One late night, I turned over in my bed and saw a luminous ball of smoke hovering over me in the dark. It had glowing eyes like tiny stars, and it sent me electric shocks until I woke up gasping and shaking. It took me about 30 minutes to understand it was a dream. The image of it etched deeply into my mind. Even now as I write this, I am still not completely sure that it was merely a dream. Every now and then there comes along a dream, or nightmare, that leaves me feeling changed on a fundamental level. These are the moments I am interested in digging into deeper with my art practice. They are intense moments that happen periodically in my life that tend to present feelings or ideas that propel me into new areas of my work and practice.
Watching smoke drift, swirl, twist, and stretch is like watching a drawing happening in 3-D, rendered by the universe. My heart accelerates a little when I do this. I watch the lines slip through the air, constantly moving in a kind of perfect expression of both science and spirit. It is breath-taking for me to watch something that moves just slightly faster than my mind’s ability to form a picture of it. As soon as I am able to comprehend the shapes the smoke has made, they morph into something new. If you ask the smoke to show you shapes or images, eventually you will see what you want to see. Magicians use smoke as a way to conjure spirits into physical form. It is the perfect art medium. It doesn’t need the artist.