Rents have doubled in the last 3-6 years in Washtenaw County

Rents have doubled in the last 3-6 years in Washtenaw County

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Landlords have been known to come in and buy new properties and want higher and higher rents to increase their profits.  It happened in New York City where there was less ownership and a severely unbalanced economy where the public’s paycheck or where the median income was about $40,000 and the rents on the cheap end were $1600 and all the way sky high up to even $10,000 per month if you rented a pent house.

The point is the economy starts to unbalance when all the greed streams in via rentals and student exploitation and all of a sudden there is a marginalized population that doesn’t make it over the bar who has to either move or becomes homeless.   Washtenaw County  just experienced rapid rent growth in Ypsilanti where a  woman may have rented a $500-$600 apartment 6 years ago and now is faced with lows that are in the thousands-rents have doubled.    One land lady sold her building and right away the new landlord wanted to raise the rents  over and over and never stopped wanting more for the building.

I am appealing to Washtenaw County Leadership, we need to set up an “Office of Fee Inquiry” that sets prices that are fair and in keeping with the economy.  There are now not  affordable rents for students in Ypsilanti. Students have to double up and triple up to afford an apartment.  There are also extremely high rents in Ann Arbor around the University of Michigan.

It is predicted that rents will ruin this county making it unaffordable or unappealing to study and an unbalanced economy may make the poor even poorer.   Most student jobs only pay $8-$10 an hour.  If you look on craigslist at rents and at employment you will see a dramatic difference between low wages and high rents which are incompatible.  Wages didn’t go up, rents doubled. We have a problem with the economy.  In a city like Ypsilanti where rents really should be $300, $400, $500, $600ish-things are $1000, $1050, $1300, $1650.  The average student cannot work full time and even if he did work full time would earn ~$1280 at $8.00 per hour which would suggest he could afford perhaps a $250 or $300 rent. The current housing situation is not realistic.

What happened in New York after rents skyrocketed should really be a lesson for us all.  We need a place that will cap and price rents so that greed does not take over and before things like homelessness start to really become a problem.  We need to place caps and laws on landlords not to ruin our economy.  Washtenaw County is getting ruined.

 

 

 

Architectural Design and Interior Notes #1

Architectural Design and Interior Notes #1

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

Set of your life!

Design your holidays in original house design, when choosing wall surfaces and chair colors etc., choose ones that go with holidays, set up holiday and rehearse, formula for a happy life, never stop celebrating holidays, coast from holiday to holiday, plan around calendar

Mints, green, cedar walls, gold printed tiles, reds, toile print wall paper, drummer boy wall paper,

Crispy fantasy blues, magenta and green

Gold printed wall tiles with wood wainscoting, red chairs, holiday magic, golden food, and golden light, golden room

Christmas house sculpted toy furniture, horses, flowers, hand painted, thick woods,

Cottage-Cerulean blue hand painted toy furniture

Bavarian Furniture

Design rooms for nice photography

Nice backdrops, nice dramatic scenes

Shingles, exterior designs, awnings, shutters, face and sweeten house

Change siding for shingles or new material

Turn a baby house into a wood cabin with cedar interior

 

4 buffet tables -drinks, appetizers, main course, deserts, basic scaffolding for easy entertaining

Steam cabinets with plated and ramekins and replacements for buffet

Reach in-retail drink display refrigerators for a store

Display cabinets for desserts

Muffin cups with candies

 

Display cabinets for art

Scent room with cedar on walls or cedar chips outdoors

Interesting Signage

Home Sweet Home

Black boards in dining room to announce menu or season or notes

Nooks custom built or buy wooden nooks with benches and install

Many places to roam inside and outside

Private quarters for parents with den

Knock down walls; take a whole room for a closet and personal wardrobe

Pagoda couches

Indoor & outdoor fireplaces

Fire pits

Golden light

Build a room on the river

Boat Garages

Children’s rooms, clean child- washer machine, steamer, ironing board, smart child-office, book shelf

Adding balconies with ease

Develop a water front

Indoor pools safer

Large pieces of agate

Wallpapers for drama, to add color

Murals in pool rooms jungle scenes, café scenes, bike scenes with stationary bicycles in front

Planning library

Give house a claim to fame-make homemade donuts for example or a sport or something distinct that is associated to the house

Plant troughs, indoor gardens, indoor fruit trees, sprout farms

Exercise rooms

Sunset Life

Build long apartment like children’s rooms with their own piano, office, balcony, walk in closet, bookshelf, bathroom and a laundry

Saunas

Track around property line for exercise etc. depending on property

Patterned carpets and wall to wall kilim carpets

Rugs on the wall

Fireplaces and fireplace mantel shopping to value house

Valuation

Tennis courts

Boats

Pull Barns

Professional Gardens and Farmer style Gardens

Green houses

Indoor gardens

Professional Christmas tree decorations

Outdoor fabric Begonias

Outbuildings, A Frame Houses for camping on your land

Make this house a bird house!

Vistas and panoramas

Professional chef equipment

Croquet

Stages, theatrical settings

Underground passageways

3 tier above and below a garage

Art studios and planning crafts

Christmas duvets

Architecture is voyeurism

Sacred

Screening room

A safe room for manuscripts etc.

A kiln and ceramic studio

Frame textiles

Fiber pieces

Paintings and drawing of family members

Music stands and chairs

Drawing horses and easels and chairs

Baby grands

Old organs

Pizza ovens

Music

Ethnic and travels

Access to water

Over-sized claw foot tubs

Roller rinks

Ice skating rinks

Hot tubs

Collecting dishes

Stained glass

Tiled stair fronts (PR or Spanish style)

Costume closet

Flannel shirts, flannel pajamas, flannel sheets

Brick work

Marble baking counters

Terrazzo

Tile work

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Approach to Art Making #2

An Approach to Art Making #2

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

Art could be divided into groups such as:  supply, craft and manufacturing artist.

Supply relates to those things derivative of materials and supplies that could be purchased, for example, from an art supply store.  A good example of a supply oriented art work may be one that incorporates nibs, brushes and ink like Oriental Paintings or Bonsai garden paintings with fan brushes or outdoor art stations.

Craft may be things oriented to craftsmanship, from an artisan or may even be home spun. Examples may be things like burning into leathers, making candles, or a bricklayers training in tile, marble and terrazzo and making monuments or perhaps building engraved picture frames, cake decoration, or making clay monsters, or a holiday decoration or a cut out turkey made of paper or maybe some type of whittler.

A Manufacturing Artist may make sophisticated art works in a studio or factory based environment inclusive of sculptural works or electronic works or even professional frescoes via fresco printers and architectural works or installations or programmatic/technological works, or even the museum itself and mostly extremely fine art and almost all high art.

Culture is another distinct road in approaches to art making.  Dedication to culture may inspire one to develop a culture or work on a subculture.  An artist may become concerned with cultural branding or contributing an aspect of art or art practice that develops their communities culture.  A cultural offering may set the tone for a business or enterprise or an organization, branding it and guiding its organizational epistemology or setting the tone for employees.

High art practice is often engaged in a curatorial based art making where a group of artists may utilize the same photo to curate a group exhibition.  The photos are sometimes based on iconic imagery or indicative of an era.  Groups of artists and curators may form a temporary or permanent collective group.

What a scholar might find really riveting, that is perhaps buried now is the initial use or heading of “The Arts” that was inclusive of science etc.  In the early days of education there were three subject’s religion, the arts and medicine.

Use of acronyms in art can be a way of “big talking” -small or formulaic. Acronyms like “HISS” that means “highlight, spotlight and showcase” become important or acronyms like “Quepine” that means “Question, Proverb and News” can be used for art making.

Black Magic is also indicative of a kind of wielding or wizardry or technology use or logic. Black magic use can be something like programming things with thoughts by thinking over them, or digging holes or making connections between objects or talking to things or taking readings or working with numbers like 81 as Magic and Flight where you see in the eight a Spider and the one, a wing.  Black Magic brings as James Baldwin coined it, “force vitale,” to art among other things much like the Chinese technique of calling “chi” or soul or “charming,” or animating like placing eyes on something.

One may draw a right angle with a diagonal cross thread through to create an art technique using perhaps era or time.Its possible to grid or work on a time based series using a right angle quick method.

“Era and Charm,” incorporates a black magic technique and has been very successful for making things like teapots.

Another interesting technique used by artists is “what does that make you think of?”  This technique has to do with when you ask continuous questions of yourself or someone else leading to a trail of words away from a root word.  For example if I said I have an apple, what does that make you think of?  You said red, and then I said what does red make you think of?  You said blood etc. and on and on and connected the trail back to apple to ascertain some unique, hidden, connected or passive meaning.  With this dialog one would begin to build their art works from a kind of “art game playing.”

Another breakthrough in technology that has gotten into art is “the feed.”  The feed has to do with when you send through a host, an agent or program that could be music or an emotion etc. Feeds or programs are particularly interesting in textile printing where a print may be made distinct when it is impacted by a program and made for example exciting or sensual, animated or dotted.

Perhaps a breakthrough in approaches to art making is the “eclectic gallery district,”or the placement of art or the combining of supply, craft, manufacturing art etc.  All the usual pomp of art but inclusive of perhaps a “home sweet home sign maker” or portrait district or maker galleries or antiques or fiber arts or a variety of textile galleries-eclecticism in art may also be a mainstay. Eclecticism in art may create greater ability of “treasure trove,” and individuality within the home or arts final destination.

Really ultimately what makes or can make a really good fine artist is lots and lots of programs, lots and lots of technology. Artech can be many things including sound technologies or opera voice pieces, or holograph technology or film modulation technology etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You build it, you make it

You build it, you make it

By, Afua Osei-Bonsu

The abstract manufacturer that desires for example “peace” and comes to realize that peace has tangibility, you can build it, and you can make it.  Other things are tandem with peace like humanity becomes also something tangible that you build and make or a community builder-tangible, you build and make it. Even science often concerned with the search for discovery and the study of the natural world at times could use a build/make formula-if it is necessary one does not need to look for it, but to create it fresh.  Caring, you build it, you make it.  Values you build them, you make them.  Quality, you build it, you make it.

 

 

The Big Houses

The Big Houses

The 250 room palace was so big

He lived a low quality life

A man and his super computer

One spermy room and 300 house cleaners

But he was old and with alot of possessions

He mostly went between 3 rooms, the kitchen, the spermy room and a scientists lab and of course the bathroom

Primarily a storage unit

 

Shortly after she built the palace

To keep up with the former richest man in the world

He built 250 rooms, so she built 251

She was defamed for trying to run over a child her lover fancied

She became impoverished

Cars and clothing palace garage sales, a porn star, strange websites-a true story

Attempted murders to take over the house by workers

And house keepers

 

 

The architect nation

Absent of cleaners

Presidents asking around to other countries, will your people clean for us?

They were sold burdens and suffering technology

And advised to make “units” of work for citizens and equanimity

 

 

 

Excerpt from upcoming book “Divine My Body, Architectural Notes 2014-2016”

By Afua Osei-Bonsu

An Approach to Art Making #1

An Approach to art making can include diverse formulae. One such formula may root an art work in “research.” A body of research may form the foundation of an art work. A “rich” art work may result from a body of research.  Research may need to employ writing, to develop the art work or art works.  Without writing, it is difficult to have the dialog one needs to be engaged with an art work-before and after the art work. Research may also involve data collection or formal methods employed by scientists in, for example social methods or qualitative methods or quantitative research methods. An artist may also utilize methods in investigative journalism.

A second road may be a formula such as “Quepine (QPN),” Question, Proverb and News. Quepine can be a divine formula for beauty or knowledge or beauty from knowledge. Quepine is a formula that may result in sacred art works and make an artist wise. Quepine can root a subject matter in history by attaching it to news. News is history. Giving a subject history gives it depth and a road to travel on in time.  News has been a theme in art for along time.  News is used in wax print textiles, art, and music of certain cultures, especially African cultures, who may name a baby or feature a notable from the news.  In some of African music, the news may be right in the music. A small rural village, may become reliant on musicians to convey the news to the people via songs.  Also, some art schools, taught “news” as a way of plucking from current events, subjects relevant to the human condition as was done by a student colleague from the Parisian E’cole de Beaux Arts.  Human condition is not exclusive to the news, but it is a worthy method.  Human Condition was taught, perhaps, as a notch from existentialism and existentialism is perhaps “the root of art.”

Why this writer believes that existentialism is “the root of art”  is the relationship to “art” of the word in “Crackiola,”  “are-tea,” or  “our essence” or the “I AM” which was used by many super computers and by the Chinese Manufacturers.  The English language breaks down into codes and root systems.  Secondly, many crucial areas in art are easily organized around existentialism or the “I AM,” such as history, human condition, social, observational, humanitarian and so on.  Drawing, painting, sculpting and photography etc. may all be existential.

-Existentialism

“Planning” may also be something that architects utilize to build houses and could be a word that artists need. This writer was explained how an architect may have a very detailed and specific set of plans to build an exact design precisely and swiftly with all the electrical outlets etc. An artist may make “plans.” An art work based on plans may have an interesting result that is often mechanical or electrical or structural. Computer Aided Drafting may be utilized.

Recently, this writer was asked “what are your goals?” and “how will you design your studio?” right after. It was asked in a sewing class and functioned like an epiphany, the student began to develop this wild list of “sewing goals.”

If one picked up a good newspaper or a selection of newspapers and thought about say for example “world peace” or integrated social elements into ones goals their studio may take a different turn. What if one had an “umbrella” under which they were working from? An artist’s umbrella.

-Goals

– Studio Design

-Umbrella

“Technique” is the fourth road. Technique provides endless possibility. Most art schools provide students with strong technique backgrounds, which always serve an artist.  An artist may choose to  hinge their art work on a technique and be infinite within it.  Technique can be powerful when coupled with for example, “history.” Students of art may also embark on an existential path that explores diverse techniques.

“Studies” are another road that was used in Nikolai Gogol’s book “Diary of a Madman.” Studies can provide a context for future works or larger works or thumbnails or for manifestation.  With studies, one may take it apart in many ways, to ascertain many diverse things. Studies may lead to problem solving or product design or anything in the realm of possibility. Studies may serve government and help people to bridge gaps and jump over fences. In Gogol’s book, “Diary of a Madman,” his main character was engaged in studies and posted an ad in the newspaper to solicit clients for his portraiture.

-Research

-Quepine

-Planning (as in Architecture)

-Technique

-Studies

In the presence of writing an art work can literally fall- “when it falls.” When one is writing a book, for example and illustrating pages, drawings are easily pulled from text.

However, most art works are “site specific.” An artist can search for a locale, build a locale or create a site specific work of art.  Recently an artist went to plan an exhibition and recognized this phenomenon- that in fact an art work is almost always “site specific.” Or an art work can be adapted to a space and remade.

Another intersection I find very meaningful is “custom design,” for the artist and for the designer.  Custom design, commissions and site specific art works, bare a relationship. There is a necessity in art to think about space.

Custom Design may be very relevant to artists who in turn may pursue credentials from multidisciplinary design programs such as “MDP” in the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan.  Custom design may involve manufacturing, technology or systems design mixed with art works. For example “Church Pop,” may be installed in a house or perhaps a fiber art wall installation or a sound system. An artist may need to be an engineer. An artist’s ability to manifest their ideas has often been incongruent. But the creativity of an artist may place on paper, a vision for an entire city or even in exhibition unveil viable ideas to solve the world’s problems.

-When it falls

-Site Specific

-Custom Design

Or in the Middle East it has been said, to employ “finery techniques,” that “fine art should be fine.”  In the Middle East it is commonplace for a lot of people to reside in palaces, which would further create a desire for finery, or art that is compatible with the local architecture.

At Central Academy of Fine Art in China, they are painting birds and flowers-not exclusively. It was said to me by a Chinese Artist that “birds are always beautiful.” If you choose a beautiful subject, the result is almost always beautiful.

-Finery

Art Relevant Juncture has also to do with relevance itself. It was said to this artist that she has a “relevant” art work. That “the more relevant, perhaps the better the art,” was said by someone from the University of Michigan.

Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

(Excerpt from “Art Relevant Juncture,” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu based on her research about art.

Applies Philosophy to Social Questions: Professor Frithjof Bergmann

Professor Frithjof Bergmann:
Applies Philosophy to Social Questions
By Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu
A gruff sounding Philosophy Professor Emeritus from the University of Michigan, born in Saxony Germany on December 24, 1930, on Christmas Eve, was called upon for interview, Frithjof Bergmann. Bergmann holds his  PHD from Princeton University and taught formerly at the University of California Berkeley, University of California Santa Cruz and Stanford University.
Bergmann said in regards to students coming into his class, “that above all what I want from a student is curiosity.” Bergmann described Philosophy as, “the most unbound way of thinking, you can discuss anything, no limits, no fences.”
When I searched “Frithjof Bergmann” online a range a philosophers popped up including: Karl Marx, Arthur Schopenhauer, Immanuel Kant, Meister Eckhart, Theodor Adorno, Martin Heidegger and Georg Wilhem Freidrich Hegel. Bergmann studied under Walter Kaufman at Princeton, who he recommended reading. Bergmann wrote his dissertation on “Harmony and Reason, An Introduction to The Philosophy of Hegel.”
Bergmann also recommended reading “Nietzsche” of whom he is a scholar. Nietzsche is a German Philosopher, Cultural Critic, Poet and Composer. About Nietzsche, Bergmann wrote, “Nietzsche’s Critique of Morality,” on Oxford University Press in 1988.
Bergmann, in about 2003, in Ann Arbor Michigan, lectured on his organization “New Work.” Bergmann spoke as often did Gandhi about doing “what you really, really want to do” and also about the world being at that time in about 80% poverty. Bergmann had decided to turn his focus to poverty and still now in 2015, he was guided in this interview by that early “big topic” of poverty.
Bergmann said, “Many jobs will be eliminated and how to solve the problem of division between rich and poor was one of my main topics.”
Bergmann’s publications include “On Being Free,” and “New Work, New Culture.” His book “New Work, New Culture,” deals with his research on “how to solve huge problems with resources, climate, poverty and reorganizing work in drastic fundamental ways.”
New Work got legs in about 1983 or 1984 and has grown since then. Many places and countries have realized ideas from New Work. This year Bergmann is preparing for trips to India, Russia, Europe, and Africa to see how ideas from New Work can be put into practice. Bergmann is concerned with: “new roles in manufacturing, the role of working and the role of culture.”
Back in 2003, Bergmann was in South Africa building these incredible architectural “dome” structures. He described spraying concrete on  huge balloons to get these gigantic domes that when dried could serve communities and modern architecture. The images of the domes Bergmann was building, were in harmony with this wild architecture, from the Austrian Artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser, who built right into the sides of hills, where as Bergmann’s architecture appeared to be hills.
When Bergmann lands in Michigan, he teaches at The University of Michigan courses on Existentialism and Continental Philosophy. Bergmann answered, when asked about what is a good application of philosophy, “social questions.”
Bergmann said, “Teaching is wonderful, if your students love you and teaching is horrible if your students hate you.”
Bergmann described, The University of Michigan Philosophy for teaching as “serious teaching” and that philosophy teaches how to “…get to the bottom of things, unmask and be good at critical thinking.”
Bergmann, a professor and political activist is also credited as one of the creators of the teach-in.
“One of the first teach-in’s was held at the University of Michigan Campus in March 1965.”Frithjof Bergmann Photo copy