Monday, January 29, 2007

Laptop Computer and American Indian Ancient Futures


Apple Computer powers the World Journey of the Sacred Pipe.

The newest of the Macintosh (Apple, Inc) laptops, a 17 inch MacBook Pro is the command station for the World Journey of the Sacred Pipe. Way back around 1987 I met a field represenative from Apple Computer, his name was Richard. In these days there was almost nothing on the Internet. Richard was working out of Los Angeles and they had just moved in to new offices in the MGM Building in Santa Monica. I suggested that I would trade a sculpture for the lobby of the new offices for a new Apple Computer. It was just a whim of a question. Up until that time I was using a gigantic computer running Windows 3.1. Well, he agreed to talk to his boss an later he said his boss said it was ok and I traded Apple Computer 3 sculptures and one painting for a Powerbook 540c laptop (the absolute state of the art at that moment), and an AppleOne Color Scanner.

For the next several years I made internet and American Indian history and established the beginnings of the American Indian Computer Art Project which at the time won many awards and praise from the world community. My web site was even featured deep inside China as part of an early project to bring the internet into rural Chinese communities. It was a great period of exploration and Apple Computer was at the forefront of helping obscure little projects like this one. Much of my passion and resolve to continue this work has been from the pride and faith I felt from those people, like Apple, who were willing to help.

Those days are gone. These days it is very hard to get a corporate sponsor for such a small project. However, this has not dimmed my passion for the craftsmanship and excellent performance of the Apple laptop. It was not long before I put windows in the trash. My Apple laptop soon became indespensible to my work and the one central place where we keep not only the record of the World Journey of the Sacred Pipe, but it is our portal to the world itself. Sitting here at the work area, the MacBook Pro is now an essential item in my daily life. I think with this computer system I have become somewhat of a geek, and usually I am very happy to know this. It makes possible to record my travels to remote lands.

Back in the 80s I said this..."I believe the computer is the best tool Indian People have been given in 500 years to communicate with themselves and with the world"....I believed that then and I believe that now. Even after all these years, American Indian people and communities, in the traditional lands and reservations, have almost no opportunities to realize this profound promise. Yes, a lot of tribes have money now with their casinos. They put up casino web sites; these are useless works of trash these casino web sites. Business people always use computers like this. Almost all American Indian casino web sites are made by subcontracts to web site builders in far away cities. My passion has been to hope to bring this technology to spiritual leaders and artists.......to the Actual People. It surprises me that tribes themselves do not see the irony in having their web sites controlled and put forward by business interests that have no idea the culture itself is starving for a venue of communication. Some of us continue to hope to drag the computer out before the soul and eye of the mystery life, into the ancient dream.

In my world travels I use the MacBook Pro and art software programs to reveal the union of the creative soul and mind with technology. One physics professor has written about me in one of his books as an example of one who has appropriated technology well beyond the expectations of the inventors of this technology. (Appropriating Technology, Prof Ron Eglash)

The world journey of the sacred pipe is in fact a small project. It is a meditation for all the people of the world..... it is a small idea with fantastic possibilities to be a voice before the entire world. Thanks Apple for that start so many years ago....that hand up and that access to the golden tower of human technology. I would like to think I have been a shining star in keeping the promise of my work going with these tools. I am still here.

This new 17 inch Mac Book Pro was traded from Becky for an assortment of paintings by an American Indian Artist.

For this project these truths work in balance. When Apple Computer was nearly in the toilet some years ago, just before Steve Jobs came back to work for them....Richard and I took the Sacred Pipe into the California desert and made a ceremony there with the Sacred Pipe and Sacred Water for the recovery and future of Apple Computers. I am not sure if this feeling and power within the soul of Apple Computer still remains, but on that day we stood together inside the mystery life. Becoming a gadget company seems to be its future more than whatever magical moment it was when the finest computer made possible collaborations with the soul of time itself.....maybe something like this was only a dream?

The Dreamer
Pantelleria Sicilia

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