Vibrant Cathedral II Lunar Eclipse In the work, the uneven rotation of the motor is used to create an ever changing soundscape, where the dissonance lies as a constant drone due to the unpredictable cadence of the sinkers. Vibrant Cathedral : In a dim-lit room, 15 computer controlled black fans blow at different cycles and varying speeds. Attached to the grill of each fan is a 2 meter piece of commercial grade tin foil, dancing on the airwaves, thus producing an immense wall of tiny crackling and rustling sounds as the tin foil incessantly crinkles and creases from the bursts of air.
During the course of the exhibition the tin foil disintegrates due to the destructive forces of the wind, thus making the initial ghostly poetic intimacy bear resemblance to a battlefield.
In the work Eternal Storm , the spectators are reminded of the destructive forces of nature. Her life path was sketched ere she reached the age of womanhood: she had to become a rebel! To stand outside of the struggle would have meant intellectual death. She chose the only way.
Lucas Olivet / Selected works
Voltairine de Cleyre was born on November 17, , in the town of Leslie, Michigan. She died on June 6, , in Chicago. She came from French-American stock, on her mother's side of Puritan descent. Her father, Auguste de Cleyre, was a native of western Flanders, but his family was of French origin. He emigrated to America in Being a freethinker and a great admirer of Voltaire, he insisted on the birthday of the child that the new member of the family should be called Voltairine.
Though born in Leslie, the earliest recollections of Voltairine were of the small town of St. John's, in Clinton County, her parents having removed to that place a year after her birth. Voltairine did not have a happy childhood; her earliest life was embittered by want of the common necessities, which her parents, hard as they tried, could not provide.
A vein of sadness can be traced in her earliest poems—the songs of a child of talent and great fantasy. A deep sorrow fell into her heart at the age of four, when the teacher of the primary school refused to admit her because she was too young. But she soon succeeded in forcing her entrance into the temple of knowledge. An earnest student, she was graduated from the grammar school at the age of twelve.
Strength of mind does not seem to have been a characteristic [Pg 8] of Auguste de Cleyre, for he recanted his libertarian ideas, returned to the fold of the church, and became obsessed with the idea that the highest vocation for a woman was the life of a nun. He determined to put the child into a convent. Thus began the great tragedy of Voltairine's early life.
Her beloved mother, a member of the Presbyterian Church, opposed this idea with all her strength, but in vain: the will of the lord of the household prevailed, and the child was sent to the Convent of Our Lady of Lake Huron, at Sarnia, in the Province of Ontario, Canada. Here she experienced four years of terrible ordeal; only after much repression, insubordination, and atonement, she forced her way back into the living world.
In the sketch, "The Making of an Anarchist," she tells us of the strain she underwent in that living tomb:. How well I recall the bitter energy with which I repelled my teacher's enjoinder, when I told her I did not wish to apologize for an adjudged fault as I could not see that I had been wrong and would not feel my words. I struggled my way out at last, and was a freethinker when I left the institution, three years later, though I had never seen a book or heard a word to help me in my loneliness. It had been like the Valley of the Shadow of Death, and there are white scars on my soul yet, where [Pg 9] Ignorance and Superstition burnt me with their hell-fire in those stifling days.
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Am I blasphemous? It is their word, not mine. Beside that battle of my young days all others have been easy, for whatever was without, within my own Will was supreme. It has owed no allegiance, and never shall; it has moved steadily in one direction, the knowledge and assertion of its own liberty, with all the responsibility falling thereon. During her stay at the convent there was little communication between her and her parents. In a letter from Mrs. Eliza de Cleyre, the mother of Voltairine , we are informed that she decided to run away from the convent after she had been there a few weeks.
She escaped before breakfast, and crossed the river to Port Huron; but, as she had no money, she started to walk home. After covering seventeen miles, she realized that she never could do it; so she turned around and walked back, and entering the house of an acquaintance in Port Huron asked for something to eat.
They sent for her father, who afterwards took her back to the convent. What penance they inflicted she never told, but at sixteen her health was so bad that the convent authorities let her come home for a vacation, telling her, however, that she would find her every movement watched, and that everything she said would be reported to them. The result was that she started at every sound, her hands shaking and her face as pale as death. She was about five weeks from graduating at that time.
When her vacation was over, she went back and finished her studies. And then she started for home again, but this time she had money enough for her fare, and she got home to stay, never to go back to the place that had been a prison to her. She had seen enough of the convent to decide for herself that she could not be a nun. She was received with open arms by her mother, almost as one returned from the grave. With the exception of the education derived from books, she knew no more than a child, having almost no knowledge of practical things. Already in the convent she had succeeded in impressing her strong personality upon her surroundings.
Her teachers could not break her; they were therefore forced to respect her. In a polemic with the editor of the Catholic Buffalo Union and Times , a few years ago, Voltairine wrote: "If you think that I, as your opponent, deserve the benefit of truth, but as a stranger you doubt my veracity, I respectfully request you to submit this letter to Sister Mary Medard, my former teacher, now Superioress at Windsor, or to my revered friend, Father Siegfried, Overbrook Seminary, Overbrook, [Pg 11] Pa.
Reaction from the repression and the cruel discipline of the Catholic Church helped to develop Voltairine's inherent tendency toward free-thought; the five-fold murder of the labor leaders in Chicago, in , shocked her mind so deeply that from that moment dates her development toward Anarchism. When in the bomb fell on the Haymarket Square, and the Anarchists were arrested, Voltairine de Cleyre , who at that time was a free-thought lecturer, shouted: "They ought to be hanged!
Speaking at a memorial meeting in honor of those comrades, in , she said: "For that ignorant, outrageous, bloodthirsty sentence I shall never forgive myself, though I know the dead men would have forgiven me, though I know those who loved them forgive me. But my own voice, as it sounded that night, will sound so in my ears till I die—a bitter reproach and a shame. I have only one word of extenuation for myself and the millions of others who did as I did that night—ignorance.
She did not remain long in ignorance.
realsport.cl/wp-includes/2019-08-18/1528-eventos-hoy.php In "The Making of an Anarchist" she describes why she became a convert to the idea and why she entered the movement. After that I never could. The infamy of that trial has passed into history, and the question it awakened as to the possibility of justice under law has passed into clamorous crying across the world.
At the age of nineteen Voltairine had consecrated herself to the service of humanity. Yet the pure and simple free-thought agitation in its narrow circle could not suffice her. The spirit of rebellion, the spirit of Anarchy, took hold of her soul. The idea of universal rebellion saved her; otherwise she might have stagnated like so many of her contemporaries, suffocated in the narrow surroundings of their intellectual life. A lecture of Clarence Darrow, which she heard in , led her to the study of Socialism, and then there was for her but one step to Anarchism.
Dyer D. Lum, the fellow worker of the Chicago martyrs, had undoubtedly the greatest influence in shaping her development; he was her teacher, her confidant, and comrade; his death in was a terrible blow to Voltairine. Voltairine spent the greater part of her life in Philadelphia. Here, among congenial friends, and later among the Jewish emigrants, she did her best work.
In she went on a lecture tour to England and Scotland, and in , after an insane youth had tried to take her life, she went for a short trip to Norway to recuperate from her wounds. Hers was a life of bitter economic struggle and an unceasing fight with physical weakness, partly resulting from this very economic struggle. One wonders how, under such circumstances, she could have produced such an amount of work.
In collaboration with Dyer D. Lum she wrote a novel on social questions, which has unfortunately remained unfinished. Voltairine de Cleyre's views on the sex-question, on agnosticism and free-thought, on individualism and communism, on non-resistance and direct action, underwent many changes. In the year she wrote: "The spread of Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' and 'The Slavery of Our Times,' and the growth of the numerous Tolstoy clubs having for their purpose the dissemination of the literature of non-resistance, is an evidence that many receive the idea that it is easier to conquer war with peace.
I am one of these. I can see no end of retaliation, unless some one ceases to retaliate. Lum: "Events proved to be the true schoolmasters. The splendid propaganda work of Wm. Owen in behalf of this tremendous upheaval inspired her to great effort.