1101 Williamson St.  Madison, WI
"A place to go"

Art Archive - 2011

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Show Dates: 2011-09-01 - 2011-09-30
Title: Fools Journey
Artist: Randy O
At different intervals of existence there comes a moment when a glimmer of blindingly radiant light emerges through the cracks n' crannies of deep dark dystopia to enlighten and illuminate our path with a shimmery shinola so intense we cannot possibly ignore it… We have witnessed, hence, the birth of a soulshaking life-altering idea… We may choose to sidestep it and be on our merry way. We may cower and shrink away from it with feelings of ineptitude and insecurity. We may dispute and ridicule it and pick it to pieces in a flurry of snarky cynicism and postmodern ennui or we may choose to simply do nothing – to stay put and sink back into status quo, sheeplike stasis pretending it never happened at all… Regardless what we choose, we must live with the consequences of this decision forevermore. Or we may, as in my case recently, choose to embrace this rare illumination in life as it all too infrequently appears and immerse ourselves in it's enlightened nirvanic glimmer to follow where ‘ere it may lead… Such is the path I have chosen to take in this, my 55th year on the planet. From this day forward I choose to live life provocatively…

The idea for these shenanigans began a couple of months back on a warm spring day in May when I went off-grid for a week in the wilderness on a self-consciously inspired fast & vision quest devised in an attempt to determine, decipher and discern the next twist my life would need to take in order to futuristically evolve properly. I felt as if I were at a crossroads of sorts; a place to decide betwixt what I had already attained in my first two thirds of life and what I might wish to attain from that day moving forward… So I came up with a plan…

In about 100 days, give or take, I will be forsaking the security of my job, my home, my family, my colleagues, and the wonderful friends I have amassed here in Wisco over the last 17 years to embark on a great (mis)adventure I am calling, "Fools Journey: A Year Of Living Provocatively”, or, "Provoca-Tour, 2012” AKA : Operation Flustercluck. Having officially secured a 15-month hiatus from my work (YaY) and a somewhat reluctant, but sincerely supportive separation from my lovely wife, I will be leaving Madison solo in mid-October, 2011 to set-up a headquarters/studio in Denver, Colorado which will serve as my home base as I travel extensively throughout the expanses of the wild wooly West on an ascetic, artistic experimentally existential journey lasting, officially, from December 21, 2011 to December 22, 2012, or, til the end of the epoch, whichever comes first… The expenses incurred on the Provoca-Tour will be intentionally austere, as I plan to avail myself the most economical modes of travel, including busses, trains, and rides provided by sympatico souls along the way…. I will stay with family and friends when invited and sleep in a tent when necessary – I will eat what I can, when I can and do what I gotta do to eek out a modicum of shelter from the storm. I plan to traverse the westerly wilds of the US of A as a shamanizing vagabond, a gypsy-esque troubadour, an itinerant poet, a philosopher artiste magique – all the while, recapitulating my storied past and shaping a futurely destiny shrouded in mystery and intrigue. During my trip I will visitate with long lost family and unfortunately forsaken friends. I will paint, poeticize, musiciate and free-associate my silly philosophies willy-nilly across a big chunky swath of these United States…. During these (mis)adventures, I will be journaling and bloggifying in real-time my travels and travails online, via Facebook and other social media, sending forth daily snippets from my jaunts and journeys as I compile the whole hullabaloo for an eventual book project to be drafted as I travel and prepped for publication at the conclusion of this excitingly exquisite expedition into extemporaneous exotica… I envision this as being reminiscent of a Jack Kerouacian* beat sojourn a la "On The Road” or "Dharma Bums”, except fully wired and technologically enhanced - like our good Saint Jack had a MacBook Air, A 4G connection, and the world wide wizardly totality of post modern mixed media at his fidgety fingertips…. If you have ever read any of my writings or seen any of my art, I think you know I am uniquely qualified for this Quixotic task…. I am an old rock and roll road-dog from way back skilled at scufflin' my way through adversity and surfing the great chaotics of these tumultuous times…. Alas, I am not afeared; I believe whole-heartedly in my soul that this is the next illogically logical step in the fulfillment of my fate.

The whole 2012 thing has intrigued me since back in the deep nineties when I first caught wild inklings about it in my UNIX hacker days of yore… I'm not sure if I've ever really bought into it any more than any other catastrophic apocalypso fantasy but at least it isn't the usual self-righteous monotheistical faire… Much more moralistically neutral, more exotic and culturally diverse than the metaphysical judeo/christian vagueries of the end coming as a metaphorical thief-in-the-night. When I first thought of the Provoca-tour, it occurred to me that it would be appropriately perfectamundo that this adventure take place during this most auspicious of years. For me, it's really an exercise in "What If?” … What if the prophecies were true that the world was going to end or be subjected to a radical transformational shift on December 21. 2012 at 11:11 a.m.; How would I want to spend the final year of my life in order to optimize my talents and cap-off my creative life? With what sort of bang would I want to go out on should this really be T.E.O.T.W.A.K.I. time??? I suppose we will soon find out.
This endeavor is taking place as I am at a zenith of my creative and shamanic powers. I have never been stronger, or healthier – never been so confident in my creativity nor centered in my being… My passions are afire, my skills are duly honed. I am prepared to face my destiny, wherever it may lead. Some of my likely travel destinations over the course of the year include Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, The Dakotas, Montana, Idaho, California, Oregon and Washington State… I have invitations of hospitality in most of these places from various family and friends… I will be doing household chores and cookery wherever I stay in return for the shelter, victuals, and comradery bestowed.

"If a patron buys from or financially supports an artist who needs money to buy tools, time, food, or shelter, the patron then makes themself equal to the artist; they are an integral agent in bringing that art into the world; The patron is therefore co-creator with the artist himself...” - Ezra Pound
Patrons are dictionarily defined as they who encourage and accomplice a personage, a cause, a work or a project toward it's ultimate culminating fruition. These are the furtherers, the promoters, the sowers, the impeti; i.e. Patrons of the Arts. In my jaunty journeys this coming year I am going to need subsidy and support from several willing patrons who will provide a paltry portion of my meager expenses as I gallivant the countryside on my wild and wacky spree of troubadourial tomfoolery and creative anarchy du jour… I am planning on pitching in a pretty penny of my own savings to make this fly as well and while I will be living frugally to the extreme, I will be in need of modest amounts of monetary benevolence along the way… I am not, however, asking for a hand-out, I am proposing barterdom. For every patron who is willing to fund me $40.00 monthly for the 15 month duration of this gambit I will paint a randy*o* original masterpiece featuring the subject of their choosing to be awarded when I complete my impossible mission at the culmination of 2012 when I am already planning a Decemberly art exhibition as an extravaganzistical finale for my Provoca-tour 2012.

The Logisticals break down thus:
Each Patron contributes $40 per month for 15 months = $600.00 per patron = 1 painting by artist... 24 patrons = $14,400 = artist's travel and living expenses for 15 months October, 2011 - December 22nd, 2012 = Total of 24 paintings for 24 patrons with show in December 2012. Location to be Announced @ Later Date. Painting Then Goes Home with Patron = Everybody Wins!!!

I will be setting up a special PayPal account. to accommodate a maximum of 24 contributing patrons. The account will be accessible for monthly payments either by automagic or manual monthly deposit according to the desire of each said patron. 24 patrons allows me a little over 2 weeks per painting for each participating patron… Please let me know if you'd like to get involved and we'll get you fixed up with instructions for the ongoing logistics of the plan. I TRULY TRULY appreciate your altruistic support in my efforts at artistic experimentation. I feel like it's a fair trade and the whole thing will be beneficial to all parties involved. Peace_Yo!!!

"Everything was becoming allegorical, understood by the group mind, and especially this: "You're either on the bus... or off the bus…" - Tom Wolfe (The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test)

In this lifetime , so far
I have been an eaglescout, anarchist,
anabaptist, episcopalian,

Tutored in Hebrew by wise old rabbis,
brow-beaten senseless by desert shaman,
reared by physicists,
tempered by alchemists,
attacked by seagulls,
bitten by rattlesnakes
and a brown recluse . . .

I have fallen off a palomino,
played rugby,
broken numerous bones,
climbed steep mesas,
‘tubed the Colorado,
watched the sun rise and set on two different oceans
and spent the night in a Mexican jail. . .

It is not unusual that I be possessed by spirits.
I have practiced anarchy within church and state
& seen many,
though not all,
the faces of God . . .

I have fought demons,
spoken in tongues
and talked to angels and trees . . .

I have done without food for forty days,
spent a week in the desert alone,
eyewitnessed a hurricane and two tornadoes,
ingested hallucinogens,
seen mescalito,
gotten way too stoned/
stupefied drunk and
become a vegetarian . . .

I have studied the beats, prayed to the saints,
played symphonies, wailed raucous be-bop –
bluegrass –
punk –
and graffitied government buildings . . .

I have been married, been divorced,
been a father, and a son,
sought wisdom, acted the fool,
joined the wobblies, grown vegetables
and fallen in love with a gypsy-woman . . .

I have washed dishes, tended bar,
cleaned toilets, designed web pages,
presided over a funeral, two weddings
and worked at a thrift store . . .

I have lived on two reservations,
drawn caricatures for five dollars a pop,
sold fajitas from a pushcart,
and served communion . . .

I've been an existentially inclined entheobotanist,
janitor, poet, psychonaut
and jumped a freight train or two . . .

I've had a couple of breakdowns
and watched an old hobo die in my arms . . .

I am an artist who aspires to janitorial greatness,
I am a custodian of the arts.

"All of us, whether or not we are warriors, have a cubic centimeter of chance that pops out in front of our eyes from time to time. This chance, good luck, destiny or whatever we may call it, is a particularly peculiar state of affairs. It is like unto a very small ring that appears floating in front of us, momentarily inviting us to pluck it from the air. Usually we are too busy, or too preoccupied, or just too stupid and lazy to realize that this is our cubic centimeter of chance. A warrior, on the other hand, is always prepared and alert and has the intuition, the reflexes, and the gumption necessary to reach out and grab it…" - Carlos Castaneda (Journey to Ixtlan)

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