Did you miss me? It’s good to be back home again. Hello to any NEW folks out there in DIGITAL LAND (William Gibson called it “Cyberspace,” but we’ll forgive him.) If this is your first encounter with my rambling shenanigans and primitivist artworkia, don’t take anything you are about to encounter TOO seriously. Just go with it. (Once you’ve reached Consciousness Level 13, it ALL becomes serious, but for now, just have fun…)
For the last two weeks, my wife, Mariah, and I have been trapsing across four different states, driving and walking and flying our way around Washington, Oregon, California, and Nevada. We spent the first half of the vacation driving to San Francisco and back. Then we took a day to wash our clothes, grabbed our younger daughter, and flew out of Portland, Oregon, off to Sin City (Las Vegas.) We spent five days in the scorching heat, noise, and debauchery before finally returning to the cool, calm, and comforting Pacific Northwest.
During our adventures we visited museums, art galleries, bookstores (including CITY LIGHTS!), comic shops, restaurants (FUCKING EXPENSIVE!!!), casinos (we don’t actually gamble, but the flashing lights are cool), and even a very nice pool. (It was perfect for ME because I tend to burn to death in even moderate sunshine, and this pool had a faux-cave area with a waterfall feature where I spent most of my time in the shade! I got to float around in the water but didn’t combust!)
One overpowering THING that I was confronted with, HEAD ON, during this entire trip was the rampant, crass, disgusting (in my view), pointless consumerism. All flash and no substance. There were LINES to get into certain branded retail shops, and in one of the art galleries I visited, the curator (or clerk or whatever) suddenly lost interest in our conversation when he realized I wasn’t going to buy a $1,000.00 unsigned Miro lithograph. A thousand bucks IS actually a decent price for a Miro, even unsigned, and if I were a wealthy feller I might have considered purchasing it! However, if you are the type of person who is only interested in art or design or creativity because of the MONEY, then you’re missing the entire fucking point of ART, and I feel a sense of profound sorrow that these entirely materialistic folks are so intimately involved in the ART WORLD. Well, maybe I’m not feeling sorrow, but a Holy Fool ain’t supposed to feel RAGE, (I’m too goddam enlightened, unfortunately), so sorrow is how I would describe my emotional state when I see works meant to inspire wonder or create connection to something DEEPER—but all most people seem to do is reduced the work to a fucking dollar sign… It’s bullshit—and one of the reasons that I’m enjoying my experiences in DIGITAL LAND. There is a COMMUNITY to be found there, and it’s incredibly easy to make and share NFTs and pdf zines and make direct contact with other creative types through social media—with people who appreciate these works for MORE than their monetary value.
BUT now we’re home again—THANK BOB! We both agree that we’re going to avoid ever taking TWO vacations back-to-back any time soon. In fact, I personally, would be happy just not going back to Vegas OR San Francisco at all! (Too big, too many people, too expensive, too much of pain trying to get anywhere, too…much…) Mariah and I loved Ashland, Oregon, though, (where we stayed the first night), and I’d be perfectly happy to visit there again any time. Honestly, I think our trips to the coast in Oregon and Washington are still my favorite vacation destinations…
This isn’t to say we had a bad time on this trip. We saw City Lights bookstore (as a fan of Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, visiting this store was one of my life goals), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, watched a live performance by Criss Angel, and spotted a million cool, weird, off-beat things. (I’ll be making a couple different travel zines so I can share a bunch of the photos I took!) Both Mariah and I came away from the experience inspired and ready to get back to work. (I also wrote and drew and read a bunch while we were vacating, and I’ll be sharing that stuff, either as posts or zines or NFTs, in the near future!) I’ve also reconfigured my understanding of what social media IS and how it can be used (for things like archiving and connecting—connecting with other people AND connecting various works to each other.)
So that’s it! We’re back home and ready to get rolling! Keep an eye out for lots of new work over the next couple of weeks!!!
P.S.: [For fun, here’s a piece I drew today that shows an example of that “connecting” I mentioned above. A friend of mine posted an image of the morning sun (affected by the local wildfires), and I made a digital drawing OVER her image and shared it as a comment under her post! It’s simple, but it IS a form of connecting!]
—Richard F. Yates
(Primitive Thoughtician and Holy Fool)
SUPPORT INDEPENDENT FOLKS WHO ARE JUST MAKING STUFF BECAUSE THEY LOVE IT!!!