Tuesday, December 29, 2009

approaching the New Year December 29th, 2009

December 29, 2009

Issues of form and content are haunting me right now. Robert Creeley’s "form is never more than an extension of content," or Louis Sullivan’s earlier dictum: “form ever follows function”—seem accurate, but then the fine tuning of it or the poly-prismatic of an extended form, a form that might reveal the turning of thought, a digressive functioning, or ‘active theory’ [to quote myself] seem challenging and appealing. Allora—we look for an art that might encompass the (w)hole of things, their veritable partials, a four-dimensional fractal that could haunt time, a non-holy perforated segment of glorious and non-glorious moments.

All this as I aim to complete RIDING THE TIGER: Letters from Capitalist China. I have moved from a singular voiceover into a polyphony of voices, each reading [imaginary] letters from the filmmaker, questioning, reporting, theorizing on the events and disruptions/dislocations of life in China today. So many things to consider: tone, pronunciation, comprehensibility, lowering and raising of the voice, where the voice changes, emphasis, establishing the ‘person’, timing. The story, apocryphal or not, that it took 72 ‘takes’ to get de Niro’s monologue for Taxi Driver consoles me. Of course Thelma S. had a recording booth located (likely?) outside her editing station and helpers to transfer (digitize today) into her edit tracks. Still and all, it is pretty fast here and now. I talk tonight to Yael B. in Paris to get her version downloaded by the New Year and try to complete. Yael is coming end of the month January to help perfect, refine, get it mixed —meanwhile I will re-submit the newer more polished version to various fests.

Still searching for that 5th projector for my installation in April 2010. Anyone in Europe who knows where I could get one for free (!~?) would be very welcome. I am having my interns carry back my two big ones (despite increased airport security?!) and one will show up voluntarily…somehow. Nancy here had offered so I am still hopeful on that end.

Have not yet begun the filming of same but it will happen. Want to get Letters done, then script organized for shooting for Shelley film in spring with perhaps a Diodati Frankenstein creation in the winter one afternoon at Villa Aurelia across the way. [I will include a picture of same so you see the grandeur of the place/palace]…and may need a lumbering homo-like-monster as well when the trees are still bare of leaves.

The photos to left are xmas day: the first the vatican through the roman aqueduct in dora pamphili park next door. The second the doors pebbled mosaics of the villa dora pamphili. the last with fountain the grounds on xmas day—you see the sun!

So, then—this time with rain and clouds is good for planning, cleaning up and fine cutting and fine-tuning and thinking of poetics, the ‘how’ of the praxis. Have been asked for a paper for new magazine and a possible April lecture at City College---have to decide when and if I can return to NY. Abby you know you want to!

Leaving it there.

Friends if you read this, please send on emails but also snail mail….so delightful to receive even if sooooo slow. Particularly welcome are dvds with films, third and fourth seasons of Mad Men say....I figure it takes 21 days for a NY packet to reach us here and sometimes longer. I suspect they are sitting on things in the Rome post. But just went shopping with D and bought juice and fruit and veg and yogurt and cheese and pasta-fresh and dried—and pimentos and olives and am very happy. Even in December, Rome is filled with green the ivy still lush and the cypresses and the sun is absolutely if milkily returning. I slept till 11am today (and not particularly late staying up the night before) sleeping and dreaming delightfully through pouring heavy rain, in the hibernation of healing winter—warmer, better weather is round the corner.

Will keep you posted.

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