Towers of Columbia Diptych

Towers of Columbia Diptych
Title: Towers of Columbia Diptych [Twin Towers Manuscript (right); Freedom Tower Manuscript (left)] (left); Freedom Tower Manuscript (right)]

On the Artwork

On the Artwork

The above images are composed of original manuscript art created from the pages on which these writings were first written. The two pieces form a Diptych entitled, “The Towers of Columbia”

Twin Towers Manuscript Art

I am telling a story with this art piece, made of the original manuscripts on which the collection, district.Columbia was written. First off, the emphasis of stream-of-consciousness, spontaneous improvisation in writing as my primary writing practice, is illustrated here with the use of blotter action paint. This style of action paint, where the brush never touches the paper is meaningful, because it further gives importance to the truth of the creator, who is the perceiver and conceiver at once, in relation to the subject.

The destruction of the Twin Towers, was a defining moment in my life as an American youth, however, I only perceived it indirectly, outside of any direct mode of physical inception. The media, through which I experienced the raging disaster, is here given precedence over the content of the subject matter, hence the liberal use of spontaneous action blotter paint using ink. The use of ink is especially significant in that it gives form, in this action painting, to the blood and tears of the victims who were affected by the destruction of the Twin Towers. This includes especially the peoples of the Middle East, and particularly Iraq, whose society was devastated by a flood of violence and misinformation. The blurred writing overlain with blotter ink enunciates the misdirection of media and information with regard to the victims of the aftermath of this tragic debacle in world history. The deep blue sky above is an unnatural blue for the sky, representing an artificial environment with a full solar eclipse, further symbolizing the concealment of knowledge. The dark red underneath the towers stands for the blood of victims seeping underground, out of sight, where the true colors of their suffering continue to pour. The center space is left empty to signify the great abyss or gap which continues at the center of our existence in the West, and indeed all the world, as a result of the catastrophe which ensued in the wake of this infamous event.

Freedom Tower Manuscript Art

In the second manuscript art piece, the ink, once representing the fresh sweat and blood, splattered onto the finely penciled writing, has seeped through the paper. This signifies the fact that even if there is a new tower in the place of the old, the events which have come to pass in the wake of the Twin Towers devastation will appear in the construction of the new tower. Above, the great mystery, a UFO, blinks in a polluted sky, foretelling the haze of conspiracy which will perpetuate misinformation and a misdirection of military technology into the easily distracted, dramatic mind of the American public.

The unpainted manuscript pages beside the tower represent the clarity of judgment foretold and seen by the construction of the tower; that it is supported, in many ways, by the blood of those who have passed while the Death of American Freedom has unfolded after a decade of war, lies, and invasions both personal and public at home and abroad.

Preamble to district.Columbia

Preamble to district.Columbia

Inspired by the pre-colonial and pre-revolutionist metaphor for America, “Columbia,” a Goddess of Freedom, is an archetypal myth, once proudly personifying poetic optimism through feminine form. Through these writings, I personify the process of mythmaking as a dedication to compassionate awe and voiced protest in the historic confrontation with self and nation. The name Columbia was immortalized immediately before the Revolutionary War in 1775 by Phillis Wheatley, the first African American woman to publish her writing, in her poem, “His Excellency, General Washington.”

Written primarily based on a visit to Washington D.C., this collection is a vocal reclamation. These chronicles present a visitor returning to his home country, where visitation is defined by traversing an international land border. I represent my struggle to reclaim and recognize my unique voice. In these pages, I confront the realization that I am, in certain respects, an inheritor of the American way of life. Regardless, the inheritance is fraught with the psychological complexities of exile.

In this reclamation, I throw off vestigial principles of experience. I attempt to revision a new way of being through the living temperance of the written word, and specifically, my own practice of stream-of-consciousness writing. Such revision includes confronting a natural process of self-awareness, whereby self-expression revolutionizes into an identity with nature as a self-perpetuating source of renewal and life.

Spontaneous word creation, or improvisational writing, is a natural activity of the human mind. There is a power within that endless fount, that when regularly tapped as a spiritual practice, unleashes one’s surroundings with an ever-renewing energy. Such a practice motivates one personally, to interact with one’s immediate environment in dynamic ways. The reason for this effect is because in this practice, which actualizes into a way of being, the present moment becomes central. When the present is cherished with just significance, the mundane begins to breathe with new life.

The practice of improvised writing, in this sense, outlines a processional transformation in throwing off sterile notions of self and environment. district.Columbia begins by defining autonomous interactions between self and environment (as to parallel notions of the “New World” for pre-colonial Europeans and pre-revolutionist Americans) and ends with a declarative pronouncement; to create an openness to uninhibited spontaneity in personal creativity and a diverse awareness in social activity in our public spaces (as to parallel the current fomentation of creative social activity blurring the lines of public and personal art).

Listen to Your Self

listen to your self...
until the round waterfall empties all Earth,
cleansing the porous beyond

in a fire fight, clambering up broken stone
and rushing past with notes in blue and white,
forming spontaneous lines
that end brush strokes in a black obsidian plush,
creasing against the mountainous fold
with a calligrapher's mind

written in the rocky glove of unsettled wild creative youth,
those two pair,
growing in unseeded soil
as a weed tossed into the vibrant dark matter of infinite bliss
by the great American eagle
flowing into the future of Vietnamese bathroom floors
swept of children and memory
to change the tide in New England Hebrew martyrs of spiritual play
chiding glorious phrasings in the Algonquin high of a green environment
hiding with chilling valor in the mindless now,
blessing the gaping lung of the Indian tree
with sacred breath
on the poetic tongue of a changeless need
to create from universal love the bedding of an epochal foment
in song
and inflame the passage beyond body
with an unnamed right to live as is

in the crab-scuttled grass sands
itching our newly aged feet
to see past random necessity
with light on the ethnic blood-touched proud
in ancestral family,

the road,
now faded with an overwhelming sense of Love
for all creation,
buried in the mass grave of a secret lunacy
hidden behind the bed-mask of traditional sexuality,
and yet untied
the knot stifles truth and freedom in a frantic pause to strengthen terror's wave
crashing in the lonesome authority with tasteless glamour
reflected off the stretched mirrors of the disadvantaged, ugly, poor,
and our fate, unified into first expression,
to cast away all memory
and become plainly seen in the absolute center,
mind's eye of the Pacific, drenched in wandering,
an unworldly guise,
blended into worthless machine-eaten jungles
fried in the oil of littered rubbish
alongside a fixed marriage highway

to an undreamed following,
a place deeper than hell,
frozen in the backdrop imagining
where the burned order breeds asinine judgment
flowering into bitter hate for the lost
who stare remembering at the speechless knot,
held in minds full with blame and newly felt sorrow
for ancestors mourning what's to become of their kin
tied in fate with breathless teachings

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