Friday, December 12, 2014

COCCYX = Stony Point→John Cage→Al Loving

Coccyx = Stony Point/Peekskill
Solar Plexus = Newburgh/Beacon
Throat = Kingston/Rhinebeck
Middle Eye= Catskill/Hudson
Crown = Albany/Troy

"Art is everywhere, it's only seeing which stops now and then."
-John Cage, 1978

What is it that draws us to a place? Landscape, economic opportunity, familiarity, the unknown..? My first earth acupuncture/needle insertion has begun in Stony Point, representing the coccyx, on the west side of the Hudson River. All I knew of Stony Point was John Cage had lived there in the 50's and 60's and a film John Cage Mushroom Hunting in Stony Point was made there. With little information of this place, I set out to look for a location to insert my first copper needle into the earth.

Having been raised Catholic, my discovery of a Marian Shrine in Stony Point to insert the first needle, seemed right, in harmony, with my proposal to align places along the Hudson River.

Marian Shrine, Stony Point, NY
"Our intention is to affirm this life, not to bring order out of chaos, nor to suggest improvements in creation, but simply to wake up to the very life we're living, which is so excellent once one gets one's mind and ones desire's out of its way and lets it act of its own accord." 
-John Cage, 1972

Surprised to find the shrine's parking lot filled to capacity, I ask myself what kind of ideas continue for thousands of years and create a continuing interest in such a large audience as religion does. Sacred space is a form of creative placemaking, and boy, the Catholics are good at it. This place was filled with Italian carved marble sculptures in wooded paths called the Rosary Way or Pilgrims Path. I wandered until I found what felt right or as it turned out, broken, in need of something.

Marian Shrine, Stony Point, NY
Many of the shrines were filled with flowers but this neglected place is where I begin my project, the Main Central Vertical Flow of the Hudson River (see first post). To the left in the photo below, is my copper rod wrapped in iron wire, inserted into the ground

Stony Point Copper
41º 12' 57" N, 74º 0' 34"W
My friend with me, Mara Loving, widow of Al Loving, remarks on the uncanny connection of the spiral form in the marble remains next to my needle. Al is well known for his painted abstract spiral paper collages.

Al Loving, Beauty #57, 2003
"When you see how many things there are and you make more connections between things, I think that is the result of the acceptance of all the things. If you stick to your feelings and ideas, you may be impoverished then and have just the same ideas you've always had 2+2=4 and that will be the end of it. But if you let chaos come in, you have no idea how far you will go."
-John Cage, 1990


  1. I love this project, Kathleen, and look forward to seeing you this summer. I did a Mala Meal Project at Stony Point a couple of summers ago so it seems appropriate to do another one in this show you and I are both participating in. Nicely done and congrats!

  2. Thank you Mary Anne, it will be great to see you and I look forward to another Mala Meal with you.