Background

There is always something going on in the background when there is stagnation in the foreground. Don’t be deceived so easily. Here are the snippets of what has been going on recently:

- I’ve been moving 1.09 GB of childhood notes so eagerly stored away in the weirdest places over a period of 15 years.

- I’ve been thinking about swapping equipment around and reevaluating the necessity of possessing certain electronics.

- I’ve been taking care of my company, trying to find clients for the sake of financial support.

- I’ve been searching for a perfect creative living space with a couple of good friends.

Now let’s sneak in the shadows of our lives, have a wine together in the forest and think everything through. 

Background seems like a better option than foreground. 

A Proper Glitch

You probably couldn’t tell that I’m in a fairly good mood. Sitting in a room with ‘hospital green’ walls, slouching on a wooden rattan chair, face in a twist as I’m staring at some pixels at the center of the screen, hands typing away some ritual strokes to charm the reality.

As the weird green walls make my mind swirl I venture out and think about what has been accomplished this year.

  • Bachelor Degree: check. Wonderful document acquired.
  • Passion Statement:: check. Feeling good about knowing myself a bit more.
  • Job: blank box. Smile starts to fade a little.
  • Further Education: blank box again. Deadlines are gone.
  • Plan Section: the big space underneath is blank as well. There are some scribbles present there but nothing solid. 

At least the page is not tabula rasa but the smile is gone completely now. Frantic thought please come in, you are obviously very welcome, have a coffee.

The truth is I’m a tiny little bit on edge here. Only a tiny little bit. I would go as far as saying that I’m a halted happiness-becoming embodiment. I’m stuck in an unformed hybrid. Surely Gilles Deleuze would have put it that way if he had a mouth. But now he literally doesn’t and neither do I.

You know, forefront of a different line of flight would feel much better to me right now. Past me would say ‘it’s barely a matter of transition. just do it’ but now it’s not that simple. I’m planning that transfer almost like the main character of Circulo Uno by Cesar Pesquera Muro. Piles of sand are appearing in the corners of my apartment.

But hey! Look! Plan Section has some scribbles in it, I could go through them. Let me take my pen and dive into my sea of GTD and perfect task distribution. Let’s charm it this way, no? Smile is back on my face despite the lack of mouth. The problem is that just charming the reality isn’t really working anymore.

I will need a proper glitch instead. Handmade one.

I’m still smiling though, just in case.

Back in November 2010 I recorded a concert of a hybrid band project consisting of Washington Irving and John Knox Sex Club. It was a one-off event in Stereo Club in Glasgow dedicated specifically to the album launch.

Many thanks to my fellow crewman and networker Paul Yates for doing all he did. After a couple of months the whole thing is now coming together. Planned 52 min footage from the concert itself is done and the only thing left to edit is the bonus feature: the interview/BTS footage. I’m editing it as we speak.

The idea is to create a special DVD presenting the unique concert including an atmospheric introduction showcasing an interview with the artists and their road towards the album. It should be available at some point this year.

If it sounds interesting to you and you want more information about the project read an interview with the creators on Peenko Blog in the Scots Way-Hay episode #42 here.

You can also check out various networking profiles to listen to the music of the bands: Let’s Talk About TreesWashington Irving and John Knox Sex Club.

Memelessness and Meditation

Today I found an interesting fragment of discussion in Journal of Memetics thread way back from 2001. Here is the source link. What the mentioned discussion did was that it managed to fill another gap in my understanding of memetics.

What triggered the way towards experiencing that ‘little source of enlightenment’ was a simple thought stream that led to a notion of something that would oppose a meme. Since I usually think spacially I immediately thought of a memeless space, how one would look like, how would a person interact with such a place.

I googled ‘memeless space’ to see if the net had some interesting information and there it was. Between some random meme-related Reddit entries, 齋藤 孝 x 梅田 望夫 and a blog of Christian Real Estate Professionals, which looks like a scam website, I found a memetics discussion list archive.

I immediately devoured it and contemplated for a while…

I realized I haven’t actually followed the whole conversation going on about ‘toggling nature’s auto-erase’ but that little snippet was just enough for me to reach understanding of an element that kept me in a ‘fluid, uncertain space’.

I am talking about meditation.

I’ve been thinking about it as a method of stress-relief due to my day-to-day uneasiness and a way to obtain a creativity boost through clarity for quite some time now.

In the past I have briefly looked into Buddhist and New Age methods of meditation but never decided to follow up on them. I was bouncing between gathering information and trying to figure out on my own how to do it but it would never turn into an actual activity.

It is also worth mentioning that recently I attended a local introductory meeting to Transcendental Meditation, which was fairly intriguing, however due to financial instability I was not willing to participate in it.

There is something off-putting about charging incredible amounts of money for simple beneficial knowledge.

Trailing back to the main issue: reading Robin Faichney’s response in the mentioned thread reawoken my intention to learn meditation, however using an entirely different perspective.

Never before I have thought of it as a way to clear myself of actual memes and temes. A way to stray away from the path of meme replication and a method of restoring an unobstructive view for the mind.

According to memetic theory everything you think at any given moment either comes from a meme that has been started long time ago or is a new meme in its own right. Including the meditation in the equation enables us to keep a distance and see a much larger picture. A clarity to create emerges and we become conscious of the origin of the swirling memes.

Now that I connected the dots it all seems clear and fits perfectly with the memetic verions of reality. Thank you Robin Faichney from 10 years ago for your insight into this matter.

Scary yet undeniable. Go, sit. Let the monitor glow take you to a better place. The place of happiness and bliss. I know you have nothing against it. The truth about us is perpetuated by technology itself. Machine is the source.
I would throw in a couple of more senseless phrases but that means I’m staring at the screen for a longer period of time.
Artwork by Shaz Madani.

Scary yet undeniable. Go, sit. Let the monitor glow take you to a better place. The place of happiness and bliss. I know you have nothing against it. The truth about us is perpetuated by technology itself. Machine is the source.

I would throw in a couple of more senseless phrases but that means I’m staring at the screen for a longer period of time.

Artwork by Shaz Madani.

One of those online narrative gems. Created by David Marcinkowski and backed up by a ton of known Polish actors. Haven’t played through the whole thing yet, mostly due to network speed problems and long loading times but I plan to do it as soon as everything is resolved. Check it out for yourself, go to the project’s website.

One of those online narrative gems. Created by David Marcinkowski and backed up by a ton of known Polish actors. Haven’t played through the whole thing yet, mostly due to network speed problems and long loading times but I plan to do it as soon as everything is resolved. Check it out for yourself, go to the project’s website.

Remodernist Manifesto by Jesse Richards

Some time ago I became acquainted with the written work of Jesse Richards: Remodernist Film Manifesto. I found it to be a really interesting read in the age of modern cinematography. Have a go at it after the break.

1. Art manifestos, despite the good intentions of the writer should always “be taken with a grain of salt” as the cliché goes, because they are subject to the ego, pretensions, and plain old ignorance and stupidity of their authors. This goes all the way back to the Die Brücke manifesto of 1906, and continues through time to this one that you’re reading now. A healthy wariness of manifestos is understood and encouraged. However, the ideas put forth here are meant sincerely and with the hope of bringing inspiration and change to others, as well as to myself.

2. Remodernism seeks a new spirituality in art. Therefore, remodernist film seeks a new spirituality in cinema. Spiritual film does not mean films about Jesus or the Buddha. Spiritual film is not about religion. It is cinema concerned with humanity and an understanding of the simple truths and moments of humanity. Spiritual film is really ALL about these moments.

3. Cinema could be one of the perfect methods of creative expression, due to the ability of the filmmaker to sculpt with image, sound and the feeling of time. For the most part, the creative possibilities of cinema have been squandered. Cinema is not a painting, a novel, a play, or a still photograph. The rules and methods used to create cinema should not be tied to these other creative endeavors. Cinema should NOT be thought of as being “all about telling a story”. Story is a convention of writing, and should not necessarily be considered a convention of filmmaking.

4. The Japanese ideas of wabi-sabi (the beauty of imperfection) and mono no aware (the awareness of the transience of things and the bittersweet feelings that accompany their passing), have the ability to show the truth of existence, and should always be considered when making the remodernist film.

5. An artificial sense of “perfection” should never be imposed on a remodernist film. Flaws should be accepted and even encouraged. To that end, a remodernist filmmaker should consider the use of film, and particularly film like Super-8mm and 16mm because these mediums entail more of a risk and a requirement to leave things up to chance, as opposed to digital video. Digital video is for people who are afraid of, and unwilling to make mistakes.** Video leads to a boring and sterile cinema. Mistakes and failures make your work honest and human.***

6. Film, particularly Super-8mm film, has a rawness, and an ability to capture the poetic essence of life, that video has never been able to accomplish.***

7. Intuition is a powerful tool for honest communication. Your intuition will always tell you if you are making something honest, so use of intuition is key in all stages of remodernist filmmaking.

8. Any product or result of human creativity is inherently subjective, due to the beliefs, biases and knowledge of the person creating the work. Work that attempts to be objective will always be subjective, only instead it will be subjective in a dishonest way. Objective films are inherently dishonest. Stanley Kubrick, who desperately and pathetically tried to make objective films, instead made dishonest and boring films.

9. The remodernist film is always subjective and never aspires to be objective.

10. Remodernist film is not Dogme ’95. We do not have a pretentious checklist that must be followed precisely. This manifesto should be viewed only as a collection of ideas and hints whose author may be mocked and insulted at will.

11. The remodernist filmmaker must always have the courage to fail, even hoping to fail, and to find the honesty, beauty and humanity in failure.

12. The remodernist filmmaker should never expect to be thanked or congratulated. Instead, insults and criticism should be welcomed. You must be willing to go ignored and overlooked.

13. The remodernist filmmaker should be accepting of their influences, and should have the bravery to copy from them in their quest for understanding of themselves.

14. Remodernist film should be a stripped down, minimal, lyrical, punk kind of filmmaking, and is a close relative to the No-Wave Cinema that came out of New York’s Lower East Side in the 1970’s.

15. Remodernist film is for the young, and for those who are older but still have the courage to look at the world through eyes as if they are children.

** The only exceptions to Point 5 about video are Harris Smith and Peter Rinaldi; to my mind they are the only people who have made honest and worthwhile use of this medium. (Aug. 2008)

***(The position on digital/video has changed since this manifesto was written in 2008- the group is inclusive toward use of any motion picture format. See recent essay here).

This manifesto may be appended/added to in the future, as further ideas develop. The following is for further study for those interested in what has influenced remodernist film philosophy.

Honorary Remodernist Filmmakers:
Amos Poe, and all of the No-Wave filmmakers
Andrei Tarkovsky
Jean Vigo
Kenji Mizoguchi
Maurice Pialat
Yasujiro Ozu
Jean Epstein
Wolf Howard
Billy Childish