Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday, April 26, 2009

I'm not at all sure who I am right now.

reading these lines as I read your last message

"The soul is the seedbed of our actions. Everything that we conceptualize, create, or destroy has its beginnings there. What we see cultivated and thriving in the outer terrain is a manifestation of our inner creative or destructive impulses. There is a connectedness between what we see in the world and who we are, between who we are and what we do."

Estella Conwill Majozo, To Search for the Good and Make it Matter
Swine flu

Friday, April 24, 2009

Scarlet Letter intervention (1)

Scarlet Letter Intervention
Paper and twine
Dimensions variable

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Another Day, 2

notice bird on a wire parrot next door
smell my sweat twine and dinner from last night
talk to mother talk to mother talk to mother
wash dishes listen for washer
blend breakfast shake remember vitamins
dress decide, same clothes for three years
fold laundry lint out of dryer
take project photos finish intervention
pick up daughter
run to post office stamps, deadlines, applications due
make lunch irritated
tidy up tidy up tidy up tidy up
write grocery list, to do list, mental list, art list
vacuum and sweep - everyone's allergic to spring
read to daughter read to myself - pick up the book, already
shop for groceries make sure enough money is in account
teach drawing lesson remember how to draw
cook dinner list list list
propose consider ponder
post follow through
read exhaustion stress

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

another everyday

notice bird on a wire
smell my sweat
talk to mother
wash dishes
blend breakfast shake
fold laundry
take project photos
pick up daughter
run to post office
make lunch
tidy up
write grocery list
read to daughter
shop for groceries
teach drawing lesson
cook dinner

Done with One

Preliminary Project Proposal

Project Proposal:

I propose a site-specific sculpture, a bronze easel, to be placed within the landscape of Redmond for the Redmond Outdoor Park Exhibition. The easel itself is to be part cast bronze as well as bronze piping, designed and welded by me with the help of Seattle welder, Jerry Sustek, and cast with help of Olympic Foundry.

The artwork is a sculpture and a performance as it will be fully adjustable by the viewer/participant. It is a space in which to engage as well as a tool to support the art community within Redmond. A plaque will accompany the sculpture inviting viewer participation stating; “Turn this easel to a desired location. Look. Create.” There is a possibility for landscape classes to accompany the piece over its two-year duration.

It is time for public sculpture to speak not just of the beauty within itself but and perhaps more importantly to the beauty surrounding it, our environment, out of which it is born.

ARTCamp 2009

Great proposal beginning.
I would recommend focusing on what you want to say, and worry about the technical details of fabrication a bit later.
If you would like me to proof read it for you, I'd be happy to.
It is a great start, now time for finessing it a bit.
Forza Tereza!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Bronze Easel

Directory of Images
Redmond Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition
Where the Beauty of the Art Reflects the Beauty of the Landscape, which is Redmond
Tereza Swanda

*Note that finished easel will be fabricated in bronze
1. Easel at Westside Park
2. Easel at Sammamish Trail
3. Easel at Sammamish Trail
4. Easel at Marymoore Park

Requirements and Directions for Installation

A plaque must accompany the piece explaining to all the function of the piece; to look at, and participate in appreciating the beauty of Redmond through painting, drawing and observing this landscape. (Instead of looking at the artwork I want to shift the viewer’s/participant’s perspective, to the beauty of this land.)
The easel will come with a concrete base as well as an axle in order to rotate the piece for the desired view.
A round circumference measuring the same, as the concrete base needs to be dug up in order for the base and ground to be at the same level. (view drawings)
All edges will be sanded for safety.
The easel will be functional and available to all in the community.
Periodic lubrication of parts might be required as the piece gets more wear over the years.

(Still need to work out details, call foundries, collaborate with plumbers, construction workers for the concrete base, etc.)

Friday, April 17, 2009


I've been withdrawn in the self- or more specifically self-pity. Received a poor evaluation on my last batch of writing. It's amazing how paralyzing a couple of words can be. Doubting everything-writing, the professor, dialogue, the program, the silly paper at the end of forty thousand dollars... myself.

Need to move, to dance

I feel like I need to begin anew.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

My friend was laughing today!
And now so am I.

When in the world did Jamie Emerick arrive?
I feel I was part of your collaboration - I wish I was there.

Wednesday, Thursday

letting your weight be supported
holding you up (with little help from me)

Bosco piece, "One who lay,"

reflection of the tree on the path

lying within

walking within

one who lay

It was fantastic to work side by side. I noticed the differences in working, in decision making, in thinking while keeping the other in mind/heart. We walked and sat still for at least half of the time noticing more about the little trail behind our house than I ever had. We noticed many organisms in the process of rebirth; a young tree growing out of a stump, a waterlily growing under the roots of a fallen tree; one still somehow protecting and cohabiting with the other.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


10 Serviceberry trees are arriving tomorrow to be planted on our roof and in the backyard.
My friend had surgeries yesterday - not sure how they went.
I still have so much to do, I feel overwhelmed.
I think I want I want I want

Monday, April 13, 2009


She's going in for multiple surgeries today - to get stitched up, to become physically whole again.
We're sorting the schedule.
I've tried to sleep but my dreams are of my friend.
Keep on painting
I'm sorry I don't have time to discuss the public art application, let alone work on the application with you - perhaps at a better time, when there is less of an immediate need for my and your and everyone's attention. However, please include me in as a participant if we get it and install/perform later this year.


thoughts with friend

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Friend better, but still not out of woods.
Took 3 hour nap and dreamt of her -
She has a lot of angels around her, and is healing herself
slept 5 hours, but still feel exhausted.
Back to hospital later
I'm glad the sun is shining
Please send thoughts to my friend

Thursday, April 9, 2009



-9:00- 11:30: Studio.
Progressed with second Morse code piece. Three more strands

-1pm: Greek consulate with Dad.
Good progress; am officially in queue in Athens for dual citizenship

-3-4:30pm: Giro.
Walked from 79th street and Madison avenue to 24th street and 8th avenue, mostly along 5th avenue. Even with the overload of tourists, it's still my favorite passageway of New York.

-5-6pm: Worked on client.

-6-6:30: Ate falafel, thankfully alone.

-6:30 - 8pm: SoHo
Ilana's opening. It was lovely, met very interesting people.

-8-9pm - walked around SoHo with friends from the opening.

-9pm - 12am - With Turu's friends Dominic and Pat and Pat's baby Fenton.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

researching place, land, home

The town of my birth: Jesenik , Czech Republic
known for it's healing through water.

to the town of my residence: Redmond, WA,_Washington

I'm thinking of these places in relationship to Lucy Lippard's essay Looking Around: Where We Are, Where We Could Be. I'm thinking of colonial habits that devastate the ecosystem, my habits and my intrusion on this land. A thought from today; if you/I had very little water left, would we water the tree or drink? Which one is more important to the ecosystem?

Opening reception

Excited to see Ilana's show at Artists Space this Thursday

Monday, April 6, 2009

As Above, So Below

This phrase comes from the beginning of The Emerald Tablet and embraces the entire system of traditional and modern magic which was inscribed upon the tablet in cryptic wording by Hermes Trismegistus. The significance of this phrase is that it is believed to hold the key to all mysteries. All systems of magic are claimed to function by this formula. "'That which is above is the same as that which is below'...Macrocosmos is the same as microcosmos. The universe is the same as God, God is the same as man, man is the same as the cell, the cell is the same as the atom, the atom is the same as...and so on, ad infinitum."

This message theorizes that man is the counterpart of God on earth; as God is man's counterpart in heaven. Therefore, it is a statement of an ancient belief that man's actions on earth parallel the actions of God in heaven. This pivots on the belief that "all things have their birth from this One Thing by adaptation."

To the magician the magical act, that of causing a transformation in a thing or things without any physical contact, is accomplished by an imaginative act accompanied by the will that the wanted change will occur. The magical act and imaginative act becomes one and the same. The magician knows with certainty that for the change to occur he must will it to happen and firmly believe it will happen. Here it may be noted that magic and religion are akin: both require belief that a miracle will occur.

To bring about such a change the magician uses the conception of "dynamic interconnectedness to describe the physical world as the sort of thing that imagination and desire can effect. The magician's world is an independent whole, a web of which no strand is autonomous. Mind and body, galaxy and atom, sensation and stimulus, are intimately bound. Witchcraft strongly imbues the view that all things are independent and interrelated." These concepts pivot on the belief that all things come from the One Thing, or First Cause, and "Its power is integrating, if it be turned into earth."

The purpose of all rituals in ceremonial magic is to unite the microcosm with the macrocosm to join God, or gods when invoked, with the human consciousness. When such a supreme union is achieved the subject and object becomes one. This is because the magician feels that he is consciously in touch with all elements of the universe, therefore, he can control them. It may be said, the magician feels connected with the universe. This feeling intensifies the more the magician successfully practices his skills. Whenever he experiences a failure he knows that the ritual was not performed correctly.

When feeling unison with the universe the magician knows he has reached his Higher or True Self because he has attained mastery of himself and the universe. Thus he feels his "skillful work ascends from earth to heaven and descends to earth again, and receives the power of the superiors and of the inferiors." Therefore, he "hast the glory of the whole worldtherefore let all obscurity flee from thee." Now the miracles are possible.

Some magicians, including Aleister Crowley, claimed that when the magician reaches this ultimate peak of altered consciousness the miracles are no longer important, the extreme goal becomes the direct union with God. A.G.H.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Dad's hand surgery

My dad almost got his hand chopped off in a table saw yesterday.
He called my mom from the ER, and then she called me.
We went to the hospital while he was being operated on.

The surgeon came out and said the procedure was successful:
his pointer finger had to receive a skin graft from his hip
his thumb had to be sewn up very carefully as well.
Feeling may or may not be regained in the tip of his fingers.
Considering his age, he was doing very well.

We went to him in the recovery room, and he was very out of it.
Unexpectedly, I felt faint and nauseas and almost passed out, but I got over it.
He was awake, but not aware of what was going on; he wanted to know what time it was over and over and over.

When he looked in my eyes and knew who I was and why I was there, I realized I have a bond with him that I don't have with any other living being.
In that moment, I knew I wanted to be a parent.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Guest of Cindy Sherman

I went to see the movie Guest of Cindy Sherman. last night.
It was an interesting film, and I am glad I saw it- but rather than recount it here, I liked the review given by ArtFagCity blog.
Although it was a portrayal of what is was like to be Cindy Sherman's partner during her meteoric rise to fame during the 1990's, it seemed to me to portray an inner sadness and also highlight the lack of personal fortitude of the director/partner.

What concerned me most about the film was the reinforcement of gender stereotypes with regard to domestic partnership or marriage. Some thoughts:

When women are in the role of a "supporting wife", their marriage is more or less deemed successful by the larger community- a strong man, a good provider, a supporting wife, perfect life. In my experience as a wife and woman making art and living in New York City, there is not a lot of mention of a woman's own careers, a woman's own independence, a woman's own life separate from being wife, mother, negotiator, bill payer, laundry do-er, washer, mender, etc. (see previous posts about On Any Given Day poem).

I could just be projecting from my own domestic situation a little, but the movie did illicit that reaction...

So, when the supporting partner in a relationship is a man - and in this case, someone who seems to have remora tendencies from the beginning -feeling of emasculation, lack of self worth, and identity issues come to the forefront and discussed as though they are something new - they can't seem to deal with their more submissive role. But this hierarchic assumption of authority is still the fundamental thing that maintains inequality at home and in the community!

With women I know and have grown up with, I find it is still commonly accepted and even something to be proud of to be a "woman who doesn't work". New York City certainly is not easy to live in as a single person, let alone a wife and mother. To be a woman whose husband can afford to keep her at home, to raise a family, etc. is something that I see many women aspiring to, often at the expense of their own careers and own identities.

Sadly, movies continue to reinforce this inequality, which illustrates how we have not been able to move past this issue.

Friday, April 3, 2009

organ between

Being with my friend today we stumbled upon this beautiful image of the organ she and her daughter shared.

"The placenta or afterbirth is a highly vascularized ephemeral organ present in eutherian mammals that connects the developing fetal tissues to the uterine wall. The placenta supplies the fetus with maternal nutrients, and allows fetal waste to be disposed of via the maternal kidneys. The word placenta comes from the Latin for cake, from Greek plakóenta/plakoúnta, accusative of plakóeis/plakoús - πλακόεις, πλακούς, "flat, slab-like"[1][2], referring to its round, flat appearance in humans. Protherial (egg-laying) and metatherial (marsupial) mammals produce a choriovitelline placenta that, while connected to the uterine wall, provides nutrients mainly derived from the egg sac. The placenta develops from the same sperm and egg cells that form the fetus, and functions as a fetomaternal organ with two components, the fetal part (Chorion frondosum), and the maternal part (Decidua basalis)."


thoughts that came up as I was sketching:
-corresponding to chakras in the body
-begin with beads on the floor
-beads as vibrations, as conversation, as dialogue (and then the physical movement of each string)
-a form of speaking with each other in silence
-women's work- sewing, decorating
-more importantly connecting
-sit as meditation with another- communication, commune

I want this performance to be a vision for what we can create between ourselves.
"In Almost Absolute Silence"
Here is my latest paper that will explain this further:

(Who knows- maybe we lose the necklace and just look at each other in silence)...

Tereza Swanda

Visual Culture Project
Semester 2 – Packet #1

Redefining Love through the Female Perspective

March 23, 2009
Sowon Kwon

What am I searching for within the texts written by or about feminists? Certainly, there is the underlying connection that since I have a female body/mind/spirit, there will be something within the lines of the previous writers that will reveal what is me; clarify what/who I am and reach me at the core; my beliefs, wants, anima. I am re-positioning, redirecting my education; not studying institutionalized (male) knowledge which I had throughout previous schooling, but the periphery which is continuously emerging as a parallel study (even as many of the writers are recognized as scholars in their own right). As Judith Butler has realized, so to have I. “I might not find my version of philosophy mirrored for me in any institutional form.”(240) Within feminist education lies a blueprint, a sketch of another possibility and through my reeducation there can be a deeper shift within the paradigm of my life. “For it is not a matter of changing this or that within a horizon already defined as human culture. It is a question of changing the horizon itself—of understanding that our interpretation of human identity is both theoretically and practically wrong.” (Irigaray, 20)

Let me/us consider one way we interact with one another, the monetary economy, which is a mediating structure between us all. Let us also consider the present moment as this structure is slowly and finally crumbling—or at least standing on shaky ground. How dynamite to think of breaking through this barrier to one another—to see, really see the other! I am not alone in my thinking:

It would entail, beyond the enslavement of property, beyond the subject’s submission to the object…, becoming capable of giving and receiving, of being active and passive, of having an intention that stays attuned to interactions, that is, of seeking a new economy of existence or being which is neither that of mastery nor that of slavery but rather of exchange with no preconstituted object—vital exchange, cultural exchange, of words, gestures, etc., an exchange thus able to communicate at times, to commune…, beyond any exchange of objects. (Irigaray, 45)

To quote from an interview with Millay: “Should the profit system be abolished?”

Yes, I blame the system…. I should like to live in a world where everybody has a job, leisure to study, leisure to become wiser, more perceptive…. I am willing to give up everything I possess, everything I will have…. I am willing to live in the simplest life … to live in a hut, on a loaf a day (Oh, I do know this sounds idiotic!) to achieve it. (Millay, 387)

They [women under a capitalist system after the fall of communism] had freedom to speak but no voice. They had freedom to buy essential services with money they did not have, freedom to indulge in the oldest form of private enterprise, prostitution, prostitution of body, mind and soul to consumerism, or else freedom to starve, freedom to beg. (Greer, 11)

…we discern some value in not being sure about the value of becoming a philosopher, unless a resistance to its institutionalization has another kind of value… (Butler, 234)

What do we truly value? What structure or system can we create between ourselves that upholds those values? What does that look like?

Another median between us is language. Unlike a physical exchange however, it has the potential to be much more. It is a much more nuanced exchange—with tones and pitches, pauses, rich subtleties, with many dimensions, not to mention the variety of languages.

If we are to regulate and cultivate energy between human beings, we need language. But not just denotative language, language that names, declares the reality or truth of things and transmits information; we also and especially need language that facilitates and maintains communication. And it is not just the lexicon we are talking about, but a syntax appropriate to intersubjectivity. This also calls into question why we speak—the very purpose of speech. (Irigaray, 100.)

How we speak to one another becomes of utmost importance. Luce Irigarauy’s answer,
“In Almost Absolute Silence,” is a chapter dedicated to this notion. “This silence is the condition for a possible respect for myself and for the other within our respective limits.” (Irigaray, 117) “But above all, it gives you a silent space in which to manifest yourself.” (118) Therefore, language is not just the speech we communicate with but also and more importantly that space of interaction, between action and stillness, between sound and silence.

One artist that embodied this play between silence and sound in language was Edna St.Vincent Millay. She wrote her poems in silence, completing them in their entirety before writing. In addition, however, many whom she reached knew her from her vibrato voice. (Milford, 383) Millay toured and gave readings continuously throughout her life as well as doing radio shows. It was her inner strength, her love, which she revealed as she sang each word. (

What do we know of love, loving, being with love, sharing love? I agree with Krishnamurti from his chapter, Freedom from the Know, in his text, On Nature and the Environment that we do not know much about the topic.

When I say, “Love has no tomorrow and no yesterday,” or “When there is no center, then there is love,” it has reality for me but not for you. You may quote it and make it into a formula, but that has no validity. You have to see it for yourself, but to do so there must be freedom to look, freedom from all condemnation, all judgment, all agreeing or disagreeing. (33)

We do glimpse it however, when we start talking about love between. Not love of one for another, a subject/object relationship. Not something, I alone create and then pass on to another to receive. But a vibration, energy between us in which I try to see you as clearly as possible and vice-a-versa. “Transcendence is thus no longer ecstasy, leaving the self behind toward an inaccessible total-other, beyond sensibility, beyond the earth. It is respect for the other whom I will never be, who is transcendent to me and to whom I am transcendent.” (Irigaray, 104) Luce Irigaray comes closest to Krishnamurti’s notion:

I am listening to you, as to another who transcends me, requires a transition to a new dimension. I am listening to you: I perceive what you are saying, I am attentive to it, I am attempting to understand and hear your intention. Which does not mean: I comprehend you, I know you, so I do not need to listen to you... (Irigaray, 116)

Another feminist that seems to know of this kind of love is bell hooks. Through her book, The Will to Change; Men, Masculinity, and Love, hooks connects with many men and presents their perspective:

My vision for myself and for all men is that we reclaim every piece of our humanity that has been denied us by our conditioning. Obsession with sex can be healed when we reclaim all the essential aspects of the human experience that we have learned to manage without: our affinity for one another, caring connections with people of all ages and backgrounds and genders, sensual enjoyment of our bodies, passionate self-expression, exhilarating desire, tender love for ourselves and for another, vulnerability, help with our difficulties, gentle rest, getting and staying close with many people in many kinds of relationships. (Bearman, quoted by hooks, 182)

It is rare to read such honest self-expression from anyone but more so from a man.

Within feminist education lies a blueprint, a sketch of another possibility; to have a universe of two who not only coexist but also love. Love not only between lovers, but also between children and elderly, between men, between women, between friends (who are initially strangers), between father and son, between colleagues, between us. “The subject does not produce meaning alone, does not realize a task alone, nor accomplish an undertaking all alone.” (Irigaray, 126)

Work Cited
Butler, Judith. Undoing Gender. New York: Routledge, 2004.
Greer, Germaine. The Female Eunuch. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2008.
Hooks, Bell. The Will to Change: Men, Masculinity, and Love. New York: Atria Books, 2004.
Irigaray, Luce. I Love to You: Sketch for a Felicity Within History. New York: Routledge, 1996.
Krishnamurti, J. On Nature and the Environment. San Francisco, Calif: HarperSan Francisco, 1991.
Milford, Nancy. Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay. New York: Random House, 2001.