Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Tissue Waves Evertson © 2009

I fell asleep dreaming of water last night. (I spent studio time on
photographing tissue paper waves yesterday.)
Then suddenly I was being tormented in a Hieronymus
Bosch painting.

I may need to re-boot my brain from this existential mode
if I want to get anything done (or get any sleep).

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Odds and Ends

I've been having a bit of fun with Oddcast's PhotoFace
demo. Just a distraction from what I should be
working on. (like the essay I mentioned last post) You
can upload a photo and the program performs a
little animation for you. A little creepy but fun; I
just had to give "The Scream" a try.

Create Your OwnOddcast Powered

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sink or Swim

Swimming the Witch - Medieval woodcut (note innocent person in foreground)

I'm off onto magic for awhile. I've been taking graduate
courses at Wesleyan University since 2003. Why I do
this is a mystery although I started as a way to get
up to speed on digital media arts. Its morphed into
history, sociology architecture; essentially everything
I wished I had time for back when I was getting my
MFA. I'm up to my eyeballs trying to write a final essay
for a fascinating course in Miracles and Magic in the
Middle Ages. Of course now that I'm well into writing on
patriarchy, misogyny and rural communities I could be
writing a great paper on the role of art in defining magic.

Pact with the Devil - Medieval woodcut

While slightly off track from primary readings, I've been
finding some fascinating art. I fear as a whole the artists
may have proven the adage that a picture is worth a
thousand words. As stereotypical images of witches
became more available the hysteria that led to hunting
witches grew. Although I believe artists are much more
in tune with modern witch hunts I am less than optimistic
that our culture is anymore civilized than our Medieval

Friday, April 17, 2009

Best Face Forward

Thailand - Cast Buddha head (collection of the artist)

My last couple of posts have touched on my belief in
ignoring group think (ie friends and family) when it
comes to what goes into your art. Unless, of course, it
is a collaboration. I also believe we are more likely
to be inspired when we spend more hours making
art. An artist waiting for inspiration to hit is a
musician that doesn't practice. Our work is our face
to the world.

Pond - Photocollage by Ian Evertson

I'm backing into a topic that was inspired by an e-mail
exchange (cousin of a friend) concerning whether
attending Berklee College of Music would give their
son a fallback career. Our son attended Berklee and
she wanted the 411 for their college decisions. The
short answer is yes they do, they offer many music
career paths. But my long answer concerned commitment
because like the visual arts, music takes talent, luck and
work, work and more work. No school can prepare you
for an arts career. I hope I didn't put nails in the kids
music coffin. Our son is doing just fine because Berklee
didn't kill his dreams. He works hard at his "other job"
but has a lifetime ahead to work even harder on those
dreams. If you have interests in photography, music
reviews, slam poetry and zombie sightings check out
our son Ian's new blog. It can be a tough road with an artist
father but at least his mom is a mental health professional.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Right Handed Applause (©2009)

What keeps artists going? It certainly isn't the money,
fame and glamour. Why do we make art? Matthew Rose
(he's organizing the "A Book About Death" exhibit) claims
that "I like the hours". Certainly about the best
explanation I've ever heard. I'd wager most of us
somehow just knew at some point that making art is
just something we do. Probably something most of us
wouldn't give up even if we were offered that 'real job'
that our relatives or friends may sometimes suggest we
find. Instead we struggle after working the unreal job
to find the hours necessary for the 'work' of art. So why
make art? Well - somebody has to do it.

Saturday, April 11, 2009


In the Same Boat

It's good weather for ducks and I'm still contemplating relevance.
How do some artists stand out in a crowd and influence other artists?
I mentioned the wikipedia effect last post. Simply put, it is a group
effort that collaborates on a project. Usually the result is a 'good
enough' but not necessarily the best solution. Good for the group.
I use wikipedia in my links on occasion so I don't knock it, but the
content is optimized in search engines such that its 'solutions'
seem authoritarian. Museums act in much the same way in that
they filter the background chatter and come up with a pretty
good consensus. Great for the art community; some-
times bad for individuals or groups out of favor.

Wiki Artists Option

For the actual artist our work isn't like this relevance model. We're
not seeking a consensus. Although we're part of the art community
usually art is a lonely process. We're better off as individuals
utilizing that solitude rather than listening to advice of friends,
family or supporters. When we're producing we tend to fight a
variety of roadblocks just to spend a few hours in the studio
working idiosyncratic ideas through.

The Rogue

Our artistic search engines are found not only on the Internet or
museums. Mostly our search is a filtering of our unique
perceptions of the world; observation of nature, other people and
our interactions with social norms. Really we're at our best out
in the world ignoring relevance and finding our own way.
In swarm theory eventually people will check out new options.

Monday, April 6, 2009


Wish You Were Here - trial shot for "A Book About Death" postcard project
(see "Text Messages from the Dead" on right)

The other night I'm at home trying to work through my
yoga routine. Difficult enough, but at the same time I'm
talking out loud, more to myself than my wife who is trying
to read. She points out that most practitioners are not letting
their minds wander. True, but I'm sitting tied in a knot wondering
"what is relevant"? I suppose this could be useless, maudlin or
even a dangerous thought for an artist. Except for the fact that
my art is in a fine place right now. I'm just making it; not
hesitating, over thinking, the ideas are flowing and I'm
along for the ride. The photo up top is one of my experiments
for a postcard I'm working on. Needs work, but at least I'm
in the studio butting my head against some ideas, so all is

My Google result formula for mass relevancy

So, I think what's really on my mind is not what makes an artist
relevant but what makes an artist relevant to me. There are plenty of
widely recognized artists; artists that define what our understanding
of what art is or the next direction for art etc. that just haven't had
much influence on me or my work. I enjoy work by Warhol but I was
amazed that there were so many more Google results for him vs Johns
or Rauschenberg who I owe more to in understanding Pop Art. My
simple equation above doesn't do justice to those who theorize
relevancy algorithms or swarm theory. Still I have to wonder whether
the wikipedia effect isn't derailing our inner critic.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Ornamental Grass

On my way from A to B to C I blinked and ended up at 9. Life
would be much simpler if I could just use both sides of my brain
sometimes. I've got two projects that I'd like to devote some
creative flow to but I ended up exploring a tributary. I've got
my Landfillarts hubcap and I've got my idea. Plus I've got my
postcard idea for "A Book About Death". Over the weekend
I posted a short story inspired by Ray Johnson's mail art.
(On the right side of my blog). I decided my postcard would
involve a photo of the tableau that the story brought to my
mind. Yesterday I began experimenting with some exposures
I wanted to use. One shot was an ornamental grass at the
side of a pond. Nothing to do whatsoever to do with autos or
mail art; more about random camera exposures.


After a bit of drawing, filtering, extracting it became a
nest. So, from hubcaps to Ray Johnson to plovers. Today is
a new day so perhaps I can back track a little and find
where my train of thought derailed. Humm? - trains? ;)