michael j. morris


Sources of insight and inspiration

I feel as if a new post is dreadfully overdue, but I’ll be honest: I am absorbing a lot of information right now; it hasn’t really had time to synthesize into my own thoughts. So I thought I might just offer a list of what I am taking in right now as inspirations and source materials:

Ballet technique classes with Karen Eliot three days per week. It is amazing to have been practicing this technique for almost ten years now and still have moments of total tidal shifts in my understanding of what it is that I’m doing. Karen is an exceptional teacher.

Reading The Splendor of Recognition: And Exploration of the Pratyabhijna-hrdayam, a Text on the Ancient Science of the Soul by Swami Shantananda. I’m swimming in thoughts of Consciousness (citi) as the creator and substance of the entire universe, the creative pulsation (spanda) of creation, sustainment, and dissolution, the nature of subject and object, knowledge, and the mind. One quote for today (and understand that several terms in this quote are specialized; most importantly, identification of Siva as a specific deity is symbolic, and in fact refers to the Supreme Consciousness out of which all Reality emerges):

“Wherever the ind goes, whether toward the exterior or toward the interior, everywhere there is the state of Siva. Since Siva is omnipresent, where can the mind go to avoid him?”

Reading The Yoga Tradition: Its History, Literature, Philosophy, and Practice by Georg Feuerstein. I am only a chapter into this, but it is an exhaustively precise description of the historic evolution of this complex system of thought/practice.

Reading Normal: Transsexual CEOs, Crossdressing Cops, and Hermaphrodites with Attitude by Amy Bloom. This is Bloom’s only non-fiction, and it is lovely. It is truly queer in that it is completely undermining my concepts of normality, gender, sexuality, social roles, relationships, etc. It is written in an easy fashion on subjects that are less easy to contemplate. For all my support of transsexuals, it is not easy to read about phalloplasty and metoidioplasty female-to-male surgeries. These are complicated, invasive and painful surgeries that are offered as part of an FTM transition. It isn’t easy to read about the tension in relationships between heterosexual male crossdressers and their wives. Etc. And yet I think it is contributing positively to broaden my perspective of identity and society and self-perception/presentation/performance.

Reading Matt Morris’ genius writings on Aeqai: A Journal for Writing on the Visual Arts in the Greater Cincinnati Region. Matt (who is my twin brother) is writing an excellent series concerned with sculpture in public spaces. In them he has touched on concepts of the private/public dichotomy, the relationship between social, psychological, energetic, and geographic space, the relationship between art and identity, etc. They are truly brilliant and worth your time to read.
First installment.
Second installment.

Watching HBO’s In Treatment. This series is GENIUS. I am completely addicted. It follows a psychoanalyst and his progress through the cases of five patients and himself week by week. The episodes are short, generally limited to the content of his sessions. The acting is superb, the writing even better, the filming excellent, etc. Everything I want in a television show.

Listening to Jay Brannan‘s new cd In Living Cover. Jay Brannan is probably best known for his role in the John Cameron Mitchell film Shortbus, but makes beautiful music as well. I loved his first album, and this week he released an album of covers, including Joni Mitchell’s “All I Want” and the Cranberries “Zombies,” among others. Great listening for this week.

Dancing in a new project with CoCo Loupe, Eric Falck, and Jeff Fouch tentatively titled “3 Boys and an Old Prophetess.” No idea where this project is going, but you can read more about it on CoCo’s blog here.

finishing my Elementary Labanotation Certification exam

I have a lengthy to-do list for the summer and I am slowly making my way through it, absorbing and continuing to move and thrive and live. These are pieces of that process.

All come highly recommended.



Inspiration and Connections

It’s been a “heady” week working in the Labanotation Teacher Certification Course. I feel tired, a little tired of trying to figure out “integrated living/art making,” rather than just doing something like that. My friend CoCo did a series of posts last year about inspiration. I do them sometimes. I need one today:

An ongoing inspiration is the Love Art Lab. It’s huge with me right now. It’s full of love and politics and color and chakra energy and integrated life/art. Annie and Beth just had another wedding, #5 the Blue Wedding, in Oxford, England. I can’t wait to see pictures/video. I did a whole post about the Love Art Lab a little bit ago, so I’ll just give you an image or two to share my inspiration:

05_40180035

I’m also having a great conversation of memory and experience between the brilliant color and energy of Annie and Beth’s Love Art Lab, and the company I danced for when I lived in Baton Rouge, Of Moving Colors Productions. I think I’ll created a “visual conversation” between the two . . .

RED

 

OMC "Red"

OMC "Red"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

OMC "Sienna: Transformed by Fire"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Red Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Cuddle"

Love Art Lab "Cuddle"

ORANGE

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

Susie Chaney in OMC's "Paradise Orange"

Susie Chaney in OMC's "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

OMC "Paradise Orange"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Orange Wedding"

YELLOW

OMC "Yellow Orchid Blue"

OMC "Yellow Orchid Blue"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Yellow Wedding"

GREEN

OMC "Green"

OMC "Green"

00018 

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

Love Art Lab "Green Wedding"

BLUE:

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

OMC "Peacock Blue"

Love Art Lab "Zen for the Head"

Love Art Lab "Zen for the Head"

Love Art Lab costume designs

Love Art Lab costume designs

Love Art Lab costume designs

Love Art Lab costume designs

 

 Whew! That’s a lot of pictures! Such a glide through memories and inspirations . . . 

NOTE: It should go without saying, but all photos of OMC are the property of Of Moving Colors Productions, and all photos of Love Art Lab are the property of Love Art Lab. I offer both here to honor and share these inspirations in my life.

If you still need more inspiration, check out this site that documents Linda Montano’s 14 Years of Living Art. I am so inspired by this work!

And I finally finished reading the first installment of a series of articles concerned with art in public spaces written by my brother Matt Morris for Aeqai. It is excellent and definitely offers points of interest as an art, a mover, and a public figure. You can read it here.
And here is an exceptionally thought-provoking quote by Rickey:
“I think it’s very important to make art that you have to wait for. I’m very concerned that movement be slow enough so you have to wait and you have to wonder what happens next.” I think that relates to my aesthetics in all kinds of ways . . .

George Rickeys Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory II, Variation IV

George Rickey's Two Rectangles Vertical Gyratory II, Variation IV

 

Other inspirations tonight:

gentle rain outside
incense
fresh raw produce
indian fabrics all over my house
my friend Mara and her thoughtfulness
 Antony and The Johnsons “The Crying Light” (dedicated to Kazuo Ohno)

Looking forward to Columbus PRIDE 2009 this week/this weekend. Hope to see you there.