Written at thearcticcircle.org in Oct 2016
In the very North of the world at the source of the world river, where the ice melts into the purest of the waters we drink here on Earth–live the Hunter and Elk Queen. This world of the North is the land where the Sun goes to sleep, and our souls go when we die, it is where all life comes from, and where all life ends.
The Elk Queen and the Hunter had picked each other, and so they stay with each other always. In fact, so strong is the trance they put each other in, that new creation does not happen outside of their domain. Everything we have here comes from the well spring of their love.
The Elk Queen has a magical power and that is that she can create life. Any kind of living thing she dreams; it comes into existence. She created communally distributed moss consciousnesses, photon fields whose distribution patterns act like mobs in town halls, crystalline flowers that seem to be changeless for millennia, entire universes full of organic and inorganic life, all interdependant and mixed in such a way that the whole thing is a single organism. She doesn’t always make these things on purpose, sometimes they just flow out of her as she walks or talks or dreams. Sometimes they’re the monsters of her deepest fears, sometimes her wishes and memories.
The Hunter meanwhile, has the power to give or take away immortality–he can make anything re-generate, and he can make anything die. They balance each other out perfectly–he makes her monsters come to their ends, or freezes them in time, he makes one moment of bliss last an eternity.
Together they play at making entire planets of eternal spring, they extend the brief moment of life flourishing on the surface of stars into forever. They take walks through black holes.
She makes him all sorts of offerings, just for him to play with. He guides and loves them from the beginning of their lives til the ends, and he is always, always with them. All the creatures in the universe feel his love even if they don’t know it. He can give us guidance when we are lost, and when we return to the underworld, it is he who is there to take us into his arms.
Periodically the Hunter and the Queen have to separate. Before she met her husband, the Elk-Queen lived with her Grandmother Zoya. Grand-mother Zoya is the origin of all love and joy in the universe, and when the Elk-Queen was young, she lived in her grandmother’s stories.
So, every spring the Elk-Queen leaves the great North to visit with Grandmother Zoya in the South. Grandmother Zoya lives on the very edge of the Southern forest where the world river re-enters into the North. On the way to her grandmother’s house life bursts and grows beneath the Elk-Queen’s feet, sometimes it dies immediately, sometimes it bursts and grows out of control.
There are all sort of strange things birthing and flowing from her wake, things all mangled and writhing together, sometimes even things that would normally be living worlds apart. But mostly they are things that belong together, things from the same dream. The creatures fight and twist and creep for dominance. They find strange corners of dirt and darkness to dominate, they bask opulent and luxurious and falling apart in lassitude and their own decay. They get sick and quickly deteriorate, or live long in luck and joy. They eat each other, even when they are of one and the same family, they steal each other’s skin for warmth They dance, drunk on the spectacle of life coming through their eyelids in a gruesome dance of violence.
Only once she passes by every bit of the world river does her grandmother’s house appear. Then they sit at the edge of the underworld, and visit together for three full moons. But what they do, and what they talk about when they sit together, is the subject of another story. Grandmother Zoya can only step with one foot into the underworld, and so at the end of their visit she stands on the edge, hugging her grand-daughter good-bye.
During this time the Hunter falls into a deep deep sorrow, and all around him is tinged in sadness and a dark stygian blue. But even then the creations the Elk-Queen makes come back to him, and every time he receives one, he recognizes it as the endless love she has for him, takes it into his kingdom and gives it all the love he has for her. Until one day finally, she is the one that comes back.
The assignment for week one (which I missed) was
- a) Create a musical instrument using any material or technique you like.
- b) Prepare a one minute performance to played in class
I created a heart rate sensor with an led and an ldsr. Since the ldsr is a variable resistor I used it to modulate the speed at which a sample from a greeting card is played. I then made this into a custom wearable out of shapelock (the heart sensor sits around my thumb), and routed the output of the wearable to fm frequency 88.1. You can now listen to my heart, modulating the intro of The Age of Aquarius (it sounds like noise music, the song itself is rarely recognizable) if you are within 100 feet of my body.
Pictures and performance documentation coming shortly.
Assignment 2 was “Inspirational Sounds”: Bring a one minute audio clip of music it to share with the class. This can be music that you use for a specific purpose or task, or it can simply be music that you find compelling. Most importantly, be prepared to explain why you find this music inspiring. Try to identify the qualities that appeal to you or that make it well suited to the purpose for which you use it.
A one minute audio clip is a tall order. Inspiration in audio comes through the time spent with it, and one minute is hardly any time at all considering the amount of audio the average person, not to mention one infatuated with audio listens to and takes pleasure from.
That said here a beginning, middle, interlude and end.
What I tried to do:
I took “projection” (even though it was not mention it was implied) too relevantly.
My first impulse was to take a projector and use the film inside it as a trope for the “reality” in my project and a transparent process of automated manipulation (including recording, manipulation and re-projection of that processed image onto the same surface with a digital projector) as instructional performance (think learning by seeing) as a way to communicate my project to a broader audience.
I spent a lot of time on the film, I was looking for it’s reality. I found scratched audio to be a good trope because it has direct correlation of form, image and sound. But this was more about film as a medium.
Next I collected a series of screen tests and began to splice them together. But this was also problematic because while it represents the politics of film in a nice way, it has nothing to do with some “reality” of film.
Last night I finally realized, naturally that the thing that makes most sense about projection was to go to my site, have its photons project onto my film, project my film onto the screen and then begin to “edit” live the footage, eating it up and spitting it out with the digitizing process in a very clear way.
The effects in my patch were all designed to have to do with working with film (ie affecting framerate, exposure, etc. ). But that is probably not the right approach again, probably the best method would have been to try to affect only the time and rhythm of the image, or the content in a way that recognizes it’s shapes.
Documentation of what I did below.
thought i was banging it too often, turns out the world is backwards
i was trying to browse the interwebz radio with a slider,
guess that bangs the connect port too often, dunno, it made cool circe 1996 modem like sounds from the suite of polish dance stations I was trying to toggle between, till it crashed.
The Amazing Winslow Porter at Not Spring Not Winter
as part of Site Fest NYC