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DNC sadness

Last night Occupy Charlotte’s self described masochist-in-chief (IOW lover of long meetings) was alternating between shaking his head and staring at the floor. He almost walked out, something I have never seen him do in 11 months of occupying, though I have done so myself. We’ve been hearing from our Occupiers who travel to other cities that Occupy Charlotte “really has it together” when compared to other occupations, that we should stop being so hard on ourselves.  I admit I doubted that and assumed it was a pep talk (something we do, and were aware was unique).

As frustrated and meetinged-out as many of us were, we held a “locals” meeting after the other meeting we’d attended. I’m sure I’ve never said this about an Occupy Charlotte meeting before: It was a relief. Yes, we vented first. And then we put one foot in front of the other as we have always done.

Occupy Charlotte has always been aware that September was coming. Many times I’ve heard people say “we are the stewards of this area in advance of the DNC”. We’ve worked hard to build bridges, to develop respectful relationships with our local mainstream media and law enforcement and while there have been exceptions, we’ve had many successes.  This is the place where I credit those people in CMPD and the Charlotte media – they too have worked very hard at this. Of course there have been places where we were unhappy with both groups, and we have called them out, but overall in Charlotte we have not seen the police brutality, repression or the hostile dismissive media coverage that Occupiers in other cities have experienced. Occupy Charlotte focused on Politicians and corporate money, understanding that police and media are part of the 99% and are also harmed by the systemic problems in our political system.

When I am present for things like poor meeting facilitation, chants and actions that taunt police, antagonism of local media people, I feel sad. Yes, it feels disrespectful to the work of local Occupiers, but that is easier to let go of,  the issues facing us today are so much greater than our individual hurt feelings. The much deeper sadness grows from understanding where these behaviors in some of our visiting Occupiers come from. Soapboxing when facilitating grows from a feeling of not being heard.  F*** the police chants are started by people who have experienced police brutality for daring to express themselves peacefully. Jumping in front of camera people happens when people have seen their own stories so perverted by corporate media that they have lost all trust in a free press.

I have been watching, listening, soothing and empathizing as I look into the eyes and hear the stories of our Occupy guests in Charlotte. There are so many traumatized, wounded people whose response to the pain they are feeling is to stand UP, push BACK and lash out in anticipation of being hurt again. THIS is root of the deep sadness I feel today.

I admit to a brief moment (or three) of being tempted to sit out, to stay at home and watch the DNC protests unfold from behind the safety of a screen, but I know that I won’t.  I know that others in Occupy Charlotte won’t either.  We will continue to show up, to stand up, to work for the change we want to see in the world. I will do so with a greater understanding of the healing that needs to happen, even though I have no idea how to begin to help with such a monumental task.  I will put one foot in front of the other.

  • Interdisciplinary Art
  • Technology
  • Laurel
  • Green
  • Ethics

In addition to bringing together practices from different disciplines (multidisciplinarity),


implies both analysis (taking things apart) and synthesis (bringing things together).

ART is about truth: finding it, expressing it, questioning it, creating it, changing it. At the deepest level I am an artist to create change in the world, and I understand that the best (perhaps only) way to create that change is to change ourselves. I believe art is something one is, as well as something one does.

Like many art forms, particularly those we refer to as craft,


began as function. The quilt that keeps us warm, the shaborri dyed silk we wear against our skin, these artistic explorations also serve us in ways that could be seen as having sheerly practical application. But while potters and weavers can create art that exists alone in a forest, falling without respect to the presence or absence of others, software seems to exist only when we engage with it.

Neolithic, Sumerian and Akkadian, and Greek artworks have deeply influenced my work. Art from these cultures maps a world view in which art and the Sacred are entwined. These depictions of divinity offer us a different perspective on the Sacred.

I embrace digital tools as a way of questioning what art is and what role art has, as our culture transforms into a technological one. It is the fertile ground of intersection that inspires me, the place where

ancient and new combine

to create meaning.

At the core of my engagement with technology is the belief that it affords us the opportunity to

change the dialogues of history,

by including voices that typically go unheard.

ethical systems

in an information society began with questions. They can be consolidated into a single question: Was this information intentionally and directly shared with me personally? I believe my ethical responsibilities, and my options when acting on the information, are contingent on the answer. Our application of publishing metaphors in a search for ethical structures (if it is published online it is information we have the right to act on) ignores both the reality of how we use online tools and the multiplicity of personal identity.