Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My Heart is Flipping!

This is the first video made with my new Flip Video, a mini-camcorder you can put in your pocket. It's a lot of fun...

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Digital Gallery - a gift from the New York Public Library!

Shushan emek uyamah, kerovah f... Digital ID: 405137. New York Public Library

New York Public Library Digital Gallery

NYPL Digital Gallery provides free and open access to over 700,000 images digitized from the The New York Public Library's collections, including illuminated manuscripts, historical maps, vintage posters, rare prints, photographs and more. It is a great resource! The site allows you to browse by subject, names, or topic.

The above image is from the Yom Kippur morning liturgy. (14th Century manuscript)

I am grateful to for calling my attention to this incredible resource!

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Sunday, September 13, 2009

Good For One Fare: Davis Museum Piece

"Good For One Fare," inscribed on an old New York City subway token, gives this piece its final form and its title.

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Monday, September 7, 2009

Second Step - Davis Museum Piece

Like a dream made concrete, surprising imagery that bubbles up in unexpected juxtapositions gives me glimpses into my deeper inner life. At the same time, I enjoy how other people's associations to my work have meaning for them, but can be quite different from my own.

Yes, it's a real dragonfly. I found it several years ago and coated it with acrylic. It has been residing in a jar waiting for the right assemblage moment - this one.

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Sunday, September 6, 2009

The First Step - Davis Museum Piece

These papers were carefully saved from our trip to Spain in 2008. I was never knew that paper bags for ordinary items could be so beautiful. I created a platform for my piece for the Davis Museum in Barcelona by collaging this selection of the papers facing upward on the underside of a transparent acryclic square just under the 7" x 7" specified size.

We were in Spain with a traveling university group, in search of La Convivencia, "The Coexistence," - a time when Jews, Muslims, and Catholics not only got along, but experienced a rich and deep cultural interplay. I loved Cordoba for its glimpse into the history of La Convivencia. The triangle of red paper in the corner is a piece of a gift shop bag from the Museo Sefardi in Cordoba.

These papers thus will be sent back home to Spain as part of this yet untititled piece, having been transformed in my heart.

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My Kind of Alternative!

I am thrilled to have been invited by Davis Lisboa to be a participating artist with the Davis Museum in Barcelona! This is all due to the wonders of social networking. My Facebook friend Neda Darzi, an artist in Tehran, posted that she was participating in the Davis Museum. I then looked at the Davis Museum website and wrote on her page congratulating her and saying that I found the alternative concept intriguing and refreshing. Davis found me there, asked if I was an artist, and if so could he see my work. After looking at my website, he invited me to participate!

I have been playing with sketches, and enjoying the challenge of the size limitation: 7" x 7" x 7" (20 x 20 x 20 cm). I will be blogging as I go along, which will help me conceptualize the meaning of each element chosen. With such a mini-assemblage the final choices represent a lot of interesting possibilities eliminated.

Following are excerpts from from the Davis Museum website. You can see why I love the subversive, alternative, collective concept!

"DAVIS MUSEUM - Anthropophagic Davis Lisboa Museum of Contemporary art in Barcelona is a mini museum of contemporary art, with its own permanent art collection. It is also a readymade sculpture and collective work of art. Opened on January 1. 2009, it is a non- profit artistic project that organizes and produces exhibitions, encourages research and promotes contemporary art exhibitions. Davis Museum has traveling exhibitions to other cultural centers, museums and institutions, nationally and internationally, while generating debate,thought and reflection. Its mission is the selection, presentation,study, dissemination and preservation of contemporary art by emerging artists from around the world.

The object selected to create this museum/sculpture/collective work of art was a voting box, a methacrylate bucket used to collect ballots in an election. This object has been selected as representation of the possible critical management processes of the art institutions.

DAVIS MUSEUM is subtitled "anthropophagic" because it is an art space created specifically to promote "cultural cannibalism." It is a work that "swallows" other works of other artists and other disciplines. Its ownership strategy is a legacy of Brazilian Anthropophagy of the Modern Art Week in 1922 and the neo avant-gardes of the 80's and 90's.

DAVIS MUSEUM does not have a single author, it is a collective work of art, therefore, all the artists who participate DAVIS MUSEUM will have their names and works cited in it. From this collectivistic point of view DAVIS MUSEUM is linked to "relational aesthetics", where the old notion of authorship is altered. Precedents are Marcel Duchamp's Boite-en-Valise and Robert Filliou's Galerie L├ęgitime. Both works contain scathing institutional critiques, not without sarcasm.

DAVIS MUSEUM brings, above all, a link to the aesthetic of the New Media Art, in the new context of the digital era."

See more at


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Friday, September 4, 2009

Beyond the Border / Over the Edge

I managed to get to Beyond the Border: International Contemporary Art Fair, San Diego, this afternoon, mainly because it was ten minutes from my house. I knew it would be essentially a market place for wealthy collectors, - not just a fun place for voyeurs like me. I didn't expect to be so exhausted from swinging between enjoying looking and feeling like a misfit outsider to the commercial side of things.

One of the most exciting exhibits was an installation called ReEnvisioning A World Beyond Borders. An entire room was filled with a mobile phone digital photo installation, with large screens and multiple monitors. See the entries at! A great concept, with participation from all countries. The room was also a quiet refreshing place to sit down, rest, and enjoy images that didn't have a price. The kind of images that were posted more than counterbalanced the Mazeratis parked in front of the posh hotel, hoping to find buyers.

PEACES was an exhibit by Debby and Larry Kline combining video and installation, dramatically documenting the creation and destruction of peace in 3 minutes and 32 seconds. It captures the hope and the tears, and hits you in the gut. I'll think of it when I watch the news and read the newspaper.

May artists make a living from their work. May gallery owners survive in these tough times, and thrive enough to take risks on emerging artists. May artists continue to find alternative exhibition spaces outside the conventional gallery system. And may PEACES find it's ultimate home in the right museum where it will be seen by many.

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Thursday, September 3, 2009

Gayatri Mantra on YouTube!

First I saw it on a Facebook friend's page. Then I looked on YouTube. There are dozens and dozens of versions on YouTube, with amazing visuals, various translations (all different), various melodies and instrumental arrangements, some with explanations. This one, viewed almost 60,000 times, was posted in response to another one. Another version was viewed over 500,00 times. I am stunned. Slowly trying to get with the 21st century...

For me, a nice Jewish girl, this mantra has a very special meaning. It was given to me in the early 1970's by my yoga teacher, Dr. Vijayendra Pratap. It was only given to a handful of students, in a very private, if not secret, way. When someone asked for the translation of the Sanskrit, he said: do it diligently, daily, sincerely, for a long period of time, and the meaning will dawn upon you. After doing this for several years, the meaning dawned upon me. It changed my life, but that's a story for another time.

I haven't been in touch with Dr. Pratap for a long time now, but still consider him my yoga teacher. During the 1970's I hung out with every teacher around, but always from the home base of SKY Foundation, our ashram. It is named after his teacher, Swami Kuvalayanandaji, of the Kaivalyadhama, Lonavla, India.

This morning I lay on the little blue blanket I use for yoga practice and realized that I do feel connected with this lineage. Still. Despite distance, time, and even periods of falling out, disillusionment,and disagreement (at least on my part.) This little blue blanket is the one that my dad was tucked under at the dialysis center. (Dialysis apparently makes people cold.) Over the years it has become my magic carpet.

I don't practice yoga regularly anymore, but know what to do when I need to. I am pretty well recovered from surgery, but know that in more subtle ways the tissues that were traumatized by the knife need a more refined kind of healing now. I'm grateful for the way I was taught: simple, compared to how yoga is mostly taught these days, which is much more gymnastic.

I thought about the Gayatri Mantra videos on YouTube, and all the comments posted under them, mostly along the lines of "thanks" "beautiful" "so peaceful". Did people watch it once and then move on to the next thing? What would happen if someone chose their most compatible version and spent the nine minutes and four seconds with it every day, day after day? I wonder...

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Send Rain!!

Drought, heat, and wildfires are consuming California. Jean Shin's wonderful video excerpt of her installation, "Penumbra" is my prayer for rain.

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