Monday, November 14, 2011

Arts and Psyche in the City

I've made a proposal for a presentation this summer at a conference on Arts and Psyche:

The Power of Fugitive Materials:
I have been working with ephemeral and fugitive materials for my whole life. The sacred is often hidden in the common and the fleeting. As a rustic furniture maker for 25 years I enchanted people with beauty and utility from “brush”. As a sculptor, now I whittle away at river-worn bark pieces to reveal the hiding s’elves within. I believe there is an old human need to know that the gods are within everything. It was the disgraced Gospel of Thomas that said: Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

In the wound is the healing: a hands-on workshop in active imagination
Artist/teacher Daniel Mack introduces his notion of The Four Needs of the Imagination: Stories, Awe, The Carnal and Dexterity. He then uses a short trance/meditation to start an exercise to encounter other parts of our s’elves through fast collage work with natural and found fugitive materials making what he calls “Imaginal Trading Cards.” People make several visual ID cards, reflecting their preferred and deferred selves. These fit nicely in those plastic ID badge holders. One card starts with a bandaid to help visualize the wounds we all carry. Information on versions of this same workshop:

Daniel Mack is an artist with trees and other natural materials and has been studying the work of Carl Jung for over 30 years. He has been teaching at The Omega Institute since 1996 and is now carving hundreds of figures from bark he collects along the banks of the Hudson River. He calls them “anima”. He has presented at The Nature and Human Nature Conference at the Pacifica Institute and writes for various archetypally-oriented journals. More on all this at

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