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Artists Unite With Sustainable Vision

Inspired by indigenous world views and culture, armed with cutting-edge media arts, welcome to a culture designed to organically organize and educate artists with the intention of creating new mythologies.
Portland, Oregon November 2002
Inspired by indigenous world views and culture, armed with cutting-edge media arts, welcome to a culture designed to organically organize and educate artists with the intention of creating new mythologies.

Myth Media Non-for-profit was founded in January 2002 by a small group of high school dropouts. Each with their own individual talents in the media arts, held together with a clear vision of sustainability. The fundamental principles of the organization came from reading the book "Ishmael" and other works by author Daniel Quinn. "We felt we had to abandon school and every form of this culture that we possibly can, so that our grandchildren might have a chance." says filmmaker Peter Bauer, "Seeing our culture exposed in a simple and straight forward way drove us mad." With the act (or non-act) of abandoning civilization comes the charge to create, inspire, and invent. That is exactly what they are doing. Though their main focus is video and film, they are also planning projects that involve journalism, painting, interactive web sites, guerrilla theater, and graphic design. Although they have a complete distaste with the dominant system, their art pieces are not of a distopian nature. "We are not looking to make people feel bad about the way they're living." Says Bauer, "Instead, we are trying to make them see life outside of the Taker prison as more appealing then life inside. We want our art to teach people how to keep the web of life woven tight simply by going about their daily rituals." Their belief is that art plays a fundamental role in the way culture is transmitted from one generation to another. This belief developed through their study of Joseph Campbell's works on mythology. "[Campbell] showed us that stories can more easily slip into the subconscious, making art a very effective tool in cultural change," says graphic artist William Leverette. "We have applied Campbell's works in mythology and comparative religion to our vision of sustainability, and in doing so become like a Trojan horse of the environmental movement." This idea gives artists a sense of power and responsibility when producing their art. Those who accept this responsibility are given the title of "Mythmaker." Defined as, "Artists who use their gift to steer human destiny toward ultimate cultural survival. We go beyond the ordinary artist, and use our art to bring the world back to life." as Lisa Wells, writer and board member puts it, "Creating our own art isn't enough. We want to unite artists with the common goal of creating sustainable human cultures." They do this through holding special artistic events and workshops on cultural exploration. One such event, entitled "Broadcast," is an independent video screening. Local artists who attend sign in at the front, and screen their video on the big screen to an audience. They have shaped Broadcast around their vision, adding elements that separate it from an ordinary art show. Some examples are; that Broadcast is held on the full moon of the month to create an awareness of natural cycles, every month directors are challenged to answer a "Sacred Question," given by the Myth Media staff, with a short video to show at the following screening. They close each Broadcast by having the audience vote on their favorite piece of the night. The winner relieves a copy of Quinns "Ishmael" or Campbells "The Power of Myth," or a number of similar books that focus on mythology and culture. A sensitive issue to them, they are being careful not to simply replicate what they call the "non-working process of schooling," but strive to create a holistic learning environment where people draw on their own passions to get the answers they need. "We want to wrap the people who attend in a cultural basket. When friends and family say to me, 'I saw the moon was half full, and I knew it was almost time for Broadcast,' I know the culture is working," says Bauer. Without a background in business and a refusal to attend school, they have relied on other methods to explore and learn about business management and tribal models. Studying at the Wilderness Awareness Schools Art of Mentoring program, as well as traveling to New Jersey for Tom Brown Jrs. Tracker School. "We spent the first few years away from high school tracking animals in the wilderness. For me, tracking is about learning to follow a trail of questions. We have used these same skills to track experienced mentors in the business world who are happy to answer our questions or give us advice. Its on the job training," says Bauer. Myth Media's long term goal is to be a sustainable tribal business. Following the example, they say, of an oak tree. They may take a long time to grow, but are one of the strongest trees. Their strategy: add one ring at a time.

Fueled by the inspiration to help future generations, a deep passion for their art, and indigenous world views at the core of their lives, its seems anything is possible for this young group of artists.

For More information contact:

Peter Bauer
Executive Director
Myth Media

phone: phone: 503.236.2869

Groovy 03.Feb.2003 16:01

Felix Rufus

Awesome! Cultural change is spiritual change.