Waging Peace: Cultural Alchemy

August 16th, 2014


Most of us have thought along the same lines at various points in our life’s timeline. The answer to our question “why?” usually bounces right back in similar fashion as it is asked. “Because that is just the way it is.”

Here is a dynamic Ted talk by Ron Edry, who as an Israel based graphic designer (and former soldier) eschewed convention, and created a shift

Does it matter? Only to those who moved. There are a lot of them.

Art changes things.

The book Blue Mind, written by Marine Scientist Wallace J Nichols made the NYT best seller list recently in the category of Science. Blue Mind examines the effect of water on mankind through the discipline of Neuroscience. I have been both blessed and informed to have sat in on and been a part of the Blue Mind Summits, as well as the assembling of this innovative examination of how we might be able to think differently regarding the world at large.

It starts simply, cultural shift. I like that.

I crave simplicity.

Why not happiness, too?

One of my colleagues, publisher and artist Joe Cardella, has based his life work on boring a hole into the psyche of popular culture and setting a depth charge with this simple message: “Art Saves Lives”.

Go make some.

The life you save…..is your own.

Blue Mind

Blue Mind


Blue Minded

Blue Minded

David Pu’u Does Not Text

August 2nd, 2014



The above image is a screen grab of me placing a camera on a vehicle. What that means exactly, is that as I was pre editing motion clips for a music video I saw this, stopped the roll and hit Apple-Shift-3, which saved a jpeg image of my computer monitor screenview to my desktop. That is called a screenshot. It is a nothing tech tool you learn the first week using a computer as a work platform.

I admit to being a geek and nerd. Though I love my little Go Pro cameras for some work, I am the very last person to resort to using one for a number of reasons, most of those involve wanting to maintain absolute control of how my work looks and being able to reproduce what passed in front of any one of my ridiculously large assortment of lenses in the highest resolution possible.

Once that is accomplished, I archive the original camera raw capture, produce final commercial high resolution files, and jpeg web resolution imagery and archive those as well. Right now I have close to 30 terabytes of active storage, most of it cataloged by keywords which cause the image to pop up when I type the keyword into the Finder (search) box of my MacPro library computer.

I learned quite some time ago that the iphone was a great device. Possibly one of the worst telephones on the market ((I am using the 4s) it has potential to keep us digitally connected in a manner more thorough than any device prior. But for me as an artist who must create in word and multiple arts formats, this same connectivity is also a complete sell out and potentially fatal to my Art.

This is why. By sheer connection, your work in process becomes a reflection of what you see via connection culture and it’s low skill devices. The reason for this¬† is because consumer based imagery is designed to not be interpretive by the user. As a business model it succeeds by being imminently user friendly. In fact, this has been the logic behind much of Apple’s product Development and Marketing which has created the massive profit behemoth that is Apple and it’s wonderful devices.

The point of this blog is to let you all know what I had to do to preserve my artistic integrity. I turned my texting off. Then I began to keep my phone ringer turned off while thinking (Yes I do that) praying (I do that as well. Hanging out with God is a favorite pass-time) writing, editing, shooting, creating.

What I learned, is that if I give the world unlimited access to me, it will conform me to itself and in turn I become a mirror of cultural mores and response. In effect my worth as an artist goes down. This was an essential lesson for me, this process of planned digital disconnect and is what allows my art to survive. It is not that I am being selfish. It actually is the polar opposite, as it involves discipline, solitude and desire to build work that matters.

What matters to me above all is being authentic and that means I operate my tools. I never let them operate me.

Years ago I read all of Isaac Asimov’s work. One of the most influential works in his library is I, Robot. Are you? (No, the i thing irony is not lost on i) Why would that be a good thing? Is it a bad thing? Well, for me it is the end. And i don’t like creative death. Life is much more beautiful.

Ever think about the word “I” and why it is capitalized?

This is a really on point blog post regarding tech, and in particular the potential shift in culture’s perception, and acceptance of the intrusion of technology in our lives.

Below are a few images from the past week’s digital sequester. Nope, none of em are made on an Iphone, or a Go Pro. With neither interchangeable lenses, exposure lock (Manual exposure operation) or ability to shoot in high resolution raw file format, those tools are for imagery that lives for the moment and is intentionally meant to disappear into the white noise which is endemic to our connection culture.

I want to limit my contribution to the static, let alone allow it too much control over my soul.

Matt Zeltzer

Matthew Zeltzer

Bali Magic in Dance

Bali Magic in Dance

Bruce Brown and Steve McQueen

Bruce Brown and Steve McQueen



My fantastically creative wife. Fisheyed and motion blurred.

My fantastically creative wife. Fisheyed and motion blurred.

I called this Raid Benedict as it perpetually betrayed me before finally committing suicide. Digital reality

I called this Raid Benedict as it perpetually betrayed me before finally committing suicide. Digital reality





A Faithful Paradigm

July 26th, 2014
Into Perfect Light

Into Perfect Light

A close friend sent me a story about a researcher who was suing to get a university job position restored, after getting fired for being different. Here is that news piece.  Nothing remarkably enlightening about the story. But as is frequently the case, the informative bits are found in the post article commentary left by readers, who for the most part are more concerned with the deployment of ridicule on the researcher, than the larger question of illegal termination of the man due to discriminatory bias and personal agendas of school staff.

In fact, it appears that not only were his civil rights potentially violated, but the University actively engaged in marginalizing the man’s research, which is in diametric opposition to the moral imperative of what we loosely call our systems of higher learning. Those being the colleges and universities.

The passage below were my thoughts, offered to a friend. In my circle of colleagues, we discuss any and every thing.  Doing so makes us better as individuals. (I like better in my own life)

Here is the letter back to my friend.

“See the comments? Incredibly programmed and ignorant. The Theory of Evolution if one were to place it as a Law of Evolution,¬† preposes that there was a shift of one species to another at some point, and that this occurred due to the process of natural selection and resulted in an increasing¬† hybrid vigor of successive generations of the new species.

Once again, people confuse a fact  (the process of Natural Selection) with  the theory associated with that law, which culture knows as the Theory of Evolution.  Two entirely different but related things, as you know.

The problem for some with religiously held POVs, is no hard evidence exists that shows what some loosely term “the missing link” example, which is an artifact, proposed to have existed in the space in between Simian and Homo Sapien, which would carry potential for both species’ DNA.¬† At issue for these people is that they may have studied genetics, but have invested in supposition, which has¬† in turn been passed along as vetted, empirical truth.

This  truth, (which has not been located) would indicate in evidentiary manner, that one simian species over time, became a new human species. None exists that I know of. That is why we term it a Theory. It may in fact have gone down that way, but we really do not know the specific details, which would corroborate our theorem and make it law.

This process is the basic prepositional foundation of all learning. It is part and parcel of critical thinking and reasoning. When  we become religious, what has really happened is that a filter is applied which colors all future exploration. Sometimes this can create a lot of damage, as religiosity for the sake of religion, is done with the intent to control another most of the time. That is dangerous for both controller and controlled.

One of the reasons I enjoy  attending  think tank events, is that I get to  ask the questions which lead to a break down of programming. This allows for problems to be examined as if  they are not problems at all, but possibly the result of improperly founded solutions. My goal is always to think differently. If you get learned people to do that, the world really begins to open up, and we discover that which was previously hidden by our own personally held beliefs, which filter data and in turn, emotions.

We have within our psyche, a potential as human beings which is very different than any other animal. Man’s¬† ability to see and act in a manner that may¬† confer benefit or harm on our species, is what I term superlative choice. When we as individuals engage as God meant for us, we tend to pass through what I see as brute mindedness, which is rule by fear, and begin to operate in a different realm. We at some point begin to move in love.

I have read a lot on various people whose lives conferred and facilitated great leaps for humanity, who walked in that sort of relationship. Whether they espoused it or not religiously, is besides the point.  I term the process: walking with God. Religion merely is a filter by which we endeavor to conform God to our accepted Cultural standards of existence. But that process we see illustrated in culture at large, where we apply filters with errant intentions, is entirely backwards when one needs critical, creative process thought.

I saw a lot of this process evidenced in Einstein’s life. You see it in the classical Greek Philosophers, in Goethe, Tesla, Buckminster Fuller, and many whose voices resonate in the halls of our species’ history.¬† And of course, you see it in evidence when looking at Charles Darwin’s life and study.



Jesus was the very best example in my eyes. But I have an inward evidence of that which goes beyond what I have read of the man in historic-scripture based accounts. That is what makes the difference. This evidence is termed Faith. Faith is knowing. Pretty simple.

There is a way which seems right to Man, but it’s end is death. We choose life, or not.

Nature always does the same quite rigid, beautiful, harsh, unending thing.

Man would do well to sort his relationship with God out. Then he would understand how to interact with Nature and correctly moderate natural processes. This should be the foundation for civilization’s advancement.

The fly in the ointment is pride of course. It makes us unable to connect with the truth. I have long thought pride to be a sibling to fear. The funny thing about love, is that I have found it tends to throw fear out the door.  When that happens, we see differently.

We can believe a lie if we want to, and have even coined a term which explains the process: cognitive dissonance.

This is a brief explanation of that THEORY, which I believe could be on point.


But it is explained through Psychology. Man is more than that. We need to look at the third layer of Man: Spirit, which I alluded to above. Then we get it.

Within many of our Western based learning institutions lies a stubborn unwillingness to acknowledge the architecture of Man. This design concept which is in thematic evidence in many Religions (which these people for the most part feel compelled to eschew as being unscientific, therefore irrelevant)¬† all describe man’s architecture as being tripartite, potentially. Spirit, Soul, Body.

Without that basis, one relies on supposition in the acquisition of logic. and we suppose (we cannot really know, due to existentialist rule embedding) that man is his mind. But man is more than just a mechanical control center that when switched off, ceases to exist. He has  potential to be something else. It is likely embedded in his DNA from what a few microbiologists have posited to me. (I liked what they said any way. It is a theory)

The problem with the embrace of dual part architecture, is that once you are in that position, you have taken yourself out of the realm of true creativity, which the Religious term the miraculous. I always look at that realm as simply walking with God, who I see as an energy signature that is eternal and everywhere. We begin to see more clearly, when we first accept that we must submit to riding within God’s stream, which is evidenced in His Will for all Humanity.

I have always thought that mankind’s¬† purpose is soulical prosperity, which leads to spiritual communion with that resonant frequency. You know: God. Man is designed to be in, of, with, connected to: God

For these people commenting, and so many today, their basal understanding emanates from a God forsaken position. In their process, they removed the potential of accessing information through a direct connection, spirit to spirit, energy to energy, with God, which we all who have this relationship, term: Love.

It is one of the reasons I always sign things “aloha oe”,¬† or “love always”. I need the reminder myself. God is still love, even when I am not.

We live in an unredeemed world which is perpetually illustrated through entropic law.¬† But sometimes it’s ignorance and obstinance, still¬† surprise and alarm me. The sheer vitriolic nature exhibited by people towards those who suggest that maybe there is better for us as a species, is what levers my own emotional response.

I eventually catch myself and go: “Oh yeah right, I am not headed in their direction”. Then, I move a little closer in to God. This has become a programmed response of mine that is almost instinctive. Maybe as a result of Faith,¬† I have become part of a different tribe than these people. (Same species though) In this world, by virtue of connectedness to God, no longer able to be of it comfortably, I evolved.

But here is the thing, I did not do it on my own. I did need to be willing to look, and hear. Then it happened,  a filter dropped off, then another. It was as if I was alive for the first time in some ways. My perception changed as I was connected, plugged in so to speak, to the reality of a God who perpetually shows me love.

I delight in Science as a discipline. I find great joy in discovery. And when we uncover what has been there possibly all along, sometimes in plain view, I find myself in a sort of child-like glee and go: “wow, isn’t that funny?”

Love always S—-. I so appreciate you. Let the joy of the Lord be your strength. (I know that it is)”

Seth Godin chimed in on my thoughts today, with this ever timely blog post, which is entitled: “If you can’t sell it, you cannot build it“.

Increasing Light

Increasing Light



Sense of Place

July 22nd, 2014
A Community Graveyard.

A Community Graveyard.

I have not spoken with many on this subject, though some of my closer friends have touched upon it with me on occasion. They do so in such a manner as to cause me to assume that most people, by and large, understand what “place” means, and how we ought to be when we visit one that is inhabited by another tribe, as it were. “Another” meaning simply a group of individuals who had not specifically invited us into a place of significant meaning to themselves.

The process is endemic to Photo Journalism as we venture forth, to see what there is to see. But really, the process of exploring a place, let alone sharing what may be there, not readily apparent to naked eye nor casual observer, begins with a willingness to listen. And I am not referring to aural imprint. Listening begins in the heart. That is where intentions form.

It really is a self educational process, that of translation of a sense of place.

This is what I like to do: go stand in a place, and experience what has been, is, and could be.

What I love doing is stepping into an area,  (frequently I have found that it is best to be barefoot) slow myself down, and with inner eyes look to see what the place has to say. Every spot on this Earth has a song to sing. Each is different. And as we endeavor to connect to that, as Artists, if we know how to be, the land, the sea, the air, past, present, the future, they will share with us.

Our knee jerk reaction will always be to share that, as a vessel, or conduit, with the world. But in doing this it is good to recognize what may have been meant for our heart only. In that is a comprehension of the sacred. That word,  sacred, meaning this: that which is set apart. Those who learn how to keep things sacred tend to be entrusted with more. It seems to be a simple universal law of sorts.

We all do well to move in reverence with some subjects. Because how we approach them, will determine what they will reveal. It is a very rewarding process, one that can enrich the heart and make for a smile of sorts. I always think of the Mona Lisa smile. It says a lot, while revealing little to the casual observer. I like that.

Below are a few images from a road trip last week with my wife, through Northern California. I did not really shoot much, though I did some stills, time lapse and motion capture. But I listened, rested, slowed down, disconnected from the digital chatter, and let the real seep back in.

This little video was crowd sourced for a project created by Nahko Bear and Medicine for the People. I love that Nahko gets all this, and it is why I share his music and message. We need that: medicine. Return to health. Cultural entropy being what it is. How we should be.

Images were all shot on the Canon 5DM2 and Canon 70D. Thanks for looking through the blog. Aloha oe.

You can click on any of the images for a larger view.

Day's End on a N Ca. beach.

Day’s End on a N Ca. beach.

The Seaglass Fairy

The Seaglass Fairy


A Former Community Dump now a seaglass heaven.

A Former Community Dump now a seaglass heaven.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, Ca.

Glass Beach, Fort Bragg, Ca.


Being in the right Place. Method matters.

Being in the right Place. Method matters.


Point Arena Lighthouse

Point Arena Lighthouse


San Francisco, Ca.

San Francisco, Ca.


San Francisco Nightscape

San Francisco Nightscape


Composer and recording artist, Mathew Zeltzer

Composer and recording artist, Mathew Zeltzer






Independence Day was Born on the Fourth of July

July 4th, 2014

Not vice versa.

This is why we consider the Declaration of Independence to be the blueprint for Liberty. It covers the underpinnings necessary for the pursuit of happiness.

It is the God given and legal architecture of these united States, with which what I term “The Suck” (which applies to those who endeavor to control and suppress independence) battles, in ever more brazen fashion, these recent decades.

Below is some beautiful verse written by my friend and colleague, photojournalist and soldier Jon Louis Blackburn. He is a proud Scot in heritage and tone, and a perfect example of what America really ought to be living.



Jon Blackburn

4 July 2014 at 09:51

(In Memory of Chris Kyle, Eddie Adams, and Daniel Somers)

Every Fourth of July
Is another year of names
Of brothers in arms
On the big Honor Roll in the sky

Every bomb in the air
Reminds me of the flairs
That tell the enemy our patrol is coming

Every blast is the vehicle
Being rocked by explosions
Men screaming “Go! Go! Go!”

And the smell is the smoke
Filling our vehicle
And making us cough on the dust

And the ensuing silence
Is the pregnant wait
For the air to return to the void

For the next blast
For the fight to kick in
For everything that just happened
To disappear into the future

Of all the Patriotic Holidays
The Fourth of July
Is the most meaningful for me

It is the day that joins me
To all Patriots
Future, Past, and Present

From the Shot Heard ‘Round the World
To the Officers and Men
Serving in the field today

And the ones who stand beside you
Whom you never need to notice
But there they are
In case you need them

All our wounds
All our sacrifices
All our purpose

All the People
And the Country
And the Freedom we love
Are One

Pursuit of Happiness is endemic to Independence. Best to understand how our own tolerance of others factors into that, and how this crazy, and wonderful Nation of independent zealots changed the course of human history with it’s endeavors.

Happy Independence Day in deed. That is how it comes. By doing.




The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription copied from the Charters of Freedom http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/declaration_transcript.html

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.


© 2009 David Pu'u. All rights reserved.