Category Archives: Performance

Iceland can’t be real

Have you ever seen “Heima”, the 2007 documentary about Icelandic band Sigur Rós’s homecoming concert tour?  They do their concerts in valleys and fields and abandoned factories and other such poetic hotspots. After watching this with my tall friend, I concluded that Iceland is fake.

I can take completely random screenshots from this documentary and they will all be breathtaking calendar shots (no shots of the ever-desctructive and airplane-hating  EJYALKFDKUGLLHJ). In fact, I think I will.

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And it’s not like this movie is the only thing I know of Iceland. I read architecture magazines. So there.

 

An attempt at José Saramago’s Style, or, Trying to kill ten minutes of precious time.

At the art history library, where art is read about, and where the reading about of art in turn makes itself a sort of internal performance for the soul that outwardly manifests itself in the form of a college student sitting in a comfortable leather or old black wooden chair or at a table, flipping through an oversized codex of pictures of naked paints and the severe intercourse of grammar and space, or whatever, is also the setting of my keyboard’s monologue to the only other person on this floor, for it is a sunday, the day of rest, or rather, the day of refusing to do anything on my part in preparation for sitting there at holy mass half listening, Who’s to say that that is the way it should be, Who’s to say i’m consciously preparing for half-attention, You’re right, which in turn means that i am right, because face it, you’re grasping for deepness where the shallowness suffices in providing a clear image of your temporary intentions, Shall i pay attention at holy mass, then, Yes, by all means.

R.I.P. (and in God’s kindly misericordiate graces), S. Saramago. -2010

Science Channel made me cry last night

I’m rethinking things.

That’s not to say I’m doubting what I find beautiful right now, but I’m definitely re-discovering what I found beautiful as a child/lil’ teenager.

I just realized something.  Over the summer my definition of things beautiful has narrowed, not in a bad way, because it means that I’m becoming a lot more acquainted with a certain niche (contemporary media, art and culture…in relation to ancient and traditional media, art and culture I suppose).  But in the process I’ve neglected a very strong love for all things geekily scientific.

That was remedied last night, when I flipped to almost the end of “Wonders of the Solar System” with Brian Cox. He’s like, a rockstar-turned-physics professor and that’s kind of freaking rad. That one particular episode has to do with the earth’s atmosphere.  It compared it to Titan’s methane atmosphere which – well, first of all, Titan has a methane atmosphere. Awesome.

In any case, I was (internally) crying because of the beauty of the observable universe and stuff, cuz I’m sensitive like that. I rediscovered the aching thrill of learning about all things astrophysics. It brought me back to the days my aunt used to take me to Barnes & Noble and I would huddle in a corner with astronomy charts that I couldn’t afford to buy. WHATEVS, BROKE-ASS CHILDHOOD.

I used to want this soooohoho bad.

Lately my mind has been filled with words like “design”, “print”, “industry”, “contemporary”, and other dutifully and involuntarily pretentious words comme ça. I’m ready to integrate that with embedded-within-me concepts like “Saturnian ring girth” and “Continuum of angular momentum”.  Because I can.  And I will.

I continued to watch the Science Channel for the next three hours.

Also, can I say, educational programming is so dynamically sexy these days? I mean in terms of cinematography, visuals and big-budget musical score, not in terms of the perceived hotness of the host.  Well,

Kari Byron, Mythbusters

Adam Yamaguchi, Vanguard

Adam Yamaguchi, Vanguard

Marian van Zeller, Vanguard

Brian Cox, Wonders of the Solar System

Morgan Freeman, JUST CUZ

Why Clepsydra still makes my heart a-flutter, six years later

κλεψύδρας

Apparently, really good things happen when artists Konstantinos Vita and Dimitris Papaioannou get together and decide to make love with the minds of billions of people around the world.

Six years ago I had just graduated the eighth grade, and it was the summer of the 2004 Athens Olympics. I had been obsessed with the idea of the opening and closing ceremonies ever since Salt lake City in 2002, and I was literally counting down the days until the Athens opening (in the back of my math notebook).

Unless you were going into cardiac arrest – or, like, had work that night – I wouldn’t understand why you wouldn’t have seen it (awkward verb navigation there). The deep aqueous color schemes, the role of rhythm as a sort of  physical, atmospheric setting, the balance between exclusively Greek symbolism and extensively global contemporary aesthetic – ahh, someone get me a dvd copy. I remember not wanting to blink for fear of missing something amazing.

Greek Boat Boy

The opening drums, so good

Olive leaf torch like seriously <@333

Every moment was “ap images”-able. And while Jacques Rogge’s repeated attempts at making a Katara-style hope speech without his signature awkward pauses every four seconds that herald subsequently awkward applause make me warm inside all the time, the reason I’m writing about it six years and three Olympics later is because of the Clepsydra, directed and music-ed by Dimitris Papaioannou and Konstantinos Vita, respectively.


Δημήτρης Παπαϊωάννου, professional dreamer

Κωνσταντίνος Βήτα, professional musical BAMF

Like, if you haven’t seen this portion of the ceremony but are really into Greek history, you kind of really need to.

“Clepsydra” means timeline (at least that’s what Bob Costas said in the opening ceremony commentary), and that’s basically what the piece was about.  It was a living timeline of the history of the Hellenic peoples and their lil’ ol’ plaything da ‘Lympics.

A train of moving platforms carries living figures embodying Papaioannou’s vision of the Greek timeline.  Colors are striking but subdued, slow-moving people create breathing pictures reminiscent of the art and sculpture speaking the language of all the building blocks of modern “Western civilization”.

The rhythmic echoes of K.bhta’s composed piece didn’t just serve as background music to a visual spectacle, it was an integral part of it.  Music evolves with the Clepsydra, alluding to a state of human existence more than Greek -more than human, even.

The piece was both self-referential and universal.  While the subject matter (Oh gosh, 10th art class vocabulary) remained very Greek, the mood Papaioannou and K.bhta chose to set was molded beyond a sense of spectacle and deeply embedded in some sort of psychological hunger for a sensation of other-worldliness to be found in any sector of human history.

Okay, big words over. HERE R SUM PICZ DAT I STOLE FRUM DA INERWEBZ:

Here, just, just watch it: