Favorite Installation Artists

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Artists weave more than objects.  Sometimes they get to be magical helpers.

Objects, paint, settings, storyboards, sculpture, sound, animation, construction crews, computer techs, writers, amazing technology and wonderous light merged into a new world.

There is literally a cast of thousands in Avatar,  most of them behind the screen. 

The story is simple, and rich beyond measure.  A collaboration of gifted artists has woven things in such a way that through their art, we experience a light into our own consciousness.

A light that reveals our own radiance and all our possibilities.

It's all here.  All the mythic themes that have guided and sustained us through our long evolution.

A Colossus in military camouflage strides onto the screen, looking for all the world like the master of the Universe, who could snatch lightning bolts from the sky and hurl them through all the pitiful defenses assembled against him.

He is supported by the Goliath corporations; unfeeling, automatons who revere money.  Because money is power.   And they have all that money can buy.  Individuals do not matter in their world.  They are so replacable, either by a machine or another expendable human.  The goal is all that matters and the goal is always having more of everything.

The hero is not a David, yet.  He isn't even a whole man.  But more than his body has been damaged.  His psyche has been warped by a world that used his skills and abused his soul.  He has a journey to make, the Hero's Journey.

This archetype, this epitome of the heroic quest,  is so ingrained in us that we immediately recognize it and understand it's power.  We all have the archetype embodied in our fundamental characteristics.  It is a major part of what makes us human.  From prehistoric rock art, to Plato, to Carl Jung, the heroic quest has been drawn, described and known as a thing so worth attaining that those who act against this instinct are considered to have aberrant behavior, to be abhorent.  These people who act against the common good are called criminal.

The hero goes forth from the common, everyday world by being separated from his usual surroundings, thought patterns and behaviors.  He is thrust into an situation where he must overcome tremendous forces and almost supernatural wonders to achieve a goal or to attain self knowledge. 

The hero's journey may be a personal quest for self discovery.  Or, he may use his transformation to attain a boon.  This he will bring back on his return to share with others.  It could be fire.  Or the knowledge that we are one being.  In this way, we move from one place, to a higher, better place.  It's how we evolve.  And when someone is moving to that place, we always know it - it is intimately familiar.

In Avatar, the Pandoran race use "I see you" as their greeting.  They mean they see past your outer shell to the you that is part of them.

Light is such an important part of Avatar, both as a visually stunning piece of the cinematography, but also as an analogy.  A hero has received and accepted a call to adventure.  He will strive, through enormous difficulty, to improve the world.  With the self knowledge he has won, he will act in beautiful ways not visible to him before.  His being is now his art.

Artists are The Pathfinders.


  1. linda, while i liked hearing about the movie, which i will soon see, it is your last paragraph that captures moonlight in a bottle for me.

    "his being is now his art"

    yes, that is renee. and frankly, many of us. certainly you. we are striving to improve ourselves and our world. and are we ever acting in beautiful ways not visible to us before!

    are we ever!!

    together strong...

  2. Wow Linda, you've certainly shown Renee here, for sure. It's so clearly her path. I believe she was dealt the hand she has so she can be a light for so many of us, which she certainly is. She's an entire galaxy!
    I try to tell her that every day.

    Thank you for the movie review too. I wasn't going to see it but now I'm very drawn to it.

  3. We're going to see the movie tonight in 3D so it should be interesting. I like the idea of "I see you" and whilst I agree that artists have a wonderful contribution. . .the are not the only pathfinders! Cheers :)

  4. kj and lolo,

    Yep, that's our gal. Enjoy Avatar - would love to hear your opinions.


    Not by a long shot, I agree! But, they nailed this one, didn't they!
    What did you think of Avatar?