Above, while lunch.
Morning coal mine museum sun philosophy symposium.
Morning train from Berlin to Essen. Abandoned factory landscape and hanging grey sky reminded me of the fast train to Guangzhou. Here at PACT Zollverein for IMACT14. Shall blog. But first, dinner.
Again spending uncomfortable lengths of time in front of laptop, indulging in the joy of renewing my Aufenthaltserlaubnis, with the scintillating possibility of permanent residence this time (unlikely due to large, baroque concatenations of Behördebürokratismus), und then working on another project that requires me to write attractively on shibari and BDSM …
So I wandered outside for icecream, and took my camera to enforce a period of outside-ity, and to do something other with hands, eyes, thoughts. It felt decidedly awkward, and I should be making more of a habit of this because I lose the attentiveness to what I’m doing very quickly when I leave gaps of regularity in my taking of photos.
Saturday night was the Finissage of the KunstAktienausstellung in Uferhallen. Some hours were spent wandering around the entire Hallen looking at art, trees, clouds.
In the generator hall an installation artist was working on his project for an upcoming exhibition. It is a TARDIS. The hall in itself is vast and high-ceilinged, and the late-evening light sent a warmth and glow through what in winter is as oppositely cold and grim. In this sat a square wooden cube, about the size of a large, high-ceilinged room.
On the far side was something that played such delightful havoc with my perception; a slit perhaps half a meter wide exposing the innards. Whiteness and light so uniformly even and depthless as to confuse me to think I was staring into something infinite. An optical illusion yes, but on a grand scale and one that subtle enough to not be aware of.
The paint was drying and I found, once I entered, that by covering my eyes so as to desensitise them to light, the effect was magnified. As was it by blinking exaggeratedly, or moving around, holding a hand up. I became a little silly in there, once even thumping into a wall I had no idea was so near. Dr Who would love it, I think – though he has his own ‘bigger on the inside’ box.
The photos can’t convey the perceptual weirdness of it, a physical dislocation almost like being drugged, still … photos …
Most of the days since I returned from Brussels have been occupied with doings at
nameless. Scraping, vacuuming (it survived), sweeping, laying dance floor, making the vast recital room ready for working in. Dasniya cut some holes, drilled a bit, installed hardware, ropes, a hammock.
We are not alone, of course. Each day something happens here; a concert, a performance, people sitting in the sun, a Gaggia espresso machine … wandering people look through the windows or open the door, to see us in ropes, or with tea.
Yoga to start as always. Then ropes. Dasniya makes some attention for Arisue Go’s methods of the basic chest harness. Visually, it’s subtly different from Osada Steve’s, but practically in how it’s tied and in the methodological understanding behind the tying, it’s quite a different thing altogether.
We make small floor suspensions. This is in fact the perfect way to learn how to suspend, as there is no panic or need for haste when someone’s weight is largely remaining on the floor. It also gives room for improvising with other ropes, as well as being in itself a very enjoyable way of tying.
I’ve been thinking about … perhaps to call it contingent shibari. What happens when the rope turns up in your hands in a spaghetti bird’s nest mess? One could simply pause, reassert some order on the rope, and continue with the previous path. I wondered what would happen if I skipped the first two parts, and continued as though nothing was amiss.
It is a visual aesthetic similar perhaps to when one finds rope of miscellaneous diameters, lengths, colour and material washed up on a beach, perhaps with some netting or other assorted detritus; a knotwork evolved from accumulation. It turns out also that shibari ropework, dependent as it is on friction and an absence of knots, lends itself well to this.
Hartmut turns up shortly before 4pm, with small kettle and the implements of Japanese tea ceremony. We sit in the sun of the windows as he whisks the green powder into froth.
We talk about what a perfect place this is, with the light in the afternoon, the derelict buildings turned to something that sits so lightly upon their skin, it will hardly notice when we all depart for the last time. For now, spring, summer, some of autumn, this will be where we make some performances, workshops, classes … will be found in deep discussion near the black sofas of the bar …