Friday, December 31, 2004

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


"US author Susan Sontag dies at 71 "(BBC News : Obituary)

:: note :: . . . could never read enough of Sontag . . . always provocative . . . will be missed & only now review the writing . . . so it goes . . .

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

A picture named beuys.1coyote.jpg
:: note :: . . . decades ago beuys shaped my consciousness . . . this summer had an opportunity for my son to view a beuys work . . . he had questions I couldn't answer . . . not unusual . . . later that night we talked a lot . . . that's usually the way it is with work that worms its way into the soul . . .

Monday, December 27, 2004

Update:Agnes Martin 1912-2004 Memorium | Chris Ashley:Look, See:December 19-55

Sunday, December 26, 2004

A picture named icecross.jpg

:: note :: . . . much to be thankful for in this sacred season . . . peace & grace to all especially those in need . . . events of today - everyday shake me to the core . . .

Friday, December 24, 2004

"Where did you learn it?" "I learned it during the course of my life." "Did your father teach you that?" "No. Let's say I learned it by myself..."

"This is an appealing view of learning since most of what we value in life we probably have not been taught in an educational sense of the word, but have learned it for ourselves through experience.

"The idea of erasing our personal history is alien to a culture that embraces the collection and distribution of information."(THE EXPERIENCE DESIGNER NETWORK:How do we learn the things we value most? |Carlos Castaneda: The World We All Know Is Only A Description)


:: note :: . . . learning and Castaneda . . . spent many a month devouring the works of Castaneda in my youth and awaited each new volume of the journey . . . whether they were historically 'true' or not they shaped my story . . . have learnt that many of the 'seeing' practices when consistently performed make profound changes in ways of seeing/being . . .

Thursday, December 23, 2004

"There's something inherently powerful about knowing your storyteller, knowing an artist, being a part of the world of the story. And there's something we lose when stories and/or storytellers are just commodities."(culturebot | artists in residence)


:: note :: . . . the issue is: "We don't think of theater companies as teams of artists anymore. They are simply temporary homes for "hot" directors and "star" actors -- and the shows they send to Broadway." . . . no lasting work came from "stars" . . . just check the theater history books . . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

"Brook's journeys have been a constant search for deeper ways of discovering "what is the essence of theatre" and "what can theatre uniquely do?". In their hunger for meaning, they have also been spiritual quests"(the Independent online | Peter Brook: The grand inquisitor)

:: note :: . . . the title 'if' .. comes from Brook's The Empty Space . . . much of the theater created under his name falls short of the wonderful writing and theory he produces . . . a writer of practice is much to be valued . . . the models survive as beacons to guide the others . . . his gift was to articulate the work around him . . . he illuminated many others . . .

Monday, December 20, 2004

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Saskatchewan-born painter Agnes Martin, who became one of the world's leading abstract artists, died Thursday. She was 92."(CBC Arts News | Fri, 17 Dec 2004)

A picture named bones

I can see humility

Delicate and white

It is satisfying

Just by itself. . .


And Trust

absolute trust

a gift

a precious gift


I would rather think of humility than

anything else.


Humility, the beautiful daughter

She cannot do either right or wrong

She does not do anything

All of her ways are empty


Infinitely light and delicate

She treads an even path.

Sweet, smiling, uninterrupted, free.


. . Agnes Martin 1973


"Words about visual art are always beside the point, and it's especially hard to say anything about art that is as drastically reduced as Agnes Martin's. How is it that Martin, with her evenly spaced horizontal and vertical lines and her hushed palette, has produced a body of work that is so moving? ... "(A r t of I n v i s i b i l i t y:The Clear, Moving Work of Agnes Martin By Jeffrey Lee [from an article originally published in weeklyWIRE, August 3rd, 1998])


:: note :: . . . paint tranquility . . . invisibility . . .

Sunday, November 21, 2004

"For anyone who doubts that we are entering a new era, let's flash back just a few years. "Saving Private Ryan," with its "CSI"-style disembowelments and expletives undeleted, was nationally broadcast by ABC on Veteran's Day in both 2001 and 2002 without incident, and despite the protests of family-values groups. What has changed between then and now? A government with the zeal to control both information and culture has received what it calls a mandate. Media owners who once might have thought that complaints by the American Family Association about a movie like "Saving Private Ryan" would go nowhere are keenly aware that the administration wants to reward its base. Merely the threat that the F.C.C. might punish a TV station or a network is all that's needed to push them onto the slippery slope of self-censorship before anyone in Washington even bothers to act. This is McCarthyism, "moral values" style."(Bono's New Casualty: 'Private Ryan'. In the new era, merely the threat that the F.C.C. might punish a TV station or a network is all that's needed to push them onto the slippery slope of self-censorship. By By FRANK RICH. [NYT > Arts])

Saturday, November 20, 2004

God Bless America


Here they go again,

The Yanks in their armoured parade

Chanting their ballads of joy

As they gallop across the big world

Praising America's God.


The gutters are clogged with the dead

The ones who couldn't join in

The others refusing to sing

The ones who are losing their voice

The ones who've forgotten the tune. The riders have whips which cut.

Your head rolls onto the sand

Your head is a pool in the dirt

Your head is a stain in the dust

Your eyes have gone out and your nose

Sniffs only the pong of the dead

And all the dead air is alive

With the smell of America's God.


Harold Pinter January 2003


(via wood s lot | found at abreact)

Friday, November 19, 2004

A Torn Land of Torn Hearts Lost in a Mist of Deception. Michael Frayn's glorious study of the mutations of politics and the men who practice them fully translates its high aspirations to the stage, with sharp style and thrilling clarity. By By BEN BRANTLEY. [NYT > Arts]

Monday, November 15, 2004

Sunday, November 14, 2004

"'A common report from anecdotal writing over many generations of educators is that it is the teacher who usually learns the most during the process of gathering content materials, designing, teaching and evaluating student performance. In this project we address this issue by developing an innovative instructional design in which collaborative groups of students working at distance create, share and assess learning content (in the form of learning objects) with their peers through online learning portals(Distance-Educator.com | WHY DO TEACHERS GET TO LEARN THE MOST? A CASE STUDY OF A COURSE BASED ON STUDENT CREATION OF LEARNING OBJECTS resgistration required)

"One of the speakers at the Free Culture Fest, Wayne State University law professor Jessica Litman, said the Free Culture movement is a terrific idea. Historically, copyright law has been crafted by lobbyists for powerful copyright owners who represent the software, music and movie industries, she said."(Wired News|Students Fight Copyright Hoarders)

:: note :: . . . deep connection between these two ideas . . . actually don't know much about the the case study part but certainly can verify why teachers learn the most . . .

Saturday, November 13, 2004

:: note :: . . . to celebrate the 750th birthday of Marco Polo . . .
"Tell me, my son, about your travels . . ."
A picture named stefsky.gif

Thursday, November 11, 2004

"'The Shanghai government is pushing for culture at the moment. In their eyes, there are good economic and touristic reasons for culture to be a part of the city ... at the same time, if they get their hands on this place, they will fuck it up with framing shops and Starbucks. There's a complete lack of imagination.'"(Guardian Unlimited |Is Chinese art kicking butt ... or kissing it?)

:: note :: . . . the plight of our commercial driven culture . . . lack of imagination . . .
A picture named digitalphot3.jpg

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

"Known for dark themes, mythological literary devices and, at times, controversial poetry, Gluck said her writing process is often the result of contemplating a phrase's meaning."

" 'I usually start with a piece of a sentence or pair of lines, and a poem arises out of an attempt to locate the context of why the phrase has resonance in my head,' Gluck said."

"Gluck said "Averno" is the small crater lake in southern Italy which, according to Roman mythology, is the entrance to hell."

" 'It's a book about one's relation to earth," Gluck said. "That combined sense of awe and the sense of self as hostage to Earth and time.' "(yaledaileyneews.com | Gluck waxes poetic on work | via Literary Saloon)


:: note :: . . . an actor contemplates an action's meaning - to locate the imaginative sense of the act and its resonance in the body . . . then generate an energy field within the space . . .

Monday, November 08, 2004

Ulriche: . . . get out of the way to let things happen . . . opening and closing the levels of tension . . . find and keep the pulse in the energy of rhythm . . . terrorist theater exposed . . . inner blocks & imprinted types . . .

Sunday, November 07, 2004

"Take the Chinese word mianzi, for example. Having no other word to use, we call this "face," and it represents, very roughly, the inner dignity that is possessed by every human, which all others dealing with its possessor are duty bound to uphold, and neither to threaten nor to challenge. Shout an insult at a Chinese shopkeeper and you make him lose face, you threaten his mianzi, and you commit the most cardinal of sins. Buy your Chinese colleague the most expensive cognac imaginable and you give him face, and you will in consequence be blessed for all eternity."(Words Without Borders | Simon Winchester |In Other Words: A Foreword)

Saturday, November 06, 2004

A picture named img.pl.jpeg
"art path on karlsplatz Artists challenge passers-by to participate in actions requiring a maximum of five minutes of their time."(Kunsthalle Vienna | instructions for actions)

Friday, November 05, 2004

"The same lesson can be learned thirty years later. Stuff Happens would not even be produced today if not for the Theatres Act, which abolished censorship in British theatre. The year that act was passed? 1968. The same year of the Tet Offensive that turned the tide of the Vietnam War. The same year the Catholic minority in Ireland armed themselves The same year as the Prague Spring and when workers took center stage in Paris. When students demonstrated in Poland, Mexico City, the United States, and Britain too. This struggle threatened the order of life that was built on war, racism, inequality and censorship. To say the Theatres Act had nothing to do with the amazing power being wielded by oppressed people in Britain is simply to rewrite history. In the States too, radical theatre had become a staple for the left, with plays not just from Brecht and other classics, but new plays by the likes of Myrna Lamb and Amiri Baraka."(counterpunch | Taking Theatre Back Are The States Ready for Stuff Happens? By ALEXANDER BILLET)

Thursday, November 04, 2004

""We were aware as a jury that we were encouraging an artist who is re-enchanting a disenchanted world," Sobey Award juror Stéphane Aquin told CBC News."(CBC News |Montreal artist wins Sobey Art Award )

A picture named anima.jpg

Friday, October 29, 2004

""The basic findings are exciting enough, but you can't help but speculate on what they might mean in a deeper context," says Weliky. "It's one thing to say a ferret's understanding of reality is being reproduced inside his brain, but there's nothing to say that our understanding of the world is accurate. In a way, our neural structure imposes a certain structure on the outside world, and all we know is that at least one other mammalian brain seems to impose the same structure.""(context weblog | real-world processing)


""A lot of people have been interested in what changes in the brains of animals and people when they are learning things," Potter said. "We're interested in getting down into the network and cellular mechanisms, which is hard to do in living animals. And the engineering goal would be to get ideas from this system about how brains compute and process information.""(context weblog | living neural networks: how the neurons compute)


:: note :: . . . the context weblog has always been an incredible source of wonder . . . during my regular surfing never find any other site pointing towards these stories . . . makes me question whether this site can be real or just living in my neural network . . .

Saturday, October 23, 2004

W.I.P.
"System Override: In a society where technology is becoming increasingly more important how do we define the differences between man and machine? This Matrix inspired dance piece fuses athletic and acrobatic movement and fight choreography together in a unique look at our struggle for individuality. "(FreeflowDanceCo.)

:: note :: . . . the richly textured Garden of the Spirit "named for the Joe Fafard sculpture" Mind's Garden captived . . . the praire caged within/out the sculpture and the hand processed black&white film haunted like some memory or innerscape all the while danced with the solo artist as her words impressed her body . . . "inner impulse" sculptured into a architecture of the spirit . . . what appears to be a collaboration between TES Dahms, Robin Poitras and Gerald Saul honours the power of the land as it interacts with the territory of the spirit in the sphere of contained place . . .

Monday, October 18, 2004

. . . private . . . downstairs in the storage area beneath the stage . . . that's where I teach . . . occasionally we stream up the vomitoriums into the house onto the stage and even into the light&sound booth . . . most of the time we bunker down safe in our studies . . . the walls concrete around us . . . we are few . . . but a loyal bunch . . . the lights are soft or harsh transforming the space at will . . . sometimes we light fires . . . most of the time there's music . . . and always voices . . . words, words, words . . . matter . . .

Sunday, October 17, 2004

"Leon Golub's work is about power and the recurring misuse of power through violence, not as an isolated inhuman phenomenon but as an expression of organised, often state-sponsored, oppression and brutality. A fundamental tension is at the heart of his paintings a tension literally between the figure and the ground of the canvas, between the individual and the group within a painting and also between the role of the artist and the wider background of society. Galub has described his work as "a definition of how power is demonstrated through the body and in human actions, and in our time, how power and stress and political and industrial powers are shown... I' m painting citizens of our society, but I'm putting them through certain kinds of experiences which have affected them. I can describe some of them - Dachau, Vietnam, autamatized war, I would even say such a phrase as Imperial America, in a way.""(Leon Golub)


:: note :: . . . there is a place for this . . . not in our schools I've been told - ordered - commanded . . . our schools demand control and compliance . . .

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

"how we 'value' culture in the public realm...or how we attach value to creative expression and experience when confronted with the question: 'why should you be supported as an industry, as an organization, as an endeavor, when there are so many other needy causes for the public purse?'"(theArtfulmanager |Value and the arts)

:: note :: . . . an on going discussion . . . another facet of this discussion . . . yesterday faced a decision by an administrator banning Ryga's The Ecstasy of Rita Joe from the high school stage . . . a fundamental misunderstanding of the value of drama . . . is the performing of plays really nothing more than a showcase of talent - a public relations vehicle . . . not! . . .

Monday, October 11, 2004

three generations walk to the river through fields of gold
the geese flock to the sandbars through skies of blue
our hearts touch each other through souls of desire
time stops

Sunday, October 10, 2004

. . . that was thanksgiving . . .

from Rayberries in August -

      9Aug04Monday

      by John Clark


start small for a change...back away from the fire

      space ain't going anywhere...time's just comin' and

          goin' - buying beans rice something to smoke - time


Saturday, October 09, 2004

"aboriginal story in digital media"

"pê-âcimohk. Let us tell you a story. For Aboriginal people, storytelling is a way of using metaphor to understand our roles and responsibilities on the planet. Recently, Aboriginal storytellers from across Canada and around the world have been carrying their traditional and contemporary narratives into the world of digital media. Starting from a foundation based on a Cree worldview (nêhiyawin), TELL explores a variety of contemporary issues related to Aboriginal new media storytelling, giving a voice to all our relations by profiling the work of Indigenous storytellers from across North America and the globe."(horizon)

Friday, October 08, 2004

A picture named john.jpg
Last Sunday John Livingstone Clark gave the first Temple Reading:


Program:

miles had been a pimp once -

stars like priaire dogs -

leave the mind behind -

running wild -

ecstasy factor -

one last toss of the old fedora -

don't say god -


:: note :: . . . a beautiful afternoon . . . an emotional landscape fused to an always pulsing rhythm . . . the music and spoken word wove a magical place . . .

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

"I regularly see people making art or running theaters or doing a million other things for virtually no money with no resources on the force of sheer will and hard work. It would take the corporate world untold amounts of money - and human resources - to pull of the things we do. So there you have it."

"Art Workers of the World Unite!"(Culturebot.org | The Art worker's Party)


:: note :: . . . me too . . . but we have to be really careful about the whole Art as business model that seems to so dominate America . . .

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A picture named WTDLogo.gif
"On World Teachers' Day, and on any other day for that matter, the basic message that a teacher needs to receive is quite simple. "We appreciate you"."

"That message cannot be repeated often enough, by those of us in the United Nations family and by those who interact with you every day."

"We highly appreciate you having chosen this profession, one so fundamental to society, and the fact that you continue in it, despite - and often because of - the challenges you face. We value the initiatives you take in opening doors of knowledge and tolerance for each girl and boy. We are aware of what your profession demands of you, of your responsibilities and of your rights. We acknowledge the difficulty of your task, and the fact that it takes professional training and a decent work environment to teach well. We appreciate the care you take to direct your knowledge at children with special needs, and your awareness that all students have individual needs. We value your ability, developed through training and experience, to listen to your students and to shift the responsibility of being a learner from your shoulders to theirs."

"In sum, we appreciate you, and we call upon parents, community leaders, business people, trade unions and government officials, especially educational authorities, to find a way, this World Teachers' Day, to tell you just that, in their own words and in their own way."(Joint Message on the occasion of World Teachers'Day 5 October 2004 UNESCO, ILO, UNDP, UNICEF)

. . . interesting facts (PDF)

Sunday, September 26, 2004

A picture named templeReading.jpg

:: note :: . . . entered a "play space" and was met with enthusiasm which was exciting . . . nice rehearsal . . .

Saturday, September 25, 2004

TEMPLE READING
SUNDAY OCTOBER 3 @ 3 pm

You're invited to a literary reading by

JOHN CLARK accompanied by
Duane Dorgan (drums, percussion)
Ray Stephanson (keyboards)

120 - 25th Street West (1 block west of Idylwyld, a 2-tone
blue building, formerly an Islamic Temple)

Thursday, September 23, 2004

. . . he was a muscian and i was an actor . . . when speaking about play we agreed that we play to celebrate the "timeless space" . . . & then i thought about the process . . . the process of existential imagination . . . play
is . . . re creating and re envisioning the experienced timeless space . . . an act ivity . . . a vibrating energy pattern . . . a set of relationships that reach out to other regions within a larger whole . . .

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

"What Pollock does in these abstractions, as a result of his actions in the studio, is to disrupt our expectations regarding the role of skill in the final marks on the canvas. In an essay on "Style, Grace, and Information in Primitive Art," Gregory Bareson called Pollock's paintings, along with "natural landscapes, 'found objecs,' inkblots, scattergrams, [...] exceptions to the almost universal linage in aesthetics between skill and pattern" (1972:148). In Pollock's case, as in these others, " a larger patterning seems to propose the illusion that the details must have been controlled," when, in actuality they have not been (148). It is this lack of control of the medium in its traditional sense, along with a yielding to more ritual actions that has been so invisible to most interpreters of Pollock. The illusion of control has effected an account of Pollock at odds with ritual and in concert with historical art practices, even if avantgarde."

...
"At the beginning of this article I suggested that Levi-Strauss's conception of the dialectic relationship between ritual and psychoanalysis might prove useful in thinking about the abstract paintings of Jackson Pollock. I suggested that this may be so precisely because Levi-Strauss's views could aid in a better historical understanding of the position of Pollock's painting in post - World War II thought and life. I have relied on theoretical discourses put forward between 1944 and 1956 by a variety of the disciplines: art criticism, psychoanalysis, studio art practice, poetry, and anthropology. What I have constructed is a Jackson Pollock deeply embedded in the thought - the most advanced thought - of his times . . . This is not to say that artists after Pollock and influenced by him did not understand their painting in this way. They most probably did. Others, such as Warhol in his Dance Diagrams (Tango) of 1962, also understood the deep performativity of Pollock's abstractions (Jones 1998:84-102). But it is to say that Pollock's abstractions may be most felicitously located in a "post-ritual" situation, in which both a political and aesthetic consciousness may rest complexly, and not always happily, upon unconscious desire."(Jackson Pollock Post-Ritual Performance | Catherine M Soussloff | pdf)

:: note :: . . . have spent a lot of time with the idea of a pollock performance and the link to ritual . . . more food for thought . . .

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A picture named fall04.jpg
:: note :: . . . last day of summer . . . the golden age comes . . .

Saturday, September 18, 2004

"For the first time in Saskatchewan, artists are being recognized as workers in the sense that most people are. The act’s recognition of “the important contribution of artists” and “the value of artistic creativity” to the cultural, social, economic and educational life of Saskatchewan, is pretty much motherhood – who would disagree? – but its nod toward “the importance to artists of being fairly compensated for the creation and use of their artistic works” is downright revolutionary. So too is its recognition of the “the right of artists to enjoy the same economic and social benefits that are available to other workers in Saskatchewan.”"

"In one fell swoop, the government gave to artists rights – on paper, at any rate – that most other residents of Saskatchewan have enjoyed for years."

"But now, as Kutz says, it’s time to actually make some of that happen."(Status of the Artist - An Update |Dave Margoshes )

:: note :: . . . hmmm . . .

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

"The earth moved for me in Santiago last week. Pottering about my hotel room, I suddenly felt the floor shudder and reverberate. I even had a fantasy of filing a story to match the famously boring headline once concocted by Claud Cockburn for the Times: Small Earthquake in Chile. While the tremor left me mildly shaken, it had its metaphorical uses. Later that day, a Chilean dramatist told me it symbolised the fragility of democracy in his country. For me the tremor came to represent, rather more optimistically, the signs of artistic upheaval I saw in my short stay."(Guardian unlimited arts features |On with the show |Michael Billington reports )

:: note :: . . . artistic optimism felt from south to north . . . please stand up for artists . . .

Monday, September 06, 2004

Jerzy Grotowski says in his writing "tu es le fils de quel qu'un":
"Art is deeply rebellious. Bad artists talk about the rebellion, but true artists do the rebellion. They respond to the consecrated order by an act...... art as rebellion is to create the fait accompli which pushes back the limits imposed by society or in tyrannical systems, imposed by power. But you can't push back these limits if you are not credible. Your fait accompli is nothing but humbug if it is not fait competent. Yes, it is blasphemous. but it's precise. You know what you are doing, you have worked out your weapons, you have credibility, you have created a fait accompli which is of such mastery that even your adversaries cannot deny it. (295)"

Sunday, September 05, 2004

. . . needed to . . . wanted to . . . decided not to . . . there was the ancient banished scholar who in his youth fled hiding in the streets - sleeping in the ghetto by the river during the day . . . his time had come, the gods determined, and though he longed for the mountains it was the sky which beckoned . . . the northern sky of artic dreams and a forest of hidden saplings . . . he thought he was alone yet the sound of drumming was never far off . . . someone very gaunt and thin was playing or ready to play or had just finished an unearthly music . . . like heaven maybe . . . years ago he had dreams now lost in the blue and the blue green . . . further ahead it rained . . . he could have sung but didn't . . . could have danced . . . a fragment of text floated by unspoken . . . the wind whispered goodbye . . . into gold . . .

Saturday, September 04, 2004

"Saskatchewan artist and educator Bob Boyer, best known for his paintings on blankets, has died. "(CBC Arts News | Saskatchewan artist dies of heart attack)

:: note :: . . . was hoping to see some tributes but this passing has gone completely unnoticed . . . in Bob's own words:
"It's like the man on the moon that disappeared when mankind tried to find him by setting foot on the moon. The beauty and naiveté disappeared in the research. A friend of mine once said if you peel away each layer of the onion in order to find out what it is, you will eventually end up with no onion."(Mendel Art Gallery | A Naïve Thought)


Tuesday, August 31, 2004

"Born in 1950 in Novosil, between Moscow and the Black Sea, a town so small that circuses didn't stop there, Mr. Polunin got his first glimpse of clowns at the movies. But it wasn't the great Russian clowns - Karandash, Popov, Engibarov or Durov - who influenced him. It was Charlie Chaplin. "I was 12 when I saw "The Kid,' " he said. "I just loved him." After moving to St. Petersburg to study engineering to satisfy his mother ("First become an engineer, then you can become anything you want," she told him), he performed in music halls by night. When his mother saw her smiling son onstage, surrounded by beautiful women, as members of the audience leaped from their seats to applaud, she said: "All right. You don't have to be an engineer.""(NYT | Theater |A Late-Summer Blizzard Hits East 17th Street By LIESL SCHILLINGER )


:: note :: . . . how many of us take the courage to follow our dreams . . . the school term begins . . . i resolve to keep the dreams alive . . . to all in their beginnings: dare to dream . . .

"Born in 1950 in Novosil, between Moscow and the Black Sea, a town so small that circuses didn't stop there, Mr. Polunin got his first glimpse of clowns at the movies. But it wasn't the great Russian clowns - Karandash, Popov, Engibarov or Durov - who influenced him. It was Charlie Chaplin. "I was 12 when I saw "The Kid,' " he said. "I just loved him." After moving to St. Petersburg to study engineering to satisfy his mother ("First become an engineer, then you can become anything you want," she told him), he performed in music halls by night. When his mother saw her smiling son onstage, surrounded by beautiful women, as members of the audience leaped from their seats to applaud, she said: "All right. You don't have to be an engineer.""(NYT | Theater |A Late-Summer Blizzard Hits East 17th Street By LIESL SCHILLINGER )


:: note :: . . . how many of us take the courage to follow our dreams . . . the school term begins . . . i resolve to keep the dreams alive . . . to all in their beginnings: dare to dream . . .

Monday, August 30, 2004

"In "Painting as an Art," Richard Wollheim identifies the experience of seeing-in as prior to representation, which involves the perception of, say, marks on a surface that can also be perceived as things apart from each other. This aspect of seeing-in is called twofoldedness; everyone knows this, for example, from the simple pleasure of looking at clouds and seeing people, animals, cars, etc. Wollheim insists that the experience of twofoldedness is not either/or, a switching back and forth from one image to another. Instead the viewer sees, experiences, and holds these images simultaneously. I wonder, however, if it's possible to experience trifoldedness, octafoldedness, or a multifoldedness wherein an image can provoke a number of simultaneous associations that the viewer holds, cycles through, balances and interrelates. An open image, then, would be most successful not only when it allowed viewers to see-in and experience a range of associations, but when the range of associations are simultaneously full and complex visual, sensual, emotional, and intellectual responses."(Chris Ashley | "Painting Conveys So Much Spirit": George Lawson's San Cai Paintings)

:: note :: . . . writing about a body of work which I would love to use as a model to write about a body of music that is dear to my heart . . . "open image" / open music / improvisation . . . a process of seeing-in / listening-in / acting-in . . . wondering how fluid the vocabulary is between visual art - music - theater . . .

Sunday, August 29, 2004

"It seems to me that there are three types of interpreters: those who just play the notes; those who try their best to follow exactly what the composer has written without suppressing their own personalities; and those who deliberately set out to make things sound "different" (although all three will tell you they belong to the second category). Gould did his damnedest to do things his own way, and often ignored composers' wishes. You can get away with this where Bach is concerned, because little is written in the score besides the notes (there are hardly any tempo markings, dynamics, slurs, or articulation signs)." (Angela Hewitt | Glenn Gould's Bach | The Times Literary Supplement)


:: note :: . . . find myself struggling to write about music . . . came across a musician reviewing a biography about a musician . . . hmm . . .


Saturday, August 28, 2004

"Temple Concert"

8 pm

August 27 2004


Duane Dorgan (drums)

Ray Stephanson (keyboards)

      special guest: Melodie Stephanson * (voice)


1. Fuji Vu Yu

   Stephanson

      (Three views from the mountain top.)


2. Art Auction Music Medley for a Deaf Audience

    (Abdullah Ibrahim, Stephanson

      (Nobody listens except the musicians.)


3. Blue Joy

    Stephanson

      (One who makes you happy.)


4. Truth About Ruth

    Dorgan

      (The child cannot turn away from the mother's song, simple truth.)


5. Ryan's Mud Hut

    Dorgan

      (Nephew Ryan rocks: in his village, his heart at the center solid)


6. Brasil Boogie

    Stephanson

      (Steamy eros at the Amazon.)


7. Killer Oasis *

    Stephanson, Dorgan

      (Thirsty camel funk. Killer dry hot. Sand and fiber.)


8. Slow Like Honey *

    Fiona Apple

      (Bittersweet dream.)


9. Hawg for Ya *

    Otis Redding

      (Snortin' blues)


10. Metatango

    Dorgan

      (A dance, dark night, hondo or deep song.)


11. Rooster Ramon

   Stephanson

      (The cock-a-doodle-do rag.)


12. Font Faja

   Dorgan

      (From deep in volcanoes at batet, garrotxa)


- - Encore - -

13. Hymn for My Fathers

   Stephanson


:: note :: . . . close to a hundred people were visited by the music gods . . . pure joy was in the hearts and lips of all . . . to the audience many thanks for your generosity . . . to the musicians . . . we journeyed to the place at the center of the earth and it was good . . . it is astounding how these compositions catalyze such complex experiences . . .

Thursday, August 26, 2004

Concert Ready
A picture named concertready.jpg

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

from Prologue: For Gavin, My Son

. . .

and even here you are the patient one

leading by gesture and grace

small arm raised from convulsions

soft hand touching my face

tiny fingers stroking my cheek

and a look       even here in hell

a look       from the mist of your

absence       of love.


(Body and Soul New and Selected Poems | John Livingstone Clark)

Monday, August 23, 2004

"The woman in black (or dark blue) enters in silence and stands beside a house projected on the wall. She bends her upper body to the ground and rises up repeating this movement again and again. Her untied black hair draws a parabola following the movement. The endless repetition is obsessive and insane. As time passing, it becomes a torture tearing at the heart of one who is watching. Is this act of bending and lifting an act of knocking in order to open the door? But what door? A silent scream fills the lungs urgently seeking release from this torture. The woman continues in silence. The economic and precise movement beats into the heart over and over again. She simply keeps repeating the action. The action is not only stronger than words but also honest and truthful. One cannot endure it, cannot pretend any more to be fine and happy with only a few problems. A deep pain surfaces revealing the other side, which has been hidden. Finally one admits and surrenders to her action. One becomes open and full-hearted. The hypocritical mask is torn apart as if she finally penetrates one's spirit, which has been closed and locked, so tight bruised and hurt. After banging so hard and throwing herself away, she is bleeding all over in her soul. Her blood is a sacrifice for me, for you, and for all who carry the wounded soul. The humbly opened spirit goes to her and embraces her without a need of words or masks. One finally faces oneself."(aeran jeong:inner response)

Friday, August 20, 2004

mask in grass . . . special project takes shape . . .
A picture named maskonrock.jpg
A picture named maskingrass.jpg

opening september 11 . . . playing with MusicMaskiMage Abstraction. . .

Thursday, August 19, 2004

. . . while away saw The Dumb Waiter/The Zoo Story Pinter/Albee by soulpepper . . . found that the performance of Albee reached deeper than the Pinter . . . most review(s) concur . . . wanted to see a respected canadian theater company approach Pinter especially having seen and worked with Henry Woolf and Susan Williamson a team of Pinter colleagues and performers extraordinaire . . . Pinter demands a sharp, ironic, dark, comic sensibility and a naive yet alienated impulse . . . Albee is far more straightforward - north american actors, directors and audiences seem to respond to the simple allegory and tragedy . . . power in directness . . . power through the indirect . . . it could have been a revealing twin bill but this would have required each piece to be shaped as parts of a whole rather than just two distinct acts . . . the possibility existed as the same two actors shared the roles . . . the two directors needed to collaborate more . . . it is in the courage to forcefully strike these two brilliantly wrought pieces together that the sparks of fire would excite or crumble in our hands . . . soulpepper had the idea but lacked the vision . . .

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

A picture named templeConcert.jpg

:: note :: . . . Friday the 27th @ 8pm . . . will be an incredible evening of music . . . all welcome . . . 120 25th Street West . . . a two tone praire gothic structure (formally the Islamic Temple) . . . special voice guest Melodie Stephanson . . . years ago this duo inaugurated the temple concerts with a stunning collection of original compositions . . . hear more in this rare appearance . . .

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

"'Place is simply the projection of the internal state of the characters,'said Vancouver author Nancy Lee. In other words, it's a state of mind."(Is the Novel Dying? Don't write its ending yet, despite gloomy news from the U.S. In Vancouver Saturday, writers argued for 'emotional accuracy' and a sense of place. |The Tyee)

:: note :: . . . place is not simple . . . sense of place centers emotional accuracy . . . place is self . . . spent 14 days at another place and the self grows into other places . . . return to a certain disassociation . . . today a horrible auto/pedestrian accident left a body lying on the street . . . meters from the front door . . . my place was shaken . . . life is fragile and precious . . . give thanks . . .

Monday, August 16, 2004

A picture named parade.jpg. . . back . . . a most impressive exhibit . . . The Great Parade:Portrait of the Artist As Clown . . . a stunning perspective in a beautiful building . . . watching my teenaged son wander parliament hill, the war museum, the national art gallery, museum of civilization and many other ottawa sites was exhilarating . . . his curiosity and sense of history defied the stereotype of his self-involved age . . . power to youth . . .

Sunday, August 01, 2004

. . . travelling . . . back in a fortnight . . . later . . .A picture named landscapeSky.jpg

Saturday, July 31, 2004

""There are knots, points of great condensation, places of high valuation, paths of decision or interpretation that are virtually unavoidable . . . which by an ominous and rigorous paradox confers on them an additionall authority, an influence, radiance or presence that leads their ghost to places where they are not and from which their ghost will never return.(The Deaths of Roland Barthes |The Work of Mourning | Jacques Derrida p. 56)


:: note :: . . . a new project takes shape . . . mask/music/place into images . . .

Thursday, July 29, 2004

A picture named essenz.jpg
"At the same time, these tragic and brooding pictures are not just apocalyptic visions hatched inside the artist's feverish mind. They gain much of their baleful conviction from Kiefer's close and incessant scrutiny of the countryside around his home in an isolated village south of Frankfurt. Here he is able to witness the annual buning of stubble after the straw has been cut, and all his landscapes gain immensely from Kiefer's firsthand observation of nature. This familiarity with the precise formation of a ploughed furrow or a havested crop enables him to root even the most harrowing and trubulent paintings in a credible down-to-earth reality. "(richard cork | new spirit, new culture, new money: art in the 1980s | p. 38)



:: note :: . . . have carried the images of anselm kiefer, just beneath consciousness, for a few days now . . . the above quote doesn't relate to the posted picture but more to other images i've been harbouring but the posted image does relate to the word/picture attraction i've developed . . . checked back a year to find on this day in the archive made similiar note of some images which seem connected to today's choice . . . life is rich in undetected rhythms & cycles of imagination . . .

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

". . .we decided to work together as a globally dispersed cyberformance company in order to undertake practical research into the collision of theatre and the internet and to create live performances in cyberspace."( helen varley jamieson | comment in Avatar Theater and 'Time' | networked_performance)


:: note :: . . . blast theory, lag time, art mobs, avatar theater . . . oh yeah & godot arrives . . . the collision between theater and the internet . . .

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

A picture named voodooBunnySnowman.jpg


(Voodoo Bunny snowman |from the Voodoo Bunny Series | Duane Dorgan)

Monday, July 26, 2004

Voodoo Bunny Series

Voodoo Bunny Series
Artist & Story: Duane Dorgan
Materials: water colours on paper


. . . the music seemed to unfold as it had to each piece opening more and showing a bigger picture. It was an evening of completely original music. In the credits, the names of both composers appeared on all compositions. There were breath-taking solos by both. the four handed playing had a harmony and texture such that one could at times imagine hearing a cello or violins. At times trumpets, flutes and voices. There was no intermission. As this musical landscape opened there was more and more space.



Voodoo Bunny Snowman




Voodoo Bunny Silent Night




Voodoo Bunny Mr. Frog at Home




Voodoo Bunny Summer





Voodoo Bunny Fall




Voodoo Bunny Winter




Voodoo Bunny Northern Lights





Voodoo Bunny I hadn't seen Mr. Bunny for a couple years not since the new millenium I attended the concert at the invitation of a mutual friend.


korean traditonal songs


learned in korea are from a cultural asset - that is what i mean when i say korean traditional song.


those songs, it doesn't matter who you are, there is no room for returning songs (or energy) to me. i just burn my energy to produce the voice, songs - cleaning up who i am


but the other songs, singing a song is not a finished act. i don't burn my energy to produce the song, the energy is returned to me by singing. singing reproduces my energy or echoes back so, i am not emptying out myself, because of reproducing something, i am refilled.
i am burning my old energy and reproducing new energy, so i am refreshed and better


just like a blood


blood in our bodies.


(im from nyu)



:: note :: . . . inner listening . . . songs to grow by . . . the teaching songs . . . the air songs . . . those neuron passses . . .

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Friday, July 23, 2004

A picture named saltz9-11-2s.jpg
Ross Bleckner Flowers 1994
:: note :: . . . the light returns to the temple . . . replaced all windows after a winter boarded up . . . it takes a summer break to restore what vandals do in seconds . . .

Thursday, July 22, 2004



time and time and time

be patient

let the way reveal itself

discover the warm spots

treasure each moment

let the movements wash slow and deep


(summer travels 9/18/01)

Wednesday, July 21, 2004



a shooting star ejaculates across the clear sky

we dip in and out of the lake of dream-salt

moving over the face of the waters

(summer travels 9/17/01)


Tuesday, July 20, 2004



time again

the water snake rises into joy


wind travelling floatsom

tiny salt water spirits tumble across pebbles

as gulls soar into the setting sun


multifaceted hues the length and breadth of eternity

kiss the trembling aspens with lips of light

as the choke cherries ripen into deep purple


(summer travels 8/16/01)



Wading into the water


firm bottom & gentle cold

stirs the bone


a red striped insect sunning

stirs the imagination


the cascading distant rain streaks

stirs the spirit


& the wind, the wind

reaching, caressing, chopping, stroking

stirs the soul


your skin bronzes turning to gold

nature massages & transforms

is that love?


(summer travels 9/16/01)


Monday, July 19, 2004



time again

the water snake rises into joy


wind travelling floatsom

tiny salt water spirits tumble across pebbles

as gulls soar into the setting sun


multifaceted hues the length and breadth of eternity

kiss the trembling aspens with lips of light

as the choke cherries ripen into deep purple


(summer travels 8/16/01)

:: note :: . . . the temple floods with sand memory . . . on the roof the pebbles baked into tar scratch the back into immobility . . . listen to the love poems scavenged by wood s lot . . . accepted the invite . . .

SAND


The sand is like acres of wet milk

Poured out under the moonlight;

It crawls up about your brown feet

Like wine trodden from white stars.


From the Arabic of John Duncan.

(via The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Garden of Bright Waters by Translated by Edward Powys Mathers )

Sunday, July 18, 2004




healing waters of manitou


the golden waters

hot & salty

buoyant

floating gently away

a hand guides us as the eyes sting

toopsy turvey head under over

turn everything

upside down

change the center

growth needs wisdom

wisdom needs youth

      let the fire burn


(summer travels 2001)

:: note :: . . . a beacon from the past navigates the soulscape today. . . remember those healing waters the gentle days in the water, on the beach . . .

Saturday, July 17, 2004

A picture named insect.jpg
. . . the summer heat comes . . .

Thursday, July 15, 2004

A picture named departAeran.jpg
"Self-awareness ... operates like a drug, stimulating one's sense of responsiblilty while weakening the will to express it."(Northrop Frye)

"...the effort to shut out anxiety is itself an anxiety and a very intense one, which keeps the conscious and critical part of the mind very near to the breaking point of hysteria."(Northrop Frye | The Modern Century)

(via the psychic wood s lot)

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

"All places communicate instantly with all other places, a sense of isloation is delt only during the trip between one place and the other, that is, when you are in no place. I, in fact, find myself here without a here or an elsewhere, recognized as an outsider by the nonoutsiders and envy them. Yes, envy. I am looking from the outside at the life of an ordinary evening in an ordinary little city, and I realize I am cut off from ordinary evenings for god knows how long, and I think of thousands of little cities like this, of hundereds of thousands of lighted places where at this hour people allow the evening's darkness to descend and have none of the thoughts in their head that I have in mine; maybe they have other thoughts that aren't at all enviable, but at this moment I would be willing to trade with any of them. p. 17"(Calvino. On a Winter's Night a Traveller... p. 17)

(via bryan to haijan)
:: note :: . . . watch packing into boxes . . . summer clothes, spring clothes, winter . . . new phases into old seasons . . . the impossible becomes possible . . . to nyu with love . . .

Monday, July 12, 2004

. . . Vanished under the Vaults . . .

Sunday, July 11, 2004

A picture named NlightsTower.jpg

. . . mom came across a folder full of photos which my dad had taken in '53 while working in Fort Churchill, Manitoba . . . upper atmosphere research . . . remember the stories of his spending nights on the platform watching the aurora . . . people, in the years to come, would ask him: "Do the Northern Lights Sound?" . . . he would laugh and reply, "No." . . . his smile betrayed knowledge of the unexpected universe . . . of the collection of prints this was my son's favourite . . .


Saturday, July 10, 2004



floating on the silence of hidden tributaries

tired and in need of solitude

she whispered: i don't know what's in your heart


sleeping in the cleft of a dream

the earth had aged considerably

the eye could no longer pin down the ecstasy in colour

he sliced his finger cutting the onions


how is it that we've forgotten all that was promised at birth?

around the world looking for what we'll never find.

love knows nothing.

Friday, July 09, 2004



Violins will emerge from

      our tortured breasts,

The barbed wire will

      become violin strings,

The broken bones will

      become flutes,

There will be a wild dance.

(Mikis Theodorakis/Greek composer, conductor, poet, and political activist)

(from Journals of Resistance. 1971 English trans. by Hart-Davis MacGibbon Ltd. The lines are excerpted from "Our Sister Athina".)

Thursday, July 08, 2004

moxon movement

red wine flowed after the gig
and the chainti smiles collected the sounds
of what will be known henceforth as

the moxon movement

he said 'no intro thought i'd leave the chords just hanging'
oh they did - the chords hung in the air like kites without strings
and if tempo drives them crazy let madness reign in

the moxon movement

the truth but not the whole truth simply the sweet part he knew
and the hymns sung solemn and rich in the heart settling
in the territory of sublime v i b r a t i o n of

the moxon movement

move around but how could we when the spaces between the sphere
of you and i and thou and me and mom and dad & the mud hut
slippery sliding eyes shut awake listening to

the moxon movement





from a lost letter . . .

. . . the real challenge is the creation of art in life made all the more so beautiful because you recognize that the tragic moments to impose meaning, in this massively indifferent universe, are even more possible and cannot endure the vastness of eternity which we call

home

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Moxon Gig



Duane Dorgan, percussion

Ray Stephanson, keyboards


1. FujiVuYu             (Stephanson)

2. Metatango         (Dorgan)

3. Blue Jay             (Stephanson)

4. Truth About Ruth     (Dorgan)

5. Ryan's Mut Hut        (Dorgan)

6. Brasil Boogie           (Stephanson)


(With thanks to Stella Stephanson, Bjorn Vors, and Rosie Stephanson)

:: note :: . . . an exquisite house concert . . . music to open the soul . . . demanding the spirit to listen to the spaces between with such a gentle coaxing that the rhythmic dance surprises and conjures laughter . . . solemn hymns to walking baselines that never stop . . . cymbal brushes defying the rapture . . . wo mag(mus)icians, I'm honoured to call friends, extend an invitation into the sublime . . . and the foooood . . . Mediterranean garnishes, salt brined Norwegian or was it Danish meat, Saskatoon berry delights . . . god bless this place . . .

""Merely having an open mind is nothing; the object of opening the mind, as of opening the mouth, is to shut it again on something solid.""(Chesterton apologies to Terry Teachout)

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

"an amputated soul - like an amputated limb, the body seeks out that which is not there and grasps hold of the emptiness. it's like a hole inside yourself that, when you seek it out, expands, pressing against your ribcage from within, reaching all the way up to your throat."

"sleep only comes with the warblers' waking."(nick | this is if.only.org)



:: note :: . . . the sleek eloquence of nick inspired Exile . . .

Monday, July 05, 2004

Saturday, July 03, 2004

A picture named reflections.jpg
:: note :: . . . looking at the kenderdine gallery show case windows inside the agriculture building reflecting the john mitchell building (drama building) with drama instructor shadow . . . time of reflections . . . knowing no immediate in[sight]s just trust the process . . . always trust the process it has it's own space and time . . . keep moving and find the times to pause . . . to look intently . . .

Friday, July 02, 2004

"I have no respect for acting. Acting by and large is an expression of a neurotic impulse . . . I've never in my life met an actor who was not neurotic . . . I think the truth is that actors are actors because it gives them sustenance for their narcissism. Acting enables them to experience a false sense of love and attention, the same kind of attention given any exhibition . . . Acting is a bum's life in that it leads to perfect self-indulgence."(Marlon Brando in Portrait of the Rebel as an Artist by B. Thomas. p153)


"I've always tried to run acting down . . . I don't know why. It's not a bad thing to do in life after all. . . Everybody has had the experience of feeling: Christ the world is coming to an end. And you go watch John Wayne riding across the prairie, and you see grass blowing and the clouds, and he grabs the girl and they ride off into the sunset. You went in there feeling awful and you came out feeling good. He made you feel good. That's not bad. that's not a bad thing to do in life . ."(Marlon Brando in Brando: The Unauthorized Biography by Morella and Epstein. p 142-3)


(All quotes found in The Way of the Actor by Brian Bates)

:: note :: . . . Bates concluded writing: "The way of the actor keeps us in contact with the mystery which lies at the heart of life." . . . Brando on the screen communicated all of that mystery and all of that heart . . . the horror, the horror . . .




Thursday, July 01, 2004

" . . . be light, not weighted down by eighteenth-and-nineteenth century concepts of nationhood, theoretical grids and templates, the formal apparatus of a homogenizing economic system and legislation that attempt once and for all to resolve the disparate elements and paradoxes that make up this society. Leave it to its ambivalences, its frictions, its civility, its anonymity, its mystery, its slow unfolding; leave it to the debate, the haggling and wheedling and coaxing. Drop the need to find lasting solutions for what may not be a problem. Meaning may reside for us in the way that we address injustices, in the dialogues we support, in the messages we send, and in what we intuit about our secret selves."(A CANADA of LIGHT by B. W. Powe | Uni.ca)


(via wood s lot with many thanks and regards)

:: note :: . . . what an incredible meditation . . . be light . . .

Monday, June 28, 2004

"Between my MA and PhD, my student loan payments were set at $962 a month (including interest) for ten years. Seriously, that's what my BA and MA cost me - attending public universities in one of the world's wealthiest nations - with no opportunity to reduce that amount no matter how well I do or what I contribute to my country. "(purse lip square jaw | Get out the vote!)


:: note :: . . . the above education debt is an atrocity . . . myself putting two children through university and it is only the foresight, over eighteen years ago, to invest in a education savings fund which allows a debt free first degree . . . further education is much more problematic . . . have voted NDP . . . reluctantly . . . a serious mistrust for any major party . . . A picture named election.jpg
& to the rest of canada thinking sask. is redneck conservative . . . the center left combined vote is strong . .

Sunday, June 27, 2004

"I need to make art. It is both how I communicate with the world and how I control the world around me. "(Thesis Third and Fourth Draft | Tanya Zuzak)


:: note :: . . . wish to read more thesis drafts . . . process is always interesting . . .

Saturday, June 26, 2004

"Now, in a development that some have compared to Copernicus's recognition that the earth is not the center of the solar system, startling new data have revealed that only five percent of the universe is made of normal, visible matter described by the Standard Model. Ninety-five percent of the universe consists of dark matter and dark energy whose fundamental nature is a mystery. The Standard Model's orderly and elegant view of the universe must be incorporated into a deeper theory that can explain the new phenomena. The result will be a revolution in particle physics as dramatic as any that have come before."(>>> context weblog sampling new cultural context|quantum universe: the revolution in 21st-century physics)


:: note :: . . . quantum mechanics was supper table talk with a father who was a physicist . . . any questions transformed into involved explanations and readings . . . the one thing learned was nothing couldn't be answered without leading to another question . . .

Thursday, June 24, 2004

trace the lines

to the end

lift start over


repeat

the score deepens


not a sign of ignorance

not to know the answers


great merit to face the questions

to cherish rather than despise


accept everything


dedication

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

"Thinking back, I can still remember that first night of class where you told us to pick someone, walk up to them, look in their eyes, and see ourselves. From that I wrote the following poem that I'd like to share with you:"


beware ...
(by DM)

A picture named SOWULO.gif

you're trespassing on my desires.
your yearning justifies my fears -
turning me from whispers
towards thinking about
not thinking about
it.


I glare at myself
in your pupils,
dilating your secrets,
miming your tears,
and see you
see me quiver:
waiting, anticipating,
those far away spaces -
silence beckons me deeper -
while I caress the
familiar sowulo
around my neck



"And here is my take on it: The idea of the poem is that happiness lives in all of us waiting, building momentum, wanting to be released onto someone else. Often we are guilty of searching for someone to throw these wonderful feeling at -- people who are not ready, or are afraid or unworthy; people who, for whatever reason, choose not to look deeply into our pupils and see us seeing them seeing us."



:: note :: . . . D was a student forced to drop class . . . he wrote a email of explanation . . . the response included the above . . . it is an honour to have such students . . .

Monday, June 21, 2004

"At a recent news conference for the opening of the Turner Whistler Monet exhibition, a reporter asked: "Can art make cities more gentle?""

"Unequivocally yes."

"Finding the common threads among us and understanding what sets us apart is a civilizing influence on a world that needs it now more than ever. Every day, art gives voice to that discovery."(Toronto Star | Art matters.|Matthew Teitelbaum is director and CEO of The Art Gallery of Ontario. )

(via Marja-Leena Rathje)

:: note :: . . . more talk about the role of the arts . . . wonder whose listening beyond those of us with a vested interest . . .
Teitelbaum was at the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatoon for a while . . . questioned many of his directions/decisions . . . without a thorough analysis it seemed he couldn't create the mix of grassroots regionalism with broader perspective that seems so necessary in smaller centers . . . maybe Saskatoon is already gentle . . .

Sunday, June 20, 2004

graffiti again

A picture named crip$.jpg

:: note :: . . . so the graffiti strikes again . . . don't mind it so much but the neighbours do . . . wonder how long it will be tolerated . . . think it's the name of a youth gang . . .

Friday, June 18, 2004

" Everything connects. Canadian culture, the imaginative expression of our shared lives and aspirations, is the heartbeat of our people. Its networks of influence are society's arteries. It is in the broad arena of our pluralistic culture that the stories that speak of Canada's distinctiveness are told. In the defiant imaginations of our artists we see the possibilities for our future; in the clamour of their voices we hear the sound of our unfolding identity. Our artists supply the raw materials of the imagination, the foundations on which wisdom and hope are built, for our young people and for Canadians everywhere. The stories we tell each other - in our plays, our books, our films - affirm the importance of the human, the local, the specific: they are the crackly bits that give society texture in the face of the blender forces of globalization."

*****
" Cultural nationalism and cultural freedom are different animals. The key to a flourishing creative identity for Canada lies in the freedom of our artists to create in whatever ways they think fit - and it is this freedom that should be protected by our legislators. Canadian creativity is an integral ingredient of our identity, an anchor of self-knowledge in a fluid world. But its Canadianness lies only in the fact that it is the creativity of Canadians; and that is the only prerequisite that can legitimately be imposed. Beyond that, all options are open. Canadian music is music made by Canadians. Canadian books are books written by Canadians - displaying what George Woodcock called "the restless variegation of a mature literature." The Life of Pi - a story of a young Indian male shipwrecked en route to Canada and cast adrift in a lifeboat with only a Bengal tiger for company - is as much a Canadian novel as Who Has Seen the Wind? To properly protect our culture, it is excellence in creativity that should be supported, not nationalism. Take care of the creators, and the culture takes care of itself."(Our Public AirWaves |The Defiant Imagination)


:: note :: . . . when in Vancouver had mixed feelings about critic Max Wyman . . . the defiant imagination changes everything . . . adds a new dimension to the educated imagination . . .

this is an audio post - click to play

Thursday, June 17, 2004

"Multidisciplinary artist Rebecca Belmore has been selected to represent Canada at the 2005 Venice Biennale of Visual Art, the Canada Council of the Arts announced Thursda"(CBC Arts News|Aboriginal artist selected to represent Canada at 2005 Venice Biennale)

Rebecca Belmore
A picture named belm021.jpg

:: note :: . . . labels . . . canadian aboriginal women artist . . . humpf . . . let it be an exciting working artist of "great power and grace" . . .

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

"The vast majority of Canadians despise these "Leaders' Debates" which are in essence public dogfights. The media openly speak of the odds, about which contender can draw the most blood and what he has to do to win or, at least, come out unscathed. On the basis of these merits, each contender is supposed to prove he deserves our trust and our vote."

"After the debate, the air waves and media will be filled with the views of the pundits on "who won" and how it will affect the outcome of the election. "

"Canadians have utter contempt for these politics which serve the aims of the rich and keep the people totally disenfranchised."(MARXIST-LENINIST PARTY OF CANADA |A Public Dogfight Is Not a Leaders' Debate)


:: note :: . . . in my teens joined the communist party and even attempted to join the Black Panther Party
. . .Soul On Ice
was a fasinating read at that time . . . today the MLPC still speaks clearly to many issues which need addressing though will never be spoken about . . .

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

"Tent City is not a city and we don't live in tents. We live in shacks and shanties on the edge of Canada's largest metropolis where the river meets the lake. There's a fence dividing these 27 acres from the rest of Toronto, and on this side we've built what dwellings we can with the rubble of a scrapyard, a no-man's landfill caught in confusion between the city and private business. Sometimes it seems like a community and sometimes like chaos. Junk Town would be a better name."(Down to This | Read the first chapter of Shaughnessy Bishop Stall's new book)


:: note :: . . . there is so much that needs to known and there is so much talk about the known . . .

Monday, June 14, 2004

"I know that your education, the tools you have available, and most of all, your determination and enthusiasm constitute a formidable counter-force to the walls that are being built around creativity and discourse. I count on you to get out there and create. You can – you MUST -- innovate faster than your ability to innovate can be enclosed by laws, regulations, and technological fences."(Smart Mobs | To the Class of 2004)

(SiliconValley.com | Dan Gillmor | EJournal)

:: note :: . . . thought the problem existed only in the arts . . . live a too isolated place . . . best to all grads everywhere . . .

Sunday, June 13, 2004

A picture named 1.Maggies.jpg


"During the design process Gehry built over 70 models before he finally settled for two key elements: the tower, inspired by lighthouses, and the asymmetrically folded roof, based on a shawl worn by a woman in a Vermeer portrait he had seen with Maggie, for the main body of the building."(arcspace.com | Inauguration Frank O. Gehry Maggie's Centre Ninewells NHS hospital Dundee, Scotland)

Saturday, June 12, 2004

"Nietzsche taught that nice is the cardinal sin of Christianity. Founded on ressentiment of the mighty, the will to nice seeks an end around might by making deference into a virtue with its, “No, but I insist.” Nice, as Nietzsche’s controlling aunts taught him, is always a grab for power, a feint of weakness followed by a stab in the kidney."(myirony.com | The will to nice)


:: note :: . . . will try to find the Nietzsche reference . . . yet it rings true in practice . . . connection that stays on nice has proven a cowardly disguise . . .

Friday, June 11, 2004

""What is theatre to you?" - Lift has invited 100 people to address that direct, non-leading question. Connected in diverse ways to the performing arts, the Enquirers are an intriguingly mixed bunch, ranging from the artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company to a 14-year-old pupil at Holland Park School, and from a Buddhist monk who is the caretaker of the London Peace Pagoda to the chair of the British Council. Groups as well as individuals have been recruited."

"Patently, this Lift season is in the process of proving on our pulses the truth of Peter Brook's remark that "theatre reopens what definition closes"."(Independent.co.uk | Features | The stage we're going through)


Wednesday, June 09, 2004

accept getting lost

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

"The truth of life lies in the impulsiveness of matter. The mind of man has been poisoned by concepts. Do not ask him to be content, ask him only to be calm, to believe that he has found his place. But only the madman is really calm."(MANIFESTO IN A CLEAR LANGUAGE by Antonin Artaud)


:: note :: . . . focused attention = calm . . .

Monday, June 07, 2004

"I am adamantly opposed to undergraduates majoring in playwriting, acting, design or directing, or in any of the arts except perhaps dance and instrumental music (both of which require early rigorous training). Bachelor degrees should be acquired in the liberal arts and sciences, not in vocational training."(NYTimes.com | Readers' Opinions | Tony Kushner)

:: note :: . . . have always felt & counseled students this way but have never seen it written before by a respected 'professional', 'successful' vocational worker . . .

Sunday, June 06, 2004

"Connie Deiter, Donna Pinay, Neil Mcleod, and other First Nation writers with the support of The Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism, The Saskatchewan Action Committee Status of Women, The Regina Anti-poverty Ministry and others are calling for a press conference to express indignation at the Noon Edition of the CBC, and in particular Dwayne Brenna, Department Head for Drama at the University of Saskatchewan."(taiaiake.com |Aboriginal Community Outraged at CBC's Insensitive Portrayal of Mohawk Poet Pauline Johnson)

:: note :: . . . while searching something else . . . if this were only an isolated incident of insensitivity and poor judgment . . . four years finally ends . . .

Kut

Chel-Mu-Ri Kut


In Korea, traditional shamanistic ritual has its birth and development deep within the roots of Korean folk culture. Before proceeding an understanding of Shamanism and ritual from a Korean perspective is necessary. Shamanistic ritual transcends any religious connotation. The Korean ritual, pronounced "Kut", defies English translation. Ritual, rite or ceremony do not fully describe the meaning of kut. Kut extends into the dimensions of entertainment and spectacle. Kut involves a show with a feast, dancing, singing, drinking as a cultural event. Kut is a service of sharing full of hospitality and serving. Not one aspect may be deleted and the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. The word kut is active, alive and transforming in the sense of a verb more than a noun. For these reasons, throughout this essay, I will refer to Kut rather than shamanic ritual to reinforce the roots of Korean shamanism.

The Korean Kut is divided regionally by the Han river. Shaman Dongho Choi asserts that the South part follows the transmission of knowledge by heredity (the so called study shaman) and the North follows that it is the gods who descend into the shaman (Jeong. Personal Interview). Accordingly, the Southern kut is performed without an altar of the god. North of the Han river, the 'descending god shaman' manages the gods of the sky, earth, mountain, water and humans with an ability that is learned through practice and training. However there is no distinction between the North kut and South kut, between the study shaman and the descending god shaman, kut is kut. Mircea Eliade writing that "shamanism = technique of ecstasy" (4) and the general definition of shamanism as a spirit medium with a focus on mystical trance or possession is problematic. Duk-Mook Kim, a Korean folklorist, researching Koran Kut countered: "one must understand Korean Kut in its totality and holism and in all aspects of religion, folklore, and cultural anthropology" (1). Under the concept of totality, this paper traces the Chel-mu-ri Kut in the northern province Hwang-hae do (North Korea) respecting and acknowledging the place of kut in the cultural spine of the community. The paper will then briefly examine the shaman who conducts the kut as Performer.

To place the Chel-mu-ri Kut in its proper context it is important to note that the Hwang-hae do province designates the entire canon of rituals as the Hwang-hae do Kut, of which the Chel-mu-ri Kut is one of the five main Kuts. Chel-mu-ri Kut is a seasonal Kut performed in the fall at the end of the harvest. The North, being a mountainous region, lacks good farming land and thus a rich harvest is greatly appreciated. Good weather, hard agricultural work, and the labour of the previous generations are all recognized in this Kut. As well a bountiful future harvest is requested. The Kut plays an important function of reconciliation within the community. The feast, sharing of food and drink and communal song and dance serve to heal misunderstanding or ill relationships that have troubled the community. Only when a shaman and musicians are sponsored by an individual or family (Dan-gol) will a Kut be conducted.

The particular Kut under examination took place in the village Dae-sung-ni, a two hour train ride from Seoul. A beautiful rural setting of open fields and mountains, close to the Book-Han River, the area provided an escape from the hectic city life. Ms. Han, who owned many cabins in the area, offered food and shelter to all participants of the Kut and was thus the Dan-gol. This Chel-mu-ri Kut was a three day event involving three shamans (Ok-Sun Yu, Kyong-Ok Song and Dong-Ho Choi) and four musicians (Kum-Ok Ji, Ji-Nye Lee, Young-Tak Kim and Chang-Nam Kim).

A large open room is prepared. Many colourful paintings and figures of various gods hang on the walls. Along one wall stands a large table full of different kinds of fruits, vegetables, sweets, cookies, rice, rice-cakes, drinks and alcohol. This is the altar, decorated with white Mulberry paper ornaments, where are also placed the shaman's garments, ritual objects and two lit candles. On the opposite side of the room, facing the altar, the musical instruments are set. At the center is the Chang-gu (Korean drum) with the Jing (gong) and the Bara (cymbals) on the left and the Tae pyoung-so (flute) on the right.

Before the Kut begins Shaman Choi purifies place, objects and people. Shaman Choi takes small samples of food from the altar and placing them on a small table announces the readiness of the kut to the respectful gods. The smell of prepared sesame seed fills the room. Shaman Choi then steps outside into the yard and journeys to the entrance gate throwing handfuls of salt from a bowl he carries in all directions. It is an act of cleansing the road for the gods.

The musicians now sound the instruments. The gong echoes into the early morning air reaching out to the god of the sky. The drum vibrates to the god of the earth and the cymbals summon the god of the humans. They join in a call to awaken the gods and invite them to connect and gather together in one place. Finally the human voice is heard. Shaman Yu sings standing in front of the drum clothed in many layers of colourful traditional dresses. She holds a colourful fabric fan in her right hand and plays the ritual bells with her left. Every third line of her song is answered back by the musicians in refrain. She dances bowing toward the four directions and spins gracefully. The music gradually quickens and she raises her hands above her head as if to receive the spirits from the gods. She trembles and repeats the action in the four directions. She dances and spins with each object and garment to be used in the kut and the music intensifies. The purification concludes when Shaman Yu stops dancing.

Ms. Han is now addressed. The gods express themselves to Ms. Han channelling through Shaman Yu's incantations. Ms. Han listens bowing often as a sign of respect and rubbing her hands in the motion of prayer. Shaman Yu then begins to dance. She burns a piece of mulberry paper allowing the ashes to fly through the air. Turning to the altar she dips her bells into the rice jar and releases grains of rice on a red cloth. Ms. Han counts the kernels and if they are an even number, she eats them. The dipping of the bells continues until the rice kernels produce an even number. The channelling continues and tears flow from Shaman Yu. Ms. Han listens with awe and dignity to the words of the gods.

At this point Shaman Choi takes over repeating the structure of incantation and dance outside in the front yard. He explains that all gods enter even the unclean and disrespectful therefore it is his responsibility to feed and comfort the unwanted gods and send them away while at the same time please the desired gods with welcoming song and dance. Some gods he welcomes are; the god of seven stars who manages the life span from birth to death, the god of place who manages the spirit of the house, and the god of managing goods and wealth (Jeong). The entertainment and playfulness begins. Shaman Choi exchanges witticisms between the musicians and the witnesses. He mimes unhappiness because no one has made money earrings for him. Ms. Han enters the play quickly hanging money on his hat strings. The left side is heavier than the right so with tilted head Shaman Choi begs for balance and the game to balance all the money evenly continues playfully till Shaman Choi is pleased and blesses all the participants that they too be soaked in riches. His banter and dance is recognizably in fun and the room is filled with laughter and joy.

The dance continues and Shaman Choi, without stopping, changes into new garments. These are his hunting clothes and with two sticks decorated with end ribbons he performs the hunt. He hunts a deer. He is not a good hunter and misses with his arrow as the musicians tease him. Reacting to the musician's sarcasm Shaman Choi performs a serious dramatic hunt and finally succeeds with flourish and showmanship.

The Chel-mu-ri Kut slowly moves to the outdoor stage. The sacrifice which is a central and large part now begins. The singing, dancing and incantation to the gods is repeated. Each round the intensity increases transforming and blossoming from the previous playful section into a fervent atmosphere of expectation. The offerings are served. Four pigs become the focus as the music enters a dizzying state. Shaman Song dances revealing each of the knifes and other objects to be used during the sacrifice. The very difficult and profound killing of the pigs is performed. Warm blood flows from the necks of the pigs. Shaman Song drinks the blood, paints the face of Ms. Han and disperses blood around the yard and house. Her white garments fully stained in blood she dances as the pools of blood on the ground turn black. She grabs a long white cotton cloth and calls for Ms. Han to be placed between two halves. Ms. Han is pushed through the cloth her chest straining against the fabric with Shaman Song cutting the cloth separating it into two. The pieces of cloth are collected and Shaman Song symbolically washes evilness, misfortune and illness from Ms. Han and burns the fabric. Shaman Choi explained that the releasing of the blood from the live pigs releases the resentment and blocked energy which pollutes our lives with evilness and illness (Jeong). Shaman Song cleanses herself and the pigs are cleaned and brought to the table. To observe if the sacrifice has been accepted the pig is placed on a pitchfork and stands balanced in a small salt grave. Only when the pitchfork supported solely by the salt grave stands aright holding the pig suspended in the air may Shaman Song announce in splendid song her appreciation and honour that the sacrifice has pleased the gods.

The Kut returns inside where Shaman Choi, dressed in colourful and comic garments dances in joy. He takes alcohol from the altar and drinks joking with the witnesses, asking if they are thirsty. He shares a small glass of alcohol with each witness bestowing on all good fortune, long life and wealth. A feast of pork and rice cake is served. Shaman Choi begins to dance with the sharp knives from the alter. As the music intensifies he draws the blades across his arms. No harm is done. He repeats this action on his thighs and stomach. Again no harm is done. His transformation now complete he leads all the participants outside to the blade dance altar. Sharp blades are placed on a table creating a staircase ten feet high. Shaman Choi's feet are washed with water. He opens his skirt and collects money from all placing the offerings under the blades. When the music reaches a powerful passion and Shaman Choi has built a tremendous concentration and energy through song and dance he runs and quickly scales to the top of the blade tower. He turns to face the four directions and it is a stunning site to a man silhouetted by the setting sun his voice sounding to the sky with omnipotent song. Shaman Choi explains this moment as that stepping down on the blades is an act of pressing down the dangers, uncleanliness, misfortune and ill will so that only good fortune and cleanliness remain. He further reveals that the blade dance requires a maximum of courage and thus displays the full power of the gods making the incantations of this moment especially powerful and sacred. He describes his state as one of extreme awareness and control (Jeong). In the anthology of essays titled Performing Democracy, Dong-il Lee writes about the blade dance by shaman Choi in another work: "For Shaman Choi it is a direct confrontation with his fear of death. By transforming those fears with the help of spirits and spectators, he is able to perform this dangerous act of symbolic death and resurrection" (308).

The Kut returns inside and immediately a release is experienced. The blade dance has liberated the atmosphere of extreme ardour and the witnesses are invited to actively participate. Shaman Choi even generously lets people wear the beautiful shaman clothes. One individual steps forward and shares a traditional Korean song with incredible voice. He imitates the shamanic dance shaking the bells and spinning gracefully. People go crazy cheering him. Another sings a modern Pop song and all laughingly though generously join in as the food arrives. Pork and alcohol are abundantly served. Suddenly Shaman Choi asks for volunteers to carry raw pieces of pig. Soon any hesitation disappears and many are dancing with raw pig on their shoulders. They dance outside where small camp fires have burnt to ash and the revellers apply ash and dirt to their faces. Screaming they run into the night in what is considered the play of the night ghosts.

The Chel-mu-ri Kut nears its end in what is recognized as the Aftermath. The gods of the ancestors are served with song, dance and incantation. Particularly Ms. Han's ancestors are addressed. At the entrance to the village a place of wooden carved totems, piled stones and trees decorated with colourful fabric and mulberry paper represents the gateway to the old times. The incantations are specifically sent to the god who manages the doors of good fortune that the village be protected from illness and the ancestors have a safe journey to the next world. Shaman Choi performs a final round of song, dance and incantation to expel any disrespectful spirits that may have entered the Kut. He disperses food and drink throughout the house and field as a final gesture of purification. The Chel-mu-ri Kut is concluded and the participants with open hearts and spirit continue to sing, talk and play into the night.

The Chel-mu-ri Kut is a communal event. Yet the Shaman, particularly during the sacrifice and blade dance, is regarded as the illuminating performer for and with the community. Jerzy Grotowski, a respected director of the twentieth century, researching Art as Vehicle defined performer as:

Performer, with a capital letter, is a man of action. He is not somebody who plays another. He is a doer, a priest, a warrior: he is outside aesthetic genres. Ritual is performance, an accomplished action, an act. . . He is somebody who is conscious of his own mortality. If it's necessary to confront corpses he confronts them, but if it's not necessary to kill, he doesn't kill. . . To conquer knowledge he fights, because the pulsation of life becomes stronger and more articulated in moments of great intensity, of danger. (374-375)


In this sense the Shaman is a Performer. Killing is an extreme act - a challenge to face life and death. Personally I could not watch the shaman hold the knife and poke into the pig’s neck. I did hear the squeal of the pig which tore my heart and I smelled the blood which forced my eyes open. Beautiful, rich, red blood of life flowed from the neck. At this moment I witnessed the eyes of the pig watching me watching. There was no anger in the eyes but simply a looking of innocence and purity. I was overwhelmed by my own thoughts of selfishness. Finally the pig closed its eyes. Death came and I released my breath wiping my tears. Death had been challenged and my eyes were forced open. One chooses life. The blade dance which follows this sacrifice continues the transformation of our fears. Our intensely personal and private fears made public in a communal act allow the Shaman Performer to perform these acts of symbolic death and resurrection. Attempting to question my shaman teacher about these acts and his power as a shaman he roared at me saying there is no god out there. Without the human there is no god. To be human is to be god. You are a god. The Chel-mu-ri Kut is of the human spirit. The human voice, the human movement, the human energy creates a transforming consciousness that is more than oneself. One is a god (Jeong).

At the same time the Chel-mu-ri Kut preserves the traditional way of living and expresses the traditional arts within a totality of context. The song, dance and acting are not separated but are a composite art. According to Shaman Choi the performers of the Korean traditional mask dance had originally acted in the Kut as did the court musicians. In older times the Kut troupe consisted of the most skillful artists of the high popular culture. The regional song and dances were transmitted and the treasures of traditional culture were preserved to later became national treasures of Korean tradition. The Kut allowed people to sing and dance without shame and the theatricality of the event led to extreme displays of emotion and feeling which made the song and dances a rich source of living energy. Laurel Kendall who studied a Korean kut of the Seoul area noted, "A kut honours a basic structure, a progress through the house wherein gods and ancestors appear in place and in approximate sequence" (20). The Chel-mu-ri Kut reveals a deeper insight and meaning, not only giving a sense of the place of the gods within the daily life but also details the very specific characteristics and relationship these gods maintain to the community. The detailed structure of the Kut perpetuated the many varied aspects of traditional life preserving ancient knowledge and wisdom. In older times, without the phone or e mail, it was the sweet smell of the sesame seed and the appealing music which spread far beyond the entrance of the village and alerted the community and travellers that a Kut was in progress. The open spirit of the kut welcomed all visitors treating them with great hospitality. Practical preparation of the food lead to an appreciation of the sacred place nourishment plays in the life. Rice cake made with red beans, for example, expressed the symbolic power of the red colour to expel misfortune and evilness.

Most importantly the Kut was an integral part of daily life. It sustained a connection with the past. Duk-Mook Kim observed that the radical industrialization of Korea combined with the invasion of western thought and christianity resulted in a tension and separation between traditional culture and modern daily life (12). The shift away from an agriculturally sustained community has ravaged the traditional way of life. The change in Korea mostly during the 60's and 70's has transformed the Kut. Shaman Choi states that the Kut, under the influence of modern society, has become shorter and many parts are being deleted. As they are less frequently performed the deleted sections become forgotten. More and more the Kut becomes almost a museum piece devoid of essential elements related directly to modern culture. What does this mean? A multitude of questions surface. If one traces and keeps alive the Korean Kut, does one keep alive the Korean self? If one finds a living connection to the past through the Kut what is its place in modern times? Can a universal objective function be formulated for the Kut?

Richard Schechner answers these questions with: "Both Turner and Grotowski saw the best human endeavors as Janus-like, the Roman god who looks back to the 'most ancient' and forward to 'the newest' at the same time" (245). Shaman Choi answers these questions by stating that the Chel-mu-ri Kut is human centred. It is the human who takes care of the god not the god showing mercy on us (Jeong). The Kut is not about a specific time or tradition it is about the meaning of being human. The Kut is "about a collective life of harmony based on the spirits of playfulness and inclusiveness" (Lee 308). The Kut is an act of human power, human voice and human movement.

Works Cited

Eliade, Mircea. Shamanism: archaic techniques of ecstasy. Trans. Willard R. Trask.
[Princeton, N.J.] : Princeton University Press, 1972, c1964.

Grotowski, Jerzy. "Performer." The Grotowski Sourcebook . Eds. Richard Schechner and Lisa Wolford. New York ; London : Routledge, 1997.

Kendall, Laurel. Shamans, housewives, and other restless spirits : women in Korean ritual life. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1985.

Lee, Dong-il. "Contemporary Madang Kut of South Korea." Performing democracy : international perspectives on urban community-based performance. Eds. Susan C. Haedicke and Tobin Nellhaus. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2001.

Schechner, Richard. Performance Studies: an Introduction. London ; New York : Routledge, 2002.

OTHER SOURCES

A Personal Interview ( done in Korean translated by Ae Ran Jeong)
Jeong, Ae Ran. Personal Interview with Dong-Ho Choi. 1 November and 2 December 2003.

An Electronic Source ( written in Korean translated by Ae Ran Jeong)
Kim, Duk-Mook. Essay on Korean Kut Study. 1999-2003
.
.


Thesis Proposal

Many different kinds of shamans and rituals exist in Korea according to the specific geographical regions and the shamans themselves. I have witnessed a few different rituals but for the purpose of this paper I will focus on one specific ritual titled Man-su-dae-tak Kut.

Dongho Choi, my shaman teacher of eight years, is a male mansin (shaman) living in Seoul. His rituals belong to the region of Hwang-hae province which is presently a part of North Korea. I have witnessed a few rituals by Dongho Choi, have participated in his workshop for actors and have performed rituals on two occasions. The primary source for this paper will be a video recording made of Man-su-dae-tak Kut, April 19 - 21, 2000 in Jong-nung. This video recording is not a ritual I personally witnessed but is similar to rituals I have witnessed for other clients. The other primary source will be interviews conducted with Dongho Choi during the writing of this paper.

Rituals from the Hwang-hae region can be roughly divided into four basic structural elements: 1) calling the spirits, 2) invitation, 3) play and 4) returning. Most rituals conclude with the shaman providing oracles to the participants who sponsored the ritual. Man-su-dae-tak Kut is one of the most elaborate of all Korean shamanic rituals and only shamans considered "great shaman" may conduct the celebration. The scale of the complete ritual demands at least three days and is often as long as a week or more with a number of shamans performing together each responsible for certain sections. Man-su-dae-tak Kut is celebrated to bring good fortune to a family or community, protection from evil spirits, to release the spirits of dead ancestors which may still be wandering in this world and to cleanse the spirits of the living. The great food table is prepared as an offering to the spirits with different fruits, drinks, deserts, rice, vegetables and meat. The meat, especially cow, pig and chicken are prepared for a sacrifice which is performed during the ritual. The musicians play a crucial role in the shamanic ritual leading the shaman into the next section, supporting the singing and chants as well as following the shamans rhythm both musically and with dialogue. The instruments are the chang-gu (drum), Jing (gong), Ba-ra (cymbals), and the Tae-pyong-so (korean style flute).

For this paper I wish to research the shaman's subjective understanding of his transformation during the ritual. We may call this transformation as trance and I wish to articulate how the shaman himself describes his own transformation of energy in all its psychological, physical, emotional and spiritual manifestations. I wish to document this energy transformation in three phases; before, during and after the ritual.

In order to gain a more general understanding of Korean shamanism I have consulted the following resources to familiarize myself with the already established academic study.

Clark, Charles Allen. Religions of old Korea. Seoul : Christian Literature Society of Korea, 1961.

Eliade, Mircea. Shamanism : archaic techniques of ecstasy. Trans. Willard R. Trask. [Princeton, N.J.] : Princeton University Press, 1972, c1964.

Harvey, Youngsook Kim. Six Korean women : the socialization of shamans. St. Paul : West Pub. Co., c1979.

Kendall, Laurel. Shamans, housewives, and other restless spirits : women in Korean ritual life. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1985.

------- The life and hard times of a Korean Shaman : of tales and the telling of tales. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press, c1988.
Lee, Jung Young. Korean shamanistic rituals. The Hague ; New York : Mouton, c1981.

Susan C. Haedicke and Tobin Nellhaus. Eds. Performing democracy : international perspectives on urban community-based performance. Ann Arbor : University of Michigan Press, c2001.