Monday, December 29, 2008
It's hard to know what they're thinking, but if you look at the little details; how their hands moves and their eyes look deep yours and then they too notice their hand movement and look back at you; unsure how to take your expression, and then they cock their head a few degrees to the right, and you lean your head forwards at the same time cocking it slightly to the lower left of your body, and she smiles, maybe out of confession or just to actualize a moment; a moment the both of you just shared as you smile back, you had this moment you're thinking, you just created, maybe even birthed this moment, and between both of you; you and her are the proud owners of this moment as you move your hands to express what your words are telling her; detailing the size of things, the way things move in your world, and their scale because it just seems to require hand movement that almost knocks over the condiments if it weren't for her watchful eyes, looking at your every movement, catching the clearly red ketchup bottle that could only be ketchup, not mustard like the clearly yellow mustard bottle, and now it is in her hand, the ketchup not the mustard, and she is looking into your eyes, she is saying with the slow blinking gaze that she too acknowledges this moment, her hands approaching yours, she looks excited, like she had discovered something, maybe even invented something as she gets closer and closer and her lips part like a divine escape from an Egyptian pharaoh, as she inhales you inhale, and she looks deeper into your eyes, and you look deeper into hers, and your lips part like waters of the Red Sea, and the flood is in heavy clouds now, as you make hand gestures implying you have an ark, and she gestures with her hands she has the animals, your hands form two legs each and do a walking motion across the table, she looks deeper into your eyes, she tells you with her gaze, she has two of each, we only need each other now.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Saturday, December 20, 2008
I would like to say that nothing is a mistake, that truth is absolute. I would like to believe in a happy ending to all of this. I would like to believe I could live just off of hope. And as a man sheds his youthful skin away an old man emerges. His memory fades as the brown hues of his eyes turn grey. The future is a foggy thing. The past is a foggy thing. Fingers crack, and crumble as his voice thins to an envelope's edge. He speaks, he cries, and he sleeps, soon forgetting what made his heart beat. Where have all the beautiful girls gone, where are the feet to dance, the hands to hold, and the loves to make? He cannot remember, he cannot get up, and he cannot say. Somewhere deep inside, he escapes his time. He is no longer at an armchair, as he walks with his children across a hillside looking over an ocean. This is his last memory.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Recently I wanted to go back to a time in my work that was very simple and fast enough to just capture a moment. I purchased a medium format rangefinder, and purposed to carrying it with my everywhere, along side with my trusty compact flash. I want to capture details of moments I want to remember, from the people that tie me to events and times of my life, and the things that happen in-between my conceptual work.
(Aaron With Shovel In Backyard, December 10th 2008)
(Katie Looking Down In Unknown Front Yard, December 10th 2008)
(Kotama Before He Gives A Sticker To Jo Louie and His Food Being Eaten By Others As Nathan Pays The Bills, December 10th 2008)
(Brown On Brown On Brown, December 14th 2008)
(Unknown Wire Tied To Tree and The Bickford Centre of Education, December 14th 2008)
(Elise and The $95 or $13 Dress in Thrift Shop, December 14th 2008)
I hope to continue this as long as I could, as these moments become perminent reminders of the passage of time. I have recently been fascinated with Martin Parr's work as well.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
We didn't have much of a concept; go on the road, depose of two full sets of clothes, and write on a collaborative story. What ended up happening wasn't a photo shoot, or performance, or even installation, it was one of those things you call an adventure.
I have never done a collaborative art piece, and so when I approached my friend and fellow artist with an idea of going on the road and shooting something she responded with a firm, yes. She'd get the car, I'll bring the camera, and we'll just make up the rest as we go.
We decided to do everything unanimously and intuitively, and try to make this project as even as possible. So when we decided on the general idea of going on the road and leaving evidence of traveling along the road we came up with the idea to also include text in a collaborative story; where we go back and forth in writing, creating a stereo dynamic of narrative.
We choose the locations by scouting the road around us, looking at each other and if we both said yes we'd hit the next exit, and find ourself in a small town as we dissect the scenery, finding the right location within the right location.
Like the writing we would compose the scene, moving the clothes around, and composing the shot separately to gain two perspectives. Later as contact sheets we then chose which image we liked more.
And as for the results, the dynamic of the duo in both writing and imagery was beyond our expectation. It was a chance to let the ideas flow naturally, and to simplify the process of how we make art. It was an escape from a lot of things, and everything just felt right. And in the end it wasn't about the art but it was about documenting a part of ourselves that isn't as organized, external, or complete. We were following a faint voice from within each of us that tells of only the truth in who we are.
"Let's us remember, to come back here one day, again and again, maybe even forever, after we fall, after we turn to dirt, and our eyes are someone else's, we will return as ghosts. Like the air of 1927."
*Images above were documenting photos of Untitled Collaboration of Brendan George Ko and faye, taken on December 3rd, 2008. Final images will appear in time on http:www.brendangeorgeko.com and are printed as 30x40" c-prints.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
The index finger is the largest of all fingers when seen for its meaning and discrepancy. And some even say the index finger has been as revolutionary as the thumb, I beg to differ.
In the caves of what we call modern America, we see a young, strong, and large-boned family of cavemen and cavewomen. They are discovering fire for first time as they sit on square wheels; keep hitting that flint. It has been days since the cavefather has discovered the spark, which sparked the idea of throwing sparks on something dry. Later he will discover the fire to which has yet to be extinguished; he is our greatest grandfather, with his mammoth drape over his body and his spear. He never dragged his cavewife by the hair of her head; he made the fire for her. This is where I was most fascinated; the act of devotion, and furthermore, the emotion of love.
The fire was invented at the same time as love, for a man had no control of his will, his inner fire to his desire. His eyes, shaded by the slope of his brow, were determined to create what his strange dreams had foreseen.
I would like to talk of the times before the invention of the fire, and of love. The cavepeople would travel, nomadically, throughout the country side, only stopping at bodies of water and continuing along their coast. The times could not get anymore simpler for the people, they cared only for hunting, eating, and then sleeping, and having kids for some unexplained reason that still exist today in modern day men and women, in a certain time in their lives. Things almost had no meaning without the fire or love, everything was just like it should and without reason to explain. This was a time of few emotions as well. The invention of fear was given to the hunters facing the giant mammoth and saber-tooth tigers of their time. It was upon the face of the enemy, in this case, the giant animal, the caveman decided he could die from this creature, his heart raced and his eyes dilated, and he didn’t even really feel hungry anymore either. But to spite all these changes in his body he charged forwards and conquered the creature. When he was walking home, or rather, the home before his family decided to move again, …and then again, he thought he had challenged something greater, not just a giant, but something that could’ve killed him. He decided to invent fear to explain his challenges as a hunter; the hunter who hunts against fear. Over the mammoth-size meal, the hunter told his story, and his children listened dearly with watery eyes of fresh discovery. And so they grew older and told the story of fear to their children, and so on and so forth until the origins of the story were lost in time. Today we only feel fear, and have no concept of a life without the feeling, but there were days where fear wasn’t a factor.
Soon after, almost instantly after, on another part of the land, which was very far from the origins of fear, a cavewomen invented love. She had birthed her fifth child, and decided to name him. The name given was Cough, and was the most beautiful baby she had ever seen. She cared for her other children but there was something very much different with Cough, as if he wasn’t from this world. Cough was smaller than his cavebrothers and cavesisters, and never really grew as muscular as them as well. But to spite his physical disadvantage he was smart, taking the spear of sharpened wood and decided to use the flint stone as an arrowhead for the tip. This made the spear sharper, and since it didn’t need as much wood, it also made the spear lighter. Later on Cough would be the grandfather to certain indigenous tribes who adapted the Cough spear into small handheld arrows. Cough didn’t know what to feel about his mother, she would care for him the most because he was the smallest, and though his siblings didn’t like him much, he cared deeply for them. Seeing Cough grow to Cough’s mother was the greatest thing she had ever felt and decided to invent the feeling of love to explain this to her other offspring and to her cavehusband. And to spite their jealousy over Cough, they all understood then and there, that love conquers all.
It wasn’t long after the invention of love, and the “spreading” of love occurred that the invention of hope came about. It was invented by a few cavepeople, and miraculously instantanously. The word of love carried on the backs of many nomadic people, telling them of this great thing that happened to them, but there were a sum of few who did not know of that feeling of love. They struggled to understand, as they carried on their cave drawings with the diming light. There was no fire for their hearts. The only thing they could do for others as they struggled to understand what love was to invent something that complements it. These cavepeople, all instantly, invented Hope. With hope they were able to coup with the emptiness or rather, the lack of, love in their hearts, and hoped to find love one day. This later grew on many others, and over the generations became essential to life itself amongst humans. Without love there is hope, without hope there is nothing but hunting and gathering.
The index finger comes into this story after the invention of fear, love, and hope. The index finder was used for selection of who you are and who that person is, and as a general identification device. Without the index finger the cavemen and cavewomen would not know who one was talking about. They had to point the finger, to tell that person he was in love with her, or that she had hope for the future, which was him as she pointed out the cave to an endless desert, far away there was her love; faceless and lost without her as he pointed out to that same desert in her direction. But soon after the use of the index finger as identification, there was discrimination, where loving someone who did not love you was feared. The mixture of fear and love is a rather complex story and I will try to explain this without losing you in the process.
Originally fear was invented to mark a larger obstacle than the physical challenge of hunting a certain creature. When hope was invented those who were without love were either seen as crazy or sad, with a taste of sympathy, which was invented as by-product of hope. The cavepeople who had found love were intoxicated with this new take on life that they could not imagine their lives before this feeling, and were lost to meaning of the lives of others, those who had not found this feeling called love. The cavepeople without love, but had hope, spoke to their friends and family members, telling them they were not lost, that they were not crazy, but waiting for something unseen. But they were granted little attention in the audience of love as they pointed their index fingers first to themselves then to the endless void. It was this very endless void that provoked fear in those who were comfortable, even complacent, in their natural landscape. The lands beyond their knowledge were even more of challenge, and more death-threatening than the mammoths and the saber-tooth tigers, for they, at least, were understood, little could be said for lands beyond one’s eyes. And so those with love told those without to carry on, to find their loves that were in the endless void and to never return. The hopeful were casted from their native lands to seek their hope. And the once friends, and the family members would watch them leave, without saying anything, just pointing their index finger to the void, as they watched their histories walk away until they disappeared into the setting sun, or a hill, and maybe even a forest. The love-filled towns grew smaller and smaller as they realized less and less knew of love, and this itself apposed a fear. They were slowly losing their communities to the unknown. And they also longed to know what had happened to their hopeful friends and family members, for even the hopeful were loved themselves. If only they shared this love with those who loved them, they would be together still. And so the index finger had been abused for its power, and later banned to be use against a person. Today we no longer have to ban the use of the index finger towards another, but regard it as rude and impolite.
And so everyone decided to leave their caves to seek the unknown in hopes to find what had been in front of their eyes this whole time. They had lost the most important thing to them; their families and a part of their history. They only had hope to find, and it was hope that found them like the many before them as they too walked into the unknown with nothing on their backs, alone on a journey for something they cannot describe. We never chose our fates; to be born as, and we have never felt more alone until we found each other and saw the same fear we all share.
FYI (July 30th, 2009) Cavepeople is now accepted over Cavemen.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Flying high above a dish of forest greens, mount mashed-potato, and gravy river my mother's hand soared in the sky, occasional descending and ascending just before approach. I was stubborn as a child when it came to eating. There was so much happening around me then that eating was never numbero uno, it was just a requirement, plus greens were gross. I wanted to run, I wanted to play, see Danielle and Andrew and run really really fast with them. If only for a little while...Then I'll settle down and eat my greens if it made my mommy happy, but not right now.
My feet were surging with all types of energies that I could not even try to describe, I just had to go. But here I was, stuck, in a big chair with my favorite books beneath my bottom and I knew, and my mom knew, I had to finish everything. I HAD to become a big boy one day, and that wouldn't happen until I eat it all up, all the forests and all of the river's gravy, and then deconstruct mount mashed-potato. Each night I had to challenge this all, as the nights came quickly if I hadn't eatten fast enough, I wanted to go out one more time, just before it turns dark blue outside and the orange of street lights start to flicker. I wanted to be a kid forever. I wanted a cape and aviator goggles. I wanted to dream of flying, and then I wanted to really fly, with big gloves on and my rain boots, high above my sisters and my daddy. I would go up and up until they turned to ants, and then just like that, they disappear. My mommy would pack a lunch for me, everyday, and everyday a new sandwich and a new snack, and I would fly off to work. She'll kiss my cheek and tell me to be safe, her lipstick will rub off and I'll have one rosy cheek that smelled like the most beautiful flower ever. I want to fly to remember, to see everything and tell everyone I know of my journeys, of the adventures I have had. I wanted my mom to know how much I missed her while away. I think she knows exactly what I had seen on my adventures, because she probably knew how to fly herself when she was my age. I decided then and there I never wanted to grow up. And so since then I have been flying, I have grown older and into a man, but there are things that will never change, for the skies will always be blue and the clouds of white and grey, for days like this it is just a moment in a moment. And I still have to force myself to eat my greens as my hand descends and ascends the skies above the forest of greens, river gravy, and mount mashed-potato.
In other news: my official website will be launching soon, hopefully I'll be free enough to continue keeping this blog updated atleast weekly.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Today is exactly one week away from Photorama at TPW Gallery. This exhibition is a fundraiser for the gallery, and this year I was invited to present work. So I'll be presenting two pieces for the first time in a gallery space, in addition with one I have never shown anywhere, including this blog, for the very first time...
For more information on the exhibition: http://www.gallerytpw.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=110&catid=4&Itemid=47
I hope to see some of you there.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
By Brendan George Ko
“And now I see what the glass door is. It is the door of a coffin-mine. Not a coffin, a sarcophagus. I am in an enormous vault, dead, and they are paying their last respects.” (Pirsig, Zen)
We are observers to our past, and through time the memory of our history changes as we change. When Robert M. Pirsig set out on his motorcycle journey across America with his son, Chris, and a couple, John and Sylvia, he wasn’t interested in the destination, but in the discovery along the road. He was investigating the history of someone who he once was; someone he had forgotten and was no longer, Phaedrus; his severed personality. Seeing everything around him; revisiting his past, Pirsig found his memory of who he once was. And as he investigated deeper and deeper he learned of who Phaedrus was to the people he once knew, and of his words that matched each terrain, recalling him of Phaedrus’ studies and later, of his insanity. I am searching for shades of myself, investigating my past, and finding captions that speak for each moment I had forgotten. Instead of a motorcycle, I use my feet for this journey; searching the terrain that surrounds me for my past self that has so rapidly changed over the course of half decade. And like the glass chamber that filled the dream of Phaedrus, I am only an observer to my history; completely powerless to influence change. But it is our history that makes who we are today, and it is who we are today that makes who we are tomorrow.
Through my own investigation, I am reading old journal entries, and biographical fiction I wrote in different times of my life. My words will find themselves on windows of places that hold a certain memory, and after they are documented they will remain as mementos to remind me of this act as well as to engage to others who pass by. The sceneries behind this windows will be out of focus like the memory of the captions have faded through time, becoming less clear and less real.
I was searching for my history, and I was learning who I was through my past, but I discovered my future in the process as I started a history with someone that was right in front of me this whole time.
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, Robert M. Pirsig, 1974, excerpts from Chapter 23
There have been changes to this series, my investigation is no longer just of the past but of my future. And since then I have changed the title and have adapted a new artist statement I find more truthful to what I am saying with this body of work.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I once had flashbacks. I saw memories of small details of my life that served not external purpose, nothing that built a sense of character or defined my life, but these almost meaningless details of things, such as a small grocery bag on the curb, or a brickwall of the house I grew up in.
To quote Oscar Hammerstein II, from his song, My Favorite Things,
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens;
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens;
Brown paper packages tied up with strings;
These are a few of my favorite things.
Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels;
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles;
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings;
These are a few of my favorite things.
Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes;
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes;
Silver-white winters that melt into springs;
These are a few of my favorite things.
When the dog bites,When the bee stings,
When I'm feeling sad,I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don't feel so bad.
Taking portions of my favorite things of someone, and isolating them from the world in which they exist I find a new context for them. They are no longer an assembly of items or objects to someone as a whole but identified and redefined in their separation. Presenting these concentrations in a diptych format addresses the context the person they originate from. There is a sense of timelessness in the proximity in these isolations, that the world outside of these features is faded, beyond the optic and the sense of time and place. And through the process of identifying small features of someone, there is a lost of identity, making these portions the facet of anyone, but retaining the individuality (the small details that make the individual unique).
When I think of the song, My Favorite Things, I think of one of my favorite songs in the 1965 musical film, Sound of Music, how it speaks of these small details that are seen as meaningless until we present meaning to them as individuals. We define these meanings through our history with their significance, as pure and simple they are, it is these small things that make us unique ultimately, and these small things I would like to remember about a person.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Over and over, rolling down the hall, into the stairway, out the door, passed my bike, through the alleyway, down the road, up the street, and at your doorstep, and it ends. I can't stop.
The jungle only existed in my mind but yet when I was awake I was seeing it, right there in front of my conscious eyes you and the everything I knew of you were just far enough to not be reached but close enough to smell. You called me George. George, no one calls me by that? You looked the same as in my dreams, with tropical eyes; the green coral reefs, the smile, the dark hair; as wavy as the waters of an estuary. I spoke and you spoke back, I moved my arm and my hand reached towards yours, and I felt your hand for the very first time, it felt the same too. My heart felt like a small bean rumbling around in the cavity of my chest; that magic bean growing and growing until I could not, I can't stop.
I fell to the ground, with my hand still anchored to yours. You never let go, and you even pulled me up. I felt lightheaded, I was breathing heavily, holding myself together. What was this, what was going on? You were a mystery, you didn't exist here, how could you? My eyes were fixed; they were telling me the truth, but I still didn't believe. I was twenty-two years into believing you were just something I could imagine, that my dreams were dreams; far from reality. But seeing you there, I didn't know what was real. My eyes turned glassy then tears formed, I didn't want to blink, thinking once they open again you'd disappear like some sort of magic trick.
There could never be an answer. There just was. And always. This moment. These lives. And all of it, to be real as the pain of it not being real, and how we tried to believe, but it wasn't our choice to believe or not, for something to be real. It just was. I can't stop thinking you'll disappear after I blink, after I believe in this is all happening, right here and right now. How can you disappear when I disappear with you.
Now for art talk...I was thinking of renaming this series to Helvetica on Glass. And if you were interested in my artistic references, here they are:
Lisa Hecht, Becky Comber, Virginia Mak, Kotama Bouabane, Danielle Bleackley, Uta Barth, and Roland Barthes (theoretical reference).
Thursday, October 30, 2008
Can we end it right now? Just moments ago you said you were alone. And just after you said that I said you weren’t. We were together on this. Right now, and right here, it was all happening, just before our eyes. The cliff was scary, but it was the only place in the world you can see a sunset like this. We promised each other we’ll never leave and if we had to do, we’d return in exactly one year from this day. It has been three years since and I haven’t seen you since. I wasted $785 dollars on a flight to the Dublin, then the car rental, another $34, and the bed & breakfast, $28, to come here and to wait for entire day, when camping out, waiting for you. You never returned, and your promise to me was lost, it probably fell off the cliff like the rocks I threw over after the first two hours of waiting. Damn it, I thought, it made me feel so empty, but more importantly, it made me feel like a fool. By the time the sun had passed overhead I was feeling better. In a place like this, you can’t help but feel lost, lost in all the good ways of being lost. I don’t think lost is the right word, how about the feeling of having escaped. When we first came here, we really did escape, we were on the run, and this place was the perfect hideout. Of course it has been three years, and the people who were looking for us had probably forgotten of us, or still have pictures of us in the pubs they frequent, and have become so familiar with the wanted posters of us that they no longer see us, just another ad that shouldn’t be up on the walls of their favorite pubs.
The first time I came here for our one year anniversary I wore a disguise; a real thick moustache and thick rimmed glasses. I even had a fake gut over my smaller gut to throw off any resemblance of my bandit self. I even packed my fly-eye plastic aviators and bandana with me, the same aviators and bandanas we used for our Dublin heist. After I was pissed off about you not being there at the cliff, I wondered if you still had the bandana and metal aviators I gave you. I wondered if you had been caught by the Mooney Brothers, and if I was wrong for cursing your absence. Maybe you were even cursing me for not coming to your rescue. I have always thought of you as the person I originally met on the train leaving Paris; a mystery. I never received any means to contact you; you would just be there when you said you would. I liked that, and I think that is why I asked you if you wanted to be my partner in the first place, you were reliable. But then we have this situation with you not being here, right now, I needed you here, so I knew you were safe, that we both were safe, one year, two, and three years after our first job together. I was left with questions, I wanted answers, and I wanted you here.
We planned our first and only heist in a coffee shop, and we were so set and so turned on by the fact we were two normal people turned bank robbers that we couldn’t wait the next few days to rob someone or something, we just had to try out our newly purposed lives out, right then and there. But a coffee shop wasn’t a great place to rob, and we had already been seen without our disguises on, so we decided on the bank across the street. I was a little nervous but not as nervous as excited. And I kind of fell in love with you right then and there because you were down for robbing people. I had never known anyone that would do that with me, or at least, I had never asked. I wanted to believe that there is only one person you are meant to rob people with, and the reason you get caught with any other partner is because they weren’t your soul partner. We were invincible I thought as we were changing into our disguises in the alleyway. We had guns, which were bought two days earlier as souvenirs for your uncle, who asked for nothing else but guns from France. We both were also buzzing from the coffee since we aren’t regulars of the caffeine fixture, which made us even more impatient and excited; impatiently excited. We decided to tie each other’s shoes, pressing down on the strings to make sure they were snug, asking each other if it was too tight or loose, we had it just right like the soul bank robbers we were. I double knotted yours because I doubted myself in my knot tying but I trusted yours. We placed our guns under our sweaters, and I gave you your bandana and wrapped inside was some aviators, and we both tied the bandanas and put the glasses on and with closed fist, we said three, two, one then you kept your hand as fist and I made scissors. I wasn’t sure what that meant but I took the first couple of steps to our future as we walked smoothly out of the alleyway across the street without anyone really seeing us. It was time.
I didn’t feel there, like I was living a life through someone else’s eyes, maybe they were your eyes. Did you have that feeling, it was sort of unreal. That feeling, I’m robbing a bank, like in the movies, but my hand is gripping a piece of steel that could kill someone, I didn’t even know if it was loaded and I checked the safety, guns had those things right? I thought it would be hard to point an potentially loaded gun at someone but when the guard came close to unclipping his hostler I didn’t hesitate, his face was point blank. I yelled beneath my bandana in a Mexican accent, and you looked over, having your gun pointed at a teller, and beneath those huge black eyes I could see your real ones, you were happy we had this going good. Our first should be a good and uncomplicated thing.
We made our demands clear, getting all the larger bills, in two big, but manageable, sacks. You went back with the bank manager and made sure things went well back there. I stayed up front, panning my gun as if I conducted the scene of the crime, one wrong move and I’ll cap you, not in the face, but maybe in the leg if I could aim, or even just close by to scare the crap out of you. I felt dangerous, I was dangerous. And for the first time in my life I was doing something really bad, and it felt great. I thought of all those old people going skydiving, or on an African safari, and I thought how much they are missing out right now, having guns and robbing people, it felt bad and good all at the same time. And I had to just check myself for a second, that I was actually doing this, and how bad this is, but you made me feel like it was the most passionate thing I had ever done in my life. We were forcing ourselves to have to run away from all of this. That we didn’t have a choice, we were on the run, leaving everything behind.
You came back with our sacks of money, you threw mine at me, and I caught it like a baby, being absolutely gentle, all without losing my gun’s position as we made out getaway. Of course, this being an impulsive thing we didn’t think of a getaway vehicle, so we smashed and grabbed the prettiest car outside the bank, a newly restored 1966 MG in a dark green finish and license plate that says Mooney.
We set out on our new lives, as the wind blew through our hair and the air around us was telling us, this was all right. I thought of all the days I spent on the planet living so far from all of this, and how one little change can make everything fit so nicely in place. But the truth is, it wasn’t a small change, it was you, right now, driving at 120 km/h and constantly checking the rear view. You smile at me when you start feeling safe; I wondered if you felt safe with me. I felt safe with you. And the car continued, going passed all the direction signs, leaving civilization, and rolling into endless fields of green hills. I wanted to say, “We are home.” But instead I said, “So this is where we begin.” You look at me, at first contemplative on what I said, then you look serious for a moment, crack a smile, and let out a loud and energetic laugh; half delusion and absolutely wonderful. You were right; there are no words for this feeling right now. Drive.
[End of Part One]
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I'm sick and I need your help telling me this...
Yesterday I got my first disgusting moment with this series when I was photographing the fifth roadkill. I stick my hands right in there and my fingers come pretty close to touching something that has been shouldn't be touched without a 12 ft stick, and I write with clalk what I think could be its final last words.
I have been obsessed with the idea of leaving flowers behind for those we have lost, and though dead rats and pigeons aren't usually missed, or cared for, we see their death more than any other kind of death.
Sometimes I feel pretty sick from seeing some really gross roadkill, and it is so clear in my memory that I could still see it, years later. I thought of changing the context of that image I have in my head by making something humorous about roadkill. And in the process I thought I'd even play on final words, and how they too, can be humorous as well.
And like the act of leaving flowers behind for those we have lost, I leave these little captions for the little guy, or little guys. Farewell.
Monday, October 20, 2008
I don't really have a story for this week, but I'll try to pull something out of somewhere here goes....
Nothing. You know when there is nothing around and you can hear that static noise. It's weird because your ears ring from the silence and it almost hurts. When I was traveling the land on my snail, we encountered many things, such things as wolves, big and scary, to normal; non-fantasy-sized wolves, and then when I thought I saw every creature this land had to offer I see a giant made of boulders. He wasn't very bright, but he was kind, and to spite having a heart made of stone, he had the biggest heart I have ever seen, both literally and emotionally. He was the first one to tell me nothing. He said nothing and nothing was going on, all around, that I should watch out. I asked, for what? He corrected himself with more loud and rocky sounding clearing of the throat and told me, yes, "Nothing". So we said our goodbyes and made out separate pathes, probably bond to see each other later towards the climax.
On the path to nothing you don't really know where you're going but you know you're going the right way when you see everyone and everything running the opposite way, this is how I will learn entirely nothing. I had been given many warnings of my course of direction, and even my snail was feeling unsure of where we were going but he still pushed on without slowing pace, we were looking for nothing. The trees were split, rocks thrown then smashed and I feared we were too close to nothing, but still the snail and I carried on. A young indian boy came to ride beside me, said I was fearless if only I knew what I was going against. I said I wasn't going against anything really, just curiousity, there was nothing else to do. He didn't look to happy but like my snail he continued to the path of nothing. He told me of his land, just beyond the dark scary clouds with the lightning bolts and rain, how it was far different from what it was now, that he never even seen lightning before nothing happened. His people were kind folk, that they were great musicians, and invented the first electric piano synthesizers, and the mohawk originated from there, and leather pants too, they were totally his tribe's gear before the fad. I was rather lost on what he was talking about but he was better entertainment than nothing. So we continued, I minded my stories of my land, couldn't really relate to the young indian boy since my land was probably still standing, having nothing to do with nothing, it was a boring place and so my people called it, Porage. But since you're listening, and I have built all this up about how boring it was, I might as well give you my two cents on the land of Porage. My people were made of clay, brought to life by hands of thunder bolts and lightning, true story since we are a relatively new type of people, only 10, 000 years old, even the rock people are triple that, I can only imagine how old the indian boy's people were, probably the oldest, anyhoot, the other cent was that we believed in nothing, we even questioned our faith in our creation, but still acknowledged it. We just didn't like belief, sure we had assumption of things and the order of the world but we had no way of really knowing if it was true. So it didn't take long for the people neighboring our land to hate us, starting with the troll people, eventual even the giant turtle people, they all semi-hated us, just because we never believed in anything they said. We didn't believe in what we were even saying! And so that is my story of my land and of my people, I left them because I didn't believe in them, and now that I think of it, I'm not even sure if they existed in the first place, there's no going back now because it's probably nothing now.
The young indian boy stopped me when we saw the largest wolf we had ever seen in our whole lives and told me to run. I wasn't getting off my snail and my snail couldn't run, it was fast but it just did whatever snails do, roll-slide-fall-get-up. We just stood there, not caring for this big bad wolf, we had traveled too far and too long for this to end here. The wolf came closer, and then even closer, talking, yes, in human english, and when it spoke, it told us to beware. Of what? Nothing? He laughed then looked deep into our eyes, his eyes in brilliance blood red glow. "You are going to die!" "Silly", and then we started on our way again, and the young indian boy said to the snail and I, "I'll handle him, get out of here while you still can, go, run!" I said goodbye and to even take care, he didn't say anything back, and it felt kinda rude but I didn't really believe in manners anyways. And so we were off again, on the road, to nothing.
The rest of the story consist of a mighty battle between good and nothing, evil and nothing, nothing and nothing, and you can probably imagine how boring, Porage-like, that would all be, but the heroes, or antiheroes in this story don't live, they thought that would make a better story if they didn't. And so, nothing happens in the end of the story, and the moral of it all is...
And the giant rock man never ended up meeting back up with the snail and the man. He died of a heart attack somewhere along the way to the climax.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Just after all the searching, everything was looking great…what happened? Well I can’t really explain it. Wait, sand on hands expands…or rather, have you ever tried to hold two handfuls of sand with your hands forming a cup, no matter how hard you try that sand will find its way through your hands and fall back to the earth. And so, here I am, in a swamp with all kinds of dangerous things floating, flying, and swimming by me, ready to strike any minute. I have little to say but to form my final words here. I should explain the history of my disposition that I haven’t just created a scenario that will never be explained but it is hard right now to do so, I am in immediate danger as I told you. I would like to thank my mother and father for the creation of myself, and for the talents and good genes to have gotten me this far. I feel sad that I haven’t made a legacy; that my condo in Florida and the 1987 Toyota Camry are all I have to leave for my daughter, who has lived with her mother her whole life and will only truly know her father after his death. I would like to write to her for a moment.
I am sorry. So sorry. I was never there, I know, I cannot tell you this and mean as much with me saying this to what I feel inside. I am nothing without you. And I am sorry. To hear all of this on my tape recorder I bring with me everywhere, something I should’ve done with you, I am glad that you will hear my last words.
When you were born I was not allowed to be there, nor visit, you were given a name that was not my decision, and you went to a school I didn’t decide on. And it was my fault. When your mother finally replied to my endless letters she sent me a Polaroid of you in hopes it would shut me up, it did the opposite of her desires as I started sending triple the amount, like an obsessed fan. I was your greatest fan, Claudine. And soon your mother had moved you somewhere else, somewhere without my permission or say so, and didn’t tell me. And I didn’t realize this until all my letters posted on the week of August 14th to 21th in 1991 returned to sender, me in this case. I didn’t know what to do, and so I went searching for you. I moved to Florida when the private detective told me you now lived there with your mother, Roxanne. She knew I hated Florida, how I didn’t like the elderly that much, and hated Disneyland. But I moved to be closer to you. And soon the private detective was discovered by your mother; maybe she hired a hitman to whack him. I hadn’t heard from him in weeks and then one day in the mailbox I received a box. Inside the box was an entire hand with exception the middle finger was missing. I stopped my search immediately for a long time. And I hid the hand in my neighbor’s yard (Bill, if you ever hear this, I am too, very sorry, it was four years ago before I knew you and if you’re curious to see the remains of the hand, behind the tulips underneath the gnome, dig for two feet).
Then after the search for you was lying dormant for three years I decided to come find you again. I didn’t care of the fears of death or having my hand cut off because at that point I forgotten the reality of the fear of those things. I just wanted to find you. And so I hired another private detective and told him to be extra careful since we were both on the line. He and I both bought guns and didn’t sleep much for days. Surprisingly it didn’t take long, just three and half days to find your location. The only thing the private detective wasn’t able to actually come close to the whereabouts, just locate them. And so I was left with just a location and little less. I thanked him very much for his bravery and his trade, and I should probably thank him here since he put his life on the line. Thanks Lucas.
When I search on map of the location I discovered why Lucas could not have possibly have made it to your location, you were located in an old castle in the middle of a swamp. A swamp in the Everglades that was notorious for alligator attacks and poisonous snakes, not to mention swarms of virus-bearing mosquitoes. And after I make it passed the swamp I still had a hitman or two, maybe even guards in black suits wearing black aviators waiting for me to come out of the waters. But I didn’t care anymore, I had watched the end of Apocalypse Now 30 times by now and even had the war paint painted on my face, you were the only thing I cared and lived for, my only purpose was to reach you.
I made it a few miles until I ran into alligators and realized I wasn’t Captain Benjamin L. Willard, nor Martin Sheen, I was me, Jerry Civilian, a nobody weighing 150lbs and standing 5’9’’ against 400-600lbs killing machine, a beautiful and misunderstood, killing machine. And at first clear sight of an alligator from 8ft away my heart raced, my left arm when numb, and I struggled to breathe feeling lightheaded and lost. I cursed all those happy meals my mother fed me as a child, I cursed all those adult-size “happy” meals I bought myself when I was too big for a child-size one, and then I just cursed at everything in general. I just wanted you to know that I will and always have loved…
And the lights fade, and the last thing I can hear is the sound of my body hitting the water then the water filling my ears and how sounds traveling through water are rather relieving.
Now for the non-story related talk on a blog about ma photography...I'll try to make this portion worth your time.
First, the image, it's a reshoot of the same installation, done at a different time and composition, and express the mood and atmosphere better. The title is of a short story I wrote going off of the words, I Used To Love You. The reason why I didn't decide to include that short story to the image inspired from the story and memory, well I tend to be very absurb and arbitrary, like my writing.
And secondly, the fact of the week:
Apocalypse Now took 200 hours of footage to film over the course of 16 months, and was originally supposed to be film as a faux documentary taking place in the actual Vietnam War, which is the plot to the recent war (comedy) movie, Tropic Thunder. Martin Sheen had a heart attack during the filming of Apocalypse Now and Sam Bottoms was on drugs during his performance as hippie-gone-soldier and surf legend, Lance B. Johnson, who was also on drugs as well, method actor? It took Francis Ford Coppola three years to edit after several close calls with suicide, and is probably the greatest war film ever made to this author.
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Friends were the best, and the forest was an important part of everyone’s life here. During the gold rush the town went through its biggest struggle, keeping the forest alive. For all of the gold would never bring the forest back in their town. The fires to treat the gold, and the support beams for the caves took more than the forest had in mind for the people of Nomirrors, and as a result the forest choose to stay clear of the town. The uncut trees decided to uplift themselves approximitely one mile away from the farthest house. Those who have built new houses on the outskirts of town would wake the next day after their move and discover the forest had moved at night. The mystery of the walking trees has never been solved even to this modern day. And since this incidence the people of Nomirrors no longer mine the gold, and have planted new trees, which have become quite fond of its human caretakers. It has been some time since then, and the old forest still remains quite as far, but the new trees have reached up to the old ones and they seem to be kind to each other.
The wind sings a different song in Nomirrors, it is said if you listen hard enough you can hear the voices of all the people who are yelling right this instant all over the world. With each tree the voice is amplified and channeled, with a large enough section of forest you can hear sometimes a thousand voices at once, all yelling. Some of the voices are calling for their lost children, some cry for help, others say their last words, and then the wind dies and gets tired and cold. We will never know for sure why the wind carries these voices, some of which have been reported to be in foreign languages, ranging from German to Japanese.
Nomirrors has many wonderful qualities but its people are the greatest of all, with their means of communication. The town’s elderly never speak, but yet the younger inhabitants can perfectly understand them just from their facial expressions. They say the reason for this is because from all of their experiences they have learned how to read the face so well they feel humble not to speak anymore. Some find speaking a waste of time, and others find it to be something that we should never have to learn, that we lose something when we speak when the face can tell you with more clarity and truth. “We can’t lie with our faces “,writes on my notepad Anne Mooney, at 96, and looking as young as she did twenty years ago. She writes, “We, elderly of Nomirrors, don’t get all wrinkly since we stop talking years ago, our words leave us and all of the regrets and mistakes leave as well, we have no history but the town’s, we live amongst the trees, the trees!”.
My visit to Nomirrors has been one of the greatest experience of my life, and though I am unable to start keeping my silence like the elderly of the town, I feel one day I want to stop speaking, and have only my face to express how I feel. The town has since been lost from the map, and the mountainous road leading to the town has been lost as well, perhaps covered from a landslide and now appears as an ever-growing forest. I hope to discover my way back to this place one day.
The world can be discovered in the smallest of towns, and could be found without even leaving home. Can you hear it; it is the voice of the whole world, yelling in the wind.
Did you think I was going to forget the fact of the week...well, I did. Here it is, moments after posting the first post of the week:
As some of you may know, the big bang is only one side of the story to the expanding Universe, in theory, eventually it will met the end of its cosmic stretch and start to reverse. And like the fates of many red giant stars (how many I have no idea, its a pretty big Universe, with two hands parting as wide as they can to express about 93 billion light years) they grow so large that they start collapsing under their own gravity, forming neutron stars, with all the volume compressed into a few miles, and some even turn into black holes...so I guess with all these facts I wanted to say, the Universe eventual, in theory, reaches the end of its journey and starts coming back in on its self until we have the big crunch. Remember at the end of MIB (Men In Bigwillystyle or Black if you want to be boring), when the Universe is in the marble (sorry to ruin a rather important plot to those who haven't seen the movie), well that can very much happen! And that's the fact of the week!
Saturday, October 4, 2008
All of sudden my heart kicked, my eyes opened, and I felt very much alive, and then I looked at you and you were, very much alive as well! Your eyes were now open, curious and dumb-founded to this new feeling of life within yourself, and you just jumped out of bed. You grabbed my hand, we looked at each other, almost drooling at the month with a fever for adventure, and we flew out of that hospital room. We ran down the hallway, each room was open and there were people coming back to life with the same rigorous energy as us, we were just ten steps ahead of them. Security went ape-shit with us and the rest, but saw us first. They had strait jackets and needles, some even had batons. It didn’t matter how big and strong they were, and as we dodged them with awesome speed like amazing counter backs of divine, we made our way through and onwards to the stairway. I felt sorry for the security guards, thought of them as just doing their jobs and now they might get yelled at for letting us go, but they tried, and we succeeded, that’s how it was.
Down the stairway in a flash, we were at the ground floor; there were cops now, with guns loaded with tranquilizer s and zappers (tasers) in every hand they had available. I couldn’t count the number, but there might have been a whole squared there, just for us! For one second there, just for one little second I thought we weren’t going to make it through, that this was the end and you’d have to die back there, in a death bed, and alone now, but then you grabbed my hand even harder and ran even faster making me run to catch up. We were going dead on to them, like mad wild rhinos rushing to their opponents with no care for them or if they crash, it was do or die at this point, and we had something to live for. I closed my eyes just before contact with the squared of cops, and started thinking of the pain from the tranquilizer bullets and the zappers, but I didn’t feel any pain, my feet felt light, my clothes felt gone, and the only thing my body felt was your hand. We were flying, and I didn’t want to open my eyes again, it just felt so good, like a dream that you never want to wake up from. But then I heard the sound of sirens and people yelling from a distance and I opened my eyes. We were sixty, maybe seventy feet from the ground, and everyone who wanted to stop us, that wanted you to die in that hospital were slowly turning into ants, we were now probably ninety feet above and I could see their faces, they all looked sad for a moment, like they wanted to come with us. And then more patients came flying out of the hospital, now they were rising above the rest, leaving behind their loved ones. Where were we going?
(Why Can't You Forget It., [literally II], 2008)