monadologie days 4 & 5

I’ve been reading Leibniz’s 1714 text Monadologie again. It’s sometimes like a vortex, or … how things turn and spiral around on themselves, so I’m spinning through things where I’ve been before.

I’ve been anxious (no, really?) about, I suppose the obligation of doing certain things in a project that is sitting temporally about six months later than where it was supposed to be, and consequently has caused me to lurch out of the concerns of all the people… and the previous few months where my direction has been along one particular broad series of threads into another quite different set of concerns. Consequently there is this simultaneous concern with reconciling some very large issues, I guess succinctly described as those dealing with issues of human identity and sovereignty with rather disparate ones of astrophysics.

This kept me not occasionally sleepless last night.

Today, as it turned out, laden with a bag of fresh cherries, rehearsal never even got off sitting on the floor, talking. What am I trying to do? What is the interest in trying to formulate some method of choreographing that is beyond what I have previously done? How does this specific project relate to my recent work, and so can be comprehensible in rehearsal and performance in relation to these works? In what way is it a return to previous concerns, and where and how does it leap off into something unknown?

Then, is what I know of Forsythe’s Improvisation Technologies a suitable approach for generating something that could be regarded as choreography from a literal analysis of the Centre’s research? Is attempting a literal understanding, something of an exposition or lecture a feasible approach? Or, is the very incomprehensibility of such research also something that needs to be elaborated somehow? Is Dr Chris Fluke’s passion for Star Wars figurines also something that should be considered, or is that likely to lead to me into trouble? Which is to say, how should the individuals who do this research figure as people in this residency?

Then, should I be reading Leibniz again? (Yes!). How does the history of science my passion for which got me into this in the first place figure in the whole thing? How does the history of mapping the solar system, galaxy, universe figure also, particularly in respect, I suppose, to how cartography in some way describes the limits, approximations, and errors of knowledge?

I think it was a really good midday and afternoon of talking and … sometimes, often, I forget the people I’m working with aren’t necessarily party to everything that’s going on in my head, and how little or single things are intertwined with other things. And as a corollary to this, just how mystifying it can be stuck in a room with me. Also with this is that all the talking is really good in order for us to collectively understand whatever I’m attempting, to feel a group, to perhaps also feel passionate about it or to have a sense what we do is important. And for me as well there is a vast gulf between how I conceptualise things as thoughts, how I might write them here or in notebooks, and how they resolve themselves when I talk about them with the people I’m working with.

Not to say I’m now utterly confident about what I’m doing here, but …

I spent the afternoon and evening until now at the Centre, reading a bunch of stuff from Sarah Maddison on Molecular Clouds in the LMC, and Dusty Debris Discs, thinking about the history of astronomy then realising it’s one of Chris Fluke’s research areas, reading Leibniz, remembering the State Library has a rather fine collection of his works including some original publications in the Rare Books room, not quite getting to the stuff on cartography, deciding now is a good time to go home but planning on being here over the weekend…

a small break and things…

No internet for more than a week is something, especially in a week as frantic as this, and lack of email access and other non-standard ports being closed is like drowning in silence, though perhaps this is good, less distractions … or rather an absence of things that would surely add to too much. So, a departure and an arrival.

To move between places at such a velocity seems to leave part of myself behind, the wash of momentum or just the slight vacuum created by absence that insists on being filled with something of myself. For a time then, I’m split between two places until the eddies subside and the traces of that me which existed there become nothing.

And into Melbourne where the velocity of arrival left me staggering. It’s been most of a year and it feels … I never have had this feeling before about Melbourne that I no longer have any connection here. It belongs to the past, a place I have been, but not a place of the present. Along the way, Adelaide became my home, I mean in the sense of feeling something, not a physical location, but whatever intangible things it fills my life with.

However, here I am in Melbourne for three months. It’s a new city I’ve never been to before. I’m staying in Clifton Hill at the moment, and possibly to live in Collingwood, and most of my time will be at the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics, where I have my own office, a MacBook (so as to give my decrepit PowerBook a reprieve), and all the fun of art-science. All places I that are unfamiliar.

The city seems to have grown, more people, more … more. A quantity that once exceeded makes a city a city. It feels like a city now, like Sydney did when I first set foot there so long ago. Melbourne used to feel like a bunch of towns that grew until they collided.

I’m not sure what I’m writing. There were things to say I’m sure.

Internet is returning … surfacing. More and properly next week.


I’m off to Melbourne on Monday for a three month residency at the Swinburne Centre for Astrophysics through ANAT, making a new performance, hurting my brain with science, hanging out a lot with Bonnie and Luke … ummmm …

Hence blogging has been slim.

(I’ve thought of an awful lot to blog about, just haven’t got around to it … but you know … I thought about how much you needed me so I promisepromisepromise to do so much better.)

And I still need somewhere to stay for January and February.

(No, I’m not getting a FaceBook.)

the absinthe club & life-size

Two shows from two of my favourite people in Australia, both of whom I’ve had get naked in the name of art. Luke George (Stompin and all-round amazing dancer) is first and last with Life-Size, and Gypsy Wood (Burlesque queen and fashion goddess) is in the middle with The Absinthe Club, all in Melbourne in two weeks.

LIFE-SIZE is a project involving new work in dance, sound and video.
LIFE-SIZE is luke george with kristy ayre luke smiles and martyn coutts.
upcoming performance dates…
___Wed 31 Jan 8:30pm Outpost @ Horse Bizaar Little Londsdale Street, Melbourne
___Friday 9 Feb 7:30pm Development Showing at Chunky Move Studios 111 Sturt Street South Bank, Melbourne

LIFE-SIZE is assisted by the Russell Page Fellowship for Contemporary Dance and maximised by Chunky Move

+61 (0)417 535 456.

— lifesizemeup

Sugartime Presents The Absinth Club

February 2nd and 3rd The Spanish Club Melbourne 59 – Johnston st, Fitzroy.
10th The Gaelic Club, Sydney 64 Devonshire st, Surry Hills
24th The Columbian, Brisbane 14-20 Constance st, Fortitude Valley.

Sugartime Sydney’s Premiere vintage variety show, joins with Green Fairy to bring you the most incredible line-up of Australian burlesque in a sinister spectacular as never seen before!

Featuring over fifty of the most finest performers from three cities pushing the boundaries of illegitimate theatre, don’t miss becoming a member the Absinth Club.

For more ticket info or

— The Absinthe Club