Sentient in San Francisco – 8 October 2019

This Date in Art History: Died 8 October 1897 – Alexei Savrasov, a Russian painter.

Below – “Winter Night”; “Rafts”; “Early Spring Thaw”; “Rasputitsa (Sea of Mud)”; “Spring Kitchen Gardens.”

A Poem for Today

“The Quarrel”
by Linda Pastan

If there were a monument
to silence, it would not be
the tree whose leaves
murmur continuously
among themselves;

nor would it be the pond
whose seeming stillness
is shattered
by the quicksilver
surfacing of fish.

If there were a monument
to silence, it would be you
standing so upright, so unforgiving,
your mute back deflecting
every word I say.

This Date in Art History: Born 8 October 1877 – Hans Heysen, a German-born Australian painter.

Below – “Droving into the Light”; “Gum Springs”; “In the Ranges”; “Still Life with Fruit and Flowers”; “Gum Trees.”

A Beacon of Sanity: Richard Heinberg, an American journalist, educator, and author of “The Party’s Over: Oil, War, and the Fate of Industrial Societies.” In the words of one writer, Heinberg “has written extensively on energy, economic, and ecological issues, including oil depletion. He is the author of 13 books, and presently serves as the senior fellow at the Post Carbon Institute.”

Some quotes from the work of Richard Heinberg:

“Oil depletion and climate change will create an entirely new context in which political struggles will be played out. Within that context, it is not just freedom, democracy, and equality that are at stake, but the survival of billions of humans and of whole ecosystems.”
“If we do nothing, we still get to a post-carbon future, but it will be bleak. However, if we plan the transition, we can have a world that supports robust communities of healthy, creative people and ecosystems with millions of other species.”
“When we decline to talk about what is real simply because it’s uncomfortable to do so, we seal our own fate.”
“All of the easy oil is gone and what’s left is requiring more energy and money and this has an effect on everything. Our problem is that we’ve created an infrastructure that’s so dependent on oil. As oil becomes more expensive we’re going to be locked into the transportation modes that our economy depends on. So we really need to start building an alternative economy before we get caught in a trap of our own making.”
“The industrial civilisation is based on the consumption of energy resources that are inherently limited in quantity and that are about to become scarce. When they do, competition for what remains will trigger dramatic economic and geopolitical events; in the end, it may be impossible for even a single nation to sustain industrialism as we have know it in the twentieth century.”
“The science is in: either we go cold turkey on our coal, oil, and gas addictions, or we risk raising the planet’s temperature to a level incompatible with the continued existence of civilization.”
“It is possible to point to hundreds, thousands, perhaps even millions of imaginative, courageous programs to reduce, recycle, and reuse – yet the overall trajectory of industrial civilization remains relatively unchanged.”
“As political theorist Michael Parenti points out, historians often overlook Fascism’s economic agenda–the partnership between Big Capital and Big Government–in their analysis of its authoritarian social program. Indeed, according to Bertram Gross in his startlingly prescient Friendly Fascism (1980), it is possible to achieve fascist goals within an ostensibly democratic society.”
“Economic growth as we have known it is over and done with.”
“The idea that we industrialized humans are immune to the natural laws that have restrained growth in other species-and humans in past social regimes-is to me so self-servingly blind as to be morally reprehensible.”
“If we aim for what is no longer possible, we will achieve only delusion and frustration. But if we aim for genuinely worthwhile goals that can be attained, then even if we have less energy at our command and fewer material goods available, we might nevertheless still increase our satisfaction in life.”

Contemporary Spanish Art – Marisa Anon

Below – “Gold Tablecloth 4”; “April Florals 12”; “Shades of Green”; “Freddie 5”; “Still Life with Table”; “Breakfast with Shadows.”

A Poem for Today

“I stand alone at the foot”
by William Kloefkorn

I stand alone at the foot
Of my father’s grave,
Trembling to tell:
The door to the granary is open,
And someone lost the bucket
To the well.

Contemporary South Korean Art – Minki Kim

Below – Untitled – 41; Untitled – 45; Untitled – 42; Untitled – 38; Untitled – 7; Untitled – 9.

A Poem for Today

“To Sappho I”
by Sara Teasdale

Impassioned singer of the happy time.
When all the world was waking into morn,
And dew still glistened on the tangled thorn,
And lingered on the branches of the lime —
Oh peerless singer of the golden rhyme,
Happy wert thou to live ere doubt was born —
Before the joy of life was half out-worn,
And nymphs and satyrs vanished from your clime.
Then maidens bearing parsley in their hands
Wound thro’ the groves to where the goddess stands,
And mariners might sail for unknown lands
Past sea-clasped islands veiled in mystery —
And Venus still was shining from the sea,
And Ceres had not lost Persephone.

Below – Francis Coates Jones: “Sappho”

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