A.o.t.M.U. Exhibition @ Croton Free Library

“Arc of the Moral Universe: A Notebook Project”

organized by Carla Rae Johnson
on exhibit in the Ottinger Room of the Croton Free Library, 171 Cleveland Drive, Croton-on-Hudson, NY
September 4 to October 30, 2019
Opening Reception: Sunday, September 8th 2-4 pm
Readings and Conversations: Sunday, September 22nd 2-3:30 pm

Description, from the Arc of the Moral Universe FB page:

“I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.” 

Theodore Parker 1853 (quoted by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and President Barack Obama)

“Artist, Carla Rae Johnson conceived of this creative, collaborative project involving bound notebooks following a series of national and international social/political events in 2016/17. In 2018, she invited artists, writers, as well as other creative and critical thinkers to join in this endeavor. Her invitation stated:
This is an opportunity to envision our future, the ‘arc of the moral universe,’ and the fate of our planet by recording your ideas, your feelings, and your vision to share with others. The 2016 presidential election in the U.S. and other social/political events around the globe, have ushered in challenging times. Creative people are the ones to register these events and respond in hopeful, compassionate, and positive ways.

“MORAL FIBbERS” (on the right)- by Frog

“MORAL FIBbERS” (on the right)- by Frog

The fruits of this invitation are more than 65 notebooks filled with: drawings/sketches, writing, lyrics, photos, montages, fold-outs, and non-objective rt of color, line, texture, shapes, and shadings. Arc participants come from the Northeast, Midwest, South, and Southwest in the United States. Participants agreed to complete a 96 page notebook in one year (July 4, 2018- July 4, 2019), and could choose to fill their notebook by themselves, or to collaborate with others to fill one or both sides of the pages. Contents include personal observations and opinions, visual ideas, political/social commentary, poetry, and stories: all generated to reflect upon the arc and its trajectory. The intention is to provide a format for consistent creative acts that will give viewers of the ‘Arc’ an intimate look into contemporary creative minds and how they respond to our current times. The ‘Arc’ documents one year in each of their emotional and intellectual lives.

A selection of 45 notebooks from ‘Arc of the Moral Universe’ will be on exhibition at the Ottinger Room of the Croton Free Library in September/October 2019. This exhibition will generate visitor interaction via handling, exploring, and reading the notebooks. Carla Rae Johnson also sees it as an opportunity to create dialogue and exchange. Thus, at the opening reception, and, again, on September 22nd there will be ‘Readings and Conversations’ that bring people together to talk about the ‘Arc,’ and our current, local, national, and global social/political/environmental realities.”

For more details and updates on future showings, follow the Arc’s Facebook page: [here]

From Erenhot to SF

Last month (January), after spending New Year’s Eve in Taipei with family, I made my way back up to Erenhot City, the bordertown between Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, China. I signed myself up for two weeks of language lessons with the lovely teacher Tuya (who is from Ulaanbaatar) studying Mongolian Cyrillic script- which is referred to as “New Mongolian” by the Chinese Inner-Mongolians. “New Mongolian” script (#8, below) is “new” as opposed to Traditional Mongolian script (#1), which was derived from Uyghur script, as decreed by Chinggis Khan circa 1204 AD.


I just typed up a long paragraph on the second half of the update here, but I accidentally deleted and now running out of battery, so, I’ll just check out for now and come back to edit later.

Happy Tsagaan Sar- Lunar New Year 2019!


LEUS 2019

Jan 12-14th: Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, I will be presenting a 20-minute talk at the Landscape Ecology and Urban Sustainability Conference. On Sunday 13th around 3pm I’m scheduled to share my slideshow on “Navigating Contemporary Ecological Concerns via Traditional Dongba Approaches.” I think this will be my first time participating in and speaking at an academic conference… I can’t remember having ever done this before.

VoyageLA article

I have an interview article up on VoyageLA.com … You can find it in the “Thought-Provokers” section, under the “East LA” chapter (specific page, click: here) . Because I was born and raised in MPK, sharing a border with East LA, that’s the closest category that fits. I go by the name D.F. Wing for this article (shortening of: Dava Frog Wing), which is also the name I’ve been using for some of my writing/ publishing projects lately.

I don’t know how long the article will stay up on the website for. Few weeks? Few months?

I actually did go to East LA Community College, twice, for summer credits. I took Sociology, French, and Social Dance (like Rumba, Cha Cha, Salsa, Waltz, Foxtrot, etc). That was pretty fun. It’s walking distance from my house! … If “walking distance” is about 1-2 hours. Bus gets there a little faster. Remember how, back in the old days, the Spirit Bus only cost 25 cents per ride? And it went all over town… crossing between Monterey Park and East LA. So there you go. I dont know how much it costs now, or if it’s even still around. I feel so out-of-touch, haha. I should probably attend an MPK City Hall meeting the next time I’m in Cali.

I wonder where most of those other artists are from (if not Los Angeles county), and what’s it like being in East LA now, really? Have there been a lot of new people moving there lately? That’s what was happening to DTLA in the past decade or so. It’s strange to think that this is currently the face of the grassroots-level creative worlds in East LA/ greater LA regions. I dont recognize anyone (except for Leah Samuels… Hi Leah!). I mean, it’s also weird that I’m there, representing as a born-and-bred Angeleno, even though I’m barely ever physically there anymore. It reminds me of that time I found myself at a small party last year, at the Superchief gallery space, and when people got to talking and introducing themselves, I realized that everyone else there was an NYC transplant who lives in LA now, and I was the only person in the room who was originally from LA, but I was only visiting (and from NYC too, ouch).

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But anyway, it’s cool that this magazine is cataloging emerging/ unknown/ underrepresented artists. That’s a great project.

Thanks, VoyageLA…!

e-mail list

Posted on the FB feed earlier:

“I put out a sign-up sheet and started compiling a list of contacts during my show last July. So far I've only sent out one email. I'm thinking of writing another one… It seems a little more personalized than getting things from newsfeeds or blogs because I'm not just throwing things out into the ether, I guess. Not totally sure. It's actually just an experiment. Maybe we'll learn something new through the experience, or maybe not... Maybe I'll just stop, I dunno. Questions/ comments/ suggestions welcome, of course.”

So yeah, if you’d like to start getting occasional emails from me about what I’m up to, work-wise, comment under this post here, or send your email address over to mine:


Birds in the Stone (2013)- 4.5’ x 6’ // acrylic on canvas. For sale // (deadline: November 1, 2018)

Birds in the Stone (2013)- 4.5’ x 6’ // acrylic on canvas. For sale // (deadline: November 1, 2018)

Road to Heaven #3 @ Lijiang Library


[alternative subtitle: A Practice-Based Approach to Theology]

an exhibition of work by Frog*


Co-produced by Dr. Petra Johnson and HeJixing


from October 12-28th, 2018


*also featuring: video (work-in-progress) “A Road Closer to the Gods” by An Xiao Mina (USA), with translated transcripts by Lisa Li (CN); “Crane Dance” video excerpt from Jixiang Village’s Qilin Dance (filmed+ edited by Petra Johnson); audio piece “An Interview” featuring Professor FanDahan (CN) and Dr. Petra Johnson (UK), transcript editing by WuShuyin and HeJixing (CN); collaborative pieces with Dongba HeXiudong, Dongba Yanjianhua, Dongba HeSiqiang (CN); “Dog Head” fabricated as a prop for the film “Lashihai’s Ophelia” by Greta Mendez (Trinidad/ UK); live appearance and interview with Dongba HeXiushan a.k.a. Sunny (CN)


October 13th, Saturday

3-5pm @ the Library Exhibition Room


3:00: Extract from the Qilin Dance (Crane and Deer)- featuring guest performers HeJixing and MuXian

3:30: Speeches from Library Staff, Officials, Curators, and Lijiang Studio

4:00: Performance Lecture- by Frog

5:00: Library closes; dinner at restaurant


October 27th, Saturday

3:00-5:00: Readings of collected feedback; Q & A


Special thanks to Hannah Zhang, Jay Brown, and Lijiang Studio’s October residents: WuShuyin, Kartika Mediana, Witold van Ratingen, and Adrian Tyus(Trillion Rexford)


Out here at Lijiang Studio again from August 1st to October 15th (maybe). Jixiang Village just finished performing another round of the Qilin Dance for HeWenzhao's official studio opening, and now we're kicking off Petra's 3rd session of the year. 

Photo from HeZhongli's house/ Qilin Dance Revival (2014)

Photo from HeZhongli's house/ Qilin Dance Revival (2014)

I picked up 15 prints of the #slowtrain zine ("Manman Yawaarai" / "Please Go Slowly") from the Golden Wheel Printshop this afternoon and tonight I'm folding them into halves. Tomorrow I'll cut glue sew and bind them, and then they will be done for good. Another completed production by SunDogs Studio. Email me if you want a copy, I'll send to your address, free shipping.  

/// #slowtrain zine: Color copies $10 / B&W $5

COMING UP NEXT: more illustrations for dreampr00f, a Qilin Dance book, and another zine called ROOK (follow-up piece to Zaria's Quadrivium: Infinite show from 2015). I have a few other project ideas in mind, but these are the next three to knock off the list. There will be no peace until I deliver these first. 


I have a new zine called "Human Eyes, Gamblers" up in a show called Blood Money at the Lucas Lucas gallery: 57 Conselyea St., Brooklyn (August 10-19th). I only printed 3 of those so far... go get a copy if you want a Collector's Item.