Updated: Aug 24
Crossing the Blue Line- A Public Art Installation and More May 25, 2020
Rosalía, Calderón de la Barca, the maker of lines
Separate together, art and life, and lines in Blue.
Eras are divisions in the geographic time scale. I declare a new era, a post-Coronavirus paradigm, the BLUE ERA. We have entered it in isolation together, social distancing and with muffled voices behind face masks, with a chance for a reboot:
I envisioned that humanity was going over a blue line, a blue linear portal set against clean, sunny blue skies. Stepping into an idyllic post coronavirus landscape, joyfully, children holding their parents hands, skipped over the blue line, en mass. Humanity was moving in unison towards a healthy new coexistence with each other and the planet.
On the subject of my dreams, I’m the expert. But on the subject of free will vs. predetermination, I have to quote on of my favorite authors, Calderón de la Barca, a Spaniard from the Golden Era, who wrote in 1635 the play La Vida es Sueño (Life is a Dream).
“Que es la vida? Un frenesí.
Que es la vida? Una ilusión,
una sombra, una ficción;
y el mayor bien es pequeño;
que toda la vida es sueño,
y los sueños , sueños son”.
“ What is life? A frenzy.
What is life? An illusion,
A shadow, a fiction,
And our greatest deed is small:
As life is a dream,
And dreams are but dreams”
Quoting him 385 years later, is most pertinent at this moment; we were caught by the coronavirus pandemic in a predetermined state of alienation, fragmentation, polarization. It was larger than the United States, larger than politics. There was no path to healing, or unification. In less than six months at a global scale, and right at four months at a national scale, a pandemic has shifted our footing, and the Blue Line has formed, in the form of a portal. We have stepped through that portal to find our freedom of choice intact. The choice should be clear:
recommit to caring about people, public health, education, clean waterways and oceans, animals and nature; towards a unified human race and a needed respect for the planet.
Rosalía possibly the most exciting young chanteuse crossing the blue line, delivers globally pertinent music. She sings into the soul, and captures the passion of being red blooded. When I listen to her, its not background music... its the main event:
Malamente by Rosalía
Sueño que estoy andando
Por un Puente y que la acera (mira mira mira mira)
Cuanto mas quiero cruzarlo (va)
Mas se mueve y tambalea
Badly by Rosalía
Dreaming that I’m walking
Near a bridge and that the walkway (lool look look look)
The more I want to cross it
The more it moves and shakes
The suffering, the 100,000 lives lost-and counting-, the financial instability, the educational setbacks, the jobs lost, have to count. It will be a shaky trajectory for many who will clamor for the good old days. The line, like Rosalia’s bridge, will move, fray, interrupt; cross it.
To question, imagine, invent, reinvent, the world on the other side of my blue line is up to each one of us. It’s a rebooted landscape, where we can look at coexisting and connecting, with each other and with the planet. Our freedom of choice and collective power goes well beyond politics, or presidents. We are nimble, inventive, indefatigable, curious, creative, hardworking. We are survivors.
On the subject of the blue line: geometrically speaking, a line extends infinitely in both directions, and is uniquely determined by two points. Artists deal more in line segments, which have a beginning and ending point. It was Professor Elinor Evans who would cement the notion of qualities of the artistic line, in Arch 101 at Rice University, as seen in some of my projects from her studio.
Miss Evans, who passed away at the age of 101, making the most exquisite art- best known for her woven art- until her last days, was a mover of lines: she pushed us to re-examine, push to the limits of our imagination, and break open lines for infinite representations, qualities, and trajectories. I'm the proud collector of one of her pieces, which denotes what she was about:
Line project, Architecture 101
Elinor Evans weave
My project, The Blue Line, is an artistic wormhole.
The Merriam-Webster definition of the Einstein-Rosen wormhole is "a hypothetical structure of space-time envisioned as a tunnel connecting points that are separated in space and time."
Blue Line-an artistic wormhole.
Linocut, pochoir on archival paper
The Blue Line is a giant portal of public art in every park, urban plaza, community. It marks the new awakening of the world. For me it's a printmaking project on paper; its an installation of public art that will begin with a blue line in my neighborhood, with an explanation of the concept, for pedestrians to engage with and cross. It's an installation that is reproduced in other's front yards, to build consciousness about the opportunity that we are waking up to. It's an installation inside or outside of white cubes for art, it's a giant portal for public art in every park, urban plaza, and community. This is my moment as an artist, a woman, a human. I’ve crossed the line and am not looking back.
Have you crossed it yet?
Blue Line Linocut monoprint on archival paper #1