Art and Life

Art doesn’t belong to humans, but human art has consequences. Here is an art form made by sun and water…

rainbowRainbow Over Vernon

Object or process? Why must one choose?

It’s like asking: Man or Woman? Oh, please, both. They go together so beautifully. Like bird and house …


Starling at Home in a Real Bird House, Turtle Mountain

This building easily has fifty holes like this, and another hundred covered (hopelessly) with tin. Birds fly in and out endlessly. I bet it’s noisy and smelly inside. Humans are not welcome. This is no longer their place.

Contemporary humans love to dissect things. For example, city health officials are going to want to dissect that house and turn it into land fill some day. To think: another species is starting to live in houses! Can’t  happen!


When Humans Leave the Earth …

… the earth replaces them. Here, starlings have moved into the human ecological niche. Think of this as The Galapagos, Version 2.0. The resulting interaction between humans and starlings, as both claim the ecological niche, is an object of art.

To give starlings a leg up on becoming the masters of interior decorating, a house is required. An object. A piece of art. A building as a piece of art? Well, yes, in the process of a context …


Photography, Vernon

A tool that can sculpt art out of any process and process out of any art. Must one choose? 

It’s a mainstay of contemporary artistic theory that one cannot make objects, only processes. Only processes, it appears, are art. To make these processes, one uses objects, yet the objects are disregarded. That’s a choice, not a logical imperative. So is this:


The Dumpster, Vernon

The primary sculptural form of Contemporary Canadian Culture. Transportable, tipple, movable, and, in a pinch, a house, a shopping mall, and a grocery store. The Dumpster has it all. Because it is an object, however, it is not regarded as art. And a good thing. As evidenced by the paint marks to the left, art is being actively erased in this neighbourhood, on the principle that art destroys the value of property, which, despite being public, is private. Notice that wall, dumpster and grass are immune from this censorship. Sometimes it helps to be an object. Objects appear to have great capacities of resistance. Art, however, at least the intellectually acceptable variety, disregards them. This is how humans leave their planet. This is how that is witnessed.

There is a class of objects, however, which are considered art. This is the group of artifices called industrial memory objects. They are usually made out of such industrial materials as recycled plastic …

IMG_8634Garden Centre Fountain Offered for Sale, Swan Lake

Why oh why did they not add blue dye instead of yellow? Photo: Anassa Rhenisch

… or even recycled waste from dumpsters, shipped to China, reprocessed by people in the process of leaving the earth, and shipped back to North America, to help North Americans in their own self-assigned task of leaving the earth, along the principle that every house needs a bit more off-gassing.


Plastic Grass, Vernon Discount Store

Cheaper than the real thing, and unchanging over the seasons. This is an example of an art form in which object has triumphed over process. This art form is known as prettification. It is intended for indoor, rather than outdoor use.

So is the earth remembered by creatures who have left it. Meanwhile, on the earth …

P1000022 Landscaping, Downtown Vernon

This is the art form known as beautification. It is part of the aesthetic of leaving the earth.

For all its object-centred essence, this industrial garden is showing the signs of wear. As its stones flow away due to the predation of winter snowplows, water and light return. This object, married with the absence of some of its parts, is returning to process.P1000027

Life in a Puddle

It has all the time in the world. Even the maple trees are moving into abandoned human ecological niches, aren’t they.

Process, yes, but without the object, no process. Process, yes, but without humans, the object. Forcing the choice is death or just torture.

P1090591Tree Slave Bearing the Ritual Scars of the War Between Object and Process, Kelowna

In this art form, the tree, an ancient life form, is used as a slave in order to influence the processes of humans. Still an object, though. Life, here, has been object-ified in order to create a process-based art work. In this case, the process is operating to convince humans within cars that they are travelling through a Garden of Eden.

Given the great gap between the organic processes of the tree (and the trace it leaves of them in form) and the wounds from which the tree suffers under the effects of human process-based art, I can only conclude that to humans living in their post-earth process-based world, the relationship between tree and human body is invisible to these creatures. They have, already, left life (and bodies) behind for something else. That something else is art. Where have process-based humans migrated, in their rush to leave objects behind? Aha, that’s the fascinating thing. They are where you’d least expect them. In objects!


A Row of Post-Object Humans, Vernon

Hiding out as electrical poles, while a memory object of humans decorates the side of a building. Memory objects (rather than the process-based art of taggers) is not censored in this community. Logically. Without the object, the process of re-creating humans as electrical poles ends and they must stay there forever.

Somewhere, the creatures still remember that there is something better. Something with a different kind of process.

bee Bee, Foraging, Bella Vista

Choose life. It is an art form that does not separate process from object or object from process. In fact, it does not tolerate such separation.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.