Friday July 2, 2021

Benedict Seymour’s Dead the Ends takes Chris Marker’s La Jetée as its Ur-text. Seymour’s film is a found-footage concoction, and thus incorporates much of the Marker film into itself. But Dead the Ends is also database art, as Seymour pairs these bits of La Jetée with their many echoes in subsequent time travel narratives (Terry Gilliam’s 12 Monkeys, etc.). These works that Seymour reanimates in Dead the Ends all feature romance at their core: lovers seeking each other across time. The narrator of my story, meanwhile, feels growing within himself some similar romantic core. It is there “in the belly of this story,” as Leslie Marmon Silko says of her novel Ceremony. I trance-scribe these texts in the time-stream of the paralogy, but they are words received from another timeline, spoken by a shadow-self whose desires led him West. Or not spoken by the shadow-self, but in dialogue with it. Trance-scribing is not the same as channeling. The shadow-self wants to access the acid diaries of Merry Prankster Stewart Brand, founder of the Whole Earth Catalog. The shadow-self is headstrong — discontented — and then enlivened — reawakened — through an encounter with another. Whereas the paralogical self is a family man: loving father, loving husband. But grown weary from excessive self-silencing, and (given the nature of the karmic cycle) the expectation that he plod on and endure.

Saturday March 17, 2018

“Say something warm, say something bright,” sing the words in my head. I concentrate upon lyrics to songs from an algorithmically-generated playlist, seeking sense amid chance. That sense arrives when thought begins to throb to the beat of “Beat” by Bowery Electric.

A reveal occurs: I see sacred geometries. Mind invents ideograms — first languages, perhaps — by abstracting experiences into memory-derived essences. Picture Terry Gilliam’s animations from Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Escape from grim reality. Final thought of the day: Black Panther is thrilling in many ways, but the film’s imaginary resolution to real contradictions is one and the same with its backstory and founding premise: namely, the Vibranium-powered alternative modernity represented by Wakanda.