Sunday, March 26, 2006

Hard Core Cafe, Sebastopol CA

Hey man, Ron sent me (Hippy faker), Ron says, “Hey!”(Why can’t Ron say hey himself?), Ron told me this is where it is happening (totally lame), I’m Ron’s friend…he says, “Hello.” (So.), Ron told me this was one place I had to stop in at while I’m in town. (Shit, can I be the biggest dork here?)

Searching for my inner coolness, I drop the rehearsed Ron intro and just order a 20 oz latte…clean and simple. I even dropped my normal “with two sweet-n-low” because I didn’t want to seem like a Starbuck’s weekday’r and a cool, hippie coffee café poser weekend'r.

The Hard Core Café is located outside of Sebastopol, California on Highway 116. This little haven was a much needed Saturday stop after a soul-sucking week at the daily grind in Northern California where I display a fast, flexible and focused façade of feeling 100% fabulous!

Each morning was a small respite to my day as I was greeted by Ron during my DoubleTree Hotel breakfast dining experience. I liked him instantly. He made goofy faces to the kids, had long wild hair tucked in the back of his shirt and instantly won my heart as he placed small bits of liberalism on a dainty hook to see if I would bite. Oh and I did! Sneaking secret squats next to my table we swapped stories. I find out a number of nuggets about Ron that keep me engaged throughout the week. Each morning he would ask, have you gone to Hard Core yet? I would reply maybe tomorrow. He said the morning is when you will hear the radical rants and hip-deep musings of the county’s best.

I decided to stay an extra day to recover from my week. I had plans to hang out with a friend, but he dumped me (this would be the second and last time!) for another woman. I hop on down to see Ron before I go...he warns, you have until 11:00 am to go to Hard Core before you miss the “crowd.” He insists I tell them Ron sent me and that I seek out Jim or Turby for good conversation.

So, there I am…parking at the much anticipated Hard Core Café! I knew it was going to be good when my first experience was a mini-honking war between me and a cute, bearded fellow. I accidentally honk as I’m getting out, he then honks, then I lock my car which gives a mini-honk, he honks again, then another guy warns me to watch it or I would start something…so I sassily beep my alarm and get the last honk in. He just smiles.

So, I didn’t drop Ron’s name during my order, but I did plop down in the middle of some folks with my journal putting on my cool, calm and collected character of coolness. I browsed the paper, sipped my coffee in the eclectic outdoor café. Sitting on an old diner booth amongst a dental chair, a folding chair, a giant wooden spool all scattered under a plastic awning, I was surprised at the warmth of the people. I even had a gentleman from Chicago tell me he would post my bio there to hook me up with someone interesting.

Although I didn't hear radical rants or find Jim or Turby, Ron was right, this was a place where anyone could have good conversation with open-minded people over a hot cup of joe.

By the way Mr. Chicago, I'm 5'3", like folk music, artistic, love a bit of radical ranting and sometimes I like to get the last honk in.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Kinkade Scandal!!

As you all know, I so admire the painter of light, but it seems Tommy has been a very bad boy. Gutterboy has captured this titillating Kinkade news in his recent blog entry at his site:

Very scandalous!

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Spurs optional.

I know you have known it, but finally a study that proves artists really do make the best lovers! A new study plublished in Proceeding of the Royal Society says us artists are heatin' it up under the sheets. Oh yeah..., we are said to have a big appetite for the low down lovin' and we know how to rock the run-of-the-mill joe schmoe's world. I have my chaps. Do you feel like kickin' it? Yeeeeeeeehaw!

Oh, they also said we also have genes linking us to schizophrenia.

Well, I'm going to bed now...I have a headache.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Systems Thinking

We are all part of a system whether it is a human system, a corporate system, a community system or art system. A system is defined by its function. As Dr. Russell Ackoff described in a recent seminar I attended, a system has three defining characteristics “1. A system is a whole defined by its function(s) in one or more larger systems of which it is a part. 2. Every system contains at least two essential parts without which it cannot perform its defining function. 3. Every essential part can affect the system as a whole, but the way an essential part affects the whole depends upon the behavior of at least one other essential part. This means no essential part of a system has an independent effect on it, at the same time, the essential parts all interact either directly or indirectly.” (Beating the System, R. Ackoff 2005)

So, what does that mean to an artist? Well, as artists we do our work in the social system which means that when we create work, it is part of its own visual system that lives in our intellectual system that lives in our human system that makes our social system. So when doing work that effects a system is should have the following characteristics: 1. Be defined by its function. 2. Contain two essential parts. 3. The essential parts interact directly or indirectly with the system for which it is a part.

As Russell said in his recent talk, a car is defined by its function. If you were to dismantle a car and lay out its parts in a room it is no longer a car. Each essential part depends on the other. The engine does not move unless it is connected to the other parts. This also goes to the point of improvement of systems. You have to think of the system’s function as a whole prior to making improvements. As Russell describes, you can’t take all the “best of” parts of a car to make the ultimate car. The parts don’t fit or work together. That goes for artwork. You couldn’t take all the “best” pieces of an artist’s masterpieces and fit them together to make the best masterpiece in the world. Sometimes, there has to be weaker or less dominant parts to a system to make it strong.

When systems go sour or become self abusing, we need to start over. This is called Idealized Design. Every work we do should aspire to Idealized Design. That means that you clean your palette and start with a clean mind. I have found that my artistic ruts come from making a good piece of work. I get so enamored by a piece that works, then I try to duplicate it. However, my art system continues to change and how it works within the larger system changes, and those attempts of duplication always fail. I have yet to create something “good” from trying to take the “rolls Royce engine” from one piece of work and putting it in the “Toyota Camry” of another piece. It never fits and is a waste of a really good engine.