Xoterica 18: The Disharmony

"There is a powerful craving in most of us to see ourselves as instruments in the hands of others and, thus, free ourselves from responsibility for acts which are prompted by our own questionable inclinations and impulses. [They] hide their malevolence under the virtue of obedience." (Lee)

I see them smiling with snappy coats and Cheshire smiles, a gleaming arrogance that makes most observers of the shot feel both jealousy and anger simultaneously.

I should wish that I was still like them, still connected, still thinking I'm fighting for a just cause and am valuable. That winning the bottom line justifies the means. That the Dream is worth the stress and bitterness and greed.

But it's not. Not anymore. The world is more damaged, fractured and divided than ever.

I should envy the lifestyle, the benefits, the network, the automated and artificial intelligence. As a Transhumanist, I should champion the rise of robots and digital slaves that allow us to be lazy and define a different illusion of progress. I should be the Harbinger of things to come.

But I'm not. Not anymore. The machines and intellects built by humankind will be as flawed and dysfunctional as we are, built to burn brilliantly and quickly away, but not to last.

The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. Half-life is the curse of the alive.

I'm constantly reminded by the communications around me how imperfect I am. The messages in media tell me that I'm not making enough, not buying enough, don't have enough for retirement. That I don't have enough, didn't choose the right path, don't follow (the Right) religion, have a specific culture or look like a gleaming model citizen. Our tangerine-colored leader tells me that if I can't fall in line, I should leave. If I don't see things his way, I'm not a "patriot".

Realistically, there is not much difference between "patriot" and "puppet".

If I question and have an opposing opinion, I'm un-American. That dissonance makes it easy for me to come to peace with the idea that I'm no longer "American" (which is OK, because the concept of what an "American" is was usurped by this country -- Canada and Latin American have "American" identities as part of the American continent, South + North - the definition of "American" is subjective). I no longer believe in the Dream, the ideals, the bullshit propaganda of the greatness of this Country, the illusions of progress. None of it. The rotgut of bloated America has been revealed, and I want no part of the present identity of this place. As a United States citizen who pays his share of taxes here, I have every right to stay in this flawed country and live off of it until I can find a better answer.

My answer: I choose antithesis.

I am a Globalist living in America, trying to push for Humanistic advances and respect, separation of Church and state, and better identity of a citizen of the United States of America.

This modern human American creature -- despite all its learnings, ethics, morals and necessary humility --would rather
build walls than roads or bridges;
destroy than recycle or re-purpose;
live in confident arrogance than flexible doubt;
exclude than include;
create schisms than common ground;
fuel anger and antagonism than hope and unity;
hate than love.

You can call me crazy, or a hippy. A flower child. An idealist. A Socialist. A Communist.

Your enemy or frenemy.

You can asphyxiate me in whatever flag, banner or herald comes with the territory. Fashion me as traitor and execute me for reminding you that you -- we -- are not the centers of the Universe. Multiverse. Upside-Down verse.

No matter what filter you put on the photo, or how you remix the verses of this dirge, all harmony has been lost here. The reliable framework for our society, culture, and human balance has tilted, pushing humanity to the unfurling of our fragile tapestry into chaotic and disconnected fibers.

The press of a button or errant tweet by a tyrant or demagogue or agenda is all that stands between the greatness of our species and self-directed oblivion.

Chaos benefits the fat cats in control. Just one click or turn of a key by a madman, and illusion of civilization burns away.

The radiation levels as a result of a future war will decimate any hope for evolution of humankind. The Marshall Islands continue to prove that out, in ways worse than Chernobyl or Fukushima. When the warheads and elite engage in pissing contests, the whole human race suffers.

No market will matter if the bears and bulls are dead or dying from cancer.

Centuries from now, a tweaked, blistered and scarred re-version of human may emerge from the fallout shelters and dismal ashes of this broken place. As it sifts through the garbage, wreckage and ruins of our fallen time, it will painfully discover that

Evolution falters when equilibrium fails.


Artemis Sere Xoterica The Disharmony

The Steel Age

the steel age

The death of my father was a pivot point in the human life of Chris Zuege and his artful ego, Artemis Sere.

His exit introduced the need to exile some dreams, hopes, and identities I once held, and replace them anew.

Giving Up the Ghost

"You have to realize that someday you will die, until you know that, you are useless!ā€ ā€• Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club

As I made my way through the fog of death that followed the passing of my father, I became keenly aware of the reaper on my shoulder.

I spent a decade of my life fighting two chronic health conditions. While I eventually won and found remission, the war with my own life led to the development of a very different person -- and artist. Through the loss of love, all material possessions and my own life, I became very close to death in ways that are far more than metaphorical or romantic.

My pain and darkness are remnants from which I draw content.

Life is our great battlefield, and any wise General knows you have to minimize the fronts you have to defend. An army stretched too thin is vulnerable to weakness and collapse. Human conquest requires great compromise and sacrifice, and the field of my history is filled with ghosts of dutiful versions of me that died for causes other than my own.

I am haunted by those specters; they peek through the paint and horrific canvasses that circle my world. These revenants gasp in awe, gawk in fear and scream for vengeance. I call them "the Od", but know there's little that is odd about them --

They are faces of my regrets, given acrylic flesh and form.

Blazing a New Road

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and Iā€”
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference"
(Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken)

For my adult existence, I've been a man torn between human identities - son, brother, boyfriend, professional, marketer, ex-husband, stepfather, artist, to name some. Each version of me has pulled my attention and resources in directions that were mostly out of my control. For decades, I struggled to survive; for the last decade, I worked hard and survived well. And now,

I'm taking complete control and changing my choice of path.

To some, what I'm about to reveal will be a shock and surprise, and cause for questioning my sanity. Others will understand my redirection into unfamiliar and uncharted territories as the natural progression and evolution of the art of Artemis Sere.

I have decided to relocate my person, profession and the Artemis Sere brand to Modesto, CA in September 2019 to introduce the Art of Artemis Sere to Calfornia, to start the development of SereSteel Metalworking art and to establish a metalworking business (Bonesetter Metalworking). July 2019 Update: See Updates regarding Dunwoody College below.

Yes, I am leaving great friends and a loving family for a brave, chaotic new adventure.

Yes, I am putting a promising career as a Corporate Digital Marketer on hold and/or in jeopardy.

Yes, I am leaving an amazing global company that has offered me generous benefits, opportunities, and upward and international movement. 

Yes, I am accepting a huge step backward in pay.

Yes, I am flipping collar color from white to blue.

Yes, I am going to tell this story from start to finish (see timeline below).

Yes, it's on.

Bonesetting with a Blowtorch

If you're familiar with my brand, you know my connection to the "bonesetter" concept. I plan to expand that concept with metalworking art and exploration of "hot metal" art. As my art grows, I plan to grow the talent into a business that can service central/northern California.

Why metalworking? In short, I want to work with my hands as I edge into retirement over the next 20 years. I want to have a job that moves me and keeps me on my feet, but also engages my hands-on creativity as a creator. Through my career at 3M, I've been exposed to amazingly talented metalworking art and artists, and I hope to someday be regarded in that conversation. I plan to tell the story of this transition in a book entitled "Metalmorphosis: From Marketer to Maker", which I will elaborate on in a future blog.

Why California? The beaches and coasts. The wine country. The mountains. The history. The culture. The list feels endless. I've lived in the Midwest and frigid Minnesota for the majority of my adult life. I want to relocate to a state where I can be physically active year-round, possibly do hot metal art regardless of the season. Ultimately, I am a wimp when it comes to cold weather. I'm also drawn to the many diversities that California has to offer, as well as the rich art scenes at my reach. Further, as a staunch supporter of Democratic politics and liberal values, I am excited about living in a state where I don't feel like I have to hide who I am. 

In the phases below, I highlight both the relocation/transition of the Artemis Sere brand to Modesto, CA (central/northern California) in September 2019, and my long-term plan of establishing a respected, influential metalworking business. Phase timelines/targets will flex as resources allow.

I appreciate the patience of my family, friends, fans and colleagues as I undergo this exciting


#artemissere #setinmetal #steelage

SereSteel Project Highlights

GOAL: Expand Artemis Sere brand/market to include saleable metal art and establish multi-service metalworking business in Northern California by 2024.


  • JULY 2019 Update: Transition away from 3M Personal Safety and comfortable, common employment that draws from my Marketing talent, experience and education
  • Move person and Seretic Studios to Modesto, CA from St. Paul in September 2019  JULY 2019 Update: After visiting both my selected CA schools and Modesto, I've decided to stay in MN for training and then move to CA following my education (and not Modesto. No good).
  • Conduct "Sere Art Yard Sales" June-Aug 2019 to reduce stock, increase resources for move July 2019 Update: As my moving plans changed, I decided to stay in MN a bit longer, and in the same housing, so will continue to evolve the Gallery.
  • Publish "Xenobleed 1: X&Why" 


  • July 2019 Update: Publish "Xenobleed 2: Coagulum", and "Xenobleed 3 : Shadowheart"
  • Gain Welding certification at Cal-Trade Welding school in Modesto. July 2019 Update: Gain Welding & Metalworking Degree from Dunwoody College of Technology in Minneapolis, MN
  • Start professional work in welding/metalworking industry in CA (2021/2022)
  • Establish/market SereSteel metalworking art.


  • Launch Bonesetter Metalworking, multi-service metalworking shop in Northern California.
  • First SereSteel Gallery show.
  • Publish "Metalmorphosis: From Marketer to Maker" book.

Artemis Sere The Steel Age

Unknown Welding Sculpture
from Franconia Sculpture Garden, Franconia, MN (https://www.franconia.org/).
Image photography and art remix by Artemis Sere.