It was Throbbing Gristle. Though I need to go into town and try and find a record shop in this town of superlatively bad shopping that has Mission of Dead Souls, otherwise … I was surprised at how much of TG I must have listened to, sampling various tracks from their albums on iTunes, not that I could say I could sing along to any, there was though a strong memory of place, being in Auckland living in squats and various stark concrete, rising damp soaked buildings and warehouses near the wharfs. And I’d forgotten both how unfriendly and anxiety-inducing their music is, and also their musical genius. To listen to them is to hear clichés, that’s how profoundly influential they have been.
I like the German word for nightmares, alptraum, not being particularly etymological, I see both ‘dream’ and ‘trauma’ there, and I like ‘alp’ like dying of hypothermia high in the mountains as the sun departs. I’ve been writing down my more memorable dreams this year under this name, not all terrifying, though all have something that caused them to remain. The last scene I’m making was to give Daniel, Xuan, Paea, and Tara five that had something in them for no especially coherent reason I thought were appropriate for this work.
Deciding to continue humiliating and embarrassing myself, one of the dreams starred Daniel, Xuan and Tara amongst others with a heavy implication of smut. Then there was the Nepalese plane crash and subsequent militia-versus-peasants gun battle in which I was shot in the arm and Gala found me bleeding in a sluggish stream and knowing it couldn’t be plugged or tourniqueted. A thug who burst into my house in Toronto and dug his fingers into me so deeply until I again knew I was dying. A poolside adventure in Italy or similar with a period like a bleeding torrent … Japanese rope bondage suspension …
Late last night at Cibo with Alison, I impulsively showed her the three-page script. I was then just as suddenly taken, like a rabbit startled in a car’s headlights, by what I’ve made over the last couple of months, and just how personal it is, and got quite scared by the reality of people watching. I wanted to pull it back from her, but also to try and read some trace of a response in her face. We five have been in our little world, like a strange unknown tribe deep in the Papua New Guinea interior, it’s very easy once I, once we all start to feel comfortable with each other and what we are doing to venture tremendously far from familiarity and safety. I talk about how in my work I try to imagine possible worlds, how I take this from the philosophers I admire, and then to realise perhaps it’s not so imaginary or theoretical, that we can make something livable, that the world, our lives, we are far more malleable and open to suggestion that we suppose. And now to be discovered … a momentary freakout.
I was thinking while reading over this, daydreaming too, “I hope I like it”.
It’s too late to change anything though, and anyway, it’s far more interesting for me to put myself in these situations that I don’t know what will happen. But I am now quite nervous and apprehensive about this. I guess my attitude towards myself right now in response is somewhat of, “Oh shut up and deal with it, you knew what you were doing,” though I’m not sure why I was doing it, (I’ll blame it on Garry-the-theme-this-year-is-gender-studies-Stewart), or that I do know what I am doing. I suppose I’m also worried about the others, that we could all wake up having found ourselves wondering what on earth we’ve done. It’s probably just me. I need to get trashed again this weekend.
We were going to read aloud one dream each but Xuan decided she was going to read them all. Yes I adore listening to someone trying to comprehend a language that is not really their own. I love too, what English becomes when it falls in love with another place. It is alive and always becoming something else, it really delights me, Chinglish in all its varieties, how one language adapts another in order to I guess to be understandable and in turn changes, and maybe also it’s not all practical, maybe sometimes too play and fun and games make the flowering.
I’m feeling slightly lazy in how I want to choreograph, and watching Paea rehearse I thought maybe what I do isn’t really choreography, and maybe I don’t really know how to choreograph, like an architect who has no idea of the engineering needed to establish a structure. After sitting around airing my dreams I just wanted them to improvise, that catch-all word for ‘do something’, while I filmed it.
This is the first time in this work I’ve brought the camera in. temperance and hell variously were entirely choreographed through the lens and editing. So being lazy, instead of feeling anxious that I have no steps to give, I just watched them and later will watch them again on film and cut-and-paste the bits I like and somehow assemble it. More minutes and seconds. I need to do some cutting myself, or … “actually guys, can you do it faster?”.