Zines

Themes

Are we basically irrational creatures?

Art has the concern for the meaning of things rather than the scientific evidence of truth. This is not to say that we should not seek scientific truth.  Perhaps at times these can be the same.

 

Themes

Are we basically irrational creatures?

Art has the concern for the meaning of things rather than the scientific evidence of truth. This is not to say that we should not seek scientific truth.   Perhaps at times these can be the same.

 

Art is not science and can not be easily reduced to quantifiable data.

It is part of the subjective experience of being human. There are many things we cannot know by science. Some things we accept on faith or intuition.

 

Art is not science and can not be easily reduced to quantifiable data.

It is part of the subjective experience of being human. There are many things we cannot know by science. Some things we accept on faith or intuition.

 

Madness Zines focus our attention on the results of the irrational choices we make. 

Madness #5

What are the ideals that drive us. Where is our Utopia, our Paradise?

 

Madness #3.

You can't escape. We are all part of the collective madness. How we find or create meaning is obvious for some and a great mystery for others. Creating art, giving into greed, self interest may be paths for meaning more than logic and reason. Perhaps we are incapable of rising above self interest.

Link to PDF, also in print at Curiosities , Awesome Comics and Keith's Comics.

 

Midway to Madness #1

Times are bad and we face limited choices. You may be trapped in a dead end job or face the prospects of life as a drifter. We all hope for heros who will take us on the path to success and the land of plenty. But don't be deceived by these innocent dreams.  Small dreams produce small results. Things are in a state of critical exhaustion. Do you have the brains, the courage and the heart to find your way.

In Midway to Madness #1 from 2010, there is a faint analogy to the hero's quest for self as found in the movie version of the Wizard of Oz.  Our out of luck hero goes on a journey, but, like Dorothy, he finds the answers have been inside him the whole time. 

In the animated version of Midway to Madness, our hero succeeds in becoming an assistant manager in the concessions stand at the Circus Midway. Is that better than being at the top of the Big Top? Can you make the choice between the usual trope of banal ideas? Will you pretend to choose between globalism, relational art and a political aesthetic? Will your ideas be stopped like a contagion before they becomes an epidemic? Or will you seize the moment and show the world you can produce meaning.

Perhaps the circus must die in order to create new meaning from the ashes. Don't revel in the babble of dead languages. But try to get paid during your search for meaning.

Dreams and madness.

We can still apply reason in trying to understand our world. Goya's The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters reflected his view of a corrupt and demented Spanish society.

However, Goya's caption points to the realization that "Imagination abandoned by reason produces impossible monsters; united with her, she is the mother of the arts and source of their wonders."

I am the Sleep of Reason is a digital work that points to the impact of irrational and capricious behavior. Society should fear the sleep of reason, but should not be guided only by reason, but also the strength of faith and emotion.

Zines and banners don't offer clear answers to questions of madness and rational thinking in our culture. But they can offer a means to examine a social structure that at times seems to favor irrationality over reason. Perhaps art can reveal truths, but we may only know what it means to us.

Madness #4

Examine the results of irrationality. 

Link to PDF, also in print at Curiosities , Awesome Comics and Keith's Comics.

 

Madness #2

A dark tale of lust for money and power.

Control of the Midway is at stake. Driven by greed and the desire for power, the corporate bosses want to exert control over the circus midway.  Where is Hope?

The corporate team inspires irrational violence that leads to the foreclosure of the Midway. Everyone comes out a loser when this happens. Has our culture lost it's grip on rational thought, or has emotion always ruled over reason? Are we basically irrational creatures?

Our fate is tied to the long terms success of the Midway. Don't allow yourself to become simply a corporate prosthetic. Don't be a pawn for corporate greed.  If these bad boys knock off the top block, we all fall down.

We seem consumed by the hot trends and controversy that dominate the news broadcasts. CEOs are gutting companies for profit rather than planting the seeds for long term success.

In the tension between reason and irrationality, there is always hope.

View the PDF of Madness #2

 

Insurrection

The conflict between self interest and collective good takes center stage in Blue Revolution and Red Insurrection. This work is the featured piece in the self published photo novella Insurrection, The Way I Feel from 2008.

View the PDF of Insurrection #1

Blue represents an almost militant dedication to sameness, order and equality for all. Everything becomes equal, everyone eats, subways run on time, but you sacrifice your individuality. Everyone wears the same suit. Blue resembles socialism almost to the point of a fascism. We may all have a good job, but we must act with a sameness for the betterment of all.

Red is an expression of complete free will and self interest. Our need to satisfy our animal urges for power, sex and wealth can create unexpected consequences including anarchy.

Gas stations may burn, prices may go up, but you and your cronies benefit. Shortages and instability creates a sellers market. When the animal within is threatened, reason takes a fall.

Sometimes our personal desires can come into conflict with the need to work within our social compact. Reason will fall to emotional needs. We need rules and regulations to function as a society. Sometimes the rules are styfulling. In politics Red versus Blue resulted in the Tea Party insurrection. Is there no middle ground?

We are all part of the collective madness!  

Photo Novella

The photo novella format is being used increasingly by artists because of it's directness in communicating stories and ideas. This format has a tradition in Mexican Comics and is common in the checkout lines at Supermercados in Dallas and other cities in the southwest. The photo novella is also used in health education since photo story telling is easy for people to understand.

The directness of the photo novella is echoed in the use of public banners which offer flexibility and ease in transporting and exhibiting.

Zines and Banners

Artist Dwayne Carter has been producing zines, paintings, banners and digital prints in the Dallas area since 1981. 

The directness of the photo novella zines is echoed in the use of public banners and realist paintings and prints.

 Themes

Are we basically irrational creatures?

This is not to say that we should not seek scientific truth. But art has the concern for the meaning of things rather than the scientific evidence of truth. Perhaps at times these can be the same.

Art is not science and can not be easily reduced to quantifiable data. It is part of the subjective experience of being human. There are many things we cannot know by science. Some things we accept on faith. Others we know through our intuition.

There are many routes to meaning in art. Sometimes meaning can be found in its form or in the content. Sometimes meaning is found in the context. I don't believe there is any one correct route to meaning. But when we find ourselves struck by something, it develops meaning.

Meaning in art and life cannot be described in words alone. The rhythmic beat of drums can affect the way we feel and and the way we interpret our surroundings. Our emotions are altered by the vibrations of the music. We can feel more at home or alienated based on our empathic response to music and art.

Probably early humans were drawn or repulsed in very similar ways. Perhaps these instincts are instilled in our fiber. We started as the hunter and gatherer. Many traits of our behavior are shaped by this early existence.

But, even the past is subject to major revisions as our perceptions change. Perspectives on history, poltics and art change over time because of our allegiances and cultural biases.