infinity on repeat

"It is the imagination pressing back against the pressure of reality. It seems, in the last analysis, to have something to do with our self-preservation; and that, no doubt, is why the expression of it, the sound of its words, helps us to live our lives.”

Tag: language

Thoughts on Russian montage

Shots stacked so tall they tip over into the abyss.
Metaphysics will mess you up and inevitably
one of us will explode. Content is conflict
and so is the form.  The mind
sees with body and hears with idea being formed.

A name. A hollow thing> a thing within a thing.
What does it mean why do we repeat it
with bodies lives ideas thoughts minds picturethings?
There is no gold inside the word shell
but still we want more and more and more of it.

We have conflict on top of conflict
on top of conflict. We have a flurry of possible
molds for making order out of chaos
but we have only one method
and it is hollow. It is mimicking the cause.

The cause the cause the cause.
This is just a framed bit of everything
everywhere ever. The resolution does not come
instead we continue on, stuck to the underbelly
of an unimpressed ship. We remember it how
we remember an entire life—in a shadow
near the eye of a storm

Everyone is afraid of the next domino
falling. Everyone will die but that is not even the thing anymore.
We are desperate to become
symbols, squeezing our feet into the wrong shoe.
Let us be more than another object. We wonder
if objects die too. Then we see objects exploding.
Then we feel worse. We would rather die than watch
death fall onto object, so we decide to become
object ourselves.

Beginning middle end sounds right.
It has a shape a body can trace. Trace it backwards
call it revolution. First the sentence,
and then the evidence. No, no. First
the evidence, and then the sentence.                    Isn’t that how we occurred?

“every way of seeing is also a way of not seeing”

I am what I see.

I become every detail of my surroundings—looking closer constantly, obsessively searching for patterns, meditating on the curvature of peeling paint, morphing objects by changing angles.  I like how billions of people inhabit this earth and if time stopped for just one second, every single one of those people would have a different image in their visual scan. I like how no one can own the thing being looked upon.

I am hyper-aware the materials around me, and even more so when I travel. Some of the hyper-awareness comes from my unfamiliarity with the place & from paying extra attention so I don’t get lost… but mainly it is the sheer freedom to indulge in my gaze, to revel in the feeling of floating anonymously, almost invisible. It is pure ecstasy to wander alone through a strange city and feel yourself slowly disintegrate.

Loving to see also means loving the limitations of seeing. I know I will never capture the air condensing, and I know I will never capture the essence of a person in an image. I am starting to understand why some people believe taking a photograph of a person is an attempt to steal a part of their soul… photographing a stranger without asking is robbing them of their self-definition, because whatever story that photo will go on to tell will be the photographer’s story, not the subject’s. Telling a true, whole, human story is the spirit of making films, so as a filmmaker I have to take constant care to avoid voyeur. This is even more dangerous in still photography… I’ve noticed that in the past months, faces have appeared less and less in my photographs. Of course, I will take pictures of my friends and family, but we use pictures of our loved ones to celebrate our histories together, not to trap them in space and time.

But people love to take pictures of other people. A part of me wonders why that has become such a common practice, especially in tourism. Tourists take pictures of locals as if they are statues in museums. I really hate it. When I took the above photo, I had been filming the waves wash in on the shore of Puerto Morelos. The two girls approached me and started asking me questions in Spanish. I love kids so I liked talking to them even though we really couldn’t understand each other. They wanted me to take their picture… I pretty much always do whatever a kid tells me to do, but I felt vaguely guilty about the situation. I asked them what their names were, but I didn’t have anything to write with and I have already forgotten what they were. So now, like tons of other tourists, I own a picture of a face for which I have no name.

I didn’t come to see the city. I came to see it around you.

What I love most about flying is the sound of the air, how the thick whir clouds my words before they can reach my neighbor. At the holy moment, the cabin starts convulsing and the vents turn into tiny overhead turbines. It becomes flight-in-flight… the anticipation of lift, the imagination of unfolding, the vehicle slowly apologizing to ground, and the haunting, new, invisible road. The space transcends itself, but the unveiling is kept at a distance from me. I only have this little loud replica turbine. Like a little model sailboat. Like playing pirates in childhood and naming the carpet the sea.

prowl Mérida

the scaffolds are playing
like a virgin. a man
tells me that he knows
where the good hammocks are,
where the sleepswings are handspun
by the yucatanean heat,
where there is no polyesther.
where there never was.
i tell him when
someone sits in the shade
someone will always come
true,that wherever beauty hides
will carry me far away
again. he traces the invisible
square, and i see its constant
flooding of crows.
i think of how much harder it is
to forget a language
than it is to learn
one new.