Monday, June 30, 2003
five years of wandering
through strange rooms
through uninhabited islands
how thin are the threads
that hold us together
with the world
the spider webs
dying to break free
we run and run
searching for shelter
for a homeland
and our every step is documented
registered and evaluated
by the one
who follows us
with silence, mishap, suspicion, hopelessness
(Time to Transplant In Memory of Nijole Miliauskaite by Laima Sruoginis)
:: comment :: . . . writer honouring writer . . . testimony, celebration, memoriam . . . giving thanks . . . why is it that the everyday challenges us to the extreme . . . the joys of adolescence . . the disquiet of old age . . . driving the straight highway into the big sky . . . thank the warning bumps that startle into awareness . . . wake up . . .
Sunday, June 29, 2003
The Way of the Actor by Brian Bates
Published by Shambala in 1987
(Chapter 9. Dream: Images of Power. pages 128 - 130)
Fantasy is taboo. In the secular, instrumental world of today, to indulge in fantasy is to dwell in a 'realm of unreality'. It is considered to be a waste of time. An indulgence.
Liv Ullmann decries this, but thinks it is important to distinguish between different sorts of fantasy. 'I think there's good fantasy and bad fantasy. The bad fantasy is what you see on television - the commercials that tell you if you use this hair spray, a fantasy life will follow - your husband will come home on a white horse. That is dangerous fantasy because that is not how life is.' This is the sort of fantasy that we all recognize as unreal, and the promotion of unrealistic expectations about life Ullmann considers dangerous and frustrating, '. . . People live in anguish because they've based their whole lives on unreality.'
But she considers that there is 'good fantasy', which is a recognition that in human terms there is no 'objective, real world', but rather one in which we interact creatively with our environment, colouring it with our own contribution to the active process of perception, 'Good fantasy is . . . The wonder of a flower of a season when the trees get their leaves, and you make it alive . . . And that is a wonderful fantasy because it enriches what is already there with what is already in you. Even in reality there are lots of beautiful dreams.'
We tend to forget that fantasy is an ever-present element in everyday perception. Instead, to indulge in fantasy is sometimes even considered pathological. In psychiatric terms, 'If . . . The gratifications of reality are insufficient, thinking may not be controlled by the demands of reality but may serve as a regressive or substitute satisfaction. Such musing is know as fantasy . . . The psychotic patient may live simultaneously in two unrelated worlds - one of fantasy and one reality.'
We all have a stream of inner consciousness which consists of memories - images of events past, anticipation - images of expected future events, and reality - related thinking, coping with immediate events in the external world. And we all have, in addition, unrealistic images which are not directly connected with the 'objective' world in which we live. In their private, inner world, most people experience fantasies about love, sex, success, happiness, material wealth and revenge. In other words we all live simultaneously in the world of fantasy and reality.
Caughey has described how, 'We do not live only in the objective world of external objects and activities. On the contrary, much of our experience is inner experience. Each day we pass through multiple realities - we phase in and out, back and forth, between the actual world and imaginary realms.'
He points out how we awake in the mornings after spending hours in the image-laden world of dreams, and how, in our early morning routines, we frequently drift off into an internal stream of reverie - moments from the past, imagined scenes from the day ahead. Travelling to work, most people are only partly aware of the familiar route, 'Much of the time we are "away". Lost in anticipations of the hours or years ahead or in fantasies about how things might otherwise be . . . and so throughout the day, hour after hour, day after day.'
The world of inner fantasy is intensely personal and emotionally potent. And inevitably the stream of inner images affects dramatically the way we see the external world of supposed reality.
Of course, there are people who become lost in the world of fantasy and who cannot find the way back to the equally important realm of rationality. Psychiatry fuctions to help these people. But these unhappy extremes should not seduce us into thinking that 'sanity' means living a totally rational, fantasy-free life. A totally rational person would be insane.
Fantasy is integral to our whole way of life - not some aberrent, time-wasting indulgence which can be forgiven if practised during leisure hours. Fantasy is psychologically a fact, for all of us. In its own way, fantasy is reality.
A B L A D E OF B I T T E R B R E A T H
moved out for no reason. didn't change any place
It's no better.
& the dreams
uprooted the ancient tree rotten
no strength required
What you must accept, fully
A man with the black wool high up the neck for protecting the throat.
I had left the temple waterless and frozen fatigued and peeling.
On the edge of no return
at least that's the case
this winter solstice thousand two.
how many years later?
It's cold outside
Golden light shadows the face
On wall (through blinds, glass window, everywhere)
crisis doesn't lie
lost daylight (anger doesn't see the many deaths)
uprising into her burial zone
No . . . ten footsteps . . . to the left
future nights collapse (I had created more loss)
Beautiful weightless snow falls down.
The first utterance must be "Gone".
A cough/choke shatters the skull pitch black
night sky no moon
A child at church
runs away from his guardian.
I wish I were him.
hide and seek, peek-a-boo, tag
illusion of liberation by night
The games not yet imagined.
The running away patterned
so sleep in the bedroom of your youth
the white walls, crosses and icon borders
not even a hint of the past turmoil
shut the door underneath the stairway
shut out the breathing above into no visible light
wounded escape to nowhere, dripping blood.
Loves lost in darkness.
I mean, empty
It had to
the universe leaving
There is nothing to request at the time of parting lighter than unknown
wrongs carrying weight.
Fall from grace
on the land of black snow
shivering death chatters to echo life
that thou must accept me, exactly.
All around the earth opens to endless tunnels
a man digs
collapsed on the kitchen table
a drunk, arms reddening
she's a weary historian from afar
barks commands into an empty room
the round table an altar
you leave out scraps of food
for the hungry ghosts & drink.
She is the will.
A vase of dried flowers
point to the deep, dark paneled ceiling
a varathened shelter
the birch chairs passed on from generations
older than the historian
(measured in lunar years)
I must go to sleep leaving you unconscious.
Look up through the floor.
A white horse crashes through the ice flailing
blue ice, is it a death?
Downstairs in the temple kitchen the water is turned off.
A pipe burst.
Little other than a cold storage now.
An unknown attempted a break-in, twice
gave up as the iron bars held fast.
The lonely roomer left unwelcomed over a year ago
a row of tea candles mark his departure.
The rotary dial phone became a theater prop.
No calls to record
the comings and goings.
The sleeping historian
shuts the door.
Take down the decorations.
ive them away
a pile of gold
You journey to the east
sitting among old women
watching them sleep or gossip
waiting time out
till breath to us depart
everlasting life amen.
Mounds of crushed powder
ground by teeth pressed tight
till jaws shatter.
Forgive not the pain.
Forget not the wound.
The historian declares the voices of the unspoken rise up in
the early morn.
Take to the streets -
smart mobs texturing,
urinating on the face of
Define will: a sort of violence.
Look to the gravestone: uncut
An inner tension and emotional restlessness
a subtle inflammation of the nervous system
could not be healed
No surgery knife
exacting precision could unlocate
complications and contempt run roughshod
the deed was done
The historian stumbles out puking and crying
storms into the raging night & sinisterly growls
"You," stabbing the air with a pointed finger -
"You get our of here."
Then moves cautiously back to her drink
Better than honesty.
END OF VIOLENCE GLARE
Overlaid patches of the past
filtered through the white slats of a venetian blind
stop the light enter the tunnel
a young girl, Anna picks nettles in the Vienna woods
without gloves her hands soon redden and swell
hundreds of tiny bites
tatoo marks from the sting of the furies
Is the will just a movement repeated, an addiction?
Here, in the black box
no audience but a silent witness
an angel in white and gold
the cloud of unknowing hanging
a see through cocoon to crawl into
Dare to touch or kiss the gossamer cloth
Yeats speaks: "I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams."
named the historian Rhiannon
In time present
the snow drifts
a truck spins out of control
crashes towards the ditch
piles of white explode
a motionless avalanche
faces of shock disappear
two children can't forget the horror
yet the thrill becomes a survival legend
it is that way with the edge of near death
or playing in the ditch.
Tunnels. Corridors breathing with no writing on the walls
sometimes all the people pass by into unseen realms
the crowds around me blankly stare into the beyond
"How was your holiday?" the faithful ask.
Further on the light glistens. I can't cry
a scarab - egyptian symbol for - I've forgotten
needle pricks the belly skin circling the navel and this is I...
the historian, will she like
such a deeds of the belly?
a black caped figure
oh my god the head fell off
the figure running down floating on the moving ice flows
a tall red haired women
dream wishing of celtic songs
it wasn[base ']t just the look of Stevie Nicks
the high cheek bones
she couldn[base ']t decide whether the old crone living in the
thought to embrace the child
Later the warmth of a body came to me seeking respite from the hurting eyes and the cold feet
in the sheets:
carved classical folds
Then outside the river freezes over
Galileo, the majestic science king, howls in persecuted pain
the silent scream
The phantom moons of Jupiter devise tactics to which
love and surrender revolve around nothing like the sun
or moon, or I
What did I ask and who will answer?
Don't, don't blame. But don't , don't surrender.
Is the will just a movement repeated, an addiction?
Each moment quivers as I shake with desire and then pause.
OBSERVATIONS AT THE INSOMNIA TOWER
historian Rhiannon is so exotic looking this morning
painted eyes a dark blue shade of black
and a lot of side long forbidden glances
take her to the flats where the pubic stubble shows under the snow
abandoned rail cars burning, smoldering
smoked chinook trout or tanning hides or even chokecherry mixed with bear fat
my life has been shaped
by the petty rejections and stains of ejaculating on old carpets
adoration and false worship
observe the holy war
justice demands our rights
Y O U ' R E N O T P E R F E C T - is what the ego screams
I look up and shape the mouth to taste the hunger
you're the face of love I like you
Did you say you were leaving in your sleep -
can I overhear your dreams besides the pillow talk -
forgive but how could I, I know exactly how I got there
and when I die forgiving is a subtle act of unwanted mercy
Y O U ' R E N O T P E R F E C T
I want to
I apologized for the roaring madness, genuflect
she shrugged "just look at you -"
we could meet in the tundra
where the treacherous boulders between the townsite
and the bay
gather stagnant water
Moved along the closed territories
security guards block ways
They break the day
search the accessible leaving the hidden
revealing their corruption
so close the door and pull the drapes in this tiny cabin
the Polish couple show no fear
men over all
a laughing salute from the demi-goddess messenger.
That foreigner, that dog
was so cruel and that never
occurred to her . . . Still
the bit lips saw stench passing the inside out
the mucous spittle streams
flushed away are stillborn
If you say you'll kill me, do
you really mean me
It has been foretold earlier.
Lift every voice
the same refrain
no chorus of many
I have a cut on my lip
I kind of don't mind
This is the list of what we've done
destroyed the architecture of a conservative life
throw out all the mother's food putting mould in the refrigerator
ignore the sons as far worse than our own enslavement
cultural genocide pumping shit into the mind
manipulate the sickness clot love a
twist the truth chew
imagine the unreal we can because you're a historian
you're so desperate lie . . .
I'm sort of angry
there is no hope, talking
hope is a belief
and vacate, the most apathetic is Hope
vague deluded abstraction
tongue is a name.
Such Desperate Joy Imagining Jackson Pollock edited by Helen A. Harrison. Published Thunder's Mouth Press/Nation Books, New York NY, 2000.
(Chapter . Title. pages )
As an individual who found his calling in the arts, I was drawn to Pollock as an artist who achieved a mode of expression, a form of creativity, that was not derivative of the art of his own time, or of any other time. Yes, it was "derived," in that it came out of his understanding of its precendents. But the actual art, the paint on the canvas, was truly original. Pollock's desire to arrive at his own originality, the need, the courage to open himself up and surrender to that openness - and his unrestrained commitment to take it to its limit - drew me to him.
A desperate need for approval usually forces one into doing what is recognizable, something similar to what has already gained acceptance. Pollock's need for approval bordered on the psychopathic, but he had an even deeper need to create art that had no hint of the lie about it. That impulse drove him to make art that was neither recognizable nor accepted, and certainly was fair game for ridicule and abuse. But Pollock was his own toughest critic, and he knew that only he could judge what was pure and true and real as far as his work was concerned. He fought fiercely to be true to himself. He did not separate himself from his art. That aspect of his being, desperately needing approval, yet offering only his own truth, on his own terms - also drew me to him.
His fears. The fear of intimacy, of revealing himself. His inability to feel secure in the world, his paralyzing fear of opening himself to others and the responsibility that entails, not to mention the possibility of rejection. Particularly with women. The pain of loneliness he must have felt at times. And, despite all this fear, the ultimate self-confidence, the belief that he could be accepted. I think he mistook approval for love. I also believe that, despite his realization that life is a great mystery, and his deep appreciation of the natural world and its beauty, he never got close to understanding his personal mystery. I don't think he wanted to. Hence, the drinking.
Getting drunk is the best way to not answer questions, to be intimate without responsibility, to remove the pain of lonelinness, to ignore all the confusion about being alive that wells up inside us. And yet, by all accounts, Pollock painted sober. He faced his fears and his pain and his confusion on a blank canvas. Though masked, some would say, in complete abstraction, he revealed himself. He stripped himself naked and said, "Here I am," and put it out for the world to see and judge. And on top of it all, what he painted is beautiful, is aesthetically coherent, has power and rhythm and passion and color and harmony. And truth
I approached the role of Pollock intuitively. It was not what I would call an intellectual pursuit. Writing the script and editing what we shot was a process of distillation. The years I spent reading and thinking and feeling about Pollock, the time I spent "painting" and trying to understand emotionaly what it is to be a painter - I had to trust that time, and trust that something had seeped into my bones that would allow me to portray Pollock honestly. I had no difficulty in choosing an interpretation because it all has been very personal. From everything I read and heard, I had to go with what touched my soul and what made sense to me both intellectually and emotionally.
I've never been interested in exploiting Pollock. In fact, there was a period of time when I felt I really should leave the whole project alone, and let Jackson rest in peace. But then I realized that was only a desire to leave myself in peace. It's tricky, but I never wanted to pretend to be Pollock. I wanted to be Ed Harris, using all his tools as an actor and as a person to allow Pollock's experience on this earth to touch me, inspire me, lead me to an honest, true performance. I think the film is much more revealing of Ed Harris than it is of Jackson Pollock. I don't see how it could be any other way. I guess I used Jackson for a personal journey. The only reason I think he wouldn't mind is because the film is not a lie.
It was difficult to balance what I perceive as Pollock's innocence with what I see as his calculated ability to get what he wanted. I needed to reveal his gentleness and also his meanness, his confidence and his deep insecurity, his fear and his courage, his manners and his sometimes aggressive incivility, his love for people and his selfishness, his competitiveness and his search for purity. The biggest challenge, in acting terms, was to find a "voice" for him. By that, I don't mean a speaking voice, but the voice of a soul, or a complex human being who didn't leave a legacy of intimate revelation - except in his paintings. That's a lot. What they mean to me is something I don't want to try to put into words, and probably couldn't. That's not a cop-out. The film is, I hope, a reflection of what I feel about his work.
In addition to dealing with Pollock the man, I had to interpret Pollock as a painter. It's preposterous to think I could ever paint as he did, and yet I had to paint in the film. The most challenging part of all that was gaining enough confidence to paint as myself, for myself, but in his manner - to be committed first to myself as a painter, keeping my focus on creating my own art, not recreating someone else's.
One thing I learned about Pollock's art is that he fully believed - and lived by - his famous statement, "I don't use the accident, because I deny the accident." Art students probably realize this, but it was a revelation for me. One cannot even approximate Pollock's approach to painting unless every stroke, every drip, every pour, every slap, every fling, every shake, every splash, every spatter, and every flick has a specific intention.
And then there's Lee . . .
Ed Harris APRIL 2000
Saturday, June 28, 2003
The Way of the Actor by Brian Bates
Published by Shambala in 1987
(Chapter 6. Transformation: Changing Selves. pages 96 - 98)
'Persona' originally referred to the masks that actors used in the classical period of Greek history. Implied in each mask was a complete separate personality, often of a diety, which possessed the actor who wore the mask. But today, 'persona' is a psychological term, and refers to the personal façade that one exhibits publicly. This outward face includes significant aspects of physical appearance, but particularly encompasses the personal style or presence that an individual presents to the world. And this includes a strong element of conformity because the aspect of oneself which is bing presented at any one time is meant to fit in with, and satisfy, the people with whom one is interacting. The persona is the outward face of our psyche, the face that the world sees. And as we all know, what we show the world does not necessarily correspond with our inner self.
The psychiatrist Carl Jung developed the concept of persona as a modern psychological concept. 'Fundamentally the persona is nothing real,' he says. 'It is a compromise between individual and society as to what a man should appear to be. He takes a name, earns a title, represents an office, he is this or that.' (1)
Each of us has a persona, or number of personas, which we present to the world in the various settins we enter: work, home, social occasions and so on. We have an 'image' which we show, which may vary considerably from one setting to another.
Each persona is a character. Each image of 'ourself' that we present to people we deal with constitutes a performance. People read a whole 'personality' from the persona they see. We are often embarrassed when we neet someone from one part of our lives, who only knows one of our personas, in another setting because the different personas we present reveal different aspects of ourselves. Just like the characters actors play.
But the crucial danger of the persona is that of identifying oneself with the mask, the role. Our whole, true self is not the same as the self which fits a particular role. If this happens, the person loses contact with the deeper sources of their own being. Life itself becomes one continuing series of role-plays, behind which the person's true self is denied. While a mask, or rather a number of masks, are essential for easy mixing with different groups of people, the masks must be interchageable, flexible.
The persona is not the individual person. It is merely that aspect of the person which needs to be presented as a cog in the wheel of society. It is, in a way, an aspect of society rather than the particular individual. And an audience takes an interest in a character in a play or film not because the audience wants to know detailed, intimate knowledge of that actor as an individual, but because the individual character as presented in performance represents all of us, and is therefore of interest ot all of us. Through the adventures of fictional characters, who are simplified versions of what a 'real' person would be like, we encounter life in general, and are entertained and enlightened by that.
There are aspects of the persona which lie hidden. These are either never known, unrealized potential, or they are unacceptable, not to be acknowledged. These aspects of the self, called by Jung the 'shadow', gather psychic force by not being expressed. They influence our lives, but are not seen. Until, that is, conscious efforts are made to create new peersonas. Then the shadow material rushes out 'into the light'.
The character . . .
To think about others' personas and to try them on for size is to gain a remarkable feeling for the way people present themselves, the minutae of voice inflection, dress, stance, walk, mannerisms and so on. The actor's skill is to allow the elements of the shadow to penetrate the persona presented. Actors are not just mimics - people with a talent for simply presenting the voice, appearance and manner of another. The actor is attempting to do more. The persona, whether close to one's own or a created one, is there to reveal the shadow. The mask is presented in order to reveal what is behind it.
We only have to think for a moment of the effect of replacing our own persona, in a controlled and appropriate environment and adopting that of another person to guage the psychological effects. Just existing outside of one's own persona is revealing. Being sufficiently aware and conscious of the personas of others creates insight into human nature. And acting, moving, speaking 'inside' a created persona is a liberating, startling and, sometimes, deeply revealing experience both to oneself and to others.
(1) Jung, C.G. The Two Essays on Analytical Psychology New York: Meridian Books 1956
Friday, June 27, 2003
". . . ideas want expression and they get expressed and then they have a life of their own."(Mirrors Reflected:vog blog:vlog 2.0:Adrian Miles)
:: comment :: . . . who is the 'me' . . . I choose to be an actor on the stage becoming a character . . . I choose to post on the web becoming a persona . . . (more ...) . . . the way of the actor can be an invitation of self-possession . . . finding identities to enable transformation . . . changing identities, reliving a life, seeing with freshness, dreaming images of power, risk filling the moment, extending beyond the boundaries, open, sensitive and intuitive . . . that creates the energy of intimate communication . . .
Thursday, June 26, 2003
what exists before
old aged grey
tonight the thunder
rocked the earth
and the thought
of unforgiving longing
tempered the voice
activating all inner channels
from secret sources
during wild strokes of invention
leaping into the hearts of others
stomping and shouting
the sight of dry rain
barren concrete warning
past haunting memory burning
("Fisherman and the Widow" /Luke Anguhadluq /Baker Lake)
" IQUALUIT - A community of Baffin Island printmakers recently celebrated its 30th anniversary with the launch of its 2003 collection."(CBC: Baffin Island printmakers launch new collection Joanne Stassen, The Arts Report )
more . . .
:: comment :: . . . searching for a sense of community . . . community is this deep and lasting working together and a celebration of that creative act . . . community is a shared space . . . hmmm . . . don't we all share this space and aren't we all involved in a deep and lasting working together . . . or is it a matter of sense . . . sensibility . . .does the sense shape the community . . . physical,environmental,aesthetical sense . . .
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
"'I felt a terrific longing for a kind of ensemble,' Mr. Chaikin told author William Goldman, for the book, "The Season." "I wanted to play with actors, actors who felt a sensitivity for one another... In order to come to a vocabulary, we had to teach each other: we had no ambitions other than to meet and play around..."(Playbill : Joseph Chaikin, Director and Actor Who Founded Avant Garde Open Theatre, Dead at 67 By Kenneth Jones)
:: comment :: . . . met Chaikin ever so briefly in a workshop . . . a time of crossroads . . . he had just disbanded the Open Theater and looked remarkably vulnerable . . . in fact in my mind he always looks vulnerable . . . read his writings and honoured his work . . . have followed his ideas&directions for decades . . . will continue to challenge his immense vocabulary . . . thank you Joseph for your "terrific longings" . . . the sensitivity with which you touched so many will be felt in the tomorrow of playing around . . .
the eyes, the eyes
the sunken space of vision territory
a place to play in the zone of imagination
the tongue resting in the cave of the mouth
the heart held in the sphere of the rib cage
abandonment, exile, occupation, and habitation
the living quest(going home)ion
audblog audio post
Monday, June 23, 2003
". . . he watched nearly every interview ever done with him - and was disappointed by what he found. "There's nothing in them about spontaneity as the secret of life, nothing about the protective qualities of art," he says. 'So that's what I decided to look at in the film. Let's give the public the Fellini that we don't know..." Fellini ruminates about everything from religion and death to art and memory. He discusses the process of filmmaking: "The instant when I begin to work- when I become a filmmaker - someone takes over. A mysterious invader, an invader that I don't know... He directs everything for me. But it's someone else, not me, with whom I coexist, someone I don't know, or know only by hearsay." And he offers this fabulist little anti sound bite, from which Pettigrew takes his title: "I'm a born liar. For me the things that are most real are invented."(NEWSWEEK INTERNATIONAL: Directing the Director /A documentarian looks at Fellini's life, art and lies By Michael J. Agovino)
:: comment :: . . . though have seen most Fellini films the two which branded the memory were La Strada & I clowns . . . the depth of the images and the fabulist archetypes fascinated . . . in retrospect they foreshadowed my interest in performance . . . as a student in Europe (without television) could purchase a cheap seat (front seats less expensive). . . the neck strained awkwardly back&up . . . the ear struggling to make sense of languages not understood . . . weekends watching european classics from a north american sensibility . . . good visual training . . . never lost the desire to trust watching with instinct . . .
Sunday, June 22, 2003
". . . last year in Zhouzhuang I [(c) 2003 eugene kuo] shot the picture below of a woman backstage preparing for a performance of Kunqu opera."(carte blanche pedicure)
:: comment :: . . . the personal story and accompanying photo sent me towards . . . beautiful exploration . . . the traditional is exotic / conventions are mysterious / inner private transformed into open public / backstage is onstage / presentational is ceremonial . . apply make-up to reveal/ make up to remember . . . unrelated question: Is posting a detail from a picture like quoting from a text passage? . . .
(Chinese Opera. Jessica Tan Gudnason. From the photgraph- ers foreward
Saturday, June 21, 2003
". . . the links that constitute your blog and blogging. What this weaves a community which is not community as people, but an emergent semantic or epistemological community, people are sort of attached there, bit like avatars, but this link economy has its own forces and logics and it isn't really about community as social agency, but community as information nodes meeting up. People are just the vehicle these information nodes exploit."(vog blog::vlog 2.0)
"I believe that blogging is not about personal publishing. It's about finding your identity in conversations with others. Blogging tools are not mature yet and for an occasional reader it's difficult to see the roots of blogging dialogues. I hope that this collection of links can help you to trace conversations that feed my thought and writing."(Mathemagenic sidebar)
:: comment :: . . . prefer the ecosystem over avatar . . . prefer . . .
"1. Keep a Research Diary 2. Maintain an Electronic Bibliography 3. Know Your Search Engines 4. An Archiving System for Useful Info 5. Learn The Composition of your Research Community 6. Document Useful Learning Experiences 7. Keep a Professional Home Page 8. Maintain an Updated CV 9. Get Involved Early On 10. Develop Research Meta-awareness" (via Mathemagenic /originally Idris' post
"trust themselves(yourself) and get to work on what you think is important . . . Do NOT wait . . . be loose with your independent project classes. If you find you want to do something different than what you wrote up, then do it . . ."(Lex's Add-ons to Idris' Post)
"Smoke and Candles -This image was taken in Rokuhara Chinkouji temple during Obon. The ethereal form in the top half of the image is actually a person wearing a white shirt walking by. The exposure time was about 4 seconds."(The Foreigner in Japan:THE PLAY OF LIGHT - Kyoto at Night a photo essay by David Culton)
Friday, June 20, 2003
Thursday, June 19, 2003
"As Eric Jensen points out, "Emotions drive the threesome of attention, meaning, and memory." In essence, that just about sums up what we know about learning: attending to information, constructing meaning, and lodging it in our memory. Brain researchers have shown that emotions are critical to patterning, which is the way that information is organized in the brain, how we are able to retrieve that information. Emotions assist in both evaluating and integrating information and experiences."
"However, as we know, not all emotions facilitate learning. Stress, frustration, anger, fear--all can overwhelm the brain with hormones and thought patterns that totally shut down one's ability to learn. When major emotional flooding occurs it is true that one literally cannot think straight."(Educator's Voice)
Wednesday, June 18, 2003
"Susan Sontag to get German publishers' prize: Germany's book publishers association has announced that its peace prize this year will go Susan Sontag, the U.S. author and cultural critic. She will receive it at the Frankfurt Book Fair this October. Today, the association said Sontag stood for the "dignity of free thinking" in a world "of falsified images and mutilated truths"."(Deutsche Welle)
:: comment :: . . . peace out . . .
"We have a robotic president who assures us that America stands tall. A wide spectrum of public figures, in and out of office, who are strongly opposed to the policies being pursued abroad by this Administration apparently feel free to say nothing more than that they stand united behind President Bush. A lot of thinking needs to be done, and perhaps is being done in Washington and elsewhere, about the ineptitude of American intelligence and counter-intelligence, about options available to American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and about what constitutes a smart program of military defense. But the public is not being asked to bear much of the burden of reality. The unanimously applauded, self-congratulatory bromides of a Soviet Party Congress seemed contemptible. The unanimity of the sanctimonious, reality-concealing rhetoric spouted by American officials and media commentators in recent days seems, well, unworthy of a mature democracy. "(Susan Sontag, The New Yorker, September 24, 2001)
Monday, June 16, 2003
". . .the Cartier Foundation of Contemporary Art in Paris: "Yanomami: The Spirit of the Forest," which runs through Oct. 12. The exhibition is not an ethnographic show. Rather it is an attempt to explore the parallels between the imagination of the Yanomami and the creative process of Western artists."(NYTimes:Arts:Artists Touched by Amazon Tribe By ALAN RIDING)
Sunday, June 15, 2003
Saturday, June 14, 2003
"God bless Canada. First it gave the world the manifold joys of Hockey Night in Canada. Now it's presented us with En Français, Comme en Anglais, It's Easy to Criticize, a captivating performance piece by Jacob Wren and PME, mounted at P.S. 122. Toronto-Quebec kissing cousins of ERS and Collapsable Giraffe, but more somber and purposeful, the five-member group has created a collage that's part dance, part social critique, part heady fucking around."
"Four tables supporting stereo equipment anchor the dimly lit stage. Lacking a conventional plot, the piece comprises a sequence of moments that appear random but have their own internal logic. Performers Martin Bélanger and Tracy Wright discuss theorist Gilles Deleuze on one side of the stage; on the other, two women (Julie Andrée T. and Sylvie Lachance) dance together silently. Bélanger disappears, but later speaks in French over a walkie-talkie illuminated by a spotlight. Wren runs repeatedly between the front and back of the stage, delivering a monologue on how the World Trade Center attack has confused his piece's critique of bourgeois comfort. The ensemble stops for a group discussion of the work. Wright confronts Wren, complaining that the last thing the world needs is another boy genius. The group breaks into dance, sometimes ecstatic, sometimes gently coordinated. Andrée T. has a particularly compelling presence-her sullenness only makes her movement more fascinating."
"Alternately hypnotic and amusing, En Français-like much postmodern work-interrogates the idea of the performance itself. But it never fails to be that performance, and a damn good one. "The real avant-garde is to be found in doing nothing," Wren observes, despairing of the action-driven, media-saturated world. He and his ensemble have happily ignored their own counsel. "(VillageVoice:theater:Headin' South by Brian Parks)
:: comment :: . . . the face of "experimental" theater today . . . (post-modern)/ 21st Century . . . "fucking around" . . . no thanks! . . . or is this the face of a review/critique and does it spawn other work . . . the past two years found research lab performace articulating this "fucking around" . . . whose interested? . . .
Friday, June 13, 2003
"One of the greatest of 20th-century German critics, Theodor Adorno is remembered for his much misunderstood remark that "it is barbaric to write poetry after Auschwitz." But within another of his statements lies the true imperative of political theater: "Art is not a matter of pointing up alternatives, but resisting, solely through artistic form, the course of the world, which continues to hold a pistol to the heads of human beings." "(TheVillageVoice:Theater:Beyond Neurosis What Kind of Political Theater Are We Really After? by Charles McNulty)
"Yet the ensemble's dancer-like discipline and formal finesse (especially noted in the fluidity of its environmental staging) made it impossible for me to dismiss Problématique Provisoire as clichéd avant-garde indulgence. The production provided compelling research into the nature of cultivated artistic bodies in theatrical space—and our inherently leering relationship to them as spectators. "(TheVillageVoice:Theater:The Festival de Théâtre des Amériques in Montreal North to the Avant-Garde by Charles McNulty)
:: comment :: . . . find a journalist's article that provokes thought . . . check archives for previous writings and discover more . . . have a new voice to read . . . reading people not newspapers . . .
Thursday, June 12, 2003
"The fact is that we are not even masters of our own conscious memory. What we remember and what we do not is subject to an emotional control, which follows a simple principle. If a given impression has emotional meaning we learn it. If it does not trigger emotional response it is not learned. In this case amygdala works as a kind of ‘emotiometer’, which regulates hippocampus and conscious learning. This serves a purpose: to economise the resources with regard to what to learn. So, if you want someone to remember what you say, make sure that it has emotional meaning for the person who has to remember it."(elearningpost: June 11/2003 via Learning Circuits)
"This is a spooky, melancholy work, merely 65 minutes in length but concentrated in its intentions, Beckett-like in its ellipses (though largely without Beckett's wry and painful humor) and finely layered with suggestions that performing is remembering, that remembering is itself living, that the stage is no less than the world. It's redolent of the implicit passion of 20th-century French intellectualism. (Duras died in 1996.) You won't be surprised that a recording of Édith Piaf is involved"(NYTimes:THEATER REVIEW | 'SAVANNAH BAY' Women, Embracing Across Generations, Find Life in Memory By BRUCE WEBER)
Wednesday, June 11, 2003
(SELECTED SCHOOL AND COLLEGE BUILDINGS FROM A CAMPUS designed and built by Christopher Alexander and his associates from PATTERNLANGUAGE.COM / CENTER FOR ENVIRONMENTAL STRUCTURE )
"The structure of life I have described in buildings -- the structure which I believe to be objective -- is deeply and inextricably connected with the human person, and with the innermost nature of human feeling. In this fourth volume I shall approach this topic of the inner feeling in a building, where there is a kind of personal thickness -- a source, or ground, something almost occult -- in which we find that the ultimate questions of architecture and art concern some connection of incalculable depth, between the made work (building, painting, ornament, street) and the inner 'I' which each of us experiences."
"What I call 'the I' is that interior element in a work of art, which makes one feel related to it. It may occur in a leaf, or in a picture, in a house, in a wave, even in a grain of sand, or in an ornament. It is not ego. It is not me. It is not individual at all, having to do with me, or you. It is humble, and enormous: that thing in common which each one of us has in us. It is the spirit which animates each living center."
"I believe that the ultimate effort of all serious art, is to be making things which connect with this I of the person. This 'I,' not normally available, is dredged up, forced to the light, forced into the light of day, by the work of art."
"My hypothesis is this. That all value depends on a structure in which each center, the life of each center, approaches this simple,forgotten, remembered, unremembered 'I.' That in the living work, each living center really is a connection to this 'I.'"(Christopher Alexander. An excerpt from Book 4 of the Nature of Order.)
Tuesday, June 10, 2003
"The critical (in the literary sense) and the clinical (in the medical sense) may be destined to enter into a new relationship of mutual learning."(Daniel W. Smith. "A Life of Pure Immanenece": Deleuze's "Critique et Clinique" Project)
:: comment :: . . . reevaluation of the directing class . . . cold & cruel . . .
Monday, June 09, 2003
". . .a rare tour de force of literary imagination and philosophical speculation"
(bbc: Entertainment & aegeantimes)
:: comment :: . . . listened to Writers &Company/Sunday:CBC Radio . . . Host Eleanor Wachtel speaks with Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's best-selling novelist. Pamuk deftly combines religious and historical themes with Western post-modernism. His latest book, "My Name Is Red," has just won the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. . . . a wonderful interviewer probing an eloquent and meticulous writer able to voice freely . . . listen (at least for a week) . . .
Sunday, June 08, 2003
"What Mr. Bergman has now done, he says, is to take out 'a pair of big metal scissors and cut Ibsen's iron corset into pieces without altering the basic themes. It's a resonant analogy from a man whose art is based on peeling layers - social and psychological - to unveil the skin beneath the clothes, the skull beneath the skin and the soul beyond the skull. Anyone who knows Bergman film classics like "The Seventh Seal" and "Persona" is well aware of this penetrating gift for finding the spirit in the flesh and vice versa. But the same skill has been equally evident in Mr. Bergman's work for the stage, including his revelatory, searingly physical productions of "A Doll's House" and "Long Day's Journey Into Night," both seen at the Brooklyn Academy more than a decade ago."(nytimes: Arts)
:: comment :: . . . first Bergman has been an enormous influence in why I went & than stopped going to movies/films . . . Persona stunned me with it's black and white 'beneath the skin and soul' resolution . . . second this link is a check on the new partnership between The NYTimes & RadioUserland . . . will the link remain . . .
Saturday, June 07, 2003
"All of the actor's exercises and preparations, then, are directed at reaching the body at that point where it functions as matrix and threshold. The objective is to "re-code" the body, as it were, so that when it behaves in the context of the scene it will presence the character in the play and not the actor. The actor's training, according to Barba, teaches her how to separate herself from what her body shows. The effacement that lies at the heart of the theatre metamorphosis is achieved when a new form is instituted which functions as the soul 'of a living but re-invented body ... [giving rise to] a behaviour which has been separated from the behaviour of every day, a naturalness which is the fruit of artificiality.'"(Barba. The Paper Canoe, p. 104.)
(Performance as Metamorphosis. Aldo Tassi)
:: comment :: . . . excellent essay on the way of the actor . . . nice historical survey with exceptional insight . . . yes theory but deeply rooted in practice . . . articulation of the practice is as important as the act . . .
Friday, June 06, 2003
"Several field trips to Africa and Afghanistan during his course of study launched his idea to write an all-encompassing, scientific theory of nomadology. With this extensive project he intended to prove that the human race, in the process of becoming human, had acquired a strong migratory drive or instinct to walk long distances through the seasons. This instinctive wanderlust had been repressed into the unconscious as humans had become increasingly sedentary, but it continued to well up under the warped conditions of settlement and found its outlets in violence, greed, territoriality, status-seeking, or a mania of the new."(www.LitEncyc.com. Richard Utz)
. . . reflecting on connections between Bruce Chatwin and the SongLines with the nomadic virtual walkabouts I so love listening simultaneously to the radio & visiting web sites . . . continuing the shaping of memory . . . living with history deliberately forgetting . . . making myth . . .
"The Songlines demands as an ideal reader one who would not easily accept any one, exclusive interpretation of the world and its objects but who would enter into a creative and joyfully nomadic relationship with the text[base ']s own bricolage, travelling across its surfaces in a way not dissimilar from the one used by the Australian aborigines on their intersecting walkabouts."(www.LitEncyc.com. Richard Utz)
Thursday, June 05, 2003
"The government document talks about 'creativity' as a capacity for spontaneous expression lying dormant within each individual, just waiting to be set free. 'Everyone is creative', announces the report: 'imagination, innovation and original expression are vital components of what it is to be human and to be part of society.'"(Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). 2001 Green Paper Culture and Creativity: The Next Ten Years [pdf])
"For a start, they talk about artistic creation as being painful and scary rather than uplifting. 'It's the most terrifying thing to do. It causes me a great deal of pain', said composer Harrison Birtwistle. His problems with the latest score stop him sleeping - and even dominate his dreams. The painter Paula Rego describes her work as 'fraught with danger and risk of total embarrassment' - it is a leap into the unknown, and most of these leaps end in failure: 'the idea goes wrong many times.'"(John Tusa. On Creativity: interviews exploring the process)
(from: Taking creativity to task by Josie Appleton. via OLDaily.)
:: comment :: . . . as an educator I strive to open the portal of creativity for every individual . . . yet "meticulous discipline and perseverance" is a known given . . . gentle guidance may promote a greater sense of self worth . . . often required is clear, concise insight demanding self-sacrifice . . . a deep trust - trust in the process/ the work is essential . . .
Tuesday, June 03, 2003
when my sons grow up punish them, men,
by bothering them on these things as I bothered you,
if it seems to you they care about money or anything else
more than about virtue,
or if they seem to be something they are not,
reproach them as I have you,
because they do not care about what they should,
and think they are something when they are worth nothing.
And if you do these things,
I will have experienced justice from you,
both myself and my sons.
But now it is already time to go away,
I to die, and you to live;
but which of us goes to a better situation,
is unclear to all except to God.
(Apologia Sokratous Defense Of Socrates by Plato Translated by Sanderson Beck: Final Admonitions)
At once rational and passionate, Socrates' final speech to the Senate before he was sentenced to death is a moving defence of his right to free speech. Adapted and performed by Nick Mancuso.
(radio one:cbc:ideas:june 3)
:: comment :: . . . listened to the final words with astonishment and awe . . .
Monday, June 02, 2003
"To write this poem, I had to tell myself to lie still in the bed and listen for just the right line or word to come out of the air. I had to force myself because there were so many easy flippant wrong lines. But I had to be still and listen late at night or early in the morning. And then, still half asleep, get myself the proverbial pen and paper and write down my perception. Sometimes I would fall asleep at my desk and do this, too: Dream a line and snap myself into wakefulness. After I had all the lines, I needed to arrange them, not especially chronologically, but so as to both make sense and draw meaning and feeling. It took me several months to bring this poem to completion because I cared so much for the writing and for the person, which gave me both discouragement and stimulus." (WORKING NOTES, MARSHA CAMPBELL)
TO BE THAT AND TO BE NOT TO BE
KNOWN TO BE THAT
We laughed clear lake-water.
The mysterious depths were science-fiction.
(more . . .)
:: comment :: . . . there is really no one I read on the net like wood s lot . . . he scours sites (in this case my own) . . . locates a post then furthers the research creating a new nexus . . . which launches deeper and broader connections . . . a working master . . . thank you mark . . . to be read anyday, everyday . .
Sunday, June 01, 2003
"Maxwell's and ERS's pieces are very contemporary takes on what Grotowski, Brook, and Barba were investigating 30 years ago. However, being modern media kids, they approach theatrical moments with an off-the-cuff informality that's very different from the formal reverence many of the '60 experiments held dear. Actually, Grotowski's work always had a biting edge of Eastern European sarcasm that never came across in the writings about the work, that could only be experienced. This ironic edge gave the work a great complexity and depth - a trickster theater that implicated the audience."
(The Village Voice: Theater: Obies: The Happy Awkward Moment by Mark Russell)
:: comment :: . . . another comment not frozen in space or time . . . must devote thoughts to recollections of Apocalysis cum Figuris by the Polish Theater Lab . . . a marker . . . an event which shaped the way of seeing . . .