whaleskin, 2011, 20cm x 25.5cm, 8" x 10", India ink, graphite, watercolour pencils, Moleskine Folio Sketchbook A4. (Click on the images for a larger size.)

Anchored in my mind all day, a koan. What in death does not die? I brush a wash of India ink onto paper. Ground burnt bones thickened with resins. Words in the wet wave. Words in the black tusk of the whale whose skin swims with algae, barnacles, skeletal memories of cattle, the backbones of live fish in the orange sunset that beaches the creature like a hammerhead of knuckles. The creatures of the world fight for their lives. In the mass extinction. In the radioactive orange water into which the sun has fallen. The salty sludge-lined ocean, layers of plastic bags hugging the sand, shopping for the moment.

It was a Zen moment.

What in death does not die.


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"Passage," a painting video by Rachel

direct link: Passage by Rachel

How to live in an over crowded world. Rachel, an artist, offers a video of a painting-in-progress; while she is normally is a figurative artist, this is abstract shapes, circles. I like the wavy filters, and her use of them imparts a sense of how we are like amoeba with the life force moving through us. While there is humour here, ultimately I am reminded of a crowded beach, trains at rush hour in the city, us over-running the globe. The scrolling text offers sane advice on how to live lovingly in such a world.
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Dream: July 30, 2011 (The man at the door)

A man comes to the door a few times but I ignore him. Then he is knocking insistently. Only my daughter and I are home. I sneak downstairs and hide below the window of the door and say we're not interested, sorry. He persists, though. During the conversation I realize the door isn't locked and slowly slide the lock, hoping he won't hear. It's an old fashioned lock, not my new dead bolt. My daughter is on the stairs behind me, watching. Once the door is locked, I rise up a little to peer through the window to see who is trying to gain entry. The glass is obscuring glass, thick, old, and fogs everything. I see a man, average height, good build, in an old cotton orange shirt, short thinning auburn hair, blue eyes, leathery skin that's reddish in colour. But blurry, out of focus, due to the glass. While I can't be more than a slight opaqueness in the shadows, a bare movement at the base of the window, he sees me and becomes angry that I won't let him in. I don't know who he is or what he wants or why he thinks he can come in.

It came to me suddenly. The man in the dream resembles the man at the computer repair shop. Yesterday when I picked up my dead LaCie EXT HDD, the electrical cord had not been in the shipment from the technician. I wasn't happy about that. The man behind the counter asked where I lived. I mentioned the cross-streets. He offered to deliver it personally. I said no. The conversation went on. He offered three times to deliver the cord to my home today. Of course, I refused.

But there is also another situation of persistence, which I'd rather not talk about in my public blog.

Clearly this requires a resisting energy, like in the dream. It's so exhausting.

Twenty-five video poems lost on the fried hard drive

The 1TB LaCie was, I thought, my safest external hard drive, and I kept my back-up on it. But I make video poems, which eat disk space. So my desktop hard drive filled up, and another 500GB EXT HHD hard drive was full, so the back up became the archive. I'm currently out of work, and hadn't bought another drive for back-up when I was clearly bursting at the seams. And was flat up against not being able to continue with a few video projects because I had no disk space. Now, however, the money I was going to use to fix the LaCie will go to a cheaper Western Digital 1TB EXT HHD, and then I can continue with the videos. The LaCie disc itself is dead, it won't turn at all, but the data is probably fully intact, and there are ways to retrieve it. I was quoted $1,000. which is out of my budget range, but you never know... a deal may come up, a computer student may appear, or I could find I can afford it down the road.

If not, well, I'm a self-taught video artist, learning as I go, and while that drive has 2 years of work on it, it is early stuff. There are a couple of videos I'm sad I won't be able to include in a DVD collection, but otherwise, eh. On with the new.

The good news is all the videos are at YouTube; images in Picasa. Artwork is fine, of course - I have the originals. What's online is not the highest resolution, or the quality you'd need to make DVDs, or art prints, etc., but at least I still have a record of these lost years.

All my documents were double backed-up, so that's fine.

With an empty 1TB ext hdd, I look forward to getting back to work.

direct link: 25 video poems by Brenda Clews

Sigh, after embedding my video poetry playlist at YouTube, when I look at what I've lost -the original footage and Final Cut files for all these videos- if I can't afford to retrieve them from the defunct hard drive before the data disappears in however many years, while I try to be optimistic, yes, I do weep a little. Trying to be positive though!

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Comments (1)

Video poetry by Swoon: 'Welcome to hard times'

direct link: Welcome to hard times

What a haunting, evocative video poem... the footage quite perfect, it contains the emotion, buried in black seawater and suffused, washing up to the shore like an oil spill, an edge of threatening, and we must imagine the events as they occur in their surreality. Poem by Howie Good and reading by Nic Sebastian, amazing of course.

Swoon wrote (in response to my comment above, with his permission):

"It was a struggle to make though... I couldn't get the atmosphere right at first. Too much... In the end I stripped down a lot and stayed with only the 'washing' tides, the washed up seaweeds and stuff and the wood. I kept the 'foggy footage off course, that was the first idea."

Which caused me to elaborate a little:

Nic's reading is understated, and your video is understated, but wow, the emotion spills out in ways it wouldn't if the video were a more dramatic enactment of the poem. I think you've caught the dreaming, imagining mind at the crux where the river flows into the ocean, where emotive images become part of a thought-process, and the visual and verbal metaphors continue to work at that subliminal level after the video is over.

Stone #78

Our tongues fork into each other. The undersides of clouds splatter slithers of rain meandering down the panes.


My back-up hard drive, 1Terabyte LaCie fried

In a state of shock. My LaCie 1T external hard drive is dead, fried, the data irretrievable (in my budget range), and it was my back-up. I've lost all of my original files for video poems, Final Cut files, Garageband files, Photoshop files, music, I am too numb to remember everything that was on that dear drive.

My cheap drives are all doing fine. Maybe a message in that?

I have it in to a repair shop. The drive, even in another casing, attached to another computer, is not turning. Dead. Like, in the spirit world. Likely the data is still on it, but unaccessible. It would cost a lot to retrieve it (and that shop doesn't offer that service).

And I nearly did Backblaze a few months ago, or CrashPlan, I can't remember, but I am an anti-credit card type, and they don't accept any options to pay cash.

C'est la vie. I've lost so much stuff over the years as computers have died or I've moved and lost all my emails with a service provider, so....

On with the new.
Comments (4)

The Science Behind Dreaming: Scientific American

"...participants who exhibited more low frequency theta waves in the frontal lobes were also more likely to remember their dreams... This finding is interesting because the increased frontal theta activity the researchers observed looks just like the successful encoding and retrieval of autobiographical memories seen while we are awake. That is, it is the same electrical oscillations in the frontal cortex that make the recollection of episodic memories (e.g., things that happened to you) possible. Thus, these findings suggest that the neurophysiological mechanisms that we employ while dreaming (and recalling dreams) are the same as when we construct and retrieve memories while we are awake."

"...dreams help regulate traffic on that fragile bridge which connects our experiences with our emotions and memories."

The Science Behind Dreaming: Scientific American

Stone #77

out of the continual hum, I grasp my fragmentary words, speaking, momentarily, before they slide into the murmur that is everywhere

Stone #76

Slow, meticulous cutting of patterns, sewing. Each second is a stitch; each hour a finished seam. Our lives are the garments we wear.
Comments (4)
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