Sally Larsen: The German Eye in America (and other projects)


Please click on the link below for an illustrative music video showing Sally Larsen at work in her studio.


San Francisco based artist Sally Larsen is currently compiling a collection of German photography of the indigenous peoples of North, Central, and South America, known as The German Eye In America, which she intends to be as exhaustive as possible and to explore cultural attitudes towards native people.

“We’re getting everyone, literally – since the invention of the camera. Famous or not, in order to determine how the Germans viewed Native Americans through the lens of photography,” said Larsen.

Larsen discovered her focus on the Germans organically through observation: she examined various books of photographs, both historical and contemporary, and continually encountered Germans. To her, the Germans of past and present were relatively respectful of the natives and did not merely exoticize them or intentionally pose them in primitive situations as Europeans of the time might have expected. The indigenous people in German pictures often reflect and convey dignity and inspire curiosity about their lifestyles, and Larsen speculates this may stem from aspects of literary Romanticism present within old and new German culture and aesthetics.

Larsen also pursues other artistic endeavours through a variety of media – painting, writing, video creation, and photography. She lists off quite a variety of personal and professional interests: “Japanese culture [Japlish, Pomegranate 1993], Chinese martial arts, European art and architecture, San Francisco, California water, New York City, DNA, entheogens, asian poetry, and Native America.” 

Each day’s changing circumstances, moods, and climate suggest which art form and project she will work on that day.

“Some days present themselves as painting days, others demand a camera. There are orotone days, and there are digital c print days. I envision an endpoint and proceed. There are guitar days, synthesizer days, computer days, travel days, and people days.”

She feels her blood – her way of thinking and living in the world as a gift and heritage from her ancestors – ties together her various projects.

Larsen says, “I’m mixed, part Apache, part Aleutic, part Norwegian. I appreciate diversity and I cultivate dimensionality. For instance, my Native American blood inclines me to consider Asian values. It is a consequence of my DNA.

To Larsen, art comes through a variety of forms, and a great craftsperson should not have an overly narrow focus.

“Nor is this only about how I feel. The impetus to master multiple expressions has long been part and parcel of being a serious artist. Leonardo da Vinci asserted ‘But since we know that painting embraces and contains within itself all things produced by nature or whatever results from man’s passing actions – and everything that can be taken in by the eyes – he seems to me to be a pitiful master who can only do one thing well.”

Larsen’s preferred artistic media provides another source of thematic unity. As she explains, “The continuity lies in my employment of photography. What I do with photographs can vary. One expression may be sculptural, another a paper print, another virtual.”
Technology also facilitates Larsen’s various creative projects and enables her to cross and combine media in ways never before possible. Computers, photo editing software, and online communication are invaluable to her current project, and she has employed advanced technology since the beginning of her artistic career.
“The German Eye in America, my current work in progress, employs multiple layers: It is centered around photographers and photography books yet would not be possible to realize without the Internet, email, Google and ABE. This multi-media attitude allowed me to produce digitally compiled and digitally printed work for exhibition in the late 1980s: That was the Iris inkjet Transformer print series. “
Technology also suggests and provides opportunities for Larsen’s future artistic innovations. Speculating on her latest projects, she describes the contributions of digital software.
“More recently, the expressive potential of digital tools has allowed me to meld my images with my own music. These become DVDs and motion graphic projections like Surf Trip, The Folsom Street Fair 1999, The Big Bang, and Water, a Word Worth 1000 Pictures. Put it all together and you have the density of our times. You have the layered look of tomorrow.”
Sally Larsen may be reached through her website at

Another announcement concerning contributors


Megan Ford, the daughter of the woman who painted “Nesting,” featured in our May issue “Finding Your Place in the World,” sings for San Francisco Bay Area theater productions and musicals, and has entered a contest where she covers a Taylor Swift song and has a chance to meet music professionals.

You are all invited to take a look at the contest and her entry here:

I would love to see this young woman find mentors and professional folks to market and develop her talent, as she’s been singing for years and has performed in The Sound of Music, Fiddler on the Roof, and other professional productions in the community outside of her high school.

Megan’s brother Michael creates graphic art – profiles of celebrities  and people he knows, along with animated characters of his own invention. He welcomes comments and feedback on his work, publicly available here:

He pursues art with great dedication, creating a new character or figure almost every day, and has improved steadily with perspective, shading, and other technical aspects of visual art.

Ohio exhibit of October contributor Matthew Felix Sun’s art


Synchronized Chaos will gladly print announcements of contributors’ shows, exhibits, release parties, and events…please feel free to keep us updated at
Local Artist Accepted in ViewPoint 2009 National Juried Art Exhibition
Local Artist Matthew Felix Sun has his artwork “Mackerel” (Oil Painting on Canvas) accepted into ViewPoint 2009, a national juried art competition sponsored by the Cincinnati Art Club.  This marks the 41st year for this annual competition which comprises 70 works by national artists in various media.
ViewPoint 2009 will hold an opening reception for the public at the Cincinnati Art Club, 1021 Parkside Place , Cincinnati , Ohio , on Friday, November 6, from 6:00 to 8:00 PM, with an awards ceremony at approximately 7:00 p.m.  The exhibition will continue until November 22nd 2009.
ViewPoint 2009 exhibition juror is John Michael Carter, a nationally known portrait artist from the Louisville , KY area.  
Founded in 1890, The Cincinnati Art Club is one of the oldest and most active nonprofit art organizations in the United States .  Go to for more information about the art club.  For further information regarding this show, contact the ViewPoint 2009 Chair, Deb Ward, at

Artfulchange – carbon neutral environmental benefit concert! Listen to the Jay Trainer band free, download songs with donations to clean energy, etc


Oct 24th – Artfulchange sponsors carbon-neutral online benefit concert

  • The Carbon-Neutral Online Concert Fundraiser from Artfulchange will feature the Jay Trainer Band, other local musicians and San Francisco based visual artists. The goal of the event is to catalyze environmental action through the arts. Artfulchange sees the web as a way to create a great music experience, bring people into the studio, work with other artists and reduce the carbon footprint of the entire experience.

    The Carbon-Neutral concert will be part of’s International Day of Climate Action on October 24, bringing both awareness and action toward finding solutions for climate change. Artfulchange will offset the carbon emissions from their studio time and the server-energy used for the online concert itself. Donations and product purchases during the concert will be donated to San Francisco- based environmental causes.

    Visitors to the online concert will find a streaming concert from the Jay Trainer Band, videos from a variety of bands for download and audio downloads. In addition, there will be an array of visual art created by local artists for sale. Visitors will be able to donate money to the cause or purchase any of the video, audio or visual downloads- all proceeds will go toward environmental causes.

    As Jay puts it, “The core principle behind Artfulchange is using our passion for the arts to have an impact on the environment. The carbon neutral online concert is about helping people have a good time while they make an impact. We are creating opportunities to enjoy the arts and have their money make a difference.

More information, and the link for the concert, here:

Open Society Institute call for documentary photographers


Call for Proposals: Moving Walls 17 Documentary Photography Exhibition

August 11, 2009
Quito Ziegler

The Open Society Institute invites photographers to submit a body of work for consideration in the Moving Walls 17 group exhibition. 

Moving Walls is an exhibition series that features in-depth and nuanced explorations of human rights and social issues.  Thematically linked to OSI’s mission, Moving Walls is exhibited at OSI’s offices in New York and Washington, DC and includes seven discrete bodies of work.  

Moving Walls recognizes the brave and difficult work that photographers undertake globally in their documentation of complex social and political issues.  Their images provide the world with human rights evidence, put faces onto a conflict, document the struggles and defiance of marginalized people, reframe how issues are discussed publicly, and provide opportunities for reflection and discussion.  Through Moving Walls, OSI honors this work while visually highlighting the mission of our foundation to staff and visitors.

Since its inception in 1998, Moving Walls has featured over 100 photographers whose work address a variety of social justice and human rights issues that coincide with OSI’s mission. 


Any emerging or veteran photographer who has completed a body of work on a human rights or social justice issue may apply for Moving Walls. Work in progress may be submitted as long as a substantial portion of the work has been completed. We will accept any genre of photography that is documentary in nature and is not staged or manipulated. In addition, priority will be given to work that addresses issues and geographic regions of concern to OSI.

OSI does not discriminate based on any characteristics that may be protected by applicable law.

Emerging Photographer Travel Grant  (new)

To support the professional advancement of photographers who have not received much exposure, an additional travel grant will be provided to select Moving Walls photographers to attend the opening in New York and meet with local photo editors and relevant NGO staff. 

Recipients must apply for the travel grant after being chosen for inclusion in the Moving Walls exhibition. The grant is subject to the applicant obtaining the necessary visa to the travel to the U.S.


Friday, October 23, 2009, at 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time).

Additional Information

For more information, please see the Moving Walls guidelines.


October’s Solo Sunday – the 25th


Hey everyone – once again, as a monthly treat for our readers and everyone in the Synchronized Chaos family, my colleague Bruce Pachtman offers free tickets to October’s San Francisco solo spoken word productions.

I’ve seen some of these performances before…spectacular stage presence and a wonderful ability to communicate with, educate, and build rapport with the audience, all while making everyone laugh, cry, and smile.
You may either simply show up and say you’re with Synchronized Chaos Magazine at the door and get in free with a promotional media ticket – or go ahead and buy your $10 ticket to support emerging artists and the defiant resurgence of culture despite the faltering economy.
Going beyond stand-up and storytelling, solo performance creates casts of thousands – plus special effects – all bursting from one person. The results are hilarious and heartbreaking, passionate and provocative, ablaze with the personal vision of one very compelling actor/writer.
Solo Sundays, S.F.’s premier monthly solo theater showcase, presents select samplings of veteran virtuosos and top emerging talent in the intimate 50-seat StageWerx theater, a block from Union Square
Please reserve your seats in advance to make sure there will be enough space for everyone.

Anyone who’s 100% certain they will attend just needs to copy and paste these four items into an e-mail:
1. Solo Sundays – Oct 25 at 7:00 (please say you are with/heard about this in Synchronized Chaos Magazine!)
2. StageWerx Theatre  533 Sutter (nr. Powell)
3. Your FIRST and LAST name
4. Whether you would like one or two tickets (additional tickets are $5 each.)
And send it to We’ll respond to all requests for tickets.

·      Vanessa Lee Khaleel’s “The Rooster” finds one woman queasily confronting pregnancy and childbirth’s freakier physical effects.
·       In “Cracked Clown,” David A. Moss portrays a Shakespearean actor trying to silence his bickering inner demons via comedy, but voices from his painful past remain.

·      Julia Jackson’s “I Didn’t Sign Up For This” rides modern adoption’s emotional roller coaster with a birth mother speaking to her unborn daughter while her own fed-up mom rages over beers and American Idol.

Solo Sundays
Sunday, October 25 at 7:00
StageWerx Theatre
533 Sutter St. (nr. Powell)
(near Powell and Montgomery BART stations.)

October’s Synchronized Chaos: Field Notes


Welcome to October’s issue of the magazine! For many cultures, this month brings awareness of the cycles of life and death, of ancestors who have come before us. As we celebrate Celtic Samhain or Mexican/Latin American Dia de Los Muertos or Western Halloween, we reflect upon the journeys we take throughout life, the pattern of beginnings and endings, the process of venturing out and gathering information and life lessons and bringing them back to others.

In keeping with that spirit, October’s monthly theme, Field Notes, celebrates the information-collecting we engage in throughout life. Some of our contributors take literal, physical journeys, such as Matthew Felix Sun’s migration from China to the United States, and others, including Daniel Rekshan and Blanca Jones, abstract what they observe from meditation, prayer, dreamwork and other psychological travels into artwork and writing.

Some of our Field Notes focus in on specifics: Wayne Jiang’s “Restaurant Series” oil paintings examine condiments, table settings, and other small items in great detail. Known for his miniatures, Jiang draws viewers’ attention to the here-and-now of contemporary environments while at the same time creating scenes which seem timeless, suspended in space and time, beyond the changing moods of fashion or movements of people or other living creatures.

Jeremy Warach’s vignettes comprise a similar conceptual intent, through a different art form and with a lighter mood. He brings us fragments of stories which never existed, akin to scraps from a sailor or traveler’s diary which have drifted down to us through space and time. We are then invited to ‘connect the dots,’ to join the plot threads ourselves and thus complete his journey.

As an illustrator, Tim Davis designs work in collaboration and conversation with writers, highlighting and accentuating the main or unique aspects of their ideas. The intellectual interchange becomes an art form in itself, along with the craft of watercolor painting. Davis and his fellow San Francisco painter Karen Gray have explored possible intersections between art and science, providing pictorial interpretations of scientific philosophy and of various evolutionary theories.

Mixed media visual artist Charlotte Severin combines various types of paper in her watercolor scenes of Yosemite and her still-life work. She attempts to capture the lighting and mood of particular moments, and also celebrate and convey her unique vision of nature and the physical world.

In the same spirit, San Francisco Opera’s fall Il Tritico production derived its uniqueness and power from its particular moments – standout minor characters, details of setting and revealing turns of phrase. Verdi’s creation consists of a triptych of one-acts, completely unrelated but each examining and illuminating certain aspects of human nature through evoking richly specific times and places. The way the stories continue to resonate with viewers, with or without updated settings, demonstrates how these performed ‘field notes’ remain relevant.

Other contributors approach the concept of ‘field note’ observations through reflecting upon personal (or fictional narrative) biography. Cynthia Lamanna describes her memorable preschool teacher in extravagant detail, leaving readers with a verbal oil-painting portrait of Miss Nancy. Lamanna’s other piece, a fictional short romance, presents a main character who slowly learns what makes her happiest in life and remembers those lessons. Patsy Ledbetter shares a poem where a musician must lay down his beloved French horn, and speculates upon what his years of performing have taught him about the meaning of his music. Jaylan Salah’s latest poem “Reflections of a mad woman in a sane, sane world” conveys a hard-won sense of self-knowledge and pride in one’s chosen life and surroundings.

Lisa Demb’s colored pencil drawing Margaritaville reflects her own personal journey by celebrating the new happiness she has found through a friendship with a caregiver who understands her and has taken the time to improve her living situation. Her other work, a sample of her Happy Armageddon series, expresses an optimistic attitude through re-interpreting apocalyptic imagery as potentially interesting changes in the landscape rather than depictions of disaster.

Matthew Felix Sun also works with apocalyptic imagery, exploring the motif more traditionally by drawing upon fear, alienation, and the rise of stupefying entertainment and power-hungry political leaders…social conditions he identified just as easily in the Western world as in his native communist China. Several other contributors interviewed as part of October’s Synchronized Chaos also took ‘field notes’ on what they observed in terms of broader social and environmental conditions, including Global Exchange’s fair-trade produced chocolate media liaison, Adrienne Fitch-Frankel, short-story writer, classical musician and poet Patsy Ledbetter, and the Berkeley Ecology Center’s representatives, including Debra Berliner of the Climate Change Action Project.

Global Exchange describes more just and sustainable business models for producing certain crops, including cacao, coffee, and tea, while explaining current industry conditions, and the Ecology Center relates how they purposefully set out to learn from and stay responsive to the communities where they work, and how they have adapted to cultural shifts in the environmental movement. Patsy Ledbetter’s short story, “Sun Lo and the Sewer” addresses the global problem of prejudice and discrimination against social and religious minorities. Her piece relates how the scriptures of one’s faith, the ancient ‘field notes’ from others’ physical and spiritual journeys, can remind one of one’s values during difficult times.

Thank you again for reading this issue of Synchronized Chaos and for becoming part of our magazine’s family. We welcome you to our October issue, which brings together a diverse array of contributors.