Nighttime Playground

I’ve been a little behind in posting the images from the iPhone Eternal Childhood series to the blog. Here’s one I did a couple months ago: “Nighttime Playground.”

Each night, the Moon kisses secretly the lover who counts the stars. ~~Rumi

nighttime playground

Caught

This piece originally began with what I thought would be a series (and it may still be). I was working on two different pieces dealing with our relationship as humans with the “natural world.” I was unhappy with where I had gotten with both of them and on a whim I decided to try them together. Violà!

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This piece, called “Caught,” looks at the vicious circle that develops with our treatment of the “natural world.” Our ignorance of our interconnectedness with it (and our actions originating from that lack of knowledge) creates a scenario that teaches us how interconnected we really are (think climate change’s effects) in a way that feels less like being part of a whole or in a relationship and more like being at the mercy of an angry, powerful Other–one we helped to create. As nature gets sicker, we get sicker. As we pollute nature, we pollute ourselves.

These were the two pieces that went into “Caught”:

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The first was created originally from a photo I took at a rest stop on Mother’s Day and another that I’d taken a couple months back. The idea was to intertwine the human with the tree, including its roots.

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The second was taken from a photo I took last weekend at Jones Bridge Park in Norcross, GA. A cement block was lodged in the Chattahoochee river along with other debris. It was combined with another photo I took a few months ago. Here, it’s the idea of being “caught” (cement block around the head, and his appearing to rest in it and smile) in our own trash and being completely oblivious.

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We’ll see if it develops into a series….

Eternal Childhood: The things we carry

“The things we carry” is another piece in the Eternal Childhood series, which explores the magic not just of childhood, but of being human itself. A magic we could experience if we could but glimpse ourselves and the world differently for even one moment.
Melissa D. Johnston-The things we carry

Eternal Childhood: Phases

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A recent iPhone creation, using one of the photos I took last Sunday at Jones Bridge Park in Norcross, Georgia. It’s a part of a new series, Eternal Childhood, which explores the magic of childhood–a magic than can exist in every moment, even for adults.

“Resolve to be always beginning—to be a beginner!” –Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday Play: Digital Collage

Brain fog. The consequence of sitting for far too long at one Starbucks table reading about Lacan, Winnicott, and sadomasochism on a computer screen.

My escape from brain fog: photographing the fountain nearby, in the rain, and playing with the images for the rest of the afternoon. Violà! Six digital collages.

The collages started as black and white photos taken with MPro on my iPhone which I then collaged with the app Moldiv, processed in Stackables and Snapseed, and re-collaged a couple of more times. Only a trace is left of the original inspiration, but the results are fun!

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Thru the Net iii

Another installment in the “Thru the Net” series, which plays with Heidegger’s understanding of Dasein or Being-in-the-world.

 

thru the net iii

thru the net iii

“The Power of Labeling” exhibition

the incluseum emblem from FBThere are exciting and innovative things going on in the art world right now. The Incluseum is one of them. It’s a Seattle-based project that seeks social inclusion in museums. Part of that mission is to rethink how institutional cultural spaces operate in general. Recently they decided to play with a traditional museum function: the exhibition. They asked, “What would a digital exhibition look like and what would its process be if inclusion was THE central and driving value?” Working for months with community advisors, non-profits, artists, and other creatives, they decided to host an exhibition that addressed the power of labeling.

This is from the call for entries:

authenticity

authenticity

Museums are known for labeling. How does that impact our experience of objects and art? What happens when we label people? How have people labeled you and how do you label yourself?

I’m delighted to say that one of my digital works, “authenticity,” is in this exhibition. “authenticity” addresses the question of how we identify and label things—primarily people and their creations—as authentic Who has the authority to do that? How? What is authenticity anyway? Is it a projection of the viewer onto the other? How does one know when one is being authentic? “The Power of Labeling” began in May and runs through September 2, 2014. Check it out. There are some super cool provocative pieces there.

New Digital Series: Thru the Net

For the past few months I’ve been reading Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time with a friend. What’s fascinated me is how revolutionary his idea of being-in-the-world really is—not just vis-à-vis the philosophical tradition but even now, both philosophically and in our “everyday world” assumptions. I’ve begun a digital series called “thru the net” that explores and plays with the idea of “Being-in-the-world” as the “fundamental constitution of Dasein.”

thru the net ii final

thru the net ii

The Latest Creative Thresholds

I’m excited about the latest Creative Thresholds. Screenwriter and graphic novelist G.A. Gallas shares pages from her graphic novel The Poet and the Flea, an ode to William Blake. My nerd self totally swoons over this.

G.E. Gallas The Poet and the Flea page 22

Michi Meko. Flux 2013. Atlanta. One heck of a performance. Christopher Hutchinson discusses why it’s so good in “Postcolonial thoughts: Michi Meko’s The job of the resurrectors is to wake up the dead.” Meko photo 1

“A sound theater of Negro prison work songs will be played to wake up the souls of Negro men that were forced to lay the tracks in and around Atlanta as the re-enslavement of Black Americans increased during the Civil War up to World War II. Most of these free men were imprisoned on bogus charges enforced by Penal Labor/Servitude laws allowing the cycle of supremacy to continue….”
Meko photo 3 The first chapter from Jillian Schedneck’s book Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights recounts her two years teaching English in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. “I longed to be pulled and pushed, to journey to places that seemed unknown and less travelled, whose names held some kind of mystery and magic to my ears.” Definitely worth the journey.

Abu Dhabi Days, Dubai Nights book cover It’s no secret I love mobile photography. If I ever wondered what some of the creative possibilities were for its apps, Maarten Oortwijn gives more than enough of an idea…and plenty of inspiration in “the digital painter.”

Maarten Oortwijn-contactsheet

Letters to You by Daniel Boscaljon (with images by me) continues with my “best for your worst.” “some words have power….”

not rothko experiment. the now final