Scratching in NYC at Super Bowl XLVIII and MoMA

Annie_Super_Bowl_XLVIII_editThe camaraderie of entire communities, cities, states, and even countries surrounding team sports intrigues me. Last week I jumped at the opportunity to hop on a plane and watch the Seahawks play live in Super Bowl XLVIII, yet found myself looking forward to “scratching” for three days in New York. Twyla Tharp has an habitual routine to keep her inspired by simply changing her environment known as “scratching.” I embraced the opportunity to be a part of the pulse and energy of the game, yet what I was really looking forward too was the bonus of heading to one of my favorite inspirational places on earth, the Museum of Modern Art, aka MoMA!

Greeted by Isaac Julien’s film installation on nine double-sided screens, I felt immersed in creativity. I was experiencing living art created from tragedy. Julien created Ten Thousand Waves about the 23 Chinese cockle pickers in England who drowned in 2004 on a flooded sandbank off the coast in Northwest England. My mind expanded.

All that matters is what you are doing now and whom you are doing it with. How do you share your art, your message, with your community?

Thoughts are art. How do you create or recreate your thoughts? How do you realize your
imagination? Film is a reflection of consciousness. Can I recreate my images, film, thoughts, and expressions into something with dynamic impact to inspire others?

Annie_Gordon_Elephant_exhibitMoMAAnd I wondered and wandered for more than four hours through white walls filled with imagery, sculptures, paintings and more. I stumbled upon Douglas Gordon’s video installation called Play Dead, Real Time, and found myself inspired standing in a room with two giant elephants. Scottish born Gordon is known for investigating the construction of meaning and the notion of the sublime. I was a part of this moving exhibition. How did he know that two elephants moving in a dark room projected on large screens could be so awe-inspiring and magnificent? I walked between the screens and my silhouette projected under the elephants. I felt connected to the sublime.

And deep within I could feel the connection that others would have to living underwater if I could use screens and images that others could become a part of, the sublime ocean. Gordon left everything to the imagination of the viewer, yet we knew his purpose. Images create lasting impressions, yet when we are submerged and able to feel the pulse of presence, our lives are changed forever. The reason for heading to New York may have been to attend the Super Bowl, but it was being immersed in an exhibit imagining possibilities that kept me scratching and searching my soul. How could we get world-wide attention for the life-source of our planet, our ocean, on a Super Bowl scale? Without blue there is no green. Team Ocean, can you hear Her roar? What would make millions cheer for Her the way they create noise at the level of earthquakes for the Seahawks?

Creativity and the Digital Age

Reflections Inspired by Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit

“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spiders web.” – Pablo Picasso

Twyla Tharp walks into a white room to begin her process of art; I’m face to face with a keyboard and white space of the chapter of a new book I’ll create in 2014. Anxiety sets in. The first time I read Twyla Tharp’s The Creative Habit was back in 2004. My brother Ron and I like to share meaningful and inspirational books, he shared her inspiration with me. We write our thoughts in the margins with different colored ink pens, pass it onto the other to read and make comments, then pass back. Receiving the reading list, I instantly downloaded the iPad® eBook version, yet I couldn’t get past page eleven on my electronic copy. It felt so cold and uninviting because it was missing the color and creative typography of the original printed copy. My muscle memory kept triggering my mind. I wanted to know what we each thought was important nearly a decade ago and discover how things may have changed. Did I learn it and use it for life?

As I consider that question, I realize the irony of what is happening. As soon as technology caught up with my imagination of being able to add photo galleries and videos to books, I became a publisher on the iBookstore®. It’s the eve of another release of one of my eBooks and I still find myself torn between the paper of yesterday and the technology of the future. The Texas bookless library made international news. Yet in the end, I realize no matter your preference, the story remains the same, the creative life must combine passion and skill. This is a great reminder from Twyla and whether book or eBook, chapter 9 has been bookmarked!

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
― Harold Whitman