The Institute for Chaotic Love & Healing advocates the function of art as a conduit to salvation, a means to engage community and forge a path out of personal and collective trauma. It advocates the function of art as a solvent of boundaries and a megaphone to amplify the cosmic giggle. It advocates the function of art as a tool to shape change and a vessel to ride the wave of entropy. Including works by R. Lord, Harry Gould Harvey IV, and DJ Richard, The Institute for Chaotic Love & Healing is a liminal environment articulated in sound, image, sculpture, and hand-shaped surfboards.
In the Buddhist tradition, the Three Refuges or Three Jewels are comprised of the Buddha-Dharma-Sangha triad. Put simply, Buddha, The Teacher; Dharma, The Way; and Sangha, The Community are three precious and necessary elements on the path to enlightenment. This triplicate is the focus of recent works by R. Lord created while recuperating from a violent car crash. As a dedicated surfer, Lord has recently developed a surfboard shaping practice in conjunction with her studio work in an active attempt to engage Sangha: learning, growing, healing physically and mentally through positive community interaction. The hand-shaping of surfboards is a discipline of functional sculpture with an evolved formal lineage and a highly-engaged community of creators and connoisseurs. On a spiritual level, surfing and board shaping are about sharing joy amongst this community: the surfboard as a vessel to commune with nature, a technology for accessing the present moment. The metaphysical link between surfing and spirituality is further explored in the artist’s recent paintings which fuse the iconographic visual language of both arenas.
Mystical observations and enigmatic mantras adorn the small, potent drawings of Harry Gould Harvey IV. Deftly interweaving text and image, Harvey’s compositions draw the viewer into a loop of observation, reflection, and interpretation. The messages are rendered in a confident, legible hand suggesting an earnest inclination to communicate with the viewer, yet their meanings remain seductively cryptic, infused with the abstract mystique of an insight scrawled in the midst of transcendental ecstasy. Frequently possessed of a subtle, Koan-like humor, the significance is deceptively simple, the meaning shifting and deepening the longer it is contemplated. Each drawing is complemented by an ornate frame carved from materials foraged in the woods near the artist’s home in Rhode Island. Intricate and precisely whittled with a folk-gothic sensibility, the baroque carvings lend the drawings an altar-like objecthood, which is further articulated in the artist’s free-standing sculptures. Recent structures suggest devotional architecture, hermetic environments, and fantastical vessels which have been assembled from detritus collected along the LA River.
Positive transmutation through chaos is explored in an untitled sound piece by DJ Richard. Repurposing a selection of Meditation and New Age compositions, the artist has run MIDI files from separate parts of different songs through generative music software to achieve new arrangements from the recombination of disparate elements. Relinquishing degrees of control to the program’s parameters of randomization, the resulting soundscape is often the outcome of minimal human intervention. Expressing an attitude of calm non-attachment the work demonstrates the possibility of passively shaping change: by inputting peaceful data to a chaotic system, the output is peaceful but unpredictable. The emergent, unforeseen occurrences are both progressive and generative, sonically embodying the intentions of The Institute for Chaotic Love and Healing.