aesthetics (4)

The above logo (I created) is Barbara and my new collaboration as artists-researchers-teachers, as we have just moved back to Canada and settled in Calgary, Alberta. Studio M* is a place and space for us to co-create with the Calgary Community (in particular the Beltline Neighborhoods downtown), and beyond that with anyone in the world who wishes to be in collaboration with us and wants to utilize Studio M*. Barbara has posted an initial blog ("Barbara Bickel tumblr") on this project, and the location of McHugh House (120 yrs. old) where our studio 6 space is--which I encourage you to have a look at some of the earliest stages of our creating and imagining. We're very excited about the possibilities... 

As for why this is important to the Fearlessness Movement per se, I would encourage you to read the Studio M* Manifesto (version/exhibit #1.0), I have reprinted the Manifesto below (notice the particular reference to "without fear")... So, if you are interested to be a signatory of this Manifesto contact us r.michaelfisher52 [at] and if you are traveling and want to drop by the studio to see what is going on, and if wish to join our Studio M* envisioning processes, then WE INVITE YOU to participate and help build a synergy that can make a positive difference. We look forward to hearing from you. If you are interested in doing some kind of creative/artistic Residency with us, give us an email: r.michaelfisher52 [at] and we can talk about potentials for you using Studio M* ... that is, if you find our Manifesto in some way resonates with you and your work in the world... 

Studio M* : Manifesto    Exhibit #1.0 (Aug.-Sept., 2017)

         WE are a research creation lab intersecting Arts, Culture & Healing

  • WE are committed to an inclusive & expansive curatorial practice that stems from the Latin root curare- “to take care”
  • EVERYTHING is encountering others, human & more-than-human, a tableau of unique creative collaborations
  • WE commit to a Matrixial co-poetic paradigm of Artworkings in radical trust
  • WE practice a co-relational Aesthetic as foundational and preceding the Ethical, while both ought to inform the shape of the Political
  • WE live with the premise that EVERYTHING began without fear... imagine that!
  • SPONTANEITY is the life-blood-water of play, humour, sociality, sustainability, health & ecological sanity





*M stands for “Matrixial” theory based on Bracha L. Ettinger’s art & philosophy. See, for e.g., her book The Matrixial Borderspaces published in 2005 by University of Minnesota Press. Or a good video of Ettinger with art historian Griselda Pollock, go to "Istanbul in/+ Leeds Event 3: Making with Bracha Ettinger":

Studio M* is a restorative and transformational learning, teaching, and creative inquiry space for all. Co-conceived by artists-researchers-teachers Drs. Barbara Bickel and R. Michael Fisher. 

Read more…

Still image of myself in the video: "Fusion Coloring" (2017). Video by Greg Wendt

I have always been interested in various lines of development in the human potential. The cognitive line, the moral line, the self line, fearlessness line, and particularly the aesthetic line. For how our development takes place along these various lines, as developmental psychologists call them, one can relate how one perceives fear and fearlessness, and thus, how one is capable to manage and/or transform fear and enhance fearlessness. That's a hypothesis of interest that requires research.

For myself, I have utilized aesthetic practices of various kinds, often related to the arts in some way, and I still practice this. The following 16 min. video is one of my first teaching videos that just begins to explore this relationship and how you can develop your aesthetic line... and assist the movement toward fearlessness... hope you enjoy this video, and feel free to pass it on, and send me comments.

Read more…

As much as it is so important to acknowledge the nature and role of "fear" (complex as it is do define) in human affairs (e.g., philosophy of fearism) there is an equally important inquiry and education to be had in regard to how "fear" is not the only motivating, or even most powerful motivating force in human affairs. The basic philosophical and theoretical arguments are rich and complex, beyond the scope of this blog. However, I want to point out that if you wish to understand my own thinking on this topic then you really have to engage the feminine (feminist) matrixial gaze theory (i.e., matrixial theory) of Bracha L. Ettinger. She is a post-Lacanian psychoanalyst, theorist, artist, activist, and most importantly, as I have written about her and her work (often with Barbara Bickel), she is the next most powerful psychoanalytic thinker since Lacan, and before that, since Freud. And, the good news... she is working on an entirely new basis for the theories of human motivation, subjectivity (or what she prefers to call transubjectivity).

Barbara and I and a small group of artists Barbara knows have studied Ettinger's difficult texts some years ago. After that year long study online, it has been awhile and so Barbara and I took up recently to study her videos online for 40 days, attempting this as a practice. We'll be sharing and writing more on that later. But just to introduce you, if you haven't already been introduced to Ettinger and matrixial theory (a non-phallocentric theory) then I will give a link to an excellent lecture on YouTube below. To close off this short blog I want to say that I am ever-ongoing impressed by the depth and "truth" from her work in understanding human beings, and her aesthetical-ethical foundation for guiding a new way of being beyond a fear-based orientation to the world. Her linking of early-mother and child bonding (mostly, in the womb) is brilliant psychoanalysis in my view, and she is slowly being recognized in the field and beyond as an important theorist. At one point in the video (below) she says, that it is our nature in connection in the matrixial borderspace of the I and non-I (self and Other) that from the beginning we were unknowingly embraced in "fascination and awe and compassion" which is our natural state of recognition of the Other and which is the protoethical ground for any ethics, and she adds to this claim that such an awe and compassion in the earliest stages of subjectivity (largely unconscious) is a connection/recognition/co-emergence "before fear, guilt, shame, action, cognition, abjection and disgust." This is the primordial matrixial ground for a theory of fearlessness, in my words.

Go to YouTube video on Ettinger's lecture in 2010 at the European Graduate University, where she often teaches: "Aesthetics, Protoethics and Matrixial Subjectivity."

Read more…

String Theory and Theoretical Fearology 1

Just watched the "Elegant Universe" PBS series on a DVD with Barbara. We get DVDs from the SIU library for free, and often pick up science documentaries like this one on the new physics of "string theory" as a potential "theory of everything" to explain the entire universe, with nothing excluded from such an explanation in one unified theory... well, when I was watching it, much of the aesthetics of the string theory representations in a way reminded me of the more "solid" universe in the drawing I did spontaneously a week ago and then the less "solid" with the black lines on top -- looking a lot like "strings" as the new physicists were describing. Is this just an "accident"? Well not that I care that much if I was attuning to strings in the sense of physics, I was exploring in these spontaneous colorings aesthetics more than anything... and it is not surprising to me that "elegance" (a notion of beauty) is a term physicists use when in this aesthetic modulation/register... so, I wrote some notes on this "art" piece to complete it based on my experience of the documentary. Yes, point being, I am so much dedicated like these physicists to "discovering" something not before discovered... I can't seem to help it... 

Read more…