Thursday, December 31, 2009

"Invisible Architecture and the Road Home"

"My childhood was full of confusions like these, almost willfully acquired,
since I would never admit when I didn't understand something. Not just because I was afraid of looking stupid but because the natural order of things appeared to me to include dusty obscurities, intended to remain unclear."

Suzanne Berne, The Ghost at the Table

"I-77 / Lake Norman"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©


I travel. I travel a lot. My excursions are, of course (and as is in keeping with the very nature of the course), bracketed by the leaving and the returning. You may find it ridiculous that I would even mention what appears to be such an obvious notion. But as I spiral away from my home, towards some destination (some destination that most certainly involves - at the very least - both the allure and the anxiety associated with the unknown), I feel the need to remain aware of the spiraling back. Such is the folding back upon that gives me my greatest sense of Home.

"Magnolias / Wendover & Randolph #6"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©


I move. I have moved a lot. And while I have been an active
(some might say driven or possessed or even obsessive) participant in the development and construction of each of the houses in which I have resided, the actualized physicality is a very small part of the defining qualities of Home (I would be remiss if I did not recognize here the amazing skill with which my wife Sheila, transforms each new domicile from a Shell of Possibilities into Our Home). Yes, plaster, brick and wood are components. But so are safety, comfort, love, memories of all types: envelopment.

"#9, Canopy Portal"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©


But how many times do I breeze through the heart and hearth of my Home as if it were some arbitrary pasture along the Pennsylvania interstate? Familiar in content, but not fully explored?
How often do I live in my Home as if I were a child, or a guest, or a scripted actor?

Scientists speculate that we only know about a mere fraction of the Matter comprising the Universe (and given the transient nature of knowledge itself as it traverses and unravels the strings and mysteries of History and The Future, even that understanding of Matter may be circumspect). Such are my self imposed limitations in the understanding of Home.

As I build and re-build, I aspire to consider the distinctions between habit and ritual.
In this expanded moment, there is the road Home.

Press Arrow to Play Video.

"Higgs boson Luminosity"© 2009
Video Collage
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

"It's like art. Is art useless? Yes and no. The concepts [of particle physics] are so beautiful in their simplicity. And they answer most fundamental questions. Physics and art are two forms of the same wish of human intuition, to understand nature."

Fabiola Gianotti - quoted in The Genesis 2.0 Project / Vanity Fair Jan. 2010

Next: "Painting My Home"

Thursday, December 17, 2009

"Invisible Architecture and the Lure of the Moon"

"Moon Labyrinth"© 2009
from The Spidey-Hole Series / Autumn Missed Subset

"I thought only of the Earth. It was the Earth that caused each of us to be that someone he was rather than someone else: up there, wrested from the Earth, it was as if I were no longer that I, nor she that She, for me. I was eager to return to the Earth, and I trembled at the fear of having lost it. The fulfillment of my dream of love had lasted only that instant when we had been united, spinning between Earth and Moon; torn from its earthly soil, my love now knew only the heart-rending nostalgia for what it lacked: a where, a surrounding, a before, an after.
Italo Calvino

Cosmicomics / The Distance of the Moon

"#8, Blue Moon"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

I have studied the speculative history of the ancient labyrinth, and its close connection to the moon, the myths of the moon, and to rituals related to the moon. Fascinating stuff. Made more fascinating because of the thought-filled conjecture surrounding the study. So much History lost beneath the dust and sea. So much History twisted and knotted. For example, the fourteen turns of the Cretan Labyrinth are supposedly connected to the fourteen phases of the astrological moon cycle. The arguments are compelling and the evidence rich and dense. But who's to say?

Right in this moment, however, I am more interested in my more localized notions of the phrases of the moon: moments of awareness where I bask completely in the light, times of tumbling headlong into the abyss of darkness. I turn and am illuminated, but only as part of me is exposed to the void. I turn again and am caught between the fullness of being and the uncertainty of the new. Waxing and waning.
Apogee and perigee.

For (you see) whatever History dictates, whatever fate portends, for however the tides pull - this,
this is my walk.

Press Arrow to Play Video.

"La Luna"© 2009
Video Collage
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

"Storytelling reveals meaning without committing the error of defining it."
Hannah Arendt

Please enjoy this musical interlude: for all my Huckleberry friends...........and me.

Next: "Invisible Architecture and the Road Home".

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

"Invisible Architecture and the Topology of the Labyrinth"

"Delivering You (Hair Ride)"© 2008
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

“The only thing to do,” I gulp, “is to put this lantern shinin right in front of your feet, kiddo, and follow that lantern and make sure it’s shinin on the road rut and pray that it’s shinin on ground that’s gonna be there when it’s shining,”
Jack Kerouac
Big Sur (1962)

"Water Labyrinth #10"© 2009
from The Spidey-Hole Series / Autumn Missed Subset

The mystery of the Labyrinth has been primarily absorbed within three beautiful and meaningful interpretations. During the era of the Great Cathedrals, walking the Labyrinth became a substitute for a pilgrimage to the Holy Lands. When re-discovered by Lauren Artress and other prescient advocates, the Labyrinth journey became a contemplative one; impressing upon its acolytes to leave their concerns in the center, and so cleansed, return (renewed) to the 'real world'. In recent years, the power of the Labyrinth has been embraced by the Medical Community for its recognized contribution to Healing.

"Spider Labyrinth # 9"© 2009
from The Spidey-Hole Series / Autumn Missed Subset

After several years of studying the attached and recognized symbolism of the Labyrinth. After several years of laying out and drawing, painting and making labyrinths, I began to access (what I think of as) the Native Significance of the Labyrinth as an appropriate model for life action. To begin to consider the Labyrinth as going beyond its accepted dimensionality and recognize its axis as well as its axes embraces issues of topology. As time is included then, the Labyrinth becomes a marvelous and expansive tool. Within its patterning exists a folding back upon - an opportunity to review what we have once experienced even as it laps over and around that which we are doing and that which we are to do.

"Disambiguation, 12-06-09"© 2009
Brilliant Notebook ©Project

In what has become a conventional interpretation, a sojourner enters the Labyrinth from the outside, and winds towards the center. I am coming to an understanding that we, each of us, start in the middle. We find our way outwards along the most circuitous path, which becomes our personal and individual story. The gift of the Labyrinth is in the knowledge that inscribes our ability to find our way back into the center. Replenished, we may then get back to busyness. It is symbolic, for sure. But more:
it is in the webs of spiders, the limbed Gestalt of the Water Oaks. Laugh lines, snail shells. It may be regenerative. It may be comfort. It may be part of grieving or of healing. In this moment, let us consider it Home. And fold back across its most available and receptive threshold.

"Analysis Situs"© 2009
Video Collage
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

Fascinating article here: "The Circular Logic of the Universe"
Next: Invisible Architecture and the Lure of the Moon.

"....part of you pours out of me in these lines from time to time"

Sunday, November 29, 2009

"from her little room (invisible architecture of Eudora Welty)"

Contributed by: Carrie Schulz, MArch.

"The events in our lives happen in a sequence in time,

but in their significance to ourselves they find their own order,
the continuous thread of revelation."
-Eudora Welty

Appropriate(d) Detail circa 1989.

I have had to perform exercises in mapping.
Some for classes. Some for getting lost. Some for telling a story.

All involve sequencing.

Concrete Contrast, Philadelphia 2009

Does a map start with a point?
You are here:
in the center.

Grace Barrier, Philadelphia 2009

Or does a map start with a limit?
This is the edge:

Concrete Landscape, Philadelphia 2009

As you plot points, events, places,
what happens to the space between?
Do you remember the coast when you visit the mountains?

Appropriate(d) Detail circa 1988.

Do you take new surveys to verify old measurements?

Appropriate(d) Detail circa 1989.

(I went down to the lake, then, and gathered old details for new memories.)

Appropriate(d) Detail circa 1989.

Does a map tell you the past?
Do you capture a place, a memory?

Or does it give you a choice to venture out again,
and give cause for a new map?

Appropriate(d) Detail circa 1988.

(I walked a bag of lemons from one house to another: they brought out the light.)

Kingsport, TN 2009

Ten, still:
"All serious daring starts from within"
- Eudora Welty

Many thanks to Carrie Schulz for her thoughtful posting.
Empathinc. is currently exploring issues of (Being) in Space.
Next: "Invisible Architecture and the Topology of the Labyrinth"

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"Invisible Architecture and the Drip Line Cathedral"

"I don't really know how to explain it, but when we move, we are in a way de-structured by our movement toward something: we are both here and at the same time not here because we're already in the process of going elsewhere, if you see what I mean."
Muriel Barbery
The Elegance of the Hedgehog

"I-77, Exit 33 / Sumac"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

In my backyard, the Willow Oaks knot their limbs into boughed Basilicas. Shallow beneath the surface (hemmed in by asphalt and gravel), their roots reach out parallel to the drip line of the limbs above. A curtain of nether space defines the parameters: issuing fair warnings to
those who deign enter this implied Cathedral.

I should remove my shoes.

"Hybrid Maple / E. 5th and Monroe Rd."© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

Caromming from portal to portal (from project to project), I skitter across the broken pavement of this, My Country. In my expansive backyard, the personalized drip line
becomes inclusive of destination, return and the vastness between.
Does freedom hitch a ride in this sufeit of available and abundant opportunity?

Only as I part the scrim that is my practiced format of being.

Let us all risk stepping barefooted across the established demarcations
of what has become known to us.
That's just good living.

"Laika in Orbit"
Video Collage
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

1. Escape gravity.
2. Eject boosters.
3. Release.
4. Repeat as necessary.

Friday, October 30, 2009

"Invisible Architecture Deux (at Robby)"

So you see, once a person drops the scales of prejudiced certainty
and doubts appear, there is no telling how far a heart can open.

Louise Erdrich, Four Souls 2004

Albrecht Durer
The Painter's Manuel
, 1525

It is given that the glasses maker, Lippershey was the inventor of the first "Dutch Perspective Glass". Galileo improved lens grinding technology to give his "Perspicullium" increased clarity and magnifying capabilities, and turned it towards the Heavens.
Not being particularly adept, nor classically trained, in the Science of Optics, I have inadvertently spent my entire career looking through (what has subtly proven to be) the wrong end of the Telescope. My notes (however meticulous in constancy and ritual) have chronicled a particular inverted self-sensibility, and kept me cloistered in a construction of my own circumspect interiority.
In layman's terms, my perspective then, has been turned inward.

"#7, Impatiens Waiting"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

The Stars however, have had an excellent view of my retinal synapses and have toiled for many a year to chart the comings and goings of what they have simplistically termed my "visual discourse". The results of said research has been exhaustively relayed back to me
in the form of what I persist in calling "Dreams".
Unshackled and light, these purveyors of stellar rectitude find fascination in the rigidity of my defining Nature.

"Particle Accelerator" © 2009
Random Video
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

I intuit their jolly dance along the reaches of what (I - perhaps- mistakenly) refer to as a Chaotic Universe, horrified that such a peripatetic existence (both wave and particle, indeed) might conceivably imbue my own binary certitude with an inordinate doubt. No stranger to risk, I yet remain inconsolable in their practiced insistence that while the infinite may render me discomforted, it is (in all likelihood, according to the Stars) the finite that I fear.

"Mary Go Round" 2009
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©
Call Your Mother, regardless of what plane of reality she occupies.
Make a list defining your family of choice. Build bridges. Tear down dams and
return that which has been inundated to it's Native Nomennature.

"All the changes will be, by the time it gets dark."

Next week: "Invisible Architecture and the Drip Line Cathedral"

Friday, October 23, 2009

"Invisible Architecture /( to Carrie)"


Early spring. Now the bitter gourd

puts forth its sharp-tasting leaves.

The water crossing's too deep to ford

the current cruelly strong.

When it was shallow,

you could lift your skirts and cross it.

Songs of Bei

"#5 Fixed Moment"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

In our struggle to make our way home, we encounter many obstacles. Some of these are physical: rivers, canyons, mountains, sickness, families of origin, cultural privilege.
Others are more abstract: valleys of esteem, peaks of ego, projections of passage.

"A Wake"
Random Video 2009
Systemic Amazement Factorial©

We are more than our perceived histories. We are more than our the patterns of our helixed DNA. Our ancestor's concepts of the future are not the constructs of our present; we do have to not fall victim in the hallways of predilection.

"#6 Time Lapse"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

We get to flow. Around and through. The stone does not get to decide if it may impact the current. The pattern of the flow decides the path.
This is the method of construction that takes form
in the draw:

October 27, 1954.
An advanced society implements a wealth of information to construct useful and beautiful places to gather.
"A Place for Everyone to be Happy, Regardless of Race or Creed."

Will your eyes be closed or open?

Next week: Invisible Architecture Deux

Friday, October 16, 2009

"Self-Indexing Landscapes (for Sheila)"

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour.
William Blake
Augeries of Innocence

"#1 Pin Oak / Transmitter"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

It would be easy for us to consider ourselves tight and complete packets. Closed systems wandering about in some vast landscape.
Our fear of invisibility might even, ironically, evoke a need to remain cloistered within ourselves. Necessarily separate and maintaining a discrete distance from all the bothersome chaos wrought by a world in constant motion.
we are permeable constructions, we humans: impacted profoundly by the passing of seasons, the discourse of time, the perceived profanity of catastrophe.

"#3 Dogwood / Elizabeth Water Tower"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

The original philosophies under girding the idea of Empathy regard how we humans occupy space. Tonight, as I rush through The Void upon a cathedral of verdant possibilities, I would like to embrace a concept of participation that I will now call apogenesis. Rather than think that my creative processes are an isolated and internalized mechanism of individual interpretation, I will take heed of the call to go out and be an integral member of a self indexed pattern of origin(ating). I will choose to breathe in the hues of the Autumn, and am looking forward to seeing your humble, osmotic selves made present in the golds and crimsons.

Dedication of Alan Bigelow Altar and Light Sculpture Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care Film by Isaac Schulz Brilliant World 2009

"I would rather be ashes than dust! I would rather that my spark should burn out in a brilliant blaze than it should be stifled by dry-rot. I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet. The function of man is to live, not to exist. I shall not waste my days trying to prolong them. I shall use my time."
Jack London

Do you realize - we're floating in space?

Next week: invisible architecture.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Time Crossed Purposes

"Each of us is all the sums he has not counted: subtract us into nakedness and night again, and you shall see begin in Crete four thousand years ago the love that ended yesterday in Texas. The seed of our destruction will blossom in the desert, the alexin of our cure grows by a mountain rock, and our lives are haunted by a Georgia slattern, because a London cutpurse went unhung. Each moment is the fruit of forty thousand years. The minute-winning days, like flies, buzz home to death, and every moment is a window on all time...."
Thomas Wolf
Look Homeward Angel
, 1929

Myers Park Baptist Church. Charlotte NC
Photo by In2Wit © 2005
Thoughtful Information Design

Sometimes our path seems clear and mellifluous.

"At Cross Purposes"© 2009
from The Spidey-Hole Series / Intersections Subset

Other times, we may find ourselves prey to our own expectations.
Bound up by desired and anticipated results.

Myers Park Baptist Church. Charlotte NC
Photo by In2Wit © 2009
Thoughtful Information Design

When my brother, Billy and I lived in the same town, we looked forward to our annual Christmas Shopping Trip to Asheville. We would peruse the Mall, breaking only for lunch. Billy has a preternatural penchant for picking out just the right gift. Truth be told, the seeds of Empathinc. found root on his fertile emotional soil. In the crowded check out lines - surrounded by by those with the less recognizable handicaps of Chronos obviation,
Billy would settle in at the register to write a check. I provided the spelling.
"Ten dollars", I would say, racing to the pressure of the harried shoppers.
"May minute, I mixed up", would invariably be his response.
So, slowly, and with great circumspection I would enunciate each letter:
"T". "Got it". "E". "Got it". "N".
"Got it."
The atmosphere of anxiety inevitably melted away as Billy Time took sway over the situation.

"Riding Icons"© 2009
from The Spidey-Hole Series / Intersections Subset

When did we first set aside the skilled delight of single-tasking?
From ancient grudge break to new mutiny,
Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.
From forth the fatal loins of these two foes
A pair of star-cross'd lovers take their life;
Whose misadventur'd piteous overthrows
Doth with their death bury their parents' strife.

William Shakespeare
Romeo and Juliet
, 1597

"Big Ears / Harvest Moon"
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©
Photo by Ben Ford, Home Renu, Longmont CO

Of course, when it all gets said and done, we here at Empathinc. believe that all philosophical, ethical, spiritual and cultural discussions regarding the dilemmas and strategies of Being can best be settled by enjoying a BLT,
or that lastest, bestest, piece of corn.

Where is your purpose best expressed, Human?


Friday, October 2, 2009

"Autumn Missed"
Bob Keeshan (Captain Kangaroo) CBS TV 1955-85

Grandfather Clock

"We see how measurable time is not the original time,
how there is a priority of the relationship with the future
as a relationship with a possibility and not as a reality:
the concrete manner in which such an idea is thought is
therefore the analysis of death."

Emmanuel Levinas
God, Death, and Time

I hear the lament daily, "I just don't have the time".
It appears that as the Harvest Moon looms larger,
so does our collective nostalgia for 'simpler times'.
But what if we had "All the Time in the World"?
Right now, in this moment?
Short answer is: we do.

"#2 Dogwood / Toward Nursing Facility"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

This year, this Fall, open up your imaginations and realize
that the brilliant Golds and Oranges of Autumn do not just appear -
they segue along the undulating path of the mundane.
Gather up the process that is time.
Paint, read fiction,speak to your neighbor, mulch high your dreams.
Don't punch your time clock: embrace it as your friend.

"#4: Morning Glories / USAir to St. Louis"© 2009
"Autumn Missed Subset"
from the Convenient Non-locality Series©

Now it's time to put away your position papers, your to do lists, your formats
and schedules and expectations.
Gather the kids and the pets and the house plants and the significant others.
It's time to give thanks.
It's time to notice the nuances.
Don't let this be the Autumn Missed.
It's time to sing along!
Everybody join in!

Whew! that was fun!
Now, get you a drink of some sweet iced tea,
sit back in the rocker, and

read this marvelous article:

Saturday, September 26, 2009

"Begats and the Begottens" (for Florence Sumner)

"Volunteers and donors are transforming the
hospital experience. Lives are saved, new techniques
are implemented, grieving families are comforted."

Donald K. Jonas, Ph.D.
From "Difference Makers"
Message from the Director
"Extreme Makeover: Presbyterian Hospital Edition
Read entire article here: file:///private/var/tmp/folders.501/TemporaryItems/

Jack Matney Memorial Labyrinth
Presbyterian Hospital. Charlotte NC
Photo by In2Wit © 2007
Thoughtful Information Design

I love to read the begats of Biblical stories, mythological tales, and historical genealogies. They are like equations to me: lifelines of understanding that lead to logical conclusions. Complex, but not complicated.
Direct access to answers. To solutions.

Read one fascinating book here.

Weisiger Chapel
Sculptural Altar wall in memory of Allen Bigelow
Presbyterian Hospital. Charlotte NC
Photo by In2Wit © 2007
Thoughtful Information Design

But life is not that simple, is it?
We have Pacts and Pax and PACs and Packs of personal and cultural History that we carry with us as if we are all clones of the great Atlas -
the awesome weight of the whole world upon our shoulders.

Powerful burdens that drag us down in our life journeys.

Prayer Sculpture "A Day of Remembrance"
In conjunction with Presbyterian Hospice and Palliative Care
and a grant from The Arts and Science Council.
Presbyterian Hospital. Charlotte NC
Photo by In2Wit © 2007
Thoughtful Information Design

Florence Sumner ( wonderful friend of my Mother, Jane Schulz) believed that it was much simpler than that. Florence lived by the Law of Love - actualizing the idea that one persons attentive detailing of love in action could, and would, make a
positive difference.
Florence took the abstract idea of empathetic response and made it concrete.
She gathered up the lost that gathered upon her doorstep and brought them into
Her Home.

Play Video at lower arrow.
"Trying to Connect" © 2008
Random Video
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

Today. This week.
the ones you love and tell them,
"I love you"
"I wish you success, in what ever form that may take".
Call in love. Call for Florence. Call because we have so very little time in this
plane of existence.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

"Our Precious Selves"

"I paint my own reality. The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to, and I paint whatever passes through my head
without any other consideration."
Frida Kahlo

"Fractal Fireflies #18 - Human Kindness"
(Emergence Theory Subset)© 2009
From The "Spidey-Hole Series, Fractal Fireflies Subset"

What sower cast about the seeds that
germinated into our "Precious Self"?
Were we given it all of a once?
Or have we pruned and grafted: splintered and spliced -
cropped, snipped and dead-headed an identity?
Espaliered and anchored our existence
along a wall of some reality?

"Fractal Fireflies #20 (Emergence Theory Subset)"© 2009
From The "Spidey-Hole Series, Fractal Fireflies Subset"

Perhaps we picked up scraps along the way,
gluing up a collage of defining moments.
Then editing with safety scissors
and now
with the sharpest of blades.

“There is no such thing as a 'self-made' man. We are made up of thousands of others. Everyone who has ever done a kind deed for us, or spoken one word of encouragement to us, has entered into the make-up of our character and of our thoughts, as well as our success.”
George Matthew Adam

When I was a kid, I liked to look at the world through the wrong end of a telescope.
Here is a version of something I saw:

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Shifting Light and Sensibilities

"Did it take long to find me? I asked the faithful light.
Did it take long to find me?"

Yusuf Islam "Moon Shadow"

"Morning, Manchester NH" © 2006
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

As I stand before an empty canvas, a blank piece of paper,
a back-lit screen.
a length of interstate,

"Fractal Fireflies #17 (Emergence Theory Subset)"© 2009
From The "Spidey-Hole Series, Fractal Fireflies Subset"

A situation, a human being -

I think, "What is it that I want to say?"

"Afternoon, New Britain, CT" © 2008
From "The Systemic Amazement Factorial"©

In my more lucid moments,
I reach beyond my expectations, and ask myself,

"What am I being told?"

There begins the Dialogue.

"Fractal Fireflies #16 (Emergence Theory Subset)"© 2009
From The "Spidey-Hole Series, Fractal Fireflies Subset"

"Lo, in our eyes the teardrops start,
we swim in stormy seas:
Hast Thou within Thine Ample heart,
No shelter for the sons of art,
No room for such as these?"

The Artist in Church

Lord Vyet and Other Poems
Arthur Christopher Benson