Hello there from this first full moon of this winter season.
We find ourselves fully engulfed in soft winter light as the days grow longer and the sun slowly warms the desert. Above us a cacophony of birds wintering here from all over the northern latitudes; below tender shoots of green appear from under the dense cover of fallen leaves.
This is Dispatches, the full moon newsletter by Jeannie Ortiz and Kyle Parker Cunningham. We will discuss art and life and we thank you for joining us.
Thus far this winter we have both found ourselves deeply involved in discipline of digital archeology - dusting off pixels on old hard drives filled to the brim with thousands of photos. Memories bubble up forgotten from time, stories emerge and new understandings about our own experiences become apparent. This project of looking back at 21 years of constant creation is illuminating more than it is a chore. We learn about ourselves in the process and find threads of meaning running through the years which make us who we are today.
Documenting and archiving our work is often neglected in lieu of actually creating new work. Frequently we have just posted on social media and moved on, eager to see what is around the next corner. This winters chosen task of organizing and writing for our websites bucks this trend and soon we will have created archive of works, stories, and inspirations for anyone to enjoy. The stories about the work and about our lives are the foundation of who we are and the art we create; every object created is infused with this history. The life we live is the inspiration for the art we create: life is art.
The Intentionally Confusing project is born from of our desire to share these stories more fully so as to honor this idea of life as art. Our hope is to entertain and inspire others to choose a path adjacent to art. We are very fortunate to be able to live a life dedicated to the creation of art but we also believe any interaction with art is equally nourishing for the soul. Art opens the door to our humanity, touching that magic place in our being which is the essence of who we are as creatures on this earth.
The most cherished objects of any society are always pieces of art - whole collections, buildings, and lives are dedicated to them. The existence of so many ancient works of art today is probably the greatest indication of art's importance to humans. These objects, faced with almost impossible odds, have been cared for by successive generations against all dangers in order to be allowed to still exist with us today. (We should note here that many of the oldest extant pieces of art are TEXTILES!)
Art is always an affirmation of the magic of being alive.
Modern technology allows our community (society) to be global, shedding borders and strict definitions, instead, finding like minded souls who exist in the same mental space. We are all able to act as global citizens sharing knowledge and creations with one another, co creating a better tomorrow. Intentionally Confusing is our addition to the library of the modern world. A place to share our story for all with like minds to enjoy, a small collection of stories in the vast universal library.
We have chosen to create these repositories of our work on our own terms, self hosted by us on our own websites, free from advertising and tracking and all the toxicity which is the "social web". These spaces are wholly our own to be worked on and refined for years to come; small gardens blossoming into a magical forests.
This last year was our first foray into what this Intentionally Confusing project could be, a slow abstract phase of thinking and experiments. This year we intend to lay a solid foundation upon which to build our ideas.
Our projects for this year well be as follows:
- Websites. Our winter project finds us engrossed in the creation of a foundational body of work for this project by sharing the stories we already have lived. Practically, this involves sorting and editing the 50,000+ images tucked away in our photo library, gathering them together and writing the stories living within the images. A project brewing for some years (decades?) at last we have finally cracked into this nut and our websites are already seeing the benefits.
- A Book. The websites will be our sketchbook from which a actual printed, physical book will be created this year. We have long wanted to create a book, have started quite a few times already only to pull back. This moment all is in line to make this happen. The creation of a book will in turn inform our direction on the website; continually they will work together to share these stories as vividly as possible. (We imagine making books each year, some with our stories and some collections of stories from our broad communities. The first book this year is our experiment in learning the tools needed to create in this form.)
- Films. Last year we took our first learning steps in following the way of moving pictures. There was (is) much to learn and grasp in these first experiments and our output was limited but enlightening. Experiential knowledge in hand we look forward to telling beautiful stories about nature and creatures to be shared as moving pictures.
- Sketchbook. A members only newsletter. This year we will add a sketchbook post which is only viewable for paying members. Here we will share behind the scenes photos and stories, experiments, ask and answer questions, and share first glimpses of new projects. We want all of our finished content to be free and open to the world, not behind a paywall, so these sketchbook emails will allow us to curate an intimate experience for paying members. We have a lot of moments in our lives we don't feel like sharing publicly and want to find out what it is like to share these moments in a select environment.
- The Random Draw Experiment. A research project into a points based system for random draws for Jeannie's woven creations. Read more about this experiment in our Member Perks section here.
- Experimental Evolution. There is still much more spontaneous inspiration to be found this year into future directions for this project. We are always ready to go where inspiration takes us and we will continue to develop and flesh out new ideas and share them with you all as they appear in our minds eye.
We are well underway towards realizing the first part of this plan - the websites. We have both been working steadily on our own websites for the past few months so please do look at them here for Jeannie and also one for Kyle. Our first long form story on Intentionally Confusing is about our hike of the Grand Enchantment Trail - a trip which solidified our love for the American Southwest and directly resulting in our living in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. The first two installments, 230 miles of walking worth, of this story are hot off the presses and sitting right here and over here just waiting to be appreciated.
We thank you all for the support you have given us over the years. Your support is what allows us to spend the thousands of hours repetitively learning and perfecting how to use natural dyes or how to paint perfect portraits. We thank you, forever, as without your support none of what we do would exist.
Jeannie & Kyle