baker Blinker's Weblog

First and Second Life at least.

Green… Green… what was it? March 27, 2008

Filed under: Hidalgo County, NM — baker Blinker @ 7:02 am

The relatively unknown abstract expressionist painter and filmmaker Charles Nelson Blinkerton (see above for more!) was proud to call Jackson Pollock his friend. Blinkerton studied with famous regionalist and fellow Missourian Thomas Hart Benton at the Kansas City Art Institute in the 1930s. He met the contemporary Pollock, former Benton student himself, while accompanying the regionalist to NYC in 1939. So taken was he with the career possibilities in the world’s largest city at the time that in the 1940s he took up residence first in NYC itself, and then later on at Springs, New York after Pollock himself had moved there in 1946.  In this way, he became a more minor and now basically forgotten roleplayer in the Cradle of Abstract Expressionism buzz centered around this Long Island hamlet.

Unlike Pollock and de Kooning, who also had connections with Springs, Blinkerton labelled himself a surrealist during his time in New York. It was only after the death of Pollock in 1956 and a subsequent move to New Mexico that, in his own words, he took up the banner of abstract expressionism from his compatriot whose life had been cut so tragically short.

Rumored to be locked in a Lordsburg motel room from 1961 to 1992 (partially true), he created abstract painting after abstract painting that could be stacked on top of each other to create what Blinkerton called composites. The 2 posts above represent only 2 of the numberless ways to create such composites in a digital fashion. Blinkerton preferred to exhibited his new work in this stacked manner rather than the conventional gallery method. However, he had little opportunity to do so. In New York, few took notice of his surrealist works, and after his move to New Mexico fewer took notice of his new paintings. Abstract expressionism’s time had passed, along with Pollock himself. 800px-pollock-green.jpg

Blinkerton seemed always one beat behind the current fashion or fad. In 1981, the then 70 year old artist and eccentric shifted allegiance from abstract expressionism to the neo-Dadaist pop art espouced by Jasper Johns and others, and which was also seen as out of date at the time. I’ll attempt to give some examples from this period of his career as well soon. It was only then that he dared to give up his Lordsburg motel room of 20 years and venture out into the surrounding community and beyond, into the Hidalgo County desert and brush itself.

In 2002, upon returning to his home state of Missouri to attend the funeral of his brother, William Charles Blinkerton (unclear whether this funeral was in Green City or Greencastle), he first logged onto the Second Life virtual world, then in its infancy and known as Linden World. In short fashion, Blinkerton claims to have recreated 319 of his pop and abstract expressionist works and “jam” them into an old rusty virtual wagon based on an actual example in the ghost town of Shakespeare just south of Lordsburg. He then set what he thought of as the ultimate but also final of his composites on fire, virtually speaking, in the center of Linden City which was, in turn, the center of Linden World.

Virtual burning was born then, according to Blinkerton, and not in the later Burning Life event started in 2003.

Which brings us back to the topics of this blog!


Hilo!!!, 2 (into the fire)

Filed under: Longest Hope Mtn. (rl mtn.) — baker Blinker @ 1:34 am

A *most* amazing hike. Now I was on Hilo Peak Mtn. again but to give you a perspective, if you look at this photo…

…the very furtherest peak back you can see on the left hand side of the photo is the one I hiked around today to get to the places I photographed just in front, relative to this photograph that is. The distance to that particular peak is probably at least 4 miles from where the photo was taken. Maybe 4 1/2.

What I was aiming for in particular was the pond that Baker Bloch used to “cue” his whole stargate setup that allowed Lemon World to manifest in our world on the actual Hilo Peak. I guess, then, it would be more correct to say that the whole valley pictured in that linked photo above could be called Hilo Peak valley, but it’s actually one giant mountain containing what’s called a hanging valley. It is just this hanging valley aspect of Hilo Peak Mtn. (so let me get my phoney nomenclature straight: Hilo Peak is a just small peak on Hilo Peak *Mtn.* which contains this valley) that attracted the Long Hope Indians to settle there, along with presence of the legendary blue holly, of course. That’s another thing I was searching for today, not surprisingly, but “only” found a lot of spruce instead. But still there was an interesting little synchronicity involving the color blue that happened I’ll get to below.


So here we have the actual High Lonesome Pond, which is the name I’ve given Baker Bloch’s “cueing” pond. It must have been 20 years since I made my one and only other visit to this pond, with Edna in tow. It seemed quite different, and I admit I was mildly disappointed at the sight. I remember more trees encircling the pond, even crowding it in to provide a quite mysterious ambiance. But now I find a large beaver dam at one end with the trees below and away from the dam. I wonder if my memory is faulty or if the landscape has actually changed that much. Anyway, it had been 20 years or so. I’ve been wanting to go back for the longest time but the mtn. is pretty hard to reach, and on top of that I could have been trespassing, although much of the area is now protected by a conservancy.

Damn, I don’t remember this!

Thought I’d throw the above photo in here because of a queer trick of perspective. The spruce tree trunks you see are only about 1-2 inches in width. Look much larger, eh?

Here’s some grown up versions of same. Beautiful!!

A glimpse of the hills surrounding the valley. The trees are so thick that these kind of views were hard to come by.

So here we have the little blue synchronicity I mentioned before. I actually spied the blue tarp above from a considerable number of yards away through thick tree cover and across the Hilo Peak Mtn. Creek that started around High Lonesome Pond. At first I thought it may have been a trick of the eyes, but as I kept staring the blueness did not go away. I couldn’t make out what it was at all since it was just a speck I saw through the trees. I’m still surprised I could spot something so small; I’m not the most observant of people. Still, I’ll allow doubters to say that it was probably just the contrast with all the greens and browns around.

Then after the old road I was on crossed the creek, I saw the only bird I remember seeing that day: a blue jay. Although he didn’t stick around long enough for me to take a photo of him (drat!), I couldn’t help but think of the coincidence: *blue* jay. Then just beyond I found the tarp, the only other really blue thing I remember seeing up there (besides the clear sky!).

I mostly bring all this up because of the legend of the blue holly. Admittedly I made this legend up, and I didn’t expect to find holly. But I did find a series of blue things in a very short span. A quite tangible magic seemed to enshroud this mtn. after all!

Another nice view of the surrounding peaks, this time over a boggy area. There are many bogs in the hanging valley, reportedly.

Another possible mystery, and one that will tie into things that will soon come up in this blog. At the very lip of the valley, where I first entered from below on this grand hike, found a series of rocks mainly to my left that contained a large number of smaller rocks on top of them. The photos immediately above and below show the most obvious of these, but there were a number of others. If hunters or other people arranged these rocks, why did they do it a number of times with different base rocks? That’s a question Baker Bloch asked as well when he found out about them. He has some theories. Oh yes he does!

Another example.