Not knowing, waiting and finding — though they may happen accidentally, aren’t accidents. They involve work and research. Not knowing isn’t ignorance. (Fear springs from ignorance.) Not knowing is a permissive and rigorous willingness to trust, leaving knowing in suspension, trusting in possibility without result, regarding as possible all manner of response. The responsibility of the artist […] is the practice of recognizing.
Divinatory Poetics describes a particular approach to composition: the cultivation of attention, entering in to a sort of lucid trance, experimentation with modes of thinking and angles of perspective. It refers to the use of language, medium and ritual to invite conversation and inquiry. By accessing the lunar mind, it is possible to side-step the bull-headed, bi-polar critic and submerge directly into creative process.
Divinatory Poetics is the dance of imagination with the undomesticated Other, (phenomena, beings, ideas, whatever is beyond the scope of our immediate, personal control). Embedded in this perspective are the notions that: 1) One chooses and participates in what is (subjectively) real by where attention is placed 2) The gap of liminal space between form and formless, imagination and matter, silence and sound, etc is where creativity is born , and 3) Conceptual binaries cannot ultimately convey the ephemeral, effervescent, non-conceptual continuum of unfolding life that poetry serves.
Collage is a Divinatory Poetics. Things call: a color that pulls the gut, a feather on the morning stoop, the eggshell beneath a tree-full of tiny robin shrieks. Particular details catch attention, crack vulnerability open. Following the weaving of attention through cradles of phenomena is a practice of recognition. The word sortilége refers to the interpretation of meaning/pattern via random selection. Random is, of course, subjective and contextual. The object chosen and the story that arises to frame it is always fresh and utterly apropos if one is willing and can bear the patience needed to listen or look. Spontaneous juxtapositions reveal unanticipated intimacies.
The next step is a spontaneous yet intentional composing of these found objects within a chosen frame. The initial process is concentrated and distilled; each inquiry contains a reply––a coded reflection that was somehow invisible before. One wanders through the thickets of a now narrowed attention and again, after a time, something glows or a the bird-call of one broken bit sings across to another and it is time to step closer, perhaps trample down some weeds, so the song can be discerned.
Many months after completing the Gateway painting, I find a photograph entitled, 'The Door' in my files....