Happy & Existential Birthday to Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu May 28, 2019

Happy & Existential Birthday to Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu May 28, 2019

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

This year I was planful about my journey forward which is one of my favorite pastimes.

I thought I would craft an original career as a scholar, artist, international teacher, diplomat and author.

I envisioned teaching parts of the year abroad.  I imagined myself either starting a school, running a department, or teaching a semester here and a semester maybe in Ghana or Mexico.

I adopted the new vision to be an “international teacher.”

The other thought I had was how an artist succeeds.  I think there are plucking grounds for ripe and primed artists via artist residencies.  I was at the Studio Museum in Harlem and The Saatchi Gallery showed up to see artists in residence.  In Europe, there are residencies like the Rijksakademie that also connect artists to European galleries.  Artists in art residencies have completed BFA and MFA, have a body of graduate and professional work, professional studio-they are vetted artists and ripe for the picking.  Also their associates within these programs are other artists that become colleagues and make introductions and form their creative circle.  You get mentorship at residencies that polish the artist.  Perhaps that is something someone like me should do, both go to residencies or perhaps run one in Michigan or in Ghana.

What I think galleries do or should do is keep databases of their groups or pools of artists and keep building on these artist profiles and send them briefs for appropriate shows.  So artists are revolving in different shows.

We need in America more residencies for artists where artists are connected to galleries.  There are new emerging markets for online art sales like with the Saatchi Gallery that are pursuing high and low strategies and price points with print and original sales-where everyone walks out with something.

One thing that many art departments failed to recognize is the need for art writing to bring art to life where the viewer has more information and ability to engage.  The Sotheby’s Institute has an online certificate course in art writing.

I am still having many thoughts about giving and philanthropy.  There need to be backbones in communities.  You have to know when not to be poor but to find a way to make yourself rich because you’re the backbone.  When you need to provide jobs and shouldn’t stop thinking until you have achieved appropriate wealth and vision strategy.  When you have not occasional monies, but regular monies and look to models like the Salvation Army that runs big thrift stores to power shelters etc.

I am thinking about successful systems.  I am thinking about when art provides  “ideas and inspiration” and when art is “functional” and provides a viable solution to a problem or then, is it no longer art?

An existential birthday for me has been buying spiritual books every year around my birthday.  I got: “Ceremony,” by Leslie Marmon Silko, “The Masters and The Spiritual Path, Climb the Highest Mountain Series,” By Mark Prophet, “Foundations of the Path,” Mark. L. Prophet, “The Path to Attainment,” By Mark L. Prophet.

This year I gave myself a ton of gifts which was a thrill.  They are still on the way to me.  I got myself a “birthday shirt” which is light blue with daisy embroidery.  I ordered a bicycle pump and will start cycling again this season when it arrives.  I got a picture of the ocean. I got a risograph print from artist Ryan Molloy.  I got a piano theory book.  I played “Happy Birthday” on the piano several times.  I am attempting to memorize the notes.   I ordered three pairs of shoes, 2 summer sandals and a pair of green New Balance.  I got tart pans.  I baked and baked:  Brownies a la mode, peanut butter cookies, poppy seed muffins and lemon bars.  I got serving trays and a large bowl good enough for paella.  I imagined my future dinner parties.  I got a pink sheet.  I got a house cleaning house dress that is pastel/ carnation/ frosting colors.  I got a nightgown.  The nightgown reminded me of dogs and fireplaces.

My mother sent me some money.  Another friend in Chicago sent a blender for some margaritas.

I got Bruce Lee Video’s, Willy Wonka, vintage Disney, I got Chinese Music, some musicals and foreign language tapes.  I have been loving both cassette tape and videotape.  I got some plastic containers to organize my school work station.  I got a new curling iron.  I got some “Aveda Stress-Fix” oil perfume that smells divine.  I got rose water spray.

I applied to a writing program and researched another writing program and both filled me with the joy of anticipation.  I got a “Pocket Style Manual” by Diana Hacker (writing) that covers clarity, grammar, punctuation and mechanics, MLA/APA/Chicago/CSE, usage and grammatical terms.

I got an “Intermediate Algebra” book by D. Franklin Wright/Bill D. New.  I am a big fan of the highly useful algebra.  I thought about books, informational books, culturally defining books like “Castaneda” or “Wild Irish Rose” or “Arabian Nights.”  I thought about Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry.  I thought about placement within knowledge.  I am working on a book about Interdisciplinary Studies.  I thought about learning.  I thought about auditory then recognition in early learning and throughout life and in advertising, this strange link, how one comes to know, how one comes to have.  I thought about analysis and how it makes you way smarter.  There’s tacit knowledge, but there’s graduated and developed thought.  Becoming a thinker.

I started a book log this year.  Our local Ypsilanti library is recommending that children read about 1000 books a year.  I am aiming for longer books maybe 388 books this year.

Those are some of my main thoughts on this 2019 birthday.  I am really happy to be so peaceful and serene.  I spray rose water on my hair to catch the beauty of the rose to it.

Art Writing: Intellectualization in Art, An Existential Study

Intellectualization in Art, an Existential Study

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

The Wax Maquette

Place your hands inside the catalyst and imagine architectural space

If you close your eyes will you be stimulated to see something in the past, present or future

If you look inside, will you connect your design to the catalytic model

 

The Ouija board

Use the board to connect spiritually

Calling all spirits!

Either I am contacting the spirits or they are a con artist, let’s find out!

How will I know?

How the game connects you to a spiritual thought successfully

 

The two objects

Connecting two thoughts that make something

Together these two thoughts make something

Object writer

 

The placement of poetry

 

The bringing into thought

 

What do we know?

 

Thought Traveler

 

Eye control

 

The crest, the builder, the exaltation

 

Past, present, future

Bringing forward or sending behind or backwards

The new branding

To pull an image from the past to conjure the era in the present

To have the same thoughts, then to have a second thought

 

The look at thought world

The conjurer, the human designer, the condition, the desire, the provocation

The drop off, the ideals

 

The availability

Creating art in writing

Creating art in thought

The abstract manifestation

 

Art that you utilize, art that you keep thinking about

 

No money, no studio, still a maker

Available, resourceful, prosperous

Avenues of omissions

Reductionism

Condensed

The without becomes

The stripped down art may also become intellectualization

 

Resonance, the resonating after thought

Musical qualities, Bing! Bing! Bing! ______

 

What ultimately we learn from art

 

The reading

 

The mind pop

 

Your thought treasure, your thought treasure trove

 

The painting

Remembering, connecting points, transporting

Maybe you always find a connecting point

Maybe it triggers and you remember something from which you connected

 

Dignified has a look, compassion can also have a look

The values exhibition

 

 

Rule #1=You can control a little bit the thought in art to make the art.

Rule #2=You can control a little bit the eye in art, to guide the viewer and make the art.

 

 

Existentialism Exercises

Existentialism Exercises

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

The great “I AM”

Major players in existentialism:  the soul, art, life, GOD, all of existence, on and on to be everything

Art =Are-T or essence or perhaps the study of existentialism may be what art was meant to be

Some existential areas in art:  human condition, identity, force vitale, social, history, humanitarianism

Existential art teachings or studies or exercises-drawing, painting, sculpting, ceramics, fiber, graphic design, photography

The maker of the camera may be GOD

The essence of you, the soul of you, the essential system, how you came to exist, why you exist and how you exist, what is your condition within existence, the early preoccupation of man with the image of God and a lack of knowledge of himself or how he came to be

Existentialism came to be part beauty in the design of life, part explanation for a man ignorant in many ways of his life, part what may have been intended as life-a preoccupation with essential questions, one may assign a title such as GOD to an arbitrary or unknown or to answer an unanswered question or to fill a need that is unmet, for example if one needs someone and no one is there, many things came to be GOD, even dogs were thought to be GOD written backwards as loving and protectors and named after this omnipotent, or arbitrary or unknown or even known, some will call themselves or others GOD

The discovery of the soul:  The Hole, The Cough, The Light, The Lotion, The Parking Space, The Resume, The Blanket, The Shoe

The historical arts subjects or The Arts:  Medicine, Math, Astronomy

Scientific formula that is existential (eg. a pill):  What to be?  Where to go?  What to do? For how long?

MYW University-Make Your World

MOAU University-Making of a Universe

Sampling Studies, eyedropper

Hollow Penis, solid vagina

Negative mountain

Prosperous Zero

Falun Gong and Yoga practices, existential studies based on a life warrior or fighter or martial artist

Profession or to profess oneself something

Celebration of birth

Metaphysical, esoteric, apothecary

The Care of the Self

A child may ask his father what am I? He may say something like: “You are not a robot. You are 100% bio materials that are living materials and chips and a brain and a soul and organs which are bio materials and run their chips.  You have an animator and it keeps you alive. You have many fluids that lubricate and run your systems similar to a car.  You have a skeleton that maintains your shape.  You have lots of ability.  You are thinking, feeling and seeing. You have a brain tape.”

A spiritual and physical experience

 

Excerpt from upcoming book “Art Relevant Juncture,” by Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

 

 

Up to Snuff #18: The Human Condition

Up to Snuff #18 The Human Condition 2/18/2014

She wished to write

The definitive poem

About maturity

To rip the lollipops from their hands

And dissolve their selfishness

A writer she thought

A good writer should not

Be shitting in diapers

Or drinking the other persons drink

A writer needs maturity

Maturity is the pride of the arched back dog defecating

Maturity comes when you give up selfishness

Work Up-Is God a Designer?

Work Up  Is God a Designer?  

By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

God Design

New Species Design

The Art of Species, Chain of Beauty

Maplication of God

Maplication Subtitles

Creativity Religion

Original Creativity Outline

Briefs Structure

Creativity Theory

Original Tastes

Here’s Lettuce

And The Bird Is Made By Us

Sole Print Outline

Spiritual Time

Prosperous Zero

Self Realization

Humanitarian

Paradise Cities

Intensely Beautiful

Beauty Theory

A Fashion Show

 

 

An Approach to Art Making #1

An Approach to art making can include diverse formulae. One such formula may root an artwork in “research.” A body of research may form the foundation of an artwork.  “Rich” artwork may result from a body of research.  Research may need to employ writing, to develop the artwork or artworks.  Without writing, it is difficult to have the dialogue one needs to be engaged with an art work-before and after the artwork. 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 artworks and make an artist wise. Quepine can root a subject matter in history by attaching it to the 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 a long 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 the 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 supercomputers 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, the 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 artwork 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. The technique provides an endless possibility. Most art schools provide students with strong technical backgrounds, which always serve an artist.  An artist may choose to hinge their artwork on a technique and be infinite within it.  The 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 artwork can literally fall- “when it falls.” When one is writing a book, for example, and illustrating pages, drawings are easily pulled from the text.

However, most artworks 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, artwork is almost always “site-specific.” Or an artwork can be adapted to 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 artworks. 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

 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 the 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” artwork. 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.

“Happy and Existential Birthday” By, Afua Serwah Osei-Bonsu

A tall-ish woman with fluffy hair rolled and pinned up behind both ears, who we shall call Hara, was celebrating her birthday, both happy and existential. We call her Hara for her love of half cooked, half raw foods including Thai and Mexican. Early in the month, she began celebrating her birthday, pulling over to garage sales and purchasing miscellaneous treasures including a curling iron, hamburger shaping rings for grilling, a round white with azul painted filigree set of four Elizabethan Coat Hooks, a stack of cook books and bartending manuals. Things were found to make cocktails from the Virgin Islands, and a book of Recipes for a Michigan Christmas.
The Garage Sale prior, Hara found unopened stain removing detergents, a little black velvet purse, and a box of books on writing. She bought the detergent hoping to have special detergents for her Chef’s uniform jacket, color safe bleach for the olive embroidery of her name.
Almost home, she continued down a back street and pulled over to purchase a Puppy Manual, some kitchen utensils, and a brown leather purse with embossed floral detailing and braiding.
A few days later, Hara heard about a Book Sale at the library and rejoiced that for her birthday she would stock her library. At the Book Sale, she filled two large boxes that a library assistant helped her to cart to the back of her car. One box was filled with humanities subjects such as magic, fine paintings, Circus, a book on Korea, a rare book making book, 100 World’s Most Beautiful Paintings, Celebrity Caricature, The Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Songbook, an Iraqi Cook Book, The Calligraphy Source Book, Gaugin, Varga, Faces Fantasy Make Up, The Bible Portrayed, The Golden Age of Toys, The Nude in Art, and Victorian Portraits.
In the Second box she placed Sociological, Philosophical, Travel and Religious books which included: Back Roads and Byways of Michigan, China A to Z, Mexico Guide Book, Let’s Go France, Great Britain Guide Book, Sayings of Paramahansa Yogananda, A Year in Provence, King Solomon’s Ring, Original Blessings, Wizards Spell Compendium, The Trickster, The Holy Bible, Holman Concise Topical Concordance, Best American Travel Writings, The Book of Prayer, Around the Golden Ring of Russia, How to Know God, The New Union Prayer Book, The Mind, and Devotional Classics.
Early in the month Hara came across a free Lowery Organ online and picked it up. Hara planned for after her move to buy a Baby Grand Piano and collect Christmas Songs and Christmas Recipes. “Wouldn’t it be lovely,” she thought, “to learn many, many Christmas Songs with which to entertain holiday guests.” She registered for Piano lessons and sewing lessons in three locations. Hara was at Bethesda Church and received a blessing from a parishioner that said, “God, build a wall around her.” Hara was at Hope Church and received a Birthday Blessing and the Parishioner said, “Lord Bless her Birthday….Lead her towards good things and close all doors to bad things.”

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