From Betty Comstock….

It may seem that Israel, the US., UK, Russia, China and India, etc… are the greatest dangers to the freedom of the citizenry of this planet – and they are, but only insofar as that they are the military arms of the banks that finance their various “campaigns”. The real dangers to the freedom of the people of this planet are the comprehensive and cohesive lies within which we are all immersed in every exchange of ideas. Nowhere is this ubiquitous miasma of propaganda more pervasive than in our children’s education. Although it may appear that people are “waking up”, a bleak minority have anything approaching common methodologies and comprehensive and cohesive goals. One might mention the experimental method of science and The Zeitgeist and Venus Project’s goals. If the majority of the citizens continue to understand only that something needs to change, but are without a common thread to lead them toward a better world, they will continue to be baffled by the immensity and continue to try to change our world by tweaking the only system of which they are familiar; the very system with which we need to dispense. It is only, I think, feasible, in order to change the world, to first educate people to the very real paradise that is possible and as well to the steps that are necessary to achieve it. So, to conclude, I believe that the only means to fight the Israeli’s, the Americans, UK, etc… the Banks of this world is by creating a better paradigm and then “selling” that to the people of the world. Otherwise, we spend all of our efforts and resources in selling band-aids to rapidly promulgating cancers…T.C.Lily & Betty

Designing the Future Café Talks

Designing the Future Café Talks – Conversation

July 20, 2016 • CNY Arts Gallery • Shoppingtown, Dewitt, NY

smart-phones

 

How do you get people to engage in conversation? A smile as you approach someone you want to talk with is one way to start, however when the person you are approaching is focused on an electronic gadget in their hand it is difficult to even get eye contact let alone to smile and offer a gestured greeting. I was sitting in the food court of a busy mall last week waiting for a friend and I noticed that almost everyone that passed by the area where I was sitting was walking and gazing at their cell phones. Even a couple that were walking close to each other were each intently engaged in their phone’s screen. They looked up at each other murmured a comment and returned their gaze to their phones.  I guess it sounds strange that I just noticed this phenomena, but you see I had forgotten my phone so naturally I noticed because I wasn’t glued to my own phone’s screen and had to gaze about at my surrounding environment and to actually pay attention to what else was happening for the first time in a while.

Sometime ago we, my husband and myself had guests over for a cookout on the deck and were astounded that the couple we had invited to our home sat at the table each of them totally focused on their phones…we couldn’t believe it. Finally my husband spoke up and said, “Please, shut the phones off and let’s have a nice visit with dinner”, They looked up, startled, and then realizing what they were doing they chuckled and put their phones down. We then had a lovely visit, dinner and later drinks around the fire pit in the lower yard. Everyone has become so accustomed to using their phones to keep in touch with their lives they have forgotten how real conversation works and sometimes even common curtesy is forgotten. People, put down your phones! There is life and encounters all around you and you are missing it!

At the same time we are engaging in a larger community and conversation on our electronic devises we are forgetting the real one-on-one with family, friends and neighbors that are available to us in the flesh. Granted I certainly realize the great dynamic that being involved with a larger community by way of social media is and the way we are learning about each other and enlarging our empathy and tolerance for those that we used to think were so very different from us. We are actually finding out how much the same we really are and we are learning what is good and not good about how we treat each other. A larger peer pressure force to insist on good behavior and consideration of one another’s feelings or situation. I myself have a large group of friends on social media, some even international, relationships that I probably would never have had an opportunity for otherwise.  This is great! Making the world smaller and approachable. We can learn about how different we are and at the same time how much we have in common. A powerful equalizer, however we must stop and remind ourselves that we are a part of our own communities where we live and work and play. Let me encourage you to look away from your digital devises and smile at the next person who passes by you or go to a local café and enter in to the dialogue that is physically around you. We all have so much to share, gifts and talents and experiences that are ours alone to share. Put down your phone let your passions get stirred up, step up and out and as Captain Picard would say, “Engage!”

Designing the Future

Mercedes-self-driving-carWhat if you could tell your house that you needed a vehicle to take you to visit your family across state and within the hour a vehicle turns up in front of your home or better yet in your garage?

What if you then just got into the vehicle and told it to take you to your family’s home across state? You sit back, relax, picking up your digital book tablet and proceed to catch up on your reading on the trip as this vehicle drives you to your destination without your constant control, in essence drive itself?

What if this convenience cost you little or nothing and is just part of life?

What other marvels are in store for us in the near tomorrow? Science and technologies are changing our lives daily at an exciting speed. We need to come together and decide how we shall as a community use and implement these wonders into our lives for us and our children.

Do you have some ideas or visions you would like to see happen in the future?  Do you have ideas for material improvements or how to make society interact and work better?

Join a group of people who will be focusing and imagining and maybe even bringing to fruition improvements in many areas of life with a Vision Fair to be held in the fall of 2016

Meeting continuing every Wednesday June 8, 7-9 PM at CNY Artists Gallery and Creativity Incubator, Shoppingtown Mall, Dewitt, NY, please come have a cup of coffee and join the conversation.   Free.  Reservations suggested.  (315) 391-5115.


A Call to Activism

close up Qu Anne's laceA Call to Activism

So often I have come across film documentaries that are interesting and make the viewer think but are mostly pseudo-scientific conjecture at best and tied up with an ego-centric personality or a marketing ploy that plays on our sense of fear of a possible overwhelming reality. When my husband and I first met I was fascinated by his intelligence, artistic and writing talent, quick-witted articulation and of course his dazzling eyes. However I thought he was somewhat eccentric and leaned towards being a conspiracy theorist. He talked about the scientific method, amazing technological advances and a resource based economy. He was adamant about the government’s agenda of power at any cost especially the cost of the lives of our young men and women sent into harm’s way for truly nothing more that profit and control of other countries resources, questioning the whole “terrorist” threat idea and who the actual terrorists really are.  I felt there was certainly truth to his line of reasoning; he could very well be right, but extreme in his convictions. He invited me to sit down with him to watch a film and the film was Zeitgeist, Moving Forward.  I was expecting one of the aforementioned pseudo-science documentaries that was again based in over exaggerated gloom and doom forecasting based on our current state of affairs. Nothing could be further from the truth. The film is long but broken up into sections of focus that look at who we are socially, a scientific discussion of human behavior and physiology, and how we are affected by our environmental conditions. Another part of the film discusses the economy; it’s historical and cultural development and social manipulations and then moves into a survey of the advances of science and technology. How these have and could affect our reality in health care, economic and ecological well being, political landscape, our very way of life both positively and negatively. The collections of experts are well respected in academia, scientific and technological, medical, psychological, sociological, and future engineering areas of expertise. The discussion poured out before me bringing all of the different areas of focus together revealing how their interconnected causality painted a very different picture of the reality we believe we live in.  I was fascinated, shocked and stirred by what I was seeing. I was forced to re-evaluate the understanding of my own reality and that of the community at large. The very first thing that was revealed on the screen is a quote about art and activism the statement immediately caught my attention.

“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful, must also reflect decay. And unless it wants to break faith with its social function, art must show the world as changeable, and help to change it.”            ~Ernst Fischer

 My artist statement had to change. My responsibility as an artist became something different for me. I had to learn to assess my reality more intelligently, use a more critical eye, and delve into another layer of communication that I can reflect in my art practice that speaks, telling a story that compels my audience to active participation in what moves them; speak to the passions for living joy inside their souls. I wish to entice them to investigate their own reality and how it connects with the reality we face together as living beings on this planet. I want to tell the stories of moments of compassion, the joy in the connection with nature, the wonder in the mysteries of creation and the overwhelming instant of a loving embrace that seems could last forever, stories that stir passions and a force for a coming together to protect what makes us who we are and to sustain our splendors for millennium into the future.

This exposition of information changed much for me and my perspective. The interconnected relationships of the reality discussed had begun leading me into a new place of understanding. I want to share what I have seen. Like sharing the love and beauty of my faith, I want to step out and engage with my community revealing this interconnection causality and discuss this reality, engaging and encouraging others to step out, join together as a force for change and unity. A powerful energy in the film is the momentum creating a sense of equalization, an immediate identification of shared connections. The fact that even with all our marvelous diversity of cultural and social development we share common bonds of humanity; we are equally affected by the issues discussed and will together live with the consequences of actions and in-actions that have been set in motion on our planet. These revelations are intelligently leading us to thoughtful investigation, scientific exploration and creative long lasting and effective problem solving.  The film calls our minds to enlightenment and action into a different kind of activism.

“While the term “activism” is correct by its exact meaning, TZM’s awareness work should not be misconstrued as relating to culturally common, traditional “activist protest” actions such as we have seen historically. Rather, TZM expresses itself through targeted, rational educational projects that work not to impose, dictate or blindly persuade, but to set in motion a train of thought that is logically self-realizing when the causal considerations of “sustainability” and “public health” are referenced from a scientific perspective”. (The Zeitgeist Movement Defined, Realizing A New Train of Thought, or TZM Defined)

Allowing ourselves to be open-minded and entering into some ‘Out of the Box’ thinking we can begin to see who we are and can be together as a force for constructive change. The possibilities of what we can do to change our reality and our way of thinking about our place in it can mean the difference between a sustainable societal, economic and environmental present and future or self and societal destruction and oblivion. Jacque Fresco, the architect and creator of the Venus Project, one of the initial driving forces to the Zeitgeist Movement, an engineer of this kind of progressive thinking discusses our short sighted behaviors and how we have allowed ourselves into being manipulated into the delusion of blind consumerism, the lie of supply and demand and nationalistic pride. We have bought into this story hook line and sinker. He also spells out the possibilities of a clean and superbly functional reality of efficient technological cities that are fully self-sustaining. Where the citizens of such city communities are well provided for and live in equality of social position and prosperity.

“The bottom line here is that when we step back and consider newly realized understandings of causality that are clearly having negative effects on the human condition, but go unabated unnecessarily due the pre-existing traditions established by culture, we inevitably end up in the context of civil rights and hence social sustainability. This new civil rights movement is about the sharing of human knowledge and our technical ability to not only solve problems, but to facilitate a scientifically derived social system that actually optimizes our potential and well-being. Anything less will create unnecessary imbalance and social destabilization and constitute what could be considered a hidden form of oppression.” (TZM Defined)

 “So, returning to the broad point, TZM works not only to create awareness of such problems and their true root causes (and hence logic for resolution), it also works to express the incredible potential we have, beyond such direct problem solving, to greatly improve the human condition in general, solving problems which, in fact, have not yet even been realized. This is initiated by embracing the very nature of scientific reasoning where the establishment of a near empirical train of thought takes precedence over everything else in importance. A train of thought by which societal organization as a whole can find a more accurate context for sustainability and efficiency on a scale never before seen, through an active recognition (and application) of the scientific method.”(TZM Defined)

 

To begin with…

m42_in_orion_detail_enh_02_by_thomcomstock

m42 in Orion detail, Thom Comstock

to begin with…..

I need to start my discussion with an assessment of why I chose this event and installation project, how I want to stir others with this topic and my own internal churning on the issues involved. The Zeitgeist Movement has opened my eyes and solidified a lot of what I have been thinking and processing in my heart and mind for many years. As a person of faith, and let me briefly clarify right here that I am not religious other than my desire to practice kindness and do good. Although a follower of Jesus I have never been a joiner. I have never felt a desire or a directive to be a “church member” and part of an organized religious affiliation ever. How I have always seen my station as a Christian is that I am a part of the body of Christ at large. I have always been disheartened by the division and denominational walls that I see in the church as something destructive to the overall purpose of the Gospel. Basically I am an old Jesus freak and never really strayed from that simplicity in faith and personal relationship with the divine entity I embrace as Jesus. When I was sixteen years old I had a profound experience. I will not go it into in detail now but to be brief my experience was that I came face to face with a living force and He, Jesus as He revealed Himself reached down into my being, took me and made me His own. It was a moment of profound intensity and crystal clarity that shook my being and changed my life.

I have always felt a concern for my natural environment and a connection with the creatures that we share this planet with, taking seriously the responsibility to seek and actively maintain a sustainable balance. I have never understood what I have seen as a general lack of responsible behavior from the church about what I have always seen as a charge from the creator to properly respect and protect the ecological balance of the planet. It’s simply logical. The old adage “don’t poop where you live” is a “duh!” moment and should be for anyone with a mind and eyes to see. I was for years a conservative and tended more towards the libertarian about governance. I felt that the less control of government the better because of the obvious possibilities for corruption. I have come to a very different place in recent years moving through a position of moderation, because I see we have to work together and get over the ridiculous polarization that we as a nation have seen escalate. Well, the experience of seeing the Zeitgeist, Moving Forward film has brought me to a place of total NO CONFIDENCE as far as anything that our current system of government has to offer. Not only that, but our free market capitalistic economy is just another exploitive side to that same dog and pony show. Just to make it clear right now, I don’t see that leftist or more socialist agenda is any better as providing solutions. I really feel that we need for our own sustainable survival to work together as a community for new answers. Working step-by-step together, with all the technologies and knowledge we have at our disposal, we can develop a sustainable reality for the good of all. These are issues that I will discuss further in more topic specific essays in this gathering of writing I am working to put together. Mostly, I want to start with my own internal development and mental dialogue to explain why my passions and conflicting emotions have brought me to this place of excitement and frustration.

I have made some big concessions of logical and critical thinking to many areas of belief that I had just accepted as truisms because tradition taught me so. Traditions are good and ground us to our history and family in our community structures, however they can also be stagnant and our world is even more so now than ever before in a constant motion of change, development and growth. I can no longer hold to the fundamentalist notion of the total and literal historical time line of the Bible for instance. For me this book is and always will be a living word of life and power. I just have come to the intellectual position of the allegorical portions of biblical history. There are places where history together with lineage and documented events is history and others where the narration is an allegorical explanation that can cover eons of time and symbolical archetype development. Also included of course is the law documented for instruction and societal institution. As we move forward and discover more about ourselves and our cultural development archeologically and scientifically it becomes more apparent to me how to separate these distinctions. Since my faith is a relationship with a living God and not a belief system of laws and hollow traditions this place of personal intellectual revelation is not as earth shattering and heart rending as it could be. The Bible is good for instruction and this continues as a solid foundation for me (2 Timothy 3:16-17). I guess the big change for me is that I have come to a place where the scientific method is another teacher I now respect anew and must acquiesce to its progressive process of discovery and the light this method has put on historical relevance.

I recently woke in the middle of the night. I was startled awake and suddenly terrified. Eternity and the abyss of the expansive cosmos took my breath away. I had no anchor, the sensation of vertigo, feeling the ground was gone and that I was beginning to fall and spin into that darkness. My mind reeled and my heart felt empty and horribly desolate. I reached for my Thom and he held me. I was hot and cold and still alone on the verge of weeping. My heart cried out, reaching for my God, His familiar presence and He was there. The spinning stopped and I was comforted, not alone, covered and safe. The cosmos is all encompassing and who understands the depth and breadth of it? Certainly not me and in that moment I realized it is not for me to understand. I am a speck on a speck and that is okay because I am loved, have purpose and vision to share that love and compassion with my community, my stories in my art practice with my audience and my care for my co-habitants on this planet. Not only humanoid Homo sapiens sapiens but to all creatures and the cyclical connection of biology and physiology we share in commonalty. I have also returned to a childlike awe of my world and am happy with my place in it and my trust is renewed and my faith refreshed. Lately I had let myself be afraid of the mystery of death because I have reached an age where there are fewer years before me than behind me, forgetting my purpose, my loves, and my hope. Despair is a dark place and we do well to not entertain the feeling long. Looking at all the loveliness in my life now and feeling it sift through my fingers too quickly instead of reveling in the joy of it and celebrating the gift is a hollow exercise. I have been prone to depression in the past and it has stolen precious years from me and I cannot allow that to happen any longer. I wrote a little song some years ago that helps to express my feeling about this as follows:

Today is here, let’s live every minute now
For tomorrow is many miles away.
You have taught me this old secret, though I have heard it times before
But somehow when you say it, it means so much more.
It’s today I want to live, today I want to sing
To be with you and all that you bring
Tomorrow can take care of herself
I wouldn’t want doubt to take away…from our today……R.C.

The Zeitgeist Movement, as I said, has opened my mind to possibilities and consideration I had not really seen before. The world we live in has many issues and problems that we as a society must face daily. We exist in an information age where we are constantly subjected to ideas and sensational influences that we have to process and understand. We face positive and negative forces that are not always easy to discern and one big reason is that there is generally an non-altruistic source to that information of organizational and corporate agendas. The other issue is focus, so many causes, so many issues, so many different directions of research, reaction and concern.

The Zeitgeist Movement by definition is “Founded in 2008, The Zeitgeist Movement is a sustainability advocacy organization, which conducts community based activism and awareness actions through a network of global/regional chapters, project teams, annual events, media and) charity work.”(http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/mission-statement). The film Zeitgeist Moving Forward is a documentary that takes an inclusive ecological, economical and sociological view of our collective reality. Documented scientific research of a large and respected panel of experts discusses the problematic issues we face together. Instead of a focus on one specific set of issues, the film looks at the relational interconnected reality of issues we face as a society together. The film puts together a comprehensive look at the possible outcomes/results and highlights the need to face these issues together effectively with the unifying force of the scientific method. The scientific method is an unbiased and progressive method of intelligent assessment. It is the productive creative process of problem solving that is the most logical and effective method to address and combat the issues we face.

“The movement is loyal to a train of thought, not figures or institutions. The view held is that through the use of socially targeted research and tested understandings in science and technology; we are now able to logically arrive at societal applications that could be profoundly more effective in meeting the needs of the human population, increasing public health. There is little reason to assume war, poverty, most crime and the range of the movement’s activism and awareness campaigns extend from short to long term, with many other monetarily-based scarcity effects common in our current model cannot be resolved over time. methods based explicitly on non-violent methods of communication.

The Zeitgeist Movement has no allegiance to any country or traditional political platforms. It views the world as a single system and the human species as a single family and recognizes that all countries must disarm and learn to share resources and ideas if we expect to survive in the long run. Hence, the solutions arrived at and promoted are in the interest to help everyone on Earth, not a select group.” (http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/mission-statement).

My concentrated interest and energy are in that I want to begin a dialogue in my own community about these collective issues, starting with an event that introduces The Zeitgeist Movement film and the comparative reality of the Central New York community into a collective awareness of the interconnected causalities of this world view. Together, considering the possibilities positive and negative that are speeding toward us in our shared now, what can we do to change and shape that reality for the sustainability of humanity and the world for the good of all? We are a part of this community whether we cooperate in combined unity or not and we will all live with the consequences of our actions or inactions. That is the reality of our future. It is no longer a matter of ‘can’t we all just get along’, but we must encourage each other to join together in a focused, unbiased effort to face these issues and problems of ecological, economical and societal implications. Looking with faith to the scientific and technological hope available to us today and moving forward into tomorrow with confidence together with empowered determination.

Together We face the Future

Curatorial Statement – Together We Face the Future, 2016

Together We Face the Future
Curatorial Statement: ‘Together We Face the Future’ asks our shared questions about tomorrow and looks at the technologies, societal issues, the economics of today, our environment and our shared fears and hopes for the future. Featuring a group of multi-disciplined and multi-generational artists, photographers, experts and film documentaries brought together to be part of a forum this event welcomes critical observation and conversational participation, starting a dialog about the realities of today and their impact on our collective and societal future and /or survival.

The contributing artists and their combined works in traditional, photographic and digital media will be of social commentary, space art, futuristic innovations and projections of architectural and ecological environments. The film, Zeitgeist: Moving Forward will be presented simultaneously as a back drop to the exhibition and speakers. This design will build a fluid, inviting and open forum for education, discovery and discussion.

There will be no admission cost and buying and selling are not a part of the event except for the concession café of the hosting venue or invited vendors. This event will be a facilitation to start a conversation in the Central New York Community; networking, knitting this community in to a connected force taking an active role together to face and shape a future of hope, prosperity and peace.

http://www.thezeitgeistmovement.com/