Celebrating art and science in Greater Prescott
The colors and the shapes: The art of Charles Conrardy Alan Dean Foster tackles modern art The Absurd Naturalist bears soul, arms PLUS ... • Resolutions & Revolutions: The science of habits • Ruby Jackson’s fresh local locales • Highlands Center for Natural History’s winter wonderings • Prescott Astronomy Club’s Orion ornamentations • 10 decimally derived delights in 2013
Whiskey Row’s ROCKIN’ Irish Pub! • 112. S. Montezuma St. Upstairs On Whiskey Row in Prescott •
Mention this ad for $1 off well & domestic drinks in January.
5enses 14 4 In which: 10 6 13 7 16 8 17 9 18
Resolutions & Revolutions The science of habits
2013-01, Volume 1 Issue 1
Copyright © 2013 5enses Inc. unless otherwise noted. Print edition published the ﬁrst Friday of every month. Website, Facebook & Twitter updated regularly. Email 5ensesMag@Gmail.Com for more info.
Ruby Jackson dishes about January hotspots and cool events.
Markoff Chaney reimagines Pac-Man in the style of Alan Moore.
James Dungeon raids Wikipedia for 10 dates to celebrate in 2013.
Gene Twaronite arms you with knowledge about ... arms.
Alan Dean Foster tells you how to make it big in the art world.
Jill Craig awaits winter and watches critters at the Highlands Center.
Patrick Birck scans the wintery sky for Orion the Hunter.
Left brain/Right brain Find out what’s going on in Greater Prescott Portfolio The art of Charles Conrardy
COVER: “Tuscan Wall II,” 48” x 60”, mixed media on canvas, art by Charles Conrardy, ﬁne art photography by Alan Lade.
Ryan North ends the ﬁxed-panel dinosaur comic drought. 5ENSESMAG.COM • 2013 JANUARY • TABLE OF CONTENTS • 3
Left brain: mind-full events 2013-01 (Carryover) SHARLOT HALL MUSEUM 415 W. Gurley St.; 928-445-3122 • Through 2013-02-03, “Arizona’s Centennial Best Fest: A Second Chance Exhibit”: museum exhibit covering “aspects of Arizona history, including women’s suffrage, political ﬁgures, commerce, industry, Native Americans, and more.” 2013-01-02 (Wed.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 5:30 p.m., Prescott Astronomy Club: meeting; Founders Suite A & B.
2013-01-09 (Wed.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 5 p.m., Prescott Area Boardgamers: board games; Founders Suite A. 2013-01-12 (Sat.) PHIPPEN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART 4701 Arizona 89 North ; 928-778-1385 • 1 p.m., “A Critical Eye on Navajo Art” with Corinne Cain: art talk.
2013-01-08 (Tues.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 4 p.m., Filmmaker Korinna Sehringer: ﬁlmmaker talk; Founders Suite A & B (via Prescott Film Festival). PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 6 p.m., Central Arizona Geology Club: meeting; Founders Suite A & B.
2013-01-19 (Sat.) PHIPPEN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART 4701 Arizona 89 North ; 928-778-1385 • 1 p.m., “The Navajo Artists of Rock Point, Arizona” with Fern Cole: art talk. 2013-01-23 (Wed.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 5 p.m., Prescott Area Boardgamers: board games; Elsea Conference Room.
2013-01-04 (Fri.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 2 p.m., It’s a Mystery Book Group: meeting; Founders Suite A. 2013-01-06 (Sun.) SHARLOT HALL MUSEUM 415 W. Gurley St. ; 928-445-3122 • 2 p.m., “Prostitution in Prescott, 1864-1930” with Jan MacKell Collins: history talk; $3 members, $4 non-members, RSVP.
2013-01-17 (Thur.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 6:30 p.m., Star Talk with Bill McDonald: space science talk about “the events that occur when a star reaches the end of its lifetime”; Founders Suite A & B (via Prescott Astronomy Club’s Third Thursday Star Talks).
2013-01-26 (Sat.) PHIPPEN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART 4701 Arizona 89 North; 928-778-1385 • 1 p.m., “The Beauty of the Navajo Language” with Evangeline Yazzie: language talk.
2013-01-13 (Sun.) PRESCOTT HIGHLANDS CENTER FOR NATURAL HISTORY 1375 S. Walker Road; 928-776-9550 • 1:30 p.m., “A Sense of Wonder”: movie (via Highlands Center’s Sunday Cinema). 2013-01-15 (Tues.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 3 p.m., “The Urbanologist” Max Grinnell: author talk; Founders Suite A & B (via Friends of the Prescott Public Library).
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2013-01-27 (Sun.) PRESCOTT HIGHLANDS CENTER FOR NATURAL HISTORY 1375 S. Walker Road; 928-776-9550 • 1:30 p.m., TBA: movie (via Highlands Center’s Sunday Cinema).
IMAGE: “Observations on the structure and functions of the nervous system.” Alexander Munro, 1783, VintagePrintable.Com, public domain.
Right brain: art-full events 2013-01 (Carryover) PHIPPEN MUSEUM OF WESTERN ART 4701 Arizona 89 North; 928-778-1385 • Through 2013-02-17, Through Navajo Eyes: art show. MOUNTAIN ARTISTS GUILD & GALLERY 228 N. Alarcon St.; 928-776-4009 • Through 2013-01-10, Miniature show: art show. ’TIS ART CENTER & GALLERY 105 S. Cortez St.; 928-775-0223 • Through 2013-01-22, New Year’s Cusp Photography Show: photography art show. ARTS PRESCOTT COOPERATIVE GALLERY 134 S. Montezuma St.; 928-776-7717 • Through 2013-01-23, Tom Williams: metal works art show.
2013-01-09 (Wed.) MOUNTAIN ARTISTS GUILD & GALLERY 228 N. Alarcon St.; 928-776-4009 • Today through 2013-03-30, Art & Soul: art show. 2013-01-11 (Fri.) SAM HILL WAREHOUSE (PRESCOTT COLLEGE ART GALLERY) 232 N. Granite St. 928-350-2341 • 6-8 p.m., reception for “Tomorrowland” by Aili Schmeltz: 2-D & 3-D art show “exploring utopian ideals and philosophy”; show runs today through 2013-02-16. 2013-01-12 (Sat.) THE SMOKI MUSEUM OF AMERICAN INDIAN ART & CULTURE 147 N. Arizona Ave.; 928-445-1230 • Today forward, “Arizona’s Son: The Photography of Barry Goldwater”: photography art show.
2013-01-03 (Thur.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 6:30 p.m., Poets’ Cooperative: meeting; Elsea Conference Room. • 6:30 p.m., Prescott Ukulele Guild: open rehearsal; Founders Suite A. 2013-01-04 (Fri.) THE GALLERY (PRESCOTT CENTER FOR THE ARTS) 208 Marina St.; 928-446-3286 • Today through 2013-02-16, The Nobility of Nature: art show. 2013-01-05 (Sat.) ’TIS ART CENTER & GALLERY 105 S. Cortez St.; 928-775-0223 • 2-4 p.m., reception for STEPS Afterschool Art Education Program: art show featuring “26 children from ’Tis STEPS program”; show runs 2013-01-02 through 2013-01-13.
Find more events in Ruby Jackson’s column on Page 6.
2013-01-18 (Fri.) PRESCOTT PUBLIC LIBRARY 215 E. Goodwin St.; 928-777-1500 • 4 p.m., Beethoven’s “Serenade for Violin, Viola, and Flute in D,” and Handel-Halvorsen’s “Duet for Violin and Viola”: music; Founders Suite A & B (via Third Friday Chamber Music Series).
IMAGE: Shock-Headed Peter, 1917 edition of “Der Struwwelpeter,” by Heinrich Hoffmann. Via VintagePrintable.Com, public domain.
2013-01-25 (Fri.) 4TH FRIDAY ART WALK 18+ Prescott art galleries • 5 p.m., food, music and art; more info at ArtThe4th.Com. ’TIS ART CENTER & GALLERY 105 S. Cortez St.; 928-775-0223 • 5-7 p.m., reception for High Desert Bead Society Show: bead art show; show runs 2013-01-15 through 2013-02-14.
5ENSESMAG.COM • 2013 JANUARY • EVENTS • 5
Around ... ... the Corner By Ruby Jackson “Up on the housetop Holsteins pause. …” Two giant cows adorned with red Christmas bows were about the last things my wondering eyes were expecting to see mid-December, atop the bright green, freshly painted locale at 1120 E. Gurley St. A big sign heralding Hot House Naturals loomed large and center in the front window. Hot House Naturals has actually been around for some time, supplying fresh veggies at the Prescott Farmers Market and offering shares for purchase in the tradition of Community Supported Agriculture (aka CSAs). The farm, in Chino Valley, uses aeroponics (mist or fog) in multiple greenhouses. While not certified organic, they’re staunch “say no to GMOs” advocates and farm without genetically modified seeds or any pesticides. In
the store, Farm Fresh Market, they’ve got their own produce, products from other Chino Valley and Arizona farms, and wares from Prescott Farmers Market vendors. Everything is clearly labeled, so there’re no guessing games required. Best of all, you can pick and choose what you want without having to buy a share. Live la vida local! The latest venture from Raven Café proprietor, Ty Fitzmorris, is the Peregrine Book Company. Though the doors officially opened on Nov. 16, I must confess I didn’t make it in until early December. As with the Raven, major renovations were done. The result is a truly beautiful space done up in cozy uptown chic. One design highlight is the original windows, circa 1930, uncovered from their stuccoed grave in a nod to the building’s historic roots. Located at 219A N. Cortez St., the building served as The Arizona
TOP: Cows atop Hot House Naturals, 2012-12. BOTTOM: Peregrine Book Company, 2012-12. Photos by Ruby Jackson, for 5enses.
Mining Supply Corp., and then as a hardware store until the 1980s. The back half of has been warehouse space since the ’60s, so to see it opened up in its full glory, filled top to bottom with books, is quite a sight. I particularly enjoyed the graphic novel section, where I found a charming illustrated version of Snow White by Camille Rose Garcia. This is definitely a downtown destination store and another feather in Prescott’s cap. Pie marks the spot! The Rustic Pie Company opened Dec. 11 at 802 Valley St., adjacent to Fry’s. I made a point of patronizing this little gem on opening day and met the owner, Kim, who recently moved to Prescott from California, where she also owned a pie shop. The selection is grand, so choosing a pie is a pleasantly nearimpossible feat. A piece of pear pie and a chocolate chip macaroon made the final cut, and were pure delights. In addition to pies, Kim serves up muffins, cookies, trail mix, and more, the selection changes daily, and items are available for preorder. Get a retro soda like Bubble Up, NuGrape or Dad’s Root Beer to top off your sugar rush in style. If you’ve got a jones for wintertime fun, the downtown Prescott Public Library is hosting “Let it Snow,” 4-5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 10. Play snow games and sports, make snowy crafts, and hear stories about snow. Rumor has it that there’s some sort of origami situation planned to facilitate falling snow. Fun for children of
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all ages; most-suitable for toddlers to elementary schoolers. There’s a flurry of goings-on this January at the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center. Ron “Tater Salad” White, of the “Blue Collar Comedy” phenomena (he’s the Scotch drinking one), performs standup on Thursday, Jan. 10; Kris Kristofferson makes an appearance on Sunday, Jan. 20; and Stomp shakes things up on Tuesday, Jan. 29. The Blues and Soul Explosion: A Salute to the Blues Brothers is set to rock the house at the Prescott Elks Theatre on Sunday, Jan. 27. “Harvey” debuts at the Prescott Center for the Arts, Jan. 10-19. In case you’re not familiar with the 6-foot fluffy white pooka after which Mary Chase’s play is named, I highly suggest you check out the classic 1950 film of the same name, starring Jimmy Stewart, prior to attending the play. Should be a rollicking good time. It’s refreshing to see January 2013 begin with such a bang. After December, the post-holiday crash can sometimes leave us feeling let down. I like living in a town where the beat goes on, no matter what time of year. ***** A native of the Windy City, Ruby Jackson is a freelance writer and collector of Norfin Trolls. In her spare time she is an aspiring actress (drama queen) and millionairess (donations gladly accepted).Contact her at RubyBJackson@ Gmail.Com.
Count on these decimally derived anniversaries By James Dungeon
10 years ago, 2003 CE • April 14: Scientists complete a country that clings The Human Genome Project to the English meacataloging 99 percent of our suring system, we sure use a lot collective DNA sequences with of 10s. 99.99 percent accuracy. How do we measure years, • May 23: American scientists trends and generations? In deat Texas A&M University becades, centuries and millennia— come the ﬁrst to clone a deer, all based on 10s. whom they name Dewey. How do keep track of ﬁrst • May 28: Italian scientists at downs in football? Yup, 10s. the Laboratory of Reproductive And how do we rate the relaTechnology become the ﬁrst to tive hotness of Indian food and clone a horse, whom they name vapid supermodels? 10s again! Prometea, edging out researchTens are catchy gimmicks for ers at Texas A&M who were lists, including The Ten Comworking on a similar project. mandments and Cosmo’s “10 • June 26: In a landmark 6-3 Ways to Change Your Man (Just decision in Lawrence v. Texas, a Little).” the U.S. Supreme Court strikes There’s no deﬁnitive reason down a state sodomy law thus why we’re so hip on 10. Cominvalidating similar laws in 13 mon sense dictates it’s because other states. most people have 10 ﬁngers, but 100 years ago,1913 CE that’s not particularly sensitive or scientiﬁc. Regardless, 10 • Feb. 3: Lawmakers ratify the 16th Amendment to the U.S. remains the most common basis for Constitution thus authonumber systems rizing the feds to impose the world over. and collect income taxes. We might • April 8: Lawmakers not embrace ratify the 17th Amendment thus establishing direct the 10-based election of senators. metric system—even after a 1999 • April 29: Swedishincident in which NASA American Gideon Sunddestroyed a $125 million back gets the patent robot because, in an act for the “Hookless of exceptional AmericanFastener,” forerunism, someone forgot to conner of the modernvert to universal metrics—but day zipper. • Some time this 10s remain ubiquitous. What better way to ring in year: R.J. Reynthe new year than a decimally olds creates derived list of anniversaries in Camel, the ﬁrst packaged cigarette. 2013?
Psst. .... Forgot to buy a new calendar? Recycle old ones with identical dates! Use 2002, 1991, 1985, 1974, 1963, 1957, 1946, 1935, 1929, 1918, 1907, and 1901. 1,000 years ago, 1013 CE • Sometime this year: Sweyn Forkbeard, Danish King of the Vikings, invades England and nabs the crown. The man he dethrones is Æthelred the Unready, son of Edgar the Peaceful. Go ﬁgure.
10,000 years ago, 7987 BCE • Give or take a millennia: the Paleolithic Age becomes the Mesolithic as man begins the inexorable march from hunter-gatherer to farmer5enses readers. ***** James Dungeon is a ﬁgment of his own imagination. And he likes cats.
BOTTOM LEFT: U.S. Energy Department, courtesy image; BOTTOM RIGHT: Google Patent, No. 1060378, public domain.
5ENSESMAG.COM • 2013 JANUARY • FEATURE • 7
Perceivings How to make millions in the art market without leaving your home By Alan Dean Foster
finally got it figured out. Contemporary art, that is. And I have Jeff Koons to thank for it. It wasn’t his “Balloon Flower,” which sold at auction for more than $25 million (yes, that’s “million”) bucks. It was his “Balloon Dog.” See, Bozo the Clown on TV used to make balloon dogs. I used to make balloon dogs. But nobody would give me 25 cents for one, much less millions. Maybe Bozo did better—I hope so. It got me to thinking: What’s the difference between a Koons balloon dog (methinks the alliteration is worth more than the art) and a Foster balloon dog?
It’s … size. In modern art, size really does matter. In fact, size is everything. In my innocence I used to believe that a requirement for committing art was that one possess at least a minimal command of the skill of drawing. How quickly modern art disabused me of this antedelluvian notion. To be a success in the contemporary art market, all one has to do is scale up ordinary objects to ridiculous sizes. That’s it. This qualification isn’t unique to Koons, who by all accounts laughs himself silly all the way to the bank. Nor is it a new phenomenon. Take Jasper Johns who made (I hesitate to say “painted”) reproductions,
in various forms, of American flags. But they’re all big American flags. Or his “painting” of a bull’s-eye. I bet your 10-yearold can paint a bull’s-eye. You want bull’s-eye art, all you got to do is head for the nearest sporting goods department and buy dozens, hundreds, for less than a cheap print of a Jasper Johns. Then there’s Robert Rauschenberg. He did collages. You know what collages are: You did them in school and your children do them now. But the ones you did and that your offspring do were small. Classroom-sized. Rauschenberg did big collages. And lots of paint smears. But they were big paint smears.
how easy this is? Koons isn’t trying to fool anybody. Roy Lichtenstein was equally upfront about his own work: “I think my paintings are critically transformed, but it would be difficult to prove it by any rational line of argument.” No disagreement there. Lichtenstein didn’t even try to be original. He just appropriated the work of great comic artists like Jack Kirby and enlarged individual panels to humungous sizes. Oh, sometimes he might alter a few colors. You want to own that art? Have it in your own house? Go buy a Kirby comic and you’ll own dozens of such panels. It won’t cost you millions, and you can cut out the panels you like and paste them on the wall. Andy Warhol did the same, but sometimes he’d get bored. So, in addition to enlarging his common objects, he’d reproduce them multiple times. And change the color overlay (see Marilyn, soup cans, etc.). Any kid with a computer can do the same. Just be sure to make everything … big.
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I could go on (I am going on), but let’s conclude with “artist” Michael Heizer’s “Levitated Mass.” That’s the huge boulder that was trucked, at great expense, through the streets of Los Angeles to its final (unless one day it becomes “Sunken Mass”) resting place atop a concrete slot at the L.A. County Museum of Art. It’s a big (there’s that adjective again) rock you can … walk under. I found far more art in the transportation of the rock than the final “installation.” I’m sorry, an installation is something a plumber does in your bathroom. It is not art. Heck, we live in Arizona. We got all kindsa such installations just outside of town. Sometimes within town. Sometimes inside our yards. And none of them cost multiple thousands of dollars.
that’s the secret to modern art. Make it big. Nobody’d pay to stroll beneath a baseball-size dirt clod … small doesn’t cut it. But a really big dirt clod. … We could call it “Earth Abides,” except that would be stealing the title of a well-known science-fiction novel. Check your trash. Exhume your recyclables. Somewhere entombed deep within lies the key to your aesthetic future and financial success. Take that old soda bottle and make it big (bronze is good)! Extract that chewed-up dog toy and balloon it to Koonsian proportions (do it in stainless steel)! Just be sure to credit your kids. ***** Alan Dean Foster is author of more than 120 books, visitor to more than 100 countries, and still frustrated by the human species. Follow him at AlanDeanFoster.Com.
Prescott Astronomy Club Presents:
Orion the Hunter By Patrick Birck
IMAGE: Edge of the Orion Nebula, “true color” mosaic of a small portion of the Orion Nebula via the Hubble Space Telescope. NASA Image of the Day Gallery: 2008-03-23 (last updated). Photo by NASA/C.R. O’Dell (Rice University), courtesy image.
Winter is a great time to explore the wonders of one of the sky’s most recognizable constellations, Orion the Hunter. On Jan. 1, Orion rises early in the evening in the eastern sky, travels across the sky throughout the night, and sets in the west in the wee hours of the morning. Throughout January, Orion rises and sets earlier each day. It contains a wide variety of interesting stars and deep sky objects. Many of Orion’s stars are visible to the naked eye, and many more are visible through a telescope or binoculars. Two of Orion’s most distinctive features are the hunter’s belt and sword. The sword, just below the belt, contains the constellation’s most famous feature, the Great Orion Nebula. From a dark viewing site, the Nebula appears to be a faint smudge, but with a telescope it becomes a large area of nebulosity (dust and gas). The nebula contains many stars, the most famous of which form Trapezium. Four relatively young, hot stars form this trapezoid. This area of Orion is known for birthing stars. The belt consists of three bright stars in a straight line and many stars of lesser brightness. The right most star, Mintaka, also known as Delta Orion (magnitude 2.2), is an obvious double star when seen through a telescope. The middle star, Alnilam, also known as Epsilon Orion (magnitude 1.7), is also an obvious double star through a telescope. The left most star, Alnitak, also known as Zeta Orion (at magnitude 1.8), is also a double star through a telescope, but is somewhat difficult to split. A quick note about magnitude: The lower the number (that is, the closer to zero) the brighter the star.
None of Orion’s stars are more apparent to the naked eye than Betelgeuse and Rigel. Betelgeuse, in the upper left corner of Orion, also known as Alpha Orion, is about 430 light years from Earth. It is so large that, were it in our solar system, it would encompass Mercury, Venus, Earth, and Mars. To the naked eye, Betelgeuse appears slightly red or orange. With a magnitude of 0.65, it’s currently the 10th brightest star in the sky. Betelgeuse is part of a multiple star system consisting of five stars, but, even with a typical amateur astronomer’s telescope, the other stars are too dim to be seen. Rigel, in the lower right corner of Orion, also known as Beta Orion, is approximately 770 light years from Earth. Rigel is a blue/ white, very hot star with magnitude 0.2 (the seventh brightest star). It’s part of a four-star system, but it’s the only one that’s visible through a typical amateur astronomer’s telescope. Two other bright stars in Orion are Bellatrix, also known as Gamma Orion (magnitude 1.6) and Saiph, also known as Kappa Orion (magnitude 2.0). Bellatrix, in the upper right corner of Orion, like many other stars in Orion, is a double star. Saiph, in the lower left corner of Orion, is a single star. There are many other deep sky objects in Orion visible only through binoculars or a telescope, but you only need your eyes (and a reasonably dark sky) to see much of Orion’s beauty. Just get out and look up. ***** Patrick Birck is a former president of the Prescott Astronomy Club. He moved to Prescott from Maryland eight years ago. When he’s not stargazing, he’s probably playing third base on a senior softball team. For more stargazing info, visit PrescottAstronomyClub.Org.
5ENSESMAG.COM • 2013 JANUARY • FEATURE • 9
The art of Charles Conrardy 10 • PORTFOLIO • 2013 JANUARY • 5ENSESMAG.COM
TOP, LEFT TO RIGHT, OPPOSITE PAGE: “Four Rectangles I,” 36”x48”; “Study in Blue,” 24”x48”; “Study in Red,” 24”x48”; “City & Bay,” 24”x18”. Mixed media on canvas by Charles Conrardy, fine art photography by Alan Lade.
BOTTOM LEFT, OPPOSITE PAGE: Charles Conrardy, who posed for this photo during a snow shower in December 2012, has been creating art for five decades. Photo by 5enses.
Sometimes it’s all in a name. For proof, look no further than the mixed media art of Prescott’s Charles Conrardy. When he promises “Four Rectangles,” you get four rectangles. Similarly, “Three Red Circles,” “Study in Black and White” and “Nude With Gold Chain” deliver as promised. Even the whimsical “Raindrops on Wheatfield” and “Blue Ice” require little guesswork. Conrardy’s abstracts are stark and vivid. A closer look at a given piece reveals mesmerizing variations in texture, line, color and design, but the overall effect is visceral and immediate, void of pretension—love or hate. “People always ask me, ‘How do you know if (something’s) good art?’” Conrardy says at home in late 2012. “I always say the same thing.” The 66-year-old looks like David Ogden Stiers, but his no-nonsense cool is more reminiscent of Mike from “Breaking Bad” than Major Winchester from “M*A*S*H.”
“If you look at something and you like it, it’s good. If you look at something and you don’t like it, it’s not good,” Conrardy says. “Is that too complicated for you? Hello?!” His bifurcation isn’t some hip, PostWhatever musing; it’s a practical philosophy culled from a lifetime of study and experience. Elements of Style At age 8, Conrardy discovered his mom’s art supplies and began painting. That was nearly six decades ago. Naturally, his art has gone through some phases. “Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism …you name the ‘ism’ and I tried it,” Conrardy says. “It’s like going to a restaurant: If you go in there with a preconceived notion, that ‘I don’t like fettuccine Alfredo,’ you’re missing out on something you might like it.” That approach yields countless tangents, but it also leads to surprising avenues in art and in life. After growing up in California’s Bay Area, Conrardy could’ve ridden one of several scholarships to an art school, but, instead
joined friends and hustled cards at a junior college. He dropped out, joined the Air Force, then used his GI Bill to attend night classes. Several students graduated alongside Conrardy at San Jose State more than a decade later, but few had as many realworld art sales. Same goes for many of his professors, too. Meanwhile, Conrardy climbed the ranks from stock boy to regional distribution manager at Pacific Bell/AT&T and eventually landed a job at Lockheed Martin. He lived in Sunnyside, Calif., most of his adult life with Suzette, his wife of 33 years. (Wish them a happy anniversary on Jan. 5.) Conrardy retired to Prescott in 2005 and built his current house four years ago. “I never liked doing things conventionally,” Conrardy says. A peak around his home and studio confirms that.
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TOP TO BOTTOM: “Nude Reflecting” 33”x33”; “Toledo Alley,” 20”x16”. Mixed media on canvas by Charles Conrardy, fine art photography by Alan Lade.
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... FROM PAGE 11 A Matter of Perspective “This is really good,” Conrardy says, plucking a putty knife from his worktable. “And these,” he says, lifting a few cardboard tubes, “You can do some really neat things with these.” After heavy rotation, some of these tools become art pieces themselves like the makeshift rollers-come-sculptures in Conrardy’s cellar. He’s been using personal items like photos and stamps in recent pieces, but his media selection appears utilitarian, as evidenced by the mess of canisters on the table behind him. “I don’t buy paint in tubes,” Conrardy says, explaining most of it’s from the local Habitat for Humanity. “I never know what I’m going to get. Sometimes the paint’s halfway dried up, and I put it on with a trowel.” His technique is likewise an assemblage, a means to an end rather than an obsession itself. So too, seems to be Conrardy’s approach to composition, depth and design, although he’s rather dismissive about the technical aspects of his art. “I’ve been to gallery openings, listened to people talk, and even I don’t understand it—and I painted it,” Conrardy says. “I did what? I should have my mouth washed out with soap. … Art doesn’t need to be that difficult. Make it easy. Make it enjoyable.” One of his most recent stylistic jags, the “Tuscan Wall” series, celebrates the thick layers of peeling paint in alleys he saw on a trip to Italy. Only this, and nothing more. “I wanted to make the connection stupidly obvious,” he says, pulling out a piece he plans to anchor the selection with. It’s three horizontal stripes: green, white, red. “It’s Italy,” Conrardy says. “Got it?” Conrardy’s work has shown locally at The Raven Café and ’Tis Arts Center and Gallery. He currently has pieces at ’Tis, 105 S. Cortez St. ***** Visit 5ensesMag.Com to see more of Charles Conrardy’s artwork and read what others are saying about it.
The Pac-Man dossier By Markoff Chaney “I believe that the whole thing about superheroes is they don’t like (having) it up (to) them. They would prefer not to get involved in a fight if they don’t have superior firepower or they’re invulnerable because they came from the planet Krypton when they were a baby. I genuinely think it’s this squeamishness that’s behind the American superhero myth.” — Alan Moore in Total Film “Disney XD has snagged a new animated action comedy. … Based on the iconic brand, ‘Pac-Man: The Adventure Begins’ will be executive produced by Avi Arad (‘The Amazing Spider-Man,’ ‘The Avengers’) and Rick Ungar (‘X-Men: Evolution,’ ‘Biker Mice From Mars’).” — The Hollywood Reporter ***** Jan. 1, 2013 Dear Messrs. Arad and Ungar, We here at Disney XD are delighted to have you two at the helm of this project. As you know, “Pac Man: The Adventure Begins” is the launchpad for a new film franchise, not unlike the superhero series you developed into blockbuster movies. Before you begin, please familiarize yourself with the materials in this packet, which include English comic book author Alan Moore’s treatment of the Pac-Man universe. While Mr. Moore’s creative consultant contract has prematurely concluded under not less-than un-amicable circumstances, our legal department insists partial utilization of his ideas is integral to this project’s legal and financial solvency. Before you review Mr. Moore’s notes,
IMAGE: Pac-Man arcade machine detail. Photo by Sam Howzit, Flickr.Com, Creative Commons 2.0. please review our notes on Mr. Moore’s notes: • Children in our target demographic, 6- to 14-year-old boys, may have difficulty identifying with a protagonist whose superpowers include an eating disorder and psychotic breaks. Maybe he just takes large bites of things and gets migraines? • While we’re not categorically opposed to the idea of Pac-Man as a Japanese immigrant who lives in a Bronx homeless shelter during the 1990s and is haunted by the ghosts of the Korean comfort women he strangled during World War II, the character’s use of ethnic slurs toward them could incite controversy. Please avoid. • The literal depictions of Blinky and Pinky are a tad harsh. While tourettes and pink eye are fascinating character attributes, they might distract casual viewers. • Video gamers may appreciate the abrupt, nonsensical conclusion of each episode after the 254th line of dialogue, but others won’t understand “kill screen” references. If you’re struggling with plot, we suggest borrowing from Joseph Campbell or George Lucas. • The term “power pellet” is the intellectual property of Stan Lee Media. It’s still fair game—write a story arc in which Stan Lee Media sues Stan Lee over its use, for all
we care—but make sure to vary its spelling so it’s protected as parody. • The proposed polyamorous relationship between Professor Pac-Man, Jr. Pac-Man and Baby Pac-Man requires a network-prohibited TV-MA rating. This isn’t a proscription. In fact, this appeals to our secondary target demographic, men with court orders to stay at least 500 foot away from 6- to 14-year-old boys. Please recouch dialogue in charming, TV-PG-friendly innuendo. • Descriptions of “festive citizens” and “delightfully meandering thoroughfares” may temper the response of New York City’s tourism bureau to a series that otherwise characterizes its streets as “fruit-filled mazes.” Please note the series’ promotional campaign has entered post-creative completion. All changes must be compatible with Mr. Moore’s character designs. Good luck. Best Regards, Gary Marsh Disney XD President and Chief Creative Officer ***** Markoff Chaney is an Earth-based whodunit pundit and (Fnord) Discordian Pope. He has lotsa bills and no sense.
2013 JANUARY • 5ENSESMAG.COM • FEATURE • 13
Resolutions and Revolutions: The science of habits
Sight As anyone who’s tried to teach herself taxidermy or circuit bending can attest, some skills require hours and hours of practice. One day, though, you may be able to learn a whole range of skills without lifting a finger via visual perceptual learning. In an article published in Science in December 2011, researchers describe how the visual cortex can be manipulated to induce brain activity that improves visual task performance—somewhat akin to uploading experiences. The “I know kung fu,” “Matrix” breakthrough is years away— if it’s even possible in the first place—but you needn’t wait to experience something similar. You can learn to dance just by watching others dance, according to
that time of year when a lot of us promise to start or stop doing things we’ll probably stop or restart within the year. That’s right, it’s New Year’s resolution season. The statistics aren’t promising. Studies vary, but many concur only one or two out of 10 people have the tenacity to adhere to a resolution for a whole year. Pick up any ol’ glossy magazine, and you’ll find the standard “How to make your New Year’s resolution stick” story. Pop psychology can help—set focused goals, use peer support, etc.—but that’s not particularly novel or thought provoking. You want the real story, some insider information, and maybe even a little incentive. Science has you covered. Apart from some oddball framing, the ideas in this guide come from actual studies, links for which are at 5ensesMag.Com. Many of these studies are limited by sample size, and some of them have bizarre qualifications. Most often, they suggest associations, not causal relationships, between their elements; their exact results are far too nuanced for casual reading. Regardless, such studies offer possibilities in the form of overly-simplified partial truths. Use these ideas as starting or reference points, not dogma. Sometimes science gets things wrong. (Brontosauruses, anyone? How about phrenology?) Science, like people, is dynamic: It changes to accommodate new information. You experience the world through sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. Why not put those five senses to work to help you with your New Year’s resolution?
Sound University of California at Santa Barbara research compiled in 2008 for The Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition. Learning through observation yielded similar neural pathways and practical abilities as practicing for neophyte dancers. If you’re looking for help, say, memorizing irregular Spanish verbs, don’t waste money on flashy pens and fluorescent flashcards. Bright colors have no affect on shortand long-term memory, at least for college coeds using colored body paint to learn anatomy. The study, published in Anatomical Sciences Education in August 2011, dampers a qualitative study from a year and a half earlier that touts the “educational benefits” of the practice at large.
Getting back into an exercise routine is tough, grueling work. Fortunately, you can get some help without causing an international scandal. Listening to your favorite music can boost your performance and make exercising feel easier. The Keele University researchers—who presented their findings at the April 2012 British Psychological Society’s annual conference (called, naturally, the British Psychological
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Society Annual Conference)— study competitive sports, but you can fabricate similar parameters for your workouts. Mastering an instrument can be trying, but there’re plenty of payoffs for the aspiring musician. Skilled musicians can hear better in a noisy crowd, better detect emotion in voices, and have better memories than nonmusicians. Two of the studies come from North Western University—an August 2010 review in Nature and a February 2009 study in European Journal of Neuroscience. The other comes from the University of Michigan, for the 2008 Dana Consortium Report on Arts and Cognition.
Touch Saving money can be stressful, but don’t worry. Or go ahead and worry as long as you ﬁnish some needlework. In addition to its dual role as a cheap source of clothing and entertainment, knitting can relieve stress, lower your blood pressure and help keep your mind sharp. It’s easy to ﬁnd scientists who tout knitting as a healthful hobby, but it’s equally easy to ﬁnd graphic case studies involving knitting needles and bodily injury. Be careful. Pedestrian fabrics have potential beneﬁts, too. Sometime soon, you may be able to charge your iPhone with your T-shirt. A University of South Carolina researcher’s June 2012 study in Advanced Materials ﬁnds that cotton
Taste shirts can be turned into supercapacitors that retain their ultra-ﬂexibility. After your Seri seraph atains immortality, you’ll be über-organized and mega on time. As you get busier, it’s tempting to steal time from sleep. Don’t. In addition to the wellestablished effects of sleep deprivation, losing sleep can be painful. Two Sleep Disorders and Research Center studies published in Sleep—February 2006 and August 2009—show that sleepy people have lower pain thresholds than the well rested. Insult to injury: In June 2010, in Experimental and Clinical Psychopharmacology, Wayne State University researchers ﬁnd that codeinebased painkillers aren’t as effective on sleepy people. (Ouch.)
When consumed in moderation, black coffee can be a great energy booster and diet aid. You’ll get over its bitterness, even learn to love it, unless coffee’s never really seemed that bitter to you. If that’s the case, your lack of bitter sensitivity could be tied to weak upper respiratory defenses, according to an October 2012 study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania, the Monell Chemical Senses Center, and the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, theorize the bitter taste receptors in your nose are functioning, bacteria-speciﬁc guards. Genetic variables determine how sensitive they are, as well as their response to threats—ergo, people who have stronger reactions to bitter tastes have stronger upper respiratory defenses. No need for sour grapes: You have control over some over some taste variables. For the emergent oenophile and expert alike, expecting wine to taste good makes it taste good. In a June 2009 study in Appetite, researchers from ETH Zürich demonstrate how people who were told a wine was good rated it higher than when they were told it was average. Participants stood by their ratings even after the subterfuge was revealed.
Smell No matter how hard they try, some people can’t stomach vegetables. Flavor starts with smell and then becomes a combination of smell and taste, so that ﬁrst impression sets the bar for relative palatability, let alone edibleness. Multiple studies concur, including January 2011 research from Oregon State University in Chemical Senses. By extrapolation, you can make vegetables taste better by making them smell
better or masking their odor. From an evolutionary standpoint, sweet means energy and bitter means poison, so window dressing—especially for crucifers like cauliﬂower and broccoli—is practically a must. Don’t try to gulp them down when you’re on edge, though, because anxiety boosts your sense of smell, according to a March 2012 study from University of Wisconsin-Madison in Chemosensory Perception.
FROM TOP, COUNTER CLOCKWISE, OPPOSITE PAGE: sunrise from “King Winter”; “Les Mauvais Payeurs L’ont Tué” detail, 19th century; “Femme de la Rochelle”; grape by Michael Rupert Besler, 17th century. All images via VintagePrintable.Com, public domain, manipulated. 5ENSESMAG.COM • 2013 JANUARY • GUIDE • 15
The Absurd Naturalist The right to bear arms By Gene Twaronite
have always believed in the right to bear arms, though legs, brains, and hearts are no less important. Arms go rather handily on humans. A uniquely hominid evolutionary invention, they just don’t make it on any other creature. Even our primate relatives, while sometimes pretending to have arms, still treat them more as legs. And those people who twist the saying to “the right to arm bears” make no sense at all. A bear has forelimbs, not arms. Oh, some will try to be cute and say that a starﬁsh has arms. As for those who refer to the “spiral arms” of a galaxy, they’re just too far out for comment. It is hard to ﬁgure why this basic biological right had to be spelled out in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Except for those who, through heredity or misfortune, do not have arms, keeping and bearing these appendages seems like the perfectly natural thing to do. While those of us who have arms should be grateful, we certainly don’t need to be told this by the federal or any other government. Bearing arms is a God-given right. The writers of this Amendment were just trying to be careful, I guess. Without arms, “a well-regulated militia” to protect our liberties would hardly be possible. I am proud to say that in the event of a true national emergency, there are four arms in our household. Some of our neighbors have even more arms on hand—10, 20 or 30 in some cases. Talk about armed fortresses! We can all rest peacefully tonight, knowing that such vast arm-ies exist out here in the hinterlands. Just think of all the arms in households across America—over 300 million pairs and growing. No enemy would dare to threaten such armed might, not unless they wish for
Armageddon. I for one am grateful for the NRA—the National Right to Arms—and its continuing efforts to weaken or undo any arms control legislation in this country. There are those among us who would whittle away at our traditional right to have arms on our persons and in our homes. They would make it hard to transport arms across state lines: What would they have us do—cut them off? I also thank God every day that this country resists the international siren call of arms control in the name of peace. It’s bad enough that we have some nuts here who want to take our arms away. Just think what might happen if whole countries got into this business. Pretty soon, no one in the world would have arms—a real armistice. No arm wrestling even. And what, pray tell, would the arms merchants do?
literary journals and magazines. He is the author of “The Family That Wasn’t” and “My Vacation in Hell,” as well as “Dragon Daily News,” a forthcoming collection of children’s stories. Follow Gene at TheTwaroniteZone.Com. © Gene Twaronite
we need to add some more amendments to the Constitution to protect our rights to bear other things. The right to bear sturdy legs and brave hearts. And the right to bear and cultivate a good working brain—all too rare a thing nowadays. To bear in mind anything worth bearing becomes increasingly hard to do. SPECIALIZING IN: We need to bear SILVER, JEWELRY, other things as well. PORCELAIN, FURNITURE, We need to bear ADVERTISING, GLASS, witness to the truth, PRIMITIVES & MORE! regardless of the cost. We need to bear tidings of peace to WE DO ESTATE SALES, TOO!! one another on this increasingly hostile, OPEN : shrinking planet. InMONDAY THRU SATURDAY deed, perhaps these 10 A.M. TO 5 P.M. things are even more SUNDAY important to bear than arms. 11 A.M. TO 5 P.M. ***** Gene Twaronite’s short stories and 127 N. Cortez St. • Prescott, AZ 86301 • 928-445-1757 essays have appeared in numerous
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Highlands Center for Natural History Presents:
Waiting for winter By Jill Craig I’m ready for winter. I’ve opened the shed, pulled out the snow shovel and placed it within reach of the back door; I’ve started taking in lots of extra calories (thank you Prescott Donut Factory!); and I’ve exchanged my shorts for sweaters. I’m not the only one who’s ready: I’ve been watching wildlife make similar preparations. So what do animals do to prepare for winter? They can’t exactly turn up the thermostat or pull on down booties (although some of them always don down coats). Instead, birds and mammals have adopted neat and novel strategies to cope with winter. First there are migrators— hummingbirds and waterfowl are great examples. They’ve already headed south in search of warmer climates and the accompanying insect populations. Unless you get a postcard, you won’t be hearing from Western bluebirds, mallards or tanagers for a while. Next are the hibernators, which include many reptiles, amphibians, and rodents. They’ve pigged out for months, and now they’re hunkering down in cozy burrows and holes insulated by new layers of
trickling down our catchment sculpture. Normally, you wouldn’t catch these guys together. Watching them, I realized just how smart this strategy is—how they band together to survive the coldest, driest and harshest months of the year. Here’s the real boon: Each species forages differently enough that they’re not really competing for the same resources—at least not in the same spots. The juncos (small gray birds with a black hood and brown back) tend to search the ground for seeds and forgotten food caches. Bushtits (small, plain gray birds with beady eyes and tiny beaks) sweep tree limbs to bush, usually quite low. This leaves upper branches for titmice (more small gray birds, but with fat. If you don’t see rattlesnakes, spade- mohawks!) to glean morsels from on high. foot toads, or packrats in your backyard, The problem with all of this is that withdon’t worry; they’re probably sleeping until out a foot of snow it just doesn’t feel like the mercury rises. winter. Until mid-December, temperatures Raccoons, ringtail cats, and skunks were a tad warmer than average, which makes are also scarce, but they’re catnappers, not me want to put the shovel back in the shed. true hibernators. The same goes for bears I’m holding out, however. The Weather and other large mammals. These mara- Channel assures me that all of this winter thon nappers lounge around and either eat preparation wasn’t in vain; a good snow through food stores or forage now and then. dropped in December, and hopefully even At the Highlands Center for Natural History, more is on the way this month. we have an occasional visitor named Rusty. For now, we’ll all just keep waiting for He’s a cliff chipmunk who scavenges food winter. Say goodbye to your neighborhood dropped by birds. Rusty doesn’t plan on hi- snakes and lizards, and get ready to greet bernating; he’s filling a cozy little hideaway small bands of juncos, bushtits, and titmice. with seeds, nuts and dried berries (manza***** nita are great for this). When temperatures Jill Craig is education director and Natudrop, Rusty and his fellow chipmunks will ralist Volunteer facilitator at the Highhunker down and nibble through their win- lands Center for Natural History. In her ter wares. Yes, they’re catnappers. spare time, Jill hikes the Bradshaw mounWhen catnappers like Rusty venture tains with her two dogs and husband. out in search of seeds and nuts, they’re in For more natural history info, visit Highdanger of detection by hungry owls. These landsCenter.Org. raptors are part of the last group: active animals who tough out the winter. Resident IMAGES: Highlands ravens, woodpeckers, deer, and javelina are great examples. You also might Center for Natunotice mixed-species flocks of birds— ral History, there are plenty around this time of year. Recently, I was watching a flurry of tiny courtesy imbirds—juncos, bushtits, and titmice— ages. flitting about, gleaning drops of water
5ENSESMAG.COM • 2013 JANUARY • FEATURE • 17
Read more “Dinosaur Comics,” by Ryan North, at DinosaurComics.Com. Buy related merch at Topatoco.Com. These comics are from last year’s strips, which is a good name for a dirty AARP mag. 18 • WEBCOMICS • 2013 JANUARY • 5ENSESMAG.COM
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