We make art in strange places and blog about it.

I Am Earth (a poem)

I am Earth and you say that you love me
I am the trees with my leaves
I am the river immense and sustaining
and my clouds are cascade from above

We walk together, you and I, but these days this is rare
You might hide in your boxes and block out the stars
and the view from my belly goes blank

We can get back together, you and I
You’ll see that I never left
You can’t save me?
Well I can save you
if you’ll only learn to trust.

–Chad Sorg

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 2,000 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 33 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.

“Slow Tourist” and “Cold Springs Valley” -2 New Poems

Slow Tourist

In a scrambling world

in the busy

they scurry blinded to the peace

to the stillness

We can be slow tourists

every day past our morning coffee

beside the delivery truck idling

beyond the unread emails

There’s a thick volume beside me

on my park bench

Robinson Jeffers the cover

of which features his image bathed in sunlight

though black & white

he ponders like me but he gazing out to sea

Jeffers was a tourist

slow where he lived

You feel that in his words

so proud his vocabulary

his land provincial perhaps

but his sea

by Chad Sorg


Cold Springs Valley

Complex lines divide this ridgeline from skyline

where dirt paths climb behind

and the rabbit brush has faded

its Spanish yellow blooming

which the bees do miss

and which had an early fall climax

and the sagebrush is always

a delight as it defines

the high desert floor

such a clear groundling

distinct shrubs so there’s always

an easy path

which ever direction chosen

all worth pursuing

the sunlight rakes askance

long down the fence face

and shading as it dips

most of our mountain

in chocolate

Energized rocky outcroppings

stand out orange against the coming evening

and the wind leaves painted

flesh tone wispy strings

against the pale blue dome

and the dogs in neighboring neighborhoods

echo a mindless clambering clamor

multiplying in varied pitch arrayed and disarranged

all this signaled the end of this day

in Cold Springs valley

Nevada USA

by Chad Sorg


Huron And Potomac (a short story)

Potomac had finally decided he was done with labels; he was done being a Buddhist, long done being a Christian and he was done being a Libertarian. “None of these are synonyms for Potomac, so I’m Potomac only.”
His friend Huron overheard him. “Lemme guess, you’re thinking about the label thing again, aren’t you?”
“Yes” replied Potomac.

Huron had been texting but had slipped his phone back in his pocket. He had a good way of giving people his full attention when needed. The two had been friends for a long time and he was able to see that Potomac had serious concerns going on. “Well you know what I think about Libertarians..” said Huron.

“Huron, I wouldn’t say I know what you think, but I know you’re not fond of them. Democratic Socialism is pretty cool too but I’m not that label either, buddy.” leveled Potomac. His tone of voice raised at the end to let Huron know there was resolution in his words but the friendly tones around ‘Democratic Socialism’ had given way to the cliff hanger, the minor key of “but”.
But Huron wasn’t hearing this–not really. He wasn’t hearing the absence of labels, the presence of the void in Potomac’s choice and he wasn’t getting the vibes of equanimity.

Politics and religion thrive in the same way that a AA battery thrives, plus & minus: duality. For every action, a reaction.
As a devout Buddhist, Huron inhabited the glory of patriotism in his religious & political devotion. It wasn’t about anger or even dislike for another religion or political group but Huron had found a jewel in the practice of his faith thru particular systems. He was proud.

After a moment of relaxed silence Huron made his ah-haa exclamation “I’ve noticed lately that it seems like you’ve changed your position.”
“If you mean online, I wouldn’t say I’ve changed position, but in conversation I now hold no position so I’m there to defend nothing.” volleyed Potomac.

Huron considered this distinction deeply for a moment. The two friends had always respected each other greatly, so words were brief and to the point, though what did it for him was Huron’s visualization of Potomac floating away as he spoke. Potomac’s body drifted upward leaving only the sound of his words behind for Huron to relish. It was at this point, like the blazing flash of a giant yellow street sign, all six feet across with words in flat black “STOP AHEAD”, FWAPP! His forehead trembled as he toothed his lip gingerly.

“Potomac, I guess it’s just that I can hear you now.”

El Cortez


This is damn interesting. The famed and iconic El Cortez, which gave NadaDada its first host location for our show.. is being sold. I’m featured on the page here! hahaha. (that’s the funny part)

Originally posted on REreno:

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWhen Steve Siegel was interviewed after his purchase of the Truckee River Lane Building, he stated that it would not be his last Reno purchase.  He went on to buy the Virginian Hotel Casino, and was at least in negotiations on the Nugget Courtyard Motel adjacent to the Nugget in Sparks.  Is the HISTORIC El Cortez Hotel on 2nd Street his next target?  My sources say yes.

The El Cortez is one of my favorite buildings in Reno.  The marquee along 2nd Street definitely has to go, but the Art Deco detailing is amazingly intact and some of it is visible in the Noble Pie space.  I don’t know how much of the old Trocadero Night club is still intact, but it was THE place to be in the day. (cool view of the lobby HERE)

elcortez trocadero

More recently, the El Cortez has been the centerpiece of the NadaDada artist’s…

View original 20 more words

Skybox Painting, My Newest From the Ranch (photos & journaling)



I lumber from bed

in my wild orange box cabin

five days moving forward

each moment toward commencement morning

making my waking here fruitful.

This one, the sky box,

will eventually house the workers

whose spaceships touch down here,

buses don’t run out here

to Iveson Ranch

with its glorious sunsets and its crunching mix of souls

and its ancient Indian remnants on the ridges

the hoo doos.

First I had to kill the rust who were grazing here.

for two days loudly I did that

Early afternoon the rains came in

so either I napped or I drew.

It was the blue that got me started.

Bright patches would shine through and I knew

that color would scream to be obscured.

And deep greys were important to me too

because rain clouds here are a treasured gift

from the hoo doos?

But without the pinks

none of this picture would hold any hope

and it was the sky’s change from moment to moment

that this picture was all about.

These days, the daily grind here is more about entertainment,

the biggest desolate desert party in the world,

and instead of hunting mule deer into the canyon for the tribe’s dinner

these tribesman celebrate the burning of a giant wooden effigy.

Those working at the ranch were either using air chisels

to mend windmills or cookin’ stew

for the off roader party

about to roll thru for the weekend

couples in campers

no more deer hunting.



started 5-19-14

Journal from my 6 days at Iveson Ranch

Day 1: Grinding steel all day. This box has some cancerous rust to get rid of. Whatever.

But tonight we watched a show, The Voice, because these guys have gotten into it. That’s fun. The rooting for your favorite, it pulls you in. This kid blew me away. His skill was astounding. He sang Stevie’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered” and I love Stevie, but this kid BROUGHT it. He had it. He just did. Confidence, poise. But goofy looking and even that, he made work. Talent, ya know.

So I did these black & white drawings and watching this show is what pushed the drawings. Talent; it’s all a practice. If I want to be good at something–if I am good at something, I practice.

I’m wanting to write about sleeping. I just woke up an our ago. It’s a rain day. My first night I stayed in the guest room up at the house but last night I moved to my new home for this week, the orange container cabin. It’s many fruity colors actually; yeah, maybe I should call it “the fruity cabin”. It wasn’t warm but last night was damn cold. No heat source here other than me. 2 sleeping bags was a good idea.

This unit is painted indescribable colors: grey/lavender, orange, pale yellow, silver-brown. So yeah, I guess they are describable. See the pictures of it?

But when I stepped out to pee in the morning a cat meowed behind me and when I turned to see him, he was stretching his “good morning” at me. He was in the compartment on the side of a neighboring empty camper where the battery was to be stored. It’s just the right size for a ranch cat to crash in and my guess was that this is a regular spot of his. I hadn’t known he slept there last night, I woulda’ invited him in.

We find our place in life, the rancher man was telling me last night after steak dinner. That’s Eddie. He said we don’t always find it right off the bat and we might have to switch gears but there’s a place for us all.

It’s still not raining this morning but grey skies impede me. I’m almost hoping for some drops so I can continue hibernation without shame. Instead, though, I’ll move back to grinding for the second day. Hard disk or wire wheel?–we’ll see. Hell, maybe I’ll end up pulling some paint out after all today.

I can’t get away from this book this morning though. Cowboy poetry and paintings. Our resident Scottsman cowboy (Eddie) highly recommended it. He lives this life fully, having lived many other lives fully already.

I do understand why… this kind of life. It’s a certain culture to belong to–those that would appreciate the solitude of cow pokin’ or whatever they call it. Ranch life, even a modern ranch with its motor repairs and backhoes, it is a special existence. Nature simply fills up life more.

It’s strange to think that rust is a life form. It eats.

Anyway, we’re sitting in what was once the river bed. I like how rivers move through the centuries and you can tell where they might have been a couple hundred years back. The canyon still drains through here even though a ranch or two upstream diverting water.

The deer were run up through here. In close quarters, the Pauites would hunt those deer and feed their families. The water is great here. This spot is a pocket of life & life feeds on life. We don’t like to think about it like that these days but that’s part of our problem, being so detached from the natural processes.

The Indians had the solution to having limited numbers of hunters in the form of what we call the hoo doos. These “hoo doos” stand in formations made of dark rocks on ridge tops overhead, lining the valley and canyon floors around here. When running animals between ridges the hoo doos served as stand-ins to guard from above so the deer or whatever animal it was didn’t get away. They were fooled. It was very systematic and apparently successful, proven by how many of these are left meticulously standing today.

I painted the hoo doos on the last unit. That one’s going to be Eddie’s home, once the craftsmen finish the inside for him. Its a landscape all the way around and I think it looks pretty damn good–effective.. buoyant colors. This oil enamel technique of mine is dialing in.

These cabins actually are very temperature efficient. The steel is very thick and then they’re insulated in here. Drywalled and trimmed nicely. This unit has 2 beds, bunks, and a nice huge shelf/table. My dad actually helped with this one last year in the fall.. maybe it was summer.

I’ve got to get artists out here. This ranch can room 15 comfortably. This place is exactly right for creative making. My surroundings have engulfed me–it’s official.

When I come back from painting all day, I’m still wearing “painter eyes” and everything is being scrutinized closely of color. The form of my surroundings becomes delineated and I render edges to everything. Nothing is lost; this is not a lament. I would say that reality becomes questioned. What am I really looking at? Does the paper I’m writing on tonight really have yellow, grey and tan mottling to it?

There are prevalent batches of color staining my arm, mostly shades of blue/grey. My calves are sore. My back cries. This bed is plenty soft. I’m gonna’ end this writing abruptly and catch some Z’s now.

The following are some random notations I don’t feel like editing in their proper placement:

at one point, explaining, I pointed Eddie up to the clouds and said “Not like those–too easy.” My technique grows more streamlined with each piece but at times pure poetry was to pull me through.

The horses watched from start to completion. Who knows, maybe they crtiqued me with my impressionisms.

Every time I find myself rendering a painted sky I muse that once a year the two will match. As above so below.

The clouds and I both conjure up poetry. When there is nothing our motivation is to render poofs of something. We find ourselves with rhythm and alliteration to abbreviate the scene. The form of the score adheres where pattern & repetition presents in present tense. Precipitation, drama in quarantined sections rendered to push eastward or westward in Z’s and V’s.

Everybody’s ecstatic about this finished unit. It feels good to hear them say I’ve outdone myself.

Skybox Close SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Skybox Side Skybox Pinks SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Skybox and MountainSANYO DIGITAL CAMERA  HooDoo Painted Storage Container Home Unfinished   Sagebrush Desert Rocky Ridge SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA Roadway


Legend has it that John Lennon met Yoko Ono in this way:

Yoko had an art show

and in the middle of the room

was this ladder

which John climbed

and he used the magnifying glass

to inspect the surface above him

which in tiny letters



Yoko Yes

One Essay and One Poem, Submissions For Harbinger Asylum

The Truth About Nada

The truth is a joke. At least it’s a joke as it’s used here in the title of this essay. There is no truth–there, I said it.

When a word is created an entity is born. Dada proposes absurdity and Nada points toward negation or nihilism, so either a) we stand for the negation of absurdity or b) we’re about absurd nothingness. These are contradictory notions but I plan to dispel neither of these myths.

If the Socratic method were to be applied, no answers would be offered but instead, only questions. Is this some kind of Buddhist koan then? What is NadaDada? What is not NadaDada? How necessary is bureaucracy? What is this, an autocracy? From where does our power come? How necessary is money? Are artists entertainers? Is art a commodity? We all have to make a living, right?

What it is and what it is not get discussed alot but the truth about NadaDada is in the motto: Get a room, make a show. That’s it. I can share this one central tenant of our little art movement and that is the motivation that NadaDada has always striven for since January of 2007. We are a working model of non-central governance–horizontal alliance. In other words we are all our own bosses.

We start to see how endless our unrestricted, individual universes can be. We start to meet the co-creators and our wider audiences: we share in the appreciation. Connection is a multiplier and the gestalt broadens the experience of art. There’s no one to herd us toward what’s appropriate, either in terms of morals or in terms of style. There is no jurying.

The challenge in putting such a philosophy to work is in finding how such an elusive organization as is one made of individual creatives could work toward any singular goal. But this singular goal amounts to opening up an unrestricted flow of freedoms in creative expression–individual expression. You know, fine art.

A commercial commodification has been adapted to the art industrial complex and the danger is in taking this for granted… like I said we all gotta’ make a living but we cannot forget that art is an action, not a thing. If you don’t think that’s true, you haven’t experienced the changes our relationship to art goes through: I hate this piece or artist and then someone enlightens me to the truths/intentions found in this piece or work of this artist.

Maybe our contemporary eyes have latched on to the attractiveness of something in this world that might live beyond our own DNA but the materiality of a painting is the by product of something far greater, something ever changing. Creativity is an action/activity/occupation and as close to the divine as a human can get.

“Creatio ex nihilio”: creation from nothing.

Artists are open to possibilities and what “can be”. Art is transient. Nothing is permanent. We show art in motel rooms. Check out time is 11.


Sugar Dance Dream

Sugar comes from space.

This harnessed specter

painted on somber face

hallowed this nascent grace

This femme framed

held she in place

by hundred yards of dress

this performance space was her nest

her prison

And I, drawn in

at third floor

a wordless behest

for a moment waned a lunar gaze

afternoon from the west

sunlit chest

the enticement of the taste.

This prohibition dream I had

in 1931 from end of the hallway

at an elevator shaft

Riveting was this dazzlement

this suffragette


was this one ghostlike

a confectionary enslavement

enrapt a nimbus

this love a lingua

metastasized between us

the heartbeat found quickened

and when the dance:

a noose.

This luminess

the minotaur

in her maze

and then..

she let me loose.

I’m lucky to be alive

and the cookies were delish.

-Chad Sorg

Divination Shows (a poem)

Divination shows me

my spirituality


is outside the box

and looking in.

These duties

I’m about to perform

on an audience abroad

mixed origin, mixed cause

It’s mankind in the end

with healing properties

but lost from within

How do these oppositions arise?

Complex investigation

gets stumped & stifled

by Socratic division

As if by design

2 sides to every story

We train our young

in the ways of

good & evil

God & Devil

The Yin Yang logo

Perpetuation of

 a countering notion

of this versus that

you’re with us or against us

There is no middle ground


is never come to


It’s war at all times

brother against brother

because we must stand

up for what we believe in

and we must fight

or we must self deceive then.

I Choose Optomism

Those perpetually positive people…

I used to despise them (this was a long time ago). I thought someone like that displays NO objective opinion–their credibility went out the window for me, but then I started noticing how calm they remain and how little irritation they involve themselves in. I dug a little further and I found what they were into was children and gardens and making shit and general peace.

Well shit, who could argue with PEACE?

And so, I want to let you know what I finally found out–what I finally realized–and that was that sharing the NEGATIVE is not objectivity. It’s only sharing negativity.

What does a negative slant accomplish? Is a recurrently negative outlook helpful in attaining creative goals? Does negativity fix anything at all? Isn’t negativity just another word for fear?

You’ll always see pessimists calling themselves “realists” while failing to see optimism as the counterpart to their own equally ‘unrealistic’ perspective. Neither one relates to “realism”. It’s like choosing which pair of sunglasses to wear.

So I came to see, finally, that optimism creates change and does not follow it. So I choose optomism.


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