A few ideas have been swimming around in my head for the past month or so:
– pleasure-maximizing or pain-minimizing?
All through my life, I’ve been programmed to choose the latter rather than the former. How regrettable.
I guess one of my biggest recent/college revelations is that I really can walk away from the beaten path. Maybe a few roaches will run up my legs in the wild. (ew, ew, ew, ew, EWWW.) Maybe it will be extremely unpleasant and upsetting … but at least I will survive. Somehow.
The question now, though, is where I am going.
Perhaps “more pleasure and more pain” is better than “less pleasure and less pain.” At least I’ll feel like I’m living … truly, madly, deeply, living.
– art, art, art…
In all its glorious forms — the above photo, the free Kerouac prose, the joy bursting from Animal Collective’s delicate yet mushy songs, a piano cover of Radiohead that gets people talking about the “jazziness” of Bach…
… = life, life, life.
– growing old, growing young and growing up.
Growing old — the physical inevitable
Growing young — the mental desire
Growing up — the intellectual urge
Also, last but not least,
I stumbled upon a treasure trove that combines my love for music, art and interesting interviews. It’s a website about the art on CD covers. What a shame that it is now dead, but here it is, with its glorious past: http://sleevage.com/
Check out the music video of Radiohead’s new song, Lotus Flower, at www.radiohead.com
First impressions after watching the video for a few times:
It’s a video of Thom Yorke dancing — that’s it. Just a simple blend of music, dance, light and videography. It’s not a concept-juggling, mind-fucking video that knocks you out. It’s refreshingly raw … and also surprisingly direct. Sometimes he seems to be illustrating his lyrics with cliched sign-languages (look at what he does with “I’ll shape myself into your pocket,” or “there’s an empty space inside my heart.”)
Coincidentally, I was watching videos of modern dance on Youtube right before I saw this. I was immediately struck by the way Thom Yorke moves … especially in the first minute. The smooth, liquid-like movements of his arms flow through his chest down his waist. Then his body jerks violently as if he is electrocuting himself with his music. At one point he stood, one foot on top of another, as his fingers slowly unfolded.
I kept wondering if he choreographed the dance and movements himself…
Then I saw the credits. Choreographer: Wayne McGregor.*
It all makes sense now.
On the music … I can’t help but feel that this song will fit perfectly into Thom Yorke’s solo album, The Eraser. I have to listen to the entire album now. To be honest I hope I’ll hear Radiohead, not Atoms for Peace…
*Wayne McGregor: A giant in England’s contemporary dance scene. He founded Random Dance, one of the most respected contemporary dance companies, and is the resident choreographer of Royal Ballet. I haven’t seen a full Random Dance production, but I have seen an excerpt from Chroma danced by Steve McRae (brilliant dancer from the Royal Ballet) Here’s a video of him talking about Chroma.
Graffiti posters — an oxymoron?
A bunch of them were for sale today at my college store’s poster sale. In other words, you can pay $10 to buy a blown-up photograph of an illegal graffiti on a street wall, and stick it on your pretty dorm wall to prove your badass-ness…
What a strange, twisted loop.
Of course, this is not new.
To generalize, I think this is how culture “progresses” through time. A lot of “forms of expression” that we consider somewhat mainstream today have gone through their pre-pubescent, experimental stage: rock music, Van Gogh, run on line poetry, modern dance …
Once an experiment succeeds — ie. gains society’s approval — the commercial word jumps on the opportunity. With the baptism of marketing, the experiment becomes the society’s common sense and, later, part of a generation’s collective memory. (What a powerful achievement!!)
This is not a bad thing, as money can create more opportunities for the artist and the marketing, however crude, would expose more people to the artist’s ideas.
But the self-contradiction still exists. And graffiti posters still make me feel strange if not a bit uneasy.
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Reviving this blog.
Long story short, I think I’ve been wandering on the shallow ponds of arts and culture for a long time. Now I want to take a plunge and immerse myself into it. Keeping a blog would be a good way of tracking and organizing this mental journey.
time turns into explorations, connections, and thoughts and thoughts and thoughts, which keep fermenting until i watched this documentary (thank you, internet.) a tipping point. thoughts that have been, up till now, sitting quietly in a glass bowl in my head begin to pour. they spill and turn into ink — tangible or digital.
now all i have to do is to simply make sure that the glass doesn’t break.
the past couple months:
(just watch this space)