31 January 2014

IDEA Awards Submission

So for the last month I've been working like a mad woman on this piece.  It's three 36" by 36" canvases painted with acrylic.  I've never worked so big in such little time.  I had a dream early on about it, and I was specifically told not to over-work.  So it was an experiment with trying not to be perfect, being okay with it, and moving on.  I like how it turned out.  I'll get better pictures of it later to show the details, but the submission was due today and this is what I had!

This was the essay I wrote to accompany it.  Don't really know what anyone will think of it.  I had a lot more that I wanted to say, but it's probably for the best to keep it short.  Enjoy!

“Nostagia” IDEA Awards competition
By Lily "Sky" Bergsma-Rockenbach

 According the Merriam-Webster dictionary, nostalgia is defined as an “excessively sentimental yearning for return to or of some past period or irrecoverable condition.” What makes people different is our passionate yearning through memory and desire. This has always been one of our biggest obstacles, and the challenge of overcoming it can only be achieved through a state of peace and acceptance.

The painting “Nostalgia” is a triptych made up of 3 canvases, each measuring 36-by-36 inches, which together represent a romanticized landscape that melds geometry and geography. Each canvas is displayed spaced three inches apart in order to match the main element of the work: a 12 by 12 circular grid creating six-inch diameter circles in a four by four pattern behind a 270-degree view of Vancouver B.C.

"Nostalgia" was created specifically for the SAM unit at VGH and UBC Hospital Foundation. I have given much thought into the composition, colour, and philosophy behind the imagery.  Most importantly, I hope for my ideas to be inherent to the viewer so anyone could find themselves lost within the piece. Isolated geographical areas have been distorted to create a balanced composition that accentuates mountains, city, and sea while still representing a space that is recognizable. In order to capture the essence of what makes this city desirable I needed to seamlessly balance these three elements on a micro and macro level in which anyone could escape reality. Most ideas behind colour theory psychology are that it is a new-age approach to therapy, yet I find that it holds true on some level, and is always important when considering design. The undertone of this painting is turquoise, which is both calming (blue) and energizing (yellow) and promotes mental and emotional stability.

My own particular philosophy has penetrated the work through the use of geometry to create a romanticized symmetric structure. If I were to take ideas from the German philosopher Friedrich Schelling, geometry would be my way of uniting mind and matter by giving a way for our senses to perceive spirit through structure. Where there is no form there is only space, and through this is the key to nostalgia because it is the mind that fills the void with thought and from thought comes being. To be: to have a sentimental yearning for life and an absolute abandon until we reach peace and acceptance.

In conclusion, I have created this triptych, “Nostalgia,” for no other reason then for it to be placed in the SAM unit of the VGH and UBC Hospital foundation. My hopes is that this painting is of consideration. Every element of this work has been crafted for its intended audience and I would be honoured if I could, through my artwork, aid and add comfort to the healing process of those in need.

 Thank you.

28 January 2014

To Be Von Rockenbach

I wish he had written a book of his life.  There is so much that has been experienced, I try to lurk around so I can grab glimpses of the past and start to string things together.  Some might say he's a grouch, but I just see that he has dealt with some shit.  He's a mans man.  Men want to be him, women fall in love with him, and he is smart as a whip.  He can get a point across in very few words, yet still often decides against wasting his breath.  I'm glad I have been fortunate enough to see into his life, because no one really knows the lone wolf.  Many have met him and I'm sure have never forgot, but I am one of the very few that got to stick around.

I'm his youngest daughter, it is probably one of the greatest honors I'll ever have.  As far as there being reasons behind this, I'm not sure anyone would be convinced based on the stories I told.  It's not like he was the best father out there, or even the best person.  There was just something about him, and maybe no one will ever really think the same way I do, but that's not the point.  There is something in my blood that came from him, and whatever that might be its an important key to understanding my own existence.  And the best thing I could say about him, is he's a bad ass mother fucker.

He was born in '37, right after the depression and right before the second world war.  He grew up as a six year old child listening to the progress of each battle bitting his nails because he wasn't sure of who was who, only that someone was winning.  His family had owned a Speakeasy in Chicago in the '20s, but that world was long gone.  Home life was too tough so he left at the age of 14 to live in a motorcycle shop fixing bikes and thing.  He went through lots of work in those years before finally making it out of high school.  However he finished a year early because of the fact that he had been kicked out of Kindergarten.

Age 17 now and looking for work he lied to an airline in Chicago, who offered him a job in San Francisco.  That was exactly what he had hoped for he packed up his car and drove out to the West Coast.  It was now 1956.  Being that there was a draft for the Korean War, he volunteered to serve his four years as a worker rather then a soldier.  He was smart enough that the government wanted to send him to Yale to be a translator.  Being that he hates authority and never wanted to be someones interpreter slave, he said fuck that.  The government being pissed that anyone would say know to such an amazing opportunity they stuck him as a electrical mechanic.  It's great to hear my dad laugh about these thing, even now he says "what the fuck was I thinking."

Four years passed, he got out of service, and was given his job back because everyone who served in the war was protected by law for it.  It lasted only a week because he found it was more fun to play gigs as a jazz drummer on Broadway Street in San Francisco.  Not because it made more money, just because that is what he loved.  It was now 1960, and for the next several years he played in the jazz scene with some of the best people out there, and some of the some crazy.  It wasn't a glamorous life, but it was probably the most exciting life he could have had.  In an oddly insane way.

Eventually he went to school at Berkley to be a mechanical engineer learning physics and computers.  I'm sure there is even more to it then that, but this is where I could only begin to piece things together.  This holiday trip I really wanted to dig deeper into who he was.  I got the juicy details, this is just the rough timeline.  That is part of the reason I am so fortunate to be who I am, I get to hear the amazing adventures that few have ever herd before.  And the best part is, I get to hear him laugh while he tells it.

Love you Dad, I'm proud to be from this crazy line.

P.S.  Now he is retired and builds/fixes up cars.  He's got 12.

Being that he was a jazz drummer playing with the best of the best, I never really dared to try and have him listen to the music I like.  Recently I just could not help but hear the influence from one to the other.  Last summer I told him for the first time how much I love to dance.  This time I braved up and showed him the music that it was too.  Before you knew it he was bopping his head and saying "this is cool."  Not only does he like Darkside, but Drum n' Bass, future, and the work of people I know.  I've never needed validation for much, but this was the pinnacle.  More then any of my own achievements, the fact that I can introduce my dad to the newest leading edge music of today melts my heart.  He's always been a hard one to impress, and I found his soft spot.

This is one he thought was cool.

27 January 2014

Darkside's Eclipse

Darkside, I said it was going to be good.  It was better then good.

Well rounded spectacular.  I forgot how crowded a sold out show will get.  Elbow to elbow standing room, yet somehow we made it to the sweet spot for the visuals.  I didn't dare bring anything to the show, thankfully we made it out with this one image.

This is the start of something huge, especially in the terms of music.  It's still small but growing rapidly.  A while back I listened to the Boiler Room set they did, it was apparent that this duo was creating the current-day version of Pink Flyod's Dark Side of the Moon.  Well, apparently that was their inspiration.  But the best part is that it is totally their own.

The whole set was a journey rythmeclly, mentally, and visually.  Watching two people in perfect minimal syncronicity experimenting in sound gives you chills more violent then a Beyonce shake.  I called it a full body orgasim which half the crowd apparently herd, luckily my friend tried to gracefully cover up my comment by calling that feeling the urge to dance.  Either way my body has once again has reconfigured its molecular structure into harmonic perfection with all of the universe.  This may seem dramatic, but four highly educated conosours of music (my three friends and I) were left quite speechless after the show was over.

It is not often you find a group that is as comfortable with silence as much as they are sound.  This may be natural for the musician, but to get the audience on this same level is another trick all it's own.    The first ten minuets of the show was spent influencing the audience into a very particular mental state, as if to accept the idea of nothingness and the vast void.  For the first little bit people were talking and giggles echoed from around the room.  But then we were all sucked in, and the journey began.

Most shows today musicians depend on everything from flame throwers, fireworks, giant LED stages, and lasers.  Lots of Lasers.  Even this set was minimal to the core.  One giant round mirror with lights on one side and dark on the other set up as an optical allusion.  It would rotate ever so slowly creating an eclipse in the pitch-black room filled with a thin smoke.  And then... Worm Holes.  I still don't quite know how they achieved it, just a simple trick and you could see through the infinitely deep tunnel that is nothing.  Well done Darkside.

I still don't really know what to say.  I think I'm still speechless.  This is an event I will never forget.

Best show ever.

This isn't anything like what I saw, making it even better because it means every show is unique.


Dec. 25th in Bellingham, WA. where everything is soft and smooshy.

Yes there were blossoms, odd.

January 25th in Chino Vally, AZ. where everything is rough and pointy.

Last summer wildfires hit this mountain.  You can still see the chard remains. 
The red fire retardant that they dropped still stained some of the rocks and trees.

If you ignore the chemtrails you can also see a rainbow.

07 January 2014

"Unordinary" by Dingo

Live your life in the unordinary way. What is it that drives us and creates real meaning in our lives? Can the 9 - 5 complete us?
When I walk around the streets, there are so many scowling, distracted, unvital faces. I have to ask what's missing? Surely I don't get the sense of being-complete as being in the air. Of course, some people will not have ideal jobs but it seems like a staggering amount of people are devoting the majority of their time to an activity that they have no attachment to. Working to get money, to survive in this machine of Capitalism. But we're following a path that we're told we must. What comes natural is the hunt and love.
The Hunt and Love. Us animals have dulled our senses. We've traded a keen eye for computer screens, soothing natural sounds for engine noises, soil and soft skin for cement and personal bubbles. We feel sorry for exotic animals removed from their natural environment, not seeing the irony in that we are the same; except that elephants can't be fooled into thinking that money has value.
A utopic society seems so far away while locked into these systems. Many people complain about the mass of idiots that saturate our controlling nations. But you don't need to be a scholar to know what feels right. Two children coming from polar-opposite societies could likely get along without shared language or tradition. If provoked, they could likely devise a functional, rudimentary, governing system.
The world is dark and scary only when you're afraid to see what's there. Look a little deeper and you'll likely find something familiar.
You are more than just a fleshy function - a cog in the wheel allotted scraps of the day for personal projects, loved ones and numbing agents.
We are all trees bound by sidewalks, bursting through seams of cement, given enough time and pressure.
We all have that seed - that strength - that love, we've been told to contain. But that seed has unbridled potential and is only limited by yourself. This is an era of exponential growth, and era that you are a part of.
How best you embrace your potential to live life in the unordinary way?

By a very clever Dingo, well said!

Most recently I've been feeling a tired energy overtaking me.  Even though I love my work, I feel like the adventure has slipped away.  Not only is my body tired from working 10+ hours a day every day, but my mind has lost the vital stimulation that it need to be vibrant.  Sure, lots of plans are in the works, but its been a long time to do the same thing every day.

People need adrenaline.  It pumps blood through your viens, diallates your pupils, and gives you super human strength.  People should do something every day that makes them know what it means to be alive again.  We've become jadded to the machine, its time to change that.  Whether it's mental or physical, its time to get your vibrance back. 

I didn't really make any new years resolutions, that one slipped away.  But as this month rolls on I'm discovering whats most important to me.  Its time to wake up, shake it around, and live in an unordianry fashion.  Sure hard work is great, I seem to be addicted to it.  But now is a time to break out of our shells.  This is our life, might as well be free.