As Art Production Fund Artist-in-Residence, Candy Chang lived in the The Cosmopolitan and turned its P3 Studio gallery into a contemplative experiment around anonymity, vulnerability, and understanding in the heart of the Las Vegas strip. Inspired by Shinto shrine prayer walls, Post Secret, and the process of catharsis and consolation, she invited passersby to write confessions on wooden plaques in the privacy of confession booths. She arranged the anonymous plaques on the gallery walls, painted select responses on 5’x5’ canvases, and orchestrated the space with an original score by Oliver Blank.
“Maybe each human being lives in a unique world, a private world different from those inhabited and experienced by all other humans… If reality differs from person to person, can we speak of reality singular, or shouldn’t we really be talking about plural realities? And if there are plural realities, are some more true (more real) than others? What about the world of a schizophrenic? Maybe it’s as real as our world. Maybe we cannot say that we are in touch with reality and he is not, but should instead say, His reality is so different from ours that he can’t explain his to us, and we can’t explain ours to him. The problem, then, is that if subjective worlds are experienced too differently, there occurs a breakdown in communication … and there is the real illness.”—Philip K. Dick
"One day they [Polytekhnos and Aedon of Kolophon in Lydia] blurted out the needless remark that they loved each other more than did Hera and Zeus. Hera found what was said to be insupportable and sent Eris (Discord) between them to create strife in their activities. Polytekhnos (Polytechnus) was on the point of finishing off a standing board for a chariot and Aedon of completing the web she was weaving. They agreed that whoever of the two would finish the task more quickly would hand over a female servant to the other.
Aedon was the quicker in finishing off her web—Hera had helped her in the task. Polytekhnos was infuriated by the victory of Aedon [and fetched Aedon’s sister Khelidon, raped her and brought her back disguised as a slave for his wife. The pair on discovering each other’s identities murdered Polytekhnos’ son and fed him to his father: the gods then transformed them all into birds].”
Q: Why do you not believe that other people’s minds exist? A: It’s quite simple, really. I can be quite certain of my own existence – it’s the whole “I think, therefore I am” thing. But as for the existence of other minds, well, that’s a much trickier thing to prove. I can see that there are these funny-looking things that walk around and talk to me and generally do things that would indicate that they have minds like me, but I can’t really be sure. There’s nothing to distinguish my econ professor, for instance, from a robot that could pass the Turing test. Just because people act like they have minds doesn’t mean that they aren’t basically just machines responding to stimuli.
Q: But can’t you look in someone’s eyes when they’re hurting and see that they really feel that pain? A: Furbies could make some pretty convincing displays of pain. People are just really complex Furbies.
“Being half of more complete, single entities, humans suffer inherent and deep complications. On one hand, we strive for progress, perfection, knowledge, enlightenment, salvation, isolation and self-perpetuation, even immortality. We seek to be whole beings, safe from the vagaries of the constant search for another to complete ourselves. On the other hand, we seek to join with our opposite, procreate, exclude, claim, destroy and amass. At times, we may seek only one or the other of these states, but for the most part, we feel and act upon both at all times, dividing our energies between inherently inconsistent goals.”—
David S. Rosenthal, Adjunct Professor of Fine Art at the University of Cincinnati
6th century BC: Legend says Greek wrestlerMilo of Croton came upon a tree-trunk split with wedges. Testing his strength, he tried to rend it with his bare hands. The wedges fell, trapping his hands in the tree and making him unable to defend himself from attacking wolves, which devoured him.
Hypatia of Alexandria, Greek mathematician, philosopher, and last librarian of the Library of Alexandria, was murdered by a Christian mob that ripped her skin off with sharp sea-shells. Various types of shells have been named: clams, oysters, abalones, etc. Other sources claim tiles or pottery-shards were used.
1514: György Dózsa, Székely man-at-arms and peasants’ revolt leader in Hungary, was condemned to sit on a red-hot iron throne with a red-hot iron crown on his head and a red-hot sceptre in his hand (mocking at his ambition to be king), by Hungarian landed nobility in Transylvania. While Dózsa was still alive, he was set upon and his partially roasted body was eaten by six of his fellow rebels, who had been starved for a week beforehand.
A man standing at the bus stop reading the newspaper is on fire Flames are peeking out from beneath his collar and cuffs His shoes have begun to melt
The woman next to him wants to mention it to him that he is burning but she is drowning Water is everywhere in her mouth and ears in her eyes A stream of water runs steadily from her blouse
Another woman stands at the bus stop freezing to death She tries to stand near the man who is on fire to try to melt the icicles that have formed on her eyelashes and on her nostrils to stop her teeth long enough from chattering to say something to the woman who is drowning but the woman who is freezing to death has trouble moving with blocks of ice on her feet
It takes the three some time to board the bus what with the flames and water and ice But when they finally climb the stairs and take their seats the driver doesn’t even notice that none of them has paid because he is tortured by visions and is wondering if the man who got off at the last stop was really being mauled to death by wild dogs.
You were standing beside the road just like yesterday or maybe a week ago. Hands at your side and not looking my way. With a sigh I pulled over slow. Your head just as quick, eyes glazing over me in that “gray or blue” I can’t tell which, kind of way. Opening the door you climbed in and I devoured every detail. Your hair tied up, fingernails unpainted, lips pulled tight in a grim line. It wasn’t the first time that I wondered what type of kiss it would take. To soften them, not seduce. I noticed a new wound in your jeans and wondered who you were escaping the night it appeared.
We drove in silence, as ever before. Unlike our first trip when I flooded you with questions and comments, I had slowly subsided into silent altruism. Though I’m not sure which you preferred. The truck bounced with every change in the road. You held on tightly, staring straight ahead. Nothing was different, this trip was the same as everyone before. But I felt it, the tension. Even in your silence I could tell that this would be the last time I stopped for you. We pulled into the gas station. The abandoned one across from the grain elevator in town. You opened the door, grabbed your bag (which I had always admired for its colourful needlework) and stepped down out of the truck. You hesitated then, and I braced myself. “This will be the last time”, you mumbled, looking down at your feet.
You probably knew me by then. That I would do anything in a heartbeat. That I was ready for the late nights and the tears and the failed attempts only to try and try again until everything was finally ok. You only had to climb back in. I wanted to scream, to shout, to ask you why and where and who and when, but most of all hold you tight, a shield from all the heartache. Giving peace and destroying pain in one single surge of emotion completely dedicated to you.
But instead I just nodded, my lips tightened, imitating yours. A strange thing happened then. I half expected you to look up at me and explain it all. Indecision, maybe, flashed through your mind. However fate prevailed and you walked off. Turning the corner of the building without another word. I knew that I would never see you again. And it was awhile before I would be ok with that.
Let us take a sack of spray paint and spray paint over the paintings. Lets dance through Paris; kiss in the shadow of the louve, crawl inside its windows, scroll manifesto’s over its canvas’, write morris’ code on the sculputers, roll a sleeping bag on the floors to sleep inside of, tell one another a story by flashlight, unearth everything from before, burry each other inside the other, feed grapes to the ants, light fireworks in the fists of sleeping kings; kill a monarch. Break back outside and find a world to do all these same things to; up and upon against break the bricks, climb over them, and when the sirens scream, laugh aloud,hold my hand and run fast. Run through the streets with me with a bunch of bottles, a bucket of gasoline, a mouthful of matches, a pocket full of paintings and fresh faced batch of policemen to chase the fires we are lighting, laugh on a shoulder of gold. And I thought that the museums were cemetaries where the dead paid the wall to hold what we had so that we could walk through what we once were, And children take their sculls to turn into gardens, to pluck for forefathers and farther stars, that on some nights resemble an armless mother praying for her arms to return. Every tooth that we tear from our jaw to fling at the black gloved riot soldiers as another shadow that we are trying to lose. Let every giggle be filled with lust; let us laugh this night away and I will fuck you like you were a prayer. I could save me by having my mouth around you, and I will hold you afterwards like you were the pullpit and I was the sky, and this love that danced between that hardness was a telephone line of holiness that those two things spoke through. Take me into your heart like I was a saint, and you were a face of forgivenss blooming in a valley destined to sink further. Be a river with me; Be the storm; the bend in the path; the front porch; the heat in the south; be a boot full of banjo strings; a fist full of written songs; a mouthfull of chocolate dust. When they come to take us, stab them between the eyes. Do not take your hand from around mine. Make a fist with the other, and punch spines like guilds, spit, sweat, kiss them like a grandmother. How will open mouthed terror love filled? And when they come to cut out hair and ask to hear pennince come from inside us, say with me loud and trembling, but loud and clear that: "I have already emptied myself. I kissed regret goodbye, took the hands of another backwards angel, and rode backwards into the rain" When the hangman of morrow comes to hang the sun in its daily execution say this with me: “Sarah we are apples, our love is an apple; I’m unbuttoning my shirt; painting a circle over my heart, please… Just shoot straight.”
All people operate from the same two motivations: to fulfill their desires and to escape their suffering.
Learning this allowed me to finally make sense of how people can hurt each other so badly. The best explanation I had before this was that some people are just bad. What a cop-out. No matter what kind of behavior other people exhibit, they are acting in the most effective way they are capable of (at that moment) to fulfill a desire or to relieve their suffering. These are motives we can all understand; we only vary in method, and the methods each of us has at our disposal depend on our upbringing and our experiences in life, as well as our state of consciousness. Some methods are skillful and helpful to others, others are unskillful and destructive, and almost all destructive behavior is unconscious. So there is no good and evil, only smart and dumb (or wise and foolish.)
sign your name across my back it is not the concrete poured into the foundation that makes the buildings able to stand up everyday but rather the words burned across their faces and feet that some stranger loved them or loved themselves enough to do that sign your name across my back it aint the cinder in the timber but the initials carved that break the trunk open the tree flaunting its body saying look at me look at what I got somebody loved something hard enough to use a knife look at what I got
“Human beings are funny. They long to be with the person they love but refuse to admit openly. Some are afraid to show even the slightest sign of affection because of fear. Fear that their feelings may not be recognized, or even worst, returned. But one thing about human beings puzzles me the most is their conscious effort to be connected with the object of their affection even if it kills them slowly within.”—Sigmund Freud (via duvalsfinest)
The Restraint Bias is the tendency to overestimate one’s ability to show restraint in the face of temptation, or the “perceived ability to have control over an impulse,” generally relating to hunger, drug and sexual impulses. The truth is people do not have control over visceral impulses; you can ignore hunger, but you cannot wish it away. You might find the saying: “the only way to get rid of temptation is to give into it” amusing, however, it is true. If you want to get rid of you hunger, you have to eat. Restraining from impulses is incredibly hard; it takes great self-control. However, most people think they have more control than they actually do. For example, most addicts’ say that they can “quit anytime they want to,” but this is rarely the case in real life.
Interesting Fact: unfortunately, this bias has serious consequences. When an individual has an inflated (perceived) sense of control over their impulses, they tend to overexpose themselves to temptation, which in turn promotes the impulsive behavior.
-It feels different for each person. There is no answer that can fit it.
"What did it feel like for you?"
-Terrifying. The thing I remember the most is being afraid. Every single morning. Every single night. I was always afraid. When I fell asleep and she was next to me… I wanted to sleep forever so that if I woke up and she wasn’t there I would never know she left. I would never open my eyes and see her gone. When she talked…. I wished that I would go deaf after every single time she said she loved me so that I would never hear her take it back or say anything else. I was afraid every time I spoke that I was going to say something that made me not the “one”… It made me wish I was a mute. I think she said one time that she wished that too… I was scared of every single boy with a good face and funny words. I was just scared… Because I knew. I knew I couldn’t do anything that could keep it. I knew she was young. I knew she was beautiful. I knew it was only a matter of fucking time before she … wanted the world. I’m not the world. I’ll never be the world… But she’s the world. She’s how the world is. The world… Life… It’s everything you’re afraid of coming true… It’s closing your eyes with fear in your heart… and waking up alone. That’s what it felt like… For me.
“Realize you can be happy. In this moment for no reason. Otherwise, you eternally depend on conditions for happiness. Unconscious of this moment, you remain a victim of circumstances.”—Arthur D. Saftlas
“You say that you love rain, but you open your umbrella when it rains. You say that you love the sun, but you find a shadow spot when the sun shines. You say that you love the wind, but you close your windows when wind blows. This is why I am afraid, you say that you love me too.”—William Shakespeare (via illretirewiththecrown)
“My suitcase is packed with all your heartbeats. So I walk to their sound and head towards the sun. So my shadow will cover the tears on the ground. I’m moving away from the place where you took your last breath. To find you my love in the magic of life after death.”—Dead Man’s Bones
“I took the stars from our eyes, and then I made a map. And knew somehow I could find my way back. Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too. So I stayed in the darkness with you.”—Cosmic Love - Florence And The Machine
Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will. (Goethe)
Anything and everything you write says something about you as a person, whether you want it to or not. Even your choice of what to write about – the decision that something is worth putting down in words – is significant.
It doesn’t end there. Writers (particularly good ones) deliberately draw on their own lives. If you know enough about a novelist, you can almost always spot some autobiographical element in their work. If you knew someone closely enough, you’d see that they pour in their childhood memories (the good and the bad), life experiences, hurts and dreams.
Use It: Dig incidences out of your past – they can be tiny things, so long as they have emotional power. Put them into your writing. There’s a truth in these which can bring your work to life.
“You see, we can feed the stomach with concentrates, we can supply microfilm for reading, recreation, even movies of a sort. We can pump oxygen in and waste material out, but there’s one thing we can’t simulate that’s a very basic need. Man’s hunger for companionship. The barrier of loneliness. That’s one thing we haven’t licked yet.”—The Twilight Zone - Episode 1 - Where is Everybody?, 1959
“I’m not just talking about my wife, I’m talking about my LIFE, I can’t seem to get that through to you. I’m not just talking about one person, I’m talking about everybody. I’m talking about form. I’m talking about content. I’m talking about interrelationships. I’m talking about God, the devil, Hell, Heaven. Do you understand… FINALLY?”—One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, 1975
This is for the fat girls, This is for the little brothers, This is for the school yard wimps, This is for the childhood bullies that tormented them.
This is for the former prom queen, This is for the milk crate ball players, This is for the midnight cereal eaters, And for the retired elderly Wal-Mart store front door greeters, Shake the dust.
This is for the benches and the people sitting on them, For the bus drivers driving a million broken hymns, For the men who have to hold down three jobs simply to hold up their children, For the night-time schoolers, And for the midnight bikers who are trying to fly Shake the dust.
This is for the two year olds who cannot be understood because they speak half English and half God. Shake the dust.
For the girls whose brothers are going crazy. For those gym class wall flowers, And for the twelve year old kids afraid of taking public showers, For the kid whose always late to class because he forgets the combination to his locker, For a girl who loves somebody else Shake the dust.
This is for the hard men… the hard men who want love but know it won’t come… For the ones who are forgotten, For the ones the amendments do not stand up for, For the ones who are told to speak only when spoken to and then are never spoken to.
SPEAK every time you stand so that you do not forget yourself, Never let a moment go by you that doesn’t remind you that your heart beats one hundred thousand times a day, That there are enough gallons of blood to make you an ocean. Do not settle for letting these waves that settle and for the dust to collect in your veins.
This is for the celebate pedophile who keeps on struggling, For the poetry teachers and for the people who go on vacation alone, And for the sweat that drips off of a Mick Jaggers singing lips, And for the shaking skirt on Tina Turner’s shaking hips, And for the heavens and for the hells for which Tina has lived.
This! Is for the tired and for the dreamers, For those families that want to be like the Cleavers, With perfectly made dinners with songs like Wally and the Beaver. This! Is for the bigots, this is for the sexists, this is for the killers, This is for the Big House; pin sentenced cats becoming redeemers, And for the springtime that always shows up right after the winters, this is… This is for you…
Make sure that by the time the fishermen returns you are gone, Because just like the days I burn at both ends, Every time I write, every time I open my eyes, I’m cutting out a part of myself to give to you.
So Shake the dust, and take me with you when you do none of this… Everything that has ever been for me, Everything that pushes and pulls… pushes and pulls, is for you!
So grab this world by its clothes pins and shake it out again and again And jump on top for a spin and when you hop off, Shake it off… for this is yours.
Make my words worth, make it not just another poem that I write, Not just like another poem like another night, Make it like it’s heavy about us all,
Walk into it. Breath it in. Let it crash through the halls of your arms like the millions of years of millions poets. Coursing like blood pumping, pushing and making you live, Shaking the dust.
So when the world knocks at your front door, Clutch the knob and open on up, Running forward into it’s wide spread greeting arms, With your hands before you, your fingertips trembling, though they may be.
“Letʼs just talk about fear. Fear, after all, is our real enemy. Fear is taking over our world. Fear is being used as a tool of manipulation in our society. Itʼs how politicians peddle policy and how Madison Avenue sells us things that we donʼt need. Think about it. Fear that weʼre going to be attacked, fear that there are communists lurking around every corner, fear that some little Caribbean country that doesnʼt believe in our way of life poses a threat to us. Fear that black culture may take over the world. Fear of Elvis Presleyʼs hips. Well, maybe that one is a real fear. Fear that our bad breath might ruin our friendships… Fear of growing old and being alone. Fear that weʼre useless and that no one cares what we have to say.”—A Single Man, 2009
“Looking in the mirror staring back at me isnʼt so much a face as the expression of a predicament. Just get through the goddamn day. A bit melodramatic I guess. But then again my heart has been broken. I feel as If I am sinking, drowning, can’t breathe.”—A Single Man, 2009