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We are Responsible for Our Creations

I spend a lot of time thinking about bees and gardens and how growing food is a freedom. I tell myself not to worry because worry is a form of fear. I've learned from listening to Paul Selig and The Guides that fear only begets more fear. I discovered The Guides a little over a year ago. At that time, I’d just started to become aware of the dwindling bee population.

A year ago, I was far more concerned with the specter of AI powered robots taking a wayward leap out of control. I'd just seen a presentation by the founder of a company specializing in robotics — embodied AI.

Picture smart robots that can leap tall buildings in a single bound. That could come in handy…or not.

To quote a knowing engineer, “Embodied AI is an expensive solution looking for a problem.” With 54 percent of the budget spend, in the United States, we all know that means military.

This is an automatic painting I did at the time. Automatic painting is like automatic writing. You just let what comes, come without censorship. That’s by far the hardest part.

The title, Prepare a Table kept rolling over in my mind and this is what emerged.

My take? The church-ish window behind the table with three phallus structures, symbolizes our legacy system. Dick centric.

The table has one leg and reminds me of a pinball machine. The table scarf is decorated with a large A and lower case i. With the peacock feather, it serves as a “logo” for Artificial intelligence. I later learned that A format (sans the feather) is the symbol for anarchy.

I attribute this piece to Chloe, the protagonist in Thought Farm. That’s my book. Unlike me, she attended art school. She also paints fast, sometimes using the brushes with both hands at the same time.

After painting this, I grabbed my diary and went to a cafe in Santa Cruz to write. When I realized I’d accidentally brought an old journal, I opened a page at random to some notes about Thought Farm. It was a reminder to include a story thread about how Chloe’s art serves as a form of premonition.

After a few more weird synchronicities, I placed the painting in the closet facing the wall and steered clear of automatic painting and my book. In retrospect, a clear act of fear. In addition to the bees, one of the things I’m most concerned about is circulating fear-based memes. That includes dystopic story ideas.

As I mentioned, last spring is when I discovered the work of Paul Selig and the Guides. There are seven books out and more in the works.