C Mehrl Bennett, Diane Keys, and Jonathan Stangroom – photo by Adamandia Kapsilis

Photo by Andrew Oleksiuk – CMB, Keith Buchholz in the womb, Diane Keys

FluxmaZZ score for two priestesses (Diane Keys & C. Mehrl Bennett), deacon (Jonathan Stangroom), and congregation performed May 27, 2018, at Portage Park during Chicago Fluxfest, an annual event organized by Keith Buchholz, who is the baby Being “born again” in the photo above by Andrew Oleksiuk.

Priestesses each wear a penny stole: first one was originally designed/sewn by Mary Campbell and C. Mehrl Bennett made a second stole fashioned after the first. Photo credit: Adamandia Kapsilas. “Holy Bible” and “Liturgical Flux Packet of Prayer” were created/written by Diane Keys.

Objects on table: Red Wine / dixie cups / candy body parts / peanut butter jar labeled “Wyrd of Glob” / Glob spreader / “Wonder” bread – (bread for Glob &  loaves for”AfterGLOB event) / “Holy Bible” / pink materials to swaddle initiates / hand sanitizer labeled “Anti-Fluxus Gel” /  “Flying Cow” suspended from a string/ hand bell

Deacon Duties: Bowler hat is used for collection plate – Deacon passes it around asking for “common cents”                     (a few pennies already in hat) – Deacon gives each member of the congregation a Liturgical Flux Packet of Prayer on which is printed prayer responses “Praise Cheezus Crust” and “Eminem”. M&Ms in packet are referred to as “Fluxpills”. Each pill is to be taken when giving the “Eminem” response [an alternative response to “Amen”]. – When priestesses say the following phrases: “Holy Bible” – “In God we Flux” – “Praise be to Glob” or other ritualistic phrases, the Deacon rings hand bell to signal for prayer responses. If congregation does not respond, the deacon must ask “Can I get an Eminem?”

Three Part Communion Ritual:

“Holy Bible” – Open Bible revealing holes drilled inside and say, “Holy Bible”. Put straw thru biggest hole. Communion begins. Say “The Blood of Crust” as ‘wine’ or other purple liquid is poured through the big hole inside Holy Bible, and caught by communicant holding a cup underneath. Next they are given a candy body part using phrase, “The Body of Crust”. Next they are offered white bread and a knife for peanut butter, as priestesses ask each to “Spread the Wyrd of Glob.”

“Be Born Again” Ritual:

Priestesses swaddle each initiate in a pink cloth for the rebirthing ritual, rocking “the newborn” either on the ground or standing up, whichever they prefer. When initiate comes out of pink cocoon, they are told what a beautiful baby they are and anointed with “anti-fluxus gel” (hand sanitizer) via an “X” on the forehead.  Each born again baby is encouraged to praise each subsequent “born again” baby.

Eternal Circle Ritual:

The two priestesses wearing penny shawls perform this ritual, which is based on an old saying about an action for good luck, “See a penny, Pick it up.” Priestesses each take  pennies from the donation bowler hat and follow each other in a circle, alternately dropping and picking up pennies. Event ends when both stop dropping pennies or no more pennies can be found (which did happen because we performed on grass!).

 AfterGLOB Event: BREAD FIGHT with loaves of Wonder Bread – (Feed leftover bread to chickens/birds/fish. BREAD FIGHT event is by Keith Buchholz, published under the title “Communion” in his book SCORES FOR A CHURCH, and was originally performed as part of FluxmaZZ at a church in Roanoke VA on 3/5/2011.

NOTE: This documentation was previously posted in June 2018 at: https://dadabloge.blogspot.com/ thanks to Mobius

Blood of Crust poured through the Holy Bible is caught by communicant with a small paper cup.
Photo by Allen Bukoff- from left is Jonathan Stangroom, Diane Keys, CMB, Andrew Oleksiuk

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Kharms, Daniil, Russian Absurd: Selected Writings, Translated from the Russian by Alex Cigale, Northwestern University Press, 2017. $24.95 (also available as a Kindle e-book at Amazon.com)

Early on in his career, Daniil Kharms joined a sound-poetry group with other avant writers, including the poet, Alexander Vvedensky. Vvedensky would become Kharms’ close associate until Vvedensky’s death. He died only a couple months before Kharms starved to death at the young age of 36 during the Nazi siege of Leningrad as he was imprisoned in the psychiatric ward of a prison hospital in February 1942. Both men were invited to join the Association of Children’s Writers in December 1927, and a month later they founded OBERIU. This group included writers, poets, actors, musicians, and playwrights who would perform in public until the Soviet State banned their events. OBERIU (after a Russian acronym standing for The Association of REAL Art) was a movement that developed as a reaction to, but also as an evolution of, the avant activities of the Russian Futurists (1920-1930), which included poets Vladimir Mayakovsky and Velimir Khlebnikov.

“Zaum”, meaning transrational and translinguistic, was a phonetic sound based poetry, or deconstructed language that was reconstructed as non-sense words. Zaum does not need translating into other languages, as its meaning is asemic. A listener’s mind would naturally be inclined to construct its own meaning from Zaum language based on relationships conceived from their own experience with language. It’s no coincidence that the Russian Futurist poets Velimir Khlebnikov, Alexei Kruchenykh, and Elena Guro were all artists before they became writers. When looking at Russian Futurist poems that have been laid out in non-grid format with multiple fonts and sizes, a connection between Zaum and abstract art becomes evident. Zaum was included in some of Kharms’ early poems, eg. Sec (dedicated to his first wife, Esther) from 1925. From what I’ve read in a 1996 text by Gerald Janecek titled Zaum, the Transrational Poetry of Russian Futurism, San Diego State University Press, the relationship between OBERIU and Zaum is fairly complex. The sounding out of Zaum phonetic poems is essential to its communication, and I can envision the eccentric character of Daniil Kharms reveling in the theatrical performance of Zaum in public.

Soviet authorities banned what they saw as political dissidence in OBERIU’s Zaum-based public performances.  Works which foreshadowed the European Theatre of the Absurd, such as Kharms’ popular “Elizabeth Bam”, were perceived as being in opposition to Stalinist realism which was oriented toward proletariat emancipation. Cigale writes in his introduction that Kharms’ plays and early Zaum-based poetry were not selected for this book for the sake of brevity. (Note that Daniil Kharms and the Poetics of the Absurd, edited by Neil Cornwell, Macmillan Press, 1991, has a translation of “Yelisabetha Bam”.) What we have here is still a generous selection of early, middle, and late Kharms work presented in chronological order, with a poetry section at the end.

Russian Absurdism, much like it’s contemporary – the Dada group which started in Zurich, Switzerland – arose out of a reaction to the absurd conditions brought on by war, but also to Stalinist cultural repression. Red Horizon was a 2017 art exhibit at our local art museum in Columbus OH that I attended after I read this book. It was curated from paintings and photographs collected by Neil K. Rector from a period shortly after Joseph Stalin’s death in 1953 until the late 1980s and beyond, when artists attempted to represent the everyday realities of the USSR and Russia. Notably, many of those artists, like Kharms and his associates who wrote children’s literature, could only make ends meet as illustrators of children’s literature. These were Moscow based artists whose ‘unofficial’ works came to prominence in the 1960’s and 70’s. In conjunction with writing this review, I also read that the Russian punk rock group, Pussy Riot, during their 2012 trial for “hooliganism” in a church, cited Kharms’ friend, Vvedensky, as a their hero. 2017 was the centennial of the 1917 Russian revolution, and so it was so very appropriate that Northwestern University came out with Cigale’s translation of Kharms’ works.

Kharms’ nonsense exposes a high level of cynicism that can be both sad and hilarious at the same time, and sometimes violent and frightening. Cigale advocates that Kharms’ writings be grouped with the likes of Sartre, Beckett, and Camus, based on their existential bent. I’ve read elsewhere that Kharms’ imagery is like the magic realism of Gabriel Garcia Marquez of Columbia. Cigale gives a thorough briefing about Kharms’ short life in his introduction, and throughout the book provides diary entries and letters that give perspective on everyday life in 20’s and 30’s Soviet Union and of life with his first wife, Esther Rusakova.

Kharms’ notebooks were rescued by his second wife, Marina Mavich, and fellow OBERIU member Yakov Druskin, from a bombed-out building. Many of those plays, poems, and stories circulated illegally in underground publications and came to influence generations of non-conformist writers and later on, the Russian Minimalist poets of the 1970s and ‘80s. Most texts were not officially published until the Gorbachev period in 1980’s Russia.

In a 1937 diary entry, Kharms wrote, “I am interested only in pure nonsense; only in that which has no practical meaning. I am interested in life only in its absurd manifestation,” (from Cigale’s introduction to Part III, Selected Poems). So you will see old women falling out of windows one after another due to over-inquisitiveness, and men melting into thin air. These stories may end with a moral or a masterful punch line, or abruptly with an anti-climax or dead-panned “That’s All”. Readers should leave themselves open to whatever happens, as Kharms’ short stories do not follow standard forms of fiction writing.  What follows is a book excerpt from page 7, specifically the first of five “Rules for Sentinals on the roof of the State Publishing House”, from an early period in Kharms’ writing:

The sentinal may be a man of the OBERIU faith, in possession of the traits listed below:

  1. Of moderate height.
  2. Brave.
  3. Farsighted.
  4. Voice booming and authoritative.
  5. Mighty and without pretensions.
  6. Able to make out by ear various sounds and not susceptible to boredom.
  7. A smoker, or, under extreme circumstances, a non-smoker.

 

I was fascinated by Russian Absurd: Daniil Kharms, and learned so much about Kharms and his creative circle of writers who aspired to creativity during a time of war imposed poverty and cultural repression. The reader may want to go on to read other translations by Alex Cigale, who was awarded the 2015 NEA Literary Translation Fellow for his work on a Selected Poems of Mikhail Eremin.                                                           – C. Mehrl Bennett

Note: An earlier version of this review, edited by Eric Lorberer, was published in the 2017 Spring/Summer print issue of RAIN TAXI magazine, which is a review of books based in Minneapolis MN USA. Rain Taxi online version is@: http://www.raintaxi.com/

For further reading and references see this NY Times review online@: http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2015/05/07/daniil-kharms-strangely-funny-russian-genius/

Read an extensive Kharms bio@ https://russiapedia.rt.com/prominent-russians/literature/daniil-kharms/

 

Recipe for The End of The World

 

 

A head in a cage

Cash on bread

Masses of hair on salami toilet rolls

 

A crying turtle

Ducks in jeans and boots

A stuffed child bobble-head

 

An apple of bone

Hairy eyes

A video camera in a white nightdress

 

Rock phone

Teeth sandals

His nose vegetation

 

Empty magazines

An elephant of gray rock

The sweat of an ashtray collection

 

A galloping horse of water

A hand of mud from the bank

Hands sewn to legs

 

Also, the rest of her cash, birds, and

The ghost in a brown paper bag

They all lay in pieces at the kitchen table

 

Indifferently, she stirs it all

Into a pot of boiling water

With the parts of a lot of old lawyers

 

To season, she adds their last years of childhood,

Sugar, and rose salt

All this leaves a void in her hand bag

 

(Every feather costs you around

Twenty thousand dollars as a

Whale falls onto the cash register)

 

She stared out the window

As if her own head were in a cage

Her shadow flat on the kitchen table…

 

As boiling stew steamed the window

She phoned Manet

On the stomach telephone

 

A dinner invite ensued in a

Paced, cautious, swollen voice

With her arm stretched out over the bay

 

Manet came over

Every step taken flaggingly

Thoughts of bacon forming a cloud

 

Before Manet arrived she felt

The Shadow staring at her

Prone on her bed in a chain-smoking suit

 

While pushing The Shadow into a closet

Her hand passed through him

Bubbles broke open and words came out

 

The wardrobe rose up

Impaled by breathless sound

And meaningless words

 

Upon arrival Manet

Pointed at the hovering wardrobe

And asked “What’s that?”

 

“The sun,” She replied

And so, Manet munched the sun

And threw up the brain.

 

Note: Most of these words are bits of selected text from Texas Fontenella, who outlined them on scraps of pages torn from pulp books and mailed them from Australia to C. Mehrl Bennett in Columbus OH USA on 12/01/2017. On 4/09/2018, CMB selected phrases from that envelope (view some from 2nd section of this collaboration in the image below, scanned in order), and she stitched together this collaborative poem (patching in articles here and there), and gave it a title.

On 4/17/2018 she revised this poem & added the image below.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wally and Wanda

Posted: February 5, 2018 in poetry, sound art
Tags: , ,

Wally and Wanda

Day One:

Whistling windows wake Wanda

While whoozy Wally whizzes water

 

Wanda wonders

Why walruses want waxed walls?

Why wax walls when wine waits?

Walruses wait while Wally waltzes Wanda

 

Day Two:

Whirling wind wakes Wanda

While whoozy Wally whizzes water

 

Wanda wonders

Why walruses whine

When Wally winks?

Wine waits while waxed walls wane

 

Day Three:

Whittling walruses wake Wanda

While whoozy Wally whizzes water

 

Wanda wonders

Why walruses whittle waxed walls?

Why wank Wally’s willy when wine waits?

Wally wakes when Wanda wanders

 

Day Four, Five, Six, etc.?

Water will whizz

 

C. Mehrl Bennett  2/5/2018  [Revised 5/31/2018 to mark the days/daze]

asemic columns

Posted: January 24, 2018 in asemic, drawing
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The gold background image is printed as an issue of 25 artistamps on all cotton paper, perforated by Pedro Pescador, and distributed by TicTac Patrizia as part of her assemblage journal that is housed in a box:

sPMATSzine 5

C.Mehrl Bennett, USA
Chuck Welch, Cracker Jack Kid, USA
DADANAUTIK, Germany
David Dellafiora, Australia
EverArts, Netherlands
Helmut King, Germany
John Held Jr., USA
Jürgen O. Olbrich, Germany
Miguel Jimenez, Spain
Peter Netmail, Germany
Petra Weimer, Germany
RCBz, USA
Rémy Pénard, France
R.F. Côté – Canada
Roland Halbritter, Germany
S. Wurlitzer, USA
Samuel Montalvetti, Argentina
Tiziana Baracchi, Italy
Vittore Baroni, Italy
Ptrzia(TICTAC), Germany

https://stampzine.blogspot.com

Blog updated by C. Mehrl Bennett  June 2018

comma fish

In Honor of Insignificance and My Third Eye

(k)Not left shoe or right arm but a finger sent on approval /
Control Your Artifices Transmog Martian Girl /
Old hat, still fluxing Spinga rabbits /
Boiling Bartok with a Radio Foot /
Ask A Cow of an Imaginary Color /
Them Those Hem Hose while Facing East /
Ohio Audio Chat: A Square is A Circle /
Dream Poems of Warhol Wednesdays /
With Woof, A Rose is A Nose /
Asemic Ying Yang and Wiggling Xs go together /
Drunken Spray leads to an eXcess of Lichen Smoke /
On this paper, Rotting Meat of Dangling Fools /
ILL NOISE is Not For Sale /
Make Art, Not Cents, Comma Fish /
The Triumph of Death – Ah Ha, Chicken! /
“I am Not A Tooth”, she said, as we conversed on the Edge of The Universe /

— C. Mehrl Bennett 2017

walking-and-talking-#6Ben Bennett as heard/documented by C. Mehrl Bennett:
CMB notes are written in both first and third person while watching and/or listening to a section of Ben’s YouTube video project, Walking and Talking, which you can also watch and/or listen to by clicking here: Walking and Talking #6:
I shouldn’t worry about worrying about something.
If there is humor then I want it to arise completely naturally out of the process of being sincere.
I’m empty of things to say. I don’t have anything to say. I’m trying to keep my mouth and vocal chords moving in order to form words in the English language.
It’s not necessary to bring about newness, especially not in an un-natural concerted effortful way.
It’s never the same experience over and over even if you do the same thing.
I’m not really trying to be boring either, I’m just trying to continue talking, that’s all.
I have some trust in this process of walking and talking that keeps me doing it, even though in many moments I don’t exactly feel pleasant or…. (continues talking about an idea he heard from someone else, in that art does not have to be socially valuable or entertaining, and he identifies with that, but now is he ‘mimicking’ that idea?)
‘cultural capital’ – then thinks “what do I really mean by that or am I just trying to sound smart?”
adopting certain sentiments or ideas or life styles (attitudes or practices) that would make me appear to be a more valuable person in some way or another… or maybe to make me seem like a better person in some way or another. … with an eye to what the people around me value. the people that I associate the most with in real life have values and lifestyles that differ from the majority of the people in my larger surrounding culture. a smaller, slightly more dissident circle)
you can notice more subtle changes (when you do the same thing over and over again) than if you do something different all the time.
Is there even an authentic me to begin with at all? ‘no’ in regards to ’cause and effect’… ‘I’ am no more than all the causes and circumstances that I’ve interacted with in my life. no new perspectives than the last time he made walking and talking a couple days ago, but he still wants to do this, that boredom is part of his engagement and a pressure (challenge) to work harder despite the absence of external stimuli. I’m not sure if you were excepting boredom, that it would continue to be boredom.
walking increases his physical energy = capacity to focus and to keep talking, not worried about his performance, desires to put effort into this and make it a good experience for me and for you.
being able to intentionally talk with the same inflection (assertively), where I’m almost yelling… then wonders what his ‘natural’ inflection would be? performance means speaking in a certain way on purpose. seeing two people on bicycles made him lose his focus, but feeling generally satisfied with the rate of talking and the subject matter and feeling his physical energy level as being sufficient to keep on like this for awhile so wants to take the opportunity to focus in on what he’s saying, but to be expressing ‘nothing’ clearly. Doesn’t want it to carry meaning that is actually stimulating thought, but to convey ’emptiness’, but doesn’t want to convey any kind of ideas (which would include ’emptiness’)
when I said the word ‘awareness’ i felt a little self-consciousness — relates his exposure to Buddhist and new age spiritual teachers or articles advocating mindfulness — maybe he wants to avoid talking about that sort of thing and keep repeating it and making more of it. there’s plenty of that information out there “You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting a guy who’s advocating mindfulness and awareness’
RE: ‘immediately’ let these things go, noticing calmer, less assertiveness inflection vs. motivational, moving forward, working hard, high energy talking. (notices decayed mushroom) Deliberately changing his inflection resulted in feeling more calm and happy. ‘pushing himself’ felt fine too, and one mood is not necessarily better than another mood. Being involved in his mental and emotional state and the way that he’s talking– that makes him feel engaged with what he’s doing. Then acknowledges audience involvement in what he’s doing right now. pushing self to be more revealing of everything that he’s thinking and be highly involved with talking. RE: ‘walking’ part, it’s pretty automatic and facilitates his focus on talking. The pleasant weather outside makes an ideal circumstance to dig in deeply and investigate how his words are formed, how he’s forming sentences, and observing his mind as he’s talking and notice how much he’s premeditating what he’s saying.
Is actual happiness a physical sensation? He decides Not – according to his furrowed brow but then thinks there must be some form of happiness on a higher level that comes from the satisfaction of accomplishing something. Is the distinction between his happiness and consternation or anger even necessary? Wants to try to stop relating those emotions and have a different kind of expression of the way that he’s actually feeling.
– Notices large turtle – shows us on video. “a little treat, short little break away from the work of paying attention to words, to keep us motivated and going.”
He sees his physical, mental, and emotional states as all being related to each other, if not being the same, and wants to describe the sensations he’s feeling in his body. In the middle of his torso, on the right side, in his back, is a feeling of the muscles contracting, only enough to alert him to their presence, and so he adjusted his posture a little more upright … doesn’t know why exactly he did that, except remembering being told to keep posture straight… seems ‘generally like a good thing to do’. He is noticing his feet and the subtle difference of the feeling of the ground through the sole of his shoe, such as gravel. He tries to relax his forehead every time he notices his furrowed brow. – Notices the feeling on his back of his back pack as just a slight discomfort (carrying water this time). Takes ‘neutrality’ as an opportunity to observe things without filtering his thoughts through positive or negative emotions.
– Notices swarms of red bugs (also appeared in the last video) on different posts.
He feels a twinge of sadness at feeling ‘neutrality’, still desiring to feel happier than he feels and thinks of past happiness and the prospect of perhaps never feeling that happy again.
– Notices huge squashed bug. tomato horn worm or luna moth caterpillar but not sure.
Describing his own neutrality as a lack of suffering or pain but also the absence of happiness. Maybe he wasn’t exactly feeling happiness before? He describes happiness as a physiological, emotional joy that makes one smile genuinely and enters one from outside rather than working to generate it oneself, which might negate it in some way. He sees his future = less intense, small doses of that happiness. Circumstances of that past happiness also involved a tremendous amount of pain and suffering, and not sure he can have one without the other, and it seems like if he ever feels ecstasy, that at some point he’s going to have to feel intense pain and suffering. If he tried to regulate into neutrality, less intense on both ends, then does it really matter? He feels sad about this, not neutral. The area around his heart, the bottom of his breast plate, draws his attention towards it = feeling sadness or longing. It’s calling for resolution of some sort but he doesn’t know what to do to achieve more equilibrium. He has faith in process of continuing to live and that the area around his heart will feel better, a fullness, effortless joy coming in from outside. He tries to remember when he’s feeling sad or negative that perhaps he’s storing up emotional capital that he can cash in on, in the future, for positive feelings.
RE: this video, feels novel as opposed to previous videos. He sees a value to what he’s been saying, as it’s a sincere and candid expression of his experience, resulting in some form of connection. He feels vulnerable right now, in that he’s being as honest as he can in a way that’s not referencing outside causation, but simply describing what he feels right now. His neutral emotional state and steady energy level is conducive to expressing his emotions clearly. (long pause) Thinking about what to start saying next. Feeling an attachment towards his way of expression, in retrospect, an emotional tone, judged it in a good way.
– Notices elderberry-like plant with spiky stem, could it be ‘Devils walking stick plant’ which is related to ginseng? It has compound pinnate leaves.
He wonders if the preliminary feeling of getting choked up (crying), affected his voice in any noticeable way? Maybe had some effect. This video’s emotions came out as a result of his controlled focus on talking, and he did not become attached to that emotional state, still feels fine about how the video is going right now. Wants not to direct his way of talking, but let it just happen in a way of ‘discovery’. Continues to walk on the paved trail instead of ‘enchanting’ woods trail so the realm of discovery is more focused on what he’s actually saying rather than letting it spill out into the outside world. Drinks some water. Filters his tap water with a process of reverse osmosis. Seaweed added for minerals and lemon makes it refreshing, and backpack no longer on his back also feels refreshing = ‘gross level’ topics, but still wants to be aware of more subtle experiences happening underneath those ‘gross level’ topics.
– Notices frog in area where he noticed frogs before. Good video shot of it. – Notices jewel weed and squeezes pods, spring loaded with seeds. “Bam!” “…feels like a wriggling salamander. Popped a duzie!” “It exploded with the force of two tons of dynamite!” ..He spoke of his nihilistic brushing past frugmentice(sic?) grass, feeling mild apathy towards the grass.. maybe his feeling of longing caused him to yearn for the physical contact with the frugmentice grass, the same with the jewel weed pod bursting… plant companionship, not quite the same as human companionship “Let me tell ‘ya!”
Is there a danger of blaming his emotions on his circumstances rather than exercising his agency in directing of his emotions towards a more productive mode of being and more positive thoughts? The more broad goal is to not feel suffering in his self. …or maybe to look at that suffering directly and pick it apart to see if he finds directives about what to do. Not to bury them in some sensation like eating ice cream.
– Notices mild smile in person he passed. This gave him a small talk expression “Oh it’s such a nice day out today” though he did not say it aloud to her. “Hello” or “Hi” or “Beautiful day out today” seemed possible but he’s trying to stay faithful to you, the viewer. But he didn’t honestly really feel like exchanging pleasantries. Has thoughts of looking forward to turning around and finishing this video, maybe from having congested sinuses from allergies. Reading, internet, or eating food would distract him from those allergic reactions, plus he could blow his nose in private.
Walking and Talking puts distance between him and distractions like eating, internet, etc. but forces himself to deal with his experiences in a way that is socially acceptable to the viewer, but he can’t use the viewer as a kind of experience to avoid unpleasant feelings or stimulus. He observes and expresses his thoughts as opposed to ‘complaining’ to someone who might respond with sympathetic feedback. He only has his own mind there, not ours, and must use his mind to direct his thoughts in a constructive manner. If he were only thinking to his self instead of talking to the video camera, it might be less productive towards having a good experience.
He sees this video in a constructive light with a possible social utility, though not immediately recognizable as such, though he does value social utility. His own experience isn’t totally separate from the thought of ‘helping people’, because that heightens his own experience. But he is uncomfortable with even thinking about that, as that is a distraction from the actual content and process. He hopes this ideas passes soon. Feeling positive and slightly happy, though body still feels a little heavy, though it doesn’t interfere with his focus on talking.
Memory of previous videos where his train of thought was continuous and flowing and being expressed in rising levels as opposed to the present being expressed differently as a flatter straighter line, [but also the same?]. Level jumping occurring within phrases of sentences, a self-reflexive process that might be contrived but only half-consciously. … just letting it happen. A question of agency is always present.
– Tastes some sour grapes. “What should I say now?” is always the question, but repetition of that phrase is not honest but an automatic expression. Judging himself as self-centered/vain in these expressions but imagines an alternative creative process that involves an external factor or limitation on his own personal emotions that gives a broader and more objective view and draws less attention to the creator himself and so has more social value/integrity.
– Notices a mother yelling in anger at her child, who is crying. Wondering if he should’ve intervened, though fears his ability to skillfully deal with that anger or redirect the anger without getting emotionally involved himself, to the point where he can’t help because of his feelings of pain. He wants her to express her compassion in communicating her desire for her child to be safe, rather than punishing him with her anger. Also he doesn’t know the child’s pattern of behavior and maybe the mother knows best and the child’s behavior warrants such anger. But that anger didn’t seem to be helping the situation as the kid can’t reason out the situation when he’s so upset. He sees it as socially abhorrent for him to intervene, but would like to talk to his friend, Sam, some more about it, as he’s more skilled and experienced at dealing with that sort of thing. Though he may never do interventions in those situations while focusing on his video, as there’s an ethical dilemma with filming such an intervention and making it public due to ‘invasion of privacy’.
– Going back to discomfort with expressing himself vs. objectivity, and so placing certain parameters on creative or visual work. “Confining structures” to reign in human emotions are an expression in its self, and he sees a value in that. The other side is to focus in on emotions without limitations and treat it as an extended process, enabling ‘discovery’ in that four hours of time in the video. Narrowing his talking down to a self-reflexive process is freeing, and is a parameter in its self – using self as a generative engine.
(long pause) …alters the way that he perceives himself at least during those four hours… feels de-personalized. Slight sadness triggered by autumn coming on – describes natural surroundings as past their apex, leaves starting to fall. He has thoughts about death, like the terrifying experience of extreme cold. Becomes mad at self for saying something insightful about life and death. Prefers to be distracted by little turtles on log in stream, until they jump into the water.
He’s trying to avoid ‘content’ (meaning subject matter, not contentment) in his expressed thoughts? …though he then sees his expressions as filler or cheap ploys that let him avoid being fully accountable for what he says, so he can be uninvolved and free to behave in unproductive ways himself, letting the process take care of itself.
– Notices that different sized turtles hang out with others the same size. Judges his expression, “Itty bitty turtles”, as descriptive of a clinging affection, as it is a cute or infantile description. Does that introduce a preference that isn’t really necessary or helpful? Notices bigger adult turtles, and a guilt of not expressing affection equally. Still, he doesn’t want to have a pet turtle, name it, and cry a lot when it dies. Thinks about ending the video to avoid a ‘lackluster’ ending, but still has trust in the process of going to 4 hours, even if his energy level wanes towards the end. Feeling hips, feet, and back, slight pressure in his head, equilibrium drifting towards being more quiet, so will exert more effort and will-power to speak until the end of the video. The process of talking without knowing what to say is something he has to accept. He remembers expressing thoughts which take multiple sentences and could be complex thoughts, even though he thinks he doesn’t know what he’s going to say ahead of time. Wants to join two or three complex thoughts together:
1. Disequilibrium, tiredness, so will exert more effort and will power to speak until the end of the video so he can feel satisfaction at reaching his goal.
2. He remembers expressing thoughts which take multiple sentences and could be complex thoughts, even though he thinks he doesn’t know what he’s going to say ahead of time.
3. He might have been observing himself a little more closely while relaying that thought, and could be the general structure of that train of thought was all in his head as a rough draft when he began to express it in words. Rapidly choosing options and forks in the road and specific verbiage as he’s laying out that thought.
– Notices Japanese knotweed with blue seeds, which he’s never seen before, and then notices blue on the nearby wall. Wondering if someone sprayed herbicide on it, since it’s considered an invasive plant. He will look at it again in the future to see if it’s withered and dead. – Notices turtle with moss on its back, a carp, and a road cone in the water.
Looking for the chance to zone out and let his thoughts run wild, as he feels exhausted by constantly monitoring his thoughts. Maybe he will observe his mental state after the video is over. . Saying that aloud may act as a kind of reminder for when he turns off the video. The viewer may feel a similar type of fatigue with paying attention to his stream of thoughts. Will he continue to think verbally, or more just perceiving, or engage in unproductive rumination? RE: rumination, turning a thought over and over in your head, feeling angry or sad, etc.
Desiring other people not to rely on him for answers but to exercise their own agency and problem solving abilities and so making a mutually engaging experience. So his invitation to ‘thought exercises’ is making him feel a little more engaged with his interaction with the audience. Noticing his furrowed brow as related to bright sun, and does that physical action make him more likely to feel ‘consternation’? He feels humored that ‘furrowed brow’ = ‘consternation’ in his mind. He remembers walking past a person sitting in front of a coffee shop in a sweatshirt that says ‘karma’. He’s not sure if that woman was wearing a sweatshirt that says ‘karma’. (Actually I don’t think he caught her in the video, as I went back & looked.) Said he’s been trying to point the camera upwards and not at the ground, though he hasn’t been focused on the video image in this episode, aside from turtles, frogs, certain plants, or that huge flattened caterpillar, as he’s been very focused on what he’s been saying. He’s thinking you may have been bored with the video aspect, but wanting to pay attention to the audio aspect. Imagines disinterest in the viewer after he suggested other activity while just listening to audio. He felt a pull towards rest and silence and then he put aside negative thoughts about viewer’s disinterest. Feeling anticipation or anxiety being mirrored by audience RE: what will he say next? …and himself mirroring that back, with a blossoming interest in that thought, giving him a nice feeling if only for a few seconds, letting his focus on talking slack a little bit. Wondering if these feelings were fabricated after the fact, with a desire to have something to talk about? Then he has thoughts about ‘Walking and Talking‘ process not having any esthetic qualities associated with art or music or poetry, then it immediately became a positive judgment… as not existing in the world in any other form, at least that he’s aware of.
– Notices a road cone on its side with electric power lines going into the bottom (“Like an electric road cone…that’s just kind of like joking”… video ends)