Archives for category: Expand

 

il_875xn-1112045235_gblv

I like having options.

I enjoy and celebrate diversity.

I seek out energies that bring out and affirm the best in me.

It has become clear to me that through many divisive tactics, diversity is being manipulated, suppressed and punished. This Presidential Race in America is just another example of giving the appearance of options, while the powers that be seek to silence opposition, leaving us with a mindset that it’s really only about the two major parties. This strategy has played out before us time and time again, and the environment created is quite bleak in my opinion. It has brought out the worst in us: a climate of fear, limitation and brutishness.

Instead of just looking at something terrible and assuming there’s nothing that can be done, some go another route. Some shine a light on disorder for the purpose of transforming it. Often attacked for merely pointing out dysfunctions and seeking greater freedom, we often fight those who are actually doing the good work.

img_2218

14224928_1284562724917248_287253211285542556_n

But there is much to be said about the relentless spirit. That determination to be heard, to be counted, to be acknowledged. Obstacles and negativity may be multi-form saying, “there’s nothing wrong here”, “you don’t belong here”, “follow the herd”, “your path doesn’t work”, “you’re too different” or “we won’t let you in”. Despite strong contrasts, individuals come forth to strongly say, “I exist. I belong here. I have something to say. I matter”. In today’s case, I’m talking about U.S. Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein, VP Candidate and International Human Rights Activist Ajamu Baraka, The Green Party and the Social Movements they are in harmony with. These individuals and groups are pointing out disorder, while also presenting strategies and policies they believe have the highest possibility for positive transformation of the environmental, economic, political, sociological and justice systems in America.

2016 Full Platform

This is encapsulated in the phrase used by Jill and her campaign, “People, Planet & Peace over Profit”. People over profit, such as their commitment to not accepting money from corporations. Such as their commitment to indigenous people’s rights, lands and respecting treaties, most recently at the Dakota Access Pipeline (Bold Alliance Petition). Such as their willingness to address systemic racism, police brutality and mass incarceration in this country (in harmony with Black Lives Matter), pointing out root causes and tracing back this pattern of oppression. Repairing communities, establishing community run police review boards, releasing non-violent drug offenders from prison and demilitarizing the police are a few steps they are ready to enact if elected. There’s also their call for health care as a human right, and their respect of all life regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or any other distinguishing factor. One of their boldest demonstrations of people first, is their call to end student debt in America and free 44 million people from economic slavery. If we can bail out Wall St., we can do it for the students who are being held hostage, unable to fully participate and contribute to the economy and to society with their skills and intelligence. They would demand education as a human right,  guarantee tuition-free education from pre-school through university and protect public schools from privatization.

Planet over profit, with their call for a Green New Deal. Transferring us away from fossil-fuels to 100% renewable energy by 2030. This emergency shift is an answer to the myriad of environmental problems that we have brought on ourselves . When 7 species of bees are now on the endangered species list for example (For those in WA: Environment Washington), something is seriously wrong. Anyone whose is capable and willing can receive a full-time job transforming the economy, investing in public transit, developing and protecting sustainable energy systems, food systems, ecosystems and infrastructures under this Green New Deal.

Peace over profit, by having a foreign policy that’s based on international law and human rights. Fighting terrorism with a “Peace Offensive”, including a weapons embargo and halting funds to countries that fund terrorism. They call to cut the military’s budget by 50%, close hundreds of foreign military bases, transitioning those jobs to ones in renewable energy, transportation and green infrastructure development. They also call for the banning of drone use for assassination, bombing and other offensive purposes and leading the charge for nuclear disarmament. These are just a few elements of their Platform that stand out to me.

There are those who would scoff at such talk. But it’s that kind of strength, that kind of teamwork, that kind of intelligence and love, that empowered individuals and organizations to demand change for the better through the ages. When the powers that be say it’s OK to treat black people, brown people, women, LGBTQIA+ or any other minority and/or group as lower than human, it takes stronger collective positive energy to comfort, uplift, empower, inspire, bring justice and raise consciousness above bigotry, hatred and oppression. When the powers that be say it’s OK to treat the environment any which way with little or no regard for respecting Life and delicate balances of ecosystems, it takes the stronger collective positive energy of individuals to raise consciousness above recklessness, ignorance and destruction, towards greater harmony, efficiency and conservation. And when the powers that be say it’s OK in the “land of the free” to restrict the political system to only two sets of party voices, under the guise that they are diverse enough to represent the voices of this country and act on their behalf, it takes the stronger collective positive energy of the People to raise consciousness above limitation, fear and manipulation, towards greater freedom, and diversity of opinion and policy.

I feel Jill and Ajamu have the strongest foundation and platform, with the full backing of their party and finances that don’t come from big money, to begin lifting us out of this mess and into a better, more harmonious age. Tinkering with the system won’t be enough. The system has let us down. And we let ourselves down, when we bow to the powers that be and willingly give up our freedom, voice and power. Cheers to Jill Stein, Ajamu Baraka, The Green Party and all those working towards a brighter future.

**Jill illustration credit: JGENNNillustrations

– Jimi Jaxon

 

Advertisements

Web

Very recently I was a part of Intiman’s Launch Party for this campaign, DJ’ing alongside some other rad performers and speakers at the beautiful Canvas Event Space. As I took it all in, I was moved by their words, energy and plans for this years Theatre Festival. Their 2016 program will highlight Black female playwrights, while also encouraging more racial diversity on their stages. This fundraiser will fuel that program. My initial thoughts were, “I feel inspired, but, I’m not a part of the theater community, so maybe I’m not cut out to help with this.” I was focusing more on perceived differences instead of what brings us all together. As I reflected more, it was obvious that we are on the same team. A team of passionate individuals expressing themselves in a variety of ways, who believe in lifting up others, especially those voices that have been forgotten or overlooked. I know the power of the arts to encourage, empower and challenge accepted norms, at times more easily than mere conversation or debate. I have dedicated Disco Droppings, 7 Deadly Records and everything else that makes up Jimi Jaxon to those qualities. As a gay person of color myself, I feel drawn to their program, as a way to connect more with a part of my heritage in a new way. But, the benefits of the work Intiman is doing, and plan to do are for everyone. Regardless of your background, we can all relate as human beings, each with our own unique lens, more similar than we are different. The more we seek to build community and encourage conversation, the more understanding and harmonious coexisting we can generate. So with that, I’m happy to jump on as a Team Leader for this fundraiser. If you feel inclined to support, I have a page here where you can donate and let Intiman know I sent you there. This campaign runs till February 29, 2016!

*UPDATE* Numbers are in, $131,943 Raised!

IMG_3397

Intiman has been a part of Seattle for 45 years now, producing more than 200 American stories as well as brand new works. In 2012 they became a summer festival. Since then they have produced 12 plays (3 new), trained up-n-coming artists, employed artists and staff each year, and connected with over 45,000 audience members. This years festival will be curated by Andrew Russel (Producing Artistic Director) and Valerie Curtis-Newton (Head of Performance at UW School of Drama, and Artistic Director of the Hansberry Project).

Intiman – Facebook Twitter

intiman.org

– Jimi Jaxon

 

My love affair with Keith Haring is in full swing again. How could I forget?

Just when I need it most, I’m reminded of the vast collection of his work digitally, through Artsy. We are blessed with the now easy ability to view 208 of his works (and counting)! Which really is a super small piece of the gigantic output of this marvelous man. Click on each picture for the larger view.

Fertility #3, 1983

 

 

 

 

I’m always struck by his ability to convey so much with relatively simple designs, that translate quickly to a wide range of individuals.

 

keith2

 

 

 

 

 

 

keith3

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just seeing Keith in a video like this is electrifying for me. I just missed him here on Earth, gone way to soon in my eyes. Keith was superb at challenging his surroundings. Not just taking in his surroundings, but zooming out for a more broad picture, discovering his point of view, and then demonstrating that point of view in a forceful, yet playful way. So, in the spirit of not taking “reality” at face value, I encourage the continued research and discussion into the nature of Keiths death. Question. Everything.

I love you Keith, shine on

– Jimi Jaxon

 

Works respectively: Self Portrait, Fertility #3 (1983), Untitled #7 (1988), A Pile of Crowns for Jean-Michel Basquiat (1988)

djinni-of-complexity

 

DD Hello there Masha and welcome to Disco Droppings! I met you at Recess Festival over the summer in Tonasket, Washington, and am pleased that the timing is right for this conversation. How are you?

MF Hi Jimi! I’m doing great. I have a nice fire going in the wood stove, and a kitty on the couch next to me.

DD I celebrate your varied approach with art. Working within several mediums is an enjoyable method for me too. Could you share some of the many areas you work in? Most recently I’ve seen your “Mandelbulb” realms, which are fascinating.

MF I enjoy working with ink and a wide variety of digital media. In the digital realm, I use a combination of photomontage and painting with custom brushes – mostly my own brushes, but sometimes ones made by other artists as well. Everywhere I go, I look for unusual textures and lighting, and other cool stuff I can photograph to use later as elements in my work. So that’s all part of using Photoshop for me. I wanted to try playing with a pixelated aesthetic, so I bought the program Hexels and made a couple of pieces using it. I just started playing with Mandelbulb, which feels really alien to me because I’ve never used so much CGI before. I use far more traditional art values with Mandelbulb than any other work because it’s just so easy to get lost in its infinity. When I work with a pen, I just feel so grounded by comparison. There’s things I can make with a regular pen and paper that I can’t make on the computer only because it feels different to use. But every new medium I try, I learn something new!

long-thread

DD What have been some of the major transformative periods that built up to the artist and human we see today?

MF When I was in high school, I was felt kind of depressed about art. It felt like my imagination, in relation to drawing, sort of died, and I couldn’t get it started up again. I still took art classes, and two really wonderful things happened: The teacher, Mr. Yee, was about to teach us contour drawing. He showed us a very detailed and realistic drawing of a sandal, and asked us how long it took for the student to learn to draw like that. Everyone answered responses of 5 years or more, until he revealed the poor drawings that person had done earlier in the semester. It only took one semester for them to get that good, because he had the right teacher! I think we were all galvanized by this demonstration. I felt liberated. Also, right about that time, my mom bought me a set of gel pens, which had just appeared on the market. They were very consistent and downright frictionless compared to any other pen or pencil – just perfect lines. Suddenly I was in love with drawing all over again, and didn’t really stop from then on.  

When I was in college for biology, I was doing all kinds of crazy projects – I made a nature documentary, I rode my bike across Florida, through the Keys to write a travelogue. But I was increasingly feeling that whatever I wanted to do with my life was not aligned with sitting in a lab and taking measurements. I left school for a few years to figure out what to do next. The jobs available were obviously dead-end, so I went to St. Armand’s Circle and began to draw portraits for a living. At least that way I could improve at some sort of skill! In between customers I drew for fun and eventually developed one of the styles I still use today. I later returned to school, but still tried out a wide variety of classes before settling on art. I owe so much to my partner Dustin, who supported me through so many periods when I wasn’t making any money, and continues to help me in so many ways.

dynamo-color-adjusted

DD I sense waves of fresh interest towards the power of consciousness. Your energy definitely has that mind expansive quality. What’s your understanding of this area, and what role do you see yourself playing?

MF I believe that we have not yet scratched the surface of what the human brain can do, and that today, more than ever, we have the tools with which to discover its possibilities. It’s really amazing, especially when science and consciousness exploration work together. But what I notice is that people tend to fall in-step with each other. Visionary art (for lack of a better term) is so meaningful for us, because it captures so well the places we’ve been or want to visit. For better or for worse, these works are modern-day icons, like pictures of Jesus and Mary in a cathedral. They subtly direct our minds to have particular kinds of experiences as we expand. And so, there is the possibility that unless we become aware of this type of conformity, that as a community we may hit a collective mental ceiling.

Compare it to our internet use. How much of your time do you spend on Facebook, compared with going out into the wild beyond where Google can barely reach? Facebook users share a lot of awesome things, but if some of us don’t visit pages outside of social media, we’ll all just be recycling the same old memes over and over. And so with our consciousness exploration.

DD Some resist change and the future. Some of your instruments, like the graphics tablet have certain techniques that “old school” instruments wouldn’t be able to do. I like hearing the new positive ways expression can be opened up with developing materials. Could you expand on this?

MF Well, technology hasn’t changed anything about staring at a blank page trying to decide what to make!

One of the things, in 2D art that I’m really excited about is pattern recognition in neural nets. Most people I think, have seen the Google DeepDream images last summer. It’s taking a neural net designed for recognizing certain objects and asking it what it sees in another image, taking that image and feeding it through, over and over until you get weird things like puppy slugs and eyes everywhere. The computer now has pareidolia! But even though the code is freely available, there aren’t that many vast neural nets around yet, so mostly you’re getting the same old puppyslugs and architecture recognizable as Google’s

or MIT’s nets. Right now there’s some loose code and software available through CUDA that lets you train your own neural net through machine learning, but it can only be used on an older version of Linux, which can be massive pain to install. But, DeepDream breaks the predictability of typical Photoshop filters and almost any other 2D image manipulation, so I think there’s a lot of possibility for a new tool. I wish I could code better so I could use it already!

 In 3D art, right now 3D printers are on brink of being available and usable for anybody. It’s very satisfying to model even the silliest thing and then to print it out – but the real strength lies in the ability to print something very complex which cannot be sculpted or assembled by human hands. People have already been designing stunning mathematical objects and displaying them in galleries, and sometimes making the files freely downloadable so others can print them out on their own machines. Furthermore, one can take these printed objects and cast them into a mold, out of which a more permanent and beautiful sculpture can be made.

city-arch-web

DD There are so many layers to this art of yours. “City Arch” for example. It took me many looks to really notice the landscape at the bottom. For a while, the arches and trees grabbed my attention. Do you like the idea of people exploring your visuals, with some elements hidden for discovery?

MF Yes! It makes me so happy to hear you say that. When I was a kid, I went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC with my grandma. We would sit for some time in front of the elaborately assembled dioramas, looking for hidden animals. It was always surprising. I can think of so many instances where my imagination was set aflame just by realizing that all around us are hidden worlds we could find, if we just took a minute to step outside our regular paths. So in many of my ink pieces such as “Wet Cats” and “The Weaver”, I enjoy placing little details everywhere to be found later.

DD What does support mean to you? Has your experience and understanding of this changed over the time you’ve been exploring these other realms and dimensions?

MF Support means a lot of things to me. But I suppose at the end of the day it’s that I can be myself around a few close friends and not feel like I’m out of my mind. And maybe that someone brings me food when I’m in a flow state so that I don’t have to stop. Since my husband and I both tend to get into flow states a lot, we drink a lot of smoothies now.

I am surrounded by the most amazing, supportive people. I suppose it is my greatest fear that I’d let the ones who mean most to me down, and oddly, that fear has grown with time instead of disappearing. It is like a gnawing flame, reminding me to get better and try more. Some people talk about letting that type of motivator go, but I’m not sure if I can. I heard it’s not really a very healthy outlook to have, but I suppose that at my core, I’m just not very Zen. Maybe it keeps me anchored so that I don’t just drift off into strange realms. Being given support of any type to pursue your passion is really meaningful, and I feel like I’d better give some kind of returns to those who have invested in me. Otherwise it wouldn’t be very fair, like some unspoken contract had been broken. Gah, that was a tough question.

DD How can readers get in touch with you about acquiring pieces?

MF You can either visit my Etsy page, or email me at mashafalkov@yahoo.com.

DD As we come close to the end of the year, any insights to share or thoughts on the future?

MF Ummm…there’s a thing you want to do. No, not that thing. Not chores or taxes or emails. That thing, sitting in the back of your mind for a decade. What was it you were planning back then? A trip to someplace you now deem impractical to visit? A painting you think you lack the skill to create? A story you wanted to write? And then you got distracted, and it never made your to-do list, because it wasn’t so important. Go and Do The Thing. Sure, it sounds trite. But do it anyway. Now, you can’t say that nobody ever told you to Do The Thing. Cheers and thanks!

intothevortex

Masha Falkov – Facebook

dreamsandtravels.com

– Jimi Jaxon

b9fd74b901c98b939ad1d25695abedb3

I believe you can look at these videos from so many angles and gain something positive. For some, there are some relaxing meditations here to lessen stress, worry and such. For the music producer, ambient soundscapes with a variety of themes to take influence from. For the spiritual seeker, these can be a catalyst, doorways to the unconscious, a deeper realization of self, and/or a connection with the Divine. I would consider myself a some combination of all these, and I’m hyped to share Nu Meditation Music here on Disco Droppings. This is a resource I use just about every day now, which I can’t say about any other music at the moment. It’s a part of my life, and soundtracks a variety of my activities. I care about style, and when I first found this channel I was relieved to see graphic design that wasn’t cheesy, as many New Age graphics can be (spoken with love, haha). A certain male from Portugal crafted a 100 video strong collection, neatly organized into playlists such as “Binaural Beats and Meditation Music”, “Sleep Music & Sounds”, “Shamanic Meditaiton Music”, and “Chakra Meditations”.

I’ve gone on some journeys with these: had restful sleep, exercised, drove, meditated, studied, had sex, everything! They are very malleable and overall expansive.

 

 

I’ve included some personal favorites or regulars in my history. Hope these are of some use to you. And cheers to Nu Mediation Music! Please keep it up!:]

Graphic: Ricardo Fernandes

Nu Med Music – Facebook Twitter Youtube

– Jimi Jaxon