Art and Performance by Research: Emergent Urgency

Emergent Urgency, 3-channel video installation.
Sally Walker Project Space, Geelong, 24 July to 30 September 2017


Is the artist yet dead?
Or are we yet to have killed them off?
What is the best way to dispose of an artist?
Out the window?
In full public view?
Or in private where we don’t need to see their demise,
And have it remind us of our own?

It was said the artist speaks through the soul,
But in a world where the soul is a tradeable ‘good’,
Surely the artist does not now have to agree and speak through this ‘good’?
The artist can redefine the soul.
To the themselves.
And to those in relation.
And outwards from there shall we ripple our understanding,
And attempt to see this new sense, an old sense reborn, reworded, reknown,
Seeing as far as the sea can see…

But that is just poetry, what meaning can this have in the sense we make of it together now?
Meaning is value
What then is the value of this?

We need to fight for ideation in the creative sense and against ideation in the self-death sense. Or maybe the other way around. But we may need to know it in metaphor. For living (in) a way, out of time, in a context known to a few, whilst the multiplicity of beings, others, our communities of living selves, whilst these many face close to demise, or slavery, or just simple depraved precarity, is it fit to practice practice? Is it wise to funnel the self, is it helpful to speak through the soul?

How can we work to maintain our communities; multiple, connected communities of living beings? To acknowledge our place amongst the continuum. To seek beyond what we don’t believe but that we have consented to. Through tactics we know, through criminal activity in the light of day, and in the light of night we have in ourselves and in our collectives allowed so much control, dominion, and lack drive our everyday into every other day. We know this. It does not need to be repeated. Or, maybe it is time, again, for us to repeat the problems as they are, the ground we live on, the lies we are bred on, the very life we lead together.

Who else can question thus and offer up a new, again?

Let me try something with you. I am not. You are neither. Together we are. I don’t think therefore I am, there is thought and therefore I appear.

How about this. This country you live in, the nation who’s law you abide or oppose, the sovereign state we acknowledge as existent; this is only a fabrication. We know this, you, I, and most of those we meet. But we don’t speak it. We don’t want to admit the edges of our borders are as porous as the gap between me, and so called you.

Or how about this. As a man, I was born with a penis between my legs. And I saw – my father, and I learned from my classmates, and teachers, and more importantly from the wide, all-encompassing cultural industry that was anywhere I opened my ears and eyes to. This, before I even knew what life I was leading, lead me to be the man I have been. And my choices, made, in conjunction with others, and their affect, and the affect of others on them. These, performances of being, occurring constantly without reverence to becoming, or sitting inside, acknowledging I would be dead, or perhaps already was, and that, I too, affected others with my performance, of being, of me, of this person I was then also becoming, without being aware. This man is not wholly true. And neither are you, whether known as woman or man. I am not referring to biology here. I am of course extending outwards from the consciousness, which may be a strand of the bio-centric paradigm but which i am using here as a way to explore that space between knowing and not knowing. My body, your body, the body, the bodies. This is where we go swimming. I am sure you, I, we, can accept the idea of a swing, a scale, a spectrum, an unsolid, quantum state of constant transformation. But, can we live it? Knowingly? Can we put it in deep in our bodies, in our personal bodies, these flesh vehicles who drive us, we drive, we drink coffee with, that asks us for coffee? And the wide body, to protect us from our wild natural selves, our collective sense, can we embody it there? Can you admit the ‘land and property-upon-it-that-you-own is not yours? Or that this country you defend has no right to not let others in that it does not consider its own? Or the energy out there, under the water, somewhere between here and another there is not yours to buy from a corporation who slyed the rights to distribute and profit from it from a state who stole it from another? That none of it is ours. Or theirs. That we are in transition between each other, with each other, without even knowing it, and especially without ever really knowing each other.

But maybe we can know, and through this be-coming closer somewhere towards the flow that is already inherent in our very beings anyway. Being in this, flowing on this chain, and not hanging on, or anchoring down, or holding firm, or securing a structure to, or deliberately ignoring the integrity of one form’s attachment, connection, affect upon another. Is maybe… the way.

But it takes a fight. It takes organisation. It takes taking power away from those that know how to get it, and use it over you. It takes swimming together, in a sea of unknowing and giving in to a collective idea. It takes ideation, in both senses of the word. Which has to change all the time. Or else it is the same as that we just took down. But maybe we can agree upon one or three things as we move into the many things to find ourselves again walking, listening, talking, be-coming ….

A wise person, not the one who gave me this frankincense whilst my baby was growing inside her mother, but another wise person said: I am sorry, I forgive you, I love you.

Actually, that is wrong, I just looked it up, it is in the intention of Hoʻoponopono to get to “the state of Zero, where we would have zero limits. No memories. No identity.” And in this we say: “I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.”

“I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you. I love you.”


(video still)

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