fevers. The term refers to female rabbits beating or boxing their male suitors on the head, on their ears, until the short window of time, just one hour, when they stop to indicate they can mate for fertility.  Male bashing 90% of the time for 10% lovemaking? Yep, madness.

Re-birthers strutting for Easter parades pay homage to magic madness of Spring with “mad” hatters and Easter bonnets, which likely come from the symbol of madness in Victorian times of a bit of straw on the head, perhaps the result of cavorting in the hay bales of the mangers.

Clearly timelessness, desire, madness and Spring can birth some many splendored fertile things. The time for More Love n’ Magic is here.

The news lately with distracting, verbose gender bashings in the political realm these days have me saying, “Silly Rabbits” a lot and it reminds me of the nonsense boxing verbosity of the hero of the 70’s era Bollywood flick, “My name is Anthony Gonsalves,” a top-hatted trickster who creates some Easter tomfoolery to woo his Lady Bunny.

For fun, I followed rabbits down the hole from the etchings of Durer to Cuter future hoppers through their many guises, and like the classic heroine and hero stories and in honor of Aries, the warrior child sign ushering in, I am inspired to quit boxing and begin multiplying fertility!

Why are rabbits, symbolizing birth and re-birth and fertility through rampant boisterous sexuality so damn sexy? There ya go, Little Thumper…it’s the Hope of Rebirth and Heroics available everyday multiplying, 24, 7. Lucky for you, I re-imagined, after all this cute rabbit fluff, an easy guide via my:

9 Steps of a Heroic Journey for a Modern World.

Rabbit Fluff Journey first: They’re EVERYWHERE! MULTIPLYING!

From Durer to Koons’ cartoon balloon rabbits to the evolution of a marching trickster Bugs Bunny.

Magicians pulling rabbits out of hats runs a long legacy from dreamcatchers like Alice in Wonderland to “Harvey,” the 1950’s movie in which James Stewart played an eccentric whose best friend is an imaginary 6 ft tall rabbit named Harvey to…

…Donnie Darko to Terence Koh’s bunny tower vortexes to shaman rabbits inspiring animal hats sold on street corners everywhere. Even Kate Moss whispers sweet nothins to her Bunny Lover and wishes us “Good Luck.”

and then my fave, David LaChapelle, cast Naomi Campbell straddling a guru-chakra of a chocolate Playboy bunny. Yummy!

And go ahead, call me Donnie Darko, but this week, the yoga posture, Virasana, Hero or Truth pose, felt, well,

rabbit-like.

Hero-Worship-Journeys? I have sat at the feet of a long list of gurus and have been standing on my head since age 10, inspired by 1970’s TV yoga gurus, Lilias, Yoga and You and Richard Hittleman, taut and terrific in his stirrup pre-Lycra leggings. Later years found me toe to toe with the likes of Masters like Ram Dass, Shri Pattabi Jois, David Life and Sharon Gannon, Kirin Mishra, Elena Brower (Vira-ness Highness Herself) and a long list of other Gurus in order to pass Go and reach Bliss.

Yet, it wasn’t until I lost or almost lost everything 3 years ago, my home, my family, my career, my father and my business, that I understood who the hero, guru was. Me.

I am in the new dream now. So are you. Switch your story to hero and heroine if you haven’t already.

Aren’t we all the best of boy-warrior power and girl-gathering, integrating peace power?

Last month, I wrote about the circle game, this month I am all about the hero. If circles could expand multi-dimensionally beyond our 2-D and 3-D fields, consider the claiming of your own hero/heroine journey that which actually CREATES the 4th dimension. Your personal smashing of the Time and Space dimension. Now that’s ever so sexy. Who are we to argue with a higher plan? Maybe the Mad magazine kid has it right all along. What me worry? The best gurus are tricksters. Make peace with your troubles, be kind to yourself and see the humor in the drama.

To remember that one is loved, a hero or connected is a basic ritual and rite of all passages. The forgetting is not to be lost or abandoned. It’s is to experience again and again this falling in love, the trials and tributes of the experience in multiple form. Why is reincarnation so strange when we all experience that connected, repeated moment in music, a friend’s smile, a glass of wine…again and again?

I remember reading Joseph Campbell and lately there are all these Womanly, Goddessy interpretations of the Hero Journey. Nice, but I am quite over all this male rabbit and female rabbit bashing and clashing of differences. I felt like creating a simple hero, heroine journey that fits all our realities, beyond gender. Easy, so you can watch yourself in all of these. I’ve popped in cultural icons, images from new spaces and art I discovered this month along with quotes from my new favorite shaman, artist Theaster Gates.

Will this smack of a little paganism, a little childish nonsense, a little Spring art-shows-obsessed, Hallmark cards seasonal seasoned with some Tantric Feng Shui, New Age-Hindu chakra hailing histrionics and historic Christian stages of the cross, Kabbalah Jewish-y…yes, yes and yes.

It’s all based on a simple concept for easy memory…3 stages for all things, 3 steps to each…plants and humans. SLEEP, CREEP and LEAP.

SLEEP…dream, sleep and root underground to receive ideas.   CREEP…to explore, expand and absorb in all directions beyond your seed shape.   LEAP. Go forth and Spring up!

so, here it goes, the histrionic, heroic journey in 9 steps.

SLEEP

“Towering” Truth Toppling.  

This step is always the “first” terrible step of any new journey. The death of the old king, a release of cultural ideas and constructs challenges to family, faith and gender Is this not what is going on for all of us in the larger societal sense and personally? I lost my father and family physically, but gained a life beyond what their belief systems are. As each of us pioneers a way of life unlike anything we have seen before. Are you still mad at Mommy or Daddy or for that matter, anybody? Give it up, tear down the tower or let down your hair for magic to rise, start a new path, a revolution…whichever comes first.

Sidekicks and Tricksters.

The 2nd step, the call to adventure, money, sex all lure, yet can crash you on their rocks. It’s common knowledge that some smashing in Life is necessary to see the gem within.

One of the more fascinating displays at NY’s recent Armory Art show was this sculpture sitting in a courtyard of Chinese tapestries by the artist, Yang Jiechang at Tang Contemporary Art, titled “Stranger than Paradise-The Origine,” 2011 (140 ceramic sculptures)  Clay humans, animals and other beings are having all kinds of sex on a construct of lucite cubes like a massive crystal about 8 feet long and 6 feet high. Madness in this very elegant construct. (I love this top image from artinfo.com for that reason!)

Trials and Adversities.

Step 3, enter trials and adversities, they come in many colors and forms and tend to multiply. Trust you created them in their image. My advice? Make friends with them and tease the hell out of them until they disappear. (Ponder on This: is that why some people seem to be having so much fun wherever they are?)

Of course, my very own favorite trickster Playtoy bunny is Frank Kozik’s Smorkin Labbit in 57 flavors.

Artist shaman, appearing in NY for the Armory show, Theaster Gates has a great quote on his approach to his art which touches on emotionally loaded topics. He talks about curiosity, framing devices and potency in terms of his art, and it can be applied to Life as well.  “You force what’s new to deal with what’s old. There are lots of devices. It’s all tricksterism.”

The Trickster at the crossroads, the Hermes Rabbit will wear many disguises, mash-up history, reframe things incessantly, whether that trickster be the media, an artist or your “best” friend. And then you must play the “Silly Rabbit, Tricks are for Kids!” game. The only way to trick a trickster is to know the game and play it…well.

CREEP

Healing Heart Hibernating.

The 4th step….both shaman and witch go sloshing around in the Belly of the whale. Willingness to experience the metamorphic Initiation and Descent, this is a period of drawing inward and looking for the lost pieces of oneself. When Step 2 and 3 debris exits, this is usually when Lost Love floats to the surface. That’s a deep love and it is YOURS. Wallow in that Whale for a while. It’s worth every minute.

Nick Cave sculptures are euphoric heart history healing and extra-sensory.

The Right to Invention.

Step 5 was inspired by this Theaster Gates quote:

“That period of conditioning between what you hope for and what you have, that feels like where muscle comes from for me. From the chasm between what I wanted and needed and what I had, came a right to be, a right to pursue, a right to imagine. And that was the path to possibility.”

New Story!

Step 6 is where we create our new story, new heroes. This gentleman reading a book was the entry to “Allegories and Experiences,” the surprise exhibit filling a classic shell of a New York Upper East Side Beaux Arts town home by Janna Bullock (on view at 14 East 82nd Street through May 1) which contemplates the stories of dictators, the truth and the responsibility for change we all share.

My friend, designer Pryor Calloway is maker of this elegant bench seated for contemplation in front of a waterfall inside a (another) Upper East Side home, this time an exquisite 35 million dollar home, for which she curated 5 plus floors filled with art. Simplicity and listening will make anyone go “Ahhh…” and re-invent.

I love discovering gems like this, hidden in the Brucennial, the alternative to the Whitney Biennial, produced by Vito Schnabel and The Bruce High Quality Foundation. Only these Mad Men could produce “The single most important art exhibition in the history of the world. Ever.” Exhibit is on until April 1 in the West Village. Artist of the above unknown. (oh, good new religion of Art slogan!)

LEAP

another “artist unknown” painting in Brucennial 2012

Winning!

Step 7 is defeating the shadow, The Sacred Marriage, in Lady Heroine Talk, “which occurs as she learns to integrate and balance all aspects of herself.” Oh so, maybe we are the shadow and the light?

I’ll take sacred marriage with the likes of these three! Can I be the Love Child of a three-some of Terry Richardson, Lady Gaga and Terrence Koh? What? Why ever not? You are winning when you propagate from good heir/hare/heritage. Mentor-Inventors. The way Terrence chose his spirit bunny, go ahead honey, Step 7 is Pro-Choice, choose your very own Spirit Partners and Parents.

An Ocean Going Vessel.

The Crossing of the Return Threshold is Step 8, waking up to a new view of life and setting sail. I loved Radcliffe Bailey‘s “Levitate,” a black glitter boat against a rich cloth of mysticism. His work touches issues of African history and the passage to America…very heroic journeying indeed.

Each One Teach One.

Step 9…So take a deep breath, Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

The piece above was a mesmerizing repeating video in a static frame by Jean-Francois Rauzier at Waterhouse & Dodd.

The heirs to the future we are imagining are trusting us to play and imagine the Best. 

This blue and silver disk is a “curling stone,” and the cornerstone of artist Jason Young’s “2054,” a teaser for his large scale White Project, a futuristic collaborative art game transporting actors and viewers into a little Urban Game of the Future this April 10th,  on the roof of The Soho House in NYC.  His imaginative video, sets the stage for more common, shared journey games to exercise collaborative, imaginative…and yes…magic possibilities.

“The act really, was just to get together and play.”   

Jason Young

Cliff notes?

SLEEP

1      “Towering” Truth Toppling.

2       Desire Siren Calling.

3       Sidekicks and Tricksters.

CREEP

4       Healing  Heart Hibernation.

5       The Right to Invention.   

6       New Story.

LEAP

7      Winning!

8      An Ocean Going Vessel.

9      Each One Teach One.

   OX   OX
    !
   (…..)
   go on now. 
transcend. weave. be the inspiration, beauty + invention of people, places + things beyond Time.

It’s Swing Time. Happy Hero/Heroine Hoppings.

PICK YOURSELF UP

From the Film: Swing Time 1936

(Lyrics by: Dorothy Fields / Music by: Jerome Kern) Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers

(He) Please teacher, teach me something,

Nice teacher, teach me something.

I’m as awkward as a camel, that’s not the worst,

My two feet haven’t met yet, But I’ll be teacher’s pet yet,

‘Cause I’m gonna learn to dance or burst.

(She) Nothing’s impossible I have found,

For when my chin is on the ground,

I pick myself up, Dust myself off, Start All over again.

Don’t lose your confidence if you slip, Be grateful for a pleasant trip,

And pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired, Till the battle of the day is won.

You may be sick and tired, But you’ll be a man, my son!

Will you remember the famous men, Who had to fall to rise again?

So take a deep breath, Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

(He) I’ll get some self assurance If your endurance is great.

I’ll learn by easy stages If you’re courageous and wait.

To feel the strength I want to, I must hang on to your hand,

Maybe by the time I’m fifty I’ll get up and do a nifty.

(Both) Nothing’s impossible I have found,

For when my chin is on the ground,

I pick myself up, Dust myself off, Start all over again.

Don’t lose your confidence if you slip, Be grateful for a pleasant trip,

And pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

Work like a soul inspired, Till the battle of the day is won.

You may be sick and tired, But you’ll be a man, my son!

Will you remember the famous men, Who had to fall to rise again?

So take a deep breath, Pick yourself up, Dust yourself off, Start all over again.

photos by Jade Dressler, Alvaro Montagna, etc. etc. etc.


What a wild ride this month! …had a crazy little dream the other night…

“Everything comes to us that belongs to us if we create the capacity to receive it.”

The Circle Dream. I walked out unto my very large porch overlooking Manhattan. I walked down the steps to the pool imaging I would continue do this well into my hundreds.

I turned the water on to fill up large jugs and enjoyed tossing water into the pool while the fountain filled it up. At the deep end it filled to the top like an infinity pool, I worried about overflow but the auto system turned it off.

I tossed off my pareo and dove in. I floated end to end on my back joyfully many times.

When finished I wrapped myself in a large towel and walked to the waiting limo. I tossed off the towel and jumped inside. The driver knew exactly where to go. Just top to bottom NYC. A loop, a circle around NYC. At Times Square I popped my bare foot out the window for fun and wiggled it. I was thoroughly happy to enjoy this ride and determined to make it a frequent habit.

I had this dream just a few days after a “touch-point” conversation with a friend in a famous Little Italy restaurant called Angelos. That day, watery planet, Uranus, ruled by Neptune, swam into Pisces, the fish, for the next 80 years. Wet.

My friend, Jonathan Porcelli, and I talked about the first time he came here with a beeper salesperson, named Luella Vecchhino (or something like that) in the 80’s. Both long-time New Yorkers, we spoke about NYC landmarks in our lives, how we often circle back and return to them years later, as kind of a check in.  Even having the conversation downtown on Mulberry Street in Little Italy, where my ancestors came to this country as Eastern Europeans, while today, swirling and swimming around us, the stories of 8 million people in the 800 languages spoken here, felt Time Travelerish.

This month, was a circle and time travel loop meme of Groundhog Day, Black History Month, personal and celebrity love, deaths, rebirths, doves, demons and dogs. A releasing of doves.

From the orbits of planets like energetic Mars retrograding to big planet Uranus changing signs into Pisces after being in Aquarius for 84 years.  Uranus, the planet of surprise, upheavals and of genius, gets soaked in Pisces, the divine seeker who lives between worlds dissolving boundaries finding spiritual heights or massive delusions in the vast ocean of unconsciousness.

Did you feel that cosmic shift? I sure did.

I recall when I apprenticed a Native American, and by year two, I was annoyed to do the same ole moon ritual again that I did last year. I was in my immature, quick fix 20’s and now, with hindsight, I love the repetition of seasons, cycles, for the layered wisdom, the circular vs. the linear. February’s full moon is called:

Ice (Celtic).

Old Moon (Cree).

Gray Moon (Pima).

Wind Moon (Creek).

Winter Moon (Taos).

Nuts Moon (Natchez).

Avunnivik Moon (Inuit).

Geese Moon (Omaha).

Bony Moon (Cherokee).

Purification Moon (Hopi).

Little bud Moon (Kiowa).

Snow Moon (Neo-Pagan).

Lateness Moon (Mohawk).

Shoulder Moon (Wishram).

Rabbit Moon (Potawatomi).

Sucker Moon (Anishnaabe).

Long Dry Moon (Assiniboine).

Little Famine Moon (Choctaw).

Storm Moon (Medieval English).

Sparkling Frost Moon (Arapaho).

Running Fish Moon (Winnebago).

Coyote Frighten Moon (San Juan).

Spruce Tips Moon (Passamaquoddy).

Raccoon Moon, Trees Pop Moon (Sioux).

Hunger Moon : Dark, Storm Moon : Full (Janic).

   Snow Moon, Hunger Moon, Trappers Moon (Algonquin).

The intensity of pop culture cultural markers this month, felt to me like Groundhog Day, a yearly American ritual to determine the amount of weeks left to winter depending upon whether a groundhog sees its shadow or not.

Bill Murray in the movie “Groundhog Day,” repeating the day until he got it spiritually correct, impulsed a common term into common culture lore for a situation that continually repeats. This play on probability is now cited by everyone from economists, who point to the movie to illustrate the theory of “perfectly competitive equilibrium based on perfect information,” to Buddhists who see the film as symbolic of rebirth through a birth of selflessness.

What unfurled from Feb 1 to the new moon of Feb 21 were rounds in the time-traveling loop, a kind of Circle Dance, where layers of meaning, repeat or transcendance became more palpable than ever.

Did you feel that?

Feb 1    The Don.

On this same day legendary Don Cornelius and Mike Kelley both commit suicide.

… and you can bet your last money, it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

In our 95% white suburbs, even though we were pals with Debbie Huff, daughter of the legendary Gamble and Huff, Soul Train was our main musical affirmation of a happy, color-no-matter dance, contrary to the world un-toppling itself emerging from the 60’s. It was Woodstock in our paneled dens. Soul Train birthed hip-hop’s barrier breakdancing.

The Soul Train line was a metaphor for a parade of life that we all absorb. Each person can strut, we will applaud on the sidelines for our turn. You can keep coming back up for your turn to dance.

And to dial the Time-capsule …really…back, this pulsing chain, this soul train, is our very fiber.

We have the power of the beat, our heartbeat pushing us “forward” in our skins.

No matter the strife, parading is important. Parades of Native-Americans denied their circular “Ghost-dance” paraded in the public to current day (today!) Mardi Gras parades keep this beat going on.

The Mike.

If The Don gave us beat-spawned, sperm-driven, snaking DNA ladder Soul Train lines, LA artist, Mike Kelley gave us the cross-section. The Ernst Haeckelian, Dr. Seussian, cuddly-core, feminine, nurturing circle of plush pushed back in our faces, a little soiled, a little depressed.

Mike Kelley will always reminds me of fuzzy plush soup, mortal youth angst and my fav life aquatic kid, The Hydra.

Radiating, cartwheeling, regenerating, unisexual amazing. They don’t age and they don’t die.

 Are they the Alpha and Omega?

hydras are immortal.

And how cute biology can become the stuff of horror as we grow personas in life. And repeating thoughts.

“A meme is an idea that behaves like a virus–that moves through a population, taking hold in each person it infects.”

Malcolm Gladwell

Regenerating hydras and tree-branching nervous systems, radiating radiolarians, saint halos, surrogate plush toy mothers to puffy brains like trees. Amazing what we process in an instant visually and mentally. No wonder Dali proclaimed he was the drug, it’s heady enough work to rein in all these Me, me, me’s.

Feb 2  2.2.2012     Oh! The Memes. The Memes. Etc. Etc.

Oh this binary plane! Ponderings from my wintry nest this month…everything is perspective. Like a canary in a coal mine, I wish the groundhog seeing his shadow could be telling us about global warming or some other greater vision than how many more weeks of winter.

For a really huge perspective that same dinner conversation at Angelo’s included “The Power of Ten,” a film by Ray and Charles Eames, famed American designers.

Trust I didn’t plan this rhyming thing, but it is kitchsy cute how Memes and Eames go together,”Me” on repeat, aka “me, me” but besides Eames this month, the power of Memes to underscore time-travel intrigued me.  Like Leonardo DiCaprio “Leostrutting” and re-appearing like Forrest Gump to re-enforce significant historic events via memes online, the Power of multiplying images or events to emphasize truths seems like a mystical precept.  Yes, my favorite book growing up was a “A Wrinkle in Time” and I always had a crush on Doctor Who.

Feb 5     The Ma-Donna.

Madonna, give me all your luvin. Loved it. Although the time-travel mix of gladiators, voguing togas and Adidas sweats actually did make me sweat and grimace, my girlfriend redeemed and took me there with her angelic goldenness and black bird transcendance. I cheerlead for this gal. WORLD PEACE.

Did you feel that? I did.

Feb 11   You’s Done.

Whitney age 48 dies in a bathtub leaving Bobbi Kristina at 18 reminds me of Judy Garland age 47 leaving Liza Minelli at 18. Repeat?

“When you have lived the life I’ve lived, when you’ve loved and suffered, and been madly happy and desperately sad — well, that’s when you realize you’ll never be able to set it all down. Maybe you’d rather die first.”

In a strange coincidence, Whitney’s daughter falls asleep in bathtub prior, Judy too, retreated to the privacy of her bathroom to pass on. The most intimate pool a woman dips in besides her mirror is her bath. Uncommon beauty can sometimes be too challenging to bear.

As long the chain is from Billy Holiday to Marilyn to Judy to Amy to Whitney, thankfully there are also those who can ride the Hollywood hills and valleys such as Barbra Barbra, Bette Midler, Oprah and the Ellen DeGeneres, the “odd,” the “other,”..The Game Changers. And yet, Whitney gave us her soul.

This image. Borrowed from Ulysses Carter, a friend who was Whitney’s loyal and loving PR rep.

Did you feel that? I did.

Feb 14   touch players.

Life always takes us from the maudlin to the sappy and back again. V-day turns us to thoughts of Love. Actually, Time and History really began last month with the birth of a “Star-Child”, none other than Baby Blue Ivy.

All the imaginings of what this child would look like as a combo of the parents is the celeb the love fest we began 2012 with. All this Star-Love stuff made me circle back to my own DNA chain of boyfriends/players/memes I have danced the Soul-Train line with since the first at 14. Who were they? Who am I?

Driven? From the Corvette collector (3) in my 20’s to the James Brown/Bobby Brown doppleganger with his Mercedes with TV inside in my 40’s. Wealthy? London financial guys (a Sloane Ranger with fetishes) to elder Dallas corporate men with an interest in art museums. Creative? Yep…German painters and techno dj’s among many. Intelligent-istas? Yep, that lista includes a biologista, psychologista and an anesthesiologista. And then, there is the 5-year dalliance with a music producer turned organic farmer boyfriend who for years did not know “he” was the basis for the “open relationship” status on my Facebook page, all the time thinking he was the sidekick to another boyfriend. (Well, I did have several, but like all things, it’s complicated. (Notice, I do protect the names of the innocent.)

Full disclosure, I guess I have to work a bit more on my communication skills.

Feb 15   Touching human hearts! Push. Play on.

Back to the future, same age as Liza and Bobbie Kristina, my big event at 17, was the boy who took me “there.” He was a bit of a hoodlum with Danny Terrio-infused Hollywood dreams, but the real touchy-feely memory is that he took me to visit the bearded, cool teacher who threw Raku pots on a farm and he bought me a green one. In more recent years, the most touchy-feely boyfriend relationship was orchestrated (the only word for the mechanics of this) mostly on skype being on different continents with one hot week in person. Computer Love games continued in the dark gallery video rooms we lingered in. This carnival game image is from that time.

Modern Love? We demand more from our machines, bodies, brains, senses than ever before in history. Going “there” with love will more and more be a hybrid mash of the two, seven, one million impressions experience.

“The arts are primed for some creative disruption by means of technology…”

Julie Kaganskiy

Art through “Hello, Hi Internet” and binary love experiences came through two events this month.

Hi-Touch. The first, was Uptown, with friends Nicholas Cloblence and Shirley Madhere. It was a bit rowdier than most of Greg Furman’s Luxury Marketing Council meetings with a seismic-shifting as a room of luxury marketers at FIAF, The French Institute, actual corporate marketers were…gasp…meditating together led by Francis Cholle, a corporate consultant to major industry. This Smart Guy, who danced with dervishes, (aka practiced yoga, theatre and Native American “things”) is convincing top execs to mash up linear thinking with a sense of play and intuition, at least value where it comes from to realize more profit. It’s working. He wrote the book on this, “Intuitive Compass,” a way to be intuitive and organize this nest:

with our logical, linear and hierarchical orientation.

Hi-Tech. The second was the Downtown, #artstech meet-up shared with two buddies from our #earlyAMcrew Tweetup (that’s 7:30 am!) Carla Gannis, Digital Artist & Assistant Chair of Digital Arts @ Pratt Institute and Robert Pearre. Us “arttechies” enjoyed the panel including, (l to r) Shane Brennan, formally of Creative TimeRyder Ripps, Jayson Musson aka Hennessy Youngman, Annie Werner of tumblr and Amber Hawk Swanson, brought together by Julie Kaganskiy, voted one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company. (Ya still wit me after all that Art Linklettering?)

Here is Carla’s genius…

From flying Nyan cats to Ryder’s cheap shots, I love the pioneering sense of play. Yep, this is how geek girls and boys spend Valentine’s Day.

Ryder Ripps, I love your nonsense.

Since these two, Ryder and Hennessy Youngman were all about V-day cuddling all night so cutely, I pop in HY’s lesser well-known paintings, given he is most known as a video-artist, perhaps these will further cement his place in art history.

Ryder again. And then there was this Dolly. Video artist, Amber Hawk Swanson, who ordered a sex doll replica, married her and then dismembered her, all online, and then turned her into a killer whale to compare the objectivation and captivity of Sea World whales and women in culture.

Did you feel that? I did.

Feb 17        nest.

Last month, I cutely organized my ponderings with some bird illustrations. This month, the birds, they came. National Geographic was delivered to me this month and I mean very geographically on my window sill. Remember the white dove who made a nest in the snow on my terrace? She and her mate took turns sitting on the nest through all kinds of winter.

Lunch with Alexandra Polier, PR for Dwell magazine, revealed Amanda Dameron’s Editor’s Note this month called “Slow Home,” about magpies and their best-of-all-birds’ nest, an architectural marvel, a “slow home.”  Building from bits here and there, over time, layering. Reminding me of Wim Wenders, “Wings of Desire,” where an Angel falls in love with a human trapeze artist, slowly.

One day I heard two distinct “who” who”s and came to find out it was a white winged dove, the same Stevie Nicks sung about in her song, “The Edge of Seventeen.” Kind of Rare in NYC.

The next day, the nest and a tiny yellow baby was left unattended with a big black crow hovering over it. I was like the overseeing angel, caught in the struggle…should I keep the baby warm, so the parents can come back and the crow won’t eat it? Internet says no, parents will come. OK, no blankie from me. Result: crow ate baby. Maybe the pigeons left the nest vulnerable, maybe the baby needed transcendence. Maybe this was a releasing of doves?

Let’s be logical. The crows had a nice meal. They keep coming back to the same restaurant for a repeat performance, just like we do. The white bird returns to the nest, momentarily puzzled. For her, it’s not death, it’s time for more sex!

…and there was Madonna, all winged and black disappearing in a puff of smoke. Is this some kinda meme, Crow? (thanks Hennessy, you have taught me to think “art”)

Nah. Just a ‘nuther new full Moon coming.  As the temperature begins to warm and the ground begins to thaw, earthworms appear, heralding the return of the robins and Spring. The more northern tribes knew this next March Moon as the Full Crow Moon, when the cawing of crows signaled the end of winter. The crows did circle around…courtesy of Nick Cave, with “From Her to Eternity” in “Wings of Desire.”

this description is all over the internet like a ritual itself:

Crow is an omen of change. Crows live in the void and have no sense of time, therefore being able to see past, present and future simultaneously. They unite both the light and the dark, both the inner and the outer. Crow is the totem of the Great Spirit and must be held with utmost respect. They are representations of creation and spiritual strength.

and you know I am not given to this kind of art …however, I am feeling it. All this nature in NYC, all this Internet. All this world, all this winter, wow. It’s OK, call it kitsch, call me a goth, a Celtic-lovin’ Valkyrie, an art-groupie, a Luddite, a memer of Me.

Feb 21   Wishing and Ritual.

O heck. Let’s rain dance for Spring to pop-up. Mardi Gras and the New Moon is today. Carnival is coming. C’mon. Let’s Dance.

“From the solemn gloom of the temple children run out to sit in the dust, God watches them play and forgets the priest.”   Rabindranath Tagore

Where do broken hearts go? Will they find their way home?

“The touch of an infinite mystery passes over the trivial and the familiar, making it break out into ineffable music… The trees, the stars, and the blue hills ache with a meaning which can never be uttered in words.”

Rabindranath Tagore

Did you feel that? I did.


top image Fiona Fraser, bottom image Adventure Time, Beautopia

January. Jaded and cold New York City slicker, tonight, I am slanketed, snuggilicious like a Suburbanite, way down, down, down under my down coverlets in the depths of my past. Crystal ball says: I see my first boyfriend at age 14, a sweet, golden, hippie mop-haired guitar player in suede Adidas and fringy shorts. He was the first boy chosen to choose a girl at the rollar rink, boys on one side, girls on the other. I was a nerdy, arty, skinny Jew fro’d girl thing who never had a “boyfriend” and didn’t expect to. Always chosen next-to-last for every sport or game, right before the mentally-challenged girl. Suddenly, I was The Chosen One as the hot guitar rock star of our Tween Tour of the Americas group rollar-ed up to me, hand outstretched for the first solo coupled spin round the rink. Yes, indeed, the BeeGee’s music did go up, the wind sailed through my curls, my black and white world did go suddenly this summer technicolor and I did feel like a treasure. (We spent the whole summer in the back of the tour bus creating heat, but that’s another story)

January 1, 2012. Hello year of the dragon.

“To see clearly,” the Greek origin of the word Dragon, is the mystery of suddenly being chosen for love, luck or transcendance. Something sees you, you see something, subject and object melt. This is LOVE. Myths say dragons rule the roost underground over the firey, rooted chandeliers of their caves where the world’s jewels and gold are hidden. In my world of NYC, fire-breathing dragons jog all over NYC above ground, every day. Where everyone thinks you are out partying constantly every night (you are) gabbing, dragging or in drag, pontificating, warming up or working a room seeking to see clearly.

There are also nights gasp ((( in )))) where the species cave and plot jeweled treasures to release in Spring. Really hibernating. Reading. Watching Cartoons. Portlandia. Restoring energy for the hustle the next day. Give us 2 days of rain in a row or snow, we enjoy our downy feathered nests (((slankets))) like the rest of y’all.

Inner discoveries under the covers of culture can inspire and re-generate. Like a bird in its nest, this month, upon a record-breaking auction sale of prints by John James Audubon, the artist and naturalist who inspired his namesake, The Audubon Society, I was fed by the artist’s fascinating story and my passion for art and nature. The Society’s stellar conservation efforts began as an outcry against the wildly feathered hats of the fashionable ladies of the 19th century, proving that beauty and appreciation can inspire, in balance and respect.

And so like an adventurer in the wild, I play an appreciative Rainbow Child sharing my cache of found jewels in NYC, through the people, places and things which crossed my path this month.

Appreciation is the latest App. One snowy day I found pleasure in the simple and free. A secret alien snow message on a car. (((see the eyes?))) Appreciating a Central Park view while my own might be more feet to the ground, given the rent in this Metropolis.

My own private “terrace” revealed a snowy bird, stalwart on her nest, keeping warm a white egg for Spring. Going Deep, a bear-like hiber’s quiet, simple meditations reveal the brightest and most valuable jewels, rainbow colored like a psychodelic umbilical cord straight from dragon’s Middle Earth to Almighty Whomever above. A meditation on the jewels inside, those wheels of energy they have not yet designed ad campaigns around, invented elixirs for or appointed stations for re-fuel -can rock you with power or just infuse simple, peaceful color. Simple to Elaborate, here’s what turned me on this month.

Get up close, this mighty, flighty ring is by my friend, Stan Gaz, a painter, sculpter and precious custom-order jeweler whose visionary world mixes meteor crash sites, spacesuited travelers and butterflies. “Cameraman,” or the oval at the top is the “eye” signature of his work. His paintings of colored butterflies are right now dreaming in their cocoons of white, in silence to capture new colors. Yep, it’s a themed post, inspired by simple color. Pretend I am your door-to-door Color Me Beautiful rep, coming to sell you on new inspirational make-up, wake-ups for Spring.

Treasure: Above and below. Tiny bird feet can sometimes be seen on the sidewalks on NYC. Let’s go!

GOLD

Gold first. It began this month with a dream. I dreampt I stood up in an audience wearing a floaty transparent dress with flowers on it. I could feel the past blowing away from me, behind me, my head of hair+thoughts a complete golden wheat field in the breeze+sun in me and before me. (and then I got crafty and made this picture.)

Treasure: Then these golden coins greeted me on January 1 at a new pharmacy in the hood, 86th Street between First and Second Aves. called Tisane, like a Euro apothecary stocking herbs, homeopathy and a coffee bar with royal blue ceramic tiles and a fancy, frilled dish of chocolates for guests. Duane Reade has this? Nope. CVS, nope? More of this please, across America.

      

Gold, all agree is very refreshing and feels healthy, wealthy and wise. Gold is Good.

After gold discs, gold doors, like these at Storefront for Art and Architecture at 97 Kenmare, are for conjuring up and inviting transformative gold.

Treasure: Gold bowls and goblets. Ercole, the artisan mosaic studio known for its shop in one of the most treasured stores in New York, ABC Carpet and Home, gathers together its own atelier this Spring, to expand into furniture and wovens.  With an in-store atelier, and artisans crafting, the space promises to be a Mecca for Mosaic.

Old gold revisited this month is the first edition set of books by famed bird illustrator, John James Audubon (1785-1851) fetching 7.9 million dollars at auction. It was a treasure to discover his Thoreau-like history. Born in Haiti to a wealthy French sea captain merchant and a young slave, named Jeanne, who died six months after his birth, Audubon’s passion for nature over school studies kept him wandering in the countryside sketching and collecting. He struggled financially with other ventures for almost his whole life until giving in to his passion, gifting us with his legacy of serene images of rare and common birds.

Treasure: And so, with time on your hands this winter between parties, get back into under the covers of comforters and books. Discover this treasure: Self Publish Be Happy, (and their “Self-Publish, Be Naughty,” giving folks outlets for their “inlet” produced home-movies and sex tomes) It is slightly more evolved than 1970’s “don’t worry, be happy.” Times, they have changed. And now! To the rest of the mindless color romp!

WHITE

White is blank slate. Snow, Crystaline, Mind, Metal, Mental, Blank pages. Containing all colors within. Defending the blank page, the creative pause that refreshes, is Paper Pete, from the Adventure Time cartoon. As leader of a little band of origami warriors with odd accents, formed from the blank pages at the beginning of all books, he defends libraries against Moldo, the gloppy bacterial chillins of sloth and “one day I will write.” Go buy a blank page journal, touch paper again. The promise and weight of white is measured by clouds, feathered down and porcelain plates. Snowy owls, matte blanque bowls, ball gowns heavy and nightgowns light, for Nights in White Satin.

Secret Treasures: Vases are from Holaria of Brazil, white bulbous dress treasures of Charles James and these porcelain plates, free-form shaped and colored are stacked in ABC Carpet and Home. Not perfect, random, ordered like growth rings inside a tree.

SILVER

Glass, silver and white are “metal” and represent the mind, the temporality of glass and ice. Snow crystals. My Grandmother had a huge glass vase like this at the entrance of her home which entranced us when we “pinged” it and it sang.

Secret Treasures: My silver screen friends include silver-scalloped Kim Jackson and Jeremiah Newton, who produced the “Beautiful Darling” documentary on his close friend, Warhol screen star, Candy Darling, which received rave reviews such as this one from EW. Oh kids, only in NYC, can someone in the crowd surprise you with a sudden intimate historic connection or a “They Might Be Giants” premonition next month. Giants might be Kim, just back from Sundance Film Festival, having successfully raised funds on Kickstarter for the coming-of-age tale, “The Harder They Fall,” from directors Daoud Abeid and Dahkil Hausif. Set in Jamaica, where a city boy is sent to re-connect, like I was sent on my Teen Tour, mentioned afore. (after being grounded for a month…um, another story)

Jeremiah and Candy were friends and roommates, living together until the end of Darling’s quicksilver life in 1974. They met in the summer of 1966 when Jeremiah was on his first-ever trip to the Village from his home in Queens. You would think, as a Warhol film star, Candy slept every night in a Hollywood bed like this.

Nope. She rode the bus and often ate canned beans. Immortalized in songs by Lou Reed and David Bowie, she left us with the mercurial shiny siren call to come out from the Island (any island we imagine) and “Hey, babe, Take a walk on the wild side.”

Good Night Candy Darling.

PURPLE

Purple is high vibes, the color of the Princely One and also Susan Strong, of Beautopia, who lives underground and mumbles in Adventure Time. A kind of strong-willed, purple-passioned Amazon with a Hello Kitty hood, Big Galoofy Susan needs a human little boy and his Hero Heart, or red flower or fire to help her win back her people’s home. (this is not a metaphor for me, so stop it now;-)

Treasures: Blue Jays, Amazons and Dandies will love the vintage bowties at Brooks Brothers from blogger, designer, prepster K. Cooper Ray of SocialPrimer.  A new friend, he is a smart styler of manners, drinking and Life. ( Tip: Men wearing purple pass, women in purple are often found kaftan’d and coffee-tawking their chack-ras in the New Age fan club.)

Herons always look elegant, as does all white furniture, especially in a room painted matte purple grey-ish, charcoal-ish,  This is a new obsession and yes, I realize how hommie blogger this reads.

BLUE

Blue is a watery, communicative, empathetic place, vibrating to voice and language and movement. Blue receives and it moves things. Like a dancing blue Krishna, it’s just before black space and infinity, where blue reflective water, sky and definitions eventually melt.

On a very rainy NYC city morning, I had my first glimpse of a new sculpture, Gran Elefandret, an upside down dancing elephant by Miquel Barceló’s, balancing until the end of May, 2012 in Union Square. A gift from Marlborough Gallery and The Union Square Partnership.

Secret Treasures: Other blue treasures include the blue form of the heron bird in Central Park. Back inside the city streets, at Crosby Street Hotel bar, a custom coat commissioned in Paris, arrived on my friend, John Favreau, and his larger than life baby blues and blue scarf inspired.  As head honcho at McCall’s and Vogue Patterns (can you say revival of crafts) he would say of his scarf: “Cut and sew your own!” Now there’s a wintery hobby.

Treasure: John also turned me on to a hilarious, not just about sewing blog, called “Male Pattern Boldness.” Love.

Perfect pattern match.

GREEN

One day, before you were born, I was a tot in yonder 1970’s, and my mom came back from a trip to New York City, having gotten her make-up done by a place with a name like Makeup Unlimited or Makeup Experiment. The decreed adornment was metallic olive/avocado green eyeshadow which she then wore for 30 years. The glitter was from glam rock, the whole lid swath came from Cleopatra through Elizabeth Taylor. Like Spring’s first robins, green eyeshadow, green anything, indicates growth, money, promise, hope, heart. It’s Easy to be Green.

These greenish iridecent bufflehead ducks are doing their tiny cute, green eyeshadowed thing in Central Park right now and the robins are coming next. Wearing of the green is coming again, like Spring, new bouncing Beyonce babies and wearing green eyeshadow,things to obsess about in the cold Winter.

Secret Treasures: NYC cosmetic glory stories abound from the independance of entrepreneurs like Adrian Arpel and Estee Lauder to one of the latest, Dexter Philip, of DEX New York. Dex recently opened his secret jewel-box studio, a new home for his mineral makeup with anti-aging and healthy ingredients, behind Plaza Athenee on 65th Street. And the iridescent green black and white bufflehead ducks can be seen any day on Jackie O’s reservoir. They also prefer Upper East Side digs.

YELLOW

Another boyfriend, a professional biologist and bird-watcher, (remember the afro’d nerd girl from age 14?) well, he showed me that sometimes birds travel sideways on trees. Amazing. Sometimes things go best sideways. Side to side togetherness is more equal and less hierarchical than front to back. Birds do it. Yellow is that kind of color, friendly, sunny. The planet Mars is resting, going retrograde until April, so we get time to review energetic, initiative types of things before bolting forward in the Spring conquering new horizons. Until then, if SAD gets to you, lay sideways next to someone you love, change the way your books are stacked and make new horizons. Add mellow yellow.

Treasures. My Indian textiles and coverings stacked like “horizona” in a basket with my Grandmother’s linen crochet tablecloth. She made it. Each textile and blanket has a story of comfort, each a film from my Life. Why hide them in a closet? (I am scaring myself again, again with the hommie blogger thing, please forgive, it’s Winter nesting.)

People had a bird over the Gaultier, Amy Jade Warbler Winehouse homage this month, but I suppose they better get used to it. We tend to lionize our fallen pop-heroes endlessly. A yellow cotton blouse is beyond, and unbuttoned, almost bare-breasted warbler-like! Bound to get you sideways, (glances and body positioning.) (Isn’t that fashiony stuff better?)

Yellow is for Charlie Harper, whose hero was Audubon, and he invented his own bird-language.

ORANGE

Spicy and warm. Sunrise and Sunset shocking. Joy. Works jointly for Monk robes and Pratesi slankets. It’s saucy for hats and street fashion. Hermes boxes, tumeric and citrine. Orangina. Paris metro tickets. Day lilies. Orange is Nonsense and Sea Urchins.Gimme.

Orange is favored by happy artists. From kids’ drawings of birds to adult fetishes, like this safety cone pamphlet happily distributed by my friend, artist Erik Sanner. Beak-like the cones corral us as bea-cones (yup) to safety.

Treasure: This little video, “We will never be discovered,” is smart dancing like idiots by a French performance group I in fact, did discover,named le contremaître et sa contremaîtresse, who have tons of videos where they are wearing orange. The song is by The City and Horses and it reminds me of the silliness that lovers share in the privacy of their bedrooms. Those dances never get discovered, yet are among life’s best, best moments.

And then for all those private dancer Creatives, who ask me all the time, “How do you do everything that you do, how can I start my_______ ? (art, business, cooking, writing, etc. fill in the blank) I give the answer that a certain mentor gave to me when I asked the same question. “Just do it. Anyhow or way. Don’t wait.” The truth is, by discovering your dream yourself, the world discovers you back.

Dontcha wanna? Orange ya will be discovered. Take it to the streets! Now!

Treasure: Touting my clients and friends, Muhlbauer for their playful hats which appear on the heads of Brad Pitt, Yoko Ono and Madonna.

PINK

Pink is a softy. It’s all whimsy and gets attached to animal names and other serious things to add the element of fluffy, soft like Pink Panther, pink elephant and pink pigs. In the Pink,Tickled Pink. Hence, no reason for these free-form pink things in my path this month.

Pink Muhlbauer hat.

Pink Flamingo.

Pink Flamingo on The Runway.

Pink Aiko in Wynwood, Miami.

Aiko at The Standard, NYC.

Custo Delmau of Custo Barcelona in his Pink Custom Barcalounger,

photograph by our friend and client, Orlando Salmeri.

America’s first couturier and another famed luminary who died in the Pink Chelsea Hotel. James designed the first down jacket in 1937, an image which inspired me to design.

RED

Ruby, Fire, Life force and dragon eyes. Red planet of Mars, blood, warrior, fort, comfort, strength, power. China red, Fruit, Ripe, Blush and flush on cheeks. Big Apple Red New York. Ralph Rucci, easily America’s next Couture King after Charles James. An inventor of weightlessness, soaring circumferences and references. Of this dress, stylist, Philip Bloch said, “Party in the back.” Does it get any more red hot than a flash of red from behind? On a pure white column?

Yes, it does. Our Angel bird at the Golden Globes, winged by her tiny writing tattoo, Brad and a red swoosh on a white column dress from Versace.

Treasure: Seeing a red-winged blackbird take flight and flash it’s red tips at you trumps all red in creation, from Louboutin pump undersides to even Dior’s best red confections. Do take a walk on the wild side, around Central Park and other parts this Spring and discover for yourself.

As a salute to illustrator René Gruau, famed for his red splashes and his work for Christian Dior in the forties and fifties, Dior’s 2011 inspiration got under my skin for so many reasons. As an art-school degreed Fashion Illustrator, I (((heart))) the lineage of fashion illustrators, Warhol and Galliano, turned runway designer as I’ve got a little somethin somethin for the runway in the works myself.  Also, it was the first appearance of the *New* version of 1947’s New Look skirts returning full force for Spring 2012, the red passion reawakening and ombre sheers touching the magic of Charles James. It-girl of the moment, Olivia Palermo, summed it up: “Sometimes it’s good to go back to basics.”

Basic Brown? Non.

BROWN

Dirt, Earthy, Mirth. Basics, Chocolate, mudbaths, Spring plowing. I recall having a lime green, shirred Norma Kamali long column dress and all I wanted was to accessorize it with brown, like Spring leaves and dirt. Seemed natural to me. I could not find  the vision in my mind, brown was for daytime, thank you. No dress shoes, no exquisite purse. Years later, this winter I got crafty and dyed a 1940’s pair of silk shoes brown. I love the dirty+distressed, rhinestone Lost in Las Vegas look that resulted. See? Wintry crafts are bewitching.

This turkey vulture has all the pomp and high-heeled glamour of a runway bird. Like good models, they are so huge in person on the ground, scary beautiful, yet truly graceful and magnificent in flight. They are the soaring high T-shaped big birds you can see all over. (for the non-bird-watchers) For me, they are like the lotus flower, growing up through mud, pristine. The T-birds are vultures, eating carrion, yet soaring above like eagles. They are not the edible pheasants under glass. Here’s to gawky teen birds turned beautiful.

Treasures: Two of my favorite New Yorker rare birds in one pic, philanthropist and writer, Michele Gerber Klein and Montgomery Frazier, MTV fashion director for many years, who has me charmed with his unforgiving brusque honesty, humor and mostly his gentleman true nature.

Treasure: I love when people call me about my services as a referral but they don’t tell me who sent them. Or they do and I don’t know the person! Word-of-mouth is one of the best compliments and I guess why the term “bespoke” is used so much these days. Beyond custom, Wikipedia says the origin is to “speak for something”, in the specialized meaning “to give order for it to be made.”” I prefer the biblical, gospel, awed feeling of a trusted conversation between maker and receiver. Like when the world goes from black and white to Technicolor with its synergy and uncanny surprises.

Bespoke shoemaker to kings and polo players, artist, Norman Vilalta, was introduced to me in this way. Daniel Porcelli, the evangelicalist for the brand, and I connected again this month and I refreshed my memory on this story of shoes that look like wood grain, ombre’d and approaching works of art.

BLACK

Night. Morning. One morning, up in the pitch black to meet my #earlyAM Twitter group at 7 am (yup) it was chilly, rainy, black, black, black and grey all over. I decided to make a little photo journalistic exercise and take pics of the black and grey commuters from underground NY. So pulled together, serene like black marble sculptures despite the drudgery of dreary weather dealing.

Is there an Audubon bird for a rainy day in NYC? The oyster catcher, running through the wet would be it. Red nose surfing the waves for pearls, parties and potentials.

Warm beacons in the grey and black this month included Hotel Delmano in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, this coming from one who cringes at Victoriana anything. Like staring into Madame Blavatsky’s eyes, this place charmed, the drinks are artful, the tiny jewel box spaces and people sexy, fascinating and the walls of one cave are a glowing salmon pink.

My friend, hilarious video star, Amy Staats, and I found ourselves transfixed by a black haired woman with matte red lips, glossy white headphones and a black and white and red all over cape. We turned back to each other and at the same moment said, “Wow, she is…unforgettable.” My friend, did however, forget the name of the very attractive man, seemingly a regular at the bar, with a black studded jacket with a canvas painting hung delicately on it. If you know him, please tell him, I enjoyed our soulful stare at the door. (Thanks for any info, in Winter, one must employ every tactic.)

Which gives us the perfect way to embrace the Winter Chill at the Birth of the Year of the Dragon and end this month’s post. Busy. Chillin. 

Stop Reading, Rainbow Chillins!

February is For Lovers!

Embrace The Serpent of Love!

Bird in the Tree: A serpent! Help! Help! A serpent, a serpent!

Alice: But please! Please!

Bird in the Tree: Off with you! Shoo! Shoo! Go away! Serpent! Serpeeeent!

Alice: I’m not a serpent!

Bird in the Tree: You? Indeed? Then just what are you?

Alice: I’m just a little girl.

Bird in the Tree: Little? Little? [laughs]

Alice: Well, I am… I mean, I was.

Bird in the Tree: And I suppose you don’t like eggs, either?

Alice: Yes, I do, but, but, but…

Bird in the Tree: I knew it! I knew it! Serpent! Serpeeeent!

Alice: Oh, for goodness sake!



One fine day, two people simultaneously searched in Google:

“angry sex with my running partner in a café restroom.”

“Hey Persephone, how can I find the holy grail?”  

both queries which led to this very blog you are reading now.

What people surf for in search of transcendance as we enter 2012 is not much changed, in 10 years, in 1000 years, since the Greek myths began or the dawn of “Time.” Like grafitti on the wall of an ancient city, human desires don’t change, we just transform everything in the wake of relentlessy pursuing them. Birth. Sex. Death. Repeat. or End?

With our wide-awake awareness of our botanical ball now teetering on the edge of unwinding, from tsunamis to 99 problems and 99 percent occupying the streets, each of our decisions can feel like feather surfing tidal waves.  2012 is year of the water dragon in Chinese astrology, fire-breathing energy into Everything, so we can either be consumed by the flames/water or Renew, kid. If we have to tighten Hermes belts, use cute-sloganed totes to lug our organic foods, consider our carbon footprint and Seven Generations in every action, that’s a tall order for the humans …unless,of course, we make it hot and sexy. (music! up!)

More fun+less mess is called for “The End of Time.”

For those on the 2012 Train to Nowhere Apocolypse, Chief Seattle said, “There is no death, only a change of worlds.” So, lighten up, let’s enjoy it by renaming it:

“Our Energy/Sex Crisis.”

Forty years after the famous crying Indian in the 1970’s commercial watching the polluting of America, most of our culture still teeters on our teenage mentality. We act like “Most Famous 2011 Teen” Rebecca Black, reluctantly fake-shrugging, mugging for the cameras, “OK, Mom,” having at the clean-up of our room only because we realize the equation impacts our Friday night joy rides with the gang. Nature’s publicity campaign, positioning “green” as new eco-luxury, bohemian chic and eco-techno, might have adjusted things a tad, but to really surf this change of worlds, let’s call it what it is, Our Energy/Sex Crisis. This way the drama and passion-driven can argue with their running partners and quest holy grail-like about Eco-Crisis+Predicaments from an Energetic/Sexual Urgency Scale and maybe Balance this Ball. Oui?  Time, Birth, Sex, Desires and Death. C’mon, even Einstein said “It’s All Energy.” Think of it “All” as Desirable as Sex. Before we kill All and ourselves, for godsakes.

Alejandro Chaskielberg, Winner Sony World Photography Award 2011

For clues, predictions to energy/sex infuse the world’s predicaments, we spin the Time-machine in a mash-up including Native American quotes, to street art and re-visiting the top stories in an unearthed copy of one of my favorite Berkeley neo-hippie culture mags, cyberpunk bible, Grandmother to Wired mag, Mondo 2000, circa 1990’s. The Time-Machine also stopped at two icons of timeless, energetic/sexy, poetic dragon-energy people, to serve as hosts for our foray, pop-culture’s famed “wild childs,” Bridget Bardot and Jimi Hendrix. Bridget was chosen for her beachy, rebel reclusive wildness,

and Jimi for his trans-gender, other-worldy music and his prophetic “castles made of sand slips into the sea, eventually” themed connection to this post.

How we might sexily, mightily and handily turn our little sandy spaceship towards more fun, less mess energy/sex, for the dawn of a new day, 2012, we look at some of Life’s precious basics and how the new consciousness might actually be the new energy/sexy:

art, gender, cars, transport, clothing, caves, food, nature, animals, body and music.

All New Energy/Sexy. All New, All the Time. Enter here.

my path to the beach during a recent trip to Miami Beach, where the genesis of this post began…

“A very great vision is needed and the man who has it must follow it as the eagle seeks the deepest blue of the sky.”    Crazy Horse

(My Pre-Beach Dream/Vision: Even before I put a footprint upon my path to the beach I dreampt of it leading to an exact replica of Jessica Lichtenstein’s recent piece at Gallery Nine5, where happy groups played among Dr. Seuss-like pools and slides of pleasure.  So come, dig a little place in the sand, welcome the waves, play in some pools and get some sexy-eco-techno love.)

NEW ART ENERGY/SEX

Follow That Artist! In ye cave times, artists were the harbingers or shamans amped up on hallicinagens charting the path for providers to find food or at the highest, cave dwellers appealing to the heavens to find inner peace. Today art is made by similar open, altruistic and passionate people which then is snatched up by smart and savvy investors and developers as investments worth as gold. It makes for one sexy scene. In Miami Beach’s Art Basel art fair this month to plant the seeds for a 2012 urban intervention, we play prophesy muse with some art trends as harbingers that might change the world:

We Get More Crafty, Knitta Please! A bike tour through the Wynwood art area (a mini Portland, btw) knitted together the trend of yarn bombing, appearing everywhere these days, even Gap commercials. Our favorite collective by one of the originators, Magda Sayeg, is named “Knitta Please,” embodying the warm and trendy “We Are The World” Grandma Earth blanket and cozy urge of this trend. Expect Macrame at the lowest and knitted community at the height.

We Scale+Transcend Culture!  Peter Sarkisian‘s video piece crawling on a dictionary at Bernice Steinbaum gallery at once brings the playful body-oriented touch and feel of books and bodies with doodling, a kind of drooling desire and love my cold computer and I never share. Could a play on scale like this help the Earth? What if we re-defined ourselves as Baby Mamas and Baby Daddies to the Earth?

We Occupy Appropriation! A phone interview with Books IIII Bishof, curator of Primary Flight, primarily responsible for the advent of Miami Beach’s Wynwood becoming an internationally recognized home to the world’s finest graffiti art, was a manifesto on Questing. Books sees the timeless equation of art moving life forward through first the common man’s predicaments and resulting art which then becomes an obsessive quest for the upper class who pay for the missing street-level passion and drama in their lives of comfort. No money, but love, equals Make Art. No love, but money, equals Buy Art. With more experiential, audience-inclusive and performance oriented art, we see a harbinger of shared experience that is less something to appropriate, but more classless rituals which emphasize commonality, and dare we envision occupied territory like “tribal” and “ritual”and “sexy”?

We Contain History, Heraldry and Irony! The mascot of Art Basel’s birthplace, Basel, Switzerland, is the ancient beast, the basilisk, from the Greek meaning “little king,” a mythical winged snake/dragon. As Basel is the birthplace of important global markets in art and Time, aka the watch and jewelry industry, not to mention Swiss bank accounts, the city is a good indicator of the state of wealth in the world and how appropriate, like a lair, it is watched over by a dragon. Thanks 1% for hailing the transformative and creative powers of the dragon, the little king of paganism, wild child of Nature! (insert gratuitous, regal-costumed Hendrix image here!)

Given the preponderance of bling and courtly graphics over the past 5 years in art and consumer goods, I especially loved these holy, funny grails I saw at Art Basel, from Galerie VIVID, Studio Job and the famous Belgian hand-blown crystal-makers, Val Saint Lambert…in service to the Realm. Tell the google “holy grail” searcher, I may have found his vessel.

Two other Art Basel turn-ons mixing Mastery and Mass appeal while extolling the bio-geometric, included Moss‘s Morphing Fruit Platters 1D Series 300, a collaboration with Dr. Haresh Lalvani, architect, sculptor, inventor, morphologist and Professor of Architecture at Pratt Institute. The Doctor fed computationals to produce endless generations of laser cut steel disc fruit platters, each unique like snowflakes you can purchase. Something mass-sexy and fractal-feely there.

Alvaro Montagna

Tag! We’re it! We Embody Nature! And above, commissioned by Sushi Samba’s owner, Shimon Bokovza, for his venture, Grafitti Gone Global, Marc Forne‘s community-created, walk-in cozy coral keeps getting bigger each time a new version is built. For more on this and adventures at Art Basel see the article I wrote for Metropolis magazine’s POV on art and community, a growing trend with millions of prophetic permutations from coral-like cathedral building, art spawned by participants and other such populist interactive energy/sex and equation changes.

GENDER ENERGY/SEX

We Gender Bend! Pretty in Perennials, yes? Many men are. Gender transcendance pollenated everywhere this year, from Chaz Bono, legalized same-sex marriages and 3rd world abominations.

The antique issue of Mondo 2000 featured Kate Bornstein, aka the Gender Outlaw, whose definition of a 3rd gender is beyond social construct and definition and now, circa 2011, she helps teens combat bullying. I like the transition. Along with other needlessly dueling dualities, Bullying and Emotional Blackmail are absolutely two overfed, beastial, vestigial gender organs we need to lose as a species. For 2012, I predict more melting of such.

The more both macho and wimmen-folk cultures soften and toughen in balance (aka without fear) the excitement of contrast, free expression and non-repression will prevail, everywhere. Genders may like each other more. We have to have faith in this boys and girls. If 6 was 9, said Jimi.

Alvaro Montagna

CAR ENERGY SEX

We Re-invent the Wheel. Cars r us. I grew up in suburbia and my father was a car salesman, I placed him here, so he could be happy to be this close to Bridget. At the Art Basel launch of BMW’s sexy new i8 and i3, we saw that even luxury car makers are realizing the desire for energy efficiencies. Real change will mean giving up the fossilized fuel and fracked gas ghosts and playing more in the billion watt bulb of the original Wheel, the sun. Whisper until it is a scream…Solar Power.

The Sun rules as its design is the function, the purpose and packaging is the material object itself. In a nature-design perfection, all things should be valued for what they don’t utilize energy and materials wise and then what they give back. Like science meeting religion we’ll expect our goods and services to satisfy on multiple levels to prove their efficiency. This could be fun as a value system. Imagine the clapper, which grows food like a chia pet which doubles as a popeil knife.

Now our cycle of action is activities which leave re-generating stains upon imaginary, imperious sleek countertops to be wiped away with more paper, more refuse. Infinity-energy thinking can orient to spiraling DNA, bike wheels, eyeglasses or the crossing point of our 3rd eye, dissolving duality of all things for a greater vision and yes, maybe even a more “sexy” experience.

Horse-power and Sun-power gives new meaning to the Convertible, already a sexy idea.

The convertible parking lot reclamation icon, 1111 Lincoln Road, by architects Herzog & de Meuron in Miami, was a spot-on venue for BMW’s launch, sponsored by Dwell Media. Car indeed seemed all sexy but the unsexy question in the room was where the electricity comes from and that answer is still…oil. That heartburning image of the gulf burning while the sun shone overhead, giving out tons of energy is an emblematic cosmic joke. Five-hundred trees donated to the city in exchange for the event by architect and one of the presenters at the event, Chad Oppenheim, is the right thinking. Step by step. Breathing is an energetic exchange.

TRANSPORT ENERGY/SEX

Bike Likes. I like bikes. I love bikes. I love the freedom, free exercise, low-cost and zero polluting. I happily joined the locals loving the liberation via Miami’s Decobike, a pioneering urban rental/share program from tons of steel, high gas prices and parking nightmares.  Although more bike lanes are still a gentrifying proposition, given Miami’s condo-car-centric culture, in the meantime, exfoliation by hedges, oldster diving right or left and potential collisions with parking meters are the lesser price to pay. Bridget certainly knew how to work a bike, see above.

BTW, several BMW positives are their support of arts, such as the above, Peter Jansen’s movement explorations and their partnership with Guggenheim Foundation for the Lab, conversations in 9 cities in 6 years.

CLOTHING ENERGY/SEX

The Fibers of Alchemy. Popping out of the BMW party we ran into our friend, architect Rene Gonzalez, designer of the Alchemist shop, which artfully showed only two stories in the whole store, Rick Owens and a Native American influence story highlighted by a teepee with video inside by Chrome Hearts. Reviewer, Candy Pratts Price on Vogue.com did not blink at $5000. moccasins to pad about the teepee, although I did. Why for half that price I could purchase the Rick Owens jacket I LOVE (in 3 colors too.) Not to mention it could perhaps feed a village for a few months. Doing the math and contemplating a luxury purchase is not sexy, but the real cost to the environment of our clothing is staggering.Transparency will thankfully increasingly help transcend the inequalities of clothing production, with stories such as the recently revealed real secrets behind Victoria Secret’s organic bras and panties, sourced from African child labor.

Legendary fashion pioneer heros and heroines, rose and fell this year, from the falling Gaultier’s insulting racial gaffe to the highest high of Alexander McQueen’s triumphant exhibit to Martin Margiela‘s house history in his Miami shop during Art Basel MB. Less visible is Queen Vivienne Westwood’s Ethical Fashion Programme, helping women in Kenya. Yes, it’s sloganed bags, but of the best kind. And I guess if you can’t be the rainbow like Jimi, you can tote it.

Spirits rose end of year with one of the Earth’s most forward clothing Master, Jochen Zeitz, CEO Sport and Lifestyle Group, CSO of PPR and Chairman of the Board of PUMA, with his speech on sustainability for the Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. His talk is a kind of milestone on “the economic invisibility of nature” and how the value of the planet’s natural resources, ecosystems and biodiversity can be fully and consistently considered in economic, accounting and decision-making systems.

CAVE ENERGY/SEX

Energy Efficient Edifaces. My 1994 issue of Mondo 2000 featured evolutionary architect, Eugene Tsui’s in-depth study of living organisms and natural processes, not just building inspired by forms. For instance, how can termites build towers 20 feet high, in climatic temperature swings of 40 to 120 degrees while maintaining a consistant interior temperature of 2 degrees?  With dirt? And some of them date back 4000 years?

The architecture world thankfully leads the world with LEEDS certifications, a wish for the coming years is that food, clothing and health industries endeavor to the same. Although I am told most people do sex with their eyes closed, one can imagine that copulating eyes-wide open in a hive-like room only increases the buzz of birds and bees.

“No machine can compare with the ability of the human hand and 10,000 computers will never comprehend the design intelligence of a single blade of grass.”

Eugene Tsui

Keichi Ohta, Mondo 2000 cover

FOOD NATURE ENERGY/SEX
Flower Food. Back in 2001, the same year I moved back to NYC from country living, solar house and organic farming, the book, Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan, archangel of new frontiers where “nature and culture interact,” came out. Beyond loving him for thinking sexy like plants and insects, I also love what he said about Jonny Appleseed, our mythical fertilizing folk hero, who promoted wild, un-grafted apples, aka hard cider apples. “Really, what Johnny Appleseed was doing and the reason he was welcome in every cabin in Ohio and Indiana was he was bringing the gift of alcohol to the frontier. He was our American Dionysus.” Oh yes, agriculture can be damn sexy. Of course when that same alchohol was used to tempt Indians away from their land and life, well, that is another story indeed.

Slower Food. Ten years ago, it took a forward thinking Japanese film crew to introduce me to Slow Food, exhibiting at the Natural Expo in LA, our client at the forefront of natural food and lifestyles. Fast forward to Miami 2011 and slow food translates to two days online to locate a non-Whole Foods nearby supermarket in Miami Beach’s northern parts. The dismal 3rd world bodega offerings reminded me of Michael Pollan’s letter to Whole Food on local produce.

Back in NYC, one tasty example of innovative Slower Food, my friend, Quinn Fitzgerald’s Feast Upon, takes the hunting and gathering time element out by selecting the best chefs and best local ingredients delivered to your home so you can cook, invite guests and thus create community. Now just in Brooklyn, a good idea fast coming to a city near you.

No Mo GMO’er Foods. The adjustment to organics is still debated, ongoing. And, then, like natural gas fracking, GMO (genetically-modified organisims) via Monsanto’s push to re-invent the wheel, keeps getting approvals, Obama, he of the organic garden on White House lawn, actually signed several just this week. Click here on Food Democracy Now to stop its presence on your plate. For me in 2012, a resolution to begin an indoor organic herb garden begins here.

ANIMAL ENERGY/SEX

“If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.”   Chief Dan George

I gave my beauty and my youth to men. I am going to give my wisdom and experience to animals.
Bridget Bardot

Kids, Gurus and Animals say the Darnest things, yet let’s be real, they are often the Smartest things. This year, Miru Kim‘s 104 nude hours with two pigs saved from the slaughterhouse in a gallery was a primal hit at Art Basel. Our host, Bridget has been an animal rights activist for years.

Cloned animal farms are shutting down because less than 10 percent of animals survive and it remains a non-cost efficient, fruitless exercise. Outcry against this abuse, the past 5 years of street art, nightclubbers and fashion mags morphing animal horns, masks and sheer empathy shows encouraging direction and I personally love talking to the animals. It’s true they make us more human, can you imagine when we as a species can go back to really communing with them?

HEALTH ENERGY/SEX

Orlan

Modified bods. “Upon suffering beyond suffering: the Red Nation shall rise again and it shall be a blessing for a sick world. A world filled with broken promises, selfishness and separations. A world longing for light again. I see a time of Seven Generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the sacred Tree of Life and the whole earth will become one circle again. In that day, there will be those among the Lakota who will carry kowledge and understanding of untiy among all living things and the young ones will come to those of my people and ask for this wisdom. I salute the light within your eyes where the whole Universe dwells. For when you are at that center within you and I am at that place within me, we shall be one.”  Crazy Horse

Artist Orlan‘s surgery art on her body was featured in Mondo 2000 reminding us of this year’s shocking news of botched body morphing experiments and deaths at surgery “parties.” Coupled with a recent Wired magazine article on Trials and Errors: Why Science is Failing Us on failing pharmeceuticals, perhaps the world might finally be getting a clue.

A little intuition and simple natural solutions exist without diving into the medicine cabinet.  I believe we have to know how to intuitively heal ourselves while we heal our host planet. A recent cold and flu was healed in 3 days on a “me-scription” of chicken soup, garlic, seaweed, yoga, meditation, sunshine and sleep and it was a reminder of the power we are only guessing at now, that our ancestors knew well. Is this the loop that will create the “end of Time?” I think so.

MUSIC ENERGY/SEX

Phonetically Un-modified Musicians. Late one night a friend popped out 7 discs of Burt Sugarman’s Midnight Special and the lithe, positively groovin’ rock n roll and soul legends from the 1970’s made you hunger for un-lip-synced, super-fit, un-carbo-GMO bodies and innocent crooning. Even long-haired rockers looked kinda cute. Hot Chocolate’s lead singer was so pop-perfect and the colors of the stage had me groupie-taking cell pics of the telly and yearning for more live music and less props.

Perhaps the love child heir of Bridget (hair) and Jimi (air), Amy Winehouse joined Jimi in the 27 club this year along with legend, Phoebe Snow, leaving lady voices of Adele, Annie Clark, Lady Gaga and (we spotted her early-on) Florence Welch to carry the torch. And yes, Beyonce even made our list, given her swing to Mama-hood and Boho, Bardot-hood. Welcome to Bohemia, deary-one.

Yukimi Nagano is another Fem-Love of mine, she gets the “Neo-Bridget Award.” A little Morcheeba, a little Chaka Khan, Erykah Badu, I am loving the new album from Little Dragon, Ritual Union, with more songs on top of the song I already consider my theme song, Constant Surprises:

As for the menfolk and bands, this year we honored the passing of Heavy D, Nick Ashford and heavy, Gil Scott Heron, while we loved TV on the Radio, Shawn Lee’s Ping Pong Orchestra, Bon Iver (we called them early on too) and traveling troupadour Gary Clark Jr. He gets the crown of Nu-Reverb, the “Neo-Jimi Award,” making live guitar blues sound like it might the first time ever breathed, ever invented. And the voice…the voice.

My all-time favorite music these days? Nature sounds on radio. crickets. bubbling brooks. birds. frogs. angels.

Angel come down from heaven yesterday
she stayed with me just long enough
for afternoon tea
and she told me a story yesterday
about the love between the moon and the deep blue sea
and when it was time for her to go
she spread her wings her wings high over me
and she said i shall return tomorrow

and i said fly on my sweet angel
fly on through the skies
fly on me sweet angel
tomorrow i will feel you by my side

and sure enough
this morning comes to me
with silver wings silhouetted
against the glow of the child sunrise
and as the blue birds and the sparrows envy me
she says i love you little boy
today you shall fly
she kissed me once
and the feeling so good
she made me cry
and now we can fly together

i said fly on my sweet angel
fly on through the skies
fly on my sweet angel
together we shall always be light

W A V E   ON.

happy new year friends.

LOVE, Jade    

                                 OX   OX    

                                      !

                                    (…..)

   go on now. 
transcend. weave. be the inspiration, beauty + invention of people, places + things beyond Time.

Sound created the Universe, stars and lovers. hello I see, smell, taste you too.

East Coast USA: we are in black earth month here. It’s getting cold and we find ourselves seeking warmth, shelter, comfort in the familiar and also the transcendant. The mechanics of our thoughts, running around accomplishing things on our hamster wheels crave a dive into Sensuality and Creativity. I declare a Synesthesia Stew of the Seven Senses as the ticket out of disconnect and cold of Life’s Assembly Line. A dissolve and immersion into the sensory delights that exist as secret doorways in any moment can be symphonic and fulfilling like Olde Tyme Religion! (or at least a moment of feeling like an Art-Star, whatever that personally means for YOU.)

Astrologically, aka in the logic of the stars, for November we were in Scorpio moon related to secrets, extremism, the mysteries of birth and death.  Now, with all those areas balanced and in check, we move into a moon ruled by archer Sagitarius moon, more free to indulge our curiosity about Life’s Secrets through a love of travel, knowledge with a fresh philosophy based on more than our intellect alone, learning to trust our instincts and seven senses. More fun, in other words.

Everyday in NYC offers this in abundance, here a sniff through my month in some of my favorite private clubs, rooftops, homes and photography galleries in search of The Best NYC Secrets To Unlock The Senses. Like the Tao, at every moment there are 10,000 things to choose to focus on, here are a few in this month’s issue, to get you started. First a dive into Star-stuff, the fountain of Sense and Creativity.

Simen Johan’s “Until the Kingdom Comes”

“The Earth on which we stand is made almost entirely of material created inside a star. Now we have a direct measurement of how supernovae enrich space with the elements that condense into the dust that is needed for stars, planets and life.”

Margaret Meixner of the Space Telescope Science Institute

Simen Johan

We are star stuff harvesting star light.

Carl Sagan

Scientists, Artists and US Weekly agree, stars are creation machines. The beginning, it is said was a word. I declare a less pedantic, authoritative hypothesis, maybe it was more like a song or a scent that served as Ye Gods’ Little Factory Whistle. Living always in our logical minds or mindless emotion, situating consciousness in the body and its senses is a great healer and comforter. Turning on music regulates heartbeat, lighting a scented candle is aromatherapy and all can be an instant elemental correction as our energy syncs up with the purity. We have the capacity to expand further into a transference and mash-up of the senses so we see music, feel color or taste touch to experience the creativity of Synesthasia, a wider spectrum of “Feel” inspiring artists throughout time with boundary-less borders of sensing.

here, to get your synapses firing, a clip of humans proclaiming monkeys and other animalia don’t dream, courtesy a bizarre, little radio snippet I see future DJ’s to sampling to great effect.

(ignore the bizarre Krishna art here, it’s an odd Oz behind the curtain for this clip, click Play, I promise its worth it!)

“Synesthetes often report that they were unaware their experiences were unusual until they realized other people did not have them, while others report feeling as if they had been keeping a secret their entire lives, as has been documented in interviews with synesthetes on how they discovered synesthesia in their childhood.”

Wikipedia

“She has that displacement of the senses which others take drugs to find. So she is like a lover of rock who sees vibrations when he hears sounds.”

Norman Mailer, “Marilyn: A Biography”

Sing the rapturous Love-Song unto me!

Burn to me perfumes!

Wear to me Jewels! Drink to me, for I love you!

I love you!

I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunrise;

I am the Naked Brilliance

of the voluptuous night-sky.

attributed to Nuit, an Egyptian sky goddess

Come! Now we dive into the secret drawer of our senses, the secret spots in NYC and what lies undies!

1st sense: secret sounds. Sing the rapturous Love-Song unto me!

Tarek Atoui is a snake-charmer crasher with the turntables, his arms flailing about like a mad scientist, hands in heavy rotation, maybe not even touching the turntables as much as luring the sound out of them.

Sound orgies by Gyorgy Ligeti and John Cage were top of the charts for me at age 16, hence I am a free-form sound fan, thankfully abundant in NYC (with the distinct exception of drunken west Village jazz club forays.)  If a delve into Beyond the Beyond and Beyonce is your goal, every two years in New York City, Performa 11 presents a huge slate of life-inspiring performances, this year my highlight was “Visiting Tarab,” organized by Lebanese artist Tarek Atoui. A secret-sounds, opera-like sound immersion emerging from sixteen musicians and sound artists, such as my Romania homeboy, Gyorgy’s own prodigal son, Lukas Ligeti, and sound artists ranging from hip hop and dub maestros like Raz Mesinai, to electronic wizards such as DJ Spooky and Anti-Pop Consortium.  All were invited by Atoui to Beirut to explore the world’s largest and most extensive collection of Classical Arab music.
Notes from my mobile: “I like that the audience is angry with the whale songs tinged mix of irritation building to a crescendo of annoyance much like a teenager thrashing his hips into a war game machine or the horror of a churning industrial conception contraption.”
photo by Edward Burtynsky
“When the wall of sound stopped abruptly, the audience whooped with pleasure and moaned when the sound crept into a resonance of heartbeat and shuffling dawn-like creeping. This then built into something akin to the American Beauty or True Blood soundtrack with Arab moulah wailing. Relaxing?…well I cleaned my phone of old messages and rotated my neck to absolve it of some kinks…so yes.

Then as a drummer and someone seemingly playing a plunger got on stage I swear I saw a butterfly in the dark studio. Ligeti worked a percussion instrument like a library of animal noises. Harp, drums and sax electrofied into silence with the waves of conversation voices in the crowd. Suddenly…

…the famous refrain “Jack declared house” voice music sample blared into airplanes as Raz Mesinai DJ took over the turntables for a solid set. Some wine and Tarek tearing up, I tweet: “These musicians are attacking their instruments I have never seen. Tearing up, crying myself.”

Sitting (by chance?) next to Performa founder, Roselee Goldberg and Lee Hirsch, director of the hailed movie, The Bully Project, capped the evening. Another thankfully typical, lyrical secret life-expanding NYC evening.

image of Roselee Goldberg and Tarek Atoui from Billy Farrell

2nd sense: seeing light: secrets of the universe expanding.

Given that personal experiences of recent discoveries of that which transcends even Einstein theories may be a little hard to pin down, namely sub-atomic particles aka nuetrinos, faster than the speed of light, which shape-shift from one of three varieties of the particle which can “tranverse planets and walls of lead like light through a window” …an easier way is ducking in and out of NYC’s Chelsea galleries. Full of secret spaces that open up vastness, sinus’s and creativity, my shape-shifting, odd face-making friend (Vanity Fair Italia photographer, Orlando Salmeri) and I tested the theory of trancendance through an art jaunt on a recent Saturday. Here with Richard Serra’s “walls of lead” installation in the Gagosian gallery.

vision. seeing big secret things on the big screen.

Letters From The Big Man” released on 11.11.11 in New York and nothing like a Big Secret Star to open up the senses. From a small indie film to be one of 100’s in a Time Square theatre, NY filmgoing is instant star-struckness.

For another sneak peek at being Brave in The Big Wild, see Disney’s “Brave” movie coming up in 2012, a romp through the Wilds O’ Scotland. More about this to come as we work on ILS:Scotland 2012, a BIG runway show at The Hammerstein Ballroom in March 2012, curated by some BIG names in fashion such as ……(secret), the creator of New York….Week…and … the founder of…Art…and….plus top designers such as…. There ye go laddie and lasses, that’s it for now, hold your horses, much more to come on this secret event unfolding.

Speaking of other secrets of NY, this month I discovered Brooks Brothers. I know, a classic NY tradition for basics and stalwart sartorials, but have you seen some of their designer collections such as Black Fleece from Thom Brown? I love it.

Not to mention a secret collection of yum Scottish-made luxury accessories, Fraser Balgowan, soon to be launching in the States, with leather and fabrics culled from one privately owned acreage of wild land, owned by the lovely Fiona and her husband, including free-range red deer. Now that is Touching Earth Sensuality!

…and yes, this shy laddie serving drinks at the Brooks Brothers party was wearing a kilt along with his cute pinchable face, Highballs in the Highlands, indeed!

3rd sense: feeling, touch, empathy. Wear to me Jewels!

Bejeweling is India’s grace upon the world and its colors often float majestically through NY. “India Song” from photographer Karen Knorr at Danziger Gallery, on until December 23, 2011, is a private jewel box to silent inner realms and the elegant mystical presence of an animal in a human space. Did the animal dream of this placement or did the human…one has to ask.

Hanut Singh is a secret. A Master Jeweler with a Pedigree. (his GrandPappy was the “late and great Maharaj Kunar Karamjit Singh of Kapurthala”) Gems like Alba Clemente, Cindy Sherman, Rachel Roy, Wendi Murdoch, Rasa Music’s Donna d’Cruz, Penelope Cruz and the Olsen twins crew all have Hanut’s number on the mobile.

I was honored to privately view the jewels on Hanut’s latest visit to New York and the organic power of the gems and settings made me repeatedly gasp. Really. More on Hanut for sure!

4th sense: scents erase time. Burn to me perfumes!

For secret perfumes of the best indie perfumers simmering up cauldrons of resins, fruit and flower elixirs and gummy woods…read last month’s post.  My nasal fibers and brain synapses are still reeling from that stopping to smell the roses.

5th sense: space. privee trysting addresses in which to expand.

#241

I was invited for an evening at Norwood Club, sitting like a Grande Dame of Secrecy, unobtrusive on 14th Street while inside its four floors, an opera, harpist Phamie Gow and 10,000 other secret happenings were unfolding. We got a little tour with Alan Linn, the passionate owner whose taste in art and atmosphere is well worth the price of admission. A surprise evening in NY can be quiet and melodious in a candle lit plush living room with about 30 people grooving to harp music.

#21

Hustling down a cold street lit with soft golden doors, (which accounts for the blurry photog) I spotted Hotel Griffou. Have not yet been, but intrigued. “The restaurant gets its name from the 1870’s boarding house located in the same building and originally presided over by Madame Marie Griffou, a big-hearted French woman with a soft spot for creative types.”

#518, #9

Hotel Americano. For a birds-eye view of Chelsea, go up the back staircases of any hotel and head up to the roof. In summer, a roof bar is a cacophony of phonies posturing, in winter, rooftop bars are serene, windswept perches at the level of hawks, seagulls and helicopters. Recently we scurried up to the roof and saw two hawks, the masses tredding the highline and some cool pics.

Not quite as high up (2000) as Edward Burtynsky’s stunning “Dryland Farming” photographs at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery.

5th sense: tasting. Drink to me, for I love you! I love you!

 

New York’s culinary pleasures are endless and the secret is they don’t have to always cost a bundle. Two of my latest favorites, from our client, celebrity chef Nisa Lee’s Jade Cocktail, (that and other cocktail recipes here) to my latest obsession, dried seaweed in olive oil packs at C-Town for $1.79.

6th sense: otherworldly vision: visit with the up-all-night “freaks” of nyc. I am the blue-lidded daughter of Sunrise;                     

Good to touch base with the cafe ladies then and now. What creeps around NY at night is transcendant and usually transexual. Teacher of Diane Arbus, Lisette Model‘s images from the 30’s to 50’s, seen recently at Bruce Silverstein Gallery, resonate as much as Gilles Larrian‘s “Idols” at Steven Kasher Gallery.

And if you can’t stay up that late, just make a cool magazine.Part of Performa 11, Daido Moriyama presented a serenity of process, within the old time magazine making world, inviting people to construct their own at Aperture Foundation. I love his nighttime, elusive and secrets of NY images.

More magazine worship news this month includes that of style.com going print this month and my own personal visit to the shrine of V, the world’s biggest magazine. It was an afternoon, an off-day in the Mercer Street headquarters where the ISSUE was just lounging like a leopard or a Big Temple Buddha in the home offices, strangely quiet, while a sultry male model sat waiting for a call-in, the receptionist slinked through as did editors and photographers. (Another of my NYC secret spots is the largest Buddha in NY sitting in a temple at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge. Oh! and yes, while you are there, my new fave Chinatown vegan resto, Buddha Bodai. I know, there I go mixing up the senses again!))

Becoming larger than life is Rashaad Newsome, his work has evolved to Mastership. One of my favorites was the emanating, morphing Bling Video at Marlborough Gallery for his “Herald” exhibit,which included a Performa 11 performance (with the official heraldic write-up by my pal, curator Amani Olu.)

7th sense secret: Giving,touching. I am the Naked Brilliance of the voluptuous night-sky.

Beyond the Gaga, the Gala hype and the Gallery bling, one eternal secret of NY is that everyone is very giving. A mature New Yorker’s evening out is less likely new beats and breakdancing as it is private and public soirees dedicated to raising funds for worthy causes. Why not plan a trip to NYC around attending a fund-raising event for a good cause? Stars, Feel-goods and a Sensory shelf life beyond 5 minutes. This month, three beautiful charities dedicated to kids and creativity have crossed my path. I declare that giving is the Seventh Sense.

Pencils of Promise “builds schools in the developing world and trains socially conscious young leaders to take action at home and abroad.” With catering by our client, Nisa Lee, Justin Bieber star-studded the Pencils of Promise 2011 charity gala this month.

A precious, smart friend Janine Francolini began Flawless Foundation, after struggling with her special needs son and the limiting and dangerous options and services available to him. “There are over 12 million children with behavioral challenges in this country  and 1 in 5 children will have a psychiatric diagnosis by the age of 18.” The good news is that with diet, yoga, nature and new sharing-based and respectful behavior techniques (which we all can learn from) major healing is happening as a result of this tiny dynamo known as Janine.

A leader with Flawless Foundation’s Pioneer gardens project reports that “a class of 8 – 11 year old boys who are quite active and to watch them interacting, planning, gardening together with such calm and peace was AMAZING. The teachers were awe struck at the change in the students behavior – we are more convinced than ever that gardening is such a healing therapy for at risk youth.”

We met one of Bent On Learning‘s inspiring founders, Anne Desmond, at a Flawless event I attended with another Star Client, psychologist, Dr. Renee Clauselle. Celebrities who love yoga flock to this cause, such as Gwyneth Paltrow, Molly Sims, Russell Simmons, Kelly Rutherford and a celebrity secret of mine, yogi Eddie Stern, whose Soho Ashtanga studio is low-pro and real, still after all these years. (as in 5 am classes)

Bent On Learning “offers instruction in yoga and meditation to students in grades K through 12 in New York City public schools and youth centers as a means of reducing stress and improving concentration, self-esteem and overall health.”

Free Hugs.

Looking like a re-incarnation of Jesus and John Lennon in one, Juan Mann began Free Hugs, one man’s mission to give free hugs to everyone in the street in 2004, in Australia. He has thankfully inspired imitators around the world in part due to the above Youtube video featuring Australian band Sick Puppies, which has been viewed over 70,000,000 times plus the obligatory Oprah show appearance. In these tense times of public demonstrations, it’s good to remember, maybe we need both, OWS and Free Hugs. A NYC secret is you can get free hugs in Union Square on any given day with some sweet kid toting a “FREE HUGS” sign.

williamreesecompany.com

Leading to next month, I am headed to Art Basel Miami Beach where I will be covering street and community art for Metropolis magazine as well as shopping a community art installation for 2012 with Jon Porcelli, who traveled the world, congregating 1000’s of nude folks on glaciers, buildings and other unseemly places with art photographer, Spencer Tunnick.

Got a little place right on that beach, I plan to avail myself of the free bikes in Miami and pedal around all low-tech, sensual and touchie-feelie-like. See you next month, on the other side!

       OX   OX

    !

       (…..)
   go on now. 
transcend. weave. be the inspiration, beauty + invention of people, places + things beyond Time.

The ground flowed backward beneath us
in a long streaked line of pale gray,

(Gadzooks! Let’s Go! How we love invitations to be literary-ish and sexy.)

(Note to Self: If you do indeed follow Gretel, the White Rabbit or Aslan, be sure to leave a trail of breadcrumbs…)

The end of October 2011. NYC.

Dear Diary,
A massive snowstorm plus lightening has arrived appropriately in honor of Samhain, aka “Summer’s End,” Ognissanti and il giorno dei Morti, one of the witches’ quarterly sabbaths, the one which deftly marks the vampiric bite of winter closing in. The snow obscures the outside,while the veil between our inner worlds gets thin, wispy, scanty and scarily threadbare. Lucid dreams come marching in, like an exotic stranger. To be sure they are some fun but we also hanker for real-time remedies of the cashmere sweater, warm body and spicy chai-tea-type to remind us that life exists in the frigid dark. Thank heaven and hell for the resulting dark months where we shall sootheth with fragrant and flagrant couplings spiced with Vampire tales from Nordic and Eastern Old Europe! A taste of immortality to spur us on!
In honor of all that, and at the bewitchy behest of Lucy of the indieperfumes blog, who beseeched (had to go there) creative “indie-perfumers” to whip up scents inspired by an old French vampire tale written in 1908 by Théophile Gautier, THIS is the reason for this post. Among several bloggers selected for reviewing, I received 4 packages in the post, which in of itself was a nerdy sexy tactile thrill. Way more fun than an acidy obstacle course through a perfume department or everyday fragrant monopolic corporate copulations!
The story is “Clarimonde” and the copulation in question (had to go there) is that of a priest named Romauld and an exquisite vampire courtesan named Clarimonde. Opening with…
Brother, you ask me if I have ever loved. Yes. My story is a 
strange and terrible one...

The tale is told from the priest’s agonizing perspective as he questions his double life, his time with the seductive scented sensualist lady of the evening …all the while seemingly tucked in his hair shirt comforter inside his solo monk bunk. (C’mon, did he have to go there?) Was it really all a dream? Did he go there?!

I have never been able to relate to this moral quandary of lust vs. piety like this priest …to me they are simply the same.  Wee me was a Tiny Druid Priestess since the age of four, happy to converse with everything temporal and immortal cavorting in a square foot of suburban lawn from clover ladies to dirt hauling ants to tiny beetle Gregors. The habit grew throughout the years and between sweat lodges and initiation into Native American sisterhoods, organic farming and a lust for Pan, Bacchus, wine, coupling, True Blood and my Romanian heritage, well, really, this Clarimonde girl seems like one damn fun immortal. Miss “Clear World 1908” speaks to our frocked boy, Ro-Mr.Mauldlin, like his God would, promising Salvation and Eternal Love along with Nights Afire.

Ho Hum.

A little rote and olde tymie gothica, I’ve decided to pair the scent reviews with some modern couplings which I have both cinematically and in real life crossed paths with, those I personally find inspiring or vampiricly fascinating (had to go there) Love Stories. Fragrant GstaadGzadzillionairesses and their Worshipping Menfolk. These couples lure with the imagined absolute fragrance of their lives – both the scent of the woman and their fragrant lifestyle of seduction-these are women who you could easily run into in Gstaad, Go Completely Gaga over, or else, as we do in NYC, when celeb spotting, furtively text “Gadzooks! She’s in Dean and DeLuca!”

When a person appears like a lucid dream, we wake up to our immortality. To fight it like a Priest is a torment of self flagellation. Vampires and their victims are not suckers, they are choosy dieters. Natural selection. The seductresses here, Chloe Sevigny, Marina Abromovitz, Bjork and Carrie Brownstein are powerhouse “it girls,” exuding an indie-perfume monogram of pheramones – like a flower or fruit or prolific, Pro-Life human driven to press its genetic DNA forward, forward…into immortality.

Although I found the novel mostly dull, with the exception of

one seXual teXtual eXcerpt  (rated xxx for literary sex)

the passage where two black stallions tear through a dense forest to Clarimonde’s castle where she lays dying and calls for the maudlin and besmitten priest to issue last rites. The journey to the castle called to mind the power of Madonna on stage writhing to vast Steven Klein’s images of her with a black horse for the Confessions tour. Romp with it then, herewith, the textual horse dispatches thundering upon the path of your night…scented couplings…and the Clarimonde scent reviews.

Two horses black as the night itself stood without the gate,

pawing the ground with impatience, and veiling their
chests with long streams of smoky vapour exhaled from their
nostrils. He held the stirrup and aided me to mount upon one;

then, merely laying his hand upon the pommel of the saddle, 
he vaulted on the other, 
pressed the animal's sides with his knees, and loosened rein. 
The horse bounded
forward with the velocity of an arrow. Mine, of which 
the stranger held the bridle, also started off at a swift gallop, 
keeping up with his
companion. We devoured the road. 

Witch-fires ever
and anon flitted across the road before us, 
and the night-birds
shrieked fearsomely in the depth of the woods beyond, 
where we beheld
at intervals glow the phosphorescent eyes of wild cats. 
The manes of the
horses became more and more dishevelled, the sweat streamed 
over their flanks, and their breath came through their nostrils 
hard and fast.

Aroma M. by Maria and Alexis. Wholeness to the brink of insanity. Chloe Sevigny and Vincent Gallo.

Lolita and urban Latinas, Exotica Bombshells, as the inspiration for the makers of the Cherry Bomb Killer perfume, plus the horse description in Clarimonde, have repeatedly brought me close to insanity with their scent conjured for the Clarimonde project!  Maria Mcelroy, creator of a dainty line called Aroma M., scents inspired by Geishas, in collaboration with Alexis Karl, sent Immortal Mine, scented with their words: “soil from an unmarked grave, blood from a slayed Wyvern, the sweet elixir of dying jasmine and fading neroli…essense of smoke from the funeral pyre…” Nope, Bloomies does not stock this…yet!

“Immortal Mine,” as indie-perfumer Head Honcho, Lucy herself wrote, “Indeed, as I linger over the last of the perfumed wine that fills my mouth with ambergris, musk, rose, honey and chocolate, that scent rising up from the back of my throat, I sink more deeply into the fragrant complexity on my inside wrist, and would myself seek to dream such vivid dreams of ultimate and Immortal Love.” Other Clarimonde Kids have been similarly smitten…read the sultry take on the Clarimonde story invented by Tarlesio. And Gadzooks!, perfumer, Monica Miller captured in a poem exactly what is so enigmatic about this “Immortal Mine.”

For me, wearing the scent brought the words “wholeness to the brink of insanity.” And oddly, another immersion reminds me of being a little girl, being enveloped by the wool overcoat of my Father, protected yet vunerable in his love and his scent. Another cold morning, a deep draught of the ungent reminds me of a brandied, candied apple with light flowers showering around. Um, yeah…this scent is orgasmic and it keeps changing its messages. I am more than a little enthralled with it. (and submitting to Gothica in Gotham…had to go there!)

Thus…

The coupling this scent reminds me of is that of Chloe Sevigny and Vincent Gallo in the movie Brown Bunny, with Bud’s relentless black and white rain soaked car journeys and obsessiveness that can only come from Immortal Love. Having brushed shoulders with both of these enigmatic souls, Chloë Sevigny, whom I surprised one evening as she stood alone, all-dressed-up, smoking, puzzled and deep in thought in a Paris hotel hallway and Vincent Gallo, at the book signing for his Brown Bunny film book, shyly signing my book, and then later dashing out of the store unto the street muttering hot holy words to himself like a madman, I admit it, I Love them both hotly!

...and the black silhouettes of
the trees seemed fleeing by us on either side like an army in rout. We
passed through a forest so profoundly gloomy that I felt my flesh creep
in the chill darkness with superstitious fear. 

Samples of Immortal Mine will be available for purchase by contacting Maria and Alexis at info@cherrybombkillerperfume.com.

“Two Spectres Riding on Nightmares”


The showers of bright sparks which flew from the stony road under the ironshod feet 
of our horses remained glowing in our wake like a fiery trail; and had any one
at that hour of the night beheld us both--my guide and myself--he must
have taken us for two spectres riding upon nightmares.

“Two Spectres Riding on Nightmares”

a double entendre of words, dreams and horses, are the odds paired in author and Master Perfumer, Mandy Aftel‘s new fragrance for the Clarimonde project called, “Oud Luban.”  She writes of “a story of extremes: austerity and opulence; sin and holiness; carnality and abstinence.” I ask, could there be any couple in love and art more fitting that description than Marina Abramovitz and her lover, Ulay?

Mandy Aftel, Aftelier Perfumes and Oud Luban.

Marina Abromivitz and her lover, Ulay.

“Oud Luban” offers you the sharp citrusy floral topnote promise of a heavy winter liquor thrust into your cold hand. As you sip and warm to its fire, you fall into Frankenscense (the milk) and finally die in the arms of resinous “oud” heartwood, the most expensive essence in the world, ultimately held by vanilla notes and aged Patchouli. (ok, yes and you are wearing flowing, heavy velvet garments and a sparkling, leather sheathed sword by your side-flank…) See also The Clarimonde Project blog where Queen Lucy perfectly captures the church sensuality vibes, scenthive.com‘s description of Oud Luban’s church incense and the “highs and lows with no middle ground” as Mandy put it, to be transported into the Church of Passion and the State of Lust! (who wouldn’t join those parties…yes, it’s a double-entendre;-)

The image on Mandy’s postcard sent with the package spoke of the old Europe folk working the Earth and reminded me of Marina’s “Balkan Erotic Epic,” where both men and women gave their souls and sexuality to the the fecundity of the earth and the rain.


Aftelier’s “Oud Luban” can be purchased in a super cube of solid joy here.

Sangre Eau Parfum and Lip Stains by Monica Miller for Skye Botanicals.

Bjork and her lover, Matthew Barney.

But when he found them slacking pace, the guide reanimated them by uttering a strange, 
gutteral, unearthly cry, and the gallop recommenced with fury.

Sangre Eau assaults like a shock of blood, violence or a sudden flash of a camera, an artist stealing someone’s soul. It has the beat and thrill of an urban garden of cultures clashing and shocking, like an early Madonna song, a Courtney Love melt down or a Bjork-Shock of warbled Pagan Poetry. I get hit with smoke and much-used colored pencils. Wax and a hot porn paperback. A Ron Galella black and white photo of dinner with Warhol. Up and out at 3 am, laughter, glasses shattering, risky behavior. Temporality loved so much, hovering between laughing and crying and know the feeling will live on only in memory or by repeating the formula. Is Sangre Eau perhaps a taste of addiction? (I love him, I love him, I love him…she loves him, she loves him, she loves him…ad infinitum.)

Monica conjured the dark-urban spin on the Clarimonde story inspiring me to think of passionate, couples who carry their coupling into every fiber. Bacchus into a corner!

Dusk quickened and Monica lights a Roman candle of Roman Chamomile with dark berry fruit essenses for the sex-in-your-face top note, and for the heart, a cocktail of Jasmine CO2, honeysuckle absolute, geranium absolute, white and red rose tinctures, which rise up instantly as I tap their names into the blog. (Blood of Christ! What is this love between plant scents and our desire!?) The base is musks (had to go there!) honey absolute, ambrette, Frankincense CO2 and Patchouli CO2 and you are crushed inside the mosh pit of Infernality for sure!

A little mosh pit of purpose is the Lip Stain Monica created called “Purple Shadow” a caldron of melting shea butter plus myrrh, peppermint, lemon balm and spices…again each of which enters my smell receptors as I type. Ok, yes it’s slathered upon my lips for easy access to the love canals of my nose…but still. Old news to anyone who follows me, I firmly believe “aliens” are among us, in the DNA of plants.

Sangre Eau and Lip Stains can be purchased here.

Tripping on Parfums des Beaux Arts and Ayala Moriel. And Portlandia fairylandia in twilight zones.Sunday. 8 am. NYC.

Dear Diary,

An innocent, fresh bright sun morning, the kind only possible after a day of the season’s first snow. Black coffee, lover still sleeping in a white tousled bed, I slip on red leather Moroccan slides to check the mailbox, where I hope the other packages from Clarimonde have arrived.

They have.

Even though I know it is a dream pillow, I have barely gotten through the layers of packaging and the scent rises up like a cloud. A nap with the pillow, designed to mimic the “Oriental perfume that lingered in the death chamber of Clarimonde” (eeeew!) granted me folklorica images of sleeping close to the ground in pine needles and the valerian root, violet leaves, roses, lavendar buds. orris root, liatris and patchouli (why did almost all the perfumers have go there?! to patchouli? what does that say about your hippie lover who reeked of it?)  I saw images of embroidered lederhosen strapping in my lover’s heart, probably because Ayala Moriel‘s scents are all natural, artisan perfumes and I happen to have a favorite kitschy image of alpine love as part of an artwork in my home here:

which naturally brings me to my favorite nerdish couple, Fred and Carrie of Portlandia. (their take on postal packaging later)

Tower 1. Paradise Found in the Dream Pillow.

Tower 2. “Paradise Lost” perfume from Parfums des Beaux Arts.

Monday, Twilight. New York. Halloween. Alone. Writing like a Nerd. NYC.

Dear Diary,

This Paradise Lost scent reminded me that midweek last week I was invited to trip upstate to the Winery at St.George, a massive de-consecrated church built in 1912 by the family of John La Farge converted into a Winery. (yes there are La Farges there!) Twas the perfect spot to contemplate losing oneself to tripping on pleasures secular and sensual.

At last the whirlwind race ceased; a huge black mass pierced
through with many bright points of light suddenly rose before us

The hoofs of our horses echoed louder upon a strong wooden drawbridge, and
we rode under a great vaulted archway which darkly yawned between two
enormous towers.
Some great excitement evidently reigned in the castle.

A 2007 Sebastiani Barbera, Sonoma Valley, that is.

And I quote the maker’s True Words. (the words of Tom, the incredible sommelier and owner of the Winery’s words are a blur…)

It is very supple and harmonious in its flavor purity and aromas. The incredibly fresh, dark, garnet color is immediately striking when the wine is poured. The aroma is filled with black cherries, blackberry pie crust and pureed blueberries with hints of vanilla and baker’s chocolate from the oak regime. The flavor echoes the nose with rich, concentrated blueberry and black cherry fruit. The wine has luxurious mouth coating tannins which effortlessly glide along the palate, providing structure and rich framework.

Servants with torches were crossing the courtyard in every direction,
and above lights were ascending and descending from landing to landing.

When is wine like blood, like a song, a book and a perfume? (yep, this is a segue…)

When it is Paradise Lost.

Paradise Lost Perfume inspired by words in Clarimonde, “A twilight blue oriental perfume.”

The words in the story and the inspiration for the Clarimonde inspired parfum by Dawn (yes, that is really her name and she did go there) of Parfums des Beaux Arts, is called Paradise Lost.
Twilight.  Dawn. The Changing Time. Between Worlds. In our lives, we are teenagers again. The threshold of children into adults. Why we are so fascinated by this time of revolution in our souls? It is the transition time, when immortality riding on a fast horse named Mortality comes to bite.
Damn that Dawn! She captured this. Paradise Lost is exactly Bittersweet, Fleeting, Acidy Sexy, the Dear John letter or text, the wolf in Grandma’s clothing, Vanessa Daou whispering Erica Jong’s empty room pain in the black, black forest,
the dead rose, the wine left in the glass, the field in winter, the vampire that must disappear, the empty teenager’s room before going out to a party with clothes left everywhere.
The perfume’s topnotes are all sweet love ignited: wild blue chamomile, immortelle, pressed violets, golden champaca. The heart notes begin to tear, rip, and cry with oils and scents of faded flowers, candlewax, oriental lotus, black orris. The base notes resound from memory, like finding an old letter: sable fur, fossilized amber, myrrh gum,bloody sweet accord and mitti.

This scent is the descent into the dark woods, the wardrobe or cave to discover magic. Thankfully Paradise Lost means that it may be found. The object that will bring it all back, the perfume, the person, the vampire, the prostitute, the sex toy, a draught from the fountain of youth in Dr. Heidegger’s study.

…and did our Dawn know? The blue will glow for Twilight, Dawn is Breaking…letters are posted…invitations…when Breaking Dawn, the newest Twilight movie premieres on November 18th. Tweens n Teens all a Twitter. (yep, had to go there too)

I obtained a confused glimpse of vast masses of architecture--columns,
arcades, flights of steps, stairways--a royal voluptuousness and elfin
magnificence of construction worthy of fairyland.

royal voluptuousness? fairyland? elfin good fun? welcome to NW Kearny Street, Portland Oregon!

Getting outa Gothica and back into Gotham, I flew back in a flash to Portland and to our nerd Lovers, Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. They really toss it up when their new sex toy arrives in the mail. Because if you forgot the breadcrumbs to find your way back and are not tossing it up laughing all the way, life is a vampiric horror movie all the way.

Thanks Dear Diary, Over and Out!

Thanks to Ellen von Unwerth for her inspiring Heidi. Other pics by me or claimable, let me know!


“Growth for the sake of growth is the philosophy of the cancer cell.”

– Edward Abbey

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.”
– the late eminent economist Kenneth Boulding.

“When Saquasohuh, the Blue Star Kachina dances in the plaza and removes his mask before the unintiated, this is the 9th sign.

-Hopi prophecy

I-somewhere, dancing on a verdant globe.

When the world is running down, it might look just like this. Endless mosaic ribbon snakes of small cars, attended by the poor, the homeless and circus performers squeezing everything, their homes, beds and grafitti, into every available crevice on the side, middle and on highways choked by traffic snarls, while the rich zoom overhead in their helicopters to and from supreme, pristine highly-paid for well-designed spaces. There, dancing in that opened Pandora’s box of Earth, Sensuality and Expanse hidden in lush planted sunlit parcels, are those with power for the practice of new realities, surrounded by the Earth’s battery  w i n d i n g…d  o   w    n.. . . . as the Amazon moans,crashes,burns and disappears under a blazing sun.

I-am in Mythic Brazil, Sao Paulo, city of 11 million people, invited to speak at an international design conference on our Art Intervention in Milan. Design? Design?

BOOMSPDESIGN 2011 is the name of the conference, bringing international artists, designers, architects, manufacturers and designers to present and mingle on their disciplines. Invited by the seven-league boots promoter Roberto Cocenza, I spoke about the urban art intervention project we did in Milan for April’s Salone, you can see more about that and other presenters, here on the Green Provocateur blog. The immersion into the maze of Sao Paulo, new architecture experiments such as Dror’s Magic Carpet island above, followed by a left brain Amazon jungle-side visit ….and crash course! The whole idea of “design” and design in Brazil for me went way beyond the trifecta of Niemayer, Campana Brothers and Marcio Kogan which most identify as art, design and Brazil.  Herewith are some trends I saw in Brazil as blueprints for the future. Visit our Twitter chat #artdesignbrazil for a taste, a little old-school Twitter on Machine Tech to envision an even Newer Technology being impulsed, Bio Tech, based on biology, which, as far as we know, at least for the next generation,

we will need these biology bodies and the Earth as umbilical cords to in order to operate said Machine Tech.

trend 1:   i propose “I-not.”

Yup, very Buddhist and very post-Steve Jobs. Very necessary millenium drop I-ego for Earth survival.

The eyes of the Soul of Everything is watching. Can we embrace a childlike exploring of technology of caring and consciousness to re-design what is slowly killing our planet?

The pillars for this idea came from a touch down into the edge of the jungle and a term heard at the conference:

not-architecture.

The genesis is Amory Lovins whom I first heard speak about Negawatt power. not-architecture. Architecture that disappears and melds into the surroundings, nature and community. A structure that binds and contributes because it’s principals, materials and laws are founded exactly on and in accordance with nature.

The value is less not more.

Hail to Rudolf Steiner to Bucky Fuller to Chad Oppenheim’s philosophic approach to an “non-technical” method of building…in the ways of ancients and in accordance and relationship to flora and fauna, weather patterns. Hail also to Japanese architects CAt, who survived the earthquake and came to Brazil to tell about it. Their design for this highly functional and inspiring “non-space” and a school based on L shaped walls to create open classrooms allowing energy and children to live in conversation with the surrounding forest…took in more and built less. Less is more.

I-not is actually a technology.

The technology of I-Not or Nothing holds Buddhism as its Papa and Nature as its Mama. I-not. We do belong to the Earth as caretakers, vs. exploitative, ravenous and thoughtless unconnected creatures. After Steve Jobs’ visionary planet cruise, I am only invested in a philosophy which sells answers via undoing the need and salve of buying, figuring things out based on old time motives.  Absorption by Nature vs. Naughty by Nature bypasses selfishness and fear. Taps into innate wisdom like seeing a surprising beautiful guru, a natural scene like this spectacular tree known as Tortoise tree, or Jaboticaba,with flowers and green little balls covering its limbs. This can make one drop all assumptions and know that the real universe is a work a bit larger than oneself, flowering, fruiting and prolificating like…wow.

Ideology based on personal assumption is headed to the graveyard. Which may just be our cities. This Graveyard for Carnival Props and Floats reminded me of the most potent image I bring forth from this trip:

On the side of a massive 12-lane highway maze, a half-naked, half ceremonially dressed dark skinned man with dreadlocks to his knees performed a slow and deliberate trance pantemime looking simultaneously like a Tai Chi warrior, a raindance shaman and/or just another homeless person living on the side of a highway doing a prancing dance of a man driven insane.

Not having an I-definiation for who or what or which of those he might be, will always be my image of Sao Paulo…its potential and its precarious edge.

But hey, we have trends to unravel and carry on about.

Herewith, just a few impressions of this Maze of a city. One photographer I met called it the “infinite city” and certainly a transverse of it lasting hour and 40 minutes from one end to the other with row upon row upon row of boxes, whether favelas (no windows) or tower boxes upon towers upon towers of square glass windows eyes blinking in the sun and the buzz-by of dragonfly helicopters. Yep, infinite.

trend 2:  I-not-online shopping: streets are gifts. gift box shops.

Get down. Down at ground level, Brazil’s boxes perhaps pay endless homage to the le Corbusier visits which began in 1929. While the golden triangle and green roofs would be welcomed aspects of his 5-points of architecture, the box formula partial to “white space” proportions, the use of simple materials such as concrete, and strong “ocean-liner” window concepts make for strong brand identity.  Like strips of gift boxes, unrelated at all to each other, the spirit of play reigns, although, truthfully, groundbreaking design in fashion, home or goods stamped with SP or Brazil is not to be found here on the high street. There are stellar exceptions, for which one must reveal thru an online surf before hitting the vast turf of SP and treading the streets.

The above proportion formula is repeated endlessly with color, texture, size variations. An exception, a design store intrigues at night with surface, neon and a sense of peeking under a door.

It turns out to belong to quintessential architect, designer Marcio Kogan’s Micasa Volume BStudioMK27, whom I interviewed later for Metropolis magazine, who gave, (no surprise) the most poetic, abstract, smarty answers on the rising of Brazil as a design leader.  In terms of the world’s urban architecture vernaculars, by default or design, this proportion is pleasing and may theoretically be the genesis of I-not urban architecture for its minimal material and form expression. Would it play in NYC? Think Apple store cube. Add solar, green roofs and grey water systems and maybe our cities might be trying vs. dying.