Darth Vader Would Have Brewed Crappy Beer

The Galactic Empire was all about conformity, standardization and efficiency. Efficiency makes for crappy beer. Darth Vader would have made crappy beer. Bow to Darth Vader and his cult of efficiency and you get the beer you deserve.

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Your Life Is An Ecosystem

How about this for 2015? My life is an ecosystem, not a factory. It’s not just true for me, or just for artists, poets and meaning makers, it’s true for everyone. It’s a meta enough metaphor that lots of other metaphors that have been floating around find cohesion under this one. I’m kind of excited about it.

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Homer’s Integrity

I’m most creative when I’m working from a place of integrity. Integrity is when I claim the broken parts of myself and the good parts of myself equally as mine.

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Hammer time.

A system is simply a way of doing things. An furniture-building-system is as much a thing as the furniture that gets made by the system.

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We flirt with eternity.

When I’m hacking through the words, when I’m picking through the different progressions on my guitar, when I’m experimenting, I’m getting mad, I get a smile on my face because a certain word works in certain structure—I lose complete track of time. It’s in those moments of creativity that I think we flirt with eternity. It brings you back to that age before we were aware of the concept of time and its limitations, like a child playing.

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Today I learned I’ve been short listed as a finalist in The Word Guild Awards for a poem published in Crux Magazine earlier this year.

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Would you like that painting upsidedown or rightside up?

A creative-handed person’s training, competency and practice often consists of setting aside or stepping out of familiar general competencies. On a fine grained level, particularly on a project by project basis, they are facile at stepping out of what they think know about something in order to encounter that thing on its own terms in a fresh new way.

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Dysfunction is beautiful?

Family, home, our place of origin. It’s often where we want to be and where we want to get away from at the same time. Ellinda Siu’s interknit show, a collection of “dysfunctional sweaters,” gives rise to similar conflicted feelings. The sweaters are hand knit, tactile, comfy looking. But like most families, look more closely and the dysfunction emerges.

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The Discipline of Vulnerable Generative Activity

Our culture quietly, but pervasively tells you you shouldn’t be vulnerable, you shouldn’t bother, don’t take the risk. Be safe, consume, stay passive. Fortunately you don’t need our culture’s permission to step into vulnerable generative activity. You only need your own permission.

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Write like a @#$%&*@!$#*%

In my winter solstice post I was having trouble articulating a shift that had occurred, somewhat unbidden. I talked about the “coming out from under some should’s” which was a move away from a negative. What I hadn’t articulated was the simultaneous move toward the positive. I didn’t realize there had been a move toward a positive until I read this article on integral leadership which contained descriptions eerily similar to my experience.

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City Trees

In 2003 I made a strange little pseudo-conceptual art book called City Trees. When city trees first surfaced on this blog they came by way of the work I done back in 2003. Back then I didn’t really know what City Trees was about, I was just playing with the idea... read more

Burn baby, burn.

I hadn’t planned on the winter solstice taking on more meaning than the Christmas season, but it did, so I’m going with it.

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Let’s get to the Crux of the matter.

My copy of Crux arrived in the mail the other day, which was exciting because my poem “Start Tango” was published therein. My first published poem! Yay, words. Go language, go. What’s more, I was infromed “Crux has chosen your poem to enter... read more

Cultural photosynthesis: Artful is the new art.

I’ve long harboured this niggling feeling that the blogged and twittery instagramaphone of the interwebs is just a big vanity machine. I’m still not entirely disabused of that notion, but today I think I’ve arrived a new place.

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Christmas Mourning?

I read somewhere that early church fathers intentionally chose December 25th, the celebrtion of the Christ’s birth, for its proximity to winter solstice. The longest darkest days of the year happen just before the symbolic shift toward hope and light that Jesus... read more

What are Story Walks and how do I get me some?

Often, it feels as though you are skipping and flittering to the demands of a narrative that is not your own. How might you recapture your own narrative? How might you recapture a more human narrative? Story Walks are a starting point.

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Hipster thou art I.

Read an interesting NY Times commentary by Christy Wampole called “How to Live Without Irony.” She uses the beloved pastime of hipster mocking as gateway into a broader cultural disposition in which “irony is the primary mode with which daily life is dealt.”

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Farming the Great Unknown

Organizations that expect manageable toaster like production out of a farm-like process are going to experience some problems. The organization will be blind to the cycles and seasons that come with farming because they’ll be trying to understand the farm through an assembly line lens.

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Evan’s Art Show @ Mosaic

Creative practice is about putting a piece of yourself “out there.” Evan, in producing this work and making it available to us, has put himself “out there,” and that’s an inherently vulnerable thing to do.

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I’m Just Jenny. AN INTERVIEW with Jenny Hawkinson

Here I am spilling my guts to friends I’ve known since junior high that I haven’t seen in six years, and my family members who don’t really know what I do down here. And just people I’ve never really been vulnerable with before and all of a sudden there’s a room of 50 people. The interview guy is like, “What does this mean? What does that mean?” Aaaaaaaaah.

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Why you are sometimes misunderstood part 7a

What can be thinking is design thinking, it’s synthesis, it’s putting things together in a way that arrives at something new. Elsewhere on this site I talk about disruptive imagination. Disruptive imagination is “what can be” thinking.

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Why you are sometimes misunderstood: part 5

Explorers love mental parkour. Now, I know “mental parkour” is a bit of an oxymoron, since parkour is embodied practice. However, Explorers tend to connect their world of ideas back to embodied life, living ecosystems, which is different from Tinkerers, as we’ll see.

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Why you are sometimes misunderstood: part 4

People act in the world. Another way to say that is people have agency. Further, people act, carry out their agency, from a sense of what is possible. So, we could say that people are agents of possibility. If it helps, you can think of people as Secret Agents of Possibility.

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Why you are sometimes misunderstood: part 3

The fist time I went snowboarding was at Whistler/Blackcomb, a giant ski resort north of Vancouver, I spent most of the day falling down. But that’s beside the point. The interesting part is the rental shop.

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Why you are sometimes misunderstood: part 2

In 1858 The Palliser expedition made its way through what is now the Canmore region just west of Calgary Alberta (Where Brokeback Mountain was filmed, if that helps you picture it) in search of a navigable pass through the Rocky Mountains for the Canadian Pacific Railway.

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Why you are sometimes misunderstood.

Did you have a definitive tangible sense that the idea you had gotten to was on the right track? Was your sense of on-the-right-track-ness ignored? Where you asked to provide a verbally articulated, linear, sequential explanation for how you got to where you were? Where you frustrated at having to provide an explanation for something you had no explanation for? Were you frustrated at having to provide the explanation in a form you couldn’t provide even if you did have an explanation?

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Smart phones and happiness.

Problem is the control offered through our pursue-and-escape devices is illusory. It’s a self referential strategy that tends to construe all relationships as being on “our own terms” which obviates vulnerability and risk, connection and trust; thereby rendering only provisional and surface relationships possible.

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Paper Man III

The more “thems” there are the more real Paper Man becomes. Like pencil marks around the outside of a shape. You don’t draw the shape, you draw pencil marks in the space around the shape, and where the pencil marks stop, makes the shape.

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Paper Man II

Everyone feeling they should be Paper Man is a problem. There is no Paper Man, he is Paper Man. Everyone feels this longing to be something that isn’t really there, and they can never be it.

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Paper Man I

I don’t think TV is out to get the church, I think it’s out to get everybody, so the church shouldn’t feel special in getting got. TV can’t live and move and breathe in specifics. TV is only good at making Paper Man. TV isn’t the only thing that makes Paper Man, but Paper Man is the only thing TV can make.

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Oscillation Surfing

That ability to surf the oscillating flow of creative thought is in all of us. Some might be better surfers than others, but we can all do it. You just have to get yourself into a set-aside time and place so you’re at least in the water, ready to catch the wave.

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Why your imagination is dying

Busy-ness and knowing-ness are two of the surest ways of killing creativity. We take this little green plant of creativity and we don’t ask it to do the thing it could do, which is grow and bear fruit. We demand it do what it can’t do, we demand that it manufacture imagination products.

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You Can’t Perform Without Practising

Staying in creative shape has no immediate consumable commodifiable outcome. Organizations, to their great peril, determine the non-commodifiable part of creative activity to be out of their purview, extraneous, expendable.

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Why Cheese Is Good For You

Organizations that try to leave The Land of Should and wade into the hard work of mutually constructing what-can-be soon discover just how hard it is. Resolve wavers. They give up. What they need is more cheese.

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Hospitality vs Fictional Ikea Living Rooms

Our humanness comes in sharing ourselves. In a world chocked full of mediated environments meant to soothe in order to sell there is precious little genuine sharing. The whole time I was building this site I was mildly worried about coming out. I’m not gay,... read more

Chronic Dissatisfaction

The danger in seeing how good things can be is that it can slide into seeing how good things should be. It can lead to an almost habitual dissatisfaction with how things are, a chronic dissatisfaction. Chronic dissatisfaction cripples possibility. The overt form of... read more

The Land of Should

When you are in The Land of Should you are there alone. It is a land of your own construction. By contrast, The Land of What Can Be is always mutually articulated and built. In Peter Senge’s parlance, vision is a picture of a preferred future. Goals are... read more

What is disruptive Imagination?

There are two kinds of imagination; domesticated imagination and disruptive imagination. Domesticated imagination operates within status quo, disruptive imagination breaks us out of status quo.

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About this site

This site is about disruptive imagination. Okay, I lied. It’s really about you. It’s about you knowing you have an imagination, discovering that imagination and exercising that imagination.

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Status quo, propaganda and the poets.

Where ever there is status quo, there is propaganda. Rather than allowing reality to generate language, which might threaten status quo; propaganda generates status-quo-safe language, which it tries to impose on reality.

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Whole people in a half-person world.

Being an artist often means you don’t fit. When you don’t fit there’s a lot of pressure to make yourself fit. The world wants you to just lop off what ever part of you is creating a disturbance and just fit in.

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