“…and when terror strikes just take a deep breat…

“…and when terror strikes just take a deep breath and remember that life is just one long learning experience. Nothing, no mistakes, disasters or oppositions lasts forever. I am now old enough to know this. Wish I had understood it when I was a young artist.”

email to me, 18 May, 2007, Hilary

yes, i know …

I do feel remiss at not blogging. Really. Every day I think, “Oh get it together!”. But after three years of almost daily attention, it has been nice not to think about what I shall write today. My writing and intimacy with language has slumped though. From next week I think I will be slightly more settled, and so … a resumption. Perhaps.

Things happening, dancing and falling over, new friends and old ones, birthdays aplenty, possible adventures here or in China … daily missing home though (that is to say Europe). Things worth blogging about. It is after-all in no small measure a journal, an “I was here” … somewhere.

blog holiday

I’m taking a short holiday from blogging. I’ve been writing almost constantly for the last couple of weeks, and most of March even, and have a couple more funding and residency applications to do this month, and … I don’t have much to say here. It’s all a bit boring really, get up eat breakfast walk to class dance (yay!) go home write eat write eat write eat stare at wall eye pain feelings of inadequacy shower sleep repeat.

poor excuse for absence of blog

Most of this week will involve occasionally staring at the housing commission flats a couple of streets north of here. I’ve settled myself in the lounge so working doesn’t feel so much like work. The unfortunate side-effect of being manacled to my laptop in a rather overwhelming couple of weeks of grant writing is that my body gets all screwed up, so when I go to dance, it’s like I’ve been in a car crash and my coordination is all murky and alien feeling.

So amidst four big (one finished, one mostly finished, one mostly started, one toyed with) applications due this week, and another five due by the end of April, none of which I’ll mention by name out of superstitious certainty I won’t be successful if I do … actually I’m not especially hopeful either way, I’m fairly sure the honeymoon is over, I’m no longer a bright emerging artist or enfant terrible, more like a geriatric mediocre with accompanying mid-career slump … what I meant to say is blogging will be slim.

I did get quite excited today when I discovered the State Library of Victoria has an original print of Robert Hooke’s Micrographia from 1665. The collection on the period of the Age of Reason and all my current favourite philosophers is quite substantial and … ja, so I say too much already, I’d love to spend three months at the library just reading these people, the privilege to share their world is something quite profound.

Gifts of chocolate, love, massages, shoes, or underwear from Agent Provocateur all appreciated.

anna in space

My darling Anna, whom I first met at DanceWEB in Vienna 2003 and spent a few weeks post-inferno enjoying the stadt with her and traveling together to Salzburg to stay with her grandmother. Then in Zürich in 2005 again we both chanced to be in the same city. More afternoons in cafes and playing with dance, rehearsals in Tanzhaus, evenings around Gessnerallee.

Since then she has been on many adventures and now has started blogging. Anna is a beautiful, poetic writer, reading her words is like being with her hearing her speak. Perhaps considering how all my friends know who Anna is from me talking, and the not few mentions I have made of her here, I should wait a while. But she is a crazy beautiful genius who makes the world a better place.

i want your dance

Last year Bare Bones came to Melbourne to work with Roz Warby. What was intriguing for me was not the choreography, but who they were, where they came from (Adelaide), what possessed them to get their asses to Melbourne to do this, a whole collective coming here for weeks.

Now John Jasperse has been in town for a couple of weeks from New York working with Becky Hilton and Jodi Melnick on Becky, Jodi and John, and there’s this whole New York element to the contemporary dance scene in Melbourne – Phillip Adams, Lucy Guerin as well as Becky that doesn’t get mentioned a lot but is largely responsible for the look and style in town for the last several years.

Another recent arrival – again – is Frieder Weiss, who did the interactive lighting for Chunky Move’s Glow, and is here for another project that I don’t really know much about. And that’s the point.

All this dance never gets mentioned in the media, no reviews, interviews, paragraph fillers, and all this gets talked about in rather vague at best word-of-mouth. But this, far more than the performances that do get reviewed by virtue of budget, publicist, reviewer, magazine space, is the ecosystem of the contemporary dance scene in Melbourne. And if it goes, passes on with no real record of its presence, then, as my friend Paul the film makers likes to say, “if it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen”.

I’ve been thinking for a while about having conversations with various people I know in the dance scene, just talking about their work, what they’re into, not necessarily about any impending performances that are usually necessary to acquire space in a newspaper or magazine. I was also thinking about these three different groups of artists and that I want to know what they’re doing.

So, I sent out an email today to everyone I could think of in the Melbourne dance scene, opening up supernaut to whatever they are doing. I always love raving exuberantly about my friends’ performances and shows, for me this is part of why I blog, I love art, I think my friends who make art generally are stupendous geniuses and everyone should know this and go see their work, so really it’s just more of the same.

i want your dance

As some of you know, I’ve been blogging on art and dance in Australia, China and Europe for the last three years on supernaut.info

I’d like to open up my blog to what you’re doing in Melbourne, developing new performances, researching stuff, showings, performances, installations, films, all kinds of art in all kinds of places. I especially want to see and write about stuff that isn’t getting reviewed in newspapers and magazines.

There have been some amazing people come through Melbourne in the last few months, and there are a lot of people here doing amazing stuff who I have no idea who they are, and I think they and what they are doing should be written and talked about.

Some enticements:

It’s free.

supernaut is a well-known part of blog scenes talking about arts and dance in Australia, Hong Kong and China, and bits of Europe, and has been nominated for a few blog awards.

I have around 3000 readers a day.

It’s still free.

Please spread this around

— frances d’ath – supernaut.info

… and death

Emile sent me possibly the most perfect condolences card after I told him about Jean Baudrillard dying yesterday. It made me laugh, it seems so perfect.

CTheory carried an obituary for him today also, I’d forgotten he was on their editorial board along with Paul Virilio, who I guess I’m going to have to start reading again.

I read Symbolic Exchange and Death until I wore out two copies, and I mean I was embarrassed about how poorly I treated these books, soaked in food and drink, shoved in bags and satchels until dog-eared and furry soft, my take-everywhere always-ready-for-a-good-time book, slept with and fell asleep in, I have had a love affair I feel guilty about only because it has never been boring. So here is, amongst pages I know so well I can close my eyes and see the crenelated outlines of paragraphs, a quote that was the heart of hell.

Like so many others, the mad, children and the old, have only become ‘categories’ under the sign of the successive segregations that have marked the development of culture. The poor, the under-developed, those with sub-normal IQs, perverts, transsexuals, intellectuals and women all form the basis of an increasingly racist definition of the ‘normal human’. It is not normal to be dead.

— Jean Baudrillard – Symbolic Exchange and Death

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