Take one artist, an environmentalist, a cellist, a futurist, a figure skater, a mountain climber, an astro-biologist, a poet, a Buddhist, a linguist, a humorist, a forager, a farmer, a coder, an inventor, a chemist, a clarinetist, an ethnobotanist, an ethnomusicologist, an electronic musician, a choreographer, a publisher, a curator, a critic, a trout bum, a dancer, an angel investor, a mathematician, an astronomer, an astronaut, an architect, a plumber, an actor, a director, a Hollywood SFX maestro, an art dealer, an archeologist, a primatologist, a psychologist, a philosopher, a quantum physicist, a surgeon, a seismologist, a rare book dealer, a magic carpet merchant, a surfer, a horse trainer, a trustafarian, a ukulele-girl, a shaman, a clown, a magician, a coffee guru, a dive master, a survival expert, a pyromaniac, a masseuse, a CEO, a bodyguard, a chef, a cartographer, a pilot — all friends of mine. Invite them to dinner.
Add enormous curiosity and doubts about the relevance of foie gras in the face of mounting evidence that reality as we perceive it is a grand holographic simulation. Stir in spices, a monkey-wrench, a scorpion sting, a helicopter crash, one pair of reappearing dead man’s shoes, SETI, a drum machine. Salt to taste. See what happens.
Time is weird. Representing it in any meaningful way is challenging. Two weeks before the deadline for this book, I found myself unsatisfied with the 108 photographs I had prepared to accompany these words. It wasn’t their veracity compared to memory that was inconsistent. Simply, single capture rectangular frames had become antithetical to my current worldview, having more in common with music than with still pictures. The convolution reverb was missing, what audio engineers call the ‘glue.’ On impulse I scanned one of the ‘final’ photos, accidentally bumping the device mid-scan, which produced some curious results. Ah-ha! I began to ‘play the flatbed scanner’ as an electronic instrument, much as I do with my electric cello: running complex frequencies through signal effects processing, delays and amplifiers, to more fully express the harmonics. Let’s call these ‘the Barn Sessions.’
Several till-dawn binges later, I surfaced with the newly synthesized images, having guided them from their digital form to the analog, to the digital, and back to ‘real’ photographs again. A visceral sensation of camaraderie connected simultaneously to Andre Kertesz making his ‘Distortions,’ to Gerhard Richter’s early photo-realistic painting, to Hao Jingfang’s science fiction story ‘Folding Beijing,’ and to Werner Herzog’s documentary ‘Cave of Forgotten Dreams.’ The manipulated polaroids of Lucas Samaras must have had their say as well. Amazingly, these new / old images captured proof of time slips, gravitational waves, and miracles. Even with very few bits accounted for, the humor is consistent. Teenage friends would have called this ‘Canadian Humor.’ An inside joke. Oh well. Oh Canada. Oh California. Oh umbilical chord to nowhere.
Much of my work as an artist has become technically complicated, site specific, expensive to produce, and yet amorphous. Recipes for the Mind is a return to words, photographs, and a book: things that can be realized immediately and enjoyed almost anywhere. I’m thinking about thinking, about art, technology, consumption, near death experiences, encounters with wildlife, time travel, failure and courage, AI, and the challenge of photo- based storytelling in an image-saturated world.
You can preview some pages from the book here.
My hope is this collection takes you somewhere. Sharing it is an experiment. With gratitude and amazement, I am honoring fellow travelers, mentors, and this finite time we share on what for all we know is the most beautiful planet in the cosmos. Clues are embedded in the gibberish. Solve the riddle, then come over for supper. You can bring your friends. I’ll cook for you. In the meantime, enjoy. We are connected.
Charles Lindsay’s hybrid practice stirs a lifetime of images, words, experiences and chemistry into a slurry of glitchy, trippy beauty. This book of striated, manipulated images and dream notations almost seem to have been extruded from his mind like a kind of psychedelic Play-Doh fun factory. The results of this process are laid out in Recipes for the Mind; a book where text and image actively swap each other’s DNA, creating a variety of strange forms and slippery new meanings.
— Fred Tomaselli
Like the most intrepid astronauts and the most audacious philosophers, Charles Lindsay goes farther and deeper than most of us dare even to imagine. In Recipes for the Mind, he reveals these interstices in a remarkable body of visual artwork and poetry. Always astonishing, his images and language are never strictly depictive. Rather, they provide visual and textual passages to realms he’s discovered, enticing viewer and reader to embark upon their own journeys.
— Jonathon Keats
Risks and challenges
We aim to produce the most beautiful book possible, designed and printed in Estonia like all Terra Nova Press books, but to the exacting standards of artist/author Charles Lindsay, a man with years of experience working on fine book projects with Aperture, Little Brown, Minor Matters, Chelsea Green, and many of Japan’s leading publishers. This intimate publication, high in quality, low in print run, will be an artwork in itself - that's why we need your support to complete it.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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