Friday, December 19, 2014

Artemis Sere's Twenty "Respun" Albums of 2014




It's no secret that I listen to music almost constantly. It is the white noise of my world, keeping me conscious and contemplative and spinning continuously.  Over the years, I've compiled my favorite new albums of the year, but there's far more to the story than just what's new in my rotation. I miss great music every year. I rediscover music that have forgotten.  Or I gain a new appreciation for music that I once discounted, didn't like, dismissed, cast aside.

Here is a list of twenty (aged) artists/albums that kept me company this year. Some of these creations exist on my previous "best of" lists, some of them were lost in the waves of time, some of them, never given the due they deserve.

Walk down memory lane with me. Bring earplugs.

20_Alter Bridge - "Fortress" (2013)
I listened to a lot of Alter Bridge this year. I'd be lying if I didn't include this on my list of addictions for 2014. It was on my best of list for 2013, and is truly a great work.

http://youtu.be/rkFI4wil1QA



19_Bush - "The Sea of Memories" (2011)
I was big fan of Gavin Rossdale and Bush back in the day, when everything was a lot more Zen in my life. There was a raw rock simplicity to Bush that I appreciated.  As my interests varied, I became less interested in mainstream rock. Unfortunately, Bush was part of a blase garden of rock star egos, guitar riffs and overplayed tracks that I diverged from once I stopped listening to Corporate radio. To plant Bush in that fruitless place is unfair. After giving "Sea" a few more listens, beyond my favorite song from that album "The Sound of Winter", I discovered it had a lot of heart.

http://youtu.be/vi06TWlKeHc




18_Incubus - "Light Grenades" (2005)
"Quicksand", "Kiss To Send Us Off", "Dig".  I returned to this album quite a bit over the last year, mainly for those three songs, but the whole album is better than I originally thought. Give it another listen for yourself.

http://youtu.be/vNOJIUCZpTU




17_Destroid - "The Invasion" (2013)
"Put It Down" was infectious. "Annihilate" and "Wasteland" destroyed.

http://youtu.be/44BCuwv2CTE



16_In This Moment - "The Dream" (2008)
Maria Brink may be one of the queens of ugly rock now, but songs like "The Dream", "Lost at Sea" and "Into the Light" showcase her beautiful depth. "Forever" is one of the best songs In This Moment has written, even with a catalog of recent greatness that includes albums "A Star-Crossed Wasteland" and "Blood". I didn't fully appreciate the awesomeness of this early work until this year, though I was a big fan of this album when it came out. Through the lens of "Whore" and "Black Widow", Brink's charming early work shines even brighter now.

http://youtu.be/mBxyPpTq7Nw



15_Pixel Fist - "Our Sound" (2010)
"Tiger Claw" made me want to tussle with kung fu dragons. Overall, a hypnotic ride.

http://youtu.be/A8_gaem5xhU



14_Cryptex - "The Walking Dead", "Viva La Vida", "Lights"
Cryptex is a twenty-something glitch musician/producer/remixer named Tyler Chase. I have a collection of his remixes, as well as his stellar "Isolated Incidents EP". Most of his work was created over the last few years, as he's only been creating since 17. I discovered the three reglitches in 2014 and was addicted to all of them, as well as many of his other glitch hop efforts. If you dig the genre, be sure to check him out.

http://youtu.be/9z1PztsGvE8



13_Thirty Seconds to Mars - "This is War" (2009)
"Tell me would you kill to save a life? Tell me would kill to prove you're right?" Lyrics that resound loudly in our world of recycled lies, holy wars and terrorist tribes. Between "Kings and Queens", "This is War", "Hurricane" and "Closer to the Edge", I found myself returning to this album often in 2014. With Leto grabbing the Joker role in DC's "Suicide Squad", I'm sure his star is going to be irritatingly blinding over the next few years. While I have been a huge Jared Leto fan over the years (even though he's a bit of an egotistical a-hole in person), I have a feeling media overexposure will drive me away soon. With that in mind, I will appreciate the great work Angel Face accomplished before the Joker beat him up.

http://youtu.be/hTMrlHHVx8A



12_Bassnectar - "Mesmerizing the Ultra" (2005)
I am a Bassnectar addict. I can't lie. "Mesmerizing the Ultra" is a rare case where a musician's older music is as good, if not better, than his/her recent releases. Going back ten years, it is obvious where the rise and brilliance of Lorin Ashton (Bassnectar) began.

http://youtu.be/LmSk_Gui8uo



11_Behemoth - "The Apostasy" (2007)
My love affair with this album began with "Inner Sanctum", the song below, as one of my favorite metal vocalists (Warrel Dane, Sanctuary and Nevermore) is a guest vocalist on the track. From there, the darkness of "The Apostasy" grew until its shadow filled my ears. Behemoth is about as brutal and Biblically evil as they get. Not for the feint of heart.

http://youtu.be/gK15MicRKz4



10_Within Temptation - "The Unforgiving" (2011)
I love this album, front to back. Over time, I grew closer to each of the songs for different reasons. Truly, this album became "comfort food" for my musical appetite-- it's certainly entertaining, has an engaging story, is hauntingly romantic and chillingly beautiful.  I have loved Within Temptation's albums for different reasons, but after listening to their new release "Hydra", I came to appreciate this album more--which seems like a criticism of "Hydra", but is truly a statement on how diverse this band is.


9_Wayne Static - "Pighammer" (2011)
Even before his untimely death, I was rediscovering the Static-X frontman's solo work. "She" and "Behind the Sky" were regular rotations in my music orbit in 2014, and the latter of the two songs serving as an appropriate goodbye to the man that put Wisconsin on the metal map (even if it involved a death trip).

http://youtu.be/2HlZcr8PhSM



8_Gemini Syndrome - "Lux" (2013)
Such a great album. Should be a staple for anyone that calls themselves a rock/metal fan. Great counterbalance to the trite, overpromoted sounds of A7X and 5FDP.

http://youtu.be/5bTpjEw0KoI



7_Morcheeba - "Blood Like Lemonade" (2010)
"Crimson", "Self-Made Man", and "Blood Like Lemonade" continue to creep into my consciousness, years after this album's release and even after Morcheeba released "Head Up High" in 2013. There's a sublime, haunting darkness to the album that continues to resonate with me.

http://youtu.be/ChaGIgiPEX8



6_Accept - "Russian Roulette" (1986)
An oldie but goodie from my childhood, also influenced by said girlfriend, who is big Accept fan. Seriously. Go ahead, be jealous.

http://youtu.be/AFaJs0MKAlA



5_Alter Bridge - "One Day Remains" (2004)
Creed who? Off their first album, "Shed My Skin" was one of my most-played songs this year, influenced by my girlfriend.

http://youtu.be/kw7gaEE582g




4_Bassnectar - "Cozza Frenzy" (2009)
The more I am exposed to the catalog of Bassnectar, the more I am left in awe. His new effort ("Noise vs. Beauty") is on my best of 2014 list. His last album was on my best of 2012 list. Like Liquid Stranger, one of my electronic staples.

http://youtu.be/kw7gaEE582g



3_Chimaira - "The Age of Hell/The Age of Remix Hell" (2011)
Chimaira is one of my favorite metal bands, has been since "Pass Out of Existence". I own all of their albums and am a huge fan of their work. This album was so panned by long-time Chimaira fans that I never gave it a dedicated listen until I accidentally came across a remix of "Clockwork" on YouTube. Their remix album is brilliant and holds some interesting revisions of songs of the original album, which is really not as bad as some arrogant metalheads claim.

http://youtu.be/3-lk4v1wRYA



2_Flotsam & Jetsam - "The Cold" (2010)
Certainly one of my favorite Flotsam & Jetsam albums, in a long history of great albums.

http://youtu.be/3-lk4v1wRYA



1_IAMX - "The Unified Field" (2013)
My favorite album of 2013 reigned supreme in my orbit in 2014. Chris Corner is an inspiration and one of the most talented, adventurous musicians creating art today.

http://youtu.be/nt0MkotVIEc



Thanks for reading! Please share your respins for 2014 in the comments below.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Shadowsewn Tarot ("The Skeleton Men: The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 3")

Add caption


The Shadowsewn Tarot Deck
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book3
Accessory

72 scrying cards of Wraithskeep/Oblivion, built around my third book "The Skeleton Men" and the Shadowsewn characters. Order subject to change, may shift in placement before released next year. Available in 2015.

Court Cards

1.One of Courts (The Warden)
2.Two of Courts (The Paladin)
3.Three of Courts (The Seemstress)
4. Four of Courts (The Priest)
5. Five of Courts (The Vizier)
6. Six of Courts (The First Knight)
7. Seven of Courts (The Prince)
8. Eight of Courts (The Cyng)

Counsel Cards

1. One of Counsels (The Keeper)
2. Two of Counsels (The Chambermaid)
3. Three of Counsels (The Alchemist)
4. Four of Counsels (The Gargoyle)
5. Five of Counsels (The Imagineer)
6. Six of Counsels (The Archer)
7. Seven of Counsels (The Star Architect)
8. Eight of Counsels (The Keymaster)

Cull Cards

1. One of Culls (The Dawn Patrol)
2. Two of Culls (The Dusk Patrol)
3. Three of Culls (The Headsman)
4. Four of Culls (The Leech)
5. Five of Culls (The Oublier)
6. Six of Culls (The Sunken Queen)
7. Seven of Culls (The Lord of the Fall)
8. Eight of Culls (The Caste Away)

Spade Cards

1. One of Spades (The Oubliette of Oblivion)
2. Two of Spades (The Lostlands/The Outer Grounds)
3. Three of Spades (The Armory)
4. Four of Spades (The Drowning Pool)
5. Five of Spades (The Garrote)
6. Six of Spades (The Tower)
7. Seven of Spades (The Sanctuary)
8. Eight of Spades (The Skylight)
9. Nine of Spades (The Dungeon)
10. Ten of Spades (The Trophy Room)
11. Eleven of Spades (The Throne Room)
12. Twelve of Spades (The Graveyard/Boneyard)

Dire Craft Cards

1. One of  Crafts (Soul Orientation/Diagnosis)
2. Two of  Crafts (Recollection/Diagnosis)
3. Three of Crafts (Painscape/Diagnosis)
4 Four of Crafts (Necroflection/Diagnosis)
5. Five of Crafts (Splynt/Treatment)
6. Six of Crafts (Coalescence/Treatment)
7. Seven of Crafts (Reduction/Treatment)
8. Eight of Crafts (Reconstruction/Treatment)
9. Nine of Crafts (Equilibrium/Therapy)
10. Ten of Crafts (Xenomorphosis/Therapy)
11. Eleven of Crafts (Lumenpure/Therapy)
12. Twelve of Crafts (Transcendence/Therapy)

Cell Cards

1. One of Cells (The Leper)
2. Two of Cells (The Gemini)
3. Three of Cells (The Quartermaster)
4. Four of Cells (The Blacksmith)
5. Five of Cells (The Zealot)
6. Six of Cells (The Bound Devil)
7. Seven of Cells (The Lost Angel)
8. Eight of Cells (The Prophet)
9. Nine of Cells (The Innocent)
10. Ten of Cells (The Whore)
11. Eleven of Cells (The Jester/Fool)
12. Twelve of Cells (The Shade, the Watcher, Aleister, originator of the Shadowsewn curse)

Key Cards

1. One of Keys (Humility)
2. Two of Keys (Self-sacrifice)
3. Three of Keys (Empathy)
4. Four of Keys (Sympathy)
5. Five of Keys (Persistence)
6. Six of Keys (Flexibility)
7. Seven of Keys (Trust)
8. Eight of Keys (Hope)
9. Nine of Keys (Courage)
10. Ten of Keys (Perseverance)
11. Eleven of Keys (Patience)
12. Twelve of Keys (Love)

Fate Cards

1. One of Fates (Bloodletter/Purge)
2. Two of Fates (Abandonment)
3. Three of Fates (Isolation)
4. Four of Fates (Retribution)
5. Five of Fates (Vindication)
6. Six of Fates (Damnation)
7. Seven of Fates (Salvation)
8. Eight of Fates (Evolution)
9. Nine of Fates (Despair)
10. Ten of Fates (Exile)
11. Eleven of Fates (Deconstruction)
12. Twelve of Fates (Dismemberment)

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

The Skeleton Men ("The Skeleton Men: The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 3", Epilogue)





The Skeleton Men (Preview)
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book3
Epilogue


Available 2015.


This is a tale of woe
Of wisdom and of wonder
Of finding the strength to rise again,
Sending despair asunder

I came upon the yard
Amidst a slothy and sinister mist
Settled down away from grave sounds
And drifted into sweet twilight trysts

I dreamt that I fell away
To greet a dawn of darkness
Lost on roads of nomadness
And of obscurious loneliness

Escape became my orientation
The union of storms my guide
Martyr became my shelter
From xenomorphous skies

Away, I wandered
To learn how to heal.
Myself.
This world.
A people in peril.

'til a scrape on stone
Startled me afraid
I rose to my wobbly feet
And dodged a rusted spade

"If you can mend the dead
What you seek shall be yours"
Their cursed keeper said
And exiled me to grim horrors

A bleak black ill-fated mission
To bind the broken living souls
Back together through contrition
To a time when they were whole

Conscripts to a wicked decree
Shadowsewn forgotten beings
Slaves of twenty and three
Puppets of a spineless cyng

There, in the depths of the nightmare
I mastered reanimation of self
Fractured hope fused by fallen hells
And the shadow's careful help

This is a tale of life
Bending backwards through the end
Of lessons taught by the dead and
The fell telling fate of the
Skeleton men


PROLOGUE: THE SPINE

Step7_The Bitter Asylum
1. The Gravekeeper
2. The Dawn Patrol
3. The Warden
4. The Oublier
5. The Priest
6. The Chambermaid
7. The Headsman
8. The Sunken Queen

Step8_The Skylight Eyes
9. The Paladin
10. The Alchemist
11. The Keymaster
12. The Archer
13. The Star Architect
14. The Imagineer
15. The Gargoyle
16. The Vizier

Step9_The Bloodletting of Heaven
17. The Dusk Patrol
18. The First Knight
19. The Seemstress
20. The Leech
21. The Lord of the Fall
22. The Caste Away
23. The Prince
24. The Cyng

EPILOGUE: THE SKELETON MEN

Saturday, May 3, 2014

The Spine ("The Skeleton Men: The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 3: Prologue)




The Spine (Preview)
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book3
Prologue


Available 2015.


I set out for paths unknown, allowing the road to play counselor and educator, xenomorphous compass and dichotomous tutor. Determined to mend the fractures of this people, I hungered for mentors that could train me on the dire craft of healing a broken soul, and the bones that give it structure and stability. I wandered off common ways as days turned into nights, nights stretched into weeks of darkness, and time quickly lost substance. Lessons were twisted by my wrong turns and failed attempts at healing the human creature.

I learned pain well, as patient and doctor, the shattered and the setter. Breaking self for the remaking of others proved a perilous and jagged craft. The days were long and thankless, filled with more failures and fractures than healthy humans and hopeful progress. 

Tutelage through experience offered wisdom, but too few tangible human results. My days felt empty, my attempts at care and cure misconstrued and ill-fated. The alien alone wasn't strong enough to pull me through the obscurious darkness.

I needed more.

My shadow was ever-present, waiting for full recognition, a silent partner in crime against the tide. A close confidant, it remained at a distance, always observing my misguided choices and failed attempts at bonding, but never criticizing. It stood patient on the periphery, its onyx eyes and caring grin under every streetlight, smirking through every reflection, nodding inside the gloom of the painful curriculum.

It knew I was close to breaking myself again. It always did. It felt the shifting plates, chipping calcium and synovial stress. The lessons of healing the human race, bending over backwards and sidewards and every which way, tested the very dexterity of the humble human it partnered with.

Alone, weary, broken by the caring road and without cardinal course or direction, I wandered into a backroads graveyard to rest for the night, listen to the whispers of the long passed. Willows wept wisely in the cool moonlight, and a thin fog slithered atop wavy farmland. Few souls rested there, much less were added to the low place. The area was abandoned long ago, for more popular parts where money wasn’t rooted in seeds and seasons.

A once-majestic sign, rusted and weathered by nature and neglect, arched above a tall pipe and wire gate and fence. On it, the words "In Saecula Saeculorum" were etched deeply and mystically. The sign and gate were erected in the 1930s, but most of the graves dated hundreds of years older. The air of the fell land felt more ancient than the stones themselves.

Perhaps it was a lucky find, or perhaps I came upon it by his purpose. Either way, my feet and heart needed rest away from the eyes of outlaws and untrue humans. Graveyards became a common place for me to rest while on the road. Few but its keepers and inhabitants cared much about its visitors after the sun went down.

Unless your stone is a famous one, and then you probably deserve the attention.

I propped my pack up against a crumbling gravestone that read "CRAVEN" with a deep, rugged, powerful groove; aligned myself with a view of the silvery moonlight and sweeping willow shadows; pushed my Boy Scout parka over my chilled bones; and drifted away into a deep slumber--a concerto of millions of cricket symphonies and umbral trysts the soundtrack to my ominous escape.


PROLOGUE: THE SPINE

Step7_The Bitter Asylum
1. The Gravekeeper
2. The Dawn Patrol
3. The Warden
4. The Oublier
5. The Priest
6. The Chambermaid
7. The Headsman
8. The Sunken Queen

Step8_The Skylight Eyes
9. The Paladin
10. The Alchemist
11. The Keymaster
12. The Archer
13. The Star Architect
14. The Imagineer
15. The Gargoyle
16. The Vizier

Step9_The Bloodletting of Heaven
17. The Dusk Patrol
18. The First Knight
19. The Seemstress
20. The Leech
21. The Lord of the Fall
22. The Caste Away
23. The Prince
24. The Cyng

EPILOGUE: THE SKELETON MEN

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Skeleton Men: The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book 3 (Revised Table of Contents)




The Skeleton Men
The Bonesetter's Revenge, Book3
Revised Table of Contents (V2)


Available 2015.


PROLOGUE: THE SPINE

Step7_The Bitter Asylum
1. The Gravekeeper
2. The Dawn Patrol
3. The Warden
4. The Oublier
5. The Priest
6. The Chambermaid
7. The Headsman
8. The Sunken Queen

Step8_The Skylight Eyes
9. The Paladin
10. The Alchemist
11. The Keymaster
12. The Archer
13. The Star Architect
14. The Imagineer
15. The Gargoyle
16. The Vizier

Step9_The Bloodletting of Heaven
17. The Dusk Patrol
18. The First Knight
19. The Seemstress
20. The Leech
21. The Lord of the Fall
22. The Caste Away
23. The Prince
24. The Cyng

EPILOGUE: THE SKELETON MEN

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Serenity Gallery (An Artrovert Blog)




The Serenity Gallery
An Artrovert Blog

se·ren·i·ty  [suh-ren-i-tee] 
noun, plural se·ren·i·ties 
1. the state or quality of being serene, calm, or tranquil; sereneness.
2. ( usually initial capital letter ) a title of honor, respect, or reverence, used in speaking of or to certain members of royalty (usually preceded by his, your,  etc.).

For years, I have worked with musicians and artists that, while talented, lack focus on production and the discipline to make work available to their audience. Often, I would show up at shows of a band that I really liked, only to discover that they had no material available on site; even worse, they had nothing to offer via a formalized web or social presence to a consumer. A few years ago, I contacted my favorite cover artist to get prints of his works, and he had no established process by which I could plaster my walls with his stunning art.

I realized that I needed a different, more streamlined and professional approach, if I wanted to be taken seriously.

As an artist, if you're not showing your work, you are working for yourself, and probably will never find an audience. It is my target that someday my art and product and brand gains global and financial traction, to where I can spend more time doing what I love--producing art. Thus, I found it imperative to my artistic goals to develop a formalized, structured, posterized set of my works that I could make available to interested consumers, fans, family members, frenemies. Not only did it give me a sort of artistic relevance, it gave me a framework to deliver high-quality Sere product to the people that want it.

My primary goal as an artist isn't sales, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that "artistic financial independence" is in the Top 5 of what I'm trying to accomplish. I don't want to be rich, just comfortable enough to work on the multitude of projects I have to complete before my clock runs out--and to do it under my terms.

I don't expect that I will ever retire, but it is necessary to continue to inspire, and be inspired.

The Serenity Gallery is the formalized, professional presentation of my works, built for the walls of people that care and to showcase my diverse talent (and the talent of artists that I partner with or represent), covering both the synonym and the antonym side of the word. The title itself is a play on my pseudonym (SERE), but also represents the different shades of my art--sometimes dark, sometimes beautiful, sometimes mysterious, sometimes wicked, sometimes peaceful and sometimes challenging. Serenity is a process, not a destination.

Someday, select Gallery pieces will hang in my own Professional Gallery. Select Serenity Gallery art is also featured in my books, and other digital spaces, though often not as polished in presentation.

I have built the Serenity Gallery into volumes. Each Volume contains a specific theme or story of my photography or art. Each Serenity Gallery picture is tagged with a 5-digit number that identifies the Volume that the picture falls into (by 3-digit code), and the picture number in that set (by 2-digit code). Each Volume will only hold 99 pictures, and the Gallery will never contain more than 999 Volumes (I don't have enough human time to build out that much visual content).

For future reference, here are the details around my Serenity Gallery Volumes, including the working titles of each Volume. Each volume tells a specific visual story, represents a style or specific Artemis Sere project or offers prints of other artist's works that are in my gallery (for instance, the unreleased, upcoming Huebner Masters, Volume 019)

001. The Fall Of Autumn
002. The Scures
003  Fine Art
004  Artefacts
005  Ghosts
006  Beheld By Hell
007  This Unstill Life
008  Idyll
009  United States of Madness
010  Abstracts
011  Black and Whites
012  Land of the Lost
013  Fetch
014  Empiricals
015  The Levity
016  Obscurious
017  Flora
018  Land of Ten Thousand
019  The Huebner Masters

To see the current works available in my Serenity Gallery, take a look at this slideshow, or visit:




Saturday, April 19, 2014

Perseverance (An Artrovert Blog)



Perseverance
An Artrovert Blog


"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained." (Curie)

I feel the drift these days. Friends, once true and close, distanced. Family disconnected with the artist that I've become, unaware and unsure of who I am becoming as a human or other. I feel outside of society, outside of the circles that root me as human. The past is a story mined for content; the present is an earthquake plain with constant eruptions and fault chasms; the future, a fog without shore or visible sun.

Years ago, I set out to become the best artist that I could, the best artist that I have ever known or seen. I wanted to move people. To be an inspiration. To power my own evolution. To prove that artistic action is better than flowery language and pomposity and superfluousity. Artist became the reprogramming that I needed to heal, to find my path and voice and confidence. I was gifted Art upon birth, even though the skills and talent and identity has varied in focus over my existence.

Time continues to retool my artistic machine, tweak the engine based on failures in the human mechanics. Even now, my voice and style and approach continue to change based on the scars and the screams.

The ironic result of finding path and voice is that it pushes you further away from people. The louder you talk, the less people listen. The more you create, the less interested they become. The more you evolve, the less perfect and present you are to society. At a certain point, the artist is taken for granted, and only judged by what he/she can provide to an individual, and whether or not the voice is in line with personal belief.

I really have heard it all over the last seven years of being an artist. The praise. The excuses. The claims of false support. To commit to being an artist in act of selfishness, so I am no different than anyone else. Time and energy fall back to what is my core focus. In the end, the passion of people around my product and practice is not something I can control. No matter how much I push engagement, partner with people, make friends, lose friends and make enemies, connect, collaborate, co-dream, and drive this red-lined cycle toward an unsure destination, I wonder if my gift is really worth it.

Is it worth the loneliness?
Is it worth the abandonment?
Is it worth the desolation?
Is it worth the long walks alone in contemplation?
Is it worth the struggle,
the turbulent faith that people have in my art,
my inability to find and hold onto advocates for Artemis Sere,
the inconsistent interest of people toward my creation,
a brimming ambivalence toward
who I am
what I stand for
the gift that I offer to this broken race.

Perseverance is a "steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose, a state, etc., especially in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement." Where does perseverance come from when you stand alone, when you have no mythology to give you structure and help your balance, when you have no confidants or consultants or caregivers, and when you have no shelter against the union of storms that deluge your life?

How do you maintain the value of your gift in the face of difficulties, obstacles or discouragement? If your gift is too heavy or caustic or costly for the human race, should you cling to it?

Fundamentally, every artist is a human. Every artist sacrifices his or her resources and life to call a voice, chase a vision, change culture, make a statement. An artist could sacrifice his/her whole life for the dire craft, and never move the needle, affect another life or be remembered. Time is not returned at the end of the process for an artist. All that remains at the end of an artist's life is his or her creations, and the legacy of wisdom and willpower he/she leaves for the world, a story left to be assembled through a lifetime of pieces of paper, canvas and pixel, swallowed quickly by the vast sands of time. For many artists these days, immortality exists as an entry in Quoteland, or Wikipedia, or captured in Memes that crisscross our Gorilla glass.

Do we persevere, only to be forgotten or replaced by a mythology of ourselves? Does an artist even really exist as a human these days?

Should we?

The Artist is the last defense against the artificial intelligence wave, where we compromise our core for a longer physical timeline and a buffered existence. Creativity is the final frontier, beyond the edges of the expanding desert of ignorance and blended and bound human intelligence. This fight for confidence and voice is one that has been repeated by artists throughout time, but as the human condition changes, as intelligence becomes byted and our society changes with the digitization of humanity, the drive to rise above seems necessary, vital and important,

now, more than ever.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

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



They call me superfluous. Arrogant. Self important, self-centered. Eccentric. Judgments all, by people with little proof that they're alive. Vicarious living is not a personal existence; it's accepted voyeurism, passive and disconnected experience that we pass off as our own.

We flip the channels and cycle through characters and identities, liars and constructed lives, manufactured realities and plastic visages. We drain our resources to look like dolls and mannequins, follow the leaders as lemmings toward divisive ends.

We keep our secrets locked behind passwords and PINs, walls built of fear gilded by irony and false measures.

We live stashed away, our truth hidden from sight.

"Evident" living is the second concept of the S.E.R.E. acronym. Transparency. Truth. Evidentiary presence and purpose.

Ten ways you can be more evident.

1. Count the number of lies you tell in a day, and keep track in a journal. Aim for a reduction in quantity first, leaving quality for when your count is down to a workable number. The fewer little lies you tell, the less burdensome your world.

2. Align yourself with honest, free-thinking people. Your best friends are those that can call out your lies, and help you work through them.

3. Collect your truths, and question the validity of them based on the "Do unto others" principle. Hypocrisy is worse than false integrity.

4. Turn off the programming around you, and listen to the unpolluted voice within.

5. Empathize and sympathize more. Diminish your hate, and replace it with love.

6. Acknowledge and find equilibrium with your darkness. We are each refined beasts, few generations from primitive.

7. Be the ghost. Transparency is a necessity for a happy life, and we should not cling to material things. Be ethereal, at one with the wind.

8. Hold yourself visibly and vocally accountable. The worst secret is an apology never whispered.

9. Know thyself, and continually test the breaking points and failing points of your existence.

10. Provide evidence of your existence. Words are just words; actions are the only approachable truth.