miscellaneous thoughts

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Perspectives on Love from Rainer Maria Rilke

For one human being to love another: that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.

Love is at first not anything that means merging, giving over, and uniting with another (for what would a union be of something unclarified and unfinished, still subordinate–?), it is a high inducement to the individual to ripen, to become something in himself for another’s sake, it is a great exacting claim upon him, something that chooses him out and calls him to vast things.

A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.

Love consists in this, that two solitudes protect and touch and greet each other.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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DOORS
It really does seem that life responds to our expectations. The things that are the hardest to bare so often emanate simply from emotional habits which we cling to for familiarities sake. Sometimes all it takes is to walk through a door and leave struggle behind as if it was an old and unflattering jumper that is no longer needed in the relocation to warmer climes. Walk through the door where love, trust and joy are the currency of the day. Where our creative minds roam freely and manifest the most wonderful shared moments.
the other side

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door1

Photos by me for more see my flickr site here
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Rainbows

Amazing the way rainbows make people stop. Suddenly what seemed like a banal moment becomes a memorable one, as light is gently pried apart by vapor allowing us to see the inner beauty and complexity which was there all along but which we had momentarily forgotten about. Caught up in some intellectual conundrum or wondering how to put food on the table, who is going to win the next football game or if those we admire are by a stroke of good fortune struck in return by our merits……. a rainbow a day would help in maintaining a moment by moment resolve………
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There is something very evocative about this video. I shot it lying on my bed one very hot afternoon at Thirning Villa, Sydney, where I am currently Artist in Residence. I was so tired my rational brain had well and truly passed out. My senses ruled. The patterns in the shadows, the pulsing change in the light generated by the hot westerly breeze, the air on my skin, the sound of the blind breathing………..this is all that existed. Balancing our capacity for sensory reception with our ability to analyze, is the day to day challenge of being human. Being conscious in a way that engages both hemispheres of our brain…. that is neither purely creative nor purely analytical.

Integration is the fundamental principle in all of my work.

The challenge, as ever, is to work out how to articulate simple key ideas clearly in a way which allows for the often contradictory nature of reality. How to highlight perspectives, ways of seeing things that is true to a multifarious way of perceiving the world.

I am currently focusing on …………… What it means to be an artist- performer-composer-dancer- media artist.
Windows and doors / images of frames-boundaries are recurring themes…… A metaphor for existing between creative genres- between cultures- between genders- between time………..

Encompassing traditions and innovation- finding the essence of what it is we seek through performance.
What is it we seek through creating and sharing music/dance/performance/creative contexts? Connection is one of the main answers.
Connection to what? Connection to ourselves, to each other, to our environment and to spirit. Spirit? The substance which IS….. All. Beyond words, time and quotidian understanding. That which we know to be true while not being able to express it. That which we attempt to express through art, poetry, music, dance. That which is beyond reason, incomprehensible.

What is the role of technology?

How much do we do alone as artists? How much do we do in collaboration? What is the balance between solo practice, collaborative practice, community engagement?

How do we share our work with the world? How is the internet changing this? What are we doing when we create web worlds?

Where do ideas come from ? How are they shared? Do they exist between co -creators? Do they have their own substance? Is the connection we share with other artists a kind of love? What are the bounds of creativity? Improvisation? Collaboration? How can the mechanisms we have developed as independent collaborative artists be put to use in solving the social and environmental issues we face?

How can ancient forms of creative improvisation between dancers and musicians be harnessed with new technologies and/or with group communication, collaboration and decision making in non arts based contexts?

Artists/ performers are networkers and miracle workers. They pass information between groups of people. They organise gatherings. They create a means for people to feel connected to a kind of clan, joined by a shared experience of performance. They are often working to create miracles with small budgets, not enough time and the minimum of resources. They often work anarchically handing leadership to who ever suits the given task in a given moment. They make decisions on the fly, find solutions to all sorts of problems to create a shared vision, to manifest an idea, to bring a fantasy into an experienceable context.

These are all incredibly valuable skills in a world faced with the need to transform itself and our relationship to each other and resources. How can we share these skills with the broader community?

These are just some of the questions floating around my mind which I am attempting to shape into a form which can be explored as part of a series of forums I am planning to host as part of my residency. It is exciting and yet also somewhat overwhelming to attempt to place these ideas into a coherent framework. They are the things closest to my heart. If you share an interest in these matters…. please… feel free and be brave to respond… here … now …. in what ever way you choose : ) I would love to hear your thoughts : )

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Artist in Residence at Thirning Villa

For more photos of Thirning Villa check out my Flikr sit here.

I am artist in Residence through Ashfield Council in Sydney at the historic house Thirning Villa until the end of March.  If you have ever had a desire to chew the fat with me about art, music, dance, what it means to be an artist. If you have ever wanted to sing, dance, play and create in response to ideas about the relationship between sound, form and movement. If you are interested in improvisation, collaboration, performance as emergent epistemologies, traditional eastern performance modalities, contemporary media arts practice, creativity as a fundamental way of being for all not some……..then…. come and explore with me….. I am drawing up a plan now with a series of events…. atleast some of it will happen online so you can still participate from a distance…… Looking Forward to exploring ‘The Sound of Everything’

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It is feeling very winter right now- I am in hibernation mode- as can happen with the shortness of days in Winter. I have been reading Satre which is probably not helping! Existing within a state of inward contemplation has its perks though. I have been writing morose love songs and working on a piano piece inspired by Kandinsky, which requires much time left to my own devices. The patterns in it are rather complex and it is impossible to progress with it without continuous focus. Kandinsky is a wonderful inspiration. The more I read about him , the more I am inspired.

“We fought for painting, but painting alone will not suffice. I had the idea of a synthetic book that removed half of the old, narrow conceptions, breaking down the walls between the arts…. and finally prove that the problem of art is not a problem of form but a problem of spiritual content.” Kandinsky

I have also been exploring his connection with the idea of ‘total art’ which just happens to be a concept one of my favorite contemporary artists has been musing on in his blog, Karl Cronin. A wonderful dancer-artist-thinker. Check out his work. You can read his post and my response to it here. Karl Cronin

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It seems i now have yet another cyber identity, my label self, Audio Narcissist. I shall write more on ideas associated with being an audio narcissist soon. A sonically obsessed intermediary between form and sound… Silently exploring the inner crevices of my sonic frequencies. There is something very visceral to me about the idea. The mythology and history of the Narcissus story fascinates me. Solo digital recording is the sonic equivalent to looking at your reflection in a pool. There is much to be learnt from sonic reflection. Oh and this track ( Samsara below) in many ways marked the end of the process of creating the album ri-solv. It is made up of the beginnings and ends of tracks and is a meditation on death, life, acceptance – gain and loss, beginning and end, dualities of all kinds are quashed in ri-solv. There is no more either /or in ri-solv. Samsara the concept of the wheel of life, the fabric of human reality, the veil of illusion… reflects a similar notion. Everything is as true as everything else. or not………but then… (just kidding) : ) Oh and if you like this track feel free to download it, embed it, torrent it, have your wicked way with it in which ever way you choose. i’ll be happy if you just give it a listen.

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imagination & fantasy are the building blocks of reality
the soul mates of intuition
doubt destroys possibility
fear stymies eventualities
what my imagination has intricately constructed can not be turned off with a switch
attempting to deconstruct only makes it stronger
i observe
i nurture trust and love
what will be will be
and what is… is
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Resist the Mechanization of your soul
All and everything is made up of shapes and patterns…. me … you… the rock i walk upon… all the things through time that fused together to make the rock … rock….everything we touch, see, smell, imagine, think….. envision ….. Operating as a vessel for the patterns of life, allowing them to inhabit us through art, music, dance, poetry, architecture, gardening… every which way we breath, sit, move and are… this is the task? Resist the mechanization of your soul….. dance, sing, make art, build gardens in communion with the spirits, patterns and shapes of nature…. now… in this moment….

Spending time in nature allows us communion with both our animal and angelic forms ….. an increasing awareness of how these realities intersect is what makes us truly human in the best possible way.
“Like the Angel, the animal also has a time that is not torn into past and future ( a midrashic tale narrates that Gabriel was sent to grant eternal life to whomever would receive him for an instant. But the angel returned and said, ” They all had one foot in the past and the other in the future; I found no one who had the time. ” p90 Cacciari, M, The Necessary Angel, 1994.
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