• Imagination
  • Unseated

    My friend Kathryn walks her road in the fields of Cumbria I do not believe in creation, but in discovery, and I don’t believe in the seated artist but in the one who is walking the road. The imagination is a spiritual apparatus, a luminous explorer of the world it discovers. The imagination fixes and […]

  • Science
  • Beautiful, Smart and Dangerous

    Are you a hayfever sufferer? We’re a large tribe to be sure, some of us extremely burdened with this hypersensitivity to those tiny wind-born genetic delivery devices called pollen. But after watching Science Friday’s cheery video about the clever strategies employed by pollen grains to survive their difficult journey to wherever, I just can’t be […]

  • Art Making
  • I Feel Your Pain

    Desert landscape near Alice Springs, Australia I’ve gone through creative dry spells. Everybody does, but when it is happening to you, it is hard to not take it personally and forget that the condition is common. It is easier to talk about it when the episode is over. It’s a little like childbirth: Give me […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Wisdom from the Art Tribe

    Connecting—in the dark, in space, in time Some of you are part of the Jerry Saltz Facebook Tribe. And what a tribe it is, nearly 4600 strong and growing daily. For those of you who are not, here’s my take on what Jerry is doing on Facebook: By operating as more of an art advocate […]

  • Books
  • Austen, Now and Forever

    As hackneyed as it may be to wirte this, I adore Jane Austen. I will state up front, I am not a member of the ultimate fan club, The Jane Austen Society. (Is it true they gather monthly in period clothing to discuss textual differences in editions of Mansfield Park?) But Pride and Prejudice, as […]

  • Science
  • Listening Between the Silences

    Crop circle, 2009 Cocktail party show stoppers, of which there are many, include any mention of a proof for the existence of god, the possibility of aliens in our realm and the supernatural creation of crop circles. Bring up any of these topics and the air in the conversation deflates instantly. It is the spoken […]

  • Poetry
  • (Im)Perfect Circles

    And yet we all in the end live, do we not, in a phantom dwelling? This koanic line from Bashō became the thread through a variety of impressions and images for me this morning. *** When The Shoe Fits Ch’ui the draftsman Could draw more perfect circles freehand Than with a compass. His fingers brought […]

  • cinema
  • On Examing Life

    The Thinkers: From left, Slavoj Zizek, Avital Ronell, Judith Butler and Cornel West discuss ideas in the documentary “Examined Life.” (Photo: Zeitgeist Films) The title of this post of course is making reference to the famous line from Plato about unexamined lives not being worth much. That phrase was also the inspiration for Astra Taylor’s […]

  • Mystery
  • Culture is Dark Matter

    Plate XXII: “[The Milky Way] a vast Gulph, or Medium, every way extended like a Plane, and inclosed between two surfaces.” From Thomas Wright of Durham’s An Original Theory or New Hypothesis of the Universe (1750). The Warder Collection Michael Kimmelman’s piece in the Sunday Times, D.I.Y. Culture, touches on themes that I have been […]

  • Science
  • Choice and Meaning

    Remember the jam experiment? Actually it was the work of Sheena Iyengar, a psychologist who convinced a luxury food store in Menlo Park to test customer responses to jam samples. Sometimes there were 6 choices, other times 24. What Iyengar discovered was that lots of options drew more shoppers over to the display, but after […]