In what space have you felt most wild?

Artist Eric Olson and psychotherapist Nicole Wiggins are hosting Formulary for a New Wildness, 90 minute group explorations into what it means to be wild, within ourselves and within contemporary culture. Sign up for a session at the Frye Art Museum!

In what space have you felt most wild?

This was the question we explored in the fourth iteration of Formulary for a New Wildness. The answers ranged from people pretending to be angular fish in Golden Gate Park while under the influence of psilocybin, to being fully engulfed in the grid lines of an Agnes Martin painting.

Agnes Martin's Untitled, 1963

Agnes Martin’s Untitled, 1963

Participant's drawing used to describe the wild space.

Participant’s drawing used to describe the wild space.

One participant confessed, “It might sound weird, but when hiking out into the wilderness, beyond any signs of humanity, I could die and it would just feel right. Nothing else would matter if I passed, decaying into a skeleton, engulfed in vegetation.” Another agreed with this sentiment, recalling a time they found themselves on the edge of the Olympic Peninsula looking over the Pacific Ocean. Is this feeling similar to a moment when you experienced the sublime? When did you last encounter the sublime?

This fourth session helped us understand that our relationships with time, fears based on lived experiences, and anxieties about our future all create boundaries for our personal definitions and exploration of wildness. Without these constraints, we are free; unbounded and capable of being present with the wild… to get lost in it. When was the last time you were lost in a moment?

We ended with a meditation on sound, searching deeper to find the resonation of wildness inside of us. How would it manifest itself as a sound? The studio at the Frye filled with a cacophony of stomps, tongue clicks, woots, and moans. Then, after a series of deep exhalations, it was all over and we were left, once again, with our own devices to explore how we can cultivate those spaces within ourselves.

–       Eric Olson