This is the blog for, the art site of Ryan Callis. Here is where I post about influences, and the stories behind my art. To see the art that this blog refers to, visit

Friday, August 20, 2010

Here is a new "look up" piece. I took the phrase Look Up and made it into a picture by turning the text into Morse Code (12 bars, 8 dots) and had intuitive fun with the structure. Look Up has played various roles in my thinking and art making but as of recent I have become interested in the Quietism movement and researching them and looking at the phrase as an antic dote to the navel gazing so prevalent in our culture (as in look up from your belly button). The modern slang, navel gazing, originates from a philosophy of contemplation that started with the stoics in Greece, and was furthered by the Quietist sect and they were an interesting group in Europe that co-incited with the Reformation. The idea with the Quietists was that if you could bring your self to a blissful, ideally selfless state of mind, that God would then inspire you since your ego had let go. That form of thought was highly frowned upon by Pope Innocent XI and the Catholic church so as a negative way of describing these folks they said that they navel gazed, as a way to describe they considered to be the inward, apathetic, selfish, form of Christianity. There are a bunch of great back and side stories to this story as well.

1 comment: