recording the processes involved in the creation of work by team well team project makers.
THIS WAS AN AUTO-JOURNAL, UPDATED REGULARLY SOMETIMES. ITS POINT HAS BEEN TO RECORD THE EXPERIENCES FOR/OF DARIO THE SHEEP HEARER DURING HIS NOMADIC RESIDENCY IN BRUSSELS, BELGIUM DURING NOVEMBER 07
SOON... IT WILL CHANGE ANEW
time art investigation and potential paradise
wellcome to the gwoblog. this site started during the company's 3 month reside in Macau, China. here, company gwob team macao! shared some delights, loopholes, promises, praises, flights and colours of the many sticky days and neon twisted historical nights that were lived for some strange time.
like macau, like the project, like ourselves this art is under construction!
Ho Mai! ---------------------------------------------------------------------- new elements will be added to this blog now that the book in china has come to pass. stay aware! 02/111/08
"behind the wall was strange and strong, and I guess I'm not the only one who feels like this." Hanneke Paauwe, 04/12
This happened: one at a time people were guided through the caves of le bains by christina clar. listening to sounds and experiencing (s)light space structures and her interpro-grams along the walk - still, silent and dark.
the last path led to a large, rectangular room, in the middle a wall made of bails of hay. upon this wall projected video loops - the bug-circuit, the walk and sheep sleep. coming out from the wall on a horizontal axis - a straw man sculpture made by sweeping.
Bass frequency undulates in peaks and valleys depending upon where one moved. a filled silence. Once passing around the wall of hay they see me (black sheep costumed) seated on a bail on one side of a black box. tiny holes cut into top of box emit shards of light. they sit. i offer them water with gas and attach the headphones they have around their neck to a disc-man ...they listen to my voice as i follow their eyes. they can hardly see me. the last words in the ears ("now... silence").
we sit. we sit. we gaze. we ...
some people stayed 2, other's 20 minutes and did not want to leave, thanking me when finally it was clear i needed to get to the next person. A woman sang to me, another picked at straw, making little sculptures & percussion on the box. i sat and never said a word. i had another disc-man, they couldn't see, with which i controlled the frequency, the only sound in the environment warmed by large heating sheets... one man darted his eyes around, searching for the sound, another sat, playing with my eyes... upon each person leaving i cut a section from my beard (that had been growing since i sat with sheep)
it was intense, amazing and the first in a new form.
. documentation of the work is in brussels, i am awaiting a package of video and stills. will upload when available.
"The sky is black and blue and gray and yellow. The sky is not there, and it is red. All this was yesterday. All this was a hundred years ago. The sky is white. It smells of earth, and it is not there. The sky is white like the earth, and it smells like yesterday. All this was tomorrow. All this was a hundred years from now. The sky is lemon and rose and lavender. The sky is the earth. The sky is white, and it is not there. He wakes up. He walks back and forth between the table and the window. He sits down. He stands up. He walks back and forth between the bed and the chair. He lies down. He stares at the ceiling. He closes his eyes. He opens his eyes. He walks back and forth between the table and the window." paul auster, the invention of solitude
the word monad kept folding and unfolding itself inside the head of me this week, I knew the word but did not know its meaning or history – it was simply just a play on the words of this residency. Tonight i was immersed in paul auster's the invention of solitude, when i started reading about monadism - in relation to knowing that at any point in space the everything that is already occurring; basically that within language and experience, one can through their perception experience seemingly separate points within time as distinctly in rhyme with each other. I decided to do a bit of research and found some interesting definitions: monadism refers to essential oneness in gnosticism it is the primal aspect of god. Leibnitz wrote a book called monadology, in which monads are a basic unit of perceptual reality. (insert - 27.11.07: my reading here then differs from the postmodern usage of the term and embraces it as a word opening the notion that at all points - simultaneously - 'reality' is being lived (pluralist not mono) - and is connected -.)
I like it.
The reason I write this is due to an agreement a few of us nomads made this week to record our experiences of our journey’s synthesizing (seemingly separate yet corresponding elements falling together towards a final contraction). and then…the other day i wrote in my audiologue (which will be part of my final installation): "close your eyes. now, close your eyes". Tonight (just before reading auster’s business on monadism, Petter and I were listening to The Books and one of their tracks holds the words: "with your eyes closed, close your eyes." the first time i heard them was here and maybe i heard them with my eyes closed and only later listened to what was said when my eyes were open - when i was writing. the nice thing is that the auster book is as much about synthesizing experience as it is memory, solitude, writing and otherness. i like it. I also like that within the world of seeming coincidence what I’ve said here is nothing, almost weightless. Yet, to me, that is a cool thing about this method of perceiving perception, it means when one starts looking into it - it is connected and that these experiences we think or tell do not have to be “blow my mind/indisputable” evidence of magic or poignancy. It just is. And I like it.
From Naumann on Wittgenstein: He (the philosopher) pursued an idea until he could say either that it worked or that life doesn’t work this way and we have to start over. He would not throw away a failed idea, but include it in his book.
the non-nature of really If neutrino had a brain which had evolved in neutrino sized ancestors it would say that rocks really do consist of empty space. We have brains that evolved in medium sized ancestors who couldn't walk thru rocks.
really for an animal is whatever its brain needs it to be in order to assist its survival. Richard Dawkins
we are waves, not permanent things. which means we are not not really at all.
i will spend one more day with mrs white this coming week. it will be our final experience with eachother; i will then be taking my lessons of sheepmind to humanimals for Plankton Bar on Nov 30. i have decided against bringing her to le bains:: for a few reasons, mainly being that she has recently become pregnant (to mr brown, her mate) and the travelling-being-apiece-of-art experience may be a bit traumatic for her in this precious time - further, the knowledge i gained from my silent sit and semi fast in the fields with sheep gave me a strong sense of what this whole project and investigation is. i did go to some very deep places - eye to eye with her - unforgettable, transformative, and completely real and compelling. The installation/sit i will be doing with the humans is taking shape and i am excited with its form, content and potential. i would like to thank mrs sheep, luea, vincent, and also the sufi brotherhood of brussels for the chiave, the key to this art in manifestation. i have deliberately left the description of the outcome ambiguous to hold your attention, it will come to light once the work is complete. bon chance!
IAMNOTAVIDEOARTIST :: IAMANOMAD this is a part-moment of a bug in circuit. the bug was missing a leg and walked in a circle over and again, as cars and belgian agriculture passed and embroiled it. the footage is part of a triptych taken from our walk from holland to brussels and will form the left section of a 10:49 minute loop; a component of my installation during Plankton Bar on the 30th of Nov. fyi: after filming we placed the bug in grass and leaves nearby, which we're sure is where it was heading; (as we weren't making a nature documentary it was more than ok to intervene in the occurrence). tedious agriculture is the name of this aspect of the project: the visual representation of Nomadics as experienced by Mattathias Levi Dravich and myself during our 80km walk through the dense regional agriculture/seemingly endless suburbia of nederlands-belgique.
yesterday, took part in a walkening - an exercise in listening and knowing your space, under the direction of the fabulous Christina Clar. first, we found our (own and the groups) rhythm and pace in a golden-red forest whilst looking at the ground at our feet. for part 2, Christina had prepared individual audio tracks for us to walk with - between 5 and 10 minutes across a green field, whilst the rare yet constant sun blinked its way across water and eyes. it was a beautiful and sometimes terrific engagement with self that had a sweet performative quality to it - .
one is sheeped. i am now understanding my original mission and re-state my hypo-thesis: it is possible to transmutate from one animal to another, whist retaining the unique qualities of each. spending 2 days and nights in the middle of a sheep's gaze strengthened my will to intercede into a new soul, with the knowledge that i will not lose mine. This is empowering and also a phenomenal trajectory to countless ideas, notions of: real, nomadics, mnemonics, future politics, self psychoanalysis and notions of pace in thought, action and logic. i came to a conclusion during my sit and i think i'll be taking this to the end of the work: nomadics is the death of reflective culture. but i may be wrong - they are only words...
Walking with Bettina Wind - we found the perfect nomadic space in urban Brussels. a seemingly empty circus tent (cirque d'electrique) behind a wire fence and other side brick.. next to an abandoned school (now radio station) and an empty block. As we looked at the tent and wandered how we could fit it in the Les Bains a boy with a yellow cape walked from the tent to a caravan - it was not empty!.. following soon after him was a dog with a massive lampshade over his head (well i think he had a head). Now, i understand this is a regular look for dogs but in this case i am pretty sure Fellini swooped down for a moment and made us a film out of the elements at his disposal plus some uncanny characters.
An hour away from performing with Transacoustic research, currently there is this: in the wooden pool lies a man, Nicholaus on top of projected ground, which is being image manipulated by Natascha - arrows, marks, x, a line. Petter Goldsthine sits at a console contracting deep high synthetic sounds from a bass with the help of 2 speakers like a reiki bow and foot pedals. To his left is Joerg with a microphone at mouth; thousands of leads connecting to many machines, a robot musician or two and a lap top and darkly oscillating imaged sounds…. Over the pile of books, recently dominoed is Ernst the philosopher's installation of typewriters and cardboard record players, in front of him is the lair of Mathieus, potato sound extractor, mouse controlled machines manipulator and industrial design analog machinator. The space s slowly becoming a performance venue for tonight's crowd who will arrive to the sounds mixed by Christina Clar, co-owner of books and participator in the trans-nomadic lecture and fellow nomad.
Aki the caretaker as just waded thru the shallow end of the pool with two large white drums; as I help him thru the door i see Luea wiping down the table.
We are almost set. I will write and upload the performance-outcome tonight.
A few hours after trans acoustic collaboration. It was art, in the making, by and for time and form. I loved it. The Austrian group were all completely in tune with what they did individually; they also had a strong understanding and respect for each others work and played more like continents in shift than a group of musicians; working with a flat hierarchy they manage to pull their ideas and technologies together to fine effect as well as open their work to artists from different media, such as myself. This works in a very loose workshop basis; which s more about possibilities and ideas then outcome or representation. the limitations of technology and time became an issue in that if there was a second night then what was the first nights experiment can be understood for its strengths and tweaked harder for for a resultant cohesive performance work. My part consisted of taking off my sandal, starting a domino of books shaped as a Y, the Y split occurring around the start of the projected floor rectangle. Then walking forward slowly over books to the spilt. I took out a long scroll of text that I’d taped together and walked slowly covering my body then revealing it up and down, repeating this backwards, then wrapping up the scroll. As this occurred, Christina and Ernst moved through the books and slowly read theoretical discourse on performance, acoustics, space etc in three languages as the other sound artists sampled and tweaked and turned audio loops and text bloops into sonic weirdnesses. As I finished the scrolling, I turned on 2 radios 10 metres apart and an mp3 player in my pocket connected to a transmitter. the mp3 played a chinese voice story I cut together from bytes recorded in macau…. This was unhearable in the din of audio all around which was quite nice as I went from radio to radio dangling a coily device and people would have thought what the hell is he doing?… not until the other voices and machines stopped though did the audience hear the story that came out of the radio as directed by my position on stage. Leaving chinese whispers fading into the background after an assault of European discourse. The visual play by Nicholaus was brilliant he took people through a series of dichotimes, contradictions and mappings of thought and atomic life. The piece ended in a demonstration of 6 mice playing a series of purpose built music machines of Matheius; it brought the every small audience together for a laugh at the end of fluid night of collaboration.
wow, so visit one to the farm was quiet, learned, peculiar and sweet. the leaning of the owners toward me working with goat was quite obvious; yet the understanding that it is inappropriate to the exercise was also understood. goats met: emily, fried, and the stinky chin men were quite hilarious - the women being very friendly and open to the touch. men goats pranced about pissing on their faces obviously horny and wanting to jump over the fence and freely fuck themselves thru the winter. next to the fields were pastures of cows, geese chickens, what seemed to be black chimera, shoats or geep, then ponies. the second view i had of ponies for the day was almost as funny as the first. The first being a pony clomping passed the bus i had just entered on a fairly busy village street... with a direct path - which was forward (the cars and people around took some time before they got out to stop the running beast - quite hilarious)... beyond the piss goat pen, lay the sheep field. here, lives the lady sheep, unnamed and her male lover who has been brought in to give a lamb to the tough and resilient lady. she 's very shy and clumsy, waddling away and chomping on grass, quite unperturbed by the presence of us, but also not taking the time to concern herself, where as her lover was obviously very anxious; thinking that he was about to be taken away again, this time from his arranged love. he did not take his eyes off us for quite a while. 45 minutes or so we sat, inched forward, spoke in german english rip off to win their slow trust . toward the middle of this luea had a moment where mrs white (what i have come to code the lady sheep) approached us... but as i sat down she walked away again back to grass.. a bit later mr brown (as i am calling her lover) kept his focus on me for a good length of time - 2 minutes or so. this gave me an insight into the situation a bit; i need to earn his trust before i move away with his lady - or i may need to work with them both. this last option was further proposed by the vincent, upon his return from work in paris. i moved in another direction stating taking her away from her flock was part of the exercise, he reinstated a proclamation i have already which is that i will then become the flock. let us see
i am on the way to see the sheep. and its minders, on a farm 40 minute train ride from brussels south. the window moves past showing large fields of green small squat tight houses sometimes alone. cows lie upon eachother and separate. this land was the one we should have walked in. the area looks like a place we may have traversed without so much urbanity. now is, travelling south towards the true farm, the only one that means anything me now at least. to my right sits two african french, loudly and excitedly yakking about what sounds like familial problematics, trials, hilarities of their community, lives or businesses; for all i know though they may be working out a film plot or discussing the vagaries of coffee and the overuse of construction in the modern age. i have decided to think of them as flightless birds. i stop at a station, fairly bare with a crane in the distance, red train in the foreground. a pregnant white girl with red flowers and black boyfriend stands up to walk thru carriage doors, like the rest of the train carrriage they have changed positions maybe to avoid listening to the loud calls of the flightless birds who can be heard throughout the train - all except a family of 4 remain, kids can drown out any mouth around. i have the call to prayer of imam arafi playing in my ears, i listen to it because it's calming and feels most mysterious to me, as i have no idea what the guy's singing about. i also like the fact he is pakistani singing this is texas - i imagine him on a plain surrounded by cowboys circling, shooting their guns off trying to get closer in, but the call, the song, the love permeating in the words act as a soft invisible shield to the white winged gallop approaching.. i think that'd make a good advertisement for arabic television - selling what i don’t know, maybe peace. haaltert- man in white shirt over loose brown trousers - pulled in chin like a jockey on holiday.
they're well dressed and philosophically in stance these flightless bird men. i like their attitude, one has much more to say with his right finger than the other who listens, obviously thinking more than the other allows him to say - so is the world over thus dynamic -they've known each other for a long time methinks. there was a black sheep in a field just then scoffing up the grass with only one other sheep - white together in the green. i feel strange. but appropriate. this is bound to take me somewhere. this sit.
i am in brussels. investigating nomadic structures and i think the nature of change. well, that is how i see it all anyways for me. the change to be undergone here is quite specific but a few fold. first i am to see whether i can embody the soul of a sheep. second i will see what effect living/being with a sheep will have for me and it over period of time. third is an upskill that traverses a few plains: solo art, video and sound creation, editing and playback and working within a thematic structure - lucky for me the theme itself calls up openness and free - so my old fear of not being able to ply apart the walls due to a conceptual structure will not be so apparent. here too is a new game to be played - simple slow walking through an idea and thinking through a place
China International Tea Association Founded on 17 September 2000 by Lo Heng Kong, composed of core members from Chun Yu Fong Tea Culture Study Institution. The Association is a non-profit organization with objectives of studying and promoting Chinese tea of art.
Here are some photos of their visit to 'The Book' on a balmy 'Tap Seac' night....
Macau so far has been at times enlightening, maddening, pungent, hilarious, a steep learning curve, nail biting, tired-eyed smiles, private battles, public battles, amazement at the creations of others, chance meetings, long songs, dancing under lights, screaming into the rains, sacrificial offerings, small flowers of the meetings of cultures, a crash course in Cantonese and always always the locals laughing at our mispronunciations.
It is somewhat a testament to the whirlwind that we have created here that this blog is not yet teeming with our combined thoughts, but also because we too use the book as a repository of our experiences as we write and draw with the public. The space we find ourselves in here carries its own challenges and rewards, we have an amazing lighting setup in the centre of the square as well as an all-encompassing 8 point surround sound system, multiple external projectors and a stream of curious onlookers every night. Some of the highlights so far, apart from the opening ceremony have been our collaborations with external organisations in Macau, facilitated by the Cultural Institute. Photos of the Macau Tea Association and their public workshop and calligraphy painting are below. Currently we are presenting a large scale comic by the Comic Association and working on a new performance work with Company Well. There is a typhoon blowing outside and we have had to shut the book and lock it down until it has passed. But in a day or two we will open it up to it all again!