Image

Stills from 'Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones'

An unplanned video -are they ever any other way?- thought I'd set the camera up while painting, yes at night, I know, silly, only I got talking, you know how it is. Thought it way too dark to consider for anything, but a filter on FinalCut Express, which is what I use to edit video, brought the light out. It's nearly 7½ minutes long, was over 8GB in a Quicktime .mov, but with a bit of fiddling, and I hope the quality is alright when it's finished uploading, I got it down to 1.6GB -under the 2GB limit at YouTube.

It's a 6 hour upload, I know, marathon. Should be up by tomorrow. A few stills... (click for larger)

Later now and it's up:
Parchment Figures: Doubles, Doppelgängers, Clones






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Lyric of Love

All I have to post is a little love poem inspired by some special music by a special musician who's beloved at Jamendo, Livio Amato, for my special, and secret, love:


Lyric of Love

-Sensitivity, Musa, Riela-

gently breaking on the waves
of our own oceans

seafoam of stars
falling over edges
pulling back in the underswell
of our desires

birds sweetly singing, ocean breezes, salt spray, morning light of gloss and glittering facets of cut gems

we cannot underestimate
the power of love

the ocean is driven by
inner forces as we are by love

wave patterns, oscillations of polished gems falling as notes of love from our Orphean songs

even as we approach the great mystery it recedes, ever pulling back and falling forwards, white foam melting into sand at our feet

-Dream opening-

then the grotto, magic, rock sanctuary, vision, a lover's cove

the dream of us opens

conch, periwinkle, nautilus, volva, cone, harp, trumpet shells, the music of the ocean at its shores

we are anchored in the swells, water
dance of love

or racing seaward, sails blooming
in the fast wind

-Suspended Animation-

sailing we are birds, osprey
sweeping over the waves
up to the clouds, joy, windsong
of strong wing

the wind who kisses the ocean,
or blows gales, passion

we dance on the beach framed by a disappearing red sun, burnished gong, palm tree fronds black with shadow as the dark washes over us carrying a full moon sailing through the night sky

-Yet, a moment-

we are the sky, the sun, moon and stars, the clouds drifting by, wind, the flying birds, dancing schools of bright fish, the diamond-covered expanse of
glittering

-Infinity-

one day we will wash away, drops in the ocean, no longer even a memory,

yet knowing
love loves
through us


-
Inspired by Livio Amato's album, Sensitivity: http://www.jamendo.com/en/album/62537 (section titles are his song titles -I note the sections as I wrote while listening)

  


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On Continuing On...



Playing with code. Created a pop-up window using html. Click on image to open pop-up. Then click and drag on the lower right corner of the pop-up screen to increase the size of the drawing (I uploaded a large image- 1496×1872 pixels that's only 299KB in size and yet perfectly clear on screen).

Yes, I am stalled on this piece. Will and determination carry you a long way, but there have been setbacks that have left me exhausted. Three responses that I didn't feel were fair - not about this piece in particular, but there's an effect I guess. It takes awhile to psychically heal, I know this from years of experience, but then you continue on.

Saying this by way of meaning Courage, My Love. To all of you with your talents and projects. Follow your inner desires, and if you've a set-back of whatever sort, take a break, then pick yourself up and keep going...

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Earth Night



Today I downloaded from Librivox Dostoyevsky's, Notes from the Underground, a book I have tried to read on and off for 30 years (I had read The Brothers Karamazov and Crime and Punishment).

When I was younger a storm of words was in me that only words could feed, and so I read like a dervish, and yet this book, I could only read a few paragraphs. Even a few sentences of this book triggered so many thoughts that I found hours had gone by and I had not read to the end of the first page. Last year I tried again and drifted into a philosophical speculative mood that also made me aware of my own tattered and ragged weltanschauung edges.

But now, thanks to an audiobook where it is read to me, I can listen during long walks with my dog in the night. Tonight I listened to half the book. How can I express how I love Dostoyevsky's vision, humour, seriousness, learning and depth of feeling- his exceptional literary talent (even in translation) whereby he presents a psychological book of anguish, an interior rumination of a gauntlet through life?

I am so glad for the gift of this book, the way I have found to finally 'read' it.

Dostoyevsky created a narrator in this book who is unlike any other. I can only think of a handful of books that are entirely composed of a soliliquey that reaches deeply into the philosophical and emotional depth of a life (one that comes immediately to mind is Clarice Lispector's, The Stream of Life, though it is an entirely different book, being a poetical treatise of a dying woman who writes what she thinks, feels, remembers, imagines without any barriers, from her pure pumping open veins).

Anyway, today I downloaded Notes from the Underground from a newly discovered gem of a site, Librivox: acoustical liberation of books in the public domain, where volunteers read books whose copyright has expired. Only I found the (male) voice(s) a little too strident, too peppy for this dark and difficult work, so I spent hours enhancing each .mp3, which is how each chapter arrives, adding a slight reverb, an imperceptible echo, some extra bass (double on that), a tad of voice enhancement, making an audiobook of over two hours that is an easier listen, that doesn't interrupt the text in its speaking.

It was an amazing walk tonight, my dog and I and Dostoyevsky. During the quiet dark of Earth Night.
_______
Who knows why I am taking these over-exposed flashlit computer photos at night... though this was after turning the lights back on!
I don't know how to turn off Photobooth's flash, I guess is it. But then without the flash the photo would have been shadowy in a pixelated way.



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Scenes of Depth

Laying low these days, not a lot of energy, a quiet time of cessation, not writing or painting much, so some notes on two great scenes in films, Wings of Desire, and El Secreto de Sus Ojos, and the use of the avatar in Avatar...

These notes are responses triggered by an article sent through via a group email by John Walter, called, Bringing New Understanding to the Director's Cut, by Natalie Angier, one of my favourite science writers in the New York Times, about brain waves and movies, our attention spans and shot lengths...


Speaking about scene lengths, comprehension versus immersion, one of my favourite scenes in all movies is an uncut 15 minutes or so in Wim Wenders Wings of Desire. A scene near the end of the film where Marion and Damiel meet in the bar. He, a Rilkean angel now fallen into mortality for the love of a beautiful woman, and where she utters some of the most profound words in all love poetry, Handke's poetry in collaboration with Wim Wenders, of course, how could anyone but poets have written this script (I used this quote in a suite of poems too): Loneliness means I am at last whole.

Only with him could I be lonely. Open up to him. Completely open, completely for him. Welcome him completely into myself. Surround him with the labyrinth of shared happiness. I know it is you.' 
Wings of Desire.


On Avatar, I found this thought-provoking article which has left me thinking about the alter-ego, the created double, the imagined self, a folded back Platonic emanation of the pure forms, an enhanced version of the self presented on-line, the spy, the scientifically DNA-cloned reproduced enhanced self, the avatar:

From "Avatar and the Flight from Reality" in http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/avatar-and-the-flight-from-reality by James Bowman:

"It’s no accident either that Avatar is named neither for its gentle Na’vi people nor for the nasty corporate and mercenary colonialists nor even for the glorious, shimmering blue bioluminescent world they both inhabit. The name “avatar” comes proximately from the already familiar technology by which people nowadays contrive to become “drivers” (as they are called in the movie) of some second life, some alter ego in a wired-up world that is more in their control and therefore, paradoxically, more exciting to inhabit than the real one. In the case of the film’s human hero, played by Sam Worthington, the status of this sort of “driving” as wish-fulfillment is underlined by making him a paraplegic. Only in video-game mode, therefore, does he become fully alive and mobile, even while retaining his humanity. For him the decision to abandon his earthly body along with his earthly loyalties, to become his avatar and throw in his lot with the Na’vi, is presumably not even a difficult one."

Bowman points out that "the word “avatar” comes from the Hindu idea of a god come to earth."

Something to mull over. I thought Avatar an amazing film, I really did. It was the special effects, yes, but also something in the vision calling. That interconnectedness of all life, the energy of unity. The plot, eh. What's to say? Pretty safe and bland, like a Disney movie. Cameron took no risks there.


And, finally, on an amazing 5 minute nearly uncut scene as the camera weaves following the protagonists in in El Secreto de Sus Ojos...

Now El Secreto de Sus Ojos! -real filming! That scene through the stadium is nothing short of a tour de force. I read somewhere, though of course couldn't find the reference when I went looking, that that scene took 2 years of pre-production, 3 days to film, and 9 months to edit... and it wouldn't surprise me, not at all. Go see the movie at an art house, a revue theatre, wherever it's still playing after winning the Oscar for best foreign film.

I found this website which gives some idea of the camera virtuosity in this scene. Do go and take a look, read about the way the scene was composed, the cameras used, the angles, the challenges and the success:

http://features.cgsociety.org/story_custom.php?story_id=5559&page=1


I like that the soccer stadium scene is portrayed (mostly) through a handheld camera; I like that it's not animated somewhere else in the studio and enscripted onto the movie. I like that real people spent many months planning the scene and filming it and editing it so that there are 7 barely noticeable cuts in a swirling 5 minutes... overnight with the Oscar spotlight this scene became world famous. It is being studied around the world.

While I would call this scene 'immersive' rather than a 'comprehending' one, we are running with the protagonists, searching through those crowds, racing up and down stairs, checking cubicles, getting punched in the face, running... I would say that the aim of the film itself, its overall thematic thrust, is to allow us to more fully understand love, the necessity of love, how it drives us, and, watching it, we find we have left Freud's pleasure principle long behind as we immerse ourselves in the depth of this film's messages... on the power of love to motivate us to do what we do in our lives.


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A Tribute to Alain Bashung - Laura Tattoo on Coast Community Radio



Direct link to Tribute to Alain Bashung (1 hr radio show, free to download)

In a gentle, adoring and informative tribute, the poet Laura Tattoo brings the music of Alain Bashung alive to an English audience. To commemorate the genius of Alain Bashung, Laura dj'd a radio show one year after his death. She plays his music, covering a span of years and styles. She includes translations of his lyrics, and a little biography, particularly his latter years. The show is one hour, and aired on March 14, 2010 on Coast Community Radio. It is a moving tribute to a great singer.

Laura has dedicated a website to the music of Alain Bashung and is translating all of his song lyrics from French into English so that the English-speaking world may come to understand this great French musician better. Her website is called, Bashung in English: English translations of the songs of Alain Bashung, France's greatest rocker."

___
(I recorded the show for Laura on Sunday night, and uploaded it to the Internet Archives.)
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Three White Images, a videopoem



direct link: Three White Images. (Watch at 1080p -you'll be given this option once you press play- and full-screen - the resolution YouTube offers is excellent.)


Three White Images

...................................................................dark, quiet, stillness of the night
Tonight on my walk I came across three white images that
caught my heart. Should I carry a camera, or would that
undo what memory does? 
...................................................................images of the inner
...................................................................soul
...................................................................remembering

And what I mean is writing about the images in the cryptic
...................................................................criss-crossing of white branches
ways I do in my poetry contains a way for me
...................................................................against the white grate
to remember those images in an almost dream-like way
....................................................................an elephant in a yard, white,
that raw video footage might not
...................................................................full-sized, the Hindu Airavata who
...................................................................upholds the
...................................................................worlds

So I have a camera I resist using.

...................................................................the branches walk with us
Sometimes the photographs become the memories of the
...................................................................their lines against the dark sky
past and you forget what wasn't there. I find it strange
to look at photographs of my childhood, for instance, since
...................................................................cross-walks, roar of air
they are removed from what I remember. In that way
...................................................................we are alone in the night
I'd prefer to write of what I see than take a picture of it. But
...................................................................lights, unknown
the camera is glamourous, an amazing contraption,
...................................................................memories
and images can be shared, and so we take a lot of
...................................................................Tibetan prayer flags criss-crossing
...................................................................a yard
photographs of ourselves and our world. So I think
...................................................................devotionals, offerings, requests
...................................................................a peace tree 
both, remembering through writing, that way, and the
...................................................................where the wind moves
...................................................................pieces of woven material 
image, even if the image wouldn't look to someone else the
way I compose it.
...................................................................lanterns of love

...................................................................and then I lifted myself
...................................................................and it was bright


Three white images that caught my heart-
........a white elephant,
................prayer flags,
........................a white birch tree. 

___

Music from BertycoX's "Light of Abysses", go and listen to the whole track, from an album of two songs, beautiful.

The line spacing isn't my formatting, in which the italicized lines are deeply indented in a staggered way, I have done an indent with white dots - hopefully it's readable given the site's html restrictions.

This videopoem was inspired by a question I sent out on Facebook on March 3rd. The question is the first stanza (non-italicized) to which there were many responses from artists for whom taking images of the world in their motions to and fro are an important part of their oeuvre, Richard Kattman, Elissa MalcohnKim Walker, Sandra Machado, and Irena Strzinar, and I'd like to thank them. I went back a few evenings later with my video camera and shot the footage and edited during a day and a half marathon.

One of the issues I have with videotaping is camera shake, and as soon as I can afford it, I'll buy iLife and pull my videos in there to remove camera shake and then take them into Final Cut Express to edit them. It'll be far cheaper than an add-on, if such a thing is to be found for FCE. In this video I slowed the footage of the branches to half speed which helped considerably, and then geared the words to accepting that hand-held quality.

Also, in this video I am excited to see a discovery of ways to continue my aim of creating art with 'multiple voices,' 'multiple styles,' multiplicities. Although this video is now posted at YouTube, and I won't remove it, I think I have figured out how to get Garageband to save each voice in a left or right pan. If I get it right and it works, I'll upload the video elsewhere and see if the left/right stereo split of the voices is maintained in a posting. That'll be cool!

One voice is a conversation about doing the video, what memory is --if memories that are written are a better representation of the memories we hold than photographs might be, that photographs of a time period might even supplant our own memories from then-- and perhaps is the voice of ruminations. The other voice speaks poetry. A poetry that dances off the ruminations, echoes, and transcends it.

I am happy with this video and feel I've come far in my self-taught videopoetical route; if it doesn't quite work for you, read along with the film and see if that helps, and remember that I'm still learning and will get better at this.

___

Guy W. wrote a comment that I liked - he raised good questions, his response was sensitive to the work and yet expressed his difficulties with the style of aural presentation - and he gave me permission to include it here:

"Very captivating multi-media concept.
Maybe I'm just not good a multi-tasking, but with both poems being read simultaneously, I couldn't hear either one, so I had to scroll away from the video to read the lyrics. Perhaps if the audio stanzas were spaced instead of directly on top of one another.

I might have misinterpreted, but one poem seemed to argue against the existence of the video. Perhaps if all the lyrics were in the video.

I would like to have heard how the commonality of whiteness of the images unified them in your mind."

And so I had to reveal, O to reveal, and said, "Have you heard of double-induction subliminal hypnosis tapes? That is a technique I've transposed to my poetry. Yes, it is supposed to undo the logic of the mind so that a deeper listening can emerge. I have included the text, which isn't ever included with tapes in that style.

And you are absolutely right... one voice does argue against the use of images to accompany memory. Sometimes the photos can become the memory, supplant it so to speak, and one forgets the actual time or the real flavour of it, or how one felt...

The commonality was that I saw all three on a walk one night and all three images struck me with their poetic quality. Though I understand what you mean, and perhaps could put something to that effect in the written transcription that accompanies the videopoem.

Also, I've also been listening to Laurie Anderson lately - O Superman - and feel like experimenting a little with various soundscapes... I even was daring enough to add sound effects to the voice, a little echo here, a little reverberation there :))"
_
Postcript, June 13, 2010: Take a look at Loftus' work on memory: http://www.slate.com/id/2256089/pagenum/all/

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Birch freeze frame



A video still (some filters added to it, can't remember what but I didn't use them in the video itself), the video will appear later today, saving it now, upload to YouTube hopefully in the morning before I go out...


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Blueberry-glazed Cheesecake


Yum, delicious. ♡Birthdays! On Thursday night, there were only 5 of us, my brother and his children couldn't make it. My daughter and I made a large but very light cheesecake. One slice left the next morning, which I took a photograph of so *you* can have a piece too, and join us in our small and quiet celebration. ♥♥


♡All sweet wishes fill my starflower shining basket of solar years! ♡Thank you!♡ ☼☆☆☆☆



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Horn-honking street-cheering TO celebrates Olympic Gold



direct link to YouTube video: Horn-honking street-cheering Toronto celebrates Olympic Gold

A horn-honking,
street-cheering city,
a cacophony
of car horns,
and revelry,
laughing and waving-

Canada makes Olympic history.
Toronto celebrates!

As soon as the last overtime gold goal was scored,
people piled out of taverns, their homes, cheering.

You reach for the stars, Team Canada,
and they're gold.

Medals, a constellation of 14 stars
helping the country navigate
now-
An Olympic record, and first time
for us on home soil.

Rubbing gold stars
from our eyes
in disbelief...

The red maple leaf,
our flag
flying high tonight.

The streets of Toronto explode into a Winter party.

A whole country berserk with celebration.

Congratulations, Canada.



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