Chelsea Knight and I are showing a new version of Posse Comitatus,
our militia dance video project, at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris. The
exhibtion opens today, June 20, and runs through September 9.
For this iteration of the project, we are collaborating with an
amazing choreographer, Valerie Oberleithner, and two wonderful
dancers, Emilie Combet and Lautaro Prado. Our project is part of an
exhibition called “The Real Thing?” curated by Antonia Alampi and
Jason Waite, which is within an umbrella exhibition called “Nouvelles
Vagues” curated by Hans Ulrich Obrist, Massimiliano Gioni, Jens
Hoffman, Colette Barbier, and others.
If you are in Paris, I hope to see you at the opening, which starts
tonight 8pm, with a performance from 10-11pm. We are also doing a
special performance at the Fondation Ricard on June 22 at 2pm.
With kind regards,
Ted knows what he is supposed to do, in order to fully live. He has known this for a long time. Call it the “secret to happiness.” It’s not a secret. There are plenty of books and websites, talk shows and courses dedicated to the topic. Ted even agrees with the outliers who say that money can’t buy happiness. So true. Then again, people need money. We have to have it. And yes, Ted knows high-stake bankers who hate themselves. Those rich dudes don’t even know how unhappy they are; their wives don’t know it either. Ted knows it; he knows he’s unhappy. He simply can’t bring himself to change his mind. You know, change his feelings. Wait. Let’s rephrase this challenge: he simply can’t bring himself to have his feelings. To just feel them. It’s a lot harder than it sounds.
A little boy runs wild and free and naturally he smashes into walls. He falls screaming into the arms of a grown-up who can make it all right. Suppose some other grabby little boy comes over and steals his toy, snatches it right out of his hands? Endless tears. Outrage. Sobbing.
A little guy can’t even say turtle, but he can feel five dimensions of feelings. We teach him how to say turtle. We teach him all kinds of crazy shit. Turtle. Shark. Shell. Water. Sand. Tank. Top. Bottom. Swim.
Meet “that person,” the one whose behavior, both past and present, is eating away at my soul. My mind returns to “that person” again and again, in the shower, in the middle of the night, when I am driving somewhere dull. How could he—why did he—I can’t believe he would—why don’t I just tell him—and so on. ”That person” always comes back, mentally. That’s how I know that my zombie heart has taken over. “That person” has bitten me, has brought the dark heart to life. “That person” is the walking dead.
Oh, come on. “That person” is alive.
Can we really be sure?
Let me rescue that part of my zombie heart and get it warm.
Reanimate it. Breathe at it.
No zombies inside the building! I pledge to leave them out there in the cold, dark, totally familiar parking lot. Banging on the plate-glass doors.
I pledge to do my best to no longer live, breathe, talk, interact, or observe the world as a zombie.
The difficulties (which other people surely find incredible) I have in speaking to people arise from the fact that my thinking, or rather the content of my consciousness, is entirely nebulous, that I remain undisturbed by this, so far as it concerns only myself, and am even occasionally self-satisfied; yet conversation with people demands pointedness, solidity, and sustained coherence, qualities not to be found in me. No one will want to lie in clouds of mist with me, and even if someone did, I couldn’t expel the mist from my head; when two people come together it dissolves of itself and is nothing.
I had the complete opposite experience: I believed on every level that I’d experience what Carlos did… and as for Jane, she’s not really spiritual, is she? But did she help countless lonely women escape their black holes? I’d pay a quarter for that
yes so would i. i’d pay a quarter for jane austen and a whole lot more. but the same genre she handled with so much depth and wit did eventually evolve into the mass market bodice-ripper. and these books can leave readers in a “longing” hallway.
i poked around a little bit to refresh my memory about castaneda and i found this.
i’m one of these reading seekers, it’s a way to live and yes escape many a black hole. re: castaneda i think i too often get stuck in the doorway to the glittering universe with my back to some boring, suburban den. got to learn to appreciate the den, or just leap into the glitter and empty space. no more doorways. (that’s a wish)
There was a time when I only read the books that came to me easily, and cheaply. I was living in New York City, in the East Village, and I walked everywhere. Every three blocks a halfway homeless guy would have a blanket laid out with all kinds of paperbacks and tattered books for sale. You could get a paperback for a quarter, though it might fall apart in your hands as you read, leaving little paper scabs on your clothing. This is how I came to know the mystical, mind-bending adventures of don Juan. Carlos Castaneda had a bestselling paperback on every blanket.
The thing about Carlos Castaneda—i am remembering this from years ago so it’s a very blurry reflection—you had to go in with a major suspension of disbelief. I had to buy into the attitude that my white bread, American, seven-elevenish upbringing had not offered me— or prepared me— for mystical experiences. I had to be convinced that wandering around in the desert, in a Spanish-speaking country under the influence of exotic drugs— would bring me closer to God than sitting around smoking brown weed with my basketball-player boyfriend, or watching George Michael on MTV.
You might have believed that Mr. Castaneda (author!) was really having these shamanistic triumphs, and you might have believed that he operated on a magical, powerful plane of reality, but your admiration was based on the fact you yourself were never going to come anywhere close to that kind of power/bliss.
It’s just like reading Jane Austen—you are never going to meet a guy like D’Arcy, a wealthy aristocrat with both empathy and supercilious charm, as well as a giant castle. Feel free to swoon and fantasize. Then go back to your Mountain Dew addiction, and your job at Walgreens.
I don’t want spiritual books to make me feel left behind. I want to get on the spaceship and fly away too. I don’t just want to read about it. I’m not even going to pay a quarter for that.