ahmed and recognising systems

Sara Ahmed is a remarkable writer. She writes in loops and tangles of words in which the words start to behave (or mean things) differently. It’s dizzying, simply, beautiful and challenging.

Here she is on systems:

You come against a system when you point out a system. When there is a system those who benefit from the system do not want to recognise that system.

feministkilljoys.com/2014/11/04/white-men

viola sunrise

In late 2006 early 2007 I had a chunk of Australia Council funding to research and develop a new performance installation called Crevice. The project was with Cormac Lally (video), David Corbet (sound), Shannon Bott (dramaturgy) and Kristin Green (architect). It was ambitious for sure, and I was never able to get the money together to do any more development beyond stage 1 (or perhaps I never tried).

The design looked like this (and we built and tested this design):

And here’s a little snippet of video (that I don’t think was ever used) that Cormac Lally shot and edited, and that I stumbled across the other day as I went through some old files. The filename was crevice16_viola sunrise_25%.mov.

full responsibility

Last year I had the pleasure of spending time at the University of Alabama for a short residency with choreographer and filmmaker Rebecca Salzer. We made a short film called Full Responsibility:

Sincerity takes practice.

listening

Tara Brach is a psychotherapist and meditation teacher based in Washington DC. I was listening to a podcast episode of hers last night called The Sacred Art of Listening. In it she quoted Mark Nepo’s understanding of the nature of listening:

To lean in softly with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.

That willingness to be changed bit is remarkably beautiful and, speaking personally,(!) probably quite rare. I wonder what it would be like to work in an environment in which willingness to change was valorised at the expense of staking claims, protecting territory, and competitive ambition.

at night

And for something different. Some scuba divers at night. Photo by Ian Baker. Taken in the Red Sea, January 2019.

Photo: Ian Baker

dancehouse

Dancehouse is a venue in Melbourne, Australia. It began as an artist-led space in 1992 but now is slightly more conventional in how it is organised, funded and run as a ‘dance centre’. As part of Dancehouse’s 21st anniversary celebrations in 2013 they asked a bunch of people who had danced and made work there over the years to tell a story and maybe even do a dance.

Here are mine: