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David S. Whitley

Archaeologist

David S. Whitley received his PhD in archaeology from UCLA. He digs holes in the ground for a living, like all archaeologists. He also studies rock paintings and engravings, with a special emphasis on the ethnographic accounts that explain their meaning and significance to Native Americans. He lives in Tehachapi where he writes books, rides horses and plays with his dogs.


I share a link to an illuminating video entitled How mental illness changed human history - for the better: featuring David Whitley at TEDxManhattanBeach. Therein is the central argument from his book Cave Paintings and the Human Spirit, essential to the questions that Whitley brings forth, which challenges many outdated notions about art, and at the heart of what it truly entails artistic geniality, the origin of artistic genius, and mental states of mind. 

I invite you to take a look into a 2-minute video of David speaking about a Shamanistic ritual of frictioning quartz crystals to generate Triboluminescence or Piezoelectricity, which would initiate Shamans into a Visual Quest.


The video art poetry “a fix of ink,” eponymous to the collection published by Finishing Line Press features an expediction to sighting Native American's art led by David, and with music originally composed by Federico Ramos.