Archive for the ‘waffle’Category
I know, I know, I suck. It’s been a while.
Things have been super busy lately, for anyone in the South, Broken20 are decamping to the big smoke for a face off with Colony on March 15th at the Waiting Room, the Quietus did a nice little preview of it here. Expect a brand new set from me, and my first time trying out an alternative means of performance. Do come.
I’ve been working away on a project with Norman Shaw (who has done us an amazing podcast for Broken20 that we’re just waiting for the technical goblins to sort out).
Through an open call, we are inviting artists from all stages in their careers to submit works created in response to their mystical ‘otherness’. You can read about the project and more importantly download the submission form from the site here.
I have a new work (along with an insanely varied and awesome roster of artists) in the Generator Members Show which opens this Friday at 7pm at Generator Projects, Dundee. Do attend if you can, it’s generally completely stowed out with fantastic work.
Finally, here’s a little audiovisual piece I made the other night. Enjoy.
I’ve been having a think recently about the notion of performance, in particular when it comes to improvising. I have previously written a short piece titled ‘On Confessions of Breath’ published on The National Tropospherics Commission site (http://erstlaub.co.uk/ntc/OCOB.html) that looked into my improvised trumpet/clarinet and electronics works as a meditational/exorcism device but, with a new performance piece and an alternative approach looming, I thought it pertinent to consider and readdress this area.
I’ve become quite enamoured lately on the prospect of chaotic systems and their capacity to self organise, I’m about to start work in the next while on a paper that investigates the artist as a self organising system (or possibly the process of the artist as a self organising system), or maybe my system will self organise itself into something more sensible and assessable, I digress.
There is a counterpoint in improvised music where both the performer and the listener reach an acceptance of chaos. The performer, with dexterity, knowledge and ability creates, navigates and disperses new and exciting landscapes (often this is a more enjoyable process for the performer than the listener but that’s already a long running argument to be had elsewhere). Knowing their medium, the improviser can listen and react. but there also exists a more chaotic direction, I’m not saying this is in any way ‘more improvised’, just another approach.
The piece that has spurred this text into motion is a response to Plymouth Rock, an installation work by New York based artist Trisha Baga who is currently exhibiting at DCA, Dundee.
“Plymouth Rock (2012) […] considers the famous pilgrim landing site by meandering through Chinese takeaway menus and a recital of a Justin Bieber Christmas song. This work is emblematic of her experimental approach to presentation – harnessing reflections, shadows and overlays which match the fragmented edits of the film itself.”
The soundtrack to this work is a disparate collage of snippets of songs, diegetic sound and spoken word that Baga has woven together (or allowed to fall together?), it mirrors the physical realisation of the piece comprising of a complex series of found and appropriated objects, both displaying and breaking projections and creating intricate shadow play in the gallery space.
Now, I should confess, I work in the gallery at DCA, I often end up spending hours in the close proximity of work and it does have a tendency to creep into your subconscious. So I was sitting in the studio the other day and an ohwürm surfaced. After a fair amount of poking and prodding, I managed to grab hold of it and identify it as a bit of ‘Let’s Dance’ by Bowie (not my favourite period of his, that naturally is ‘Low’ but I’ll continue), it wasn’t a sensible bit though, not the chorus, or the bridge, or even an even bar’s worth of it but a strange little off-loop. Seeing as my brain was already unconsciously sampling and looping this material, I thought it might be an interesting challenge to use this random, ever changing sequence of sounds as a chaotic impetus for improvising using a series of dedicated effects units and loop pedals.
In the past, when using physical instruments (or even occasional forays into radio based scrying) alongside electronics, there has been an inclination of control over the input, having played a series of notes that are looping, my brain, fingers and breath can make the leap and build on them or I can allow the situation to take the piece in another direction. With a completely uncontrolled and random input, we reach into a different, weirder territory.
There is something dangerously liberating about the idea of not being entirely in control of a situation that you are entrenched at the heart of, particularly given that in a moment of crisis, you can’t fall back into safer territory, both performer and audience locked together into a dialogue that endures until one of them decides that enough is enough and calls it a day.
It could be argued that knowing the signal processing equipment and carefully considered order of the system that I’ll be using for the performance, that I still have a degree of expertise and control over the results, but then that needs to exist otherwise it would be a perpetually growing, saturated wall of mush and of little performative or sonic purpose. The ‘goal’, (although I’m starting to feel a little less goal oriented and possibly more interested in process and potentiality) is the opportunity to open up discourse, to react to situations outwith regular systems of control and maybe even to throw little caution to the wind? When we are in control of all the elements in a system, there is less room for surprising feedback loops, odd rhythms and unexpected harmony to arise.
Maybe this will be the beginnings of a more free, less organised, decentred self or, more likely, an additional escape vessel to be employed when the constrictions of order become a little too frustrating and asphyxiating. I like having systems, sometimes I like having systems a little too much, it is just worth bearing in mind that even a chaotic system is still a system and as such it will have a tendency to organise itself (even if its organisation is a chaotic form ((you see, it gets somewhat recursive?))).
Things that weren’t terrible in 2012, in no particular order:
Berberian Sound Studio (x100), Andy Stott – Luxury Problems, The Outer Church, Shifted – Crossed Paths, Bela Tarr’s Turin Horse, Dredd, The Illuminatus Trilogy, Forward Strategy Group – Labour Division, The ERC 1612 Underture, X-TG – Desertshore/Faet Narok, Glyn Dillon’s The Nao of Brown, Morrison and Burnham bringing it wholesale with Batman Inc., fires and rum out in the country, John Dies At The End, Marconi’s Shipwreck seeming to hit quite a few people’s buttons, the perpetual influence and legacy of Coil and Broadcast, Pye Corner Audio, finally watching F for Fake, Julia Holter – Ekstasis, Maria Minerva – Will Happiness Find Me?, Kevin Eldon Will See You Now, Bill Drummond’s At The Age Of 59, getting into Deleuze + Guittari’s Mille Plateaus, the Flex Mentallo trade finally existing, the Silence! podcast, getting a job at DCA, Sightseers, seeing Stalker on the big screen for the first time, general Broken20 ness and all the artists and people we’ve worked with and have bought stuff, written nice things and generally been supportive towards our activities.
I’m not entirely convinced there’s more but there probably is. Cheers to everyone that’s been supportive of music and art business this year, it’s genuinely meant a lot, here’s to 2013 being less blergh.
Oh, and I could really do with doing a few more gigs this coming year – I’m pretty cheap, will generally perform for travel, a few rums and a sofa to sleep on, my wack chat is optional. Drop me a line if you want me to come play for you, also prepared to quite enjoyably indulge in themed commissions etc.
Man, I’m not sure what’s up with my lapsing into irregular bloggery but I’m forcing myself to write up some recent bits and pieces.
First up I’d like to thank everyone that came along to my performance at DCA’s ((echo)) a few weeks ago and of course for having the opportunity to do so. It was actually really nice to summon up Erstlaub and for the first time in a fair old while not feel completely drained and wrong afterwards. I had some very nice feedback including an email from Nikolaj (whose Rendezvous the work was made in response to) who is currently working away on a new project somewhere in Turkey on hearing the piece. You can download or listen to it below.
In other pretty big/interesting news, I recently made around 45 minutes of visual accompaniment for TVO’s performance at The Freaking Royal Albert Hall for his performance of Red Night Variations at Wire’s Rewind Live event. Horrible Slow Techno clogging up the RAH? Don’t mind if we do. You can see an edited little teaser for it below and it may well be avaialble on DVD at some point via Broken20 although my lawyers have yet to discuss my fee with the label (this isn’t true). Big up to TVO for repping ends so spectacularly.
In MFA news, I’m slowly being driven more and more mental by the endless succession of terrible and inane pop music leaking through the floor of my studio from the DJCAD canteen which can only be part of some long running experimental torture process. Other than that, I’ve just published a booklet in response to ‘Positioning Paper 1′ in which we were asked to write an 800(ish) word piece on us, our research and development practices. Despite the entirely limiting wordcount, I pretty much just let it happen as a stream of conscious approach, inspired by recent poking and prodding at the I-Ching and then packaged it all up in standard NTC Publishing form in an A5 booklet using 160gsm sturdy card for the cover and 110 gsm vegetable vellum to mirror the whimsy, transience and ephemerality contained within the body of the text. Below are some crummy images taken with my blackberry but at some point I should take some real pics. I’ll probably also post up a .pdf on the NTC site once the dust has settled a little.
Other than that it’s all proposals and just churning away at the grindstone.
I won’t leave it so long next time, I know how much you all worry about me.
Just a quick post today, I’m writing this from my new MFA studio, entrenched for the first time in my academic sojourn at DJCAD in the Crawford Building (we even have windows and a bit of daylight!).
First order of business is to say thanks to everyone that’s been supportive of Marconi’s Shipwreck, it’s had a staggering bunch of views on Vimeo (about 4000% more than most of my stuff), Broken20 has broken even on production and there have been some really nice words committed to screen about it, all of which I greatly appreciate. Don’t worry, there are still some copies available from here if you missed the hype previously.
Next is a small plug for a (what’s lately sadly become quite a rare) live performance of a brand new work which I’ll be undertaking as part of DCA’s ((Echo)) programme which sees artists respond to works in the current exhibition. I will be performing a new work titled Frequency = Distance/Time in response to Nikolaj Bendix Skyum Larsen’s Rendezvous, a brief/proposal for the work can be seen below.
((Echo)) takes place between 6.30 and 8pm on Thursday 27th September and is a free drop in event. The current DCA exhibition runs until November 18th (and it’s very good and you might get the chance to have a bit of art chat with me if I’m wearing my Gallery Assistant hat that day*).
Until the next time.
*My lawyer has advised me to point out that it’s a notional hat and not a physical one although I do have a rather nice black DCA shirt and namebadge which has recently attracted some agreeable compliments.
So, another lengthy gap since the last post and things have been in a strange state of balance between insanely busy and guilt-spawning less surface apparent quiescence. So what’s been happening other than my ability to fall out of the habit of regular bloggery? Let’s see.
Well, I bought a new Macbook seeing as my old one had reached a point of doing a passable impression of sounding like a hovercraft without any programs running and have hit the wonderful wall created by the lovely people at AVID meaning that my main audio interface (mbox mini 2) is currently about as useful as a housebrick under OSX Lion – cheers guys but I doubt I’ll be spending any more money on your awful ProTools software or another locked in, we don’t really give a shit about our customers after they’ve bought stuff from us hardware setup. Back to the drawing board on that, if anyone has a recommend for an affordable alternative to the Mbox (2 ins/outs, XLR/Phantom Power, preamps) it’s be greatly appreciated.
A couple of weeks back I finally dragged myself out for a little drift taking in the Victoria Dock end of Dundee. It’s currently one of those wonderful borderlands surrounded by modernisation and homogenisation with a little pocket of abandonville at it’s core. I’ve not really written it up so it just stands as a visual derive investigating the microlandscapes contained within a larger framework.
You can see the rest of the set here.
I made this little audio visual work at the weekend as a tentative footstep into an idea I’m throwing around about the space between the mundane and the sublime. I have a couple of ideas relating to this series but may or may not decide to action them depending on whether the time is right or not.
As part of the Blue Skies Festival here in Dundee, I had the wonderful opportunity of spending 4 days assisting London based artist Alistair McClymont in the making of rainbows at Olympia, The Tower Building and Mills Observatory. It was long hours but really rewarding and challenging both in physical and artistic ways. I thoroughly recommend seeing his work in person if you get the opportunity, otherwise there’s a nice selection on offer at his website.
Finally in terms of recent pieces, I made this little flash number after getting sucked into a beautiful sunset last weekend and staring into the sun a little too much. *May cause seizure related issues if you’re wired that way, sorry*
You can see the full browser sized version here (flash reqd).
Marconi’s Shipwreck finally makes it’s way out next week, I’ll do a dedicated post about it closer to the time. There’ll be some streams and an mix of exclusive unreleased stuff from the recent archives coming soon.
I should probably just mention incase I forget that the mighty Warren Ellis (writer of amazing things such as Freak Angels, Transmetropolitan, Supergod, The Authority, Planetary, etc. as opposed to the violin playing Nick Cave man) included one of my works in his generally awesome Spektrmodule podcasts. It was really quite a nice little surprise as I am a massive fan of his work and general all round being an amazing guyness. You can hear/download it here and you really ought to go and buy his work because it’s brialliant.
Anyway, thanks for your patience (I’m still looking for £3500 for my MFA fees by the way, feel free to paypal me it if you feel so inclined).
Aye, it’s been a while I suppose. There’s been lots of things happening behind the scenes I suppose which I’ve not posted here for various reasons (primarily revolving around slackness).
Top of the pile I guess has been applying for the MFA here in Dundee and the excessive filling out of funding applications to attempt to take some of the brunt of the £3400 invoice for the course. I received an unconditional acceptance and start back at DJCAD in September.
In addition to this, I’ve managed to get a job at DCA as Gallery Assistant where I start at the end of this month. For the interview, I had to do a little presentation on a piece of work which I decided would be Bill Drummond’s ‘For Sale, A Smell Of Sulphur In The Wind by Richard Long, $20,000′ (why I decided to pick such an awkward title to say, I have no idea but it paid off in the end and led to a strange little sequence if Drummond based intersections including the reading and thorough enjoying of his most recent book ‘100′ and then last weekend the fantastic broadcast on Resonance FM of score #398 for the 17, ‘At The Age Of 59′ which saw The Man playing a song (or audio) from the full 59 year long performance that has been Bill Drummond and talking about what these pieces meant to him, now mean to him and offering general opinions on the state of the universe over the course of 13 hours (while simultaneously building a bed in the studio). One of the most interesting and enjoyable pieces of performance that I’ve experienced in some time.
We had a bit of a pulling out of the stops for the release of TVO’s ‘Red Night‘ tape release on Broken60 which featured quite a lot of additional inserts and pieces, details of which you can see by clicking the image below.
So, moving on, I’ve had three pieces selected for inclusion in NowhereIsland Radio, a broadcast event taking place at the beginning of August to coincide with Alex Hartley’s fantastic NowhereIsland reaching Plymouth. Elsewhere, my previous release on Broken20, The Last Few Seconds Before Sleep is to be included in its entirety in Scottish lens based auteur Alastair Cook’s forthcoming ‘Little Forks’ project, which I’ll obviously share more details on once they emerge.
There has been a slow expulsion of audio works since the last post ranging from subsurface textures to full on noisy pedal improv business, draw your own conclusions.
Finally, I’ve posted up a highly compressed (not easy to fit 72 minutes of audio/video into a >500mb file without compromising lots of quality) full version of Marconi’s Shipwreck which some of you might have seen as part of Crossing Point, my degree show exhibition. This will be available on DVD and digitally from Broken20 in the next month or so, I’ll post up once it’s out, in the meantime you can dive in below.
Just as a little note also, I’ve temporarily disabled the old Erstlaub site as it was starting to fall to bits, I will update it fully at some point but in the meantime it redirects to the more active parts of my site. You can still contact me through the usual channels if you want to give me a big pile of money, replace my dying macbook or just give me a hug.
I’ll just take a quick moment also to point out a couple of things I’ve recently absorbed which I completely endorse. Bela Tarr’s Turin Horse, man, just the biggest, most beautifully produced piece of metaphysical bleakness I’ve come across in ages. 2 and a half hours long and made up of just 30 shots, it’s strange to think that this is Tarr’s last film but also strangely fitting for a man who is so paced that he sometimes makes Tarkovsky come across like Michael Bay. I also finally got around to watching Grant Gee’s Patience (After Sebald) which manages wonderfully to mirror Sebald’s scam of making a piece of work that is sort of about something while not actually being about it and being largely about something else entirely. I loved it and of course the underpinning by The Caretaker’s ever evocative soundtrack was the icing on the cake, well worth the tenner or so on Amazon.
Until next time.
So as the carnival of Degree Show leaves town, we’ve reached that point of impact. A car being driven full pelt with three years of creative acceleration and momentum straight into a brick wall, the camera pulls back and does that Zack Snyder thing where time expands, the camera running at 12,500 frames per second highlights every shard of glass and bone, the twisting of metal and the watermelon impact of flesh against brick, each drop of blood a perfect sphere suspended in enforced zero gravity while some juxtaposed operatic libretto highlights the beauty, held even in destruction.
This morning the whitespace in the Time Based Art studio reverted to its latent form, the walls stripped bare, the energy dispersed, turning widdershins three times to dispel the magic trapped there by the summoning which had taken place. I had an interesting conversation with the fantastically talented artist/writer/thinker Kevin Smith yesterday where we mused on the fact that regardless of context, a painting will always be a painting, while the ephemeral genie of conceptual and installation work at some point needs forced back into the bottle, often quite awkwardly.
Earlier, while closing out the Chronacair file, a certain order of things presented itself to me. An installation, by my understanding, is an intervention in space and time, by its very nature a finite crossing point, a bridge between concept and ‘reality’ and as such, the ephemerality of it is as important as its existence. After all, an intervention which endures becomes a fixed point, it becomes part of the everyday which, as artists, we battle against. By breaking the spell we have cast and by means of this banishing, returning things back to their lifeless, constituent components we move on, ashes to ashes.
I’m really just musing in an effort to keep my mind from straying too far into dangerous waters here but, I expect if you’re reading this you’ll probably have a decent enough picture of how it tends to be round these parts.
I’d like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank everyone who came down to visit my space at the Degree Show and took the time to engage with the work. It’s been such a hugely rewarding week. At artschool (which I categorically love by the way), almost every conversation about work is centred around your influences, concepts, processes, grade, etc. and it really is a strangely constructed, artificial environment, sure it is flexible and (in academic terms) necessary but at the end of the day, when opening our spaces to the general population, we are met with a much truer reflection of our work. Art is something which you look at and it either resonates with some buried part of your psyche or, you simply don’t like it. No amount of explanation, papertrails and lists of other artists you admire will ever change that. People like art and engage with it, or they don’t. Oscar Wilde writes in the preface of A Picture of Dorian Grey. “All art is quite useless” and in this, lies true beauty. If art were ‘useful’ and served a function other than some form of mental drift, escapism, aesthetic rapture, whatever you want to call it, it ceases to exist in that wonderously liminal space where the ’soul’ resides, the very thing that makes us human.
On a slightly more capitalist note, I’ve got a few bits and pieces left over from the show, I’ll list them below, if you’re interested or have any queries, please drop me a line at dave (at) erstlaub.co.uk and we can work something out. Prices listed exclude postage which will depend of what you want and where you live but wont be much more than £1 or so I reckon. Any transactions will be done personally via Paypal, I’ll try to throw in some goodies (or downloads) with every purchase. I’m living up to the stereotype of being a poor artist so go on, treat yourself, it’ll be greatly appreciated.
A Field Guide to the Island of Chronacair: A5, 23 page, full colour artist book compiling many of the elements which make up ‘A Return’ – £7
Traditional Songs From the Island of Chronacair: A5, 12 page, artist book of sheet music composed for ‘A return’ – £4
Spirit Trap: Exclusive to Degree Show Audio CD, Running Time 36′08″, each contains an individual 100 x 75mm photographic print – £5
Marconi’s Shipwreck: Exclusive early release DVD, running time 71′58″ (note – also avaliable on DVD/Digital from Broken20 later in 2012) – £5
A small selection of prints are also avaialble although I’m a bit wary about postage costs so will need to look into it, let me know if you’re interested though.
Concrete Poems: Dundee Sequence: A set of three, A4 concrete poems in clip frames (view) - £45
Entropic Recall: A triptych of 100 x 150mm prints mounted on black in A3 clip frame, comes with over three hours of audio as download (view) – £30
Hymnal: A single A4, visual/prose poem in clip frame (view) – £25
Thanks for everything.
Another little bit of cataloguing of process for degree show, I figured it might be of interest to put together a collection of quotes which I feel go some ways to mapping my inspirations, thought patterns and processes. The list appears in no specific order other than that in which they come back to me. But first, here are some little teaser images of how the installation is progressing.
A little more here.
Here follows a small selection of quotes that I feel have particular resonance in the context of both my work and my general mental makeup.
“Hush; may I ask you all for silence?
The dreamer is still asleep
May the goddess keep us from single vision
And you to sleep
The dreamer is still asleep
The dreamer is still asleep
He’s inventing landscapes in their magnetic field
Working out a means of escape
We’ll cut across the crop circles”
Jhonn Balance, The Dreamer Is Still Asleep, 1999
“Sous les pavés, la plage”
“I believe in the light cast by video-recorders in department store windows, in the messianic insights of the radiator grilles of showroom automobiles, in the elegance of the oil stains on the engine nacelles of 747s parked on airport tarmacs.
I believe in the non-existence of the past, in the death of the future, and the infinite possibilities of the present.”
JG Ballard, What I Believe, 1984
“The road behind co-exists with the road ahead, we are Stokers’ undead, see nothing of ourselves in the rearview mirror. We see the tarmac ahead, we see the vanishing point, we travel on with only the radio for company, we move through space and time, memory receeds, we become cosmonaughts, we become lost.”
Iain Sinclair, Orbital, 2002
“And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how much was mine to keep”
Kurt Vonnengut, Slaughterhouse V, 1969
“Liat conceives a building that enfolds the road, a museum of memory. Sensors monitor traffic, affecting the fabric of the building, influencing the dreamers in their alcoves. The walls are thin as paper or they are thick as the masonry of the Tower of London. The wonder is that such resonant projects begin with a tatty map, rescued ephemera from a building that remains suspicious of its own legend.”
Iain Sinclair on Liat Uziel’s Museum of Memory, Orbital, 2002
“as so often, the archive, despite its plentitude and profusion, invokes what is missing rather than what is present.”
Michael Sheringham, Archiving (Restless Cities), 2010
“Perhaps this garden exists only in the shadow of our eyelids and we have never stopped…to ponder what we are seeing and living, to draw conclusions, to contemplate from the distance.”
Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities,1974
“I shall traverse my room up and down and across, without rule or plan. I shall even zig-zag about, following, if needs be, every possible geometrical line. I am no admirer of people who are such masters of their every step and every idea.”
Xavier De Maistre, A Journey Round My Room, 1871
“Perhaps we all lose our sense of reality to the precise degree to which we are engrossed in our own work, and perhaps that is why we see the increasing complexity of our mental constructs a means for greater understanding, even while intuiuively we know that we shall never be able to fathom the imponderables that govern our course through life.”
WG Sebald, Rings Of Saturn, 1995
“The Universe, which always was a computer, will, for one moment- not even that- be so dense and have so much energy that it will be able to compute anything atall. So why not simply program it to simulate a new one that will never end. This moment will be called Omega Point, and, because it has the power to contain everything, will be indistinguishable from God.”
Scarlett Thomas, Our Tragic Universe, 2010
“There’s a palace in your head boy. Learn to live in it always.[...] You don’t think this world is any less real than the one you left do you? Everything that ever happened to you is real, even your dreams. Them most of all. There are many worlds, many cities, and all of them are just shockwaves spreading out from one single moment of clarity and understanding. Ripples.”
Grant Morrison, The Invisibles, 1994
“You are living on a Plane. What you style Flatland is the vast level surface of what I may call a fluid, or in, the top of which you and your countrymen move about, without rising above or falling below it. I am not a plane Figure, but a Solid. You call me a Circle; but in reality I am not a Circle, but an infinite number of Circles, of size varying from a Point to a Circle of thirteen inches in diameter, one placed on the top of the other. When I cut through your plane as I am now doing, I make in your plane a section which you, very rightly, call a Circle. For even a Sphere–which is my proper name in my own country–if he manifest himself at all to an inhabitant of Flatland–must needs manifest himself as a Circle.
Do you not remember–for I, who see all things, discerned last night the phantasmal vision of Lineland written upon your brain–do you not remember, I say, how when you entered the realm of Lineland, you were compelled to manifest yourself to the King, not as a Square, but as a Line, because that Linear Realm had not Dimensions enough to represent the whole of you, but only a slice or section of you? In precisely the same way, your country of Two Dimensions is not spacious enough to represent me, a being of Three, but can only exhibit a slice or section of me, which is what you call a Circle.”
Edwin Abbott, Flatland, 1884
“Most people don’t consider the dimension of time in their lives because the way we live, we see sections of time. In order to get here, you had to come through that door so, can you point to coming through that door? In order to get here today you had to be 10 years old, can you point to being 10 years old? No you can’t because the way we experience time, we can only see it in memory, we can’t actually go there even though we know there is a place called the past where all this stuff happened, you can’t even point, you can’t show me a direction where the past is. think of yourself as the leading edge of you, this is you right now, moving forward through time but behind you there’s all these different versions of you going back and back and back. Imagine if you could see that in time, it wouldn’t just be a front and a back, it would be a long trailing thing and it contains all of you, it’s got all these arms and eyes and it moves backwards through the door and backwards down the stairs and it’s getting younger all the time through that trail but as I say, we can’t see that but if we could see it, it would look like a huge snake and it would keep going back and there are lots of these snakes and they all weave together and eventually you get ot be one year old somewhere in time, you are, right now, one year old because if you weren’t, you could be here today and that one year old dissapears back into its mother’s womb . And the same thing happens to your mother and father going back into their mother and father and you take it right back, everybody in the human race goes right back to the same human root and somewhere along the evolutionary tree we’re joined by apres but it’s all still the one thing and the tree is rooted 3 1/2 billion years ago in the ocean which is where the first living cell appeared and started to divide. The first mitochondria cell, the DNA cell is still dividing inside your body right now, it’s immortal, it never died, it never went anywhere, it just keeps dividing and making more copies of itself in all living forms so what we actually are is this amazing divided single cell which has grown itself across 3 1/2 billion years into a gigantic structure, I see it as an anemone.
If you can see the whole thing, if you can see life as a thing existing in time then there’s only this one huge thing that lives on the planet earth and feeds on the forests and feeds on itself, and that’s us, that’s what we really are.”
Grant Morrison, 2009
“Say its name, the absent town, the city in remove and there it rises in the backyard of our eyes, some common landmark, snapshot first, and then, specific street, and house, and room, specific chair. Say “Birmingham,” and the Rotunda rears within us, our imagination squinting in the traveller’s fair glare of Newstreet Station. Or say “Folkestone,” and recall the quayside’s sudden still beneath our feet. These are the towns of light, built from remembered brick, conjectured beam, that stand in Hilbert space, a plane of concept and idea where thought is form. Where the recalled smell of fresh paint upon forgotten stairs is an event in place and time. These detailed weightless urban sprawls we carry in our fragile skull, that teem with reminiscent traffics, populous with bias, opinion, rumour, legend, lie. Locations we shall never visit that yet have their hearsay substance in our lives, and so are never far from us. They rest in occult Mercators where distance is not marked from point to solid point, but calibrated there between the spark-gaps of our free associations, yielding geographies with Land’s End next to John O’ Groats, an Earth with poles adjacent. Continent, nation, mapped outside of matter, state of mind. Metropolis erected out of nothing, only metaphor, and ringed with slums of dream. Mnemonic highways made from smears of field glimpsed once through glass at speed, or from the jaundiced strobe of gone-by sodium lamps, hot amber necklace on the night’s bare throat, monoxide dabbed upon her pulse-points. Strung between the shimmering fabricated towns, inroads of anecdote, synaptic rails to bear the trains of thought, a beaded web across our gazetteer of the interior. Seen from above, the glittering threads of meaning run like mercury, converge on the imaginary capital, a shadow London, our idea of London, flickering in the forebrain. When we are not here, this apparition is our only London.”
Alan Moore, The Moon and Serpent Grand Egyptian Theatre of Marvels, 1994