the labauratory!


The Magician

This is the second performance in my living tarot performance series. Based on a poem I wrote about the second card of the tarot deck, The Magician. Performed at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, music by Theo Brama at Entheomusic.com. Enjoy!

The Magician

Made in the image of God
We are powerful creators
Birthing dreams into reality
We are magicians
With intention, focus, practice
We can shape and mold our lives
In union with spirit
We can dance between the worlds of the known and unknown
Let go
Get out of your own way
And the let magic take place

Earth, water, fire, air, ether
Remember these ancient teachers
All thoughts are energy
We must choose them wisely
Call upon inner guidance
Inner alchemy
Your heart is your compass
Pointing you to your truth
Only you know what is right for you

Believe in yourself
Trust is the key
To unlocking your own unique divinity
Get clear on who you are and what you intend
Don’t be afraid to take action
When the time is right
Dive into your darkness in order to find your light

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The Empress

For years I have been passionate about studying the Tarot, which is a deck of divination from the mid-15th century. I don’t study the tarot in order to do oracle readings for others, but rather I study the archetypes as guides and symbols for my own life journey. The major arcana, the first 22 cards of the Tarot deck, especially represent a mythology of the human experience, also known as the Fool’s Journey or the Hero’s Journey. They represent the challenges, the energies, the lessons that we encounter as we follow our heart’s path to our life’s callings. I have wanted for years to do a performance series bringing the tarot to life, and I finally birthed little seeds of this project in the past couple of months at the Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Here I work and live in community, and amidst my practice of yoga and dance, I have had the time and audience to create and perform poetry and dance in honor of the tarot. I would love to eventually collaborate with other artists to make this a more extensive production. My first performance was based on The Empress card, the 4th card in the tarot deck.

The Empress

Flowing golden locks glistening in the sun
Her bodacious body planted in the Earth
Rooted
She is at Home
She is grounded, abundant, radiant, overflowing
Children and animals flock to her Loving Presence
Ripe with Life
She bleeds creativity

Joy of the sun with a softness of clouds
Both angel and human
She glows
Pregnant with possibilities
She grows
She knows her passion and purpose
She channels her gentle strength
Contentment and peace
Everlasting

The sound of laughter tastes like wild strawberries
Tears like morning few
Feeling fresh and new
Birth and Rebirth

It’s been a long dark winter,
and how she ached for a moment like this
Pure Bliss
Thank Goddess


So we meet again…

So friends, it has been some time. When I last shared, I had been experimenting with art in my life, and now I realize my life has been experimenting with me as an art…
Over the last 3 years, I have been shaped and molded by the universe beyond anything I could have imagined. Soooo much has happened amidst many cycles of death and rebirth and transformation that I don’t even know what to say… I plan on writing a book someday so maybe that will eventually suffice… But for now I will just say…
Longggg story short, most recently, I’ve been in a holistic treatment center for eating disorders in Tucson, AZ called Mirasol for orthorexia and somatoform disorder… this phase of my life was REALLY hard for me to accept and endure… One of the most painful and rewarding experiences of my life so far. For me, obsessing about my health and body had become a very unhealthy thing. It had driven me to extremes, numbing me out from emotions, robbing me of my joy, depleting my body through cycles of starvation and binging. It had become a surface way to escape and distract from underlying traumas that I ultimately had to face in treatment. Here are some projects I completed there to represent the old universe of my eating disorder, and my new universe of being free from the fears and obsessions that had controlled and consumed my life for so long…

Here is my Old Universe in 2 parts:

This one is a slideshow of the set…

https://vimeo.com/77308022

and this one is the video of the performance…

https://vimeo.com/74075792

Here is my New Universe performance in 2 parts:

All together these videos are about 20 minutes total so it is quite a journey… feel free to watch it in parts and “digest” it piece by piece or if you feel up to it go ahead and watch them all as an experience!

Love,

Aura


Synesthesia: A Meditation Installation

Hello again! As I mentioned in my last post, I am very interested in using my visual art to create therapeutic art installations, which I hope to eventually install in hospitals, schools, offices, and clinics for permanent, everyday access to relaxation, rejuvenation, and meditation. I think it would be really beneficial for people to have access to individual sessions accustomed to their needs, but the community experience of relaxation has its perks as well. Connecting with others in a healing space and being reminded that we are all together on this crazy journey of life can be really uplifting and encouraging. For my Personal Projects final presentation, I decided to experiment with the first public exhibit of the therapy, and I titled it “Synesthesia: A Meditation Installation.”

An immersion of sound and visuals in a space designed to induce relaxation, I had everyone come in and sit on pillows or chairs and take a few deep breaths to embark on the journey to a cloud of relaxation. I wanted the music and visuals to wash over them, taking them away from the outside world and giving them a chance to experience truly being in the present moment of healing sensory stimulation.

The first section of the experience soothed the audience with soft ambient music and lots of abstract video of pure light and color motion. This sent them into an ethereal experience beyond the everyday world. The music picked up with some Chinese flute music, and I then took them through a sequence of  relaxation yet energetic harmonium music where microscopic footage showed them the beauty of the world that exists beyond the limits of our senses. Lots of naturally hypnotizing footage of cells going in and out of focus took them to an interesting level of relaxation and concentration. Finally a song combining drums, flute, and more intense melody brought an invigorating burst of energy to uplift them to a state of relaxed rejuventation. The visuals here showed the fusion between the ethereal world ight and microscope and the earthiness of real nature footage. Orchids with projections, various meditative mirror effects, and other footage of leaves and the wind brought them back to the beauty of the earth, but with a new serene awakening.

We planned out the visuals and the music before hand to create a journey, but Elijah mixed the visuals live, layering videos and adding visual effects to them. The experience was beautiful, but next time I hope to screen it in a darker room so that the visuals are more captivating.

Here is a small excerpt of the experience so you can get a glimpse into what I’m talking about!

After the experience, I had everyone fill out a feedback form so I could get a sense of what people want to see and the potentials this project will have as a therapy. Everyone enjoyed it and definitely felt more relaxed, and everyone also believed it should be in hospitals, schools, or clinics! My goal is to get this installation a permanent space in St. Edward’s Health and Counseling Center by the end of next year! For my senior thesis, I will continue working on visuals, music, and decorations to make this space possible. I have been talking to the St. Edward’s Wellness Organization, who want to have more student led events to spread health and wellness, and it seems that they may want Synesthesia to be a frequently ocurring event! =D I will keep everyone updated on how this turns out over the next year.

Love and light,

Aura


Life!

So recently the living organism that is Life has been like one huge crazy beautiful lucid dream. I somehow manifested my dream house… with a huge backyard and private Greenbelt trail. It is going to be the Hatching Ground, where artists and healers can come for creative space and community bonding =D Cominggg soon= a dome for projections, projections both outdoor and indoor, art shows and parties, backyard performances, fire spinning, gardening, painting, yoga, hiking, a trampoline, a music room and studio… so basically I just want to sayyyy thank you universe….wonderful explosions are on the way!!

So0o now onto what I’ve been working on…..

I’ve been documenting many artists in their work, some photos, and some through videos like the one I posted of Ashley. But footage is building up… still trying to get around to editing it all, which I hope will be done by early May! Sheryl, Andreas, and Raven will be featured soon =)

Hmm, vat elseeee? Still doing macro and micro footage… increasingly interested in creating little worldssss…creating sets with projections and found objects that imitate or allude to nature scenes. I am fascinated with how macro, micro, and “normal” perspectives all reflect back to each other, and how man and nature reflect each other. Everytime I see a face in the knots of wood, I am reminded that nature is an incredible teacher and a powerful reflection of man that we can turn to for wisdom and inspiration on how to live our lives. I believe we are here to realize that we create our world, and the process of art making continually reminds us of this process on a level where we can actually physically see the results of our intentions and power to create reality. Nature seems to inspire all the art I do, and it is an endless muse that we must work to protect if we are to prosper.

Over the summer I want to keep going with this little world idea and create an entire animation set of biomes… imagine a Planet Earth stop-motion/performance.. o0o0o! I’m particularly drawn to making crystal cave or a deep sea set. It would be incredible to make a crystal cave set with real crystals…I imagine I would also make an ice fairy costume and perform with the visuals! I’ve also had visions for awhile of a strange orange tree that I really want to bring to life. I’m not quite sure why, but the orange tree has been a recurring vision for awhile in mannny different forms as a watercolor, a sculpture, an animation. Although the orange tree historically symbolizes many things, I think the orange to me is just an incredibly uplifting image of bright purity… signifying the creative process from seed to blossom… mmm =) I strive to continually transform my imagination into physical manifestations, creating the worlds I want to see around me.

In the meantime, I am going to work on combining some visuals that I have from micro/macro and make a meditative video to be viewed as an installation, especially to get feedback from viewers on how the visuals and music affect them. In addition to personal expression of my imagination, I really want my art to positively effect my viewers on some therapeutic level. I definitely think that therapeutic visuals is a realm similar to music therapy that needs to be researched and expanded on. I want to futher explore the mental and pyschological effects of color, light, abstract video, and music so I am working on writing some grants to pair up with a neuropsychologist to study the effects of motion visuals and color on our physical and mental processes. “Alternative” healing, creative expression, and various forms of art therapy should be more accessible and acceptable in all aspects of mainstream society, not just reserved for specifically healing art centers. So until then I will just be studying color therapy and the physics of light frequencies on my own, and continue to apply them to my art. In fact, as I am dealing with the emotional and physical pains my own chronic disease, I think I will also be a good guinea pig for the experiment of healing visuals!

<3Aura


Video Portrait: Ashley Arechiga

Here is my first finished video portrait of Ashley! I captured the footage while we were working on a scene for Codes of Awakening using my Canon Rebel T1i, which is great but H.264 files are unfortunately kind of horrendous to edit with. But alas, here it is! Enjoy!


The Gyronauts!

Elijah put together an epic demo reel for The Gyronauts-the hoop troupe that I perform with! This one mostly features the fabulous Tash and Sean, but the next demo will be more focused on other performers, including my own solos =) Enjoy and stay tuned for moreee!

Footage captured by Andreas Leonardsen, Aaron Geiser, Elijah Parker, Aura Cleveland. Edited by Elijah Parker.
Peace!


Entering the World of Animation

I’ve been romantically fascinated with stop-motion over the past year, especially after meeting my great friend and amazing animator Ashley Arechiga, but I have never really gotten to experience it in the making until the other night! It was absolutely incredible, and we of course used projections to help set the scene, and it turned out quite brilliantly I think! Take a look!

We shot this test for an animation scene of Elijah’s performance thesis project, Codes of Awakening. The scene is about a future city of sound pollution, consumerist imprisonment, and technological neglect. A little girl screams for a way to escape this hell, while her dad in the other room is oblivious, sucked into the media center that drains his soul. I am also doing a video portrait series on artists and their work, and this was a great opportunity to take video of Ashley in animation action, which I will edit and post soon!


Karma Lounge

Prophet Visuals and The Gyronauts had their first club gig together with live projections and hoop performance for DJs DKCJ and Jason Torres a couple weeks ago at Karma Lounge! I shot this video of the experience, and Elijah edited it. I really enjoyed filming that night so doing event and performance videography is definitely something that I would like to continue! Contact me you would like projections, DJs, performers, and videography at your next event!


I Want to Be a Light Fairy!

Ok so I follow this blog called Create Digital Motion, where I find that I am not the only one obsessed with projections! Yay! It shares awesome sources on what all people are doing with projections, live visuals, and digital art, and it is definitely worth checking out. From a distant link I found a video of this performer…who is already doing exaccccttlly what I had envisioned for future performances… live interactive projections with interpretive dance. She happens to also do contact juggling or sphere dancing, which I am quite terrible at, but my partner Elijah contact juggles and we were excited to see someone fusing so many of our passions! I reeeeeally enjoy the concept, and I think it is a beautiful representation of the incredible and infinite chemistry between projections and performance art. I was instantly inspired by this woman, Phaedra, and I didn’t ever think I would get a chance to see her in real life, but I happened to walk into her performance at an interactive art party the other night! I couldn’t believe it- I was so ecstatic!! I took video of her performance to forever cherish =) Thank you magical being for sharing your light! I will share the video when I get her permission.