Festival Media offers the best Buddhist cinema on DVD. A service of the nonprofit Buddhist Film Foundation, Inc., home of the International Buddhist Film Festival.
Heather Cox, whose artwork appears in “The Fundamental Ambiguity of Being Human” lives and works in New York City. Cox’s art often centers on precisely crafted objects that involve repetition and shifting scale. She uses a variety of materials—paper, pins, erasers, even aspirin and frosting—to address issues of visibility, discovery, and metamorphosis. Each piece invites a closer look. “The viewer’s physical approach is often accompanied by curiosity, confusion, and moments of recognition,” Cox says. “My work is designed to act as a catalyst for these momentary thresholds.”
The images that appear in this issue are from an installation titled “Tissue.” The forms are reminiscent of tissue-paper party decorations that have gone seriously awry. Fourteen life-size, handmade figures hang from the ceiling, attach to the walls, and fold into corners. The artwork turns gently as viewers brush by, confronting the audience with exactly the same profile from all vantage points. “The best part is, they all fold up for compact storage,” Cox says. Additional artwork by Heather Cox can be found at coxart.com.
Shinzen Young (“The Power of Gone") became fascinated with Asian culture as a teenager in Los Angeles. Eventually he enrolled in a Ph.D. program in Buddhist Studies at the University of Wisconsin and traveled to Asia to do extensive training in Vajrayana, Zen, and Vipassana. After he returned to the United States, Young’s academic interests shifted to the burgeoning dialogue between Eastern meditation and Western science. “My life’s passion,” he says, “lies in exploring what may arise from the cross-fertilization of the best of the East with the best of the West.”
Shinzen Young is known for his innovative “interactive, algorithmic approach” to mindfulness, a system specifically designed for use in pain management and recovery support and as an adjunct to psychotherapy. He leads meditation retreats throughout North America and has helped establish numerous mindfulness centers and programs. He also consults widely on meditation-related research.