Sunday, September 24, 2023
HomeMental StrategiesDisturb the Universe?

Disturb the Universe?

“Do I dare disturb the universe?” -T.S. Eliot

This perhaps is a question we all must ask ourselves. It is comfortable to stick with the status quo, refusing to rock the boat for fear of capsizing. But a life lived quietly, it can be argued, is a life barely lived. The fear of being wrong or stumbling as we step must not keep us from veering off the path when something interesting beckons from the bramble. In art, and in all things, it is necessary to cultivate the courage to disturb the universe. Otherwise we will spin on in the same circle forever.

Lydia Matthews teaches in the fine arts program at Parsons School of Design as well as running a curatorial design research lab. Via collaboration between the two, Matthews and her team are working with over 50 writers to create multi-disciplinary pieces about each of fourteen works in order to shed new light on pieces seen but often not fully appreciated for their cultural value. Much of Matthews’ work focuses on the post-Soviet world. For an upcoming art show in the Republic of Georgia she will work with artists to examine the cross-section of contemporary craft and contemporary art. Brought up in an immigrant family from Greece, Matthews has always had an interest in the Soviet world. In 2005 she stumbled into the opportunity to curate a show in Tbilisi, Georgia. Of this she says, “I went there thinking that I was wide-eyed and interested” but Matthews couldn’t have predicted how the region and community she found there would play such a major role in her career going forward.

Emily Harris recently mounted an exhibition in Montclair, New Jersey. While preparing the space, Harris was warned that it might be so cold she would see her breath. This idea of making the invisible visible (as in seeing one’s breath) has been a theme throughout her work and so she was inspired by this piece of information. Her exhibition, When Our Breaths Run captures exhales in blown glass. Harris sees this as the first in a series of work in which she will make breath visible. She plans to collaborate with Brooklyn-based vocalist Anais Maviel. Harris has a strong interest in creating alternative art spaces. The reason for this is, in part so that the audience “will discover the interrelationship of their part in the space around them.”

Additional interviews include: Clare Cumberlidge and Christine Kuan

Interviews are available on iTunes as podcasts, and for Android please click here. All weekly essay pieces in a sharable format are here. The full archive of interviews here.

Books to Read

What are you reading? Add your titles to our reading list here. User Kathleen Trestka has been reading The Cradle of Real Life by Jean Valentine and Angela Muriel has been reading Red: The Art and Science of a Colour by Spike Bucklow.

Opportunities / Open Calls

Submissions are being accepted for the Alfred Fried Photography Award. The subject of this year’s competition is Peace. A prize of 10,000 Euros will be awarded to the winning photographer. The Children Peace Image of the Year carries a prize of 1,000 Euros awarded to the winning photographer aged 14 or under. There is no fee for entry and artists may submit more than one image. Deadline for submissions is June 4.

A Few Words to Keep in your Pocket

Never be afraid to set ripples on the still surface of things. What starts as a minor disturbance has the potential to echo out across time and space, changing the universe forever.


Weekly Edited Grant and Residency Deadlines – review the list here.

More Resources – For Artists Only – (weekly articles)

The Art World is a Mafia, You Can’t Break in unless… – Read More here

Real Artists Case History: Stacey Kirby – Read More here

Popular Writings –

Non-profit spaces to know –

London, UK Non-Profit Spaces – read about some of the best.

Los Angeles, CA Non-Profit Spaces- read about some of the best.

New York City Non-Profit Spaces – read about some of the best.

Self Illumination –

Conquering Fear – read about methods and Pema Chodron.

The Trap of Self-Esteem and How to Break Free- read more here.

F*ck the Art World, F*ck Consumerism! – read more here.



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