Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Daniel Dancer's Circles

"If we surrendered to Earth's Intelligence,
We could rise up rooted like trees."
....Rainier Maria Rilke

I felt like sharing the environmental art of Daniel Dancer, who has organized thousands of people with his "Zero" circles, and "sky art" projects. His primary medium is human beings. I've seen clear cut forests: it is something you never forget. For more information visit his website, or read his important article on the Interspecies Arts website. I'm delighted to discover this's so good to read about so many "conversations with the Earth".

Bear Witness Circle , by Daniel Dancer:

"Twelve Children and eight adults gathered in an immense clear cut near Homer to complete this circle. At the center of the circle was a life-size bear mounded from living moss and lichen. Clear cuts, like this one near Homer, take an exceptionally long time to heal.

Catalog Circle

Dancer's comments about the logging of forests to produce paper pulp to fund schools in Washington state was an especially poignant irony. How can we educate the future with the proceeds of wasted forests, destroyed landscapes, ravaged soil, by cutting down the very breath of the planet?

"This circle was constructed from catalogs sent to one home in the holiday season between Thanksgiving and New Years. The Washington State Department of Natural Resources manage thousands of acres of forest trust lands with a mandate to fund the construction of schools. The time has come to question this practice. Does it really make sense to log valuable forest habitats to fund schools? ............Does it really make sense to log nearly half of America's forest to make paper pulp? Direct mailers gobble sixty-eight million trees per year. Half the received envelopes are never opened. "
I also appreciated the simplicity of his comment about "art", from the "Zero Circles" project site, wherein he invites participants to become co-creative artists. As a professional artist, I'm always amazed by the ways people are intimidated by the notion of "art".

"First of all, don't be intimidated by the word "artist." In an earlier time, art was not something others did for us to view, or purchase to display on the walls and tables of our homes. Instead, doing art was a part of life. It empowered us. It gave meaning to our lives and connected us to the whole. Rediscover the connection art once provided and build a circle in a national forest near you."

"Raising the Dove" --- Portland, Oregon peace advocates demonstrate support for a U.S. Department of Peace. (Photo and artwork concept by Danial Dancer)

Circles are many things, but most of all, Circles are inclusive. They contain, like the spherical shape of our Revered Earth, the whole of life. Circles have no end.


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