We just like the idea of Ludwig Wittgenstein. The idea of him. The mad philosopher—WE know little bits of his story…we, maybe just, have sniffed the central idea of his, so simply put —THE MEANING IS IN THE USE. Who could figure out this Koan? This thought is a poppy seed in a barrel of sand, but it turns out that was plenty enough to get us started.

Ludwig Wittgenstein was our philosophical torch marching us into the cool black cave of meaning centered on language, and since Art is a species of language we call this cave thinking about Art or better Art Mind. Here your thoughts are the very torch leading the way toward picturing the world. Prehistoric pictures on a cave wall or pre-school pictures taped to your fridge, or maybe a sculpture sitting on the plaza, this is one way the mind thinks according to Uncle Ludwig. And, it revolves around language. Worüber man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen Whereof one can not speak, thereof one must remain silent, OR BETTER, if you can’t make a picture out of your words, then please shut up. (We were both exchange students in Germany in the 60’s —Judith ’67 Richard ’66—when the German language ceased to be a wall of unknowing.)

We have created a tool kit to help in parsing the arcana of The Art of this Age. These objects float into focus every once in a while and when they do, its a very important dictum of AMP to actualize the gift of these visions. Back in Artschool days at the Corcoran School, Professor Bert Schmutzhardt, Richard’s sculpture teacher, who had attended the actual Bauhaus, said the first lesson of that famous school, was you had to learn to make your own tools. Great lesson! So here we present our tool kit for understanding contemporary art.

The pieces we are showing seem to hold their own as the formalist dictum suggests: “what you see is what you get,” but formalism just doesn’t cut it anymore. It was a moment in time and kept us occupied through the end of graduate studies. It wasn’t very interesting to look at, it’s interest rested in thinking about art and the presence of the art object. It was the death of beauty as a subject and the death of art for a general population. Where to go?

First, figuring how art is made, leading to the jokey (but sort of true) manual we are writing: 17,455 easy to follow, step by step, fully illustrated how-to treatise on How to be an ARTIST, a materials and methods class in the vein of the popular internet meme Master Class. (we’ve gotten up to lesson 9 so far). It all boils down to this: feeling one has something to say about the thing one loves best.

Rancho Deluxe is the sight and the site for our aesthetic aspirations. Along with planting our garden and adoring our chickens, we are growing our artworks both outside on our parklands and in the studios

Rancho D is now home to two formidable consortia: Richard’s Institute for Advanced Visual Studies and Applied Biology and Judith’s Tamal Centre for Transdisciplinary Research.

Art Mind Park, a five-acre outdoor museum at Rancho D in Forest Knolls, CA. is a place for contemplating meaning through the discovery of sculptures and art experiences set in a natural landscape.

Most of the exhibits at AMP are idea-based, centered two ways. First, they are ideas that have hung around with us for years, standing up well to the blade of time. Ideas that have filled out sketchbooks in a reoccurring cycle; the ones that make through to now have found a home at AMP. Second, most of the exhibits center on theories from the life sciences like for example, our metabolic systems that turn what we eat into dreams, conversation, a walk in the park…food into action. These metabolic pathways have existed since the dawn of life on earth, pretty much in the same way for the last 3.75 billion years. Think about it, turning sunlight into wiggling around and Shakespere. Or as our friend and mentor, Biologist and Psychiatrist, Dr. Sterling Bunnell once said, “We are but waves of light constrained by walls of circumstance.”