“A Modernistic Memory” is a new conceptual series based on the connectivity of memory attachments as they relate to places of significance in my past.
“Finding Ghosts In Familiar Places” is an experimental video art piece and re-captured video still remixes that explores the fluid ambiguities and the interwoven hints of nostalgia within the memories of the artist’s past. The film, through its visual and aural construct creates a symbiotic digital awareness that embraces both a conscious mindset of past experiences and the emotional embodiment of the heart found in those experiences. “Finding Ghosts In Familiar Places” is by all accounts a journey of personal recollection and interpersonal intimacy for the artist.
After starting the video, please select the 1080 or 720 in the tool setting icon to view in High Definition.
This is the final video in my 2014 series Your World Disappearing and Your World Beginning. It explores past artistic influences and reflects on the creative process as well. In 2015, I will be starting a series titled “Into Abstraction”. I have not completely thought out the direction of this new series. It may in some form be a continuation of the 2014 series or a new direction with an emphasis on the abstraction of imagery and sound. I want to explore and utilize visually, the micro-tonal effects of the new video software I just purchased. And musically, I want to produce a more distinct electronic sound from my own remixing and editing of sound samples. And again, in addition to the new video software, I will be using a new music editing program to produce the music. This process will be a challenge indeed, and a learning curve over time.
Some moments with Highwire Gallery, the Philadelphia Artist Cooperative, John Cage in performance, Digital Voice, fellow artist and friend Paul Curci, and my solo digital exhibition “Sometimes In the Waking the Reality is More Pressing than the Dream.” at Villanova University Art Gallery. The years 1987 through 2001.
Below are links to the original posts that I am using for these variations, rewind and remixes.
I often start a new series. Never quite knowing their origins, or where they will lead me. Several series that I have developed, such as Post Canvas and Paint, Data Complexes, Variations, Rewind and Remixes are just that: Endless conceptual ideologies of ambiguities in form and structure, that for the most part, have emerged from past artistic influences. Every new work builds on something from the past: An exhibit here. A performance there. A poet’s word softly translated. An image seared in memory. Newly discovered places … deep dark places and beautiful heavens. And of course, there is the reflection in the mirror and memories behind everything. I enjoy working from my past. It seems at times to be all I know. So in this series of Variations, Rewind and Remixes, I will simply re-examine my catalog of artistic influences in a new way. Back in 2011, I created several posts under the title “In the Reflective Mirror | Various Artistic Influences”, and asked the question … When searching for meaning in a catalogue of artistic events, does one art form influence another? And I can say, that in both a direct and subliminal manner, that it does indeed influence the way I see and create art.
Below are links to several of those earlier posts.
Sometimes moments in time are like the possession of precious jewels only remembered briefly…..
My latest video entitled “Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)” starts off with clips from previous videos and a multimedia performance before evolving into my most recent ventures of 2012; finding new forms in the mountains of Western North Carolina. My early video work began back in 1988. Of course there were no digital cameras, and we had to use those large, bulky, VHS Cameras. At the time I was fortunate to have some rather unique video editing software, and hardware courtesy of my Amiga 1000 digital suite and the third-party supplier of a video mixer called the Genlock. Now with a HD digital camera, there is much higher resolution, creating a more definitive, sharper image. I recently purchased the Avid Studio Pro video software, and hope that the quality, and versatility will yield several levels of high performance (within a modest price range).
One of the major traits in the processing of my previous video work, has been my ability to layer video sources. So I am looking forward to using this new capability (the latest digital hardware and software) to continue this process. In the end I hope to create thought-provoking video imagery that is abstract, ambient. and minimalistic.
So I hope you enjoy what I think may be a transitional video on the path to new ideas, and processes.
Moments In Time (A Yesterday Video Remix)….
Windows at Highwire Gallery – Island, Water, Bridge exhibit 1993….
What illumination, the light shinning through; creating the perfect ambience for the found art installation.
This photo goes back to 1990 and the Highwire Gallery’s visit to Deventer, Holland. It was part of an exchange with the artist group of Deventer. We were exhibiting new work in their gallery and staying the summer. While cruising through the small, quaint, artist town, I happened to come across a small shop that had a poster of our exhibit in the window. The poster is just to the left of the woman standing in the doorway. Throughout the town, residents and shop owners, displayed posters announcing the upcoming exhibit. Going to the Netherlands via this exchange of artists and ideas, was a fantastic opportunity, and one I will never forget.
“Sometimes we turn the pages in the Book of Memories and come to remember the children who dream in future tense”…..
The Highwire Gallery production of The Fun House
workshop began in March 1991 at the Sayre Morris Community Center in West
Philadelphia and concluded with a performance in May. Funded by the PA Council
on the Arts, the goal was to bring together a group of children and introduce
them to the arts. Our focus would be on dance, performance, music and the visual
arts. Another important part of the workshop was for it to be a community
service, which merged different ethnic backgrounds and communities. For the
eleven girls who participated in the workshop, the hope was to inspire personal
challenges and the pursuit of their dreams. Everyone involved, the artists of
Highwire Gallery, the kids, Empress our musical director, Sandra Lynn our choreographer,
and “DADA” (Dancers Against Drug Abuse) met the challenge and worked hard to
make the program a huge success.
How do we encourage our children to dream, a dream that
inspires, enriches and motivates them to reach for the sky, and to touch just one of the millions of snowflakes that
can be found in the realm of possibilities? How do we lead them by the hand,
through the garden of hopes and dreams?
I think we do it one child at a time, one school at a time, one
project at a time, and as one community. Children love to discover, and be creative.
I strongly believe that the arts will provide them with the tools they will need for exploring their
imagination and giving birth to their dreams.
What do you feel is our children’s greatest need? What resources in our society would you like to see be provided for the well being and growth of our children? Do you believe that the arts, especially at a young age, is a vital tool for encouraging creative thinking and problem solving?
What do you think?
Select the link below for a dream-like journey into a contemporary child’s lullaby.
Winter Poem by Nikki Giovanni
once a snowflake fell
on my brow and i loved
it so much and i kissed
it and it was happy and called its cousins
and brothers and a web
of snow engulfed me then
i reached to love them all
and i squeezed them and they became
a spring rain and i stood perfectly
still and was a flower
— Author and poet Nikki Giovanni
From “The Selected Poems of Nikki Giovanni”
And last but not least in this journey of dreams…a short animation.
In the Reflective Mirror / Various Artistic Influences 04: searching for moments of meaning in a catalogue of events
When searching for meaning in a catalogue of artistic events,
does one art form influence another?
Looking back through my history of art exhibits, shows, and performances,
I wonder how these events have influenced my art to date. In pondering this rather profound question, I
also must ask how the art of others have influenced my work as well. Can I be,
as well as my art, a product of both a historical and contemporary mindset of various
artistic disciplines? Does art from such masters as Salvador Dali, or Matisse
in painting, or Rodin in sculpture, or performance and visual art from my peers
Lili White, Constance Kocs, or Paul Curci respectively, and the post-modern dance / avant-garde operas of Pina Bausch compel
the creative spark as well as say a musical performance by jazz artist John
Coltrane or minimalist Steve Reich?
As an artist, I’ve always thought it was extremely important
to be both creative and observant. Art
flows through the eyes of the artist, into the interpreting mind, through the reflective
soul and back into world.
I began drawing and painting at an early age while listening
to “Soul” music from such artists as The Temptations, Sam and Dave, Diana Ross and
Marvin Gaye. But in 1970 at age 14 while
browsing through my older cousins’ record collection, I came across two visually
stunning album covers. They were Jimi Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies and Miles Davis’
Kind of Blue. I had never heard of these musicians, but the combination of the on
stage black background and their psychedelic shirts full of abstract color led
me to investigate. The music was incredible. It was provocative, edgy, exploratory,
and new. Here is a perfect example of how visual stimulation of one kind led to
the discovery of something completely new in the form of sound and improvisational
Yes, with our imagination, one art form can influence the
discovery of another and how it is translated into a new vision.
Over the years, as I moved from painting to digital art, I continued
to maintain a traditional approach to my art while simultaneously embracing and
supplementing it with all things contemporary. I would like to think that my
digital art can and does incorporate the movement of dance in its lines, the conceptualization
of operatic design in its production, the intricate sound and improvisation of minimalism,
and jazz in its syncopated patterns. And color…lots of color, insight, intuition,
and emotion—full of warmth, that when observed closely can be found in the arts
of old and new.
What do you think? As an artist, musician, poet, dancer,
patron, blogger, or lover of creativity, does one form of art influence
For me it is interesting that as I explore this new
expression called blogging, my subliminal intent is to somehow have art
influence how I blog and the tool of blogging become part of the process of
In the meantime enjoy the slide show: In the Reflective
Mirror / Various Artistic Influences 04: searching for moments of meaning in a
catalogue of events.
- Towards the Reflection of Art, Digital Artist,
- 19 American Artists, Highwire Gallery, Berkgerk,
- Constance Kocs, Highwire Artist
- Meredith Monk: 1987 Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn
Academy of Music
- Dance at BAM: Next Wave Festival , Digital Remix
2011 Walter Smith
- Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal, Gebirge: 1984 Next Wave Festival,
Brooklyn Academy of Music
- Pina Bausch’s Tanztheater Wuppertal, Arien: 1984 Next Wave Festival,
Brooklyn Academy of Music
- Philadelphia Artists Cooperative (Highwire
Gallery) founded 1987
- Sometimes in the Waking the Reality is More
Pressing than the Dream, review, City Paper,
- Pina Bausch, Steve Reich, Next Wave Festival,
Brooklyn Academy of Music
- Statements After the Arrest Under the Immorality
Act, Wilma Theatre, Philadelphia, Pa
- Louvre, Paris, France 1990
- Lili White, Highwire Artist
- Paul Curci, Highwire Artist, City Paper
Publisher, Philadelphia, Pa
- Steve Reich, minimalist composer
- Miles Davis, jazz composer
- Dance at BAM: Next Wave Festival , Digital Remix
2011 Walter Smith
- The Birth
of the Poet: 1985 Next Wave Festival, Brooklyn Academy of Music, photo
Beatriz Schiller, Digital Remix 2011, Walter
- Billie Holiday & Dechen Shak-Dagsay
- Stigmata, (Michael Davenport & George
Wolstenholme) electronic music composers
- Louis Armstrong, John Coltrane, Charlie Parker,
- Post Canvas and Paint Series 10.14.2010.8:07.a.m.
Digital Artist, Walter Smith