The Winter Solstice

A frame grab from a work-in-progress moving image piece The Unfolding.

Janus, the two-faced god of beginnings, passages and transitions, here symbolizes the Winter Solstice. The darkest spot of the yearly cycle invites one to a pause; to look back and worth to time passed and time to come. It is time to make sense of things done, and to make plans for the future.

To have space-time unfold as It will.

The mind works in mysterious ways

I’m currently working on my Master’s thesis for ViCCA/Aalto University, it deals with road movies to some extent, obviously with related reading, writing, watching and filming on the to do list…

The other day, taking the usual procrastinatory detour, I checked some news headlines and learned that Malcolm Young had passed away. (Well, sir, have a fine and restful journey onward and thanks for laying the major cornerstones for hard & heavy rock with the juggernaut called AC/DC.)

While finding my way back from the data swamp to actual tasks at hand, I again remembered a film I had partially seen way back but didn’t know the name or any details about it. Call it obsessive or whatever, but I often get these little flashbacks from films that I’ve forgotten about; not knowing what films they are or how to successfully find info on them is somewhat frustrating, and they keep haunting me.

Anyways, this particular flick, or at least the parts I remember, deals with highways in the American desert and a sort of demon cop driving a police car in pursuit of someone or something. Well, cars, highways and the desert relate to my thesis, so I thought why not try to check out again if I managed to find it this time around. Googling for demon cop, police car, desert, highway etc. and wow, this time I actually get what I was looking for!

So it seems the film is Highway to Hell! Synchronicity, coincidence, whatever you want to call it, but I’m certain the news about mr. Young triggered a chain of events in the subconscious mind.

The AC/DC classic is featured on the film trailer as well…

Looking forward to watching this undoubtedly fine piece of early 1990’s B-grade horror cheese, all of it this time around. (Well, shot 1989 but first released 1991 to be exact.)

Leonard Cohen and Donald Trump as male role models

Following the discourse on a crisis of masculinity and a lack of male role models, let’s compare the two men that hit the news headlines worldwide this week, Donald Trump and Leonard Cohen. I take special interest in their attitude towards women.

Donald Trump (image: BBC)

“Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.” (source)
— Donald Trump, businessman and reality tv star, elected as the next president of the USA.

Leonard Cohen (Gonzales Photo/Tord Litleskare/Corbis via Vulture.com)

“I wish the women would hurry up and take over […] Then we can finally recognize that women really are the minds and the force that holds everything together” (source)
— Leonard Cohen, singer, songwriter and poet, who passed away at 82.

Yes, it’s quite selective and black-and-white, but still very revealing concerning these public images are present in media and as such are influential characters.

Cohen always appeared as the perfect gentleman, respectful and respected, while Trump acts like a schoolyard bully who never grew up. In this context, the circumstance of events —one passed away, the other soon a president— is most unfortunate.

On a positive note, Leonard Cohen’s work and persona will not be forgotten. And there’s hope (isn’t there always hope?) that Trump will reveal a more respectful side of himself once he’s finally “on top of the world”, if that would finally give him enough self-respect…?

Emergence in Reverse

A little exercise in thought, following from the previous post.

Brexit will actually have a snowball effect, in which countries leaving the EU would only be the first step. There are already signs of it in Britain, with speculations of Scotland voting for independence. In Finland’s case it would go own, beginning with Lapland claiming independence. Next, provinces would leave Finland and claim for independence.

On and on, until we reach the individual human being, who claims independence from any groups or entities supposedly “governing” her. Individuality. There. Not a bad ending for such a horrific flick.

In the sequel, the individual gets what is due. We will see individual organs gaining independence from the body. Inside organs, cells would claim independence, then molecules, atoms, electrons, on and on until the quantum foam which, according to our current beliefs, forms the indivisible base layer in the fabric of the universe.

Down there… would we finally realise that all separation is essentially illusion and deep within us we are all one?

A universe-size monster in perpetual autoerotocannibalist binge! Face it, that’s what we are deep down and on the surface. Let’s drink to that.

And tomorrow morning, it’s time to wake up and clean up our act.

Midsummer Blues

I woke up this morning to hearing that Great Britain had voted for leaving the EU. Lots of speculations about what happens next is going on everywhere, but I won’t go into that.

My thoughts drifted along to wondering why people voted the way they did (both for and against). I figure it’s not much to do with reason or logic, but mostly emotions. Indeed, studies indicate humans tend to make decisions mostly based on emotions, and then find suitable reasoning based on those emotions to justify their decisions.

In this case, as well as with related recent events in Europe (and elsewhere), I think it’s all down to the philosophical question of what it is to be human these days on planet earth. As a human being, what kinds of groups you identify with, and whether you as a self-perceived member of a group favour integration or separation with other kinds of groups.

Personally I ‘ve always felt* being a citizen of the Planet Earth rather than a citizen of Finland or any other arbitrary splinter group. Such groups by definition seem too exclusive and restrictive to identify with.

(* See? This, too, is rooted in emotion and rationalised with the the kind of logic I find suitable.)

Nationalism was a project that, like all projects had its good and bad sides, but seriously, its time has gone. Our greatest problems are global, and they must be dealt with on a global level. We’ll never reach that goal with the current situation of nation states competing over diminishing resources, each measuring their success based on the misfortunes of their competitors.

Enter silence

It’s Good Friday. I’m in my home studio, tidying up the desks, organising piles of paper, sorting out possibly useful material from mere trash. Making room to work on new things. Banishing dust demons.

In Finnish, Good Friday is called “Long Friday” (Pitkäperjantai), and I wouldn’t mind this Friday lasting for a week or two. I’m not Christian; Easter has no significance to me, apart from allowing some extra time off from work and other busyness. In these hectic times I welcome any extra periods of relief, silence and calm I’m given. My current shuffling between making art (aka the Great Work), teaching and studying is fulfilling and gratifying in its diversity, but also burdening. Thus all opportunities of retreat and chillout are taken with pleasure.

Anyways, I decided to set up this blog, mainly to share writings related to my studies but also to keep a kind of record for the textual aspect of my work, whether essays, notes, scripts or sketches and whatnot. This, setting up a blog that is, is also part of the attempt to set things (and my thought processes) in functional order.

The commenting option is open, to invite any relevant comments, ideas and so on. Online discussion or arguing is not one of my primary interests, but any advice or attempts to dig deeper into subjects at hand are the most welcome.