From the Beginning, Mom and Dad Had Been Snowplows. (C) 2014 Meri Aaron Walker, iPhoneArtGirl, Talent, Oregon
This morning, when I opened Facebook to take a look at the 49 notifications that came in between 2 AM (when I posted this image here and there) and 8 AM, I saw that Gina Costa, an artist whose work I admire deeply, left me a comment on it there.
Gina said “Meri, you are amazing.” Which is a lovely thing to hear. Maybe. But I honestly don’t know what she means.
Having spent more than 25 years practicing nonviolent communication to the best of my ability, I’m trained to ask questions about these kinds of statements. Because they really don’t give you much information about how you might have contributed to someone else with some act of yours - or what need of theirs you met.
So I wrote back to Gina beneath the image and here’s what I said:
I guess this means you like this piece, Gina ? If so, I’m glad.
It’s amazing to me too.
This one just tore its way out of me last night before I went to sleep. I don’t honestly feel very responsible for much of what I’m making these days.
I have experiences, I have thoughts and feelings about them, and then these gnarly images and titles erupt out of my fingers onto the glass of my iPhone like some crazy braille… No kidding. That’s my experience of “my” making of phone art these days.
What triggered this one is the fact that I have some younger friends here in southern Oregon who appear to me to be raising their children the way I was raised. I don’t know if what I perceive is true or just part of some distressing network of thoughts that have been the score of my life this life.
Whichever one it is, making phone art in response to experiences that trigger deep feeling is some nutty process that seems to have taken ahold of my psyche – for the purpose of healing it.
The insightI had last night was that dreaming up impossible expectations of children - and then using them as our avatars in some fantasy game where we use them to win is not the most loving way to raise human beings… And ,while this trance goes on, it’s invisible to all parties.
Who would have thought that one day our deepest selves would be able to use a smartphone to call us up and clue us in… ? Without talking!?
But all these words weren’t there last night with the insight. Just the feelings… And then an image made itself using my fingers and intelligence about image processing on a mobile device. And I felt really satisfied with it before I went to sleep.
Now I want to add this:
Yes, it’s amazing to me, too. And I’m still unclear how much “I” had anything to do with this image besides just listening to the Muse, moving my fingers on the glass, and then posting the result online to share with people who seem to enjoy my process of self-discovery.
I don’t say this to be “humble.” It’s just the truth. It totally blows my mind - day after day for 3 years now - what my iPhone and iPad have to tell me about my life.
And, as if the solo observation and art-making experience weren’t enough, here’s the enormous power that a single response from another human being (who I haven’t even had the please of meeting face-to-face yet) has to trigger an avalanche of words and sentences that create a little “bed” for the image in the deep place of mind from which it arose.
Fuckin’ awesome, this thing we call “iPhoneography” or “mobile art” or whatever the hell you like to call it. What we call it is irrelevant. Doing it isn’t. I don’t know what it is yet that we’re doing. But it’s not irrelevant.
superimposer, vintage fx, snapseed, icolorama, monokrom, lo mob, dynamic light