between here and there


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Ideal Reality

 

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to Institute….

to institute a new course in American literature. 3. to set in operation: to institute a lawsuit. 4. to bring into use or practice:.

a society or organization having a particular object or common factor, especially a scientific, educational, or social one.
“the Institute for Advanced Studies”
2.
archaic
a commentary, treatise, or summary of principles, especially concerning law.
verb
1.
set in motion or establish (something, especially a program, system, or inquiry).
“the Illinois Department of Conservation instituted a hunt to remove deer”
synonyms: initiate, set in motion, get underway, get off the ground, get going, start, commence, begin, launch;

Institutions of the industrial era are crumbling but our imaginations are as rich as ever. We see the changes everywhere as the new paradigm of impermanence gains presence and practice. Life is fleeting, moving, passing by, here and there and then gone. The Crumbling we are witnessing suggests that “the institution” is most defined by physical parameters . But it is clear from the definition of “institute” shown above that “to institute” is more about an idea than physical boundaries or constraints, and institution is more about the establishment of an idea or treatise than any set of built and physical conditions .

Our preconceptions lay within the parameters of commerce and industry when we imagine institution as something physical, rather than something that is real as an idea , while ephemeral in the physical world.

Such is the vision that launched Artemis Institute, which codifies an idea, an idea specifically bound to the relationship we experience and create between nature and culture.

From the idea to the reality, we gather together the institution into our imagination, blending the idea into a world view, expanding into a new sense of the world . All the while engaged in the idea, inhabiting a fleeting sense of place among meadows, a mountaintop , a cafe or sidewalk. All parts being a part of the community of life. Artemis Institute is simply an idea that is alive because people believe in it.

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The Search for Beauty

Sunrise o“We shall thus prevent our guardians being brought up among representations [music, sculpture, poetry, architecture] of what is evil, and so day by day and little by little, by grazing widely as it were in an unhealthy pasture, insensibly doing themselves a cumulative psychological damage that is very serious. We must look for artists and craftsman capable of perceiving the real nature of what is beautiful, and then our young men [and women], living as it were in a healthy climate, will benefit because all of the works of art they see and hear influence them for good, like the breezes from some healthy country, insensibly leading them from earliest childhood into close sympathy and conformity with beauty and reason…”

Socrates

Not much to say after reading this, but a lot of doing needs to occur.


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Winter Wolf


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Years Ago, when I was still new to Montana and the Yellowstone Eco-system I had the opportunity to hear the wolves howl above us in the mountains while working on a Remote Studio project miles from a paved road. The experience was heartening, beautiful, and musical magic. Reintroduced to Yellowstone National Park in 1995, the wolves have grown into families who expand across the Mountain West. They are a part of the West, this place is their home. They are the wildness that makes place for us and reminds us that we are a part of a larger community that we cannot always control, but simply honor. The wolves, like the bear and mountain lion are the creatures that bring alertness to our experiences in the wilderness. They are critical to the health of the eco-system, and bring magic and mystery to us everyday. This year I hope for peace and greater respect for all those that we do not quite understand, who challenge us, and may bring a bit of humility into our lives. Without them the World would be less beautiful.

 

“Winter Wolf” is the third piece in the Bear Canyon Series.


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Mission . Practice. Journey.

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On October 26 I wrote a post called “Beginning Practice” as a follow up to a small piece I wrote “Practicing” on September 26. Now comes the journey.

As I have been traveling to speak to students at universities these past few weeks I have been asking them a question Artemis Institute has been focused on since it’s first program in 1997. I ask them if they believe they have a specific journey in life. Almost all say “yes.” But the next question, ” do you know what that journey is?” Usually follows with their response of “no.” The “no” is the challenge for our future.

There is a big change of outlook occurring with this new generation of people who are of college age. No longer do they believe a degree at a university provides an unquestionable best trajectory for their lives, and certainly not a guarantee for happiness. Truths cannot be guaranteed by those guarding antiquated cultural models. The primary change I see ( as is evident by theses covers of current magazines) is that happiness and job is important, place is important to this generation. And journey is ultimately important. The journey is not just about the self, the journey for these folks includes interaction with community and environment. They want to make change happen. Change requires a clear mission, a practice for that mission, and commitment to take the journey.

The journey is the exploration of who and how we are in the world . There is no straight-line to the end game of success. That idealized trajectory is one of the biggest myths we have told ourselves since the Enlightenment. Interaction, cooperation, multiple considerations, multiple answers, and inclusion all lead us to a new form for being in the world beyond the myth.

Say “yes .” Take the journey.


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Adventure for the Future

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Artemis Institute offers immersion education programs that help connect us better understand the relationship between nature and culture.

Remote Studio is a design/build program based in the Rocky Mountains. A full semester credit is available.

Quest/Utah is a program in Southern Utah, open to all free spirits and also available for 3 elective credits.

Please spread the word, share this post. Send it to all who may be interested.

Apply now. Deadline March 1. 

General Information:  Artemis Institute 

Learn more about Quest

Learn more about Remote Studio 


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Educating for a New World

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In 2014 I am thinking about my past decisions, what has driven my professional choices, and I am thinking about where I am right now in my career, the choices I have made, what I have committed to. I am thinking about these things because I am looking toward the future and want to make sure I am still headed in a direction that I remain committed to. Over the year I would like to cover some of the intellectual ground that has influenced me. And if I am lucky some of my insights may inspire and encourage yours.

I started Artemis Institute because I want change the World. I didn’t start Artemis Institute simply to educate better designers, but to educate designers who think differently about the world, differently about themselves in the world. To lead more passionate and committed lives. To be empowered, to believe that they can change the world from their core beliefs to their actions. To gain mental and physical abilities to fuel the change. To provide an entry point into the world that inspires people who commit to a way of living that is beyond the self reference that is so dominate in today’s modern society. To create a world that grows from a sense of passion, love, and responsibility for others.

As I reflect, I don’t believe I was or am well equipped to drive the mission of Artemis Institute. What I mean by this, is that to start Artemis Institute was essentially to start a business, a big idea business, not a little idea business that follows a trend, or fits in an existing niche. Artemis Institute is not a spinoff of an existing company, not a special department or program in a University. Instead we are out in the world making our own waves and charting our own trajectory with no obvious path. More difficult is that Artemis Institute , as a big idea business, lies in the realm of educational altruism. Which, in our capitalist world means, non-profit. I wasn’t and never have been highly motivated by money, or making a profit. Instead I am interested in educating for the future, educating to change the world. But I have learned what having or not having money to spend means when searching for a way to create change in the world. If your goal is to change the world people need to know you exist. Needs to know your mission. Needs to know you mean “business.” In our multi-media culture, a culture that has all options at their finger tips, while at the same time being overwhelmed with the barrage of “campaigns” that exist from which shoes you should buy to which friend’s picture you should “like” finding a way for Artemis Institute to carry its message across state lines, national boundaries, the World Wide Web, different Eco-regions, oceans, and places has been a challenge. Primarily a challenge because with little funding to “campaign” not only is it difficult to help people learn about us, it is difficult to have people recognize the need to participate in the educational vision.

When I look back over the past six years I can hardly believe we are still standing. Not because the mission isn’t solid, but because my interest in education for the future runs against the overwhelming campaign of the “self.” Because in the end, Artemis Institute is me. It is an idea that grows from my beliefs, my sense of how the world should be, how we need to change to make the world a better place for all. However, we are still standing because there have been a few people who believe in me, believe in my ideas, and the founding of Artemis Institute, who have made sure that we have survived while I have been primarily focused on teaching Remote Studio, not campaigning for the non-profit These people have not been shy with their support, support I honor best by getting up every morning and continuing to believe in the need for change, and the ability to support a new vision of living and the world in the people who spend time exploring reality through the ideas of Artemis Institute.

And I imagine that these ideas may often seem cloudy to those I teach. They seem cloudy because I am more introspective than extroverted. And I believe that the best learning we do comes from teaching ourselves in an environment that supports our desire to learn. I think the outward visibility of the conventional education model simply misses the development of the individual. We may learn facts, and data, and context and history. But we learn very little about who we are, how we relate to the world and what effect we can have on others and the world. Our education system spends very little time preparing dreamers. We teach people how to look backwards. We prepare people for the “work force” we train people to be productive in the current framework of society. But dreaming is not encouraged, even when you are studying in a creative field today dreaming is being replaced with the idea of problem solving. There is a difference. Problem solving addresses the apparent issues, dreaming looks into the future to the world that is on the way. We need both: problem solving and dreaming.

But what is less valuable is educating people to simplistically fit the work force, the immediate needs. Because this educational attitude cuts short people’s ability to remain viable contributors in the future, instead only considering them as commodities. As a commodity we disregard our potential for participating in the making of the future. Without developing the ability to think like a visionary, to believe in vision and to believe in the ability to effect change we end up with a society that is defacto lazy, uninspired and without passion. Passion, I believe, is not a self-reflective condition, but passion is engaged when we look beyond ourselves and begin to recognize connections or potential connection between ourselves and the World. Instead of passion however, we have been educating toward selfishness, the non-motivated, and self-referential act of being lazy. Trading our potential for commodity.

The new world has the potential to be full of passion and vibrancy. And in order for the planet to remain viable we require these attributes. For without them we remain self-focused, self- preferential, lazy and selfish. We make poor choices for the whole. we make choices that exclude the rest, the world beyond the self. With the outward attributes of passion and vibrancy we commit to a world beyond ourselves, we dream of a world that can be more than its current present, and we believe in our ability to enact these changes. We recognize a world that is whole, interconnected and reliant on the health and value of all parts.

This is Artemis Institute. This is the belief system that supports the mission that there is a relationship between nature and culture, the world as its exists and the world that we make from our practices. A healthy, passionate and inspired culture does not evolve only in reference to itself, but evolves as we interact and live in the vibrant world around us.

I started with remote studio, which is an immersive design education program not only because these are my roots, but also because decisions about design are decisions about how we interact, impact and relate to the world around us. How we understand these decisions and how we understand ourselves in relation to the world and these decisions play a huge part in how the rest of the human population experiences themselves in the world. Where and how we live becomes how we are a part of or apart from the rest of the world.

Now it is your turn to think about how you live, the choices you make, where you invest your passion or if you are passionless. This is the time to think about how you are in the world and how you want to be in the future.