Monday, June 25, 2007

love and fear

Some people tattoo messages on their bodies that they feel must be indelible to be remembered
Mine would surely be:
"The hardest part of love is fear.
Have courage, dear heart!"

This is the amygdala twisting itself into a barrier.
You must survive before you can attach.
And what if you fear what you are supposed to attach to?
In that vein- here are a few photographs that Saiga Yuji took on
Gunkanjima when the island was alive and vital.
So we can remember that the basis of abandonment is not always fear.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

perdido street station and gunkanjima

Seven years ago, in Stockholm, I went to an art gallery.
A video was playing- a silent black and white documentary piece about an
abandoned man- made city off the coast of Japan. The beauty in the abandonment
and decay was palpable. I've been trying to find out more about the city ever since- but had no name, no information at all.Yesterday, dawdling through websites and google earth, with no particular place to go, I typed in "abandoned city" into the search box.
And my city of decay rises up.
The site belongs to the photographer Saiga Yuji.
He is really the first to document this extraordinary place and its transformation.
Gunkanjima was an island created for industry (coal) as well as housing its workers and thier families. There were temples and schools. Children rode their bicycles in industrial
back streets and played with dolls on the stairs of the workers housing. And then in 1973, it was closed down. Saiga Yugi was there when it happened, and he stayed until it was over.
Since then he has spent countless hours on the island. At night it is very strange.
Here are a few of his remarkable photographs.
Remember- this city was vital and living and real. People lived and quarreled and suffered and read books and stole things and dreamed and cooked and prayed and made love.

China Mieville is one of my favorite authors.

King Rat (1998)
Perdido Street Station (2000)
The Scar (2002)
The Tain (novella, 2002)
Iron Council (2004)
Un Lun Dun (February 2007)
The island of Gunkanjima exists quite comfortably (or uncomfortably) in Mieveille's world.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

resentment is drinking a cup of poison and hoping your enemy will die

Sue Lloyd

In her recent series photographer Sue Lloyd has captured the eerie sense
of being in danger, with no one around aware of your situation.
I am angry tonight.

But if you are angry, you are feeling something.

Anger is deceptive.

There's a highway that it rides, through the amygdala, that primitive machine in your brain.

Somewhere else in the brain, that is supposed to be tamed, taken in, analyzed, understood.
Supposed to.

Not many of us can get past
the initial surge-
the corporeal bonds-
the steel trap door-
WHY are we angry.

Are we lonely?


Singled out?

Left out?

"Anger is repressed creativity."

I appreciate that perspective.

It works pretty well for me.

the transformation of waste

Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison
Perhaps these characters would be at home in Emmet Gowin's industrial landscapes?
They surely are living in the wasteland. And it appears they are gathering material towards their transformations.

No artists could better present the visceral pain of the alienation and isolation.

Occasionally that state of mind has moments of beauty, of clarity.

If we are artists or writers or people who live in our imagination, we try to

duplicate those high sensation moments in ways that are very harmful to us.

Be forwarned: any act that selfharms or destroys you,

is only the dark disease muttering in your ear.

You will get through. It is only your mind that is tricking you.

There are others of us who who are in the life you are in.

You are not alone.

Get up.

Get out of bed.

Drink some water.

Open the window.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

making it through the wasteland

Emmet Gowin
ariel photography
Emmett Gowin is in transition.
I envy his chances to be above the wasteland, the refineries, the junk iron and pig metal.
We need to get distance between us and the thing that makes us suffer.
So we can see it, for the smaller thing it is.
We cannot make gold until we have gone through the wasteland.

The secret is- we MAKE the gold from the things we find in the wasteland.

If in the web of depression- today look down and bring home one found thing

- a nail, a coin, a piece of paper with some writing on it.

Begin to assemble the things you will need to make gold.

Do not dispair, do not give up.

the terrible beauty of odd nerdrum

Odd Nerdrum
cantankerous, brilliant, tempestuous, controversial

paints like the bastard son of an old master

what is in his head we will never know and he could care less about enlightening us

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

ten thousand dreams interpreted

Gustavus Hindman Miller · 1901
A beautiful publications design project out of University of Baltimore.
There is hope for the ghost of old letter set presswork!

mima mounds

These are the Mima Mounds, a strange natural formation that has had many phenomenological explanations attributed to them. They exist in places all over the United States. What ever the reasons, I can tell you that when I drove down to see them for myself, I had no radio access in the area around the mounds. Couldn't tune in any stations. In life (called Real Life I suppose), we know what it's like when the radio frequencies don't tune in. Everyone else seems to be smiling and nodding to a broadcast that seems important, but we can't hear it.

We fake it. And we do a very good job.

making it out of dark times

When people say- the light is at the end of the tunnel- the ones who are not in the darkness have little idea of what they are saying. Sometimes the transition is so terribly painful.
The things that others see as small obstacles are ideas and words that are screaming inside the mind. Those voices, whether real or imagined, whether a small bout in the mania or the depression, are all we hear.

Joan of Arc

Now the flames they followed joan of arc
As she came riding through the dark;
No moon to keep her armour bright,
No man to get her through this very smoky night.
She said, Im tired of the war,I want the kind of work I had before,
A wedding dress or something white
To wear upon my swollen appetite.
Well, Im glad to hear you talk this way,
You know Ive watched you riding every day
And something in me yearns to win
Such a cold and lonesome heroine.
And who are you? she sternly spoke
To the one beneath the smoke.
Why, Im fire, he replied,
And I love your solitude,
I love your pride.
Then fire, make your body cold,
Im going to give you mine to hold,
Saying this she climbed inside
To be his one, to be his only bride.
And deep into his fiery heart
He took the dust of joan of arc,
And high above the wedding guests
He hung the ashes of her wedding dress.
It was deep into his fiery heart
He took the dust of joan of arc,
And then she clearly understood
If he was fire, oh then she must be wood.
I saw her wince, I saw her cry,
I saw the glory in her eye.
Myself I long for love and light,
But must it come so cruel, and oh so bright?

(Leonard Cohen)

emily's awake again

Did you know that Emily Dickinson has her own MySpace page?

the sounds of an iceberg singing

space audio from university of iowa

the amazement of visual ambience

magdalena jetelova

other ghosts

Some of us are drifters, even when we seem to be in regular life. For us it often seems we are looking in, held by a thread, even to the ones we know are dear. There are images, words, sounds that we instantly recognize as our language.
Keep ahold of the rope.
With it, you shall not fall.