Wednesday, February 22, 2012


(Leah Before The Church of Our Lady Immaculate, 2012)

Some of the most embarrassing moments of my life have been lifted from immediate memory indefinitely. In fact, I can't quite remember any of them other than the really funny-in-retrospect moments, which are also few.
There was a time in my life with my mind tended to remember the really sad moments of my life, as if they were something monumental and all-important to who I am today (or then). Somewhere along the line that value in my memory shifted and now I can only remember the best of times. There are of course some sad memories that have stayed with me and will remain with me probably forever. I just wonder what made all that change? What event or events happened in order for such a drastic change to occur for me to suddenly stop remembering the sad parts of my life for the happy ones. The only thing I could think of, and as cheesy as this is to say, is love. When that thing happened and changed everything, even my concept of memory.
As I trace back my past, it was three years ago and of all the seasons it was winter, and a cold one at that. But inside my small apartment at the time, on carpeted floors and a careful collect of lamps I was absolutely warm sharing one moment after another with that special so-and-so. The outside world could not enter that space and with each moment passing it grew a deeper sense of warmth. I remember writing my best love letters then, on a typewriter, and with grammar and misspelled words omitted to the fact that there was passion written with blood on those once blank and lifeless pieces of paper. I didn't actually soak my blood on my type writer's ribbon nor did that warmth nor passion last into the warming weather, and things that grew in that fall-winter love story of my life in 08-09 have halted in place, have been even forgotten or misplaced and have remained three years behind and three years without progress. I can't imagine the dust that has gathered on their surfaces nor can I imagine their once brilliance. All that remains are shadows of once was and the swell that followed the end of that love.
What happened happened and the transformations that occurred then stay with me now. I started to recall some of my happiest moments of my life again. And where there was once sadness is happiness, a happiness I may or may not have failed to shared with others but one that exists within my heart and makes me feel good.
There is nothing profound to say here, nothing out of the ordinary, this is just how it is, and one thought out of an infinite amount. All I can say is that nothing is solid, not sadness nor happiness, not love and regret, and that everything shifts and everything falls only to ascend in a whole new way. The wheel is constantly being reinvented and only our stubbornness to hold on will prevent us from changing, to shifting, to being reinvented as we perform the act of letting go one time after another until nothing makes sense (only to make all the world of sense later). Just. Let. Go. And be swallowed by the changes.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Under Artificial Starlight

There be no images on this one. (I'm sorry, you'll just have to trust my words for entertainment).

I don't want to be too ambiguous on this one. I don't want to stray from the truth either. But I also don't want to point fingers and give names. I want whatever feeling I am about to describe and even produce to feature no name and be directed to you, whoever you are, without the notion of "you" as just anyone, but to a particular person that just might be you.

With that said, shall we begin.

I believe it was 1998. There was this all-night event at the local roller ring and I was twelve at the time. I had been to this event the previous year, and for a bunch of kids living in a small town in the middle of the desert its promise was the funnest night of the year. It never failed.

This was a time of extreme emotions, something in my adult life is rare or nonexistent, and crushes for girls were going wild back then. I could remember some of their names. There was a Genelle, a Mary, a Carrie, a Megan, and the rest I have sadly forgotten. I remember the climate of their hands, I believe I held each one of them during the "Snowball", a segment of the evening where we would skate around in a circle, hand in hand, with only the mirrorball and its orbit of starlight to illuminate an other wise dark cave-like room. I remember just the touch of one of these girl's hands was enough to shoot some vague notion of love into my bloodstream and give a rush to my little heart. I held it together and acted cool with my Jnco jeans and Korn t-shirt.

One after another we would hold hands, skate with what appeared to be lost souls floating in pair before and behind us. We'd talk or not talk and felt absolutely comfortable in each other's presence. I didn't know what it was to be someone else's lover at the time but I was definitely ready to learn for each one of these absolutely beautiful girls. Around and around we went, time frozen, and time completely irrelevant we created a moment and then shared it. The slow R'n'B music, something of the Boyz2Men sound catalog, would end and hip-hop music would replace it, along with the gelled multicolored lights of the room. The feeling was still there, not on our flesh but in our hearts. Some of us would make out with our Snowball partners behind the broken-down arcade machines, others would dick around on the skating floor.

I remember having a broken cell phone in a holster on my belt, maybe even a pager. And in retrospect that was completely dorky of me but at the time was completely awesome. In that small bubble of time, it was cool. What was also cool was sneaking in booze or pot into the joint, and during 98' all-night skate I brought my first stash of weed there. One of my older sister's friends had given it to me and three of us took off our skates and headed for the sand dunes outside to smoke it for the first time. I can't remember if it was a joint or if one of us had a pipe, all I remember is Megan, KC, and I were out on the sand dunes far enough from adults and the music of the roller ring and we were alone amongst the stars (there were a lot to be seen). They say you it is rare to get high the first time you do it but what I experienced was something out of the ordinary. After smoking a joint or a couple of bowls, we were looking up at the stars. Towards the northeast was one particular star that seemed to be moving closer and closer. It was slow at first to the point it appeared to be questionable for its movement but then it moved faster and towards our direction. It was coming after us! In all of my memory I remember this being very much real and not any sort of trip from the marijuana I had just smoked for the first time. This was very much happening as this star-like light approached us. Eventually it just hovered in place as if watching us. Minutes passed and then, out of nowhere, it moved back towards the northeast in lightning speed and vanished into the darkness of the sky. All three of us witnessed the same cosmic event and all three of us had just finished smoking a bunch of pot but I can say this much, all three of us were not nearly stoned enough to simultaneously had imagined what appeared to be a UFO approaching our direction just before zipping away into the night sky.

We returned to the scene inside the roller ring and continued to skate, talk, rap, and breakdance. We were holding something within us that could not be told to anyone else, and we believed that no one will ever believe us.

To this day I still believe that event had happened and to this day I still believe no one will ever believe me. The only difference is that I no longer care for anyone to believe me because they weren't there, that event did not happen to them, just as they weren't skating, holding this girl's hand or that girl's hand in perfect clamminess or dryness, when we were twelve or thirteen, living in the desert just below a grand scene of the cosmos. I still believe in everything this story had to tell; of simple romance, the ambiance of love, going in circles in the night, smoking pot, and having moments that deny all logic and rationale. That the twelve year old boy is still alive today and that he is just as open-minded for the sky to part and present something of cosmic mystery, and that it will haunt me my entire life just as the love in my heart that has taken on many names still aches my very soul so today. The only thing that has changed is that the cellphone in no longer broken nor in a holster, I no longer listen to Korn nor rollerskate, but everything else is still relatively the same at the same time as it is completely different. What is important is that the importance of that person to whom I was is still important today. I am still making loops around and around, they just aren't as simplified as the ones made in a roller ring.

The hands that I hold, the climate that is created when two humans meet down there and their flesh is matched with the flesh of another, and all this while the cosmos slowly move across the sky made have changed, but the essence is still the same. Just because it is daylight or there is too much light pollution in the night sky, doesn't mean the stars have disappeared, nor has the possibility of things existing outside of one plane of reality lessen or disappeared. We can still go crazy, we can still dream, we can still imagine, and things can still take us away from the reality of the everyday, without drugs, without extreme emotion, and with just chance and an open heart (willing to give anything out of the ordinary a chance to manifest) can still very much happen, and are happening.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Oh Yeah

(Untitled Image, from My Room in Kaua'i, 2011)
(And the video that influenced the Untitled Image above, 2011)

Perhaps it is more true than said that we are creatures of all sorts of natures, from all sorts of origins, and the older we get as a species the more complicated our identity becomes - as we grow further away from nature.

And even truer is that we are wild, wilder, and wildness, with some of us taking on the wildside more than others. Whether you bare a lioncloth or you roar from swinging vines or you just like to let loose and drop trou, there is an instinct within us all that wants to let go of whatever this plane of existence is for another. Slip into the skin of a beast and run wild.

When was the last time you yelled? Yelled not out of aggressive anger but out of wildness? When was the last time you made animal noises in public? When was the last time you alienated yourself amongst humans? Have you lost touch with nature? Do you feel like an animal wearing human clothes in a human world? When was the last time you were naked in nature, feeling the harsh ground of the woods, of a creek, of a driftwood covered beach with your bare feet? When was the last time you felt free?

If I could I'd run on all fours but my legs and arms are disproportionate to each other. If I could I'd roar like a lion but instead I'll meow like a large domestic cat. I'll bring my face to a face painter and ask for her or him to paint the face of a fierce-looking lion over my non-fierce-looking face. I'll grow my hair out like a mane. I'll stop talking. I'll wear fake fangs. I won't talk to anyone. I'll hide out in caves and look outside and see a world which is my domain. Paws crossed, lying on my belly, drunk from the sunlight of the day, and sober from the darkness of night. I will not think of emailing this person, checking my facebook, shooting off a text message to that person, ordering a latte, waiting in line, having phone sex, tweeting my thoughts, instead I will wait till I become strange, and when I become strange I will become normal again.

A gallop, a chase, a smile on your face! Doesn't it. Doesn't it feel great? To be wild, child. To be freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee (breath) eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Goddamn! If a wall of bricks cometh before us then a wall of bricks breakth before us. And in the debris and in the dust and particles flying everywhere our faces emerge. Grimish, crazy, wild, I say, you say, "let's be crazy", "let's", "let's run free", "let's". "Yes." "YES!". "Alright". "Aaaaaaaaaaalright".


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Nostalgia for the Present

(Mysterious Beach Babe, from Aloha, and HI, 2011)

Thanks to the lovely ladies at Laid Bare my snapshots will finally be exhibited for the public to see in real life. The entire exhibition is a collection of snapshots from a wide range of photographers and artists, with some being street photographers and some being conceptual artists that like to take snaps here and there. There's some fantastic work in this show so I suggest if you're in Toronto on February 2nd you should probably come.

The show opens February 2nd, 2012, at Forgetus Collective, 163 Sterling Rd, Unit 29, 7 - 11pm.

Here's the complete list of participating artists:
Alexander Alekseenko, Pauline Beaudemont, Kyle Brohman, Timothy Burkhart, Michael Raymond Clarke, Kira Crugnale, Nathan Cyprys, Erich Deleeuw, Lisa Folkerson, Ben Freedman, Aaron Friend Lettner, Amy George, Hudson Hayden, Eriver Hijano, Abby Hutchison, Vid Ingelevics, Chelsee Ivan, Andrew Jarman, Joachim Johnson, Michael Juneau, Dimitri Karakostas, Santa Katkute, Gavin Keen, Nicole Kim, Brendan George Ko, Sasha Kurmaz, Lindsay Lauckner, Drew Lint, Elena Malkova, Fraser Mccallum , Joshua Macdonald, Andrew McGill, Ania Mokrzycka, Andrew B. Myers, Ryan Nangreaves, Katie Newman, Mark Peckmezian, Andrea Leigh Pelletier, Deanna Pizzitelli, Claudia Puchiele, Marishka Radwanski, Anne Rawn, Van Robinson, Andy Schmidt, Kelsey Stasiak, Kyle Tait, Matthew Tammaro, Michelle Louise Wilson, Kavin Wong, Aaron Wynia, Aabid Youssef and Carina Yu.