Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Art That Pauses, The Comma Project

"Commas have no meaning, but they help us to see the structure and therefore the meaning of the sentence." ~ The English Club

Ta-da-da-DA! In-troducing The Comma Project, Vision 2013.

Why "comma", you ask? Commas are funny things and you'd never think to name a project after one but if you pause to consider they represent a pause that allows time for consideration, then I'm good with that.

As a bit of a warning, this is an entirely socialist pie-in-the-sky project because all are invited to join in for the common good. And it's an artsy-fartsy thing only because, well, it's about art. So you can see I'm making a lot of sense here. Here's the poop:

People look all day long, it's in their nature. They see good things and bad. And when they find something of potential value they pause and think about what they see. But a lot of what we see out there these days doesn't want you to think. People are being told, persuaded, lectured to, belittled, sworn at, alarmed, conned, admonished and nagged at. It seems, to some, the loudest, stupidest voice wins. And the top shelf stupid stuff is celebrated as being so stupid it's funny.

This bad stuff often blocks the truly great creative material out there.

So my thought was to take roughly a year to talk about the stuff that often gets lost in the landscape of the riff raff. Work done for the love of it, not for bucks, hype or awards.

Thought provoking work gives purpose and richness to the pause it creates. It prompts feelings, it relates to our lives, our intelligence and it prompts us to express ourselves. Words and images ultimately mean more than the sum of its parts. It happens everywhere: a verse about the wind in the trees is really about love, an image of a child's embrace is reminiscent of all the good in the world. Whether it be an illustration, a photo, a graphic, a poster or a poem, piece of writing or a painting: meaningfulness, wit and invention provides a unique experience, a chance to enliven the spirit and motivate.

This is the gentler, kinder side of art. It pauses, enriches, surprises, punctuates and makes smiles, sighs and cheers. It creates positive culture.

So for 2013, let's look at art in different forms that gives more than its surface value: stuff with a fun twist, that puts heart in where there would otherwise be none, that gives pause for thought, that tells a story. Let's talk. Friends, followers and readers are invited to contribute their work. My hope is that it'll be deserving of your consideration. Being of no cost to collaborators doesn't make it worthless, merely the best of inexpensive. I'll update progress throughout the year. By next December let's see what we have. And we'll go from there.

Contact me if you're interested.


  1. I am no artist, and you shouldn't expect any contributions from me, at least not of the artsy-fartsy kind.

    I am, however, looking forward to all the various submissions.

    This should be fun and interesting.

    Carry on!

    1. Thanks Lynn Marie, we have expressions of interest from Canada, England, the U.S. and Europe. Okay, I've begged but haven't grovelled yet. Let's see what happens. :O)

  2. I always like things that make people think. I'll look forward to seeing what turns up. I'll let you know if I can think of anything to contribute too. Good luck! And I hope you have a happy holiday too!

  3. Hey Rand,
    Was just looking over your blog and love the idea of “the comma project”. And while I don’t have a lot of thought provoking work related to commas per say, I do suffer from a slight affliction (some might call a perverse passion) that I would like to share with you: a love for the semi colon; and while I’m not sure my affinity with semi colons would be considered perverse, I do admit that the perky, pause-for-effect, punctuation princess does indeed - or shall I say did, at one time - have a special place in my heart. At the risk of showing my vulnerable side (and giving up too much personal information in my address to you) I must confess that I did, at one point in my life, actually date a semi-colon; yes that’s right; we were an item; REALLY!
    If you don’t believe me I still have a photo of her saved in my computer; have a look.


    (This photo was taken some 5 years ago; I assure you she hasn’t changed a bit.)

    Now I know that might sound a little over the top; most writers I know avoid and fear her; the mere mention of her name has the ability to strike terror in the hearts of writers; fear of the semi colon from what I’ve read and heard rivals and just might be synonymous with fear of clowns, public speaking and getting trapped in a broken down elevator with a big burly ex-con who goes by the name of Bubba!
    But not me; for me it was different; when she and I first met there was an instant connection; no longer was my life a series of disjointed thoughts and clauses; she would be there to provide me with form, function and a new found ability to organize my words.
    Before she came into my life I used to write and say the silliest things, things that really made no sense at all. I’ll never forget our first date; so struck was I that I told her I wanted to spend the rest of my days with her travelling the world together. I remember saying, “Together we shall travel to the most beautiful and romantic cities around the world, Venice, Italy, Paris and Rome.” She looked at me most tenderly and said, “Italy is not a city my dear; what you really want to say is, “…Venice, Italy; Paris; and Rome.” Can you believe that?! With a single dot and curvaceous slash she completely transformed my world, my thoughts and the way I speak and write; alas; true love.

    Sadly this little tale does not come to a happy conclusion; before long, I caught wind that she'd been seen hanging out with some other dude. I received reports that the two of them had been seen all over the world together (showing up on facebook, in chat rooms. twitter, mobile texts and so on); all my writer friends knew it, and frankly, I too had known but just couldn’t bring myself to accept it; a classic case of denial. Her new found friend as it turned out just so happened to be a good friend of mine (or so I thought); maybe you know him? Mr. Single Bracket (not single anymore): aka ).

    How these two ever hooked up is way beyond me; who in their right mind would ever have thought that this { ; } would ever have hooked up with that? { ) } But alas, hook up they did; and not only are they now together, their very existence as a unit has taken on a whole new meaning; they are now recognized, used and loved throughout the world. Sigh; I guess some matches were just meant to be; If you know what I mean…….;) ;)
    FYI: The above 596 word tale contains more than 20 semi colons; a Guinness World Record? Perhaps not; a perverse love of semi colons?
    Maybe; just maybe!

    Erin in Hammertown

    1. A world record for Rand's Place, anyway; Erin. Thanks for your story ;o)

  4. pleasure is mine Rand - feeling a little soulful as I am now rocking out to the Leonard video you posted and sharing with a friend - thanks for sharing that song man - in my top ten it is!