Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Dirty Towel Rack

Appropriated image from the Classical Section of the MET
With Dirty Studio Towel

Friday, April 8, 2016

Art as Advocacy

Part of Vermont College of Fine Arts 2015 Alumni Symposium

Sunday, April 3, 2016

How can one entertain the idea that there is something much further to know than the known

I think this relates to your idea of going beyond one's problems.
Would  blowing up classical sculpture for example of the Masters of Western Philosophy, would that do it? Would it express something beyond the human condition?

Friday, April 1, 2016

Who are we without our problems

How and why do we separate what are the problems and what are the highlights in life? Are they not intertwined and not mutually exclusive? I don't think we have to cling to and identify with our problems. But that is not to erase them all together. (They really can't be erased, the stain will remain.) Problems exist. Sometimes they are there to jolt us out of a current pacifism. They are just another part of the wave of life.

An unexpected relic

by Anitra Haendel

Thursday, March 31, 2016

New York Pilgrimage

First stop:

1. Dinner but I can't eat. You would have liked the spice.
2. The shiny object under your grave
3. Your view
4. An exchange

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Clogging the drain

Clogging the Drain, No. 86224-1, 4, and 5, (Impermanent Resident Series,) 2016 
Lint, dust and colored pencil on tape, washed 
Site: Washington Wardman Park Marriott, CAA Conference, February 5, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Who are we without our problems?‏

Who are we without our problems?‏

I'm at the Guggenheim in New York, at the Burri show. It's magnificent, as a workshopper described to me a few days ago. I couldn't agree more. 

When I first saw Burri's Cloth I thought I understood it. I knew it, instantly. I felt like it was a beautiful "fuck you" to the Art Establishment. Pretty major projection on my part. I mean, I grew up lower middle class and had a big chip on my shoulder about "everyone else" who had money, who seemingly had more opportunities because they weren't as bad off as I was. Super self centered, and embarrassingly superficial, but that's how I was. So when I saw Burri's cloth, I felt like finally someone who is using meaningful materials to say something sharp, simple, poetic, and spot on about something simple. His is a big gesture using a very little gesture. Just some gold leaf on a sack cloth. Nothing more than some stitches. But then see what happens when he does that: majesty. 

20 years on I hope to have lost some of that edge. I understand these works on very different ways. I've never seen so many at one time before. 

So who am I without my perceived problem of being 'poor'? What can I contribute? What do I have to say?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A History of the Months and the Meanings of their Names

A History of the Months

The original Roman year had 10 named months Martius "March", Aprilis "April", Maius "May", Junius "June", Quintilis "July", Sextilis "August",September "September", October "October", November "November", December "December", and probably two unnamed months in the dead of winter when not much happened in agriculture. The year began with Martius "March". Numa Pompilius, the second king of Rome circa 700 BC, added the two months Januarius "January" and Februarius "February". He also moved the beginning of the year from Marius to Januarius and changed the number of days in several months to be odd, a lucky number. After Februarius there was occasionally an additional month of Intercalaris "intercalendar". This is the origin of the leap-year day being in February. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) changing the number of days in many months and removing Intercalaris.

January -- Janus's month

Middle English Januarie
Latin Januarius
 "of Janus"
Latin Janu(s)
 "Janus" + -arius "ary (pertaining to)"
Latin Januarius mensis
 "month of Janus"
Janus is the Roman god of gates and doorways, depicted with two faces looking in opposite directions. His festival month is January.
Januarius had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.

February -- month of Februa

Middle English Februarius
Latin Februarius
 "of Februa"
Latin Februa(s)
 "Februa" + -arius "ary (pertaining to)"
Latin Februarius mensis
 "month of Februa"
Latin dies februatus
 "day of purification"
Februarius had 28 days, until circa 450 BC when it had 23 or 24 days on some of every second year, until Julius when it had 29 days on every fourth year and 28 days otherwise. Februa is the Roman festival of purification, held on February fifteenth. It is possibly of Sabine origin.
February was originally the last month of the year. It is named after "februa," the plural of the Roman word "februum" for purification. The Roman festival of purification was held during that month. Originally it was a festival for preparing for the new year as well as for the new planting season. The gods and ancestors had to be pleased so that fertile fields would follow. They, therefore, made atonement or reparations for wrongs done during this month.

Februarius, a Month of Purification

Like January, February was not originally in the earliest Roman calendar system.
  • To complete the calendar year, the Romans inserted a blank numberr of days or an occasional intercalary month in the “dead” season of midwinter, between the last month of the year (December) and the first month of the next year (March).
  • Tradition says that Numa Pompilius, the legendary second Roman king (circa 715-672 B.C.; AUC 39-82) added the months of Januarius (Ianuarius) and Februarius for the previously unnamed period.
  • Julius Caesar revised the lengths of the months in his calendar reform.
  • He gave February 28 days, except for every fourth year, when it had an extra day between February 23 and 24 (not at the end of the month as it is now).
  • The name, Februarius, came about because of the Roman ceremonies for religious purification and expiation which took place during that month in anticipation of the new year; which originally began on March 1.
  • The most important festival in February was the Lupercalia, the ancient feast of fruitfulness, or fertility, on February 15.
  • The Lupercalian festival was an ancient fertility rite whose origins are lost in antiquity and may even predate civilization.
  • These religious rites were under the supervision of a group of priests called the Luperci that was divided into two colleges called Quinctillani andFabiani and each was in charge of a master (magister).
  • In 44 B.C., a third college, the Luperci Iulii, was established in honor of Julius Caesar; and on February 15 of that year, Mark Antony, as its magister, offered to make Caesar king, just a month before Caesar’s assassination.
  • The Lupercalian rites began as the priests gathered in the cave of Lupercal on the southwestern part of the Palatine Hill.
  • There the priests sacrificed goats and a young dog to the god Faunus, after which the foreheads of two youthful Luperci of high rank were smeared with the blood of the victims.
  • Later the blood was wiped off with wool dipped in milk, then the ritual required the two young men to laugh.
  • After a sacrificial feast, they stripped themselves naked and put on a “loin skin” from the skins of the slain goats.
  • Holding strips of the hides, they ran around the walls of the old Palatine community, hitting or snapping at all of those they came close to, especially women; an action which was believed to bring fertility, even to barren women, and a safe delivery in childbirth.
  • The goat-skin thongs were called februa, purifiers, which was derived from februo, to purify, and the day of purification.
  • William Shakespeare made use of the “Feast of the Lupercal” when he had Julius Caesar tell his barren wife, Calphurnia, to “Stand you directly in Antonio’s way when he doth run his course.” Then he instructed Mark Antony, “Forget not in your speed, Antonio, to touch Calphurnia; for our elders say, the barren, touched in this holy chase, shake off their sterile curse.” Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene ii, lines 3-9.
  • The Lupercalia was observed well into the Christian era. It is said that Pope Gelasius I introduced the Feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary, called Candlemas in A.D. 494, to counteract the excesses of the pagan celebrations of the Lupercalia.
  • The Saxons called the month of February Sol-monath in recognition of the returning strength of the sun.


The Lupercalia was celebrated on the fifteenth day before the kalends of March (February 15th).  One unusual aspect of this festival was that it was not associated with a temple of a god.  First of all, the Romans themselves were a bit confused about which god this holiday honored.  Was it Lupercus, or Inuus, or Faunus?  No one was absolutely certain, but that did not prevent this popular festival from being celebrated.  The focal point of this festival was a site on the Palatine hill: the Lupercal, the cave in which, according to legend, the wolf suckled Romulus and Remus, as depicted in this famous statuary group (the wolf is fifth century BC, but the twins were added in the early 16th century AD).

            The Lupercalia recalled the primitive days of Rome's existence, when, according to Roman tradition, a small community of shepherds lived in thatched huts on the Palatine hill, ruled by the founder of Rome, Romulus.  Dionysius of Halicarnassus tells us that in his day (first century BC), one of these huts, made out of sticks and reeds, stood on the slope of the Palatine toward the Circus Maximus.   This hut was honored as a sacred place and was kept in good repair (Roman Antiquities 1.79.11). 
This primitive settlement, however,  was more than just a popular tradition; modern archaeology has discovered the post holes of huts dating to the eighth century BC (the traditional date of Rome's foundation was 753 BC).  It seems probable that the name of the festival was derived from lupus ("wolf").  This derivation makes sense for a festival that was connected with a settlement of shepherds, whose most feared predator was the wolf.
In general, the ancients viewed the Lupercalia as a purification and fertility rite.  The ritual involved the sacrifice of goats and a dog in the Lupercal by priests called Luperci,1who smeared the foreheads of two noble young men with the blood of the sacrificed animals and then wiped it off.  At this point, the youths were required to laugh.  Then the luperci, clothed in loincloths, ran about the area, lashing everyone they met with strips of skin from the sacrificed goats.  Young wives were particularly eager to receive these blows, because it was believed that the ritual promoted fertility and easy childbirth.  These ceremonies were accompanied by much revelry and drinking.
The Lupercalia was so popular that it survived the onset of Christianity, but in a different form.  In 494 AD, the Pope made February 15 the feast of the Purification of the Virgin Mary. 

Intercalaris -- inter-calendar month

Latin Intercalaris "inter-calendar"
Latin Mercedonius
 (popular name) "?"
Intercalaris had 27 days until the month was abolished by Julius.

March -- Mars' month

Middle English March(e)
Anglo-French March(e)

Old English Martius

Latin Martius
 "of Mars"
Latin Marti(s)
 "Mars" + -us (adj. suffix)
Latin Martius mensis
 "month of Mars"
Martius has always had 31 days.
March was the original beginning of the year, and the time for the resumption of war.
Mars is the Roman god of war. He is identified with the Greek god Ares.

April -- Aphrodite's month

Old English April(is)
Latin Aprilis

Etruscan Apru

Greek Aphro
, short for Aphrodite.
Aprilis had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.
Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love and beauty. She is identified with the Roman goddess Venus.

May -- Maia's month

Old French Mai
Old English Maius

Latin Maius
 "of Maia"
Latin Maius mensis
 "month of Maia"
Maius has always had 31 days.
Maia (meaning "the great one") is the Italic goddess of spring, the daughter of Faunus, and wife of Vulcan.

June -- Juno's month

Middle English jun(e)
Old French juin

Old English junius

Latin Junius
 "of Juno"
Latin Junius mensis
 "month of Juno"
Junius had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.
Juno is the principle goddess of the Roman Pantheon. She is the goddess of marriage and the well-being of women. She is the wife and sister of Jupiter. She is identified with the Greek goddess Hera.

July -- Julius Caesar's month

Middle English Julie
Latin Julius
Latin Julius mensis
 "month of Julius"
Latin quintilis mensis
 "fifth month"
Quintilis (and later Julius) has always had 31 days.
Julius Caesar reformed the Roman calendar (hence the Julian calendar) in 46 BC. In the process, he renamed this month after himself.

August -- Augustus Caesar's month

Latin Augustus "Augustus"
Latin Augustus mensis
 "month of Augustus"
Latin sextilis mensis
 "sixth month"
Sextilis had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.
Augustus Caesar clarified and completed the calendar reform of Julius Caesar. In the process, he also renamed this month after himself.

September -- the seventh month

Middle English septembre
Latin September

Latin septem
 "seven" + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin september mensis
 "seventh month"
September had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

October -- the eighth month

Middle English octobre
Latin October

Latin octo
 "eight" + -ber (adj. suffix)
Latin october mensis
 "eighth month"
October has always had 31 days.

November -- the nineth month

Middle English Novembre
Latin November

Latin Novembris mensis
 "nineth month"
Novembris had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 30 days long.

December -- the tenth month

Middle English decembre
Old French decembre

Latin december
 "tenth month"
Latin decem
 "ten" + -ber (adj. suffix)
December had 30 days, until Numa when it had 29 days, until Julius when it became 31 days long.


These sources are somewhat inconsistent. I have chosen interpretations that are predominate among sources or that seem most reasonable.
William Morris, editor, The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, New College Edition, Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, 1976
Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Portland House, New York, 1989
William Matthew O'Neil, Time and the Calendars, Sydney University Press, 1975