Detail of Twelve Studies for a Group Portrait

Photograph Courtesy: Fresno Art Museum

Entry on the Outer Wall of The Tenth Arch

 

Blue Triangle
Detail: The Procrustes Trilogy, Procrustes In Situ

Photograph Courtesy: Michele Burgess

 

We live in an age of miracles... August 6th, 1945. Born in a searing flash of light, god himself signed his magnificent demise with the most enormous phallic plume the world had ever seen. Terminus.... Fifty years have passed since the death of god...fifty years of the most miraculous discoveries, inventions and accomplishments - and fifty years of denial and deceit. We live in an age of miracles and refuse to accept the authorship of, hence responsibility for, the miracles themselves. We persist in denying our resplendency and responsibilities within the concept of a new age - a new age with a new concept of time, finite and creative. An Age of Miracles. Thousands upon thousands of men, women and children were consumed in this cataclysmic change of metaphors. God, like an ancient ruler incarnate, adorned his death with innocents, and their blood colors this new age. How old he was! As old as human fear. And though fear still holds us enthralled, we are no longer free to worship it. God is dead and, with him, men in His image. Patriarchy's grave lies in the blood and rubble of Hiroshima, beneath a poisoned cock of smoke.

Is it possible that human evolution is gender actuated? Though all genders participate in linear development, environmental and in-species conditions select one gender innately qualified to compete successfully for survival. Meaning that the circumstances of exterior actuality create the internal reality for human evolution and communication - . (It is interesting that the word "gender" refers mainly to language and its syntactic relationships: masculine, feminine, neuter.) One gender has always dominated and, for reasons of mutual survival, the correlative genders, in symbiotic relationship, have supported and reflected the sense of reality, sustaining its primacy. Reality is that state which functions best and if actual conditions alter so, too, must comprehensive reality. Until August 6th, 1945, the actual conditions of environment demanded a masculine gendered reality. This is no longer so.... In a searing flash of light with its accompanying phallic signature, the cognitional symbiosis was altered completely: In a split-second shattering of the Actual, gendered reality shifted the masculine Alpha to Omega. "Mankind" became the human experiment's first gendered epoch. Delivered and signed, He presented the human corporation His final solution - total annihilation... magnificent simplicity. Humanity has been in a crisis of reality for fifty years - and a gendered struggle for dominance. Our cognizance has been presented two alternatives: the inevitable conclusion of masculine dominance within the concept of infinite time or the deposition of masculine reality and the acceptance of Time Finite within the reality construct of an alternate gender. Meaning...if humankind does not shift its metaphorical identity from masculine entelechy it will destroy itself. By his apotheosis will His prophecies be fulfilled. Armageddon. Life everlasting - with no one to prove Him wrong.

There is no real purpose in deconstruction. Mankind's epoch ended on the 6th of August 1945. We are engaged in defining a new age, an age free of the metaphors of dominance and fear - killing and hate. An age without god no matter what guise his bearded face. There is no need to correct the dead. All genders participated in symbiotic relationship. It is over. The hierarchy must change... A new symbiosis must prevail.

The gendered tribal role of provider and protector is without grace. It can no longer provoke obeisance and obsecration by virtue of birthright. We live in a new epoch of ungendered creativity - an Age of Miracles from which will be engendered a new entelechy.

From time immemorial reality has evolved in a constantly threatening environment relying totally on the masculine's ability to compete and provide within the actualities for survival: Man against elements, man against animal and man against man. From one against one to group against group to nation against nation and finally, on 8/6/45, man against life itself. Within the geometric inevitability of his evolving entelechy, mankind will conclude itself. Generation upon generation, century upon century, millennium upon millennium this gendered primacy for survival has established a density of reality nearly impenetrable in its compaction of metaphor and myth. In a flash of light, humanity was plunged into a hiatus of astonishment, depression and exhilaration. In the face of universal suicide through the symbiotic reality of masculine entelechy, humanity has been forced to question the continuation of gendered supremacy. This fifty year hiatus has been defined by a choice between revolutionary chaos or an ordered planetary annihilation through gendered apotheosis. Survival has stimulated cognition and revolution: that which would destroy us must be deposed - . The revolution is gendered. The outcome unknown.

The symbiotic relationship between masculine, neuter and feminine genders has undergone a violent wrenching of cognitional reality. The past is undergoing a process of deconstruction with history rewritten to include rather than suppress feminine accomplishments and contributions. The neuter genders have positioned themselves viably within the hierarchy of revolutionary change. Under attack, the masculine has become schizophrenic and paranoiac in the realization that the only way to regain control is to subvert the appearance of evolutionary reality. We live in a time of chaos with the masculine and feminine obsessed with re-creating and reprising the past and the gendered neuter demanding viability within the symbiotic Now. We are at war with the god of our fathers. If the human experiment is to continue, He must be eliminated from the symbiotic equation, the past defined and this new epoch created in gender parity. Let the masculine have the past with its gods and redundant birthrights - . For this he must forsake intellectual apotheosis and enter into cognizant reality in full and equal partnership within the gendered Whole.

The triarchy of masculine gendered reality continues to dominate this fifty year hiatus. Though humanity knows there has occurred vital and essential change at the very core of cognizance, war, religion and commerce continue patriarchal control of cognitional entelechy. This triarchy, with its fabric of mores and metaphors, has maintained symbiotic absolutism throughout epochal time with entrenchment so profound as to seem insuperable. Radical feminism, however, has made deep fissures and the traditional symbiosis has begun to break down. An inversion has also begun to alter the triumvirate itself. An epochal change has occurred. A new reality is being born.

Since 8/6/45, humanity has existed within the solipsistic freedom of the suicide's choice to live or die. In Time-Finite, a new symbiosis is being formed, man-kind displaced, the death of gods. Humanity is on the edge. Either a new entelechy will be provoked or the Experiment will end.

As we struggle to shed our epochal skin, split the protective and procrustean chrysalis, jettison the propulsive force whose prolonged embrace would destroy us, it is incumbent to look out over the broad landscape of masculine gendered reality. Feminine infusion within these past fifty years gives some perspective to those areas within masculine orientation

willing to adjust to symbiotic evolution - and - those areas which have hardened and opacified their omnific control. Religion is, of course, the most obdurate and lies at the core of masculine entelechy. When man created God in order to reify himself in His image, he perverted the natural evolution of his gendered potential. By establishing this symbiotic inversion between himself and his idea of himself, a schism occurred within gendered masculine entelechy...a stunting and stultification. Of the three genders, the masculine seems pre-fixed and immutable - redundant and preponderant.... A blind actor on an unlighted stage. Isolated and solipsistic.

Age-old deceits and perversions are increasingly apparent within the triarchy: war and commerce prosper without benignancy in mechanical expectation while religion utilizes both in its increasingly malignant hypocrisy of divisiveness and hate.

This triarchy, once the viable center of gendered symbiosis, has become the Procrustes of myth foretold. Art and science, once engaged in symbiotic union within masculine entelechy, now exist as separate identities outside the masculine sphere of domination - and, because they lie outside, are suspect and threatening: Art no longer serves as meretricious pimp of patriarchal supremacy, nor science directed toward apotheosis. August 6th, 1945, shattered the ancient symbiosis finally and forever by actualizing choice: life or death - nascency or apotheosis. Masculine entelechy, as manifest reality, is disintegrating leaving only its hardcore triarchy to command obeisance: religious, military and commercial fundamentalism. Dominance is sustained by fear, threat and purchase. This final procrustean embrace must be broken.

By universal recognition of 8/6/45 as the Omega and Alpha in symbiotic gendered evolution, how magnificent would be our release from redundancy. The actual truths of science and the real truths of art would once again be engaged in symbiotic viability rather than as threats and chattels of a dying entelechy.

Science and art - neuters in gendered cognition - are its linchpins. Neither masculine nor feminine, they are the purveyors of truth. Throughout the epoch of Masculine entelechy, the triarchy achieved magnificence during its peaks of symbiotic benignance: masculine, feminine and neuter in functioning cognitional harmony. Under masculine solipsistic dominance these high points have been minimal, fragile and transcendent. Procrustes slumbered. Like a railroad track, Art and Science in binary relativity have given testimony to gendered evolution; by their evidence do we see the successes and failures of the human experiment. Humanity at its most syntonic evolves in gendered parallelism without distortion or hegemony.

As masculine entelechy is personified by the triarchy of Religion, War and Commerce, the feminine, through symbiotic allegiance, has been identified as distaff, mother and chattel. Species survival has, until 8/6/45, flourished within this symbiosis and, through the birth and death birth and death patterned repeat of masculine gendered entelechy, Time seemed infinite. As long as the binary parallelism existing between masculine and feminine continued in solipsistic linearity, masculine dominance would prevail. This blind assumption did not reckon with neuter volatility within the symbiotic mix. As male and female neutrality lies between male and female sexuality so, too, does the neutrality of Science and Art lie between masculine and feminine genders.

As Art and Science reflect and mimic each other's achievements with prophetic results, so to do the gendered entelechies of masculine and feminine reflect and mimic each other within a meliorating evolution through linear time. As Art foretold the eventuation of Science, so has the feminine reflected and defined the masculine. His death was in his birth. By actualizing feminine entelechy the masculine evolved a solipsistic syntax for control within the gendered symbiosis while developing the mechanics and methods for survival in a hostile environment. By force and mimicry the masculine established dominance: Feminine Spirit was actualized into dogmatic religion which has served to constrain feminine power and establish a perverted masculine surrogacy over birth and creation. Since 8/6/45 there has been a struggle to re-create and reconstitute human entelechy in an environment no longer threatening from without but rather from within. In an aversion to masculine apotheosis, the feminine is asserting itself to continue species evolution through finite time. Born in fear and controlled by fear, the landscape of human consciousness continues to be constricted by masculine solipsistry: chronic religious wars and conflicts, territorial greed, pretentious contact sports, incessant and unremitting advertising...the triarchy persists in postured exaggeration.

As the struggle evolves and a new epoch is born, the neuter has attained unaccustomed freedom. Employed by the masculine for his evolving entelechy, the aborted apotheosis and abrupt shift in concepts of time from infinite to finite has unleashed a force no longer indentured. Art, being by nature prophetic, has existed within a kind of free-floating state for twice the time of Science. (It is interesting, however, that since 8/6/45 the triarchal head of Commerce has with some success managed to retain its servitude.) It is the Science of technology that has created this Age of Miracles. It is as though by denying (or postponing) Science its role as executioner of apotheosis it has, through technological apology, created an explosion of dazzling brilliance. Unacknowledged by a dead religion still searching for Lazarus and chronically threatened by neutered truth, the miracles of technology also challenge War's egocentricity and gender aggrandizement. War has increasingly become neuter-oriented much in the same vein as commerce - through feminine transfusion. From the Korean War, which occurred at the beginning of finite time, to the Persian Gulf War, which took place forty years later, War was transformed from a reaffirmation of masculine values and authenticity to an exposition of technological astonishments: neutered and ascendant. Denied apotheosis, Masculine entelechy is being absorbed into a neutered symbiosis of parellelism.

The end of history? The question smacks of masculine solipsistry. We are within the nascency of a new age, a new concept of time, a new symbiotic entelechy. We must ask new questions - .

A meliorating evolution is in process and humanity is in hiatal crisis between life and death and life. Masculine egocentrism has prescripted an afterlife; Symbiotic Parallelism envisions a life after mankind. The first requires the death of Life; the second the death of Procrustes. Two alternatives: the first very actual and the second very real.

As long as the means for universal Suicide exists, Life evolves in hiatus through finite time. Humanity has become totally responsible for the mirable of Life in its continuance. In the face of this, god withers...and in a very real sense apotheosis has occurred. Mankind is free to enjoin itself in a new symbiotic entelechy - parallel and syntonic. The date 8/6/45 should be enshrined in human cognizance as the death of Mankind and the beginning of Humanity... A new epoch.

It is 1995. Five years until the Christian millennium and fifty years since the annihilation of Hiroshima. The condition of humanity is toxic, poisoned by an entelechy redundant and untransmuted...corrupting and corrupt. Mankind, unremitting and unregenerate, has become an inversion of procrustean intent: the triarchy is destroying itself. In a protracted hiatus of apotheosis postponed, commerce is consuming the pretensions and personae of religion and war leaving a Janus of hypocracy, Procrustean trafficker in fear and greed.

As this perception becomes ever more cognitional, its actuality manifest, masculine solipsistry denied, its prophetic eventuation becomes ever more caricatured - morbific and mordant, aberrant and anachronistic, invasive and pervasive. Pre-millennialism is rampant, still promising rapture and damnation. The politics of reversal and denial are in ascendancy...

Blinded by Fear and Suffocating in angst, we refuse to establish the one signpost which could save us all: Hiroshima 8/6/45. Dies Irae and Deus ex machina.

The triarchy must be forced to confess its suicide. A new epoch has begun.

And what of Art? Over-shadowed by technology and constrained by commerce, it seems vestigial and mimetic in this age of miracles, serving as distaff to science in gendered neuterality. And what of Feminine gendered entelechy? What then of Humanity's evolving Spirit? What then of Art?

As Science expands actual truth through the means and miracles of technology, Art seems unable to command its true equivalency. As Hubble looks out toward the very beginnings of the universe, Art must look deep into Feminine entelechy for its own essentiality within the concepts of finite time. If, as it seems, a meliorating evolution is progressing, then a feminine primus interpares is nascent; and with the death of procrustean religionism, Feminine Spirituality is released. Is it, perhaps, Art's purpose to define and configure the mysteries of this repressed and muted essence, to give persona and presence to this buried truth? Heretofore this essence, this spirit, this truth has been revealed in moments of ecstasy - profound religious or aesthetic experiences wherein an opacity suddenly becomes transparent and revelation occurs: a cosmic orgasm...a miracle. Art, from its earliest manifestations through its most opaque servitude in masculine entelechy to contemporary autotelism can be judged authentic only in terms of its capacity for transparency. Historicity means nothing. Originality means nothing. Authorship or ownership mean nothing - only its capacity for transparency. Throughout the ages and isms of linear time, Art's personae have reflected the shifting tastes and tableaux of their coeval existence. These surface perceptions often have great historical and anthropological information; however, the denser the first plane of perception, the more opaque and difficult the transmutation from object to experience. Even the most, supposedly, autotelic works are burdened by the opacities of technique and culture hype, procrustean in motive and intent. And most works are only surface manifestations with little or no capacity for transparency and transcendence. These works simply are until they aren't, leaving a few, oh so few, windows to Feminine ethos: to reality and truth.

Suppressed, patronized and feared, this ethos - this ethic - this sublime clarity has been carried, protected and hidden within works of Art. Undiluted and volatile, it is Creation itself; exhilarating and liberating and awesome in its revelation. The more authentic the work of art, the more imbued with Feminine entelechy...the more astute and articulate the artist, the more transparent the access and profound the experience.

The Feminine, whether actualized as Female or realized transcendentally, has been protected and exploited throughout evolutionary time, treated primarily as vassal and vessel within masculine solipsism; the miracle of birth, subservient to the sacredness of sperm. . .the subjective experience subverted by objective worth. This relationship between masculine and Feminine evolved virtually intact until this century and then shifted drastically on 8/6/45. Though parity has not been achieved, self-recognition is progressing at an astonishing pace (this is also true of the gendered neuter) and the diagonal hegemony of masculine control is moving toward symbiotic parallelism. This creates a climate both curious and problematic: As Feminine entelechy actualizes, what then of Art? Will it devolve into a kind of usage - propaganda for an increasingly fragmented and divergent society? A merging with technology into a single gendered neutrality functioning with pragmatic opacity in the satisfying of evolving sensuous need? As this fifty year hiatus progresses through finite time, there is increasing evidence that as masculine superiority is challenged and feminization occurs, Science (technology) becomes ever more miraculous and neutralizing: Feminine entelechy will soon share the once unique power of reproduction with the entelechy of Science. Gender identities are in flux - no longer absolute within the human equation. As the Feminine neutralizes Masculine hegemony, Science is neutralizing the Feminine. What then of Art?

If the miracle of Creation is being regendered and actualized into the miracles of Science, what becomes of the liberating ecstasies of Art? What of transparencies and transcendence? What of the Spirit? Has precognitional apotheosis precluded Art's purpose - its raison d'être ? As Symbiotic parallelism evolves, will Art become merely the vehicle for an opaque communication? If the epicenter of Feminine entelechy can be produced in a test-tube, does this serve to destroy the entire entelechy or, as the death of Masculine procrustean triarchy has served, to integrate Masculine entelechy into Symbiotic Parallelism?

I believe that Art, authentic in its entelechy of transparency and transcendence, will flourish throughout Time Finite as it has flourished throughout infinite time. And that as Hubble seeks out the beginnings of Time, the artist - if he indeed be an artist - will continue to probe cognizance for the miracle of Creation.

We are an evolving mystery - a braided circlet of parallel threads twisted and tied into a gordian knot of perplexing simplicity. On the Sixth of August Nineteen Hundred and Forty-Five in a Japanese city named Hiroshima the solution of Alexander was proffered in penultimate predation. Thus far humankind has rejected this solution and for the past fifty years has involved itself in an intensified struggle to untie or at least record the knotted threads. Even the most orthodox and fundamental of religionists seem not quite ready for Rapture and apotheosis. We live in hiatus knowing that everything has changed, but not knowing what. It is a time of exaggeration. The Christian millennium fervor verges on hysteria with fundamentalists trying to revert, convert and invert with procrustean zest. Science, not employed as the sword for the ultimate severing solution, has become the well-spring for an astonishing shower of technological miracles, obliterating all but the most fundamental differences between the sexes allowing for a new and liberating parallelism devoid of hegemonic masculine supremacy. Art, struggling to retain viability in a hyper-actualized climate, has hardened its fundamental identities of precious chattel and valued propagandist. Both poses are redundant and hypocritical.

On the verge of a new century, a new millennium, a new epoch, I cannot imagine a more thrilling and challenging time to be an artist. The entire human experiment is in flux.

As the Holocene epoch ends, humankind has conquered its planet and is now in absolute control of its destiny. It can exist or not exist. No more "God's Will" - no more excuses. No more dogma or "God's word." The prophecies have been fulfilled. Mankind has delivered the future to parallelism. Art entelechies must be equal, including the entelechy of the planet itself.

By its own law of survival, Darwinism is being replaced by a new Law of Connectedness, and professions that promote and advance masculine hegemony recisioned: War surrogate Sports, militant religionism...all manifestations of Procrustes, recisioned.

As parallelism evolves, so too will new myths and metaphors evolve within a new construct of essentiality. We mourn the loss of war because we mourn the loss of patriarchy because we mourn the loss of god, the death of god and all his metaphors.

We live in an age of miracles; a renaissance of human entelechy wherein courage wears a different face. Our new heros will not be killing each other in the names of god and country building an ever increasing density of separation and hate. Rather, they will be destroying the masks and songs of Procrustes: Nasrin, Faulkner, Meinhold, Dunning, Hill - New heros for a new age...a new epoch of syntonic evolution.

As the heros and martyrs of hiatal time gradually shift cognizance from the masculine actual to the Feminine real, the evolving persona of art seems unfocused: its gendering unclear... Feminine entelechy liberated by the Masculine apotheosis of 8/6/45 must now define self as an entity within an evolving symbiotic Parallelism. As Feminine entelechy resolves into definition, so too will the Face of Art.

 

 

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