Archives for posts with tag: video artist


Collage by Hollis HIldebrand-Mills/ Oscar Statuette courtesy of AMPAS

“If you build it, they will come.” – A quote from the movie “Field Of Dreams.” I am a believer in my ability to make things happen.

I could give you many examples of how I manifest my dreams. If a person is certain something will happen, and is focused enough on the goal, the subconscious mind will make it so.

A recent example of this: Although I am allergic to cats, I love them. Disregarding the allergist’s advice, I had two cats for many years, until they both died of old age. I have been catless for fifteen years. With a friend the other night, she told me Siamese cat dander is different – I would not be allergic to Siamese cats! And suddenly the possibility of having another cat was there!

A few days later, I was downstairs, hanging the remaining unsold collages from my “Afloat” show. They had been stored in boxes at my studio and I wanted to enjoy them. I looked out the window and there was a Siamese cat coming up the steps from our woods! I practically fell off the ladder! No! Not again! Have I manifested this?

You long-time blogger friends know that Vince Wiggins and I collaborated to make my animated video, “Bread In The Sky.” Not totally believing it, skeptical, of course, but all the same, together we have been occasionally visualizing winning an Academy Award for our video. (In the category of Best Animated Short Film.) Yes, a far flung dream. Yes, a long shot. Even so, he and I were at it again recently and we visualized the entire red carpet thing. A few times. We got to the place where we each brought our Oscars home. Vince knew exactly where he was going to place his statuette. But there, I was uncertain. I did not know where I would put mine. Did this mean I do not want an Academy Award? I mean, come on! Everyone wants an Oscar! Or did it mean I just cannot imagine (literally) receiving the highest award in the world for a short film? I mean, really, “Bread In The Sky?” It would certainly shock the art critic who gave it a bad review! The critic told me a few months later that after seeing it again, it was the projection room I built that made him feel claustrophobic. It tainted his opinion. He rewrote the original review in a slightly more positive light.

I am not saying that work does not help make your dreams come true. That projection room was not easy to build. Not to mention the months of tedious animation time I put in for that 17 minute film. Anyone who has ever done this knows. But where to place Oscar? Do I want this? Me not filling in that one important blank…..get this down, folks….. of knowing where I am going to place my statuette, signifies doubt and doubt prevents manifestation. Do I want to win an Academy Award?

I have not seen the cat lately. He must have a home. Or, because I have bronchitis, the cat will not appear. Intentions. Do they affect the outcome of the dreams in your life?

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

IMG_2652People are talking about the jealousy they feel when they look at Facebook. Some are deactivating their Facebook accounts to save themselves the “drama.” The drama, of course, being the envy they feel, of not being able to afford to go to the beach, not having a relationship, not getting married, not having kids, whatever. Not having a beautiful job!

It is well known that only the high points of peoples’ lives are presented there. So why are we jealous when someone is smiling behind a Pina Colada?

I think it is because we are desensitized, due to the everyday assault of images coated in glamour. Reality TV has become a standard. We accept it as real. Reality TV came about when no one was around to write screenplays for television shows. There was a writers strike going on at the time. It was cheap, plotless broadcasting. And remains cheap, plotless broadcasting.

Given this, people actually think their ‘friends’ on Facebook are doing better than they are. And the number of ‘likes’ are there to prove it.

I guess it makes sense to brag about your child’s accomplishments rather than talk about how much yeast medicine you have to use due to a long term prescription of antibiotics. Or while you had the flu, the nearest place to vomit was a trash can right outside the movie theatre. Granite countertops do not barf, yell at their kids, have nosebleeds or smear jelly all over their jeans. We all want granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and sunken sinks with “OMG! I can’t believe it!”

Is a selfie of those people taken, straining out from a line at the pharmacy of, say, six people? Or, better yet, a selfie taken of the pharmacist and the sick person? How many ‘likes’ would a person get there?

Because real life is not Facebook. Real life is not Reality TV. And those people who seem to have everything, do not. They just don’t take photographs of themselves when they are wiping a stain off their shirt, eating chips and salsa. The people on Facebook pose for those Facebook pictures, iphone clicking away, with a face they think looks best on them.

A face that looks like they have everything too!

Copyright Hollis Hildebrand-Mills 2014 All Rights Reserved

Pearls From Hong Kong

When my husband and I went over to China to get our daughter, before we flew to Shanghai and then on to Hefei, we went to a jewelry store in Hong Kong. This was the last year Hong Kong was under British rule. 1996.

We watched as a woman artfully strung pearls for our soon-to-be daughter. We envisioned gifting them when she reached age sixteen.

Sixteen came, fraught with teaching her how to drive a stick shift. (Never once did I grab the wheel, although I prepared for a crash once, thinking we were going to hit a telephone pole.) Also drama at sixteen was so great, as to make us hesitant to give her such a lovely gift.

This year, however, at graduation from High School, she received these pearls with a knot tied in between each one. The knots representing the knots in our stomachs as we flew military flights into the interior of the country. Happy music and the nose of the plane pointed straight upward. Hot wet towels handed out. And the nose of the plane thrust downward upon landing. More happy music. Knots for each of the ten planes. And knots for the anxiety we had at becoming parents.

It was the best thing we have ever done. To adopt our daughter. And the best thing we will ever do.

“Out Of Order”

I am an artist. I do not assume this photograph to be a work of art. I was in a store yesterday. And my daughter was in the dressing room. I decided to take a seat outside the dressing rooms on a platform. Couldn’t even be called a bench.

A dressing room with an “Out Of Order “ sign on it?? I thought about it as my daughter was changing her clothes.

Well, it could be, that if one were to open the door, disregarding the sign, that there was an elevator shaft on the other side of the door and one would plummet to one’s death. After all, what could be “Out of Order?” Could it be flickering flourescent lights reminiscent of a David Lynch movie? So minor. Had to be something more dangerous like a mine shaft. On the other side of that door.

Okay, we all know by now, that certain phrases are used willy nilly, like “One Moment Please”, “Have A Nice Day”, “No Problem”, “Fill Out The Form,” “Please Sign.” (As you are grappling with five things in your hands, stuffing your credit card back in your wallet, spilling your sunglasses to the floor.) Then again, when you don’t sign right away as you are picking up your shattered sunglasses, again it comes, “Please Sign!”

I wonder if this “Out Of Order” sign means the end of the world is on everyone’s mind? Or another phrase put up there with no thought whatsoever. After all, they put “Out Of Order” signs on bathroom stalls, don’t they?

My car. My precious Honda. It is old but it is special. So special, in fact, that every time I drive it, someone asks me if I will sell it.

My car was hit by some obnoxious person. Hit in a mall parking lot on private property. Which, no police officer can assign guilt or liability to either party involved in the accident.

My car is not mine anymore. I have to go to a lawyer to get it back. My fear is, that it is in a place where everyone wants to drive it and claim it as their own.

Say a prayer for Frostie. Although he is nineteen years old, he is not used to spending the night away from home.

Whizzing by the other night, I saw a dog with a light on its collar. It was designed for the dog to see where it was going in the darkness. Just loose enough to move with the dog. Just tight enough so that the light didn’t swing and sway to confuse the puppy.

I have never seen these lights for dogs. Then I thought of SkyMall, the inflight magazine on airplanes. (which, by the way, was where I ordered my dog repellent device.) SkyMall, of course, is now online.

SkyMall is the best magazine for obscure and interesting “things.” An “It Is what It Is” inscribed bracelet. Really, people say that all the time: what does it MEAN? A scalp massaging shampoo brush. (Shown with water showering down on a head in the photograph) Stretchy wearable posture aids, a floating desk (with storage), phone mounters for the car, iPhone printers and so much more.You can see why these magazines are on the airplane. Why worry about lousy inflight service when there is SkyMall?

Have you ever tried to solve a mystery? Something in your daily life you can’t quite figure out, but you have a gut feeling about? Have you combined your intuition with some facts surrounding the situation and BAM! you have it the solution. Or have you? Has this ever happened to you?

The Chinese say that intuition is a “second brain”, physically located in your stomach. Hence the “gut feeling” expression.

Most people do not trust their intuition enough! When I try to solve a problem using my intuition, it feels like stepping out on a cloud, walking off a plank, taking a shot at something. It feels a little strange. People think they need facts alone to solve problems and mysteries. That to use intuition could not possible be sound.

But, as I said in the first paragraph, I put some facts with my intuition and…..well, I can solve almost anything. Can you?

Phones. We all have cells. I like those. But the land or “home” phones as they are called, bring with them terrible sales and political calls. The phone rings. We rush to the phone to answer and we get the dreaded waste-of-energy call.

Therefore, it was during a very high stress time in my life, (when is it not?) I asked my husband to make the home phones not ring. Yes, we could call out, but no one could call us at home. To reach us, they would just have to call our cells. We told ourselves we were keeping the land phones for emergencies.

No problem. We had a vast assortment of Motorola, T-mobile and Panasonic phones littering our house. And he timed the ring systems so that the phones didn’t ring. Quiet.

Stress began again when we switched phone carriers. My husband got mad at one of the customer service reps (They will elevate your blood pressure) and out, we yanked ourselves. Oh yes. It caused a great deal of trouble. New internet provider. Had to be installed by coming to the house, new home phone provider, all having to be redone. Our security system in our home was affected too, because we have the older version, the kind that runs through the phone lines. Even our cells, although upgraded for free, were paid for with an eight hour wait to transfer pictures and such.

We were in the store the other day picking out new home phones and my husband said, “All this, for phones that don’t ring?”

We had an ice storm here in Atlanta this past winter. Not a nice storm. Put the separation between the words in the right place. Ice storm. You know the one. We, in Atlanta, looked like fools on TV and the internet.

The storm I am writing about (We actually had two.) started out as a snow storm. Just like any other. But the traffic! Lord, the traffic! And the slipping and sliding!

A person lost his life. A baby was born. It took the average person to move at the rate of one eighth of a mile per hour. If that.

Yes, there was heroism. We Americans always go for that when reporting such horrors. My husband was in his car along with the rest of Atlantans, arriving at his intended destination. He had to turn around because the person he was dropping off at the bus….well, the buses were not running. It took him an hour to turn around and he got home at midnight. He had been driving for twelve hours. To go ten miles. To the bus and home. Ten miles roundtrip.

Because people were frustrated in the crazy traffic, a lot of people left their cars and walked that night. The next day, cars were strewn all over expressways and backroads, abandoned like discarded toys on Christmas Day. It looked like The Rapture or a science fiction movie.

No, my husband did not spend the night in the shelter of a grocery store, using feminine products as a pillow. No, he did not experience the terror of being disconnected from our child because he had no idea if she was at the school or not. No, he did not spend the night in his car with no one knowing, due to a drained charge in his cell.

But it was awful.

My studio is next to Art Papers, a magazine about contemporary art. The former Editor-In-Chief and Executive Director, Sylvie Fortin, told me that an artist should always, when contributing, donate his/her best work. (Sylvie, by the way, raced me to the hospital one time. It was when a masonite painting I was working on fell, severely damaging the muscle in the back of my leg. I also should point out that Sylvie does not drive. She drove my car, first wheeling me in an office chair to the curb. In addition, she put everything aside to get me there.)

She told me that, by putting your best work out there, especially when you donate artwork, you speak to your audience clearly. As clearly as you would if your work were in a gallery.

This is the piece I have donated to the Hambidge Auction. I posted it recently on Facebook. It is from my solo show “Afloat: An Installation”, New York. This piece is a collage, 5” x 5”, a collage done strictly with magazine pieces, no computer imaging. Or internet sources. It is framed in a white floater frame.

I also posted it in my online exhibition here on WordPress. Where it received the highest “site stat” rating. Which means it received the most “hits” on my blog. 
Even with the inclusion of my post about my friend and mentor, the now famous artist, Peter Forakis which also received very high stats. This piece aced that one.

It is kind of like that song from West Side Story: “When you’re a Jet, you’re a Jet all the way.” Everything matters. Or don’t do it!