Sunday, March 30, 2008

fresh air

today was the the mica vs. ub kickball tournament, rematch. mica brought home the cup last semester... not bad for an art school, eh? (want to know their excuse? "you may have won kickball, but we'll see who makes more money.") needless to say, we kicked their butts again. majorly. and it was really just a fun time. it felt so good to spend time outside. i hadn't been this active since online aerobics senior year.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

new york, new york

central park, the whitney biennial, and a very long bus ride back.

Friday, March 28, 2008

two kinds of art

things are well under way with the newest project from mica's exhibition development seminar: beyond the compass, beyond the square. something that could not have been anticipated: all the controversy surrounding the enclosing of mt. vernon place, the exhibition site, with 7 foot tall gold chain link fence as art. reading the conversation on local blogs, the baltimore sun website, and the artists website ( has been fascinating.
i'm on the fence (pun coincidental) about this one. i'm for an art that shakes things up and changes perceptions. but i'm also for art that makes a positive impact. and this is temporary. years from now, baltimore will maybe remember the hype, and this mica kid will probably be showing in a chelsea gallery. he's getting what he wanted. (except for, i would assume, the being called hitler or getting spit at part.) imagine, though, if he had decided to max out his credit card on improving another area park. could it still be art?

meanwhile, adjacent to this mt. vernon installation in the walters, there is a true display of inspiring community art as part of the maps exhibition and larger baltimore festival of maps. a project called "maps on purpose" (done with a community art based baltimore organization called "art art on purpose.") asked different communities to become engaged in a process of mapping their communities. the result is a special exhibition in a small gallery space that showcases the neighborhood creations, changing every 4 to 5 days to fit all of the places and pieces in. the best part for me was seeing a definition of community art in a gallery space. that was exactly what 100+ community artists were struggling to pinpoint throughout the whole community arts convening. and there it was in wall text, the essence of it all, joseph beuy's philosophy, "everyone an artist."

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

look up

today some of the mica banners came down on mount royal to be replaced by the baltimore version of the urban forest project. the idea started first in new york city. artists and designers were called upon to create banners banners that used trees as a metaphor for sustainability (all of the original banners can be seen here) and they were hung on lampposts in an outdoor exhibition. when creator, mark randall, presented the project at the bma last fall during "design for community," he announced that someone had recently agreed to bring the idea to baltimore. just a few months later, it is a reality. 350 banners. 7 streets and 6 parks. and it is a reflection of the direction baltimore is heading in.

the whole city has switched to single stream recyling. it was weird to be home and not have a way to recycle. i'm glad that there seems to be more of a sense of sustainability consciousness here. the mica store has stopped carrying plastic bags. people walk places. cafe doris now has corn cutlery (we still have styrofoam take out boxes, but one step at a time...) there's even a baltimore sweep action parade this saturday. i'm not one to get caught up in the hype of green. but this is all stuff that just makes sense. and why not use banners to build discourse?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

national community arts convening & research project at mica

these pictures are courtesy of stephanie, who caught right onto the concept of deep dive!

this was the start to my spring break. staying around in baltimore for a few more days (i had no problem whatsoever with that, there's still snow on the ground in michigan.) and volunteering at the community arts convening. there was just so much to process leaving the conference and coming back home, so this post is my attempt to articulate it all...

paula and ken have been busting their butts for this conference since last fall, building it from the ground up. (at one point i asked paula how things were going, and she said "it's a lot of work. but you know what? it's going to happen. because we started it and it's going to happen.") they asked community arts practitioners, students, faculty, and administrators to submit texts. these essays would become the starting point for the groups. categories were: critical pedagogy in the academy, partnerships: campus and community, community practices: values, belief, and aesthetic forms, and community arts and artists. and a hint from ken? they're all about the same thing... from there the conference attendees spring boarded into conversations, sharing, lots of questions, and lots of dancing. there were three things guiding it all: 1. where have we been? 2. where are we going? 3. how will we get there?

fred lazarus opened the conference. (donning a curious neck brace...) his support was very important for me to hear. it became clear that the prominence of community arts at mica is not to be taken as an accident, he reassured me that it is very purposeful. he addressed the many quid pro quo pieces of community arts and shared his own frustration with learning that the institution is always a support player in baltimore. but he called on us to continue to refine what we do and professionalize it. professionalizing is not a bad thing, he put it. and that was evident throughout the entire conference. it was classy. and i loved when he mentioned that for so long the conferences were about convincing each other that what we do is valid. we know that, he said. now it's about telling those who aren't here, engaging the community.

stephanie and i were volunteers. observing the conference with fresh new eyes and from outside of the structure of being in groups. for usit was really all about just soaking it all in. there was so much to be gained from just being able to sit and read the abstracts and take notes and talk to each other about it all, going endlessly off on tangents.

during one chunk of time, sitting at the registration table, i grabbed a book from a nearby table titled: "undoing the silence: six tools for social change writing." i liked it a lot. caught up in the world of the "visual arts" is easy to forget that it is not always the right medium for the message. sometimes you just gotta write. i thought to myself, "there is a reason why i picked up this book." i want to write a book. and i've got to believe that the author, a college aged activist during the free speech movement, knows what she's talking about when she asserts that the written word drives social change for the long haul. i started to think of writing that makes things happen. what about "common sense?" talk about writing that started a revolution.

i also had my own little revelation sitting there. i realized that i chose to come to an art school because i had these ideals. it was a leap of faith and a surrendering to the signs. but in all honesty, if i had come here and not been shown cap or not been placed in the "finding baltimore" class, i wouldn't have lasted. i would have worn down quickly, clinging on to my vision for design that can save the world as i battled upstream among artists contempt with art for art's sake. i would have shifted my focus elsewhere. maybe i wouldn't have even known that something was lost. or it would have frustrated me under the surface and deposited doubt that maybe, just maybe i should have played it safe at lake forest. but after having all of the opportunities i've been given this year, one of them being able to crash the conference as a freshman, i have the reassurance that there is an undercurrent going in the same direction.

so why community arts?
(a compilation of words working to articulate this abstract thing we call "community arts." things i underlined in the texts or wrote down as they were shared in conversation.)

because "my ego dictates that i do something that must make a lasting impact."
because "the academy's preoccupation with aesthetics - the unquestioned 'arbitrator of rightness' and aligned schools of thought - may not serve the community' interests well enough."
because "we are visionaries. pulling the world as it is into the world it should be."
because "we're all really just making this up as we go along."
because of "the unwavering faith we have in people."
because "who else will urge its brilliant color to jump forward, not stopping until all is made anew?"
because "no problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it."

Saturday, March 15, 2008

once a child of the sacred heart, always a child of the sacred heart

my mom said this to me on the phone the other day. i asked her what she meant. she told me she was reading this blog and realized how i am living the sacred heart values, without even realizing it.

it's crazy to go back and look at pieces of your upbringing and realize that you are the way you are for very specific reasons. my mom always made sure that i was where i needed to be to get the best possible education. i was always where it made the most sense. and i can't imagine it having been any other way. i needed to have a foundation from sacred heart, but the public school freedom and experience after.

i went back and looked at the goals & criteria that were unknowingly guiding my sacred heart education. i found it to be such a strong declaration from an institution.

like one of their goals is that,

schools of the sacred heart commit themselves to educate to a social awareness which impels to action.

and they measure it with things like,

-the school educates to a critical consciousness that leads its total community to analyze and reflect on the values of society and to act for justice.
-the school offers all its members opportunities for direct service and advocacy and instills a life-long commitment to service.
-the school is linked in a reciprocal manner with ministries among people who are poor, marginalized and suffering from injustice.
-in our multicultural world, the school prepares and inspires students to be active, informed, and responsible citizens locally, nationally, and globally.

how powerful is that? i think its pretty loaded.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

better waverly

an idea from jennifer granholm @ the diversity round table about a year ago. it has stuck with me. and increasingly it represents an idea bigger than i could have imagined when she first mentioned it. it is a problem and a solution all rolled into one statement...

last wednesday i went to better waverly (a neighborhood in baltimore) with my friend stephanie. she does her cap internship there at a community arts center (which is a row home that has been converted.) they do after-school art classes (the group stephanie works with) and other things like free piano lessons. in an article about the center, someone from the better waverly community organization states, "you turn on the lights at 901 montpelier, and there's going to be a child's face pushed up against that door." it's a pretty cool place. totally part of the community. kids can walk out of their house, literally walk a few doors down, and make art.

it was a good day for me to visit. stephanie was starting a new project with them, a video that would showcase better waverly. to start to brainstorm ideas, the group (about 12 kids) took us on a tour of their neighborhood. they carried around little notepads and were told to keep three things in mind. 1. what am i proud of? 2. where do i hang out? 3. what would i like to see for my neighborhood in the future.

the weirdest/scariest thing for me was how aware these kids are of everything going on around them. and i mean everything. they talked openly and eagerly about recent shootings and gangs, and took us to the "rapist park" as one of the tour stops. i cannot imagine being born into an environment with such an inherent burden. i worry that there is no outlet for these kids about these things. and i worry art can only go so far.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

why i blog

-excerpt from an interview with bruce mau.

but sometimes it's still fun to try to document it all...

right now i am finding myself (again) surrounded by yellow. tracing paper and new markers and pens, and plans. lots of plans.

i started with just drawing house plans really big on sheets of the yellow tracing paper (something i've been wanting to do for awhile.) and now that idea needs to culminate in my elements class this thursday.

i brought the first floor plan into my drawing midterm last week. fabienne gave me a wealth of names to look up, people that came to her mind when she started looking at the piece and the concept of drawing space. (rachel whiteread, amy yoes, borges, isabel allende & other magic realists.) she also gave me some reassurance. (two kinds of yellow together is one of her favorite things.) that's where i was at last monday.

sometime after that (actually, i think it was after seeing the current exhibition at the contemporary this past thursday,) i had a revelation and realized that it wasn't about drawing the plans, and then making them into something else... it was just about the plans themselves, the shape they made, their inherent visual interest and call for investigation. but this missing link was having them not be completely visible- instead of drawing them with graphite on the yellow tracing paper, drawing them with a yellow medium. because that's what plans are. they're there, yes, but we rarely can see them. it reminded me one of my connect quotes, found in the same bruce mau interview as the quote above,

"another thing i'm often not aware of is where things are headed. in retrospect things look like they were following a master plan, that there was a carefully laid out route to arrive at something or other, but more often than not, it was intuition and accidents. the grand sceme may be there in the unconscious, subtly guiding one's attentiveness to pay attention to these accidents and happenstance, but i'm often not aware of it." -david byrne

and so i insist that there is something there in all this yellow and all these plans.

i looked up isabel allende and found an interview with some more room for interpretation and application to where i'm at right now.

on writing (creating) and starting:
"when i start i am in total limbo. i don't have any idea where the story (piece) is going or what is going to happen or why i am writing (making) it. i only know that i am in a way that i can't even understand at the time, i am connected to the story (piece.) i have chosen that story (piece) because it was important to me in the past or will be in the future."

Saturday, March 8, 2008


last night i was finally able to sit down and read the latest issue of the urbanite. it was the coolest thing to flip through and find pages and pages of people unknowingly pursuing the same idea: neighborhoods. and even crazier was that the things they were observing and questioning are exactly the same things we are scratching at with a neighborhood called baltimore. this issue was all about something called "the urbanite project."

What is The Urbanite Project?
By Frans Johansson

The author of The Medici Effect explains how the explosion of new ideas at the intersection of different fields can change Baltimore-starting with you:

Let me ask you a question. What is the connection between termites and architecture? Shoe designers and car engineers? Lollipops and sea urchins? Or butterflies and mobile phones?

The connections may not be too obvious at first, but each of those combinations represents a remarkable innovation, and an incredible idea. Those who find such unique connections (almost all of us) and dare to pursue them (a lot fewer of us than should be) are the ones who are breaking new ground. Those people who can step into an intersection of different fields or cultures are those who will change the world.

It may seem quite counterintuitive at first-but the fact is that you have the best chance of breaking new ground if you combine what you know today with ideas or concepts from other fields or cultures. Your best shot at innovation does not, in fact, come from you increasingly specializing in your current field. It may help you change things incrementally, in small, predictable steps. But it shuts you out of more intriguing and groundbreaking discoveries.

Take this guy, Mick Pearce, for instance. He is an architect that received a tough challenge to design an attractive building in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, but also, in the design, to get rid of any need for air conditioning.

This may, on the face of it, seem ridiculous. After all, it can get pretty hot in Harare. But Pearce solved the problem by basing his architectural designs on how termites cool their tower-like mounds of mud and dirt.

How was that again?

It turns out termites must keep the internal temperature in their mounds at a constant 87 degrees in order to grow an essential fungus. Not an easy job since temperatures on the African plains can range from above 100 degrees during the day to below 40 at night. Still, the insects manage it by ingeniously directing breezes at the base of the mound into chambers with cool, wet mud, and then redirecting this cooled air to the peak. By constantly building new vents and closing old ones, they can regulate the temperature very precisely.

Pearce's passion for understanding natural ecosystems allowed him to combine the fields of architecture and termite ecology and to bring this combination of concepts to fruition. The office complex, called Eastgate, opened in 1996 and is the largest commercial/retail complex in Zimbabwe. It maintains a steady temperature of 73 to 77 degrees and uses less than ten percent of the energy consumed by other buildings its size. And it saved $3.5 million immediately because they did not have to install an air-conditioning plant.

Pearce had become an innovator-he had changed the world, or at least a small part of it. What, exactly, enabled him to become such a leader? He was not a world-leading expert in architecture and he certainly was not an expert in termite ecology. But he did not have to be. Instead, Pearce used his knowledge within one field and joined it with ideas and concepts from another seemingly unrelated field. He, in other words, stepped into the intersection between those two fields-and struck gold because of it.

Pearce broke new ground, not because he focused relentlessly on one field within one culture. Instead, it was his willingness to explore ideas and concepts outside of his field of expertise that enabled him to break new ground. We can all do this. In fact, in the fast-changing world that has emerged during the last couple of decades, finding such intersections is a requirement. It is the surest way to generate groundbreaking ideas and make them happen.

I call the explosion of new ideas at the intersection of different fields "the Medici Effect," a name derived from a remarkable burst of creativity in fifteenth-century Italy. The Medicis were a banking family in Florence that funded creators from a wide range of disciplines. Thanks to this family and a few others like it, sculptors, scientists, poets, philosophers, financiers, painters, and architects converged upon the city of Florence. There they found each other, learned from one another, and broke down barriers between disciplines. Together they forged a new world based on new ideas-what became known as the Renaissance. As a result, the city became the epicenter of a creative explosion, one of the most innovative eras in history. Leonardo da Vinci is the illustrious standard-bearer of the Renaissance and is the ultimate representation of Europe's most creative explosions of art, culture, and science. The effects of the Medici family can be felt to this day.

We, too, can create the Medici Effect. We can ignite this explosion of extraordinary ideas and take advantage of it as individuals, as teams, and as organizations. We can do it by bringing together different disciplines and cultures and searching for the places where they connect. And there has never been a better time to do this than now.

In my travels around the world, while speaking at corporations and conferences and while talking to innovators of all kinds-entrepreneurs, scientists, designers, executives, artists, policy-makers-it has become very clear that the need for innovation is at a fever pitch. The world is changing at a breathtaking speed-faster than ever before. I have yet to meet an executive who with confidence can tell me where his or her industry will be five years from now. Imagine being an executive in the CD industry in the mid-nineties. You could have the best, most strategic plan to conquer this industry, to become a global market leader. But today you would be dead. You'd be gone. The world is changing fast and we have to change with it. But how?

Today the world is converging in more places than ever before. People move between different countries and our communities get increasingly diverse; science and technology are converging faster than ever before, and the power of the Web connects people between places in ways that only a couple of years ago would have been unthinkable. This convergence is giving rise to more intersections than ever-and more opportunities for each one of us to create the Medici Effect. Everywhere you can see such connections: Nike designers work with General Motors engineers to develop tire patterns that resemble a sneaker's sole (for the H3 Hummer). Marcus Samuelsson, a black chef born in Ethiopia, learns how to cook food around the world and innovates Swedish cuisine at his restaurant Aquavit. He becomes the youngest chef to ever to receive a three-star rating from The New York Times, for dishes such as sea urchin lollipops. Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith steps into the intersection of violence prevention and health care and dramatically drops the level of violence and murder in Boston during the 1990s. Groundbreaking ideas spring out of such unusual connections. This is how we innovate; this is how we change our world.

In this issue of Urbanite you will see a few such remarkable collaborations. But any one of you can reach to a field or culture different than your own. If you can find a connection, you may have discovered the best chance to create something new, to change our world.

As it turns out, the single best way of breaking out of the pack is to take what you know right now, today, and combine this knowledge with ideas from other fields, industries, and cultures. When you find those connection points, explore them and prepare for an explosion of groundbreaking ideas.

So what about the intersection between butterflies and mobile phones? I'll let you work that one out for yourself . They are connected, however-and the truth is that most things in this world are connected. The world is, indeed, a connected place. But it wasn't created that way. There has always been someone making the connections.

It could be you.

2008. This year, the project consists of seven teams of collaborators; each team has been asked, What would you do if there were no boundaries? What concern–either here in Baltimore or globally– would you confront if nothing stood in your way? The Urbanite Project aims to explore the possibilities of collaborative innovation and bring that power to bear on the most intractable human problems.

here are the two teams with ideas that stuck out to me, with some excerpts from their articles:

team one: the neighborhood exchange program

"the idiosyncrasies and individual character of these neighborhoods contribute to baltimore's rich texture and coarse charm, but they also reinforce baltimore's stratification and contribute to its entrenched problems. neighborhoods are pitted against one another for shares of city resources, close neighbors willfully ignore problems in adjacent communities, and residents are discouraged-through ingrained habits, prejudices, or political pressure-from straying beyond their neighborhood boundaries."

"each group repeated the theme that a lack of knowledge and communication between adjacent communities cause frustration, confusion, and slow progress on a number of shared issues. during our discussion, several participants expressed beliefs that the department of recreation and parks moves resources from one neighborhood to another without explanation or prior discussion, that the school system makes decisions based more on political maneuvering than neighborhood needs, and that the baltimore development corporation flies under the radar to evade community involvement in major development projects. the lack of communication and human connections between neighborhoods prevents residents from fully comprehending or influencing city government decisions such as these."

"we hope that other neighborhoods will see this as an impetus for their own neighborhood exchange programs, reaching across the walls to meet with the unknown other that we are taught to avoid, combat, or ignore. this idea should not be limited to community groups–any individual can take steps to expand his or her horizons. the goal is to reach out and meet our neighbors, looking outward as well as inward. we believe that a collection of neighbors and neighborhoods can rally around their commonalities and respond to their collective differences, proving literally greater than the sum of their parts."

team six: wired, but not quite ... connected

"historically, neighborhood identities run deep in baltimore, and while that adds to the city's charm, it can work against building the kinds of connections the city needs to reach its full potential." this team used photography to "examine the disconnect and interconnectedness of baltimore's neighborhoods and people."

"we live and work in this giant checkerboard with its more than 250 neighborhoods, each of us only one or two spaces from some community in the grips of the tragic urban trio of crime, poverty, and racial prejudice. yet a multitude of community organizations and outward-looking people persevere. they work to repair communities like weavers mending the urban fabric. they remind us about those being displaced, unable to keep up or ride the wave of progress. they also realize the value of connections, looking outside their neighborhood boundaries to join others and make their case or better their situation. let's hope enough of us are listening."

pretty cool coincidences. let's start making connections.

Friday, March 7, 2008

book a week (part three)

the next installment of books. (i'm still pursuing the idea despite the $3 bill i racked up in late fees from the last round.) something i already had (my tried and true raison d'etre, that i realized i haven't read in a while.) something to prep me for my painting presentation on agnes martin. something design (just for pure fun, circa the year 2000.) two somethings to help me scratch harder at the surface of "plans," the spine of my current elements project. and some new yellow pages (which i won't read, obviously. but will most likely use for an art project, obviously.)

"self-reliance and other essays" - ralph waldo emerson
"in pursuit of perfection: the art of agnes martin, maria martinez, and florence pierce"
"design culture now" - national design triennial
1907 exhibition catalogue - architectural club of baltimore
"hand drawn worlds" - various architects and artists

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

connect in context: chuck klosterman edition

i was flipping through an old friend today when writing my cultural criticism essay for criticial inquiry, and rediscovered this gem:

"there are two ways to look at life. actually, that's not accurate; i suppose there are thousands of ways to look at life. but i tend to dwell on two of them. the first view is that nothing stays the same and that nothing is inherently connected, and that the only driving force in anyone's life is entropy. the second is that everything pretty much stays the same (more or less) and that everything is completely connected, even if we don't realize it. there are many mornings when i feel certain that the first perspective is irrefutably true: i wake up, i feel the inescapable oppression of the sunlight pouring through my bedroom window, and i am struck by the fact that i am alone. and that everyone is alone. and that everything i understood seven hours ago has already changed, and that i have to learn everything again. i guess i am not a morning person. however, that feeling always passes. in fact, it's usually completely gone before lunch. every new minute of every new day seems to vaguely improve. and i suspect that's because the alternative view - that everything is ultimately like something else and that nothing and no one is autonomous - is probably the greater truth. the math does check out; the numbers do add up. the connections might not be hard-wired into the superstructure to the universe, but it feels like they are whenever i put money into a jukebox and everybody in the bar suddenly seems to be having the same conversation. and in that last moment before i fall asleep each night, i understand everything. the world is one interlocked machine, throbbing and pulsing as a flawless organism. this is why i hate falling asleep."

-from the introduction to "sex, drugs, and cocoa puffs" by chuck klosterman

connect in context: sculpture

this was my response to a "serial abstraction" assignment for sculpture. the point was to grow or dilate sculptural form by combining materials (pvc pipes) in succession, with emphasis on attachment (drilling and dowels).

i didn't realize until i was way over my head with it the night before how big a role connecting played. the intensity of rushing to get it done, and not sure if it was actually possible, reminded me of this line from a post last week.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

moving on...

ok. so i get these weekly inspirational emails from sounds cheesy, right? but in actuality, every time i open the email to find words that are totally applicable to my life at that point in time. here's what was in my inbox yesterday:

“Being stuck is not the problem. Staying stuck is.”

~ Genpo Roshi, 21st century Zen Master
from Integral Institute workshop, November, 2005

Dukkha. I was originally introduced to the concept by Genpo Roshi during his lecture on Big Mind. (Big Idea coming soon.)

Dukkha. The word is translated as “suffering” and is prominently featured in Buddha’s First Noble Truth.

The word has a much deeper meaning, however.

In classic Sanskrit, dukkha is used to describe a potter’s wheel that is stuck and screeching as it turns. Contrast this with its opposite, sukkha—which represents a potter’s wheel that is freely flowing.

The idea is that suffering occurs only when we’re stuck. Specifically, when our minds are stuck—when we can’t shift our perspective and take more spacious view of the world.

How amazing is that?

Reminds me of the flowing essence of the Tao, or even Flow, the state of optimal human experience defined scientifically by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

Are you stuck?

Get unstuck. Stop the suffering.


the past few days with this blog, and with life in general, i've been struggling to "rebound." how can i write about all of the things i love about being at mica, or the art i'm making, when it all seems so futile in context? because those are exactly the things that keep me going against the grain. i need those pieces in my life because i know they are building me up to something bigger. i need to be happy and see the good around me.

with that being said, i got to tour the gateway yesterday. it's pure genius. the goal of the building is to extend the boundaries of mica's campus to notorious north avenue. it's a powerful presence that begins to blur the lines between the mica bubble and baltimore.

i'm crossing my fingers that i will be able to call it home next year. for more than a few reasons (late night cafe, to name one), it seems like the right fit. (and also, if i lived in the meyerhoff, between eating and student activities, i would basically never leave the building.)

fyi: i took the top picture inside the brown building the first time i visited mica, almost a year ago, for their open house. my tour guide made a joke about brown being the target of a drive by shooting, but mica out smarted them and used bullet proof glass. i thought for sure after that one that there would be no way i could convince my parents to still send me here. funny how things work out.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


student activities had an event this past friday called "back to tha basicks." it was a hip hop 101 thing with lots of breakdancing, a graffiti contest, and an open mic night. to kick things off e the poet-emcee held a conversation on "the hip hop cultural revolution." timely is all i can say. i had met e back at the black panther symposium, and knew that i needed to connect with him.

emailing him had been on my back burner for the longest time. things happened, i never go around to it. so for me to see him again, after the week i've had, was just what i needed.

he does this open mic night called "the art of conversation" at the yabba pot every saturday. (yabba pot = delicious vegetarian food. i could totally become a vegetarian if i knew i could have that food for ever meal.) it's basically like the critique process for visual artists. a poet would perform, and then e would open up the floor for questions, comments, etc. the discussions the poetry prompted were pretty profound.

i didn't realize until e mentioned it, that the art of conversation is lost in america. we forget the power of words to bring controversial issues and questions up to hash out. i have a lot to hash out myself. but it's reassuring to know i'm not the only one thinking these things.

"they danced down the streets... and i shambled after as i've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones that never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn..."
-jack kerouac, from "on the road"