Variations V (1965), music by John Cage for the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Film projections by Stan VanDerBeek, video distortions by Nam June Paik. This recording: German performance, broadcast by German television in 1966.
Musicians and dancers (left to right, foreground to background): John Cage, David Tudor, Gordon Mumma, Carolyn Brown, Merce Cunningham, Barbara Dilley
maybe winter’s not coming
Don’t collapse into the ground
This is a place of strength
Remember your breath
Return to your phase
Ask yourself: is this a place of anxiety? Is this a place tension? Or is this a place where you feel calm, where you can return to your breath.
Be conscious of your breath.
Note the difference.
Try to make the inhale and exhale the same length of time
Count to four
Count to four
Add a pause
At the beginning and at the end
*recently i did yoga for 9 days in a row. these are some notes that i wrote down after class one day. every night i dreamed about being in a yoga-themed hardcore band. shows were like every other hxc show, lots of sweat and deep breathing, but instead everyone felt good afterward.
**just learnt dreamt is not quite a word.
James McNeill Whistler, Nocturne in Black and Gold: The Falling Rocket, 1875, oil on panel. The Detroit Institute of Arts.
I’m just going to leave this up here for awhile.
write to be
read OUT LOUD
new story brought into the world as of winter 2013
… and onto the internet as soon as i figured out how to save a pdf file as image files
from things that accidentally touch
top: Weakerthans - Sun in Empty Room (2007)
bottom: Edward Hopper, Sun in Empty Room (1963)
I can’t stop looking at the mountains.
But we, more cunning in our cares, Must take our joys before they fade.
Now for linear acting into that time
In whose corrosive mass he first discovered how to breathe.
- from the task, john ashbery
*well, the midwest may not have much claim to spoonboy, but he comes through a fair amount and i hear he lived in bloomington once upon a time.
An idea: we could read about on linguistic modalities and english modal verbs, independently beforehand or together tomorrow. This may be pushing the grammar thing more than I would actually like to, but I was wondering if it could offer us some pseudo structure, towards the possibility of our constructing an exercise. Today I’m having fun with the chart found at the bottom of the page on linguistic modalities, clicking through all the terms. In case it might be at all helpful, I’ve pulled out which modalities seem to be present in English: declarative, generic, deliberative, hortative, imperative, prohibitive, deductive, hypothetical, speculative, subjunctive. This chart also divides the modalities/moods into objective (realis) and subjective (irrealis). Shall our exercise be dealing with this difference?
Exercise Exploring Linguistic Modalities
We independently wrote a reflection on L’intrus, then translated the text into a different modality. I wrote in the declarative about how I experienced the first twenty minutes of the film, and then expressed it in epistemic modality. J wrote about the film’s symbolism in the subjunctive, then revised her thoughts in the generic mood.
D and I walk in. We’re late. The attendant reported that the film has been rolling for fifteen minutes. I settle in the second available seat leaving the first for D. The shots are close even though there’s a lot of movement; someone rummages through a truck, a cop searching a stopped vehicle with a dog. I feel claustrophobic. All cuts and the shorts have a warm palette with some greens. I get some water, then a young dad helps his two children through domesticity: bathing, eating. The cop comes home and becomes a woman in a series of close up shots that fetishize the disarmament. Cool palette, blue, close and chopped: at five minutes I still feel claustrophobic. The shot length widens, but now the camera watches the seated man watching the woman wash dishes from behind. As he approaches her, the shots tighten; now they are close and searching. I can’t forget that D’s here; I can’t enjoy the blurring of my peripheral vision. I worry: she’s sensitive. The man has sex with the woman. The shots are close despite the movement, now the palette is gray. D asked me if this is how the whole movie is. I said something like ‘Denis is a feminist filmmaker, i don’t know’.
D and I would walk in late. The attendant could have been wrong in reporting that the film has been rolling for fifteen minutes. I may have settled into the first available seat, but D might have a more difficult time figdeting between the rows in the dark theater had I not left the aisle seat open in favor of the next. The shots could have been much wider given so much camera movement, someone may be rummaging through a truck, maybe a cop searching a stopped vehicle with a dog, we all may feel claustrophobic. The camera may have cut between each of the shots of warm color perhaps some greens. Maybe my throat’s dry, I could use some water. This could be a different movie, now a dad must help his two children through domesticity: bathing, eating. The cop might have just came home, I heard that, but then perhaps now, through a series of close up shots fetishizing the disarmament, the cop may have become a woman. Cool palette, blue, close and chopped: how long could I feel claustrophobic? I might feel better if the shot length widened, but now the camera might hold on the man (seated) watching her wash dishes from behind. As he approaches her the shots must respond and tighten, so they could return to close, though now searching. I couldn’t forget David’s presence; I would like to enjoy the blurring of my peripheral vision. She might hate this; I might worry too much. The man must fuck the woman. May be close despite the movement, now may be gray. David could have asked me something like if this is how the whole movie is going to be. I may have said something like I couldn’t know what Denis could be thinking, probably.
Dogs fill many roles in The Intruder, whether they are narcs, transporters, companions, spies, or killers. A border patrol officer demands that her dog sleuth for drugs, rewarding it upon success with loving baby-speech. Covert operatives are led into dark forests by canine snouts, imploring that they follow close behind. A mysteriously powerful woman cuts through the snow on her sled, shouting orders that her huskies pick up the pace. Long shots linger on Louis’ dogs as they loyally beg that he greet them, but later, chunks of their dismembered fur, strewn alongside bloody remnants of an intruder, require that we reevaluate their character. It may only be possible in Louis’ dreams that canine incisors lift a human heart so gingerly from the snow.
Dogs are capable of acting as narcs, transporters, companions, spies, and killers. Border patrol dogs are praised by trainers for their successful sleuthing. Canine snouts do the grunt work for covert operatives. Huskies are known for efficiently pulling sleds while their masters slice through the snow. Dogs happily greet their human pals upon arrival home, but they also murder. Invaders of our dreams, dogs appear as mystics, bearing symbols of what we hold most dear.
a drawing of a friend’s whilom nickname
among mix tape track lists, doodles of studio apartment layouts, this month’s thoughts filtered from the air by notebook lines, and pen circles attempting to reflect a theological topography, i found some old notes on flying home to Salt Lake, c. 2011. i’ll fly home in less than a month in hopes of seeing family and friends who are indistinguishable from one another, rubbing elbows with my grandparents, and always walking towards mountaintops
out the window
i note the difference between north and south
faces in brown and white
stack ripples, then
a smoke stack,
and smog pervaded
it’s my favorite color.
I actually cried. It’s the first time
i’ve cried coming home.
i think i’m very different than when i left
two years now, plus two years, now two plus years
ago in a time with no present
i thought i wouldn’t escape
'i miss my homes' in this airplane
it’s a joyful missing in a suspension