You’ve heard poets talk about poems flowing out of their bodies; painters, they get on a roll. You all have seen the musician, when they are in that state, the guitar, the piano, whatever instrument just becomes part of their body, their ego is completely gone and it is just their connection to the art, their connection to the emotions they are trying to share with the audience- that is pure flow.
You said, “They’re harmless dreamers and they’re loved by the people.” “What,” I asked you, “is harmless about a dreamer, and what,” I asked you, “is harmless about the love of the people? Revolution only needs good dreamers who remember their dreams..”
—Tennessee Williams, Camino Real
A flower with no smell to it is just something to look at. However, a flower that emits a beautiful fragrance is the one we want in our homes and on our walls. Your mission as an artist, is to become the best-smelling flower in the world, so that when the day finally comes when you are plucked from the ground, the world will cry for the loss of your mind-stimulating fragrance. Be different. Be original. Nobody will remember a specific flower in garden loaded with thousands of the same flower, but they will remember the one that managed to change its color to purple.
―Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Humans, as a rule, don’t like mad people unless they are good at painting, and only then once they are dead. But the definition of mad, on Earth, seems to be very unclear and inconsistent. What is perfectly sane in one era turns out to be insane in another. The earliest humans walked around naked with no problem. Certain humans, in humid rainforests mainly, still do so. So, we must conclude that madness is sometimes a question of time, and sometimes of postcode.
Basically, the key rule is, if you want to appear sane on Earth you have to be in the right place, wearing the right clothes, saying the right things, and only stepping on the right kind of grass.
Tickling the fancy, stirring the soul and stimulating thought, synkroniciti’s most viewed videos of 2014 are here for your enjoyment.
These ten videos received the most hits over the past year. I have also included one that didn’t get very many views, but remains one of my favorites.
Click on titles to read the blog posts associated with the videos. All of these videos feature creative people that have put their work up on YouTube or Vimeo and are not produced by or affiliated with synkroniciti. I am grateful to those artists and pleased to be able to comment on and share their work.
How does gluten sensitivity impact creative people? This week we discuss artists working with wheat products and propose safe alternatives.
The number of people with gluten sensitivity, including wheat allergy and Celiac Disease, is growing worldwide. I am not referring to the fad of cutting out wheat products in order to get fit, but to debilitating reactions that can become life threatening, ranging from digestive upset, heartburn, nausea and diarrhea to headaches, brain fog, depression, neurological and motion difficulties and joint pain. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
The nature of wheat, along with its close relatives barley and rye, has changed over the last century, especially with new cultivars that allow these grains to grow closer together and increase production. Doctors and scientists have not gotten to the bottom of things yet, but we are beginning to see a great deal of illness. Will these products prove toxic to more people in the future?
I have a vested interest in increasing awareness and encouraging the exploration of gluten sensitivity, because I experience its effects on a daily basis as I make choices that directly impact my health and my ability to do my job. Something as simple as crumbs in the butter, a bit of flour in the sauce, the wrong make-up or cleaning product will leave me sick for days. You might not realize that gluten is in many places, and not all of it is in your food. Anything you get in your eyes, nose or mouth, and for some of us, on your skin, can carry gluten into your system. Some of my wildest reactions have been to non food items, including potting soil, construction compound, and wet wipes. I will be posting about this all week in order to share some of the strange places where gluten hides, including art supplies. If you aren’t sensitive, good for you, but you may want to know how you can help others stay healthy.
From chefs to gardeners, artists to actors, there is a lot we can do to limit gluten exposure in our lives and in the lives of those we care about.
Synkroniciti is proud to announce our third web based project. We invite you, our readers, to create new art based upon the themes Synkroniciti has explored in the past three weeks: city, shadow and mud. We encourage submissions in any discipline, including the realms of music, theatre, film, dance, visual art, and literature. We will edit the submissions to create a video to be featured here on the Synkroniciti site, on Youtube, Vimeo and Facebook. All artists will be credited in the video. You can view our previous videos here.
Please submit one of the following by 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, July 21st:
a video of your artwork
This may consist of a video journal detailing the process of creating the artwork or a performance of the artwork or a combination of both. Any performance of the artwork should take no more than three minutes. You may send as much video journal material as you like.
an audio track of your artwork
Artists who work with sound may want to explore this option and should realize that audio tracks will be used to accompany the images of other artists. The audio track should be no more than three minutes long.
a file of images
Visual artists may want to explore this option and should realize that their images will be synced with an audio track of another artist. We will accept up to twelve images from each artist.
We regret that we do not accept written materials, but encourage artists such as authors and composers to submit their works in another format more suited to video. We encourage you to read, illustrate or animate your text.
Submissions can be shared with us via dropbox here.
There is no submission fee. Once the finished project is out please evaluate your experience. If the experience was beneficial for you we ask that you acknowledge that with a donation to Synkroniciti. You are free to set the amount of that donation and we are happy to accept any amount.
I will be writing a poem to be performed and included in the video as well. I look forward to taking this journey with you!
Their skills were so valuable and so instrumental in bringing down Hitler’s army that their existence was kept secret until 1996, when some of their particular methods had become obsolete and no longer needed to be kept classified. They were the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, a group of creative people from all walks of life who risked life and limb to create the illusion that there were more American troops on the ground than there actually were. There were three units: one to position inflatable vehicles and create the image of an army, one to play and mix the sounds of war preparation (including cursing soldiers), and one to create radio activity supporting the existence of an army that was an illusion. Their efforts protected the Allied forces when they were spread too thin to hold the enemy and fooled the German army into making tactical mistakes out of a warped sense of the American position.
Inflatable Sherman Tank
The inflatable tanks needed continuing attention: over time they lost air and their gun barrels would sag and point at the ground, creating a visual that would have been hilarious in peace time, but could prove disastrous by tipping off the Germans. The job required acting skills, confidence, and creativity, and these men excelled in their duty. The 23rd Headquarters Special Troops included future fashion designer Bill Blass, minimalist painter Ellsworth Kelly, and photographer Art Kane. During their downtime, to ease their minds and pass the time, many of these men would sketch what they saw in Europe, creating a unique record of World War II.
This PBS special on the so called Ghost Army is available for a limited time here.
At the end of the video, the narrator makes the statement that implies that being part of the Ghost Army, with its deceptive purpose that saved lives, was more important than the art these men would make during their post-war lifetime. I wonder if those things can truly be separated, or if the job the artist does everyday is to provide illusions that save our lives over and over again? What do you think?
Is your creative clock ticking? Learn to listen and adapt to its messages without becoming fearful and completely stressed out.
We often hear of the biological clock. Women, or, less frequently, men, wake up mid-life with the blinding urge to have a child. Artists frequently have the same urge, but it manifests in the desire to create a new thing rather than a new person. This need is both a gift and a vulnerability. The would be artist and the would be parent can fall victim to the same traps, some of which are explored below.
Aging can play tricks on us if we focus on the clock. We may feel miles away from our dreams or maybe we have fulfilled or outgrown those dreams and are in need of new ones. This realization can dawn suddenly with panic or creep in with a sense of dread. Either way, we can become easy prey for insincere people who sense and may even share our desperation. Any human being who claims to be your savior probably has ulterior motives. Seeing another human being as such may mean you yourself are operating with ulterior motives.
See yourself in a more positive light. You are not a victim and you don’t need rescuing.
Everybody is doing it!
No, they aren’t. Take a closer look at people outside of your regular circle. If you are attempting a way of life solely out of peer pressure, it will never feel like it is yours and you and your offspring, human or artistic, will suffer. Most of the time the skill set we have been given and have further developed is not suited to what our neighbor is doing. If you have been slugging away at a particular career for a while and it doesn’t feel right to you, consider something that uses the skills you have honed while converting the weaknesses you have found in yourself into strengths.
The world around you needs you and your genuineness, not another clone. Keep it real!
I have found my path, so now it will be easy!
I teach voice lessons. Every now and then I see one of my less motivated students catch the fire of inspiration and start working and owning their work, only to get a smack at their next performance or contest. Why, they ask, didn’t they get rewarded when they applied themselves? Creative acts are not about instant gratification. Sometimes there is no gratification at all.
Once you decide to get creative, realize that this new baby is going to take loads of time and energy. She’s going to keep you up at night for years because she cannot take care of herself. You’re going to be cleaning up her mess for a long time. Then she will get to the age when she may disappoint you.
Anything I make will be beautiful, smart, and high quality!
There is one guarantee: your offspring will not turn out as you expect. A child has a life outside of you. So does art. As your art matures, it will go places you never dreamed with people you never imagined. Sometimes this is an amazing experience and sometimes it is a nightmare. You have to let go and let your offspring enter the world, where they will be judged, loved and hated. There will be bullies who throw rocks. You will need to stand by with unconditional love, even when you can see faults and shortcomings. Not only is it okay to be an imperfect human, it is what we are supposed to be. Art is our creation, so it is imperfect too.
If I ignore my creative clock it will stop ticking and leave me alone!
Perhaps, but the price for silencing a basic human need is expensive. Things like addiction, violence and apathy can muffle it. We can distract ourselves, but we will never be whole people without the creative impulse. When you find a direction for that impulse, take it. You may lose your way, but what you will find might just be better.
No one understands me!
Remember to look around you. While no one has the same exact path you do, others may be close by. Synkroniciti is out here and if we see you we will wave, say Hello, maybe even walk with you for a little while. We hope you will do the same for us. There is plenty of daylight left and we have lights when it gets dark.