By Buzz Glasky, Manager/Caretaker
My wife Ginger and I recently attended the artist's opening of the exhibit "We Are Spiritual Machines" at the Porch Gallery in downtown Ojai.
We went on May 10, 2014, because we had met the artist Mike Saijo when he visited Meher Mount to do his research, and we were eager to see the results.
Saijo's pieces related to Avatar Meher Baba and Meher Mount are part of the exhibit "We Are Spiritual Machines." This multimedia exhibition explores the history of spiritual movements in Ojai within the context of art and technology.
Saijo uses photographic images, mixed media print, Oculus Rift virtual reality technology, and sculpture to create his contemporary approach to historical subject matter.
A SECTION ON MEHER BABA AND MEHER MOUNT
There was a nice little section on Meher Baba with Saijo's words and his take on Meher Baba. He created a very cool little hologram of a tiny sculpture he made based on Meher Baba's writings on illusion. When I touched the hologram, I realized it wasn't there at all. Fun!
Another portion of the show was a 3-D movie of walking to and under Baba's Tree at Meher Mount. We put on a special headset and earphones to experience the tree. It made Ginger a little dizzy.
THE ARTIST VISITS MEHER MOUNT TO EXPERIENCE THE REAL THING
The day after the opening, Mike Saijo brought seven visiting Australians to Meher Mount. They liked Baba's Tree much more than Mike's video of the tree! One woman was very touched under the tree. She was so happy saying, "All I feel is this special love under that tree".
ABOUT THE ARTIST & THE EXHIBIT
The "We Are Spiritual Machines" exhibit runs through June 29, 2014 at the Porch Gallery on 310 E. Matilija Street, Ojai, CA. The gallery hours are Thursday-Friday, Noon to 5:00 p.m.; Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.; Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.; and by appointment. There is no charge to visit the gallery.
Saijo has exhibited at the MOCA (Museum of Contemporary Art) in Los Angeles, at Homeboy Industries in Los Angeles, and at the University of Technology in Bangkok, Thailand. His work is part of the permanent collection at the Orange County Agricultural and Nikkei Heritage Museum at the Fullerton Arboretum, California State University, Fullerton.