monkey's not packing. well, not right now anyways. i just finished fiddling around my head with the idea of dadaism. the anti-art. the polar opposite of the good old traditions... rejection, question, contradiction, destruction, consumption. 'da, da-' ('yes, yes' in roumanian), whatever goes. with good sprinkle of sarcasm and cynicism, yes. or it couldve been 'dada,' the great children's favorite, the hobbyhorse!
it's the damned kandinsky and miro from the other night, i swear. it's like a flu- viral infection of a sort. i be in the visual arts realm for a bit i suppose. as a child of postmodernism, it's a curse and a halo- the need to digest, contextualize. salvation and damnation. crap.
i was in nyc in 2005 (or was it 2006?) for the summer, participating in mannes institute for contemporary music. i made a funny choice of staying in a rather dinky and sketchy hostel for the entire duration of the festival, as i was sort of curious to see how other people live. hostels, you may stay may be a week or so, but i never have stayed in such extension, so i had to give it a shot. last time i checked, that hostel was no longer there or now is called something else, around 120s st and broadway. instead of doing high sophisticated modernistic contemporary classical music, i was mingling with transient works, teenage tourists, a chef boy who was staying there as temp residence, a british former office code monkey who was taking an amazing amount of time (back then, i was still rather sheltered i think) of couple months to just to go around to see... amazingly some of them i still keep in touch once in a blue moon. bizarre eh?
i was somewhat naive when i went i think. i thought hey, it's a contemp festival- we are all going to share, be eager to participate, provoke one another and make something happen. oh how utopian of me really. instead what i found was somewhat colder reality: many people fighting to get ahead in the hierarchy- whatever it may be, from the instruments they play to what concert they are playing and where they got their shoes, etc. nutters. oh boy. i didnt survive that atmosphere at all. i was squashed on the side like fly who licked the fragrant poison block with all enthusiasm. by mid-first week, i was thinking music does not need to be like this. screw it. i liked my instrumental partner enough. we played some takemitsu and that was really nice. however some bits were just plain weird- like when charles rosen nipped at me for murdering schoenberg. well, i suppose it's nice that schoenberg was long dead, sorry mr. rosen. after that festival, i dont think i was able to kindle back my interest for contemp music. oops. ive been dada-ed.
the art and beauty i found was on the street and hostel. mingling with all kinds of people, i saw and drank different air daily. instead of trying to redeem myself from the often toothy critique of cut-throat new york elite musicians, i opted to rent a remote sailboat at central park, jump in to help an inexperienced teacher at the natural history museum with children (who were more like pack of wolves i thought), trying to take all the big chunky salt off my street pretzel, that kind of activities. inconsequential- perhaps, however great influencers, these nonchalant activities. i talked to a mad green farmer at the local wknd farmer's market, ate the best breads of the town, went to see and drank cachaca with random capoeira group who were doing demos on one of the squares. i went to the foreign films, took wrong trains and got off at wrong places. and i was lucky for max ernst exhibition at the MoMA.
now, it was a very bookish thing to do, to dip into dadaism and surrealism. from the bit of formal education, i knew who man ray and marcel duchamp were. i passed with a good mark on essay on berlin dadaists in the past. i even loved some works for les six- especially work of erik satie: how wonderfully all over the place! and i knew briefly of max ernst, who i vaguely remembered as the one of the pioneers of the movement as my real interest was really with fluxus movement (ooh my i love richard serra- though he's considered closer to process art... but john cage- he's the smack absolute icon of fluxus for me). i liked ernst especially because at that time i was really not very fond of photomontage or collage and up to this day, it's quite difficult for me to feel at home with assemblage and readymades: 'it's a urinal! i dont get it! calling it a fountain wont cut it..'
okay so whats with this long boring scholarly crap? well, i feel that i am a living dada. all juxtaposed, collaged, things that arent normally related by, things that are disjunct and comical, often scary and all-consuming. most of all, confusing to the general public. but honest (as huelsenbeck claimed dada as absolute honesty. funny isnt it. honesty being not understandable!)
as i am to pack to leave to europe for awhile, i had to explain what is that i want to do in my life to various groups of people. like canterbury tales, it just got absurd every time. esp. for my gene pool units who are desperately trying to understand WHY i must raise the dust and roam around with no real direction at all. only answer i had was that i have enough direction, but being a proper atom, i donno which direction im going until i get there to meet my kinds- extremely similar or extremely different, i like strong covalent bondings.
so hence comes the need to pack. okay fine. what do i pack? i have no idea. what do i need? very little stuff. what do i like? too much stuff. ooh the consumerist luxury vs. the need to be free of things. it's already a juxtaposition. and as i am putting things down on the floor, i just lost it. so modernistic. making list, packing, meticulous, being prepared, proper. but this is not me, i wanted to say! but i need to do this so that i may be free'r' later (not worrying about contacts solution during flights and such). for a kid who claims to be wanderer, i care too much about things! so there are still bits and pieces of my life stewn across the house and i have absolutely zero enthusiasm to organize it. way to go monkey!
well, i will be ready for my 11am bus to airport. no worries on that. the things on the floor, unrelated bits of life, just like collage. looking at them makes my eyes spin. provoking. multiple realities and heterotopias- the reasons and preference of things that i am packing, the personal needs, oh my the list can go on. or could it be that i am just being stupid because i am not sleeping? who knows. i am so not practical at times. i am the anti-purpose, haha. perhaps hint of anarchy?
and here's one of my favorite paintings of ernst: l'ange du foyer. the image of an angel. fireplace- hearth as the heart of the house, house- establishment- tradition- settlement- predictable future- comfort- 'ante'- contradiction, the constellation of mad monkey head will keep expanding. and it's so nice to see such dynamic expression on the angel. it's completely mad. so many identities all mixed in, clashing and bashing onto one another. just like bits of my life in yyz, banff, past, present, europe, future, all somehow coexisting in my head.
it's not a surprise to remember it's also got second title: le triomphe du surrealisme. it gets even more crazy when one remember the concept of surreal number: continuum of number- real, inifinite and all kinds of other ordinal numbers. the biggest set! if you think this is unrelated to real life, i have to just tell you one expression: 'to infinity and beyond!'
im not even joking. surreal numbers are the basis of game theory. ooh i feel large yawns and scrolling down screens. fine, i will stop (also because i would need to go back and refresch quite a bit).
so in the midst of nutter thoughts, i better go back and finish packing before im entirely screwed. i dont think that would happen. a proper dada painting is always well-organized, if shockingly juxtaposed. i suppose it's a rather nice way to be, to be dada.
gallop you mad hobby horse! yeah yeah yeah.