Archive for April 2010


eye gazing

Have you ever looked deep into somebody’s eyes? For hours?? I have a bit of experience with eye gazing and find it to be absolutely fascinating! A few years back, I first tried it with a group of strangers as part of a meditation retreat. We made two lines facing each other, sat on the floor, and moved like a conveyor belt so that we each had five minutes of eye gazing with everyone in the group. At first, staring deeply into the eyes of a stranger in total silence made me want to laugh and look away (desperately!), but after my initial embarrassment, I began to ride the waves of the experience. Embarrassment would melt into moments of peace. Peace would merge intense curiosity. A few times I felt something primal, almost dangerous, arise inside of me. There were also moments of intense, intimate connection with these strangers. Yet, whatever I was *connecting to* lay behind their eyes, a presence that looked back at me through them with recognition. A few times this connection would further morph into the experience of looking into a mirror – as if I were looking at myself looking back at me. The whole experience was trippy. I loved it, even though there were moments of supreme discomfort.

A lot of mystics believe that eye gazing (or soul gazing) is a gateway to enlightenment. There are even therapeutic practices that utilize eye gazing for healing emotional trauma. I totally believe in its power and wish I remembered to practice it more often. I think it’s especially helpful for people who have issues with intimacy or deep discomfort with the self. Sometimes I’ll practice it with Peter when I’m feeling overwhelmed or dislocated. It grounds me like nothing else.

This is my long-winded intro to a viewer participation piece called The Artist is Present which can now be “seen” at the NYC MOMA with performance artist Marina Abramović:

Have you heard of it yet? Here, Marina sits at a wood table and will stare into the eyes of whoever would like to sit across from her, for however long they’d like. If you choose to sit, a photograph portrait will be taken of you while you stare into Marina’s eyes.

Some critics have called the piece self-important (blah, blah), but after looking through the portraits of anonymous museum patrons who stare into Marina’s eyes, how can you not think this is profound?? I’m completely captivated by these stranger’s faces and the emotions (or lack thereof) that can be seen in their amazing eyes!

Over here, a gossip blog collected pics of celebs who’ve sat with Marina, but infinitely more interesting (if you scroll down) was their mention of a female patron who, styled as Marina herself, proceeded to sit with her for 600 minutes. The woman called it a performance piece of her own. (Like something out of a Charlie Kaufman film.)

That same blog highlighted another museum patron whose sat with Marina nine times and counting. Sometimes he cries. You can see him here if you scroll down.

If you’re intrigued enough to go through the portraits on Flickr, you’ll notice that Marina herself is often crying. One can only imagine what she is seeing and processing in all of these faces, especially, the repeat sitters. Exhausting!

Here are some of the more powerful portraits I came across. Notice that below each portrait is the number of minutes each person sat. Some people only sit for two minutes and others sit for an hour or longer:

here here here here here here here here

Posted at 10am on 4/30/10 | 4 comments | Filed Under: art & artists | read on


organic inspiration

I devoured Abigail Doan’s blog this evening.
1. thracian headpieces
2. Ceca Georgieva’s green leaf jewelry
3. tatting
4. headpiece by mandy greer
5. fiber installation in Iran

Posted at 11pm on 4/27/10 | 1 comment | Filed Under: art & artists, blogs, environment | read on


les chaussures

Random inspiration from Marinni. I think these are shoes from the Bath Fashion Museum collection via 1906 (Paris.) Note the second pair in the second row and how they’re slightly different colors. Why aren’t more shoes subtly mismatched like that? It’s kind of cool. (Or maybe this was just a curator’s happy accident?)

Posted at 10pm on 4/26/10 | no comments; | Filed Under: fashion, photography | read on


here we are now, entertain us

Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Posted at 8pm on 4/26/10 | 2 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on


the future

TIME Magazine has a piece called 10 Ideas for the Next 10 Years: A thinker’s guide to the most important trends of the new decade and I’m feelin’ Reihan Salam’s contribution, The Dropout Economy, and where he thinks we’re headed…

Imagine a future in which millions of families live off the grid, powering their homes and vehicles with dirt-cheap portable fuel cells. As industrial agriculture sputters under the strain of the spiraling costs of water, gasoline and fertilizer, networks of farmers using sophisticated techniques that combine cutting-edge green technologies with ancient Mayan know-how build an alternative food-distribution system. Faced with the burden of financing the decades-long retirement of aging boomers, many of the young embrace a new underground economy, a largely untaxed archipelago of communes, co-ops, and kibbutzim that passively resist the power of the granny state while building their own little utopias.

Rather than warehouse their children in factory schools invented to instill obedience in the future mill workers of America, bourgeois rebels will educate their kids in virtual schools tailored to different learning styles. Whereas only 1.5 million children were homeschooled in 2007, we can expect the number to explode in future years as distance education blows past the traditional variety in cost and quality. The cultural battle lines of our time, with red America pitted against blue, will be scrambled as Buddhist vegan militia members and evangelical anarchist squatters trade tips on how to build self-sufficient vertical farms from scrap-heap materials. To avoid the tax man, dozens if not hundreds of strongly encrypted digital currencies and barter schemes will crop up, leaving an underresourced IRS to play whack-a-mole with savvy libertarian “hacktivists.”

Posted at 8pm on 4/26/10 | no comments; | Filed Under: the shift (of ages) | read on


the kids grow up

This trailer totally choked me up…


(via the playlist)

Posted at 1pm on 4/26/10 | no comments; | Filed Under: documentaries, film, trailers | read on


stellar demise in planetary nebula

Just came upon this archive of the Top 100 Hubble images.

We are dust!

Posted at 10am on 4/25/10 | 4 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on



Happy Earth Day!
(Photo from Nat’l Geo)

Posted at 7pm on 4/22/10 | 10 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on


wind through their hair

Horses running from exploding volcano in Iceland. (Original photo found here.)

Posted at 3pm on 4/21/10 | 2 comments | Filed Under: photography | read on


i’ve eaten them baked, in their jackets and boots

I’m not a fan of Natalie Merchant, but my Dad promised that if I watched the first song of this performance it’d suck me in. He was right. I swear, the first song will have you thoroughly charmed. Natalie’s new album, Leave Your Sleep, is a collection of lost 19th century poems and nursery rhymes. This whole presentation/performance is a lovely mixture of delight and melancholy. The lyrics to these poem-songs can be found here.

Here are the lyrics to the first song/poem, The Sleepy Giant by Charles E. Carryl:

My age is three hundred and seventy-two
I think, with the deepest regret
How I used to pick up and voraciously chew
The dear little boys that I met

I’ve eaten them raw, in their holiday suits
Eaten them curried with rice
I’ve eaten them baked, in their jackets and boots
And found them exceedingly nice

But now that my jaws are too weak for such fare
I think it exceedingly rude
To do such a thing, when I’m quite well aware
Little boys do not like being chewed
Little boys do not like being chewed

So now I contentedly live upon eels
And try to do nothing amiss
And I pass all the time I can spare from my meals
In innocent slumber like this
Innocent slumber like this

Posted at 11am on 4/21/10 | no comments; | Filed Under: female voices, music | read on

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