Fewer than five years ago the current mentoring/collectivizing project would have evolved in journals and in face to face meetings; but in the year 2000 we found we became a computer collective sharing ideas and experiences and creating a community by email over the internet. What follows is a unified stream of words formed by flowing together individual electronic voices into one Convergence.

V. Jane Gordon

social construction and the creation of meaning through social practices how did I get picked for this an individual's habit is both the result and condition of the social production of meaning yet there is such a thing as visual redemptiveness it comes to me in colour The Works Of Jaques Lacan the phallus as the primary almost total signifier of language I hate Jaques Lacan Christine Battersby gender specific voice and the death of the author not at this moment but I think I can squeeze my brain when the time comes Kate Linker Representation and Sexuality subject positioning I always feel in Jane's classes that I am dragged kicking and screaming "I don't want a bath" "I don't want to deal with communications theory" socially produced meaning is a representation that produces meaning in the discourses that articulate it why am I the only guy Coco Fusco Managing The Other the subject position of the other how did Jane pick this group Michele Wallace Modernism Postmodernism and The Problem of The Visual in Afro-American Culture the Afro-American subject position the kicker for me was getting home and finding MY toothbrush in the garbage can Richard Hill One Part Per Million White Appropriation of Native Voices The Indigenous Subject Position and Mainstream Appropriation of Alterity I have to quit the group From Sign to Subject a Short History an Introduction to The Practice of Semiotics I started doing art as an antidote something creative as opposed to something critical something of beauty something for me you won't get to BEAUTY and the PERSONAL unless you are willing to go out on a limb...rather than being pleasant and reassuring this experience can be scary and overwhelming I could give myself permission to stop open up my mind and let some ideas in while others are permitted to drift on by? the wrong size for my net at this time castings or multiples may be a good approach to a piece in the show in answer to V.J's criticism of my work as consumer durables she wants me to rebel take a risk apprehension is always there before something new there is a chance of failure and shaming you are a person who is empowered to question and to question yourself first Lois I can't help asking why we were brought together the only immediate answer is because we all wanted to be in a group we must have all had similar feelings about our work or this stage of our individual development Wayne bursting with thoughts after last night here are some I can feel your struggles as intensely as Donna's in anthropological analysis corporations are like mini societies with economies politics hierarchical power relations behaviour codes group membership criteria and sanctions Diana once again you are on the mark I picked up the O'Donohue book last night and can't wait to get at it Robert Bly talks about the corporation initiating young men due to an absent father the whole system is set up to betray and indoctrinate the individual Lois in response to your message raising children and running a household was not considered a real job was little valued by society and so being involved in these activities over the years significantly contributed to the erosion of my self confidence unfortunately one cannot make serious art without a strong sense of self subsequently I became aware of how social power structures affected me and was then able to make certain changes in closing I really don't feel I am qualified to advise you as a teacher all I can do is use the example of my "žourney" as a woman ex-corporate wife and artist to hopefully help you see better Clarissa I find valuable your comments on good art and the purpose of art and have reread these passages many times we began to explore individual projects under Jane's concept of "Body Contexts" it takes a while to absorb her artistic "dialect"but she always has a treasure trove to explore it was very exciting for me because now we are getting down to the art work the creative process I need to write down my idea and a rough drawing of what I will do I knew she was right but I was lazy I didn't want to use my brain I wanted to put it off as long as I could I didn't want to deal with the problem but in my heart I knew that I needed to solve my idea issue I need my idea now I don't have an idea right now I don't know whether the idea might be a good idea or a bad idea it doesn't matter I just want an idea I pray for an idea to come I am working on "Hormonal Chaos" in outlining and explaining my ideas to the group I felt both exhilaration and a deep sense of shame like unzipping one's fly in public that is the risk part you were talking about Lynda talked about photographs of old buildings like they were people and about the distance even the close-up produces compared to the sensations of physical proximity to her granddaughter during a recent trip to Israel a survival kit is the precise term for my artistic enterprise throughout my life and I aim to make intense pieces that consciously and subconsciously resonate that direction the future is my main interest in this exhibit and my foundation for moving into the future is carefully looking at the past Lois surprised herself by deciding she was "Swamp Woman" Jane I had an epiphany while running after work tonight one element that I tend to use in my work is the repetition of images I find the concept of repeating forms shapes and spaces occurring within the planned structure of the suburb I find something comforting in the repetition all the while challenged to change the forms just enough to make them different from each other some of this would come from wanting to be different and the same simultaneously I find this concept occurs within simulacra a great deal the work that is emerging for this show will be dealing with these ideas staying the same yet different transforming yet not transforming only to find ones place my place within the world the photographs represent a need to remember how things were yet allow me to remain at a certain point where I can look forward and back at the same time I am interested to see how you deal with the taboo subjects why do we save the best like an archaic relic rather than living with it Lynda I found your response powerful and moving it is full of Jew Mother Artist you don't have to be a comfortable Jew or an ideal mother or a renowned artist what you are (what you have been what you will be) is what is significant see if you can imagine a body of work coming out of what you have written me what you said was powerful and accepting and moving I was lost for words and thoughts for about a week I was thinking Jew Mom artist just what can I do with this I was blocked my granddaughter's death is on my mind a lot and I am thinking of a photo melange/collage devoted to her life and death the project that interests me these days stems from the suspicion that all things are one I suspect that all living things share a quality of materiality and that they are capable of teaching and learning the lessons of embodiment from each other I feel that I have much to learn from trees Kate I loved your proposal it is perfect the trick is going to be making gallery work that comes anywhere close to conveying that perfection what do you have in mind Jane was at the swamp today also took to the swamp another panel of light unprimed canvas and again attempted to print this time without wetting it first finally got some interesting stains but not until I rubbed it with grasses and dandelions and bloodroot because not much was achieved by me moving around on it except to get it and me very wet in places Hi Jane feeling pretty frustrated after my last visit to the swamp marks don't show up nothing came of it but a bit of mud I feel as though I am expected to produce something that you envision and I don't know what it is It doesn't feel like my work how can we remedy this I am not enjoying this part Lois you can't be producing something I envision since I don't know what you will do and have no vision of what it will be what I have is faith enough faith in you to let you play around and say I will hang the results up in the show I am sure this experience will make your oils on canvas more interesting (let it) have faith in playing and experimenting and forget jumping in with those paints you have lots of time if I use a metaphor such as Icarus in my work and juxtapose it with a worker or birds with the gift of flight to symbolize physical emotional or psychological transport transcendence I'm counting on a reaction connection to the historical symbol is this no longer valid in much contemporary theorizing about art no it is not these paintings are a western interpretation of eastern philosophy which includes the belief that the body has seven Chakra seven layers or levels that can be represented by colours I hope my general desire for peace and harmony is reflected in my current paintings as one of ten converging artists I have been increasingly aware of convergent happenings in my own life this mentoring group for me personally has been a coming together of seemingly diverse concepts and unconnected paths in my life I see two possible perhaps two present subject positions in your proposal the prophetess and a strategy of resistance I don't think you can have one without the other how do you negotiate the movement between the two to redefine myself would be much more proactive than attacking the system becoming human becoming transparent learning to trust each other and ourselves being mother God for each other I have many questions and comments I would like to pass out for feedback from any of the group who wish to engage please pass this on is reality a state a thing a perception a condition...