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Monday, 27 April 2015


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What is it that you admire about this conceptual piece: the sculpture or the photograph of the sculpture?

It seems to me that this could also be a visual ode to the rapidly disappearing medium of film. I can hear the soft thumping of drums tailing off in the distance as the sun sets behind the mountains of flash cards. Tumtumtumtum, tumtumtumtum, tumtumtumtum....

"calls for...the public to become more educated about Native American culture."

If this sort of art doesn't inform anyone out there about the deep differences between Native America culture and the now dominant culture of North America, I recommend Jamake Highwater's book The Primal Mind.

Highwater was a unique combination of Indian background and upbringing with US mainstream culture higher education; a powerful intellect matched with great cultural sensitivity.

The book is all good; the chapter Image should be of particular interest to those who create images as a form of art. he reveals how many hidden assumptions are in our art and understanding of art.

As my friend (and pro Art photographer) who introduced me to this book said, "This will blow your mind!"

Disappearing film? Try disappearing mediocrity of digital. Spang shoots film.

Moose, I always enjoy your comments. When you mentioned Jamake Highwater, who I had never heard before, it launched me on an hour long Internet oddessey. Turns out the guy was a fraud, but a very interesting fraud. I think there's a screenplay waiting to be written about Highwater's life.

Hi Dave, and thanks.

Looking around, there are certainly claims that he is a fraud, although they seem a bit odd themselves. Unless some enterprising documentarian takes it on, I suppose the full story will remain mystery.

Which is a shame, as fraudulent biographical details do not necessarily make his work invalid.

I've only read The Primal Mind and The Language of Vision so far. I've found them full of unexpected perspectives and insights into the nature of art and the condition of being human that resonate as true to me.

They seem to me to naturally connect with David Abrams writing in The Spell of the Sensuous: Perception and Language in a More-Than-Human World and Becoming Animal: An Earthly Cosmology, in taking me out of the narrow cultural perspective with which I was taught to understand the world into discovery of a much broader and more meaningful world.

Perhaps I should come clean and admit that much of the thought about primal mind in general, as opposed to specific Am. Indian examples, in The Primal Mind is largely in harmony with my thoughts and speculations about how different the nature of mind in the millennia of matrilineal, Goddess worshiping societies before the advent of the Attic Greeks, Moghuls and other patrilineal, hierarcical Sky God worshiping societies replaced them 4-5000 years ago could be from the way our minds work.

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