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I can't say that I am well prepared for this talk. I have assembled some recent writings, and long thought thoughts. I am taking the opportunity to talk about things without any one to one correspondance with slides. But I will click to keep something visual happening for those who need multiple sense stimulation.

It is fortunate to get a chance to talk in a role other than professor. I can turn down the filters and say things I would not say in the other roles. LIkewise? as a student you can experience a visiting artist talk in from a different perspective than you experience a lecture from a prof. So turn down your filters a bit and I will reset mine as well

Laurie Anderson said that talking about music is like dancing about architecture. It is a very similar statement to Barnett Neuman's, "Aesthetics is for the artist as ornithology is for the birds." Newman's is cleverer but for me Anderson's is more relivant to my thoughts. It talks about translations rather than head space or perspective, similar.

  • even related verbal languages are untranslateable. My wife and I cannot even agree where blue ends and green starts and we supposedly speak the same lanugage. We are from the same culture sort of. But really we do not share the same experience, parentage, aculturation, no real common experiences as she saw each of these experiences as Gail. I saw them as Louis. We are each a culture of one and speak a language unique to ourselves.

In the graphic arts particularly with computers you need a good understanding of +gamut+ that is The range of color a particular device can present, or see. Computer monitors are terrible at oranges and yellows. Printers have very limited saturation in some hues, commercial printers have to use spot colors to deal with these. Film has different limits and so do our eyes. Eyes do not see infrared or ultraviolet and we cannot distinguish between mixtures of different hues or wavelengths and a single wavelength that is the average of those hues. When we mix two wavelengths of light we interpret it as one, even though a spectrascope or prism could allow us to distinguish the two. Mixing two colors of light does not create a third color, only the perception of it. We never flinched at the cathode ray tube TV's inability to produce strong orange color, most of us did not notice. We are oblivious, our brains adjust our color sense based on the gamut of color presented to our eyes.

If food taste was percieved like color it would be as if when we taste the chocolate Banana icecream we would have no sense that its made of chocolate and bananas. We would think it was made of a chocobanana or maybe its made of a new ingredient called glebus. When exposed to a piece of food with only a very small portion of flavoring we call it bland. Some flavors however can be detected in very small portions, and smell can pick out somethings in parts per million and beyond.

My understanding is that the Land color theory explains that our brain adjusts to the gamut it recieves from the eyes and spreads the average spectrum across what we see. It is as if we had The photoshop filter called Auto Levels on the brain. Ad Rinehardt's black on black paintings make use of this aspect of our flawed perception. They are black on black but have slightly different hues of near black. AS you stare at the paintings your mind decides that what it is seeing is the whole spectrum and it spread those percieved variations on black across the virtual spectrum in our brains. Thus we start to see these paintings as intense colors. Our brain does this in all circustances and consequently bungles our concept of reality even on bright lit days. Its like a light meter with no absolute scale.

Languages have gamuts too. The verbal language is good for many things, but there is truth to the saying that, "a picture is worth a thousand words". Trouble is a word is also worth a thousand pictures. Truth be told you cannot translate a picture into words or words into pictures. They only approximate each other. Translations are inherently imperfect. Just walk up to someone and ask them to, "tell you that picture" or "dance you that flavor", and you will see how difficult translations are. When these questions are themselves questioned we begin to see that translation between the arts is absurd. Draw a picture of this essay, or of the word "squeemish".

There is little that I do these days that is not related somehow to my travels in Thailand. I am only beginning to start to understand how things are different there and may never get very far into the why.

One of my great worries in graduate school was the pernicious way words seemed to be controlling my art. In graduate school you are often expected to become the "expert" on your own work. That is to say when you graduate you should be able to talk about it better than anyone else. Your words should have more meaning than anyone elses, be more insightful, and useful to the viewer. Part of this worry stems from undergraduate critiques where it was clearly better to say anything than nothing. Often words and phrases were used in ways that apparently had no relavent meaning, although I may have had no relavent understanding.

I am not an antiverbalist, I just believe that words are not the only form of communication and not always the best. Good poetry, even good word salad gives me joy, and adds life to living. The problem is that because words are so useful we believe or act like they are always necessary or always primary. Poppycock! Some believe that we cannot think without the concepts words give us, that somehow words came first. This is like saying we discovered the word "hand" before we knew what a hand was, and then found the object that went with the word. We still operate by discovering or inventing concepts and then finding the words to fit them. As evidence of this consider the sentence, " I am looking for the words to say this".

Anyone who has seen a retriever puppy has an good understanding of the phrase "the tail wagging the dog" and my worry in grad school was that the words were limiting the content of my art. Its not that words having an impact is bad, but if the impact of words is to steer what you do than your work will have a very limited gamut of meaning, and it will tend to be in intersections of the areas that words and visual art easily operate in. It is a very limited domain.

I am not so concerned about the influence of word in its rawest form, but anything that steers visual arts away from the areas that words do not communicate well and favors areas where words already do a passable job could easily be destructive to your work. I think it takes a conscious effort to keep your work visual in a university system dominated by verbal communication. I am not sure avoiding any interference is possible, but I also suspect it too is not productive. Its keeping it under control that seems necessary.

Music does not seem as capable of domination by words. It is already so "abstract". It is impossible to describe, or analyse sound. When you do it is often laughably simplistic and clearly misses the point. Talking about music seems to either be mechanistic description of notes, or it borders on poetry. Musicians seem less likely to get descriptions of their work confused with the work itself than visual artists.

I think a lot about perspective, particularly cultural perspective. And here I am indebted to a particular teacher of one of those huge freshman survey classes. This one at the University of Michigan in Spring of 1975, "A Survey of Far Eastern Art". In this course I was introduced to ideas and art that I had never seen or heard of before. The teacher took all his own slides and you could tell where he really related to the work and where he thought it foolish. We saw the huge stone Buddha images in Afganastan that the taliban destroyed. They destroyed them because of an injunction against pictures,, images and because they did not like the ideas these images represent. It was a book burning, but held in another lanuguage.

The teacher whose name I am trying to snag from the far reaches of my memory, taught us about the philosophy and religious practices of the cultures we were talking about, a sort of Art and Society kind of knowlege. We were given an introduction to Confucusism, Taoism, Jainism, Buddhism, some insight into some Hindu beliefs and practices, communism, Zen, and Shintoism. Obviously none of these was covered with much depth, and some of the lectures for me did not take hold, but others did.

The story of the man needing a bath and the raging torrent.

U of mich art history teacher Taoism... Those Buddhas the taliban destroyed.

Like many other things there are lots of non intellectual skills. That is things your hands learn, body knowlege. I can play maple leaf rag so long as I start and finish without thinking too much about where my hands have to fall next. I cannot write the music down, I can't read it as fast as I play it. Its something my hands know.

You use body knowlege withought concious thought, at least sometimes. I play piano and have since Junior High. I don't play particularly well, but learned to play Maple Leaf Rag by Joplin through sheer determination. From the age of 18 until I started working on my flame thrwoing pipe organ in my mid forties I did not practice much. When I started again I could still paly Maple Leaf and a few other pieces. My fingers remembered. Oddly, if I was looking at the sheet music I was unable to play Maple Leaf. My concious brain did not remember. We do not tell our legs to move forward each step nor do we instruct our hands through our conciousness in the subtleties of grasping a fork or spoon. Part of our brain runs itself and it has a fine memory , a memory all its own.

I was brought up goin g to the synagogue a few times a month. We wore yamulkas (known to muggles as skullcaps for some odd reason). These little caps loved to fall off your head. Taken by itself the failure to keep ones yamulka on ones head was un-cool, klutzy. WE practiced catching the yamulkas on their way to the floor after falling down our backs.

So here I am in graduate school. I had not practiced the yamulka cap catching thing for years. I was showing students Gail an exhibition and Gail Busch, my wife) had work on a shelf directly behind me. I accidently hit the shelf and a pot fell off. When it hit my back my had shot behind and caught it. I found myself holding the pot wondering how I had done this.

Taoism seems something like this. The classic story seems to be that an old man, in tune with the Tao, he groks it, whatever it is that is, comes to the river to take a bath. Trouble is the river is at flood stage, a raging torrent, bolders, whirlpools snags etc, He takes off his robe and jumps in. He comes ashore 1/4 mile downstream refreshed, unhurt. He groks the Tao and know show to go with the flow. Clay is a hard to control medium you have to get it, to be tuned in. Maybe you grok it. You have to go with the flow.

Working with clay you find your hands have learned skills way ahead of when you are concious of them. This creates trouble teaching. You can show someone, but you cannot tell them. So you start to analyze what you are doing and you discover things. The radius bones, the turn of the wrists are important for producing good full curves in pottery. The elbow pivots to produce straight sides. You might use the edge of the finger to raise the clay but for smooth bowl interiors you use the pads. These are things you body has learned. Your concious does not find out about them until it inquires.

Now all clay is not about going with the flow, some is about control, what we would have called in school tight. Tight was not seen as a good thing, but just as there are loose people, attributes, work, characters there are tight people and tight clay. Loose from my viewpoint is the natural state of clay. If I were looking for enemies I would say, tight clay is an aberation, but I am not looking for enemies and tight clay is no more an aberation than loose clay. Tight, loose you define one in terms of the other. They are end points, polar nodes, dualist principles. We will come back to dualism, we have to.

Art history at the university of Michigan and then in Kansas City. We spent very little time on clay.Pity. We did spend time on zen painters, on caligraphy and Japan. We studied stylistic changes in the depiction of the the Buddha in Gandarahan and gupta period india. We learned to tell the period of buddhist sculptures from the details in the robes, the hair, the earlobes and my specialty was the shoulder. There was a naturalistic roundness to the shoulder of Gandarahan buddhas. It is said that this was influence from the "near East and mediteraenean" . It became more stylized in the Gupta period and later periods became either more stylized or made bad references to the gandarahan period pieces.

We were given a sense of what India might have been like at the time of the birth of the buddha. We were told about the democritization of religion that took place with buddism , that freedom from suffering was obtainable that it was a personal struggle or quest and then we saw its affect on the arts of asia and the interplay between hindu belief, taosim, Buddhisms many branches and in particular zen.

in american Clay, we play tea ceremony. We know little about the Japanese Tea Ceremony, even if reading would give us some understanding we don't really even do that. It remains a quaint custom and we revel in the mystery of it. Of course its mysterious and will remain so so long as we know nothing about it. If we learn, perhaps it looses the mystery. Really it looses one mystery but gains others.

I have been reading a translation of the book of tea, written about 100 years ago, Japanese. It talks about tea boiled with spices and salt, that is where the lemon and sugar routine come from, it talks about powdered tea, now associated almost exclusively with the Japanese Tea Ceremony , and about steeped tea. The book has a very ethnocentrically Japanese stance. It is a book about teaism. Teaism is merely the appreciation of the beautiful in everyday life. The tea ceremony is merely training or contextification of the mundane. It is a paired down distilled experience of every day, beautiful in itself but also a means to put the everyday into perspective. The book is not really that clear. It does not set out to define things in any literary sense. Really it seems to paint a picture, maybe a like a Zen inspired Chinese Landscape, not much in focus.

How do we make even the movement of powdered tea from its storage container into the teabowl an act of beauty, subtle, vibrant, and deep? That is the question, and the action, the heart of teasim.

I mentioned powdered tea to a Zen practitioner. This tea has a lot of zingo. I have found myself too wired to drive after a cup of powdered green tea. The Zenist said that powdered green tea should only be used as part of a religious ceremony. I ask as a teaist, What ceremonies are not religious and what acts are not ceremonious?

Cleary there is a difference between Lipton and tea just as there is a difference between sawdust and coffee, between Boones Farm and wine, and between the soaps and life. But is there? Is quality in the stuff or in our heads?

Sooner or later this laying the groundwork as I call it has to talk about dualism, or the lack of dualism perhaps. Dualism is the breaking of the world into polar opposites or even just disparit categories, good bad, tall short, white black, Red Green Blue, paisley and checked.


excerpt

Tao Te Ching

by Lao-tzu

J. Legge, Translator

(Sacred Books of the East, Vol 39) [1891]

1

The Tao that can be trodden is not the enduring and unchanging Tao. The name that can be named is not the enduring and unchanging name.

(Conceived of as) having no name, it is the Originator of heaven and earth; (conceived of as) having a name, it is the Mother of all things.

Always without desire we must be found, If its deep mystery we would sound; But if desire always within us be, Its outer fringe is all that we shall see.

Under these two aspects, it is really the same; but as development takes place, it receives the different names. Together we call them the Mystery. Where the Mystery is the deepest is the gate of all that is subtle and wonderful. 2

All in the world know the beauty of the beautiful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what ugliness is; they all know the skill of the skilful, and in doing this they have (the idea of) what the want of skill is.

So it is that existence and non-existence give birth the one to (the idea of) the other; that difficulty and ease produce the one (the idea of) the other; that length and shortness fashion out the one the figure of the other; that (the ideas of) height and lowness arise from the contrast of the one with the other; that the musical notes and tones become harmonious through the relation of one with another; and that being before and behind give the idea of one following another.

Therefore the sage manages affairs without doing anything, and conveys his instructions without the use of speech. http://www.sacred-texts.com/tao/taote.htm


Dualism is a necessary part of communication, at least verbal communication. It is inherent in representation although maybe not inherent in presentation.

In order to talk , to think, to work, we have to divide things. We deliniate blue from green yet recognize the continuum between them. There is no magic line between Night and Day. Even these two categories of time are no the only ones that make sense. We use morning, afternoon, evening, night, and early morning, yet we also use other systems , the"Oclock" system and Daytime/dusk/ Night/Dawn. When dealing with the planet we use GMT but even this has no real meaning off the earth and is nearly absurd on a spaceship in low orbit.

These systems are mental constructs and have more to do with our perceptions and thoughts than with the physical world. We see average color, but do not see infrared or ultraviolet.

Since we understand things in terms of delineated words, words that describe areas of thought, new ideas are more easily found at the edges , at our imaginary deliniations between things, or where words have not yet ventured.

In Judaism, at least the Judaisim I was brought up in we are taught to question everything. Naturally when we start to question words, the logos and the reality it creates, it leads us to question perceptions. The questioning of the veracity of the sensate world is part of the philosophical underpinnings of Buddhism. At least in part Buddhism can be seen as the study of the fallacies of perception. Yet Buddhism stresses a general acceptance of the world as it is, although it implores one to live a "good " life. This acceptance rather than striving is rather anathemic to the hard questioning of Judaism. It is this stress between questioning and acceptance that keeps me from being home in either place. Of course one can only expect conflict from dualist digressions.

Edges, Harold Scholtzhauer at Montana State used to talk about edges when teaching painting. Its the edges, the transittions how one form defines another how the blue melds into the green the forground differtiates from the background. But I did not take painting. It did get me thinking about edges, they are the knife of dualism the separation where none exists. but because we organize our headspace around edges and categories by differentiation, by discrimination new ideas, new modes of thought, valuable comodities often happen at the edges, obscured by edges , underneath edges or just by using means of thought that obscure the edges that we have already created.

In Graduate school ( grad crit story) I was invited to a graduate critique attended by just graduate students.

This started a long obscession wih pissing painters off. I used used canvases for overing brick in the kiln yard and then called them functional painting. I painted signs. My reverse perspective brick.

I have an axe to grind, at least one, lots. One of them is this history of art thing. I have no problem with history and no problem with art or even the history of art, but I know that history as a process is supposed to provide clarity and knowlege but any way you edit the past its less than it was and how you edit it necessarily distorts the depth of the reality. Oddly, good books that provide a clear vision of the past are the most distorting but the past is not clear, nor is it a vision. When it comes to trying to talk about the history of visual art, we arn't even sure what we mean by art.

OK rather than grind this axe in this manner let me read my manifesto. --- I am a clayer. This is my manifesto. Ceramics, more specifically Studio Ceramics is more than a medium. If the only difference between the different art areas was materials, then the distinctions would cease to have much significance. But clay is more than a gooey alumino-silicate; gloriously plastic. Clay is a way of working, a way of thinking about process. Clay is a history or group of histories. It is not the progression from cave painting to Jackson Pollack1. It does not much care about the transition from tempera to oil in the early renaissance. It cares more about the transitions from low to high fire, about the Japanese/Korean pottery war2 and the effects of trade secrets, about form and function and about the relationship of surface and volume, and about the universality of whorl patterns. It is concerned with the move in many cultures and continents from decorated earthenware to porcelain and the search for artificial jade. Clayers have a set of primary aesthetic principles that are different from those of other art areas. We talk of form and function, surface and volume, breath and bones. Our primary forms are vessels. We stress volume over mass or structure. Clayers have a long history of abstract expressionism3. It stems from the process. There is an inherent level of Taoism resulting from the need to "go with flow" when working with clay. The medium teaches the philosophy. And the philosophy reverberates in the need to accept a work as it is and move on to the next. This set of qualities encourages an expressionistic response to the material. Clay is an excellent recording medium much as the saxophone4 is an excellent transmission device. Clay responds to emotion by recording movements as they happen. Although parts of an object may be cut away, it takes a conscious effort to delete expression. Even with conscious effort this deletion often fails. Clay memory5, a result of the fine particle alignment structure in the walls of a vessel, invisible until the clay is fired, can restore information that has been scraped away. The surface, gloss, particle structure, form, volume, and bones (gross wall structure) all act as separate tracks for the impression and then preservation of emotion and action. Oddly in Japan and China the appreciation of expression in clay seems to grow because of an appreciation of expression in calligraphy. Calligraphy, as practiced in China and Japan, is a branch of painting. But like potting it is very formal and functional. Zen inspired calligraphy seems to stress a direct connection of spirit to hand. The emotional impact on the artist of the words about to be painted is channeled through the hand to the brush and then to the paper. Some tea ceremony ware, throwing as taught by some Leach6 school followers, or by students of Ken Ferguson7 has the same stress on jazz, on spirit to hand transmission. That is a stress on the direct intuitive responses from eye, heart and intellect to the hand. We hear a great deal about minimalism in painting and sculpture. Yet pots are often minimalist works dealing with form and proportion. What is the perfect shape and placement of the handle? How wide is the mouth as compared to the neck and the feet? How low on the belly should the attachment of the teapot spout start? These are formal design considerations and often, if not usually, have primacy over other less formal concerns. Representation is rarely the issue in ceramics. We make things, real things, usually not representations of them. However sometimes the objects exist as both presentations and representations as in Richard Notkin's work or in the work of Gail Busch, my wife. Notkin's teapots are teapots but also represent skulls or hearts. Gail's teapots represent teapots while sometimes being teapots. Objects like these add a rich depth to the genre' and blur the sometimes meaningless distinctions between the concepts of representation and presentation. The fine art painters8 are humble. In choosing the title they give themselves, "painters", they recognize an equivalency among users of the term; those who do walls, interior and exteriors, and sign painters. In contrast the term ceramicist is a term used by those vying for a special place for the ceramic arts; a seat at the fine table of art, and a wish to vacate the table of craft. Potters, really a subset of ceramists, seem to distance themselves from their sisters and brothers, the status seeking ceramists. This is false modesty, a denial of the inherent human expression of clay. If they were truly aiming at modesty they would align themselves with the seemingly mundane makes of tile, brick and toilets. These are people who usually do not recognize the expression they impress on their creations. Not a ceramist, nor a ceramicist, I am not a potter. I am a clayer. Like painters I label myself in unison and siblinghood with brick makers, kiln builders, and skeet manufacturers. 1) The Peter Voulkos of Paint 2) The Japanese are reported to have stolen an entire village of Korean potters to start a porcelain industry. 3) Utilitarian pots are abstract, they represent nothing. Just look at European Medieval pitchers to see expressionism. 4) I only learned of Saxophones as an adult. They were musica non grata in my father's house. 5) Clay memory is responsible for teapot spouts unwinding in the kiln and much warping. In my students work it often returns the signs of their constituent coils to the surface of previously smoothed ware. 6) If you don't know who Leach is you need more art history before reading this. 7) Don't pronounce Ferguson in a sweet tone or too softly. See note 6 above. 8) Historic paints were just ceramic pigments ground into linseed oil or fish oil. In this respect painting is just a flat subset of ceramic art. <<<<<<< Written at Siem Riap Cambodia. December 51 PE ---

There is a group of worlds. I refer to them as the "everything words". Each of the words makes sense at the beginning or end of one of the following snetences. ____is everything everything is _____ Art Philosophy Love G-d Science Biology Psycology

Some of these words are the hardest to define. G-d does not seem that hard to define, but I am not sure there is good agreement on a definition. Love seems rough But art seems something we refuse to define. I think that we do not define it as a survival instinct. The mystery comess out when we know what art is, If the mystery is out why make it? Really. The problem is edges. You define by delinateing edges. The trouble with boxing art in with edges is that it leaks out. It claims territory outside of any reasonable definition you set. This means you have to set unreasonable definitions or understand that your definition is flawed.

My own ureasonable definition is that art is the artifact of any intelligence. If your dog is intelligent can it make art? what about Intelligent design? Does this definition mean all of creation is art? This defintion is just as flawed as the other ones. But there are some ideas to be gleaned from it and the ideas, at least to my eyes are important and thier importance is growing, or at least through these dualistic ireverant eyes their importance seems to be growing.

Everything we do can be made meaningful. WE can invest our spirit into our actions. We can make sure our shoe tieing is thoughtful that we do more than just stuff our faces and go to work, that our work is beautiful that we add depth to everything we do. That we become teaists, at least in part.

WE have enough junk. It is our illness. Now we have to buy water. It makes us feel good that we buy water. Even when the water is just filtered tap water. We are important , our water comes in plastic bottles. We talk about global warming as an energy problem, but it is as much an entitlement problem, a thing problem as an energy problem.

We are entitled to personal transport. WE are entitle to warm, or cool houses. We have the right to buy and dispose of anything we can afford. It would be one thing if the plastic crap we buy (me too) really makies us happy, but it doesn't.

My firends in Danwekan Thailand miss the old days. The old days were not so long ago there. They had no cars, no TVs? no electricity, no phones, no refrigerators, no cars not all that long ago. They miss sitting around at night playing music, roasting chickens on the fire at night and eating local fruits at night in front of a candle. Yet they have given up their old slow life for more things and it is clear that life is not better or happ\ier because of it.

We have got to go from a more sense to a better sense. WE don't need more plastic bottles. We need better containers and fewer of them. We need better pots, better art, better tv,we need better food, and less of it. And I am part of the problem

We need real quality to get beyond meaningless details. There is a noodle place in Bangkok on the way from the Old Central Post Office towards the Elevated Train. Its called Prajak. They have a great duck noodle soup. If you ever want to know how good soup can be go there. The restaurant has been in the vicinity over 100 years, although the storefront has changed. I don't know how old the current storefront is. The terrazon floor is worn in the middle from the passing of millions of feet. What draws people in is the fast maybe slightly brusque service, the tea which is not really that good, and the soup. The quality of the food makes up for the heat, the service, the noise and the bustle of the place. Oddly the soup is not perfect. Sometimes the duck in the soup is cold in the center. Those new to Bangkok might be offended by this, but from the viewpoint of someone who has spent time recovering from dehydration with an IV in his arm, any sign of refrigeration is comforting, a sign of quality. By all means if you get a chance visit Prajak.

1415 New Road (aka 1415 Charoen Krung) Bangrat

Tea yesterday.

I hope you enjoyed the slides.

you have to use the knife to analyze. The rim look at the rim, "The Foot, what kind of foot is that", your glaze is dry. But beyond this analysis it is the piece as a whole. Who cares if the rim sucks if it works well with the piece? Further more no pot is an island. YOu? buy own, drink out of, dishwash, break and dispose of a piece of the society that made it, a peice of the clayer, a bit of the miner of the mud. You are buying a portion of global warming and a portion of its solution when you credit card is inserted into the card reader. It makes a difference to the work if you pay cash. Then it is a cash purchased pot. Otherwise it would be a credit purchased pot.

I often run a thought experiment with students. I set up a scenario. There are two potters, and one time they make identical pots. One potter is a loose glazer and gets wonderful drips on his pot. The other has complete control and paints the identical drips on the pot. You know who made which pot. Now are the pots different or are they the same.? OK say you don't know who made which pot, Are the pots different or the same?

There are no right or wrong answers here, but the questions do help figure out which pidgeon holes to put you in.

Notes: The trouble here is not pots but art. Seems that Garth and others

 want us to make more money. Taken by itself , I am
 not against this.
 But it comes as part of a package deal. The
 package includes, money,
  and what you love. So it seems you are to sell
 love for money.
 Certainly at the moment of transaction it ceases
 to be love. In fact
 it stops before the transaction, because if its
 what you love you cannot seriously consider selling your heart.

The idea that if we give up our ties to the past, beautiful surfaces, altruistic ideals (even if impractical), philosophy and the rest we cease to be ourselves. Who will we be?

Certainly this is an instance of Katz' equation. $100,000 is a lot of

 dollars. Franklly I think the idea of giving up craft for money is a big pile of money. Y'all know why money is like manure?

Katz' equation (derived from "A history of Art Commerce and Craftsmanship" by Harry Davis", published in the late seventies or early eighties in CM or Studio Potter.

 Craft +$$ = Art.

I am often accused of turning words into mud. In view of my concern over words dictating the content of clay this is a problem. But time and time again we have been told that clay ain't mud. Perhaps they are right in this particular case.

My prediliction towards what might be deemed eastern philosophy, particularly Buddhism and the idea that the sensate reality is not really just perhaps a representation of reality, has led me to a dismembering of verbal language. If definitions contain phantom distincitons then things get muddy indeed. My favorite example is that motha of all words, "art".

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