Monday, October 28, 2013

Reluctance


    Feel the discomfort flood your conscientiousness once again. Open your blurry and boozy eyes and stretch your dehydrated muscles, emitting various cracks and pops, perhaps only audible to you.
    Who do you see?
    Who is there to share this aftermath of a late breakfast and  an afternoon stroll through a city or a park or in  the wilderness. Walking, eating, dancing, reading, watching a show, playing a game, laying in bed all day talking and touching each other in playful ways.
    Drink water with them, laugh with them, be with them.
    Savor the moment and do not worry. Do not worry about who you are, or what your are doing, or what will happen tomorrow or the next day or the day after that or a month from now or a year from now. Do not worry about the world outside of your room, outside of your home, outside of your yard, outside of your neighborhood, outside of your city, outside of your region, outside of your state, outside of your province, outside of your country, outside of your continent, outside of your hemisphere, outside of your planet, Earth, that glowing blue marble in the vastness of space, outside of your solar system, outside or your galaxy, the Milky Way swirling in circles and spirals made up of endless other circles and spirals within the faint tip of the wave of light we all occupy.
    Look at them. Look into their eyes. Do you they feel as you do? Do you want them to feel as you do? Does it even matter? Hold them as they hold you for as long as you can and please, I say, please do not forget it. They are beautiful like you and I and everyone in just the right moment.

    The orgasm was sustained and intense and it left me feeling drained of everything in my body and mind. I forgot, for a moment, that this sexual encounter was for something other than recreation. My body went limp on top of her, my neck nestled in the nape of her neck. I felt her cheek muscles, pressed against the side of my head, curl up into a smile. She ran her fingers through my hair. We're trying to bring a child into this world?
    I suspect she my not be paying as much attention as me, but I could be wrong.

    The next night, when she was at work, I went for a walk on the grounds where the Pythian Senior Home once stood near Jefferson High School; where new and no doubt paranoid policies are being instilled and enforced every time the news covers another school shooting in a fleeting and sensational way; instilling only fear into the public conscientiousness without provided context to the situation. There was a football game being played and it sounded well attended. Fear be damned, a football game will bring the crowds in. Do schools on Lafayette still have marching bands?
     About half way through walking the grounds I decided to turn back. I wanted to see if there was a marching band at Jefferson High School, but I felt strangely watched by unseen and suspicious eyes. I am an adult male and I was wearing a dark blue hooded sweatshirt and dark green pants, walking alone at night next to a high school. I am a part of the public conscientiousness and paranoia.
     I walked through streets with Spanish names such as El Prado and El Granda. The name El Granda confused me when we first moved into the neighborhood. El is masculine and Granda is feminine. In Spanish the street should be titled La Granda. The streets are slanted forty-five degrees to the normal city planing of a rigid ninety degree perpendicular grid. The streets were jarring and disorienting. For a while I walked slowly through the streets, looking for recognizable objects. Street signs. Houses. Road intersections. Trees with knots and hard bark. Green and brown-green asymmetrical polygons of yards surrounded by clean or crumbled concrete. The weaving branches of small and leafy green  bushes. A fire hydrant  stained with dog piss or dog shit. I am usually walking a dog when I am navigating these streets. It's the best way for me to become familiar with new streets and neighborhoods.
     I finally found my way home. My new home, still unfamiliar in the dark. A home built in 1930 and in need of repair, according to her, with modern innovation. Her bathroom is constantly a sight of dynamic repair and disrepair, very progressive stuff.

   "Children find a way. They side step times, as it were, and the ravages of progress. I think they operate in another time scheme altogether. Imagine standing in a wooded area and throwing stones at the top of a Horse chestnut tree to dislodge the sturdiest nut. Said to be in the highest elevations. Throwing stones all day if necessary and taking them home and soaking it in salt water."
     "We used vinegar."
-From Underworld by Don Delillo

    She and I spent the evening with friends, drinking wine. We had not seen these friends in a very long time. She flirted with a former lover.
    After an argument I found myself in, I slept on the couch, surprisingly apathetic to the entire situation. I didn't care that she had flirted with him and apparently she believed I should have. I didn't know how to win an argument based entirely on hypothesis, so I gave up and slept on the couch.   

    On the weekend I went hiking with friends, an old friend and a recent friend. We went to Shades State Park. I took pictures when I felt the urge to take pictures of what I was seeing. This is something I try to refrain from doing most of the time because much of the time I feel over-flooded with mostly banal imagery. The practice of constantly taking pictures of what you are seeing with your phone seems like a new trait of our digital age that many take on without actually thinking about what they are doing. This seems especially true when someone uploads them to a internet in someway. I perceive it in a mostly negative light, but I partake when I feel I am seeing something I do not see in reality very often. All too rare views.
     I draped my feet over the Devil's Backbone. We explored the honey comb of a natural sculpture of sandstone. Aaron leaped from a sturdy swing set and I caught him in mid air with a picture. We ate at a Chinese Buffet afterwards. It was a great day.
    I became the Gatekeeper of Rock Kingdom on trail two. I explained the fabricated economic status of Rock Kingdom to Charles and Aaron. Charles walked with me on the wooden plank steps erected above the boulders and rocks. Aaron leaped and climbed up the loose stone face held together by the natural flow of water and wood and green moss at a warrior's dash next to the wooden steps. It was a commercially grim economic status. I explained that Rock Kingdom now has their first Shoneys breakfast buffet and they are building their first Subway. Our inspiration for embracing the corporate world was the educational source of the Fraggle Rock videos found in the garbage dump next to Rock Kingdom. Many Nurseries in Rock Kingdom have begun to make their own puppet sets and plays of Fraggle Rock with various local artisans. I said that was kid's stuff, though.
     We reached the divide in the trickling the creek. A fork in a hypothetical road. A sign read "Do Not Hike Beyond this Point" It was once carved in dark wood and the painted yellow ochre in the beveled edges. Now it is plastic.
    "What's up there?"
    "You don't want to go that way."
    "That sign makes me want to go that way. Why did they put that sign there?"
    "That's where the Minotaur lives and roams."
    "Like a labyrinth?"
    "You understand. Shall we continue on the trail?"
    The three of us stood in silence for a moment. Sometimes I have trouble justifying some of the practices of Rock Kingdom, but I did not voiced them to Aaron and Charles at the time.

    When she and I last went hiking at Shades State Park she spent our time there complaining. The bugs. The rough terrain. How many steps she had to walk up. Sweating, which I do not understand, because I sweat everyday. Rudimentary plumbing, even though we were obviously out in nature. Things are less specific in service when in nature. I thought everyone understood this, so why complain?

    Reason is six letters brought together to create possibly the most debatable word in the English lexicon. It is curious and possibly torturous to find it when confronted with nonsense, but I assume we must still try. More than anything it is something that makes and keeps us human beings and it gives people an excuse to use the word quandary.

    Define empathy. The mental capacity to allow yourself to believe what another person's mind and body is thinking feeling and experiencing at a specific time. Mental atrophy of one's own reality due to how one perceives another's reality. Weakness in one's sureness of their existence due to the hypothesis of another's existence, real or otherwise. Caring. Caring too much. Caring for someone even if they do not care that you care. Stagnation of personal progress due to disprovable ecstatic truth. A way of pissing other people off without doing anything other than being there. A foolish way of making a living. A way of making other people uncertain and paranoid because of the selfish yet confidant environment they were raised in. When something unexpected, positive or negative, occurs. A way to confuse a person who believes the concept of empathy does not exist. An excuse for writing something down when words seem void. To believe one understands without over explanation. To be familiar with what humanity and reality is capable of, even if one pretends to be detached from humanity most of the time. An exercise someone can conduct when someone one knows is suffering from something someone doesn't know in order to become closer with something one must understand. A crap shoot, really. Love in some way or many ways. Something that seems strange, but really is not due to historical and human fact or theory. Memetic evolution or hearsay. Western subversion. Transgression, progression or regression. Thinking and feeling outside of one's self.
Empathy is a word.
Empathy is a collection of letter
It is a code.
It becomes difficult sometimes.
Empathy is a haiku.

Again the hiking
I wanted to feel again
It really feels great

In America
Insanity beckons more
than reason these days

I told her we needed to talk.

"You don't love me."
"What?"
"You don't love me."
"Why does that suddenly matter to you now?"
"I'm not pregnant."  

Aaron C. Molden



Monday, October 7, 2013

Pinwheels

Lesson

    Many people think art is only an expression of a single person. But there are other important lessons to learn from art. Organization, consideration of others ideas, and collaboration can be learned through art and can serve as a way to learn how to work together. Through collaborative projects we can learn that even though we are special and unique, so too is everyone else and their ideas about the project are also important to consider.

    This project is about collaboration and limitations. The main idea is that we discover the almost limitless possibilities we still have if certain rules and limitations are set.
    We will be making and decorating paper pinwheels, which when completed will be pinned to the hallways bulletin board, arranged so that the collection of pinwheels become one work of art through collaboration .
    In decorating the pinwheels, separate the square paper with an X both lines meeting their ends at the four angles of the square paper on both sides. Each triangle on this paper is a different area where we will add line or texture with black marker.
    Here's the rules though, the limitations. In each triangle you can only use one shape or one style of line to create texture. You can use the same shape or line on more than one, even all of the triangles, but you cannot use more than one shape or line in a single triangle. You have free reign on the size of the shape or line and whether they are separated, touching or overlapping in that triangle.
    With these simple limits, I hope, we can all discover what almost limitless possibilities we still have. I encourage all of you to also consider what your fellow classmates are making on their pinwheels. It you like what they are doing, try it out for yourself; try it with your own style on the texture because an important part of working together is considering someone else's ideas.

    After we have completed one (or many) decorated pages, we will turn them into pinwheels:
1. Using a ruler, make a mark approximately two thirds of the way down each line of the X on the paper.
2. Cut down to each of the marks with scissors.
3. Bring the left angle of each triangle to the middle of the paper.
4. Then stick a pin with a bead on the back and the front through the middle of the paper creating a pinwheel.

    Turning this paper into a pinwheel allows one to consider their own texture or textures from many different angles. Angles you may have not considered before.
    Once you have completed your pinwheels and pinned it down, we will add it to the bulletin board. The bulletin board will be organized to make your own pinwheel one important part of a single work that will make your walk through the hallway more interesting, more satisfying, better. With collaboration we can make things more interesting, more satisfying, better. It also allows us to consider things that may not make sense to use and may never make sense to us. Thankfully, it is just a piece of paper. It is a piece of paper one can ignore if they must.
    The most important thing to remember is to have fun with this project because we've received a memo from the Administration that we are not to trust the students with these tools and materials: scissors, pins, rulers. They believe that they may be wielded as weapon so you very likely will not have another chance at a project such as this.

Personnel

2. Eifler            1. French            3. Roadruck            4. White
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    Samuel             name                  name                        name
    name                name                  Dakota                     name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                Sarah                 name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
    name                name                  name                        name
                                                      Maxwell

    The names are students between the ages of 14 and 18 who go to an elective alternative school due to various social and personal reasons. Some of them could be the result of teenage pregnancies. Some of them may have social anxiety in larger schools due to their inability to adapt to modern public exposure. Some of them may simply want to graduate as soon as possible because they plan on working at the factory their father or uncle tells they'll have a job at once they are done with school. Their are several other examples, these are just a few.

Notes

-The first class did not have a student example, only the example I made, but several students thrived on the project simply because they were given the opportunity to actually make something tangible.
-The second class was more varied in interests: from completely not caring to totally engrossed. I was told that there was nothing I could do about the students using their phones. This was slightly annoying because even if they were not going to put forth any effort on the project, I think it would have been better if they at least socially engaged with the rest of the class and myself.
- The third class seems much more excited than the first to classes. I think it is because there were so many other student examples to see. It might have also been because is was the first class after lunch time.
- The fourth class was the most informal because it was the end of the school day. Yet all the students were amiable and willing to work or at least socialize with the other students.
- Don't devalue what these students have to say all the time, There is a lot of truth there that can be profound to hear.
-When students can consider their fellow students, they move to a specific style, causing an organic unity through collaboration. This will happen with or without guidance and that is a very important thing to remember.
-Even with the simplicity of this art project, I was surprised to discover there were still students who could not grasp the concept of making a pinwheel. I worry American students, on a whole, are not getting a very well rounded education because I was essentially teaching an elementary art lesson to high school students. What would happen if they were introduce to Damien Hirsts's work or even the Dada movement? Would I be met simply with blank stares or would the students not be intellectually or critically equipped to handle the context?
-The students made pinwheels and they can make so much more if they are allowed to grow in the way they must grow in this world.
-Not once did I think any of these students were planning on using the materials as weapons. The administration might need a strong dose of reality for their paranoid streak.

Aaron C. Molden

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Cosmic Realization


    A light year is the distance light can travel in one calendar year. The next closest star to the sun, to our solar system is 4.2 light years away. That star and the sun are part of a galaxy made up of 100 billion stars. That galaxy is one of 100 billion in the known universe which is only five percent of the entire universe (that is the rest of the universe that does not reflect or emit light.)
    Think about this the next time you throw up on someone's shoes and pass out in a bush after drinking too much at a party.
    Please note the error of my facts because I would like this to be more accurate... or read this haiku.

I sure love robots
but not enough to do math
math is for big nerds

Aaron C. Molden

Friday, October 4, 2013

Missed Connections 2


    Do you remember me? I was the mutant manbird browsing the seed and nut section of the Discount Den at Chauncey Hill Mall. You may have thought I was just a guy in a chicken suit because it was Breakfast Club at Purdue. I think it was Homecoming, but I am not for sure. I am in fact part man and part bird. The genes of man and bird (specifically Wyandotte rooster) were brought together in a lab and I am the result.
    I saw you buying an Arizona iced tea while I stood at the counter. I was flirting with the cashier because she knows me and even though I'm a mutant bird she enjoys our conversations. You looked up at me. I looked at you with my cold black bird-eyed gaze: A pretty girl in a summer dress with floral patterns. Beyond my beak and the feathers I malt and the deformed talons I attempt to type with, there is a human. A human that does not won't to miss another connection.
    Sometimes I must kill mice and rabbits in order to maintain my humanity. I want you to know that about me.
    Please contact me via messenger pigeon.
    -Ba-Kawk!-

Sincerely,
Kevin the Manbird


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Missed Connections 1



    Do you remember me? I was the slightly overweight (my doctor claims I'm obese) Caucasian male in the Tap Out shirt and JNCO shorts. I was shopping with my mom and she was asking me what vegetables I would be willing to eat -rather loudly I might add- while I played Angry Birds on my phone at the produce section of the Payless grocery store on Greenbush.
   You were the skinny girl with the bleach blond hair at the deli counter. You were wearing a Rue 21 halter top with spaghetti straps and  low waist jeans with elaborate sequence embroidered on the back pockets. I could see your leopard printed thong. You were holding a carriage with your left arm sagging toward the ground. You baby was screaming as you talked loudly on your cell phone about how your period had been different since you had Jed. The deli clerk looked on blank faced while you chatted.
    At one point you looked over toward me and my mom. I didn't look up because I was about to drop a bomb bird in just the right place to completely destroy the structure in the game. But I saw you look my way. Is it just me or did we make a connection?
    If you feel the way I do please contact through Facebook, publicly or not, or email me at blahblahblah@gmail,com, or text me from the phone number I will send you if you send me an email that says you would like my cell phone number, or call me at home from this number, 555-555-5555, but please do not call after nine because my mom gets upset if people call after nine (even though it only happened once when I was in high school and I am a strong-willed man now, in my mid-twenties.)
     I hope to hear from you.