Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Collective wisdom from my old sketchbooks

One of the hard things, when you're painting, is, "what?"
     Gary Hume, artist

You don't owe anything to the work you've done previously.
     Chris Sperandio, artist

Nature is a mirror onto which we project our own ideas and values, but it is also a material reality that sets limits . . . the nonhuman world is real and autonomous . . . but the paradox of our human lives is that we can never know that world at first hand.
     William Cronon, environmental historian

Don't wait to do your "good" ideas. Act on every idea; you'll inevitably make bad art. Don't strive to get it right on the first try. Strive to make art each time you have an idea. Don't strike ideas down, because you achieve by doing, not thinking.
     paraphrased from Deborah Aschheim, artist

Plato suggests . . . that memory is like an aviary inside your head, with all these birds flying around, such that you might reach in for a ringdove and accidentally pull out a turtle dove instead.
     David Wilson, director of the Museum of Jurassic Technology, as quoted by author Lawrence Weschler

The ivory tower of science is in a ruin. Science is not a pure realm of truth beyond the taints of ideology and business, but a field of ideas enmeshed in a power struggle. Increasingly industry and economics dictate the direction and priorities of research. Whilst informed by science, we are ever vigilant against claims of scientific neutrality, and ever skeptical of the "official story" of natural history presented by scientific institutions.
     Mark Dion, extracted from a manifesto for artists working with or about the living world

We are the species in control, and it is up to us.
     Donald Johanson, anthropologist and discoverer of Austalopithecus afarensis fossil "Lucy"

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