[-empyre-] Thanks Rebecca Rouse and Alan Sondheim

Renate Ferro rferro at cornell.edu
Tue May 25 05:13:24 AEST 2021

Thanks Rebecca for the insightful post early this week on time.  Csikszentmkhalyi, a "positive psychologist" describes flow as being totally absorbed in something that is challenging to you but also accomplishable.  In theorizing flow he writes, “The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times . . . The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile”

Also notable is that he theorizes that the experiences of flow are universal in that it has been reported and observed in all ages, cultures, classes, genders, etc. 

Alan's artistic process reflects what Rebecca reminds us of. Thanks Alan for illuminating upon your brilliant career. You reported, " It's a practice that keeps me focused; I have what I call 'waves' of content that flow through the sections - for example analog/digital phenomenology/gamespace/edgespace/blankspace / 
splatter semiotics / etc. It's like meditation; I learn from the 
practice and honestly have done this most of my life... I'm thinking constantly; I'll wake in the middle of the night and dictate into voice," Alan went on to write.  

I am curious how many of us use voice and recording or the aural cues for remembrance.  I am a huge calendar, list maker, writer, drawer. For me the motions when mark making are important in keeping constant in the flow. 

Rebecca wrote, " Time has behaved very differently for me in these past months, when like so many others I have been confined to my own home, without the spatial mnemonic marks."  

Flows of words, or marks, or spaces all relate to time and how it is perceived. I have spoken with so many of our subscribers this month in relationship to how overwhelmed and busy everyone is.  For some it is the end of the semester for others it is an impending exhibition or residency or family commitment. I think it might be worthwhile to acknowledge that there are times when flow is impossible.  When instead perhaps there are impulses, reactions, bursts, and more that do not necessarily create meaning in the moment but perhaps are necessary.   

Thanks to Alan Sondheim and Rebecca Rouse for being our guests this week.  

Renate Ferro
Visiting Associate Professor
Director of Undergraduate Studies
Department of Art
Tjaden Hall 306
rferro at cornell.edu

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