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November 01, 2017


FEATHERS, RESISTANCE & FLIGHT


Feathers

FEATHERS
I recently read a review about a book titled The Evolution of Beauty by Richard Prum (David Dobbs, The New York Times, September 24, 2017). The book presents research that dates back to Darwin ... showing that though feathers eventually became instruments for flight, their original function was to enhance male birds' sexual appeal. Beauty first. Flight second. Makes me ponder the facets needed for existence and survival. Aesthetics affect how we treat each other. So do pragmatics and skills. They are all related to survival and evolution.

RESISTANCE
Recently, a person asked me regarding my resistance art: "When will the resistance be done?" In other words, when will you shut the fuck up? To which I said: "I refuse to answer such an absurd, hypothetical question." The question reflects a mindset that thinks that checks and balances are a waste of time because they are inconvenient for those who'd rather defer to power, give power a break, look the other way when power misbehaves ... even at the risk of ushering in totalitarianism.  The existence of a free press irritates those who want power to have free reign. They ask slightly differently worded yet equally absurd questions like ... "When will the reporting end?" "When will the probing end?" "When will the investigating end?"

Not too long ago, I saw an interview that a U.S. Senator gave a reporter. He was asked if our democracy was in jeopardy. And he said that though we have much to be concerned about, we still have a critical mass of people staying vigilant ... and we still have a free and robust press. For some reason, I burst into tears when I heard that answer because I feel we are at such a dangerous precipice where all of that could collapse.

FLIGHT
After reading that piece about feathers, I did some research about feathers and flight. I learned that in order to fly, we first need to overcome our own WEIGHT (i.e., gravity), then we need to create an upward force called LIFT, then we need to generate THRUST for forward motion, and finally, to keep moving and eventually fly, we need to overcome the RESISTANCE of the air called "drag."

As stated by artist Maya Lin, "To fly, we need resistance."

I can't help but get choked up thinking about the tireless, beautiful feathers who ensure that we evolve, survive, and fly not in spite of, but BECAUSE of our vigilance, and multi-faceted resistance.

#artandactivismlog #resistancelog #resist

 

 

 

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