Ofad Project

Mike Rusczyk Books of Light Volume One

A walk through Mike Rusczyk's spiritual disorder in journal form. This volume eight years in the making is now part of Ofad's {Books of Light}.

A walk through Mike Rusczyk's spiritual disorder in journal form. This volume eight years in the making is now part of Ofad's {Books of Light}.

The history of light in book form, in accordance with my life

When I was 17 years old my friends and I embarked on a three-month journey to cross the United States. Junior Gonzalez, Leif Richie and I packed in a small Volkswagen Golf, with Chris Becker at the wheel, and we left Chicago bound for San Francisco. The night before our trip we met up at Chris’ Wicker Park loft to get organized and go over our plans for the morning.

Upon arriving at Chris’ loft I was surprised to find a crazy naked man running around screaming and jumping from one piece of furniture to another. This was to be my first introduction to Chris’ longtime friend from Ann Arbor, Michigan—Leif Richie. Leif became the forthcoming trip’s resident wild man and added a world of life to next three months.

As I got to know Leif better I started to notice something in him I did not often see in others. Leif was very into the study of ritualistic processes and behavior; he would digest them and incorporate them into his own life’s actions. He would emulate and practice the idea that some things or experiences should be held sacred and therefore respected and honored for their nature.

"He was constantly collecting scraps and threading them into paintings and drawings as a way of articulating his experience."

Front Cover detail

One facet that stood out to me the most was Leif’s need to capture and document the events that he felt were spiritually valuable. As we traveled, Lief would log his experiences in a large art book that was made from an old nautical almanac. He was constantly collecting scraps and threading them into paintings and drawings as a way of articulating his experience. The book took on a the sacred life of a personal bible, documenting parts of his life that stood out - the parts of life with connections of greater power or emotion in which he felt a higher energy.

I was blown away by this practice and began emulating Leif in my actions and outlook, treating art as a higher form of documentation. I always had similar beliefs toward gaining a higher connection but I had never met anyone that articulated and studied it the way Leif Richie did. I took to documenting my experiences I deemed important or valuable in much the same way Leif would. I used my books to dig out meaning in events around me and to record my travels.

My books became a way to better understand myself, and art on a personal level became a tool with which I could digest my own life. Outlined here is a journal I worked in from 1997 to 2003, a span of six years. I worked on other books during this time as well, while coming back to this journal to record the events with which I felt a stronger connection. Below are some pages that I feel represent the events I experienced in a manner that gives credit to their impact on my life.

Introduction and front cover
articulate an impression
articulate an impression detail
Halsted platform Blue Line
Chris Wells colage
Chris Wells
Hanging out with Chris Wells
Santana Show
Santana Show detail
Oscar Mayer Winner Jam - party at Jesse Neuhaus Wicker Park loft
Last days in Chicago fold-out
Burnside Project Portland Oregon:
The way home
At the time I had a little device called a tone dialer
Blurring man of the desert by 1998
The Details of a Blurring man
A general mellon collie or the dialog of
Chicago for the summer
Back to Chicago detail - Angels above us all
Back to Chicago detail two
Boats and other vessels of transport in regards to cities in flight.
A dialog of guidance or the replication of somebodys walk
The page folds out a painting of Leifs is contained
A calling to talk or the having of a conversation with your life
A calling in detail
Introduction to family through a brothers suffering
Paying homage to your upbringing a family fold-out
My brother and sister an introduction to family in detail
Just in case I don't make it here's a picture of my boat
Bas Jan Ader
A Pied Piper or a way of walking in light
Looking back thorough time a book inside of the itself
Damaged goods and other scraps that need to be used to finish these chapters of my life.
Cities In Flight and the concept of a Flying House
Back Cover

"... these times, this book and my friends were marked cornerstones in my life"

An emotion would sometimes open itself up to me while I worked with my books. I would sit down with the intent to build a memory, lay out all the respective scraps, sit back, and start to notice relationships that I had not seen until then. At times I had a feeling each page had a distinct order that need to be followed, as if there was a life within it which needed to be brought out. At these times, this book and my friends were marked cornerstones in my life.

Opening up to understanding art and applying it to personal life was a great realization for me. The pages of this book are personal statements and understandings that reference my life, and they hold value and weight in my experience. Everyone should take a bit of time to try and articulate or explore the meaning in their lives - you will be amazed at where it leads if you let it.
Thank you, - Mike Rusczyk

Respond

I just want to give special

I just want to give special thanks to Chris Wells, Rob V, and my good friends that have had a big influence on me. The way I look at art and deal with understand life has a lot to do with you guys, thanks.
- Mike

This is inspiring. I could

This is inspiring. I could never manage find the self discipline to understand my life in this way. Keep doing your thing, Mike.

I always have been a fan of

I always have been a fan of your skating, and I love the ideas you've put forth, yet, more importantly, I respect you for dropping the "pro" status when you weren't feeling it anymore instead of milking it. Nothing but respect for you.

Thanks man I appreciate it,

Thanks man I appreciate it, I always kinda felt that you should do things that feel right and not do things when they start to feel like there not working any more. I'm glad you got a chance to check out the site.
- Mike

You doggy dog you! The site

You doggy dog you! The site is looking amazing and this section in particular is ultra fly. Keep dong what yew are dong!

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