Monday, February 27, 2006

You Mean There's A Wall There? {Updated}

Most performances, TV and film stay within their "three walls." A few "break" the fourth wall and address the audience... but Friday I saw something else.

Danzahoy, mentioned previously, had a sequence where the dancers approach the edge of the stage, and "pushed" at it tentatively, leaned out, and struggled to see through "it." It was one of the few times when I've seen a performers deal at length with the existence of a "wall" separating their experience with some other.

There was hesitation, curiosity, often some anxiety.

In a parallel thread, I've started Joan Didion's "The Year of Magical Thinking." She describes an inscription in her late husband's prep school poetry text, where he lists three points to consider when reading a poem. She closes that chapter noting how she hadn't used one of the considerations in viewing her own grief.

What I see joining these two pieces are how tools of art clearly serve as tools of life.

What happens when we analyze our lives in the way we analyze art and media. Is there an outside observer in my life (hello webcam, security cam, and satellite viewers). How is time altered (ever notice that a computer's expected time of a task is much faster than your watch, or perhaps much slower). What is the resonance of a line or a conversation?

Do we analyze our lives? And if so, with what tools?

{Update} I didn't have Didion's book with me, and I couldn't remember the questions, but here they are: 1) What is the meaning of the poem and what is the experience? 2) What thought or reflection does the experience lead us to? 3)What mood, feeling, emotion is stirred or created by the poem as a whole?

I think we occassionally discuss our lives around the 2nd and 3rd question, but I can't help but to think how much richer our experiences and discourse would be if we always used these questions.

Finally, I forgot to mention how much I love the cover: simply, mostly blacktext reading:

the year of

The bold letters are blue, gently weaving in j-o-h-n, her partner.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Pot. Kettle. Gay.

A recent exchange (truncated, names changes to protect the innocent):
Sam: Do you want to join me to see Danzahoy at the Joyce this Friday? (Danzahoy is a Venezuelan dance company)

Don: I don’t know, I’m planning on schvitzing with Jann.
Don: I don’t know how much I want to go see dance in Chelsea with another guy.

Sam: As opposed to sweating naked with another guy in the East Village?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

I [apple] You!

In a bit of geeky bliss, Apple sent out a number of valentines yesterday, one of which I was very happy to recieve: update 10.4.5. Quietly, I've had a new CoreDuo iMac for just over a week... and it had this little problem. But now it's fixed and all is forgiven. Now, who should the flowers go to?

My valentine to my parents was cobbling together a video conference, courtesy of the built-in iSight on my end, and my folks' video camera. True to Apple's reputation of simplicity, it really was as easy as their plugging in and turning on their camera. And, it was fun, though mom's behavior seemed to suggest she didn't quite believe what she was seeing.

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Friday, February 10, 2006

Beware of That Vicious Right Hook

One of my favorite album covers is the Pogues' Peace and Love. A quick glance shows a middleweight, a long glance show that the words "peace" and "love" are tattooed on the right and left fingers respectively. L-o-v-e: four fingers plus thumb equals five. P-e-a-c-e: five fingers plus thumb equals... six? Creepy and subtle, I love it.

Last week I saw the plucky National Theatre of the United States of America (
NTUSA)'s " Abacus Black Strikes NOW!: The Rampant Justice of Abacus Black." The piece is a "tent revival celebrating the history and lore of ancient knight Abacus Black" The icing for me is their poster: a gauntlet with N-T-U-S-A engraved on the fingers: five fingers: plus thumb equals six (also the right hand). Excellent. You can learn more about hexadactyly, the condition of having an extra digit.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Being Drawn Out

For whatever reason, I've not wanted to post things. There's been a lot of thoughts, some great experiences, but no desire to share.

Until today. I stumbled back to the Drawing Center's site, and spent a good 20 minutes drawing. So simple, so appropriate, so satisfying.

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