Tuesday, April 29, 2008
I just heard from Maria Curtin about the lighting and security, so here it is:
I have the plans that include lighting, but I have a feeling that it is not designed with art displays in mind. Unfortunately, this was something that needed to be planned in advance to include it in the construction plans. IF we request a change right now, it would require a “change order” which would add cost to the construction. We have been told not to request anything that requires change orders. On the positive side, I don’t think it would be too difficult to modify or adjust the lighting once the building is done. I will ask the architects. As far as security measures are concerned, the building will be on a card reader system and there has been talk of having the atrium open for extended hours based on student interest. I hope this answers your questions,
Suppose at this point it will be up to the next generation of students to address this, but at least they'll know what they've got to work with...
Monday, April 28, 2008
Just wanted to let people know that Roger Goode wrote back and here is what he said:
Hello Meliza, thank you for your e-mail and for your interest. I have just recently selected the landscape designer for the project and have already had a few meetings with them. This will be an interesting area because it is the firstbuilding that people will see and we have a lot of restrictions due to the required walkways, roadways and parking. And of course, we have to work within existing budgets and timing. If you can provide me with some details of what you may like to see, I'll see what may be able to be incorporated. For example, can you tell me something about the "garden" thoughts, i.e. vegetable, flower,or other?
Thank you and good luck on your finals.
So guys let me know what you would like me to write him. I know that working with the vegitation around the Science Center will really be amazing and something we can actually do with out worrying to much about the money. Let me know what you all think.
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Happy Earth Day! So today as we celebrate the Earth, you should all take a look at this link I came across while browsing online. It's called "Earth as Art" and it fits the description of the art I have suggested to Prof. Lanci when I've spoken to him about art for the Science building.
It's just some pictures of different natural events on earth that I find to be spirtual because of their natural beauty. I also thought it would be a good way for people to start of their Earth Day.
Well below is the link of the slideshow, enjoy, and enjoy your day!
EasthAs Art- http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22508361/displaymode/1107/s/2/
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I talked to Doug Smith today about taking the next fundraising step. We already know that an endowed scholarship is ideal; however, that right now is a goal for the future. Even if we make this project an internship for the time being, I figured we'd all agree that we should probably start raising money anyway.
That being said, Doug had promised us that he'd help us put together a fundraising request/proposal document that can be sent to donors and other interested parties. For this, he needs our white papers that the groups have been working on. Melissa had mentioned something about the "Friends of Art" program and while I'm not 100% sure what that is, I feel like this document would fit right in with that as well.
I'm not sure if they're up on the file-sharing site or if groups are still working, but the sooner we send the important ones to him (why public art is important, why this project is important, how it originated, how it fits in with Stonehill's mission/identity, etc. etc.), the sooner the information will get out to donors and money can (hopefully) begin to come in.
HAVE AN AMAZING WEEKEND!! :) and see you next week,
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Here are some other great pieces of advice from Professor Calo that we need to keep in mind :
We need to make sure that we have insurance coverage for our space, especially if we are going to invite community artists to display their work. Could the space be locked?
-We need to make sure there are plenty of electrical outlets where we set up our gallery, and the lighting would preferably be adjustable such as the spots in the Cushing Martin Gallery.
-If we are going to have art outside, we need to have a written contract with facilities to avoid work being taken down/damaged/not being able to be mowed around/etc.
-The Fine Arts department is starting a new program called "Friends of Art" that involves alumni with art projects and programs on campus. Professor Calo said that this would be a great program that alumns could donate to, and she had no problem designating it as a certain portion of the program.
Ok guys, sorry for the novel, but we definitely have some good information here. See you all next week!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Unfortunately I won't be here tomorrow to meet with everyone. Just so everyone knows, there isn't anything new on the fundraising front--just waiting to hear if Fine Arts is willing to pick up the curator position as an internship. If not, let me know ASAP so I can e-mail Doug.
Also--don't forget me!! If you need me to take care of anything just e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks and have fun!!
See everyone soon,
Thursday, April 3, 2008
"As the new
An industry tradition, a topping off ceremony marks a project turning point with a shift in focus from exterior to interior work.From 10 a.m. through 11:30 a.m. on April 8, all members of the Stonehill community are invited come to the site and to sign the steel beam.
At 11:45 a.m., once the signings are complete, the ironworkers will have the honor of hoisting the steel beam in place.
As is the custom, an evergreen tree will be placed on the beam to symbolize that the building project is proceeding well, and as a token of “good luck” for the
To the left of the tree, an American flag will fly. While to the right of the tree, a Stonehill banner will fly. As is their tradition, the ironworkers will hoist a P.O.W. flag as well.
President Mark T. Cregan, C.S.C. will preside and the beam will be blessed. "
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
I have some answers for our questions about money that we had last class:
The Advancement Office is less concerned with how we approach people and more concerned with who we approach. That leaves most fundraising options open to us--however; Doug did say that if someone is already identified as giving a gift to the capital campaign then we would not be allowed to solicit them for our project.
That being said, if we wanted to start looking for an individual donor, etc. they could help us with that, too--they have databases of alumn and special programs that search for grants.
As for where all of the scholarship money/work study money comes from, this is what I was told:
"Work study monies can be federal funds or operational funds of the college. Scholarships are primarily from donors to the college. It is a priority for the college to fund raise for scholarships since the need is so great for our students. You can learn more at www.attaingthesummit.com"
If we decide the position is going to be paid (and not an internship), all we have to do is give Advancement the word and we can begin working with them to figure something out.
See you all tomorrow,
I just met briefly w. MJ to discuss further the matter of a curator. During class a few of the students were unsure of the duties one assumes as a curator. So I thought I could clarify that. However, MJ referred me/fine arts group to speak w. Candace Smith Corby [who should be back next week from maternity leave] and Professor Calo [who will be teaching a course next semester that deals w. curating].
MJ also urged us to visit the Clark Gallery which is down the street from the De Cordova museum which we are planning on visiting. She has several contacts there so we could even have people assisting us if we wanted to look for specific themes....
She also showed me some of Howard Ben Tre's work. He is an Isreali artist who works with glass. His work is very beautiful so if you guys get a chance try to google him.
Also the website has an article about the difficulty of public art. It is specifically about an artist who installed a sculpture in front of a New York city building which turned out to be an inconvenience for people who worked there.
Monday, March 31, 2008
I wrote an email to Marysara Naczi, a student who is very involved in the Fine Arts Department. She recently collected artwork for a student show she is exhibiting in April. I wanted to know what her response was for student submissions and this was her reply:
That sounds like a great idea! The show Katelyn and I are working on has actually not gone up yet, so you can catch it in April. We had a great response for this show, and the Martin Institute recently held a contest for war themed art and I hear they had a lot of submissions as well. I have, however, worked on other projects that attempted to involve the Stonehill community which were not as succesful. The students tend to be rather apathetic so you have to keep that in mind and work really hard for their involvement. For this exhibit, we sent out emails from our student accounts as well as having the secretary at Cushing Martin send out a more professional one that would get attention from different types of students. We also hung up flyers with tabs so that people could actually have a tangible reminder. And we made it clear that our show was not looking for artsy smartsy art, but things from all classes and majors. As long as you have interesting themes and really publicize it, I am sure you will get plenty of submissions! Our own show is going to only be up for 2 1/2 weeks, which is really not enough time. Ideally would be at least 4 weeks. It is a lot of work and if you don't get a lot of submissions for the first show or you don't have a lot of time to coordinate it, I would suggest spacing them out more and doint only 2 a semester.
Hope this helped!
Also, I am involved with the Martin Institute's war themed exhibit that Marysara made reference to. The email I received from Peter Ubertaccio was sent out to 26 other students, so it seems that there is a decent amount of student participation. In class we had mentioned also purchasing work over time, but these numbers give me hope that our gallery will have a good amount of Stonehill artists involved.
See you Wednesday!
Saturday, March 29, 2008
"Accepting the physical resurrection of the historical Jesus means setting aside one's rational faculties and making a leap of faith. That so many people are willing to do so says more about where we have been as a species than where we are going."
I underestimated how we as rational beings give way to irrationality for what we believe in. I feel like I've never looked at the situation that way, especially how in this sense we tend to dwell on the past. and I find it ironic that we live in a nation that seems is so focused on the future and somehow we can't let go of the past....
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
It is good to hear that there are people who are excited about our project, but I am not sure if we are giving enough weight to the people who are going to make this happen. I am concerned by Melissa's posting and the concern that she described in the Fine Arts department. I think that we may have been looking at this more idealistically than we thought in terms of finding a Fine Arts person that is willing to advise our board.
I was thinking about revising the constitution, but I can't shake the feeling that I am writing rules for somebody else to follow through with. Nobody likes to have to abide by the rules of a governing body that they never knew or were able to give input to, and the direction that we are going in now is setting up the rules for someone else to do a lot of hard work. While this seems like the best way to really create a legacy for our question of religion and science as seen through art, I am beginning to wonder if we are biting off more than we can chew or even taking a bite that we are expecting others to chew in our absense.
I really want to see this happen and I think we need to rework the constitution in a more simple way that the fine arts department can take and make there own.
This could just be late night ramblings, but I am just concerned about selling these ideas in a way that will excite not only the higher up administration, but also the people who are going to have to invest their time in the future to make our plans a reality.
I was browsing through the borders bookstore while I was home for spring break. I stumbled upon this book which had the above phrase printed in bold on the cover. I ended up buying it because naturally I wanted to know what exactly I was unprepared for.
So I bring this book home and start reading it. Within the first few pages I discover it was written by a Rabbi. I was slightly disappointed to realize the book has a religious base automatically thinking it would just be preaching to me. However, I kept reading and although I know very little of the Jewish religion I thought it was really interesting.
Here is a little blurb I found on the internet:
"There are moments in life where one is caught utterly unprepared: a death in the family, the end of a relationship, a health crisis. These are times when the solid ground we thought we stood on disappears beneath our feet, and we turn to faith to help us find our way back. The Days of Awe encompass the weeks just preceding Rosh Hashanah up to Yom Kippur, a period in which Jews take part in a series of rituals and prayers that reenact the journey of the soul through the world from birth to death. Like the days of Lent or Ramadan, the purpose of these rituals is to experience this brokenheartedness and open one's heart to God. The acclaimed Rabbi Lew has taken the beauty and power of these rituals and made of them a journey of seven distinct stages that will touch the spirit of all readers in search of inner transformation. Rabbi Lew weaves together Torah readings, Buddhist parables, Jewish fables and stories from his own life, to lay bare the meanings of this ancient Jewish passage. Drawing on both his rabbinical training and his scholarship in Buddhism, Lew leads readers on a journey from confusion to clarity, from doubt to belief, as he open a path to self-discovery that is accessible to readers of all faiths. THIS IS REAL AND YOU ARE COMPLETELY UNPREPARED unveils the deeper meanings of the High Holidays, enabling Jews to reconnect to their faith with a vibrancy and intimacy that will resonate throughout the year."
hopefully i can find a good passage to bring to you guys in class so while we are working in our sub groups we can also stimulate our other senses with some literature.
I got a chance to talk to Professor Beisham of the RS Department today and he was ecstatic for our idea! He told me about a resource (possibly a journal) that deals with the relationship between science and religion. He's going to get the exact information for me (hopefully for tomorrow, but most likely for thursday).
Professor B. also gave us this food for thought. He suggested the themes for the art try and coincide with the Martin Institute's theme. He says it might be possible to get funding from the MI if we become "theme partners" with them. Professor B. suggested that if we involve Peter Ubartaccio (sp?) in the project because he might be able to give us funding for the project. The theme will be Globalization by the time the science center is ready. I'm not sure exactly how this could tie in, but it's worth investigating. See you all tomorrow!
Monday, March 24, 2008
Solange, Pat and I met with MJ, the Fine Arts Department Chair, right before we left for Easter break. To my surprise, she actually had a lot of concern regarding our project. She really thinks that someone should be getting paid because in her opinion that is a surefire why to make sure things get done. She thought the endowed scholarship was a great way to go. She also suggested that in addition to student/faculty/alumni work, we create a budget to work on purchasing a new piece of work each year; that way we start to acquire a permanent collection. This would be particularly beneficial if there were lulls in the submission process.
MJ seemed very concerned about faculty members taking on additional work without additional pay. We asked if she thought it would be too much extra work if the professor already in charge of internships took on the role of faculty advisor for this project. She thought that was a decent idea but to talk to Professor Candace Walters who is the current advisor about it. She also encouraged us to speak with Professor Carole Calo who teaches the Exhibitions and Collections class, Marysara Naczi (a current student who is putting on a show of student art) to see what kind of response she got, and Professor Ubertaccio who is also putting together an exhibit. MJ also suggested we talk to Candance Smith-Corby(the current gallery curator in Cushing Martin) and Stacey Gerver in SGA. Our group is currently in the process of setting up these meetings and has a lot of work to do. We will let you all know as soon as we have more information, but this should not set us back too far in our plans.
See you all Wednesday!
Thursday, March 20, 2008
I am hearing quite a bit of this sort of thing from all corners of the college community. This bodes very well for our project!
On another note: I have now met with each of you individually, and I have to say I enjoyed the encounters a lot more than I thought I would. We seem to have a consensus that for our last few meetings (note: no formal class on April 9, since I will be at the National Conference on Undergraduate Research with three seniors who will be giving papers there) we will return to the earlier format of the course in which we read a text (not a whole book!) and you do talking points before discussion. Don't forget: I need to have some help in formulating the topics, so please get me your suggestions before Monday.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Spoke with the Holy Cross Fathers about the project (Walter Jenkins, John Reardan, George Piggford, and Bob Kruse). Bob Kruse seemed particularly confused by the project and did not believe there could be a mix of religion and science (was especially opposed to the miracles of Jesus vs. the miracles of science). I explained our ideas further to them and they seem open to the idea of having something in the science center. Fr. Kruse still feels that religion and science do not mix together, but he certainly is not going to stop the project from continuing and they're all interested to see where we take it.
Have a good break everyone!!!
Tatiana and I (and Sarah in spirit!) had a really productive meeting with Doug Smith this morning about fundraising. I think he's really excited about our project and he's turning out to be a great resource. Ryan was kind enough to post our notes from the meeting on the filesharing site so check it out--included in the notes are some suggestions and some questions for consideration that are relevant to all groups.
Doug has a copy of our constitution and from what he was suggesting, it seems that we're really on the right track. Make sure to check out the end of the notes where it talks about the fundraising proposal/request document. I think that's our next step!
Have a great break :)
Monday, March 17, 2008
Had a chat with Professor Piggford this afternoon, and he suggested something that I thought was worth pursuing: a constant piece of artwork. While I think we are all agreed on having a rotating gallery collection, it might be nice to put one piece somewhere in the building that would remain constant. Kind of like our signature send off to future generations. Thoughts?
Hope the short holiday's a good one!
Thursday, March 13, 2008
There is an artist who creates wooden organisms powered by the wind. He records information about each organism and enters the data into a genetic algorithm program. This is an evolution simulator: it draws successful patterns from random change. Usually the results of such programs -- the ones I've seen, anyway -- are tiny, squirming plastic gadgets. This artist has created much larger designs. He has achieved the element of grace that defines life as we know it. He envisions these animals becoming so perfectly calibrated that their movement will be perpetual. They would move in herds across the remaining plains of the Earth. The ingenuity, complexity, and precision displayed here is literally beyond human capacity. You may not believe your eyes.
Courtesy of YouTube (where else?)
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
I was, however, able to find a suitable alternative. In fact, it even has some advantages to posting documents on the blog itself. I created a webpage through GooglePages on which I can upload any file and have it available for anyone to download. I placed a permanent link to this website in the upper right hand corner of our blog (above the "blog archive") so that everyone can go between the two sites with ease. Please visit the site and try to download the Constitution; respond to this post if you have any problems/suggestions so I can make any necessary changes.
The one setback to this solution is that I have to upload each document myself, since the webpage is under my personal Google account. I couldn't give you access to just the website without giving you access to my entire account (email, etc). If you simply email me any updated or new documents, however, I will be happy to promptly post them on the webpage for others to download and view.
I would like to post the theme group's newest document; Kendra, could you please pass it along to me? Also, any groups who have new or updated documents you'd like to share, please feel free to email me. I hope this can be effective, but please let me know if any of you have another idea or any problems with this method.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Our group met yesterday to talk about what the theme should be for this project. We decided to propose “the connection between science and religion” as our general theme, with a specific suggestion as to what we do with it. We were thinking that we could split the class up into several smaller groups, and assign each group to a space in the
Okay, I think that's all :)
Monday, February 25, 2008
Although I wouldn't recommend using this image, as you can tell the cover is from Time Magazine and I found the article online for you to read. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1090909,00.html
Kinda tacky images, but fun.
We are sad to inform you that we are not happy. We feel uninspired and sapped. Please make us happy. Have the class go to the Isabella Stuart Gardner Museum. It’s $5 for students and would be $10 for you, unless you have a student id. We feel that it would be inspiring for the entire class, and our group is particularly interested in creating a garden or plant-ish motif for the project, so it would show the class what we could along those lines.
Click here to visit the museum's website.
Meliza, Pat & Jess
And on the current project, some things to consider re outdoors:
Area will get ample sun, but will be shaded mid afternoon too. Do we want fountain/ statues included? Where would we put them? Footpaths/ patio/ benches?
Will be about a 40-50 FT corridor between the science center and Martin. Possibility of planting in there?
See this website for name and image:
See this website for name and image: http://www.americanmeadows.com/Perennials.aspx?gclid=CIus6ovf35ECFQqbggodaFLoew
Combo of the two:
Stuff to consider:
Perks of Plantings:
Easy care perennials:
Places to buy:
As I mentioned in class, the Lunar Eclipse on Wednesday has been on my mind as of late. I was reading up on it the other day and found something I had never thought of: it is complete "luck" that Earth's size, the moon's size, and the distance between the two line up so that our shadow can perfectly cover the moon during a Lunar Eclipse.
Anyway, this painting from the 13th century and is said to reflect Proverbs 8.27 in which Wisdom speaks of creation:
"When he established the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the deep. . ."
From what I've read, for mathematicians in the Middle Ages, geometry was a divine activity. We understand our universe through numbers and measurements; why wouldn't our Creator have taken the same things into account?
Sunday, February 24, 2008
P.S-- to my white-paper group-- we need to set up a date/time to meet!
I just saw this quote in one of my friend's profiles on facebook, and I figured I'd put it up since it 's pretty relevant to our topic, especially in tying what we do into the school's Catholic identity. I asked him where he got the quote from. I have yet to hear back.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Thy shadow, Earth, from Pole to Central Sea,
Now steals along upon the Moon's meek shine
In even monochrome and curving line
Of imperturbable serenity.
Maybe instead of developing a theme or focused "mission" statement, we could find an appropriate poem to express the type of art we're looking for.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I found this today and thought it was kind of cool:
Ingrid Sundberg is a graduate from the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston and her work is centered upon "an exploration of the visual and intellectual connections between nature, science, spirituality, religion, and philosophy."
Her stuff is pretty cool and she's local. The article I found is here:
and her own portfolio/website can be found here: http://www.sundbergstudio.com/
Check it out :)
I was cruising around the internet and I came upon the website of this art/religion Journal called IMAGES. I think it might be pretty helpful for us, so I already asked them to send us a few copies and maybe some backissues so that we could get some real concrete Ideas. The Journals should be here in a week or so, but until that feel free to browse around the website. The website is more of a teaser for the print Journal, it seems, so there isn't that much real information on there, but it can be helpful nonetheless.
Here is a link to the Journal's Website
Monday, February 18, 2008
she is currently seeking her degree to teach high school where she hopes to be able to combine the study of art and science. naturally, i thought she would be the perfect person to speak with.
i meet with her tomorrow so if anyone has any questions that they think would be important for me to ask please let me know.
i'll make sure to post our conversation on the blog after i meet with her and type it up...
Saturday, February 16, 2008
In other words, I figured it was bullshit.
Although I had no intentions of doing so, I read and interpreted the mission within the context of The New Story. I couldn't believe how closely they relate-- I literally got excited about it, which is dorky even for myself-- but really, even if you have read the College's mission before, read it again now, after all we've digested about The New Story.
See for yourself :)
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
The next thing I came across is something called Spiritual Science. http://www.spiritualresearchfoundation.org. The link is too the foundation if you want to check it out yourselves. It's mostly about ESP, but it got me thinking about finding art alternatives, so I did some research and came up with two. The first is the human body made divine.
The second is an interesting piece of art from Princeton. It screams Spiritual Science to me
The last thing I found was something called a Mandala. Mandala is the Sanskrit word for "Sacred Circle." You may have also heard mandala referred
to as: spirit map, oneness, wholeness, container of essence, all that is, spiritual place of enlightenment, mirror, soul-light within, making the invisible visible, circles for healing. Or simply, a circle with a center point of focus from which one works outward. For thousands of years in most cultures and religions, mandalas have been used as a form of visual prayer. Native American and Tibetan sand paintings, Gothic Rose windows and Hindu yantras are examples of mandalas used as circles for meditation, protection and healing. In today's modern society, mandalas allow children and adults alike to project sacred intentions toward world peace and inner peace. Cancer patients use the mandala process to access the power of healing through artwork and meditation.
Here's the link for the website I was looking at. http://www.artbodyandsoul.com/workshops/mandala/mandala.html
I apologize for the long entry
Clergy Letter Project
This link is the written letter that outlines the project's ideals. Maybe it's something we could quote somewhere on a wall in the Science Center...
In Rev. Newcomb's talk he spoke a lot about humility and how professionals of all different fields should practice humility when learning and listening about other fields. Mike mentioned this in his response to the "Controversial Art," the idea of humility so that could be something we try to incorporate into our artwork. Passion for life was another theme Rev. Newcomb mentioned and that's something that is applicable to religion and science, and doing work that helps another (despite beliefs). Maybe our artwork can embody certain themes that aren't necessarily religious or scientific, but instead, global values that can be applied to both?
Monday, February 11, 2008
The New Story
Sunday, February 10, 2008
Lightness to the atmosphere of the thing or place or mental state in both color and weight; also feeling this within my own being.
Something that makes me smile, if not physically, then at least mentally.
Gives off a sense of complete well being.
All seems right with the world both within yourself and in the physical world.
Buddhism and Hinduism spring to mind.
The joy of someone peeking out from behind a tree to find someone else peeking out from behind a tree as well.
That which one doesn’t have the privilege to see or feel much of. (Popping out from the top of tropical rainforest's canopy, etc.)
And these attributes: personal thing with a personal expression, exploratory, the uplifting experience, moving, accessible to people of different religious beliefs, tying in with nature.
Views of nature that are overwhelming (the cosmos on a clear night, being in the Alps, etc.)
Words that articulated really well.
The beauty that is love from compassion.
Children being themselves. They’re honest, inquisitive and ready to take on the world.
Water and what it can do. (thinking along the lines of the Colorado river owning the land that once existed in the wake of what is now the Grand Canyon)
Things that make me question myself, both as a physical and mental being.
That's one of the times I really stopped and paid attention to something. All of my roommates remember it too and they said they stopped, too.
While that worked largely because of shock value, it's interesting to think about what types of things will make students stop and actually remember the exhibit and its message. I just wanted to see if you guys remembered it too. That's all
Thursday, February 7, 2008
"Within the emerging church over the past decade there has been a return to the use of icons, images, and rituals to help point people to God... Could it be, we actually worship the creator of heaven and earth who is already all-present, if we would only stop to notice?
Maybe the only difference between the sacred and the secular is that the secular doesn’t know it’s sacred yet."
While this doesn't bring anything new to the table, it just reminded me of what we talked about in class-- our generation's general inability to STOP and perceive. Employing simplicity really is our best bet here. Not only would it be financially wiser, but it would convey the message that sacred does not necessarily imply complexity, or some radical otherness; it might be something ordinary that we have simply never noticed before.
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
I realize that the idea is in a rather crude form, so I would welcome comments and suggestions.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I was thinking about what we were talking about last week when we were thinking about finding a way to juxtapose the miracles of Jesus and the miracles of modern science, and also about the idea that the cross is so familiar to us that no one thinks about it anymore. It crossed my mind that we could combine the two concepts, and represent well-known biblical stories with modern people substituted for the biblical characters. We could show a doctor raising Lazarus, a chemist changing water to wine, or MLK jr. being crucified. Of course,I realize that all that might be too far of a stretch. Conversely, we could have an image of a doctor and patient overlayed with biblical text about Jesus healing, or have an image of civil rights peace protesters with the "turn the other cheek" message on top (or maybe the part from the beatitudes where Jesus says "blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake" (Matthew 5:10) or something like that). I know we said we probably want to do something more spiritual than religious, but I figured I'd throw it out there as an idea anyway.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Image and Spirit got me thinking about water, too. One part that seemed especially relevant to our project was Paul Tillich’s ideas about depth—that “depth as a metaphor for the spiritual dimensions of life have continuing usefulness in our search for a definition of the spiritual in art that is limited enough still to define, yet open enough to allow as many people as possible to enter into the discussion” (11). Although not entirely in the way Tillich means, depth, again, reminds me of water, and this passage reminds me of the way we ended our class last week talking about how we wanted to make sure that whatever art we decided to contribute to the building was spiritual and not necessarily religion-specific.
Water is interesting to me because it seems to be a solid connection between science and religion. Water is a fundamental part of nature, creation, and the human body. It is also fundamental to the study and understanding of science (scientists can break it down into hydrogen and oxygen, etc), as well as the rituals and practices associated with religion, mysticism, and spirituality. In a religious as well as natural sense, water creates, sustains, and perpetuates life—much like various deities do and have done in several religious traditions. Water is also extraordinarily powerful—while it can create, it can also destroy, as we have seen in the Bible (Noah, Red Sea, etc), other ancient traditions, and even currently with storms such as hurricanes and tsunamis. It comes as no surprise, then, that a prime characteristic of many of the ancient storm gods and powerful deities is the ability to control and manipulate water (think of Jesus walking on water—in Japanese creation stories, too, a formless material is sculpted by the gods into what we now know as earth). Everyone knows what “Holy Water” is. The vision of Paradise in Islam involves flowing water and flowering, green earth. Think of the scientific “creation story,” too, about evolution and organisms forming and evolving—water was a necessary and essential player in that one, too.
Needless to say, water is everywhere in a discussion of religion—not only is it a powerful symbol, but it purifies and cleanses in both a scientific and a spiritual sense. It appeals to all of the senses, something that I think is important when trying to capture the feeling or the essence of the transcendent. Water has the ability to elicit a “sense of awe” as well as facilitate meditation. I’m not saying that our art has to actually involve water, although that would be cool—but I think that some representation of water would be both meaningful and beautiful. Just a thought…see you guys on Wednesday :)
An excerpt from The Golden Egg:
Eggs immediately began to crop up everywhere: in Russian fairy tales, Vedic scriptures, English nursery rhymes, in German Romanticism or in Victorian fantasy, in Clemes Brentano’s “Gockel, Hinkel and Gackeleia,” J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit or in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby. They even showed up in astronomy when Johannes Kepler, intent on discovering perfect circles in the planetary orbits, was disappointed when he encountered ellipses and had to accept the awful truth that even the solar system seems to prefer eggs. A cosmic egg is central in Hindu mythology, in which it is called Hiranyagarbha, the egg containing the creation, the subtle germ of the material world. It is reflected by the solar plexus and the crystal egg inside the Athanor, the alchemical oven.
Egg shapes can thus be found on many levels of our existence, in the kitchen and in the stars, in design and metaphysics, from birth to death. In this sense, the egg expresses a fundamental truth of alchemy as found in the Tabula Smaragdina: ‘As above, so below.’ In hindsight then, this symbol seemed to us to possess sufficient fertility to engage researchers in many fields and from different disciplines. The very nature of alchemy as an art that is both subjective and objective, material and spiritual calls for an interdisciplinary approach.The egg is a popular symbol for creation and clearly it comes up in science all the time (astronomy, alchemy, biology). Here are some websites that talk about the role of the egg in culture:
The Dogon tribe in Africa - the first site talks about the mythology of the egg creation and the second shows a picture.
Some creation stories - India, China, and Japan deal with the egg
This book, Symbols of Sacred Science, might be a really good one to try to get a hold of. Click "more" under the Contents and there are two sections that deal with the egg: "The Heart and the World Egg" and "The Cave and the World Egg."
The Heart and the World Egg excerpt: "The biblical figure of the Terrestrial Paradise, which is also the 'Center of the World,' is that of a circular precinct which may be considered as the horizontal section of an ovoid or a spherical form..."
The Cave and the World Egg excerpt: "The two halves into which the 'World Egg' is divided according to one of the most common aspects of its symbolism, become respectively heaven and earth..."
This site deals with different meanings/interpretations/definitions of the egg.
And, finally, my last site. It's an article about the symbolism of the egg, and specifically ostrich eggs, which are often displayed in churches.
Maybe we could have an egg theme! Haha, just a thought...
Sunday, February 3, 2008
Not everyone has signed onto the blog site yet. If you know of anyone lagging behind, do bug, cajole or force them to do it.
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Unlike our online renderings, Holy Cross' show some artistic detail-- like this.. wall fountain? and something inscribed next to it.
Also, there is an interesting conversation about religion vs. science that is published in the Holy Cross Magazine, if you're ever interested: http://www.holycross.edu/departments/publicaffairs/hcm/winter07/features/feature1.html
Okay, that's enough for now. :)
Monday, January 28, 2008
In 2002, students of biology and fine arts collaborated at MSU-Bozeman, a large state school, to create an exhibit called Bioglyphs. The students cultivated petri dishes of bioluminescent bacteria and artfully arranged the dishes on gallery walls. Kill the lights, and dazzling patterns appear. The installation was expanded in
It is no stretch to think about the display in a religious register. “Bioglyph” is a riff on hieroglyph, which is a backformation of hieroglyphics. The Greek word hierogluphikos is derived from the parts hieros, meaning “sacred,” and gluphē, or “carving” (Oxford American Dictionary). The word “hieroglyphics” contains within it the holy, and while it is most often used denotatively to describe the historical writing system, it can also be used figuratively to mean any writing that is enigmatic, elusive, even incomprehensible—quite at odds with the mission of science. One can then view Bioglyphs as mysterious, inconclusive experiments, a sacred script vivified, made through science with a sense of awe.
This artwork is definitely an interesting case study. I've got some ideas gestating, but I think I need to sleep on it.
Check out the Bioglyphs website: http://www.erc.montana.edu/Bioglyphs/default.htm