A short video created by and featuring surfer John John Florence and friends in Oahu and Maui, ‘Begin Again’.
Mood today :)
A short video created by and featuring surfer John John Florence and friends in Oahu and Maui, ‘Begin Again’.
Mood today :)
When I first saw American artist Sondra Perry’s video, ‘Double-Quadruple-Etcetera-Etcetera’ (2013, you can watch it here) I was mesmerised by the frenetic energy and the thought came, ‘I wouldn’t mind cutting loose like that.”
But there’s a violent undercurrent that’s hard to ignore, and has nothing to do with cutting loose and expressing yourself freely.
Perry works with digital production and performance, foregrounding the use of new technologies to explore issues of identity, subjecthood, representation, and blackness. In ‘Double-Quadruple’, Perry used the content-aware function in Photoshop to mask most of the moving figure. She instructed the performer to ‘move around ferociously’. The program registers most of the image as background or wall-space, delegating the figure to a kind of erasure or abstraction, despite the thrashing movement signifiying an actual body. Applied frame by frame, the figure becomes a mini-whirlwind, the digital masking straightjackets the figure so that they appear to be trying to escape confinement. This fighting back is almost symbolic of the performer wanting to assert their presence in the face of being completely whited out - obliterated.
Perry currently has a solo exhibition “Typhoon coming on” at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery, London, until 20 May 2018. You can check out Perry's work at http://sondraperry.com.
Insightful quote from Carl Sagan about the magic of books:
"What an astonishing thing a book is. It's a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you're inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time."
Wonderful words written by Robert Frost to poet, Louis Untermeyer in a letter:
'A poem...begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is a reaching-out toward expression; an effort to find fulfilment. A complete poem is one where an emotion finds the thought and the thought finds the words.'
Grrrrrrr...a messed up/mixed up kind of day! Two steps forward and one back. A bit of heaven & hell.
A pretty chill kind of day (and freaking cold!!!). And here's a pretty chill track by Paul West 'Refractions'. Check it out on SoundCloud here . Also, check out the Youtube download of it (no vid, just sound).
Read this today. Sublime. Elizabeth Barrett Browning's sonnet 'Love'.
We cannot live, except thus mutually
We alternate, aware or unaware,
The reflex act of life: and when we bear
Our virtue onward most impulsively,
Most full of invocation, and to be
Most instantly compellant, certes, there
We live most life, whoever breathes most air
And counts his dying years by sun and sea.
But when a soul, by choice and conscience, doth
Throw out her full force on another soul,
The conscience and the concentration both
Make mere life, Love. For Life in perfect whole
And aim consummated, is Love in sooth,
As nature’s magnet-heat rounds pole with pole.
Here's another great short film titled 'Right as Rain' from Finisterre (Cold Water Surfing), promoting their commitment as a business to environmentally sustainable practices. Team Manager, Matt Smith, and Finisterre ambassador, Fergal Smith, talk about their passion for surfing, the land, and sustainable organic farming at the co-operative Molly Hill Farm, Ireland.
Synchronicity. Artist Oliver Jeffers posted this on his IG feed today and it couldn't be more timely or sobering. Basically - climate change is probably the biggest humanitarian crisis we're facing and still, not enough is being done about it.
Jeffers wrote this:
'Seeing as the world is kind of on fire, and it’s the hottest year on record for something like the 5th year in a row, this is worth reposting:
If planet earth were a car, it seems like the engine is dangerously overheating while everyone is too busy arguing about what to put on the radio.
Climate change is the biggest and most urgent threat we face today.
Yet we are doing almost nothing to deal with it.'
I say synchronicity because just the other day I read an article in the New York Times Magazine, 'Losing Earth: The Decade We Almost Stopped Climate Change' by Nathaniel Rich. Eloquent, scary, informative, and frustrating - it's a must read for anyone who wants an overview of how climate change became a scientific, political and humanitarian issue in the 1980s, and how the knowledge of carbon emissions impact on the earth's atmosphere has been known since the 1880s, but also, that oil and gas companies have been well aware of it since the 1950s. The biggest impediment to doing something about it so major catastrophes could be averted have been people. It's a sad fact that until it hits individuals tangibly, until they have to deal with the effects of climate change at a personal level - most people resist change, resist knowing, and resist believing that a nightmare scenario is a possibility. And in thinking it's not going to effect them until an unforeseen future date, they continue to live as if we've got the resources of two planets, and climate change is just a scientific phenomenon, not a practical reality. It's the last-hour mentality, whereby people have to be literally at the edge of the cliff before they wake-up and realise they need to avert a disaster, while watching people falling over that very cliff, because for some, it's too late. I had a hard time reading this article for all the uncomfortable truths it unearthed about climate change, but mostly because of people's responses (or lack thereof) to it. And at the policy end, power, money, short-sightedness and a pass-the-buck attitude has prevailed. Still does as Jeffers points out. A global treaty is necessary (with hardcore limits) because it's a global issue, and yet the major carbon emitting countries still refuse to negotiate and commit to implementing a carbon tax because at this very moment it doesn't suit policy, or an outdated view of the economy.
There was a shot in the 80s to prevent global warming getting scarily beyond what the planet and all its inhabitants could comfortably live with. That's a depressing truth. We're beyond the tipping point and already living within an altered and warming world where the effects of climate change are seen and lived with daily. Let's hope that holding governments accountable (like taking politicians and their policies to the international court for their lack of protecting the people they pledge to serve); a shift to a circular and renewable economy; voting out people who continue to deny climate change; finding alternative renewable resources to replace fossil fuels; cleaning up the catastrophic amount of plastic and refuse from our lifestyles; reforestation and protecting species, and the everyday choices we make to reuse, refuse, and recycle will tip the scales back in the planet's and our favour.
Let's hope there is still room for hope.
Love this from the 'constellation poet' (@r.cliftpoetry).
Sunday - mood :) Mondo Cozmo's single 'Sold' from his album, 'Your Motherfucker'.
Check it out (and maybe lie outside somewhere and drift with the sky...).
Something otherworldly and wonderful from artist @deih.xlf, titled 'A New Beginning'. This mural was painted for a festival called "Encrucijada Sangüesa" in Ciudad de Sangüesa, a small town in Navarra, in the North of Spain.
Deih said this about the mural: '“When you directly confront your stone, you always get an answer with a new way of shining. (The real knowledge is for brave people.) A new beginning is possible."
Swap 'soul' or 'heart' for 'stone' and it also resonates beautifully, although a little less intergalactically!
Yep, it does :)
Artist Ricky Lee Gordon was recently commissioned to create a work for the Paxos Contemporary Art Project in Greece. Titled: 'THE SON OF THE SEA CREATED AN ISLAND FOR HIS LOVER SO SHE WOULD REST HIS TIRED HEART', he had this to say about its inception, disruption, and that despite not being able to finish the work, the surrounding issues in his view, gave the work its completion:
'Whilst nearing completion of the installation which would serve as a shrine to the story and aching love of Poseidon the Church arrived and asked me to stop. The property which the festival organizers were given and thought to belong to municipality in fact belonged to the church.
The installation consists of a portrait of Poseidon as a young boy overlooking the remaining columns and roof tiles of an abandoned house to represent self and the dismantling of self. Also in some way it was my intention to create a self portrait, reflection on and ritual for the letting go of longing .
The situation and experience of being confronted by the Church and the uncompleted installation is for me the final work. It took on a life of its own out of my control like everything in this constant ever changing flux of a universe. The other interesting link is that it was the Church who dismantled and put an end to any and all belief in the mythology and ritual for the Greek gods.
Aphrodite hid from Poseidon’s love at the ‘end of the world’ so he created the island of Paxos to convince her that if she were to love him she would have the power to soothe his chaotic ways and bring balance to his restless heart.
The myth is also significant as it is thought to symbolize the end of the ancient world and the dawn of the Christian era.'
This hit home - a quote from graphic designer Saul Bass:
'I want to make beautiful things even if nobody cares.'
Latest terrific and edgy stencil in Berlin by LET (@l.e.t._les.enfants.terribles), 'Carolina's Pony'.
I love dance, especially contemporary, but once in a while a classical ballet dancer comes on the scene who defies categorisation, is so out there, unique and adventurous, that you just have to take notice. Ukrainian Sergei Polunin is that dancer. Here's a short film collaboration with photographer Rankin, soundtrack by Husky Loops, for Hunger magazine that showcases his incredible talent. I mean - wow! Just wow.
It's been a week of World Environment Day and World Ocean Day, and the one issue that's paramount: plastics.
Plastic pollution is an epic problem, and it's a human-made problem. I don't want to focus too much on the negatives (and there are many!), instead I'd like to showcase a few projects that are innovatively tackling the issue by thinking outside the box, while also acknowledging it's through our collective and daily efforts to recycle, reuse and refuse the use of plastics that's crucial in dealing with the mammoth task of cleaning up our environment, so that its safer, healthier and plastic-free.
Because the shocking fact is this: plastic doesn't disappear once it's made. It also degrades into smaller pieces to become microplastics. And the insidious reality is that these microplastics are in our water systems and even if you can't see it, it's now been proven that microplastics are in the water you bathe in, the water you drink, and in the food you eat that's sourced from the ocean and streams.
Plastic isn't a problem that's 'out there', it's very much become a problem that impacts on human health and well being.
So, here are some wonderful projects that are dealing with the problem head-on:
1. The Seabin Project
Developed by two Western Australian surfers and ocean lovers, Andrew Turtin and Peter Ceglinski, the Seabin Project began its life as a Kickstarter campaign that's become a small business operating globally. The 'Seabin' is what's termed as a 'floating debris intervention device', and is installed at marinas, yacht clubs or in areas of calm water. It's basically a bin construction that collects and sifts pollution debris from the water. The company also focuses on education and scientific development with a simple aim: pollution free oceans for future generations. Check out this wonderful invention here: www.seabinproject.com
2. The Ocean Cleanup
This major project and organisation is the brainchild of Boyan Slat (CEO), and was developed to create technologies to extract plastic pollution from the oceans and to prevent further plastic entering the oceans. One of its major aims is to tackle the Great Pacific Garbage Patch located between Hawaii and California, which is roughly double the size of Texas. It's a floating island of debris, mostly plastics. The Ocean Cleanup technology is described as 'a passive system' that aims to close the source and clean it up through a pipe and net system that isolates the garbage so it can be removed from the ocean, taken to land, and then sorted for recycling. The first clean-up system is scheduled to be deployed mid-2018, and you can check out this amazing project here: www.theoceancleanup.com
3. Endangered Waves App
Surfers and ocean lovers have long been environmentalists. Basically, their playground is the water and beaches and coastal environments, and any pollution becomes obvious when you're walking, swimming and surfing in it. I became aware of this app through big wave surfer Greg Long who promoted it through his IG account. It's a simple and brilliant solution to turn that horrible feeling of seeing pollution, yet not knowing how to fix the problem, into action. The app was developed by the Save the Waves Coalition in California (@savethewavescoalition & https://www.savethewaves.org) and it basically lets you take a picture of the problem, select the type of threat, geo-tag the location, and upload the information. It will then be sent to the organisations that can best deal with the issue. You can download the app on IOS or Android or visit the Save the Waves website.
Cold water surf company Finisterre has just put out a range of surf gear and leisure wear made from microplastics. The campaign's motto of 'Stand Together. Take Action.' is to highlight the issue of microplastic pollution through education and working with scientists and conservationists to find innovative ways to clean it up and upcycle it so that it has another life, one that's sustainable. Check out the video, 'Beneath The Surface' about the project, or visit the website: www.finisterre.com
I've been listening to this track on repeat since it came out a couple of weeks ago, Skee Mask's "Soundboy Ext.' from the album, 'Compro'. A trippy, dreamy landscape to get lost in.
Artist Ricky Lee Gordon's wonderful mural in Berlin, 'the sun will fall to the sea', is a response to people's quest for progress, how the decisions of so few in power affect so many, and especially how this negatively impacts on the environment. We're all connected, and Gordon believes that with people becoming more aware of their connection to nature they're 'creating an uprising of creativity, sensitivity and consciousness, but it’s also creating a lot of despair because people don’t know what to do'. And his message is, that's okay. Nature will have it's way, no matter what we do [http://rickyleegordon.com].
The sun will fall to the sea.
The moon and tides will rise.
These kings and their castles will wash away.
die Sonne wird im Ozean versinken .
Der Mond und das Wasser werden steigen.
Diese Könige in ihren Schlössern werden weggewaschen.
Berlin 2016.For Urban Nation Museum
121 Landsburger Allee