Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Shark-a-machine SHAME

This quilt presently is called The CAVE.
The CAVE is a computer that is running a program.
The compass is the inner workings of the program.
This is the core of what makes the machine function in an unsustainable way.

This is the S (in the south position) or Shame.
My point is that the machine that produces a civilized society needs toxic shame
to grow, and become more productive and wealthier.
We are very competitive against each other.
We need to feel toxic shame so that we are driven do
bigger and bigger things to feel better about our self.
Thus we spend more and buy bigger houses and drive gas hogs and live a life of entitlement.
The shark looks for blood and is interested in preying only on the living of others.
I think that many people feel driven by their life rather than choosing their own life.
Not everyone that feels this way is driven by Toxic Shame.
I am just saying that much of what we are shown on is advantageous isn't really that good for us.
It doesn't breed contentment or cause us to look out for the welfare of others.
It is impersonal...and so this is why I decided to symbolize it as a shark that is a machine...not really even living but mechanical.
Shark - a - Machine
I am not sure that I understand all that I am trying to say here, as I am still developing it and working on this.
The book Frankenstein and The Machine Stop by E. M. Forster have been a huge influence.


  1. You are doing this like the medicine wheel?
    If so, that is a cool idea. The name of your quilt makes me think about, What if our lives could be compared to the Cave? We are holograms living in a computer generated reality? Ha! :)

  2. seems we are treading similar paths on this journey ... i am finding your approach really interesting, particularly looking at what drives folks these days and how we are 'fooled' and almost bullied, i'd say into toxic thinking and therefore toxic shame - great analogies.
    i recently saw a live performance of Frankenstein which showed the isolation experience from both the creators and the creatures side - it was fascinating and very moving - i found much in it to move my thinking along re my own cloth.
    It is a privilege to be sharing the journey with you.

  3. Wow, so relevant to my path too, Becky. Have you read any of Brene Brown? I think you would really like her if you haven't. Her latest is The GIfts of Imperfection. She writes so eloquently about shame, that is why I thought of her for you. As always, your art is lovely.

    I am also embarking on a new direction in my TAG journey. Hope to be posting about it soon.


  4. Hi Marie,
    I was thinking about the hologram when I see all that is around me and realize that this "world' or 'cave' that I live in is not sustainable.
    The colors of the compass are from the Cherokee Indians.. North is Blue, East is Red, South is White, and West is black. What is strange about it is that I didn't really think about it being a medicine wheel...but compass.
    So I don't look on this part of the cloth as a healing cloth. It is exposing a problem. (I guess a hero has to have a problem to overcome).But in a way we have put our 'machine' on the Indian's 'land' and polluted it. It really is no different than a symbol of the steam train and what it meant to the industrialist and what it did to the Indian culture and thus what it has done to the environment and to the human and animal culture

  5. .
    I am really glad that you can relate to what I am doing here. I can totally see how ISOLATION is a big part of Toxic Shame. I mean that we want to connect and we contort ourselves sometimes to connect...but sometimes we still fail to move past ISOLATION. Hmmm a lot to think about. Thank you Jill pointing out another view on my path.


  6. You Know Erika,
    This is like having a party on the internet...to have all of you come and be with me on this day!!! and let me show and tell you about my art...and soon I will be hearing what you are doing. I can't tell you how excited this make me!!!

    I have not read any of Brene Brown's books. I hadn't even heard of her. I will certainly check her book out. Thank you,