Teeny Teens

To capture the essence of teenagers I illustrated the youth of America. Here I present Attitude and Babies Having Babies. This imagery happened to remind me of a reputable Zen Parable, Please enjoy.

Is That So?

A beautiful girl in the village was pregnant. Her angry parents demanded to know who was the father. At first resistant to confess, the anxious and embarrassed girl finally pointed to Hakuin, the Zen master whom everyone previously revered for living such a pure life. When the outraged parents confronted Hakuin with their daughter's accusation, he simply replied "Is that so?"

When the child was born, the parents brought it to the Hakuin, who now was viewed as a pariah by the whole village. They demanded that he take care of the child since it was his responsibility. "Is that so?" Hakuin said calmly as he accepted the child.

For many months he took very good care of the child until the daughter could no longer withstand the lie she had told. She confessed that the real father was a young man in the village whom she had tried to protect. The parents immediately went to Hakuin to see if he would return the baby. With profuse apologies they explained what had happened. "Is that so?" Hakuin said as he handed them the child.


Vincent Van Gone, the After Gogh

I placed an airbrush artist (Kasper), a painter(Willard Malebear), three models(Allicia Christensen, Zoee Taylor, Melanie Hunt), two acrobats (Brandon Wharton & Rebecca Yale, a harpist (Andrea), and a latex specialist mask making performer(Brently Davis) all in one place and said GO

This is Vincent Van Gogh experiencing the land of the dead.

For more on the Bardo Thodol (Land of the Dead)

and Yama, the lord of Death


Project M; Welcome Home

Project M is an international summer intensive program that came to the Minneapolis College of Art and Design this past summer. The project M team encourages design students to think beyond pre-deterministic linear thought pathways and enable them to utilize their potential to benefit the community through art.

The Minneapolis team chose to make Minneapolis more welcoming and homely by distributing door mats reading "welcome home" on sidewalks, apartments and homeless shelters to give the people a sense of belonging and what it feels like to be welcomed. BI hosted the show in their gallery space and gave every MCAD student a blank card with the instructions to write something to inspire the homeless during the holidays and turn them in for a chance to win door prizes. For every card donated 10$ was given to St. Anthony's homeless shelter. I didn't score a new Ipod but the real things worth winning aren't things.


The Healing Power of Nature

Although the body has the ability to heal itself without necessarily having any outside intervention, really one of the best remedies is the great outdoors. Nature has tremendous capacity to heal, the earth provides noninvasive treatments and harmony of health through natural processes. Simply being in the restorative environment amongst nature can sooth the mind and allow one to slow down and step out of the chaotic rush of city living. The prevalence today of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, obesity, and factors related to over-stimulation by the ever-present electronic environment can be directly related to an absence of time spent enjoying nature.  The article I was assigned to illustrate even goes to say that even just simply seeing the grass grow can greatly help reduce stress and promote over all well being.


The Allegory of Plato's Condo

I was initially assigned to collaborate with Jeremy Andersen, Tara Miche and Tracy Olson on an installation work. The only thing certain upon beginning our project was that we wanted our sculpture to cast interactive shadows onto figurative drawings on the wall. With the nature of collaborative design, that is losing the self driven decisions to a collective consciousness, we were left with identity theft to be a subject of top interest. Our sculpture was thus then designed to have a nondescript figure positioned so that they could be read as either running in fear or as if chasing a prey.

The piece is titled Plato's Condo is reference to Plato's cave. Plato's cave is an allegorical commentary on the human race in relations to education, perception and all of reality. Within Plato's cave inhabits prisoners staring at a blank cave wall watching shadows cast by their unseen captors and the illumination of fire. The illusion of shadow puppets as created by the captors are believed to be real things by the prisoner. Plato furthermore introduces a scenario where if the captors were to see the objects casting the shadows that they would not believe them to be "real" as the shadows are.

The ego is perhaps the greatest example of Plato's cave and of identity theft. The illusive ego which can never quite be pin-pointed lives in the past. Looking behind us we will see our shadow, the past, to which the ego may claim "this is what I am" and chain itself to this belief when this is at most a new perception of what was. The shadow of our ego is only a shadow on the wall, one must simply turn around to see the light.

Conception, Benjamin Wuest, 2010

The energy sculpture as explored in my previous blog entry brought up discussion of like minded energy artists such as Travis Freeman whom experimented with creating spaces for meditative realization as explored in his piece "The Meaning of Being" the energy of one hundred meditators. Freeman created a space for meditative concentration and realization as is achieved through the meditative practice of art performance whether it be painting, dripping, cutting acrobatics or simply working with chance by giving up control and allowing movement beyond the conventional laws of the self consciousness through the practice of finding harmony beyond dualism of artist and art, subject and object, being and non-being, emptiness and all forms. Freeman also played with creating spaces for group meet-ups and organizations to gather. Freeman also addresses social structure sculpture and even bridges into the healing power of art through his work "you may lay your head in my lap" which allowed any participator to lay their head in the lap of a complete stranger. This played into the exploration of social sculpture as pioneered by Joseph Bueys whom had concepts concerning the social, cultural and political function of art. Buey believed the power of human creativity and potential for art to bring about revolutionary change.

In 1962 Buey became one of the fist members of the eclectic artist group Fluxus. Fluxus is a global network of primarily minimalist composers and artists that made a switch on what an artist produces to more of a focus on the artists personality, actions and opinion as well as playing an emphasize on the connections of everyday objects and art. They played with these concepts through small pieces or "Happenings" to involving actions in large political rally's.

Happenings as explained by Allan Kaprow, the assembly artist attributed with conducting the first happenings, are "not a new style, but a moral act, a human stand of great urgency, whose professional status as art is less critical than their certainty as an ultimate existential commitment." Kaprow is commenting on conforming to the confinement of catering to a crowd and particularly with respects to monetary gain. Happenings pursued the immaterial as a fun counter to the seriousness of modern Art.

Happenings are events consisting of minimal vague instruction, opening the events to accidents and unintended effects. The audience shifts from spectator into performer, replacing criticism with support, and contributes to the randomness of events as achieved through integrating chance factors which supports Duchamp's notion of the viewer completing the art work. When chaos determines the path the performance will follow, there is no room for failure. When something goes 'wrong', something far more 'right,' more revelatory, has many times emerged. Thus every Happening is fresh, cannot be reproduced and is a priceless work of art blurring the separation between life, art, artist, and audience.


Do Not Mistake the Finger Pointing to the Balloon to be the Balloon Itself.

I was delighted to be assigned to create a work based off the everyday as I in my work I regularly attempt to manifest a sense of everyday nature (Yugen) with what is right here and now (sabi) through immediate experiential aesthetic apprehension of transcending the traditional world through bridging the phenomenal with reality. The ultimate intention of my work is that the viewer may experience the same realization I experienced and realized in the process of performing the art whether it be painting, acrobatics or working with chance and allowing movement beyond conventional laws of the self consciousness and thus finding harmony beyond the dualism of subject and object, artist and art, internal and external, being and non-being and of form and emptiness.

For this project I initially wanted to do an Acroyoga performance with the BrentlyShow at Station 4 night club and turn in a video recording to those whom could not make it but I was immediately shot down and told I needed to perform in class. I shrugged that off and figured I'd fly our teacher Katinka Galanos if she must insist but than also figured I should have a back-up plan jus' in case and thus I also collaborated with Chris Lyle on a video documentary about yoga as well as made some digital imagery of Brandon Wharton and Stephanie Vilendrer performing AcroYoga. I came into class confident and hit a wall of criticism. Katinka had severe back injuries and could not fly, my video doc was apparently not considered to be a "work of art" and my images were in the wrong format. I was told to try again.

Katinka was right, though I thought my documentary was an everyday way to portray my every day, it simply did not demand the participation of the viewer and thus allow them to detach of their ego so they may remove the self and experience a pure connection to my work and an unaltered state of their being. This was the same dilemma as Studying Zen vs. Practicing Zen. I thus came to the realization that I needed to introduce my class to the Energy Art Qi Gong and build an energy sculpture. Your participation is requested, please stand and do as I do.


Friendship Is One Mind In Multiple Bodies.

For my self portrait I wanted to capture the notion that the motion of my breath was who I am and I thus took a continuous synchronized shutter shot of moving my arms with my breath while practicing the healing martial art Qi Gong. I really like how my first image came out looking like an embracing white light which captures my vision that I see all things as a welcoming extension of myself. My second self portrait is an image of myself doing the Qi Gong exercise Tuoa. 

 My friend Willard Malebear is genuinely genius and just beyond sane. Willard's minds mediums consist of paint, aerosol, a digital playground, ink and human flesh. I came to collaborate with Willard on the night before I had an Illustration for a package of halloween candy due. I had been particularly impressed with some of his recent digital works and asked if he would show me the ropes on digital design and photoshop painting. Willard showed me the Wacom tablet's digital canvas and the cintiq pens digital paint brush and designed a whorror monster with all sorts of ooey, gooey, sticky ickies in and of its mouth. My koala gummy bears had the perfect mascot and I thus slapped on some text and had my package design. I also took a number of pictures around of Willard and his walls and made a digital sculpture of Willard.

Brently is a body which wears the mask of flesh, fur, land, latex, puppet, paint, and passion. The Brentlyshow is a traveling circus where every character acts through multiple faces in an extension of one. Brently is a clown, the taoist fool,  always moving but not knowing where. He walks blindfolded by dreams across the tight rope to which he is bound. The fool lives in the ever present newness of now, dying to every minute and being re born in every moment possessing a sense of being unchained to the past or future.


Chris Lyle is my main MCAT majoring in web and multimedia. Chris dapples in light and sound particularly through the use of video and installation work. Chris and I collaborate on projects on a regular basis through painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, performance, ideating, video and really whatever we find inspiring. Chris was working on a documentary project about yoga which was rather convenient as I needed to do a project based on my everyday nature. We were able to create this movie in under a day.


 Untitled from Christopher Lyle on Vimeo.

Justice Draconis is a performer of many body arts such as fire spinning, yoga, acroyoga, the lira, spanish web, silks, and plays the Didgeridoo in the metal band Niobium. I met Justice while goofing off doing acrobatics during yoga school at Corepower Yoga.  Justice had a phenomenal inversion practice and possessed a wide range of knowledge about body balancing. We thus began to practice and play.

Brandon Wharton to whom I often refer to as "Chawrles" is yoked to the yogic path. Having originally met in highschool, we continued our education through Corepower Yoga. as well as Circus school at Xelias Aerial Arts. We've performed and co-taught Acrobatic Flying Yoga at various venues and have actually recently joined a traveling circus called the Bizarre Bazaar. Brandons portrait is coupled with our Acrobatic friend and circus colleague Stephanie Vilendrer.

Free Acrobatic Flying Yoga @ Moe Bodyworks (3541 Lyndale) 5:30 Saturdays
Various Sized Prints Available.

Contact me at gilligone@gmail.com to inquire about booking the circus!


Obstruction: East Meets Wuest and Loopy Chaos

I was assigned a partner to obstruct me, that is another peer of mine was required to enforce limitations on my processes for which she would design the platform for this assignment. Despite the ultimate human desire to be free, free of attachment, responsibility, limitations, laws and such we actually need and even enjoy our limitations. Freedom makes us human, our identity is choice that happens in every moment, and the way to maximize freedom is to maximize choice. Yet we like to be told what to do, when we are given a difficult choice with the burden of responsibility we ask "what would you do? what would you do if you were me?" To much choice can cause paralysis rather than liberation and it has been shown in people that they have such difficulty choosing that they put the choice off or choose to not choose at all. If we get over the paralysis and make the choice, we may not even reach our fullest satisfaction because the sheer amount of choice creates expectations for perfection which further sets us up to potentially regret what we choose because if there is any disappointment in our choice we find it that much easier to imagine the perfect alternative... The solution? Build your own obstacles to overcome, create rules for which to design a platform of play. Have no expectations, drop gaining ideas and have no fear that no matter what you choose, you have chosen your right path, accept and furthermore enjoy your choices... and your limitations.

Thus my limitations were to work digitally, involve text, have a monochromatic colour scheme, create just one piece, and to collaborate with the Baba Ram Dass, that is the author of Be Here Now. Ram Dass was a psychologist and psychedelic pioneer whom decided to take a trip to India to find his truth. Ram Dass traveled throughout India meeting many a holy man and became content with his journey but never found quite what he was looking for until he came to meet the guru Maharajji. The Guru immediately cut through all of Ram Dass's skepticism and showed him his greater self.

I thus decided to fulfill the assignment I would create a page for my own book "East Meets Wuest; Zen and the Japanese Aesthetic" which I wrote in the form of letters I mailed while studying in the Monasteries of Japan to my friends in America. I thus so illustrated the first page of the last letter which is a piece that utilizes text, is digitally crafted, monochromatic, belonging to a single piece, collaborative in that it takes a similar approach to sharing a spiritual journey and in particular in showing a part of a part of a mosaic of karmic unfolding.
We were than obstructed a second time. After coming to realize that every single piece I had turned in into my Ideation and Processing class was a performance condensed into a two dimensional format my obstruction was to perform in class. I particularly wanted to capture the sensation of leaving Japan on a flight that was just as long as the time difference and thus I arrived at the same time I left. A similar idea to that shared by Tantric Yogins whom are always departing in a state of arrival and consequently arriving in a state of departure. Tantric Yogins live in a non-dual reality where they see eating as excrement, drinking as urine, lovers as mothers and have no destination or beginning to meditation. I decided to search for inspiration with my circus folk in BrentlyLand. We started getting real loopy playing with a looping station and inspiration struck... I thus had every person in class contribute their own sound to come together full circle to create one piece in unity.


Celestial Lights 3&4, JAX CD release and Zombie Pub Crawl!

Folklore Enterprises in conjunction with Cracker Jax productions unleashed another round of some of the best Dj's, Dubstep, and local homegrown soicital paintiacs showing off their galleries and performing live painting in combination with a spectacular laser light show.
 For this show i unveiled my "Flying High" series:

Made a blacklight-box painting:

 And used photo transfer inks to tag Zombies!

The Dead are walking and don't even realize they are dead!! To make the dead aware and free themselves of the world of given things they must realize through their animal nature that it is they who is the giver. In the Bardo Thadol, the land of the dead, they do not realize they've died and continue to walk the earthly planes. They will never transcend if they yield for the dim lights and do not move into the brightness that is the end of all illusion. (BUT DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE LASERS)
Not one person has not returned from death, we've all died many deaths and in fact have already died in this life but are not witnessing or directly perceiving that part of our fourth dimensional being right nao or any of our fifth dimensional deaths where our "un-contained soul" might not of lived through that fall, car crash or zombie attack. There are two sides to the door, we are at the entrance and exit. Birth and Death are not just beginning and end but are simultaneously happening in all moments and all realities.  We may not remember our recent death or birth but transcend these self-imposed limitations! Seeing death's illusory nature, be freed of fear. Symbolically die to your past, let the ego die and be liberated into new life! The science of death is the secret to life!  Live every moment as if it is the last! 
Sacrifice the ego and embrace the chaotic riot. The fear of self sacrifice will develop unconscious restraints that will only lead to illusory freedom. The whole game you've been playing is also based on faith. You have had faith in the rational mind and worship its products and sense data. Only in realizing this do you realize there are doors. If you are to get out of prison the first thing you must realize is you are in prison. If you think you are free you can't escape.

Thank You Eric From Zero-G photography for the amazing party pics!

Come check out our next show at the Loft above Barfly for our Halloween Special Oct. 30th