NAC 180, or "How I Recreated Mom's Major"

For those who know me and my mother fairly well, you’ll recall that she majored in theater. The family lovingly referred to it as “advanced kindergarten.”

While we were in the Mono/Mammoth area, we collected lots of dirt and pretty clay and various other substances (most of them legal). Now that we’re back in town, we spend Tuesday afternoons discussing the “adult” portions of the trip, including the legal and scientific issues surrounding the Lake and the ski resort as well as our doomed plant-measuring attempt. On Thursdays we revert to our inner children and play with art supplies. It’s fun.

We fingerpainted today. Granted, we were using pigments from the multihued clays that we gleaned from the mine, but dude! Fingerpainting! I’ve come full circle! Ann even joked at me for coloring inside the line that I drew.

The other item of discussion was the concepts of aesthetics… in Japanese “wabi-sabi” and modernism. Apparently the ideal wabi-sabi item has no ideal; it is a man-made object that is slowly “devolving” into nothingness or at least a greater organic unity with Nature.

Some examples of “wabi-sabi” (according to Ann at least):
– a chunk of tire rubber that she used to play a joke on the geologist ’cause it looked like rock
– a rusted old bullet casing that got kablooied into a lovely shape reminiscent of a dahlia
– another chunk of rubber that was absolutely chewed/decomposed to shreds and looked like rodent intestines
– Ricky’s desiccated banana. Technically not man-made, but certainly man-bred.

Me, I think the whole ethic arose from men snorting too much wasabi up their noses and short-circuiting their artistic sensibilities. At least it’d explain the name…

I appreciate the sort of awareness – sometimes when we leave things to decay they take on cool new forms and meanings. Then again, I don’t know that I’m driven to create something that seems wabi-sabi. I’d rather just allow it to happen and appreciate it when it does.

Either that or I’m lazy. Too much fingerpainting goes to your head.

~ by jackelopette on October 13, 2005.

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