Sunday, January 25, 2009

Inspired by my Previous Work - RE: Absentee Black Fathers in U.S.

I know I posted this painting previously but since it was inspired by the death of my own father- it is connected.

This morning was scrolling Twitter updates I had missed since my last log in and a post to an article about "Absentee Black Men Fathers in the U.S." grabbed my attention. Reading it I was reminded of something I had written awhile back.

I have been working on a multimedia performance piece to be a collaboration with poet Dawn Green, painter Irena Gapkovska and a dancer and musician still to be determined that is inspired by thoughts that is the stek-jes of this essay.

Once I finish my reply to the post that inspired THIS POST, I will link to it here.

The hyperlinking is quite funny to me as I had to make this post before I could link to it in my reply at Ecademy and I had to post this one before I could finish that post.

The Right to Choose to Think

Thoughts from a Pro-Choice Advocate

Sexuality is a fundamental part of being human and alive. It is powerful, even in its distortion it carves our lives in the same way that flowing water engraves the planet. As we struggle to harness hydropower for its best use, so it is with our sexuality (in the best cases). This is not a result of some philosophical hiatus; it is the effect of day-to-day choices. So is it really so arduous to accept that thinking humans should view their choices around sexuality in a larger context?

Take honor for instance. Honor and its sister Integrity are issues normally presented as side dishes on the buffet of religious dogma, untimely asides to the cornucopia associated with sexual bliss. I often wonder why this happens. Am I the only one who feels these issues are essential to an individual really being attractive enough to be considered sexy? To me, this means going beyond the (dehumanizing) objectification of persons towards (humanizing) evaluation, to place "sexiness" in a holistic framework. How can the presence or absence of the substances which make us really human be regarded as "irrelevant"?

In my own experience with human services, I have witnessed levels of denial that boggle the mind. For me, the cold water in the face has been to see actions, even among health educators specializing in STD/HIV prevention, that totally contradict the prevention-based behaviors they advocate publicly. If love is what you do not what you say, then I hold that the same applies to who you are?and who you will be. Who we are is the result of accumulated choices. The right to choose for women, however, is usually thought of in terms of termination of pregnancy. Yet, the power of freedom to choose can serve us as women, but only if we view it in extended terms. The right to choose needs to begin with a number of fundamental issues that we really think about. This should mean thinking in searching ways about partner selection and thinking about consequences, irrespective of the socially hyped up emphasis on sexuality as being only about "feeling", an emphasis that makes us ignore the effects of sexual stimulation and feeling with regard to, for example, integrity, procreation, or STD transmission.

The right to choose in the sexual arena begins with partner selection, and whether there will be one at all. The reality that between 34-46 million people are living with HIV/AIDS indicates the truth about people's choices, despite what many would claim about how they live and who they are. Globally there were between 4.2-5.8 million people newly infected in 2003, so there are definitely some people to whom what I am discussing here is very relevant.

Among my friends, one of the consistent patterns I have witnessed in their relationships is the total lack of thinking about partner selection, even when offspring was the result. It seems that time and again people settle for less and then wonder why they don't get more. The extreme consequences of disconnecting judgment from sexuality seem so obvious that I am amazed that the patriarchal myths still have so much influence. I blame this largely on the trend of making thinking "unsexy". Commercials, mainstream movies, television, music, and the deluge of input from the Internet are all mission-driven to titillate by employing the most superficial elucidation which, combined with the passive acceptance of the audience, almost invites the spoon feeding of skewed truths. It is an attempt to package sexuality in terms of everything that is superficial, involving only surface seeing, feeling, and experiences.

Ironically, many of the purveyors of pleasure and everything that's supposed to be hedonistic and liberating end up echoing the usual divisions between the "serious" and the non-serious, between thinking and feeling, between thought and pleasure. One of the most obvious manifestations of this has been the elevation of celebrities to demi-gods. Would everyone cease knowing how to dress themselves, without celebrity wardrobes to mimic? Would we stop knowing what it means to have fun, to find and achieve sexual pleasure, without advertising? Would we have no idea of how to relate to each other, or how to choose not to relate, if that is where our sense and instincts lead us? I for one, think we'd all manage just fine. Think how many emotional calamities (romantic and otherwise) could be avoided if issues that are so often defined as "non-sexual" (integrity, honor, political judgment) were a part of the sexual evaluation criteria.

It may seem like an unfashionable thing to talk about, but I will continue to point to this truth?Thinking is sexy. Which makes issues like honor, integrity, and politics sexy, too. All those repressive ideas that pigeonhole human experiences into what is fun and what is staid are actually the heart of the idea that thinking is "unsexy". Waking up to that may make us realize just how much the dominant myths about "pure feeling and pleasure" are based on patriarchal ideas that are far from fashionable.

Originally published in Quiet Mountain Essays; vo.I, no. IX

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Dream, Vision, Advocacy - reaching the right people

Just prior to the New Year Ron Wopereis asked me if I could fall in love with 2009;Dawn and Desmond Green invited me to celebrate my experience of life as an amazing creation-life as art. Delighting in the exploration of essential components of conceptual process art related ideas.

If you followed this link because you wanted what you consider "straight forward marketing advice" or resources skip down to the end of this post. 35-50% of sale proceeds go to charitable causes In addition to the early adapters, I have been working with Ron Modro to partner with transitional homeless programs in the States.

I could and will go on about Cultural Fusion as an art based solution to meet the Millennium Development Goals. The purpose of this blog is group content and ideas for pieces I am working on... I plan to use the process to discuss this as an art based solution and touch on some socially significant ideas for further inquiry...pointing to the economic connections. The financial costs of ignoring these social issues is difficult to measure because numbers don't give complete stories. Likewise an emphasis on what has not worked and expecting better results has its own outcome. I invite those that are interested to join us in exploring/developing this one as part of advancing your work.

What kind of year do you want to create?

Increasing the peace, means increasing experiences of abundance.

It begins with each of us as individuals committing to peace within to address the systemic issues that can not be resolved through government legislation or corporate policy alone. Nor is assisted by devotion to woundology

Instead of playing out the victim in distress, how about we become our own heroines and heroes in our story?

If you were your own hero what would you deliver to yourself this year?

My dream for 2009 is to accept a fellowship to develop a plan to spend the next three to five years focusing on research in art based solutions - specifically there application to regional economic development and technology innovation.

That is what I love to pay attention to. All the work I am doing now advances that work but a fellowship would shift the energy in a direction that supports the artistic inquiry.

If anyone knows of an organization that is interested in supporting this kind of work by all means make an introduction.

Installation #1 - inspired by the idea of a source download

Many people study NLP to develop the skills to see the signs anticipating response, but i found much of that could also be experienced through paying attention to attention. One of the great things about the internet is that it is much more conducive to finding people with whom you want to share attention.

This points to a new set of skills required for the new context presented by cyberspace where social networking is expected to grow.

According to the report by Jupiter Research, the total number of people online will climb to 1.8 billion by 2012, encompassing roughly 25 percent of the planet...Overall, the number of users online is predicted to grow by 44 percent in the time period between 2007 and 2012.

This means increase in number of people creating cyberspace, so clearly we need to explore this process from different perspectives. Certainly our historical perspectives are proving inadequate, so the pay off beyond the creative experience is off the charts in terms of satisfaction or rewards.

What needs are being feed in this new environment?
One - it provides the space we need to express and find inspiration. While also creating a place to document the discovery of attention based perspectives. The result is that we have a context that supports developing social capital driven authenticity, collaborative ways of thinking and approaching situations.

In this context you succeed by paying attention to your own attention. Learning to distinguish quality attention is vital to understanding the right investment of intangible and physical resources. One result is that we create our own worlds.

What defines a planet, universe, or town in cyberspace?

Blogs then become a place where people interested in your ideas can learn more about them. I see that as a key part of understanding your SoulFood:Ingredient.
note to self: use this for space as metaphor for process story

As we move towards open systems one has the choice of resisting by creating laws to criminalize the unwanted behavior to protect closed systems OR developing new systems to address current and emerging challenges capitalizing on open systems.

An open system is a state of a system, in which a system continuously interacts with its environment. Open systems are those that maintain their state and exhibit the characteristics of openness previously mentioned.

Open systems contrast with closed systems. Systems are rarely ever either open or closed but open to some and closed to other influences. [1].

Developing systems to support open systems as expressed through Radical Inclusion and social capital can quite logically be used to create new economic opportunities/activities based on wholly different frameworks.

i find it easier to conceptualize this as art because the pieces that are related, their relationships are clearest to me from that perspective. Then it takes on the ease of mixing scraps metal with fabric made from recycled plastics, clay, paint, a flower from the garden with five leaves from the ground and polymer gel medium

My new motto is
You don’t need to reach every person; you need to reach the RIGHT People.

Rather than assume who the right people are, I shall endeavor to find out.

I know many of you reading this will not care less about my artistic inclinations and introspective musings on my art
- whether installation, digital works, play, painting, or mixed media experimentation. But I would guess those people would not have read this far.

And if you are reading this because you stumbled upon it looking for marketing resources or edutainment that is not too complicated.
Perhaps one of these resources will assist those of you who are new to doing business online and are looking for internet marketing information of the more mainstream variety - see
Do you suck at marketing?
Free Internet Marketing DVD
Website Marketing Strategy

When I first entered the world of knowledge products/services, and internet marketing software I was part of the beta testing for some of Russell Brunson's products which I went on to promote for the social sector looking at how to use the web to generate larger income streams than they were getting from donations and traditional fundraisers.

In studying the needs to develop the support systems and trainings to meet the needs people bring, I realize this information has a great deal of value for people new to this online world or struggling to make sense of it. For example, there are lots of people who don't know what there passion is but they want to start an online business.

Dream Manifesto with free ebook offer

Simpelology blog with free course offer
12 Month Word of Mouth Transformation Program

People in many sectors are going to have to re-invent themselves and develop new business models to thrive. Combining techniques and resources is a good start. If you are looking at strategies for monetizing your web properties you may find value in these resources.

"How A Wrestler Accidentally Stumbled Upon One DARN BIG SECRET To Launching A Seven-Figure Online Business With NO Money and NO Time..

…And How You Can Learn His “Insider” Secrets To Living A Life Of Abundance…Even If You’ve Never Heard Of A Squeeze Page Or Autoresponder!

Here's your chance to finally jump off the ebook merry-go-round and create your OWN online empire selling your OWN information products!”

Blue Print for a Revolution

Although I this promotion focuses on musicians, there is much value for all seeking to provide creative services.

Simpleology Great Teachers Series: Jacque Fresco Teaches Drawing

Rise of the Author

Look at how you can find new opportunities to meet your needs in ways that also support the best in others.

Perhaps turn your knowledge base and passion into a product or service or find new markets for existing ones. Cultivate a mindset of abundance by paying attention to the value of what you have and how it can be leveraged or harnessed.

In addressing some of the more persistent and costly (financially and socially) challenges I find it is worth looking at how existing resources - professional and personal development - can be made available to those who can most benefit from them. That is a core part of inspiration to commit to Cultural Fusion Art as Philosophy to create art with purpose.

Lovely dream, but what does it take to see it happen?

Bernard Lietaer talks about the relationship between the money system and sustainability

While there are those within institutions that see the problem, I find there are far less who understand the fundamental issues that are being ignored that will have a dramatic impact on the outcomes expected from current investments of majority of attention and resources.

In Cultural Fusion I find an opportunity to explore a radically different conceptual basis for open system organizations or frameworks. Art based solutions allow a depth and breadth of perspective that does not seem possible (or natural)within knowledge silos or through the lens of judgment.

After I get this sorted out I will move most of it to the comfusion an new Oci Novosti websites.

Instead of telling someone else what they should not do, what would happen if I paid attention to what I was doing? Then it is more natural to be inspired - paying attention without negative emotional charge. And that's an important part of flexibility of perspective.

Had a chance to work on revisions to my play, tentatively called "In Your Own Backyard". One of the big issues now resolved was framing a tawdry drama inspired by my early observations and frustrations developing multifaceted programs to address homelessness/poverty/domestic violence/HIV/AID prevention and interventions within a specific community.

The play explores first the region as community. It is a hot spot for STDs including HIV/AIDS, political corruption, intangible deficits of all kinds and how they translate into a series of events that will redefine community and define a region for decades.

It was inspired by three southern communities ranking first, second and third in the nation for chlamydia and syphilis. After noticing discrepancies in the local numbers for the counties and CDC (center for disease control). Closer attention to what was driving these stats and how a drama

I learned what "community revitalization" really means. It is part of that Orwellian inspired industry of Spin Doctoring, which one refers to the people who manage dialgues. This seems intended to suggest a distance between the the carrying out of a misdeed and spinning of it.

Based on my observations I developed this idea to engage more people in the BIG ISSUES by breaking them down to a scale of impact that people can conceptualize. The time for this to happen is sooner rather than later.

In times of distress - domestic abuses increases. This has never been a good situation but in light of mandatory furloughs for state social intervention agencies and insufficient funding of community based programs - without attention could have increasingly tragic results.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008 :As families confront the impact of the current economic crisis, social service agencies across the US are seeing growing numbers of cases of domestic violence and child abuse. The correlation between financial stress and the growing incidence of such cases is shown in increased calls to hotlines, visits to emergency rooms and the utilization of social services and shelters.

My informal survey from contacts I have in grassroots advocacy report a similar story...shelters are seeing almost daily increases. Considering the numbers falling through the cracks before all this the prospects are troublesome of more being doomed to be cast in invisible shadows. Although no one will say the words, actions and priorities speak quite clearly about what (who) is valued and who is not.
For example, what is the message when billions are committed to financial sector bail out due to circumstance they created, and cut backs for those that serve the people impacted? These messages are internalized and to play out to have political, social and economic impact on larger scales.

Looking at my own little sphere of "what can i do?" I am allowing expressions of solutions in the context of seeing what is being dealt with and transformed.

I could write more white papers, articles, research papers but fewer people would digest the information. Therefore the impact would be limited because it would perpetuate an underlying belief about value or rather values.

Tiger Woods A Game

Today Jeremy reminded me of what it takes for Tiger Woods to maintain his A Game. Listen to the show to see what he said about that.

Of course most of us know this intellectually - many of us want it for ourselves. But how many people think of this for people who are considered poor, who have survived being abused, or witnessing abuse overcoming serious odds to break cycles of violence?

It is no secret that these questions are connected to issues of incarceration because a significant number of people in prison could have been diverted with successful intervention providing them with personal development tools alongside opportunities to realize their potential professionally, and express themselves creatively.

I am writing my play as a series of connected stories because I want to explore the complexity of this tangled set of "facts" and observations for example - Consider that at least sometimes privatization of prisons has been used as a perverted kind of economic stimulus and redistricting tool. If we want to reduce crime - increase the peace - -then it is important that we begin to see where the underlying attributes are institutionalized?

Who is considering the long term impact of this kind of thinking?
And regardless of what your ideas are about the situation, the reality is that are more people are released from prison we must find way to
1.minimize the damage to children left behind
2. successfully re-integrate them into society if we want to reduce crime and the costs of managing the crisis caused.

There have been numerous academic studies and policy reports and journalistic accounts analyzing our prison boom, but this phenomenon cannot be fully measured in numbers.....America is expert at turning citizens into convicts, but we've forgotten how to transform convicts back into citizens...And so the legacy of our prison boom continues—and we continue to be defined by our desire for punishment and revenge, rather than by our belief in the power of redemption.

Now to be honest as I write this I know it is not an easy thing to learn forgiveness but having dealt with these issues personally I believe the rewards are worth the effort.

It is no small thing to have ones self survive and thrive despite such harsh conditions. When people have been encouraged by something i shared, i feel that i have been given a gift. To avert the worse case scenarios we have to set about the business of creating alternative structures and programs that can support regional collaborations. However, I believe that what a region is will come to be redefined with the evolution of cyberinfrastructure.

BUT what can we learn from people that make it? What is making it?

I am learning to be curious about what others believe before jumping to judgment. Does the need for resistance decrease and does less resistance translate into more efficiency over the longer term. By that i mean might it be worth looking at how personal intervention - focused on those that are already committed and motivated but just need access to resources pay off many times over.

What changes if we make that adjustment in our attitude?

"FREE Video Reveals The Amazing Money-Making Secrets Of A 28-Year Old Convicted Felon Who Earned $100 Million Dollars in Online Advertising!"

Because much of what has been done will not work in this emerging context- it is important to identify what information to build upon- that which can shift much faster than our organizational dinosaurs, individuals creating the trends in P2P, open source, social enterprise development, employment & social media will command the expected attention.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

What's on the other side of the dark side of the moon?

It is not so much the I that has inspired me as much as the inspired i is observing, expressing and creating. I imagined that this is not apart from the flow that guides the phases of the moon or the path of the clouds.

I in i- had one of those amazing pieces floating into place epiphanies. When we sing/experience the song of our soul there is nothing like it. I used to think of it as My process, now i get it that it is the process.

"When our wounds lead to breakthroughs that connect to the sacred through inspiration - healing is possible & growth is the natural outcome." From: Breaking through woundedness to heal

Hind-sight is 20/20 and so there is nothing quite like the view of staring back for a clearer view.

How strange it might seem to pay attention this thing that can not be seen directly, only evidence of its existence witnessed and document it. Like other invisible forces (gravity) we learn through observation. It is a mistake to think this done only with the mind.

You don't know what you don't know until you know what it is you don't know.

[1/10/2009 11:25:21 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: ok read it
[1/10/2009 11:25:35 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: when you are on the dark side of the moon
[1/10/2009 11:25:49 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: how would you know which side is dark ? or ... what darkness is?
[1/10/2009 11:26:04 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: i believe that life, as we know it, is this dark side
[1/10/2009 11:26:10 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: ?

i pause to listen -
there is a song that calls for me to find it
to allow myself to hear,
not just the melody -
but the base line, the words -
invisible layer of inspirations

together in the holon
parts, the rhythms that depend on the pacing of the notes,
- rests, pauses, shouts and whispers

that like the wind
travel in unseen streams
but none of us doubts its flow.

you caught me!
looking in your direction
i was watching this flow
and when it whirled in your direction
i couldn't help but pay attention

1. Morphle

As a collaborator there is Source:Converge on Attention and Source:Love infused into solution aka technology and cyberinfrastructure the language Merik uses (open source code as language) + community culture =

For reasons i could not explain my attention had been drawn to object oriented programming six or seven years ago. Even then i was trying to figure out how this would support the creation of this cyberinfrastructure of holistic technology.

And so there is this experience of coming full circle within a multi-dimensional reality one sees it is not flat. It is the never ending spiral. I continue to explore this ... It seems to me that these are what I am coming to see as "foundational" concepts - points of reference in terms of paths in the the process.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Breaking through Woundedness to Experience the Sacred


On Thurs. Sept. 4, 2008 I posted the start of a video idea I was playing around with that changed quite a bit by the end.

Pondering the journey to my interest in this piece, I looked back at this one "good bye metamorphosis" . I started it during the summer following the death of my father. It is a digital piece that I intend to explore as a deconstruction series.

The imagery was inspired by The Metamorphosis (German: Die Verwandlung) is a novella by Franz Kafka, first published in 1915. The story begins with a traveling salesman, Gregor Samsa, waking to find himself transformed into an insect. (source Wikipedia)

Flash back to 2006...

The question - after taking it all in and knowing that collaboration was the way - I understood that any hope of peace meant a transformative commitment to living in peace- The question was: "what can i do?" That was the one that pointed my Attention in the direction of the door.

Imagine that your fingers have been slammed in the door. To stop the pain you decide to tie off the lower part of your arm at the elbow to interrupt/stop the flow of attention to the pain. Is that really the best response when you consider the consequences and risk exposures that flow from that choice?

Now what if you allow the attention to move in the direction of the traumatize area? Your Attention would first flow to an awareness of where your hand is now. Before you make a move to heal, you need to first get your hand out of the doorway.

Then you might realize your actual intention had been to open the door and walk through.

Instead of seeing this through the lens of the problem (symptoms) we see from a higher perspective of flow where events and ideas converge to create realities.

This piece was connected to, was the precursor of Home vs. Place of Origin - not in any official genealogy of the work but according to that trail of tears and giggles that lead us to our inspiration....our awareness...and if with the right Attention our expanded consciousness. Our ability to see the interconnectedness of our life experiences and choices is enhanced by our willingness to do so.

Cultural Fusion emerged from the energy of the question "what is peace?" back in 2006 when Ron and I decided to pay attention to this.

On a personal level in what is peace I was grieving the many losses that were commanding my attention at the time. Interestingly, several of the people I engaged in the first couple projects of this work also had someone they had lost that they felt moved to express a tribute to through some clarity in life direction.

For me, it was the death of my Grandma Lottie (paternal grandmother) that dominated my attention. Recovery from that loss led me to see that I had used my connection to her to connect to my father. For example, I would look at a photo and say I have my Grandma's eyebrows. Well, not until after my father's death did it occur to me when looking at his photo that I had his eyebrows. He had inherited her eyebrows and been the one to pass them on to me, but I refused to see it that way...until I did.

When we started Cultural Fusion it happened because Ron's work with Attention (See: Bilocality and the inner world of attention) helped me start a new phase in the quest to heal my relationship with places of origin. See Bert Hellinger's work here and Ron's Attention Diagram here. As fate would have it Ron and I found we shared an interest in this work and Ron is a trained/experienced representative.

[9:18:37 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: once you see in in the diagram, the whole thing is easy to understand
[9:18:57 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: shortage of attention or love on one side, immediately affects the other side,
[9:19:14 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: and while attention flows through generations, it affects the next diagram
[9:19:30 AM] Ronald Wopereis says: ( = diagram of next generation in bloodline)

In SoulFood: Individual or Personal Level

To me there is the game and then there is the essence of this paradigm that supports healing. Soul food is depository of Love that flows forward through time to reach across generations.

In what is peace? series part of what I am interested in is reconciling my own conflicts to find deeper levels of peace so that I may contribute that to the world in which I hope to be a part of creating a culture of global peace. In terms of place this started with my concern for Human Rights which is where I cut my teeth in social advocacy with Amnesty International and homeless shelters. In the peace series, I found it was my relationship with the south that called for attention. During a disturbing research trip I was inspired to start "Surviving the South" as part of that leg of the journey.

The most obvious conflict was connected to the concepts explored in Home vs Place of Origin. It is no secret that I am still searching for a place that FEELS like a place you love to love - one I am happy to love as my hometown...a town I can fall in love with. When I find it I will consider that my hometown.

I have been working on a play about this for two years. My relationships to place in many ways mirrored a playing out of women who don't see their pattern of selecting abusive partners. When they first leave there is this sense of living in freedom that has to be discovered before one can really get on with living - thriving instead of surviving.

There is a relationship to this connection to place, the absence of it, an abundance or deficit in social capital ---->in relation to place---> that has an economic impact because it has an economic expression in its component. This expression is more complex than our narrow consumer behavior driven economic analysis would allow one to see.

Whether you can observe a thing or not depends on the theory which you use. It is the theory which decides what can be observed. - Albert Einstein

In the past it has been easy enough not to pay attention to this less obvious side of economic systems. However as more people are interested in solutions rather than band-aids to what is unfolding, some will start to see the wisdom of kind of art as art based solution research <---> Cultural Fusion Art as Philosophy is an application of Attention:Bilocality knowledge base and SoulFood model.

This morning I had my breakthrough!

Breakthrough: Chipping through a wall with no idea how thick it is. The breakthrough is the moment when you can see the light on the other side starting to peek through.

The play is about a woman who returns to live in the town where she was conceived and abused. While we learn about the community we also see how she has used her conscious choosing to transform wounds into triumph - and showing by contrast how genuine encounter with the sacred - transmutes the sinister and the tawdry.

I had been working on revisions to the opening for very close to a year and suddenly this morning I got it! I will share more about that later.

All of this is what I was/am expressing in this Home vs Place of Origin series...and the lesson that led to the video was that I am my own Home.

This is the most recent version of Home vs. Place of Origin.

The breakthroughs today are connected to Cultural Fusion in a profound way. Having made this personal journey through the work where the personal, social and the political are intimately related....What has changed?

The concept for the Cultural Fusion "business website" has finally come together!

In the works associated with Cultural Fusion I have come to see how these sources of inspiration are connected to a wide range of issues and I am inspired that I have these characters and art works through which to express my insights and conclusions.

When our wounds lead to breakthroughs that connect to the sacred through inspiration - healing is possible and growth is the natural outcome.