Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Artemis Sere's Creative Objectives (2014)



Artemis Sere's Creative Objectives (2014)

These are projects that I am targeting for completion and launch in 2014. Some of these targets were carried over from the year before due to re prioritization or scheduling issues. Some of these projects are still being fleshed out, and project details being finalized. Please check this blog for more information in the near future.

These projects are ranked in order of importance, along with a brief description of each project and the estimated launch date. Thank you very much for your interest and participation in my orbit.  All concepts and content copyright 2013/2014 artemis sere.

  1. "Obscurious (Darkestar Risen Edition)" Poetical Picturebook Release [February 2014]
    "Obscurious" is Book1 of my Bonesetter's Revenge collection. It was originally created in Black and White, without a digital edition.  This version is a reconcepting of "Obscurious" for digital, with creative revisions and tweaked style. It will be primarily available as an eBook, with full shadowy color. Available via Lulu.com and Amazon.com. Will be released exactly one year before Book 3 launches in 2015.
  2. "Xenomorphine", "Seerum Studios", "Antithesis Press" Merch/T-Shirts [April 2014]
    Merch. Who doesn't want a cool t-shirt?
  3. "Xenomorphine (Junkie Shakes Edition)" Poetical Picturebook Release [May 2014]
    "Xenomorphine" is Book2 of my Bonesetter's Revenge collection. This version is a crazy revision of "Xenomorphine", with wild style and kinetic feel. It will be primarily available as an eBook, with full tweaked color. Available via Lulu.com and Amazon.com.
  4. "Scream Queen" Jess Loveless Book Cover Photo Shoot [June/July 2014]
    Working with an unidentified artist for the cover and marketing.
  5. sereX event [Aug/Sept 2014]Event designed to network with other artists, exchange art, art supplies, tips, and allow the public to trade art supplies for artwork [bring in bottles of unused acrylic paint to exchange, and you get a new Sere book or print].
  6. Artemis Sere Serenity Gallery Showing [Oct 2014]A public display some of my best works from my Serenity Gallery, a collection of posterized pieces of my art. Location undetermined.
  7. "Scream Queen" Fiction Novel Release [December 2014]
    My first novel and an introductory story to the "Fetch" Trilogy. Jess Loveless has it all--a successful rock band, a B-horror movie career, and fetish model following. A freak accident flips her world upside-down, and while she struggles to recover, she discovers a side of her talents that she never knew existed. And would've been better off not discovering. Available via Lulu.com and Amazon.com.
  8. "The Skeleton Men" Effigies [December 2014]
    Concept designs for "The Skeleton Men", Book3 of the Bonesetter's Revenge, which is planned for a 2015 release.
  9. Music Collaboration. [Release Not Determined]
    Collaboration with secret musician, CD and Merch Design.
  10. Music Collaboration. [Release Not Determined]
    Collaboration with Sean Payne/Cyanotic.

Artemis Sere's Twenty Best Albums of 2013



So, I'll say one thing about this list--it certainly is testosterone-filled, anger-laced and aggressive. This is probably the first time I've had a Top Music list that didn't include a female-fronted act in the top 10. It was not done intentionally; trust me, my favorite vocalists are female rock artists, and I'm already sensing that Within Temptation's "Hydra" will be my favorite album of 2014 (unless Cyanotic's "Worst Case Scenario" can knock it off the pedestal), based off of their newest duet with Tarja (Nightwish). As I began to review my favorite albums of the year, I noted a subtle drift in my own tastes since I last reported in 2012, not necessarily away from a certain style in general, just back to a darker clicktrack.

2012 was my Dubstep year, a year of exploration and sonic adventure. And I loved the adventure, every step of it. Dupstep (and all its variations) is a happy, undeniable part of me now, even if I gravitated toward edgier acts like Bassnectar, Liquid Stranger, Excision, Pixel Fist and Bare. This list reflects some of those styles. I dipped my toe into the waters last year, and those styles have influenced this list, and continue to color my sonic landscape.

However, 2013 returned me to the edge, whether as a result of the contrition of my life, frustrations, growing older, loneliness...  whatever the case may be, the rage was back in full force this year. I may not be back to the death metal-lovin' self that I once was, but this list definitely represents a darker deviation and a return to the comfort of the shade.

This year was truly an amazing year for music beyond popular trends and nauseating orbits of corporate overexposure (see Five Finger Death Punch and Avenged Sevenfold). In previous years, I felt myself cobbling the year's great music together into a useful list of recommendations, sometimes stretching to fill slots with albums that, in hindsight, probably weren't as good as I thought. This year however, I am solid about the Top 10 of this list. In fact, this Best Albums list originally only included my Top 10 favorite albums of 2013.

But 10 just didn't capture all the great music this year, so I had to expand the discussion. Here are my Top 20 albums of 2013.  I hope you take some time to check out these trendsetting and art-bending creators. I love these artists and albums, and I'm sure you will too, if you give them a try. They may not be ALL to your liking, but some of them may. Expand your musical identity and adventure with me.

Thank you for your consideration, and rawk on!

20__Free Dominguez - "The Volcano + The Sea"

(album that I sponsored via Kickstart)





19__Toad the Wet Sprocket - "New Constellation"

(album that I sponsored via Kickstart)






18__Morcheeba - "Head Held High"





17_Liquid Stranger - "Elemental EP"




16__Skinny Puppy - "Weapon"





15__Bassnectar - "Take You Down EP"






14__Ministry - "From Beer to Eternity"






13__Alice In Chains - "The Devil Put Dinosaurs Here"





12__Killswitch Engage - "Disarm The Descent"

Fave songs: "In Due Time", "The Hell in Me", "Time Will Not Remain"
Why: Great to see a band go back to its roots. With "Disarm", Killswitch brought back Jesse Leach, former lead singer of the band. I didn't grow tired of old vox master Howard Jones, but I'm fine with his departure. After hearing his yawner of a duet with Within Temptation, I think Killswitch Engage made the best choice. I look forward to what's to come from them.








11__Scar The Martyr (self-titled)

Fave songs: "Soul Disintegration", "Blood Host", "Effigy Unborn"
Why: 
 Producer Rhys Fulber (Conjure One, Delerium) + Drummer Joey Jordison (Slipknot) = A blissfully edgy and fresh metal attack with clean production, dark Fulberesque programming and horrific undertones. 





10__Destroid - "The Invasion"

Fave songs: "Wasteland", "Crusaders", "Flip the Switch (feat. Messinian)"
Why: Excision + Downlink + DJ Sawka (Pendulum) = Dubstep Supergroup. Brilliant, sci-fi dubstep by three extremely talented musicians. Powerful, boppin', and out of this world.








9__I Am Legion (self-titled)

Fave songs: "Make Those Move", "Loose on the Leaves", "Powerplay"
Why: Noisia + Metropolis + Foreign Beggars. Many thanks to Cyanotic brainchild Sean Payne for turning me onto this intriguing, captivating collaboration between European rappers and electronic dance music veterans. Once I started listening to this album, I knew I'd stumbled across sonic gold. Like Destroid, I Am Legion should be considered a super-group, a thumpin' mix-tape of sweet beats and solid rhymes that will have you steppin' in no time. 








8__Acucrack - "The Mawn Reproduction"

Fave songs: "Xtro", "Pineal Splitter", "The Swan", "Russian River Conspiracy"
Why: Jason Novak + Sean Payne. To be fair, I don't know the full history of DJ? Acucrack, a brilliant musical collaboration of Chicago industrial/glitch veterans Jason Novak and the late Jamie Duffy. Tragically, Jamie committed suicide last year, ending his underrated and undervalued contribution to glitch and dark industrial/electronic music on the planet. DJ? Acucrack created around 9 albums over a ten-year span, and while they never achieved a level of deserved national attention, the passing of Jamie Duffy has spurred a cyclone of interest in Chicago glitch/electronic music, culminating in this year's "Cold Waves Electronic Music Festival II" in Chicago. The event was dedicated to Jamie, and featured "a dedication album", of sorts, developed by remaining member Jason Novak, the ghost of Jamie and featuring programming by Cynaotic founder Sean Payne. If Terminator had sex with The Fly, and their offspring was hatched with a headset and turntables for arms and wings, while being serenaded by the screams of a mechanical underbelly, the rugged hybrid would look and sound something like a mawn reproduction. If you're into dark industrial, such as Front Line Assembly or Skinny Puppy, you'll marry Acucrack.




7__Korn - "The Paradigm Shift"

Fave songs: "Never Never", "Love & Meth", "Mass Hysteria", "Prey For Me", 
Why: I'll be honest with you--I wanted to hate this album. Their attitude post-Path of Totality, almost dismissing what they did with that album and those of us that appreciated the experimentation with a different style, seriously irritated me. I wouldn't listen to this album for months. It's only because of my BFFL that I gave it a chance, and I'm glad that I did, because it is an extremely solid Korn album. When it comes down to it, I'm more a Jonathan Davis fan than I am a Korn fan now, regardless of whether or not Head is back in the fold. JD's side projects with J Devil and Killbot show range that is far beyond Korn, and keep me coming back to what has become relatively mainstream rock, instead of the "All In The Family", "Blind" and "Adidas" -version Korn that I grew up loving. Korn is now a radio-friendly, big-time band that I suppose has a responsibility to work more in the middle than when they were fringekids, but I can't accept the level of "selling out" that I feel Korn has accepted. "Path of Totality" threw aside what was expected of them, and was a favorite musical adventure of mine of 2011. To me, their eleventh album doesn't represent any kind of real "shift", unless it is in reference to shifting away from their dubstep experiment. They don't represent a paradigm shift in any sense of the word, and the songs on "Paradigm Shift" aren't anything that Korn hasn't already done on previous works. But Korn does angry, unbridled aggression well, and I can't complain about a record that slays from beginning to end.






6__Alter Bridge - "Fortress"

Fave songs: "Farther Than the Sun", "Cry of Achilles", "Addicted to Pain"
Why:
 I want to thank Myles Kennedy and Mark Tremonti for helping me forget about my "Creed phase". Sure, their sound helped usher in a soulful darkness with "My Own Prison", back in the day. But does anyone really miss Scott Stapp? I sure as hell don't, not with Myles Kennedy continuing to create far more powerful music than self-important Stapp ever did. "Fortress" is surprisingly powerful. I go into every Alter Bridge album expecting cheesy, re-done rock, but am continually awe-inspired with what Tremonti comes up with. I loved "ABIII", and thought that was their best. "Fortress" definitely challenges that well-held position.





5__Gemini Syndrome - "Lux"

Fave songs: "Mourning Star", "Pleasure in Pain", "Stardust", "Basement"
Why:
 Epic, through and through. Gemini Syndrome deserves high praise for a debut album that soars, crushes, wails, and inspires. Not to mention, fronted by a very talented albino that has an attention-grabbing stage presence. This is truly a talented new rock/metal band that deserves your attention and spins, even if radio doesn't fully catch on right away. "Lux" is anthemic, ethereal and awesome, a great alternative for anyone that has just had too much of the repetitive, nauseating overexposed, radio "Death Punch".






4__Chimaira - "Crown of Phantoms"

Fave songs: "Crown of Phantoms", "New Apocalypse", "Wrapped In Violence", "The Machine"
Why: This album is brutal, unrelenting, unrepentant, and is exactly what I've come to expect from one of my favorite metal bands. I've stuck with them through it all, and "Crown of Phantoms" is a reward for sticking through lean years and constant lineup changes. True, much of the original band of Chimaira is no longer in tact, but so long as Mark Hunter is fronting this concept, there is a consistency of purpose and artistic direction. While their "Outshined" cover is a fun departure, it shows that even Chimaira has their limits, but as long as they're wearing a crown of darkness, they resonate a dark energy that can't be denied. Welcome back, Chimaira. I missed you.






3__Modestep - "Evolution Theory"

Fave songs: "To the Stars", "Show Me A Sign", "Time", "Take It All", "Evolution Theory"
Why:  You probably don't know who Modestep is, and you certainly won't hear them get much radio play in the United States. They are an electronic/dubstep band from England, relatively new, but extremely talented. My addiction with Modestep began in July 2012, when my good friend Ola played "To the Stars" for me. I was immediately hooked. Little did I know that I'd already heard a Modestep song played over the final scene of the last episode of Season 3 of "The Walking Dead" ("Show Me A Sign"). Subliminally, I was already hooked. Modestep had released various singles over 2012 in advance of the release of their album "Evolution Theory", and when the album came out, I was jonesin' for it. I was fully addicted to this album for the early part of 2013, and while I am not as addicted to it now, at the end of 2013, I have to give it major love for its pop, dynamism, continuous addictive beat and undertow of screaming guitars. They were no slouch live, either: they are a charismatic band with loads of talent that deserves broader play.









2__Nine Inch Nails - "Hesitation Marks"

Fave songs: "Came Back Haunted", "In Two", "All Time Low", "I Would For You"
Why: I would be insane if I didn't include Nine Inch Nails on this list, and would give it the honorary number one spot, if I didn't think so highly of Chris Corner and what he does with IAMX. Truly, this year produced two of the greatest albums of this decade in "Unified Field" and "Hesitation Marks", in my opinion. Eights are everywhere in my world, and this 8th release by Trent Reznor's Nine Inch Nails is beyond brilliant. It is iconic. "Came Back Haunted" was my theme song before NIN ever released it, and fit perfectly into my life. "Hesitation Marks" is so layered and multivarious that I feel a different dynamic trip every time I listen to it.








1__IAMX - "The Unified Field"

Fave songs:  I can't pick a fave. I love each song on the album for different reasons.
Why: I doubt this album will fall onto many Top Music lists. Chris Corner, genius behind IAMX and formerly Sneaker Pimps, operates in Germany and out of the major spotlight. His artistic turns are never trendy choices, but always artistically brilliant and woefully underrated. What he did with "The Unified Field" must be experienced, instead of detailed. I could easily write a blog about this album and it's Humanistic undertones that call for unity, grace and evolution. "The Unified Field" is a profound song. It is true, we are one in the unified field, and the sooner humans realize that, the better off we will be as a species. Chris Corner is just light years ahead of the rest of us. And deserves the highest praise for such an effort. Thank you, Chris. You have my deepest appreciation, and artistic admiration.







Thank you very much for reading my blog.
Wishing you a happy and healthy 2014!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Numb



Numb

It is the way of the day, so it seems. We stand bloodied and bludgeoned by this wearisome race, speeding through the marathon to the finish line, only to be sprayed by pellets and nails and shrapnel by angry ghosts with scores to settle, messages to send, and messes to make. Torn from within, we fight for impossible equilibrium and stability across the vast spectrum of we.

There is no getting along. Deep down, we know that truth. We idolize mannequins, make gods of the blinded pious, stand unwilling to sacrifice at the altar of human brother and sister. We are each complicit in this division, fragmented further by prophets, politicians and prospectors with a gilded purpose.

These days, the faithful picket funerals and build unshakable theocracies, punctuated by ironic ivory towers that rise above the humans they were built to protect. A pope receives a retirement salary equal to the GDP of a poor African country. A martyr straps a bomb to his back and drags innocence to hell with him. Further apart from a human center, we sprint.

And it is that middle that cannot hold.

Is our finish line equal or pre-defined? The truth is that we cannot know. Much like how we are unable to see into a black hole, there is an event horizon of human knowledge. We are brilliant creatures, but too fragmented to put the big pieces completely together. We cling to tattered fragments of myth, assembling the canvas into an image we can comprehend. One that is comforting, and hopeful.

And subjective.

Draft Table of Contents for "The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 3: The Skeleton Men"



the bonesetter's revenge, book3
"the skeleton men"
first draft table of contents


Step7_The Bloodletting of Heaven
1. The Obedient Butler
2. The Cracked Paladin
3. The Man-At-Arms
4. The Sunken Queen
5. The Chambermaid
6. The Damned Fool
7. The Fractured Prince
8. The Vexed Vizier

Step8_The Skylight Eyes
9. The Keymaster
10. The Illusionist
11. The Imagineer
12. The Dark Oracle
13. The Star Architect
14. The Soul Collector
15. The Living Sacrifice
16. The Quixotic

Step9_The Bitter Asylum
17. The Miser
18. The Fallen Emporer
19. The Motley Dead
20. The Gravedigger
21. The Withersome Sloth
22. The Doomsayer
23. The Crimson Reaver
24. The Caste Away

Friday, May 31, 2013

We Are The Wounded (from "Obscurious", for Randy Bunde)

"We Are The Wounded" from Obscurious
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 1
Version 8: Page 114
2011

In 2010, I met a man named Randall "Randy" Bunde. I tend to gravitate towards people that have a calm, sensitive presence. Randy was a tall fish in short water, with a gentle sensibility and pain-infused wisdom that you could read on his slight brow. He'd weathered much over his 48 years--a heartwrenching divorce, distancing of his kids, and Colitis, a chronic condition that limits the effectiveness of your gastric organs. Few realize how impossible life becomes when your pipes don't work. You can't eat well, drink well, sleep well, function well as a normal human being. Pain is your center and your constant; discomfort and internal stress are your daily truths.

He knew my path well, as he walked a similar road in the early stages of his declining health. While I was fortunate to find a way to achieve equilibrium with the curses, he was not so. He went from pouch surgery to cancer in various places, seldom finding the healthy plateau that the chronically stricken wish for.  Last March, he passed away from complications of cancer, initiated by the ulcerative chronic state that struck him years before. While I was healing, he was falling apart--the two of us true dichotomies of chronic results.

Today, my friend would have been 50 years old. I wrote this poem to him and about him while he was still alive, a tribute to the war that those people who have chronic health conditions wage every day. Every minute. Every second. Every bowel movement, and every glass of water that doesn't go down well. We are all wounded, in different ways, and it is true madness that we as a species can't find a way to take care of each other, as needed. We have become as disposable as our consumer mindset.

I had no idea that Randy would exit from my orbit so quickly--a second lesson to keep close: life is fleeting, so treasure the precious moments that you have with you true friends, family and loved ones.

Happy birthday, Randy. Lightspeed, my dear friend.

in sickness
or in health
is not a choice
we have, but
a bond we all share
to care
for the fallen
and the wounded
of our world
for we each walk
on either side of that
crimson line
where decay becomes
the color of our days,
where there is no detour
and there is no escape,
one morning risen,
the next mourning,
a wake,
we all break down and
eventually lose our way
and even the chosen
must pay with life
for their grace
you are no different,
no better, not great
and at some point
you too will fall
into sickness and
require assistance
to stand up
straight



Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Artemis Contract (from "Obscurious")

"The Artemis Contract" from Obscurious
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 1
Version 8: Page 3
2011

I will aim to create
what has never been
with eyes that see
differently
with words that speak
of twilight reverie
with the darkness
of a full eclipse
with sun and moon intersecting
at the archer's tip
until the light
returns
one day
to the shade
i will silently
away



The Compass (from "Obscurious")

"The Compass" from Obscurious
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 1
Version 8: Page 3
2011

This is blasphemous
work.
These are dangerous
words.
Consider with
caution.
Contemplate with
conviction.




Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Copyright Page (from "Obscurious")

The Bonesetter's Revenge [Book One]: Obscurious
(COPYRIGHT PAGE)

Copyright 2011 Artemis Sere

This is a work of brutal, truthful, sometimes sarcastic and often dark, fiction.

Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author’s
imagination and/or madness and are used fictitiously.  Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business entities, events, cretaceous amphibians, slutty pop stars, twisted political figures, heartbreakers, soul collectors, heathens, biker chicks and/or dudes, religious entities, corporate fat cats, child-molesting theocrats, wannabe musicians or tried-to-be artists, or locations, known, unknown or entirely imagined, is mostly coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or invented, without permission in writing from the publisher of this document.

All images and words copyright Artemis Sere
and Antithesis Press unless otherwise specified.

Special thanks to Otep Shamaya
for her inspiration. Please see the
credits page for more
acknowledgements.

Version 8: 4/11/11
ISBN 978-1-4583-2389-7

web:   www.setinbone.com
email:  setinbone@gmail.com
facebook:  artemis sere, the bonesetter’s revenge
myspace: myspace.com/setinbone
twitter:  setinbone@twitter.com
portfolio: artemissere. deviantart.com





Monday, May 27, 2013

leftpathred series



leftpathred series

he believed he descended from Icarus, his arms meant for feathers, his span built for flight. he longed to soar into the fiery skies and ride the tides of wind to a different distant world. through science and surgery, and with macabre and deranged tools, he fashioned himself a into blackbird.  

but he discovered that monsters pay a heavy price: those humans that leave the right path of light and civilization for the longitudinal path of darkness and mutation never find their way back.  they become lost and left for dead, wild and forgotten

on the leftpathred.

central colors: slate, black, white, red, sunset, fire, crimson
central theme: abstract, surrealist visions of off-path horror and decay and disconnection
styles: 16x20 canvas, dyed with black and red ink, acrylic overpainting; 
details: will include three transitional versions (dye, acrylic and digital) of each piece; series of 8, each illustrating a different story with different central images; will attempt to paint with left hand as much as possible.

(pieces to be included here as completed)

1. into the still
Central imagery: black silhouettes of branches and a central tree atop a sky of fire

2. the stalker's sentence
Central imagery: silhouettes of falling leaves, migrating blackbirds

3. dismembermental design
Central imagery: abstract dissected blackbird

4. the fool's toolbox
Central imagery: bloody tools of dissection, implements of carnage and surgery

5. leftpathred
Central imagery: hands, bound and bloodied, responsible for the murder, branches into bloodies veins

base layer


6. anatomie
Central imagery: shots of human anatomy diagrams and a blackbird diagram

7. dirge for the savage surgeon
Central imagery: visions of surgery, sutures, scars, stitches, carnage

8. as the curses merge
Central imagery: branches, arteries, blood, bone, and a wicked hybrid of blackbird and surgeon, mutation, metamorphosis



Tuesday, May 21, 2013

DeviantArt SlideShow of the Art of Artemis Sere


DeviantArt SlideShow of the Art of Artemis Sere

My primary portfolio site is at artemissere.deviantart.com. I've been populating it with my pieces for a couple of years now, and have a decent following.  If you Google "Artemis Sere", you should find my DeviantArt profile as the top result.  There are some stats below about my current state of existence on DeviantArt, in case you're in the mood to be entertained.  I invite you to visit my profile, friend up, exchange artistic influences and styles...  

Or order a print of my works, if you're interested. All of the art on this site is created by me using various mixed media styles, and fair portion of it can be printed and ordered off DeviantArt. I'm not a narcissist, but I am building a Serenity Gallery of my own works, and have ordered many prints of my pieces off of the DeviantArt site. They produce a great product, and are a welcome partner for me. If you find a piece of work that you like, and I don't have it available for order on DeviantArt, I can easily set it up for you.

I am also on Flickr, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest....  All over. I look forward to connecting with my friends, fans, followers and other artists. That means you. 8)

Here's a neat slideshow of my works on DeviantArt. Enjoy! Thank you for your participation in my orbit.





5.21.2013
artemissere has 6,624 pageviews total and their 462 deviations were viewed 50,110 times. Artemissere watches 384 people, while 113 people watch artemissere.
Overall, their deviations received 488 comments and were added to deviants' favourites 3,852 times, while artemissere commented 1,133 times, making about 1.18 comments per day since joining deviantART. This means that artemissere gave 23 comments for every 10 received.
The deviation with the most comments is on the horizon of faith with 74 comments, and it is also the most favourited, with 893 favourites. The most viewed deviation is on the horizon of faith with 9,309 views.
79 favourites were given for every 10 comments.
Every 2 days artemissere uploads a new deviation, and it's usually on a Tuesday, when 107 (23%) of deviations were submitted.
The busiest month was October 2010 when 190 (41%) deviations were submitted.
The majority of deviations are submitted to the photography gallery (324), while the favourite category was abstract > surreal with 183 deviations.
Comments per deviation: 1.05
Favourites per deviation: 8
Views per deviation: 108
Comments per day: 0.5
Favourites per day: 4.01
Deviation views per day: 52
Pageviews per day: 6.9



Monday, May 20, 2013

elsee in flames


elsee in flames.
acrylic on canvas.
copyright 2013 artemis sere.
serenity gallery piece 01301



Conquest


Conquest

Harmony is foreign to us. Given all mortal possibilities and limitless opportunities, we choose greed. We speak of natives and naturals, expatriats and ironclad patriotism. We divide by state lines, align to banners and prophets to perpetuate our ravenous hunger.

In God we trust; in each other we suspect treason first, use reason as the second line of defense. Battle-hardened and mettle-tested, mere survival is a treasure that we glorify as victors at the top of the current chain. We align resources against each other, the Art of War our manual for supremacy.

We idolize our gladiators, build vast castles to watch them slay our enemy.

Thumbs down, so say the masses. Life is sacrificed for our amusement and crusade. We cheer loudly with violent spittle, sport the heralds of the winning side. They say,

"Better luck next time."

But there is no luck involved with these human conquests, no mercy, no conciliation, no humility,

No harmony. I think most intelligent people have a shallow understanding of the concept of equilibrium. True harmony is an exercise of balance and moderation, a restricted spectrum of highs and lows. It is a unique discipline that humankind sacrificed to climb the evolutionary ladder.

An efficient conquest requires appropriate resources and tactics. Once, we employed these skills to stabilize a planet that was wild to our advance. Once the natural world was controlled, our expansion was guaranteed.

Across peaks and seas, plains and savage terrains, we pushed our dominion.

"As God wills it", they say with holy blades and ironclad crusades, crafting human refugees with every assault and absolution. Generations forget the past and the sacrifices in the name of Benevolence, Scripture becomes policy, harmony is compromised for compliance. Mytholaw creates extremism, elevating gladiators to princes and politicians. We become the beast and the sheep in a common field.

Endless war is assured; the conquest for the Grandest prize given to a Word that keeps our armies marching:

Greed.

Lulled to sleep by the disharmony, we accept and respect the ruler that shakes in greeting with one hand, and breaks hope with the other. Nothing good can come from this savage slumber. All of the generations of evolution has led us to become slothy soldiers in someone's else's war. After all that we've achieved and endured, there is one  lesson we can't seem to learn:

The real battle is within, not in the fleecing of another mortal's skin.



What You're Worth



What You're Worth

It's the first profit check that I remember seeing. I know there were others with my first book, but I don't recall them. They were significant, for sure, but this one stands out the brightest of them all.

A resounding thud on a piece of recycled paper. The profits of the release of my second book couldn't even fill a tank of gas. Hundreds of hours and dollars later, twenty years in the building, it started as a stalled vehicle.  Far and away better composed than my first book, the second was crafted as an alien adventure into the metamorphosis of the wounded chrysalised into artist.

A xenomorphous trip. 36.13 later, there is little fuel in the engine, confidence siphoned by silence and burned carelessly on the road to nowhere.

I couldn't sell this rickety thing at a secondhand store. Or perhaps one in a foreign land where abstract dreams and infinite escapes aren't so abhorred, misunderstood or diminished. I supposed my stance puts me on a different shore than most. I suppose I am antagonistic and antithetical to some. I have have burned many bridges along this path.

I am conscious of these things, but remain unphased. Resolute. Re-powered.

Driven.

We cry for freedom, but for a few stripes, remain homogeneously same. Deviance distrusted. Aliens marched from the walls. Paranoia the pitch in the patriotic bricks.

The nice paradox is that I do what I do regardless of approval. I will achieve peace and success when I've appeased the creative voice in me, not via denominational validation. We are not gods. We are not heroes. 

We are not as bright as we think we are. We are 500 generations away from primitive degenerates, and arrogantly think we have the right answers at this point in history.

Right and wrong mixed with myth and carbonation concocted into disastrous brews.

You know what I think? Fuck the fame. And the fortune. There is no lasting equilibrium swimming in the drink. What you're worth as an artist involves a vast river that stretches far beyond this time and generation. The humans that you help find path, relate, guide, criticize, love and hate, influence and abide, push and pull, redirect, reflect, touch or motivate are the tide and time for the artist.

The weak creators create in their own image; the strong design beyond, to an image that does not yet exist, one that never did. The vain God looks in the glass and needs to duplicate himself; the humble creator divines a creature of freedom, and allows for blasphemy, chaos and wrong answers. There is no God here, no celestial accounting system, though the Federal Reserve Bank is as close as we've got. There is growing intolerance, a global divisiveness, rooted plainly in things we cannot see, mostly due to the infantile nature of us.

What are you worth? Or how much value do you assign to yourself? Others assign to you? Will your great inheritance be disappearing dollar signs, or a vault of experience and wisdom?

In a robot-minded future, your craft will be what values you, and how unlike the artificial intelligence you are, how deviated from the common you can drift, how magical your menageries.

Ten years ago, a different creator would've been derailed by 36.13 in sales from a book release. This evolved artist will not be judged by someone else's assignment of what I'm worth.  In the end, I'm not in this to make friends or fatten my wallet; I'm in this to birth orphans, to shape chaos into existence with screams and scars and raw energy, to set free vibrant embryos of truth and reason. This planet deserves no less from a species that cannot find equilibrium with itself or its home.  

With every new and genuine creation, I am redefined.

Revalued.

Rich, by my
design.







Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sweat + Sacrifice = Success



Sweat + Sacrifice = Success 

is the math painted on their wall. With blissful exuberance, she tosses wildly, apparently happy to be part of the equation. He stares buff and confident at a conquerable horizon.

I run in place for hours, and never seem to get the result they sell. A matter of time and perserverance, I remind myself. But mostly, it just seems like I'm wasting time on this wheel.

Sisyphus would be ashamed at our fitness inventions. Ixion, too.

We live under the illusion of Heaven, operate with the ruddy gears of Hell, cycled in an endless war that pits us against each other.

I watch the cascade of the faces of the dead on the news. Violence in the name of faith, messages written in the blood of the innocent, and I run faster, away from the creature we're becoming. The markets trade the golden hearts of our fallen, classy sacrifices to greedy gods.

The world is against you now, the fringe becoming more comfortable than solace with a misguided people. 

Some of us remain as windows to a different human world, where murders aren't marked by the passages of fairy tales, where product sales aren't the personal sum of success, where we don't hum along to the deep cacophony of the blinded chorus, and tomorrow isn't a repeat of the sullen patterns of the present. 

Portals to a different place, panes to a brighter space.

I trace a fast and dusty to path to there--come cramp, catastrophe or casualty.

I cannot stop this running in place, speeding to nowhere, spokes rusted from the 

race.



Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Leech

Who are you
Who have no anchor
No past, no future
No happy ever after
Of uncommon roads
And off-beaten plots
Lost the path to light,
Hope left alone
To rot

Who are you
Without needle
Without way
No flicker of hope
The white spun gray
Lost in phantom forests
To a shadow's call
Who are you bewildered one
Who are you after all

The said and done
Has come and gone
Wishes laid to waste
Rights wrung into wrongs
Vengeance runs tasteless
Epitaphs without song
Darkness without space
A hell everlong, torture
Everstrong

Who are you
But a nameless face
A rubbed away tombstone
A soul removed from grace
You'd construct oblivion
If you could find the trowel
To build a void betwixt
Past failures and today's
Sorrow
So swing the mallet
Tenderize your heart
Bludgeon the will
Incise the disparate parts

Prep the leeches
To consume the disease
Eat deep and complete
Ye blinded beasts
Burrow into flesh
Feast on the meat
You are sacrifice
The end in deed
Up fron the underside
A stricken breed

Who are you
Who walks in the shade
No past, No future
No need for the human
Charade

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Artemis Sere's Weekly Thirteen (Week15, 2013)



1. Admittedly, on a bit of a gaming kick again, Xbox360. Finished "Batman: Arkham City" in a couple of weeks in March. Started playing "Bioshock Infinite" recently, mostly because I fell in love with this song:


If you haven't heard "Beast" by Nico Vega yet, you gotta spin this. I can't seem to stop.

2. Focused on an artistic project entitled "Jesse" for the band Microwaved right now. More to come in the near future.

3. If anyone seriously believes the predictions of Puxtatawney Phil from this season forth, I will seriously question their sanity. I hope that's the last we see of Winter for a while.

4. I suppose I've been living in an Entertainment cave for a while. I had no idea that fellow Canucks Chad Kroeger (lead singer of the feces machine Nickelback) and Avril Lavigne (teen-angst, one-hit wonder queen) were dating. Evidentially, they're now engaged to be married. Once, I was a fan of both Nickelback and Avril Lavigne; now, I just hope they don't breed.

5. Blog readership numbers have dropped to abysmal. I suppose that's what I get for taking some time off from blogging to focus on creative projects in other media. Concerned about the regression of audience, though. Perhaps this is the ebb-and-flow of trying to stabilize and grow a personal brand all alone. Perhaps my content and creative outlet isn't near as interesting as I believe it to be. My "Behelders Project" post received 10 views and zero responses; those kind of engagement numbers lead me to ponder how much I should be connecting with an external audience, or if I should spend less time marketing and more time creating. It would be disappointing to have to give up on the external push of the Artemis Sere brand altogether, but perhaps I need to "recess" a bit--become less out-front with what I am trying to accomplish, and let production speak for itself. It's obvious that I can't pay to grow my engagement to comfortable levels with the style and content of art that I produce. I honestly don't want to spend time blogging about social media or marketing, and would rather curate that content. Perhaps I'm just not good enough as artist to command a following. Common theme of this life. For a completely free offering, I expected a baseline level of response, but silence is altogether troubling.

6. Klout recently incorporated Instagram into their social scoring algorithm. I hope to write a blog in the near future about the power of social diversification. My Instagram audience now rivals both my Twitter and Facebook followers (almost combined), and increases regularly. It accounts for almost 50% of my Klout score as well. The power of pictures is almost immeasurable. Since starting on Instagram a little over a year ago, I have expanded my portfolio to 2,000 images with over 1,700 followers of my work. It seems to be the only growth area of social media for me, perhaps a reflection of where I tend to focus my creative.

7. Hit a renewed vein with my "Fetch" concept lately. I've reworked the concept many times over the last six years, but I feel like I am a lot closer to a direction I'm happy with, and one that is genuinely unique. Closer to the story that I'm excited to tell, and one that will scare the shit out of people. It will make people think, if I'm able to finish it in this lifetime. 

8. I was featured in a full-page ad in ISHN magazine for a line of 3M(TM) Earmuffs recently. Comically, my forearm tattoos were digitally removed. While they were appropriate for the edgy eyewear marketing that I was featured in, not so for the mass-market safety Earmuff crowd.



9.  Dropped my phone in water last week and needed to have it replaced. Got a new one via phone insurance a couple of days ago, and feel like I'm back on track again. I so love new tech and the ability to store our lives "in the Clouds", download what we've lost at the touch of a button. Someday, that will be the common way of this creature.

10. I don't think I'll ever be alright with the Middle Eastern female fashion trend of using the headdress as a cell phone holder, snugly slid tightly to her cheek as she chirps away. I imagine instances of cheek cancer will rise in a certain ethnicity.

11.Turns out that I had to pay my Duty to Drive with care ticket, regardless of my plea to a Ramsey County Hearing Officer about my accident. Instead of being supportive of my minimization of loss of life and property, the State and People continue to draw blood.

12. "Let's hope your mind can take it all..."  Modestep at First Ave on 4/3 was divine. Can't wait to see them again. Hopefully, I'll get to catch them at another show this summer.

13. Army of me marches on--with fewer feathers, pounds and cares. 

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Behelders Project



The Behelders Project

Abstract: An attempt to do 40 photo shoots with human subjects to educate, inform and expand photography experience for an upcoming book of mine. If you're interested in participating, and live relatively close to the Twin Cities (or really want to be involved and will pay for me to come to you) contact me over Facebook or Google+.

Timeline:  Phase 1 (May 1-July 31, 2013); Phase 2 (Aug 1-Oct 31, 2013)

Objective(s):

  • To formally capture human subject photography, portraits and visual stories with a focus on 40 unique people/friends/family members in the Midwest.
  • To expand my personal portraiture and human subject photography experience
  • To explore and study visual subject matter and human characteristics for my photographic novel project "Beheld By Hell" (target release of 2015).

Deliverable(s):


  • Each participant will receive a free photo shoot conducted by me, with passable images delivered in digital format. I reserve the right to throw away junk pictures and deliver a unique and professional artistic experience. There will be no charge to the participant, and I will do my best to be fair with respect to distance and location. Essentially, if my budget doesn't allow for me to come to you, I'll tell you, and maybe we can work something out.
  • Character profiles for "Beheld by Hell".


Notes:

  • As I'm attempting to capture a diverse landscape of human subjects, and have a predetermined character set/quota that I'm looking for (eg. a defined number of females, males, ethnicities...), I may pass on your request to participate. That statement is made not to hinder interest, but to note that I have creative goals for this project, and for the ultimate story that I want to tell in the "Beheld by Hell" photographic novel.
  • I may work with interested participants to coordinate the most appropriate, and artistically interesting, locations for the photo shoots. While I have no problem with taking pictures at someone's home, unless there is something strikingly unique about the residence, I'd rather go elsewhere, take a subject out of his/her element. A park. A museum. A rugged space that will enliven character, such as a railroad or salvage yard.

Artemis Sere's Weekly Thirteen (Week14, 2013)



1. "I wish them all the luck that accompanies such malevolence." (Carrey)

2. Did a Facebook promotion for my Art of Artemis Sere Facebook page over March 2013. Netted around 60,000 impressions and 30 new page Likes for the effort. Since the Campaign has closed, I've lost 70% of the Like count gained, almost nullifying the effort. As an active Secular Humanist, I suppose I sometimes have challenging content. But the net value is disappointing as I'm also trying to promote a global artistic brand. The tough part of social media for an artist is sowing the planted seeds, maintaining the myriads of personalities and presences across the digiscape while also spending as much available time as possible on production. The greats spent little time on self promotion, the majority of their time on their craft, which ultimately drew the attention of fans of their work. Given the slate of projects I have, my judgment is canvas and pixel, regardless of how much I'd love to be social, grow a circle, find a steady love, relax.

The Artemis Contact currently won't allow thus.

3. "To make others less happy is a crime. To make ourselves unhappy is where all crime starts. We must try to contribute joy to the world. That is true no matter what our problems, our health, our circumstances. We must try." (Ebert)  Rest in peace, Roger Ebert. You and Siskel informed much of my film passion when I was younger. Immortality comes from being remembered, and your influence on the Entertainment industry will not be soon forgotten.




4. Seeing both Aziz Ansari and Modestep this week. Bought tickets for Limp Bizkit and DJ Shadow. Missing Exodus and Anthrax tonight, though it's been a long time since I was an Exodus fan, and lately I've realized that I am more of a John-Bush-era Anthrax fan, than I am Joey Belladonna (who I grew up with as the lead singer for Anthrax). Evidence that my musical tastes have changed, I migrate toward the grittier, edgier vocals, as opposed to the high-soaring pitches of the 80s big-hair greats. It seems like my personal tastes continue to evolve, but regardless of the changes, the edge is still prominent. 8)

5. Could really use a vacation. Last year, I made it a personal goal to have a "Getaway Vacation" (ie. romantic) with someone special. It's April, and I don't see that happening in the near future. I suspect it's a goal that I'm gonna have to move to 2014. I just can't seem to get that part of my life on track, no matter how hard I try. But I'm not going to wallow in the disappointment of relationship failures. I spent too many years on that kind of frustration, and I've wasted far too much time. I hark back to the wisdom of "It'll happen when the time is right".

6. Accidentally dropped my Samsung Galaxy S2 in the toilet this morning while I was getting ready for work. Lesson learned: Don't try to perform tasks that require cat-like dexterity within minutes of waking up. It was a regrettable accident that probably cost me $500.

7. Learned last week that I'm getting sued by the person whose car I collided with in February. Her account of the accident is strangely off, stating that there was a cop car parked behind her vehicle. I'm not sure how I could've hit the back of this person's car if there was a cop car parked behind it. Further, as I have insurance, I'm a bit confused why I'm being sued for an accident. All around, a strange scenario.

8. Black Coffee Commitment, as well as other focused health initiatives, including getting myself back to the gym on a regular basis, have helped me lose 10 lbs since January. By staying hungry, instead of living full, I am back on track to feeling better. I still have a long way to go. Now that the weather is turning back to awesome, I hope to start running on a regular basis, and will focus more time on closing the gap of another 10 lbs.

9. Painted 10 pictures this week, with skill that looks to be evolving. Really impressed myself with my abstract creations in my last session. Channeling visual chaos has been exciting, and I look forward to Lake Art this Spring and Summer.

10. Kicking off a human subject photography project this week called "The Behelders". Over the next 6 months, I will engage in a creative photo shoot with 40 individuals of various ages, ethnicities and genders. The objectives are to expand my own human subject photography experience, offer friends and family professional shots for their own use, and to influence my "Beheld by Hell" project, possibly find the model that I would like to use/hire for the central character of Persephone.  If you're in the Twin Cities area, and are interested in being a participant in the Project, contact me over Facebook (Artemis Sere).

11.  Klout Score: 66. Instagram finally integrated as part of the Klout Score, even though my Instagram channel dominates the Artemis Sere search in Google. I received an 8-point bump from the Instagram social signals, and Instagram is fast becoming my most influential network. I have more friends and followers on Instagram than I do on either Facebook or Twitter.

12. Finished my first blog on the S.E.R.E. acronym, "Sentient". Still have "Evident", "Resident" and "Evolutionist" left to do. Someday soon.

13. RIP Genelle Bentley, mother of my friend and creative partner, Terry Bentley.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

galleryhead



This obsession with art and creation is rooted beyond the start of my memory. My Mom and Dad tell stories of how I was moved up from Kindergarden to First Grade when I was a boy because I was filling up the classroom walls with my work. I'm sure they romanticize the details, but it is true that I moved up a grade at a young age due to advanced competency in communications. I was able to channel well.

I remember creating a book about dinosaurs when my age could be counted on one hand. Construction-paper covered stories about superheroes when my age could not yet be counted on two. The pictures and stories, the scenes and the landscapes kaleidoscope inside of me. I do my best to capture what I can,

but I mostly miss the best stuff. It is my duty to capture the fast-passing light, and translate it into life, for the future, for the present, for the past.

I'm not prideful. I don't gloat over the fact that only once in my life was I not held back, that my true brilliance was recognized and applauded. The succeeded years were mostly spent being tortured by my gift, carrying a creative and monstrous burden that often set me apart from those without

drive and vision,
fire and fearlessness,
purpose and passion,
voice and diligence.

I've always been devoted to my craft, often sacrificing everything I am and everything I have for creation, expiring all for the thrill of giving birth or being born again, which I have done with regularity many times in my lifetime. It is how we learn to be like water, to understand the dynamism of the universe. The present is a zero-sum game, where the walls are all that matter. My past is littered with brittled husks of lives, shed with every new version of me. Their decay blows as dust in the present of this life, captured as ghosts in a reality that I can't seem to escape from.

I've learned not to run. The ghosts stalk for a good reason: I need them, as much as they need me. They require audience, whether they are the reflections of a path not taken, a pain-response mechanism in the form of a poltergeist, or just a reminder that my end is coming, sooner than I want or expect. Some find fear in the face of the dead;

I find my galleryhead.

S.E.R.E. Acronym Defined: "Sentient"



S.E.R.E. Acronym Defined: "Sentient"

Often, I am questioned regarding the pseudonym and brand Artemis Sere. A variety of future blogs will cover this subject in creative detail, from what the means on a macro to micro context and what it means philosophically. Sere is actually an acronym (S.E.R.E), which stands for "Sentient.Evident.Resident.Evolutionist". It is a philosophy and life-stance, much like my commitment to Secular Transhumanism. It guides my creative scope and directs my voice and understanding. Concepted in 2007, it was originally "Seer", but changed shortly after concept because I didn't want to infer metaphysical capability.

The legendary Mothman is not psychic; from it's elevated place, it sees the future faster than we. The charge of the SERE is to look further, beyond, of wider and broader patterns, connecting the quantum with the celestisal.

'Subjective perceptual experiences' power the engine of this creator. The most effective and productive artists find a way to strike a balance between reason and sensation, betwixt the complexity of logic and the chaotic realms of emotion and feelings. I've found the most manageable balance in the relational studies of art and science, as Da Vinci achieved hundreds of years ago. I would not dare compare myself to the genius of Da Vinci, but I believe his path to be the best possible in context of evolution of our species.

To achieve this one must exist outside circles and systems, observing the interconnectedness of all, yet respecting the uniqueness of each. In dedication to perceptive detail, one finds the threads that bind each of us.

Savage creatures, the homo sapien, 40 generations into a concept called "civilized". The truth of it all is that we've turned and tuned our creative wavelengths in ways to manipulate and lie to each other. Mainstream anything is a homogenized product, perfected to appease a mass audience. Faith is no different, with power centralized to a Sauron-like spire in the West, always Seeing, always expanding its reach.

The first letter of the acronym S of S.E.R.E. stands for "Sentient" or "Sentience", a commitment to scouting a position outside of the common circles, to watch with keen eyes the rugged movements of our imperfect people. Such efforts are not completely successful unless societal and environmental integrationis achieved; thus, the SERE must maintain a participatory coexistence with subject, and the deep feelings and experiences that result from this equilibrium.

Sentience serves in opposition to the R of the acronym, 'Resident', which calls the SERE to be actively engaged, awake and participatory in the circles around him/her.

inflation



inflation

far beyond
the clutches of this
sullen gravity
we accelerate
away
toward the unknown
with escape velocity
of lives blown
apart, there
we tack our hopes
to lonely satellites
and fragile rocket
ships
racing directly
into the mysterious
vastness where
human hearts dare
to trespass
where less and more
are at constant war
a violent antithesis
racing from a dying
core