psychology

the return of magic by kelly heaton

I have spent the past five months working on a sculpture that required some serious engineering on my part, a task that I managed to accomplish by hyper-focusing and pushing myself through many days at my electronics bench. Meanwhile, my lack of energy to make art with my spiritual and physical self has been injurious. A new friend thankfully reminded me that I need these other facets of myself if I am to survive. Suddenly, I regained attention for the magical objects that I keep on display above my electronics workspace. These protectors and power objects became visible to me again after a blindness that I self-inflicted with my own mental intensity. It’s amazing how a shift in consciousness can instantly remove the wool from our eyes — the most dangerous form of blindness is not an optical condition, but a compromised state of mind.

I wish that hardcore stunts of engineering were possible (for me) without a serious bias for thinking (instead of feeling), but that’s just not the case… not yet. I need more practice in order to achieve a greater virtuosity and grace, but that’s the work of a lifetime I suppose. Anyway, now, as I approach the end of my latest intellectual challenge, I’m grateful that a restoration of balance is on my horizon.

down time by kelly heaton

Earlier this week, I had arthroscopic surgery on my left hip to repair an old injury that was becoming arthritic. This post is an evolving repository of and video loops that I’m creating during my downtime.

Owl surgery by kelly heaton

Paper owl looking onto its electronic eye circuit, 2018

Paper owl looking onto its electronic eye circuit, 2018

Transitions. Sometimes it feels like the holes that we have are equally -if not more- beautiful than what promises to fill them. Here, a paper owl contemplates the circuit that I designed to fit into its eyes. The addition of electronics to a static object adds more than functionality and aesthetics - it changes the identity of the object. Non-electronic things live in a physical world with thousands of years of creative history, while electronic things are very new. What was once an owl then become a robot - perhaps more robot than owl in our estimation. Does the owl stand to lose more than it gains?

Electricity Maker by kelly heaton

Electricity Maker, 2018. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 15" x 11"

Electricity Maker, 2018. Watercolor and pencil on paper, 15" x 11"

Yesterday, I had a great visit to the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. They have a wonderful collection of 20th century paintings in which the artists try to express energies that are *almost* visible. Of course, I saw electricity everywhere! Especially Charles Burchfield and Vincent Van Gogh were operating on the boundary of what can be seen with the physical eyes and what can be sensed with the "third eye" of perception. I also enjoyed their "After Paul Klee" exhibit, especially artists working with ancient symbols and petroglyphs to find new languages to describe psychological, cultural, and perceptual realties that do not convey with representational painting.

Here, I have pushed the language of electronics (elements of a circuit) to adopt the tribal, ritual form of an "electricity maker." The surrounding landscape is vibrating with natural and unnatural energy. 

The Nagual by kelly heaton

The Nagual, 2018. Watercolor sketch on paper

The Nagual, 2018. Watercolor sketch on paper

I've recently read seven of Carlos Castenada's books (about to start book eight). They're packed full of content for artists, especially Don Juan's concept of "seeing" and the nagual (as contrasted with the tonal). This image makes me think of Don Genaro and the miraculous dreaming stunts that he performed to try to awaken thick-headed Carlos. Genaro was a live wire to be sure.