monadologie day 16 & 17

Mostly I slept. I roused to see the Christian Marclay exhibition on at ACMI, and was utterly deliriously overjoyed and hysterically laughing at his crossfire, quite the best 8 minutes and 30 seconds of cinema I’ve seen in ages, I wanted to scream and spin around just trying to keep up with the riot of guns all firing point blank at me. Video Quartet was also special in a far calmer and soothing way. Shame the sound quality (I don’t know if this was Marclay or ACMI) was a bit tinny and distant.

So much for being at the Centre doing work.

Sunday I spent a few hours here, just editing the video, realising it was quite a relaxing, somnambulistic process wherein I could unfocus my eyes, get a bit dreamy and some other part of my brain would do the, “Ooohh!!! Look at that!!!” excitement when Bonnie or Lina did something special.

I have around five minutes of edited stuff for us to learn now, all in 5 or so second blips, that almost feel too long. Always can do it faster, I suppose. So I decided to be fairly mercenary in my choices of bits as I thought by the end of this week, with time in the studio and working on everything, when we get back into the VR Theatre, things will likely be remarkable different, and so better to save those as yet unmade ones rather than learn everything we have now.

I elected then to not work too hard on Sunday and resolved to eat more.

Today, Monday was our first day at Chunky Move, who have Maximised the project, which means free studio space, and other really useful things. In the small orange box, with non-parallel walls and ceiling for seven hours, some Boris, Godspeed You Black Emperor, and of course Sunn0))).

I seem to be in a thinking state where doing all the improvisation technologies makes me prone to speculate wildly on what possibilities are in it, probably because I’ve been doing this stuff a lot in the past six months. One of the things today in doing the deceptively simple 9-point stuff was trying to layer different body parts onto various surfaces of a point in space (I think I went on somewhere about how the point is better conceived for the sake of this method as being a cube or other 3-dimensional object), holding each one in place until another limb or appendage arrived, and in the process of doing this, taking the time to make quite torturous approach paths and also equally unlikely body parts arriving at suitably difficult surfaces on the ‘point’. It reminds me of the ship docking in 2001, mesmerised by its spinning to the Blue Danube Waltz

Later it was the possibilities in parallel shearing, which is at its simplest a relationship between two lines in the body. I keep thinking with this about earthquake faultlines, and how they slip and shear against each other. This simple movement, to left and right, up and down and repulsing and attracting leads to a complex motion that seems to crawl all over our bodies … well, I got pretty excited about it today anyway.

Learning stuff…

Learning from video is hugely faster the second day, though it was our first day learning Lina’s stuff and it was brain-sappingly intricate. I was quite amazed we got through five of her phrases by the end of the day, and we’d all been keeping up an intense focus (my early afternoon yawns aside).

The stupidly optimistic tasks for today were to get beyond just learning the phrases and start writing them onto a set of maps of the Large Magellanic Cloud, the research for which I think I shall go home to read in bed … I need to lie down for this stuff. This mapping, depending on how it pans out will be the first new stuff in this project, and … well if things don’t work out, we’ll just string a bunch of phrases together and make it look spectral and astrophysical, but I’d rather that didn’t happen. I never know if what I’m going to do next is … going to take me off the edge of the world.

I hope rather what will happen is these maps will determine where we are in the performance space at any time, our relationships to each other, and other as yet unknown attributes and qualities. Also … yes there is something here too on the history of astronomy cartography. It’s nice too in all of this to start feeling fit and danced in again.