陶瓷鸡坐在一堆木头 and an origami story

I had a strange spark today. Was doing digital reclamation and sorting of images on the computer, and then digital collage. I resist it normally, I really do...in favor of slow processes.

But digital is not leaving me any time soon. My brain-finger connection loves it too much. The non-destructive editing that's possible in Photoshop (slaps hand to heart) is my overflowing river. I get to make insane things in many permutations...rapidly! I get huge therapeutic enjoyment out of making GIFs. I get a kick out of all of the insights, memories, and weird out-of-body experiences that emerge.

The process of making the image below triggered a deep-seated recognition of a childhood memory. This recognition is somehow starting to illuminate a creation/annihilation process that has driven me for years, but I've long misunderstood. This is not the most rational post. No holds barred on micro nonsense. What's mine is yours. I hope it helps...

 A busted ceramic chicken cracking over and over again over a pile of wood, or roughly, thanks to Google translate: 陶瓷鸡坐在一堆木头

A busted ceramic chicken cracking over and over again over a pile of wood, or roughly, thanks to Google translate: 陶瓷鸡坐在一堆木头

If you are able to watch and integrate the above image for extended periods time, maybe let me know your experience. CONTACT me. At the very least, here I can relate the bizarre, lucid re-experiencing of an event in my childhood, and maybe some insight into sensory oddities...?? Here goes:

(deep breath)

My mother kept origami paper in small cabinet, and I was very, very aware of this when I was very young...obsessively so. I would visit that drawer regularly. I liked the small size of the papers. I liked the bright squares, the surface sheen and comparing the deep coloration on the front to the texture on the white underside. Seen from the back, the ink seeped through just enough to suggest the paper's color and shadow the fibers. Inedible and incomprehensible, I just enjoyed the qualities undisturbed, intact. I'd open a drawer, sort through them, look at them, listen to the sound of them rubbing together, feel the texture, put them back. It was a hyper-focused affair...

Then, at some point, Mom's older sister came from Beijing to visit and peaked my interest and expanded my agenda as to the potentials of the origami paper experience (sans the process of origami):

 Paper Cuts by my mother and/or her middle sister

Paper Cuts by my mother and/or her middle sister

 Inner Mongolia dancer that the older sister made in the 60s

Inner Mongolia dancer that the older sister made in the 60s

The older sister made accomplished 'paper cuts'. I suddenly think that my exposure to them was an early, formative influence for the way I think about the magic of image-making and gesture and composition. I remember feeling very intensely about the 'cut' construction and the movement, tightness, density, and torque sensations they gave me when looking. I was also very attracted to the idea that images could hold together after being sliced apart. For a small, confused person who only knew safety scissors, it was pure paradox.

Razors, man. Totally out of the question for someone still learning fine motor control.

Scotch tape? That was in a different drawer. That was a viable avenue...

I covertly scotch-taped the entire stack of papers into a magnificent kite tail. I remember the way my chest swelled with excitement at my creation. I surprised everyone with an extremely enjoyable, flexible, fluttering, color explosion and interactive sculpture...which led to some initial shock and a very emotional conflict of wills. There was, in the end, a salvage operation of the beautiful material, resulting in the complete and surgical dismantling of my masterpiece.

More than 2 decades later, I vividly remember this experience. It's so emotionally wild and hyperbolic in my child mind, and the hyperbole is there when I'm cutting up images in Photoshop or thinking of the pressure of not applying too much pressure to one composition or one project. Call it an early warning of my penchant for dumb, ecstatic joy...and an inspiration to keep the joy and work to refine the dumb. Can't really vocalize the subtler lessons here...

As a former professor once wrote me, 'more brains, less brawn...'

THE (fairly abrupt for now) END