Artist’s Statement

All my life, great art has affected me profoundly by evoking spontaneous uncontrollable sobbing. As a child and young adult, I was puzzled and embarrassed by these reactions. Fortunately, with age, experience and self-introspection, I’ve realized that these highly sensitive visceral reactions allow an opportunity for understanding of my “self” and connection with the “other” as well as a proclivity to make art. It is a gift.

At the beginning of my practice, as an undergraduate, I explored paint as the medium for creating portraits of myself and other people. I quickly realized that the images revealed my subconscious and possibly wiser understanding of others and myself. By studying philosophy, my research and writing developed. I defined art broadly to include different aesthetics that include activism and living.

My philosophical work began with Ancient Greek conceptions of art particularly from the Poetics. Aristotle defines empathy as the pinnacle of successful storytelling and the highest form of art. The greatest achievement for the writer is to stimulate the audience into not only feeling similarly and agreeing with the characters’ actions but to get the audience to feel that they too would make the same decision if given the same circumstances.

The tools for creating art are evolving rapidly, a target moving at greater and greater speed. Today, my practice has evolved in conjunction with the progress of technology leading to creating experiences for audience/participant that intersect with the narrative, sound and the visual, such as radio broadcasts, films and net based social networking. The tools of these new media have even greater potential than ever before to heighten an artistic experience.

Art can be sensually immersive, interactive, completely unique every time, with powerful life changing consequences. Seventy years ago, Walter Benjamin implored us to consider the ethical use of these new technologies in his great essay “The Work of Art in the Age of Art’s Reproducibility.” The intention of the art is embedded and must be transparent for the viewer to see. The choice and use of media has the potential to manipulate and change the world for better or worse. I take these words with grave responsibility.

Works Include:

Balkan Song
is a video, museum installation and performance concerned with Sevdah and forced marriages. Here’s the Thesis and my CV.

Two Villages, One Heart
is a 60 minute documentary about the similarities between teh villages of Ben Lomond and Djunis Serbia.

was an performance installation with the UCSC mechatronics group project “Friends of Ficus” at 01 in San Jose in 2008 concerned wtih human bio-power.

was a theatrical mulit-media performance peice by Tandy Beal and Company.

The Book of Obeah
is a screenplay a thriller murder mystery voodoo love story.

The SpearShaker
is a screenplay concerned wtih Edward De Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford.

The Playgroup
is a novel about the sexy hippy mamas in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

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Nada's Musings