D 0.1 — Reading: The Truth of Fact, the Truth of Feeling; Ted Chiang

Never asked myself before how I would define what writing is, or what a word is. Chiang does it in such a simple way that is also spectacular as a definition. His way of writing doesn't cease to impress me, both in terms of clarity and complexity, he manages to elaborate stories that are beautiful, captivating, thought provoking.

“It is an art that we Europeans know. When a man speaks, we make marks on the paper. When another man looks at the paper later, he sees the marks and knows what sounds the first man made. In that way the second man can hear what the first man said.”

"You could not find the places where words began and ended by listening."

"Jijingi realized that, if he thought hard about it, he was now able to identify the words when people spoke in an ordinary conversation. The sounds that came from a person’s mouth hadn’t changed, but he understood them differently; he was aware of the pieces from which the whole was made. He himself had been speaking in words all along. He just hadn’t known it until now."

I've always been interested in a meta aspect of writing, approaching writing as almost a meditative state. How amazing it is to think that what you're writing, what is coming out of your head, going through your fingers is making a mark on a paper, on the world, on a word processor that transforms pushing of a letter into data available for people to see and read. How amazing it is that I can move ideas and someone else will read them and get a glimpse, maybe, of who am I in this exact moment. How amazing that I can do the same with words that were written decades ago.

"You looked at the marks as if you were walking down a row, made the sound each mark indicated, and you would find yourself speaking what the original person had said."

Writing two parallel stories, one about writing and one about memory, both seem to be far away in time. One probably on a city, the other one on the countryside. What they have in common is: we want to remember, and maybe we write to remember, but later on Chiang will question it too. Do we really want to remember everything? Do we really understand written stories in the same way as an oral story?

"When Kokwa told the story, he didn’t merely use words; he used the sound of his voice, the movement of his hands, the light in his eyes. He told you the story with his whole body, and you understood it the same way. None of that was captured on paper; only the bare words could be written down. And reading just the words gave you only a hint of the experience of listening to Kokwa himself"

Maybe writing is not about memory, it is not necessarily about transferring information from one person to another. And I agree with him, writing is thinking, as I write these words I realize how what I want to say and what I'm saying help me clarify my thoughts. Also help me to remember, but more than remembering the story I will remember the feeling of sitting down, paying attention to what I'm reading and trying to convey my opinions with words.

"Writing was not just a way to record what someone said; it could help you decide what you would say before you said it. And words were not just the pieces of speaking; they were the pieces of thinking. When you wrote them down, you could grasp your thoughts like bricks in your hands and push them into different arrangements. Writing let you look at your thoughts in a way you couldn’t if you were just talking, and having seen them, you could improve them, make them stronger and more elaborate."

This section of my blog is about reading and writing, because from reading I get the pleasure and from writing I get the clarity. What I like about my writing here is that this is not a condensed version of the book, this is not meant to convey exactly what the story said. As Chiang says "full of facts but devoid of feeling", this is exactly the opposite. Filled with feeling, devoid of facts.

"People are made of stories. Our memories are not the impartial accumulation of every second we’ve lived; they’re the narrative that we assembled out of selected moments. (...) Each of us noticed the details that caught our attention and remembered what was important to us, and the narratives we built shaped our personalities in turn."

Wondering about what we chose to remember and what builds our personality. But what if that wasn't true? What if we trick ourselves and remembering only a portion, we shape our personality in somehow a wrong way acting as it was the only truth. But even if we could remember everything, if we had the technological devices to remember, is it that the only way in which we build our personalities?

"Earlier I said that the details we choose to remember are a reflection of our personalities. What did it say about me that I put those words in Nicole’s mouth instead of mine?"

"We don’t normally think of it as such, but writing is a technology, which means that a literate person is someone whose thought processes are technologically mediated. We became cognitive cyborgs as soon as we became fluent readers, and the consequences of that were profound."

The two stories ended up being linked in a refined way. I'm completely biased in how much I enjoy reading Chiang and I won't spoil the ending if you happen to read this far and decide you want to read the story (you should). Chiang reminds me of my favorite short story authors, Cortázar and Borges, the ending of a story reveals and opens up a world that you haven't imagined so far and makes you remember the feeling even better than the words. What any piece of writing should do and what the most amazing authors always do; they make you feel.

"We rewrite our pasts to suit our needs and support the story we tell about ourselves."

As another detail of meta writing that funny enough refers to my own exercise of writing about this story, this next quote sums up what I just did. Reconstruct a story while telling another, become a less faithful Pierre Menard.

"But in my choice of which details to include and which to omit, perhaps I have just constructed another story."

F 0.4 — Read

What else is there to say that haven't been said by the hands of those that came before me. What is my thing, what is my writing about. I can't conjure the visions that others did, in a delicate and wrenching way. Making you feel pain in the anticipation of a final line where you can finally say "ah, relief" there is no relief here only hustle only going as fast as you can and as fast as your fingers allow you to go. There is no relief my friend, we don't get to be relieved of the angst and acute pain in the middle of the belly. We don't get relief from the words that are blurring rushing moving faster in your mind. Don't try to get them to stop because they will persist even harder, they will let you know how dumb of you to think that you're in control when you're not. You never were. You're an artist, a creator, a writer and your words are more important than your peace of mind, what is a piece of mind anyway, we don't get to be relieved. Just go on friend, go on in the journey because these words will be read and they won't be ready these words will be read and they won't be ready.

B 0.2 — How to: Fluxus

Random people can come together and make great things, things that will outlive them and inspire others.

My series about art manifestos, starts with Fluxus, the anti-art, interdisciplinary collective that built on top of what Duchamp and John Cage taught: experiment, use mundane objects and techniques, take art less seriously.

Fluxus was described by its members as a tendency, a laboratory, a meeting place without a defined artistic program. The key aspect that made them successful was the informal way of association based on ideas and the premise of fluid transformation.

"Fluxus rejects the idea of Fluxus as a specific group of people. It identifies Fluxus with a frame of action and defines Fluxus as a cumulative, aggregate of Fluxus activities."
Ken Friedman.

Framing themselves as a way of doing things, instead of identifying by a specific name or a limited denomination, they created practices that shaped our culture and how we perceive art and the world today. And they did it by coming together, setting intentions, experimenting, collaborating and documenting. By doing all of this intentionally.

Coming together

Between 1957 and 1959, the musician John Cage taught a class in experimental composition that brought together a myriad of characters that eventually will become one of the greatest scenes in music and experimental art. Dick Higgins (Fluxus co-founder) took the class in 1958, and George Maciunas (Fluxus co-founder) also took the class in 1960, when Cage was away and Richard Maxfield was the teacher.

About his course, Cage says “I wasn’t concerned with a teaching situation that involved a body of material to be transmitted by me to them.” His idea was to create a space for students to conduct experiments in different formats: music, performance, poetry. That later on they will discuss their practical and philosophical implications, and make presentations in the classroom. Many of the class attendants began a series of concerts, happenings and events in art galleries that shaped a generation of artists. With the compilation and publication of An Antology in 1963, they collectively created a landmark for the era.

This article by Gerard J Forde compiles what happened between 1959 and 1963, how many people knew each other and the events and artworks they created together. John Cage was the center of it, most of the events started after a class he took in Zen with Ray Johnson, Earl Brown, Morton Feldman and Jackson Mac Low. There was always a private reunion afterwards and it was a huge inspiration for the experimental composition class. Some of Cage's most important notions, like absence of sound, came from the lectures in Zen.

A remarkable amount of things came out of those years: artworks, dance companies, music, compositions, events, new concepts, friends. Mostly because "the course attracted a mix of visual artists, writers, and musicians and provided a space to explore ideas in an atmosphere of unbridled experimentation".

The aura of creation and collaboration, of people coming together to create with music inspired Dick Higgins to start the New York Audio Visual Group with Al Hansen and Larry Poons. And later on, will inspire George Maciunas to start the AG gallery, which will fail shortly after for lack of funds, making him move out of NY and go to Europe. There, he would work as a graphic designer and decided to start a magazine called Fluxus.

Like many other ventures that start as one thing to eventually become another, he started a festival called "Festum Fluxorum" to promote the magazine, then many festivals in various cities that will eventually become an art movement that was also a way of being.

Maciunas organized the first festival in Wiesbaden, Germany. With the presence of Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles and Emmett Williams, this was the official starting point of Fluxus as a movement. Higgins writes about how they usually stayed up late, figuring out what they were doing, discussing the implications, mapping the next steps and talking about the precursors and the historical references they were borrowing from. Like Hellenistic Greek visual poetry or Quirinus Kühlmann, a german visionary poet.

There was not an expectation for the group when the name came out. Dick Higgins notes: “this depended upon a fluid conception of group identity: anyone who wanted to do that kind of thing was Fluxus. (...) They stuck together to do Fluxus kinds of things, even when they were also doing other kinds of things at the same time.”

The name was important for coming and staying together, but it wasn't a description, it wasn't a defined identity. For Ken Friedman, Fluxus was "more valuable as an idea and a potential for social change than as a specific group of people or a collection of objects." It was more of a way of identifying with the ideas that the word "Fluxus" embodied. And those ideas were clear:

globalism,
the unity of art and life,
intermedia,
experimentalism,
chance,
playfulness,
simplicity,
implicativeness,
exemplativism,
specificity,
presence in time, and
musicality.

They may have had differences in approach or opinions. But they embodied these ideas and created things in collaboration with each other.

Setting intentions

Maciunas wrote the manifesto, in 1963, to set the intentions about what Fluxus (now a growing movement) was trying to achieve. He was a key role, a chairman and organizer, but Fluxus was beyond the manifesto. According to Higgins, the manifesto wasn't signed by most of the members, "It was already several years too late to write a proper manifesto setting out our program, as most movements have done. Maciunas later drafted one, but only a few people signed; we were too far along in our work and too diverse for that.". It still remains as a piece of writing and graphic art worth looking into. It was a tipping point, an object, something tangible and stable in the midst of constant change. The importance of the manifesto does not lay in their definitions, but its existence means there is something important to be said.

"Purge the world of bourgeois sickness, "intellectual", professional and commercialized culture, PURGE the world of dead art, imitation, artificial art, abstract art, illusionistic art, mathematical art, — purge the world of "europanism"! (...) Promote living art, anti-art, promote NON ART REALITY to be ~fully~ grasped by all peoples, not only critics (...) FUSE the cadres of cultural, social & political revolutionaries into united front & action."

Experimentation and collaboration

Eventually, a network of collaboration was created among the people that worked in Fluxus Festival. With small centers in different cities, they created many other festivals based on the same premise. Fluxus was the result of the coming together of artists from all over the world into conceptual community. Their activities and ideas were decentralized and the process of experimentation and collaboration was key.

"In Fluxus there has never been any attempt to agree on aims or methods; individuals with something unnameable in common have simply naturally coalesced to publish and perform their work. Perhaps this common something is a feeling that the bounds of art are much wider than they have conventionally seemed, or that art and certain long-established bounds are no longer very useful. At any rate, individuals (...) have discovered each other's work and found it nourishing (or something) and have grown objects and events which are original, and often uncategorizable, in a strange new way"
George Brecht.

The dynamic spirit of Fluxus gave artists a low stakes place to experiment. There were no mistakes or search for perfection, it was funded under the principles of creation, transformation and searching for new ways to build. The artwork was the process instead of a perfect final piece:

"The fixed-finished work began to be supplemented by the idea of a work as a process, constantly becoming something else, tentative, allowing more than one interpretation"
Dick Higgins

They did events and concerts of experimental music, exhibitions of found objects, where they shared the things that they liked, independent of who the public was. It was cheap and simple, focused on the everyday living art heritage from Duchamp and the experimental compositions of Cage. They rejected traditional standard studio practice and engaged in a multiplicity of techniques. Integrating each other in the practice and actively choosing alternative spaces for showing their art instead of traditional art galleries.

Even with the openness of the Fluxus community and their activities, the work can be described in three main categories: concerts, exhibitions and publications.

Documenting the process

In 1963, Dick Higgins funded Something Else Press. Using this platform to publish concrete poetry, intermedia texts and artworks, their intent was to develop a context for fluxus and intermedial art forms, so they could grow and reach the largest possible public, without losing their ethos.

There were differences between Higgins and Maciunas about their activities in relation to society, but they agreed on the goals of the publication. They both wanted to get ideas outside of their immediate circle and reach a larger public. Something Else Press was meant to be an alternative to the commercial publications and art galleries of the time.

The publishing allowed them to have a framework, but in order to achieve their goals they had to print different areas of writing and be experimental only in content, sticking to printing and binding in the traditional book format. They included new forms of fiction, novels and other works from past avant-garde artists, curating and understanding the goals of the initial Fluxus ideal. Higgins believed that "cultural innovation is cumulative, that each innovation adds to the store of possibilities and does not simply replace some earlier mode forever".

Something Else Press had to close in 1974 for lack of proper management, but Higgins continued publishing under a new name, Printed Editions. In this new press, books were produced by each author and sold through their existing network.

Dick Higgins was groundbreaking because of his many ways of creating art. He was a pioneer in computer art, mail art, thinking and creating with technology. He also created a theoretical base and coined the term Intermedia, related and unrelated to Fluxus. He wrote and edited multiple books. About documentation he says:

"It is important that the documents of the time be available somewhere besides in my own files. Too, my writings are complex and full of allusions; this is not to create mysteries but to enrich the fabric and draw on reality. It can be useful therefore that my files be open to anyone who needs them, and this would be impossible if the files were here in my church."

Because of Higgins writing, most of the Fluxus origins, ideas and events can be traced back. Hannah Higgins, daughter of Alison Knowles and Dick Higgins, continued writing and published a book called Fluxus Experience, collecting words, objects and performances directly from Fluxus artists. The nature of Fluxus was to change, but through written documents, we are able to trace back and understand how they did it.

And...

How can you define intentions in a type of art that wants to escape categories? You define a vibe, an idea, thoughts and practice grouped together that can apply to everything. As an activity of defining and never defining areas of participation.

In the end it was about taking themselves less seriously. Setting clear and loose intentions, Fluxus showed us that it is possible to delimit and escape labels at the same time. Possible to create meaningful movements, rooted in open experimentation and yet, traditional documentation of the process. Fluxus was light and had a sense of humor; the creation of serious art can only be done by the ones that never take art seriously.


Are.na channel with quotes and other links

Something Else Press: Great Bear Pamphlets

Two Sides of a Coin. Fluxus and the Something Else Press. Dick Higgins, pp. 143-153

F 0.3 — Personal user manual

Last year I wrote my first personal user manual and I decided to update it for two reasons. One, to make it shorter. My goal as a writer is to be as concise as possible. Two, because I gained a better understanding of myself. I'm always in the process of updating my beliefs and solving my shortcomings, updating this manual is a great way to make the changes visible for me and others.

What are some honest, unfiltered things about you?

I love learning and I'm great at it. I'm optimistic and earnest which may seem naive or idealistic. I'm a bit of everything, but I back up my optimism with data and long-term thinking.

Sometimes I take the difficult route because I love to challenge myself. This ends up to be time consuming; I'm learning how to ask for help from people that have more experience and are willing to help.

What drives you nuts?

Mess, not having everything labeled and categorized. I think naming my personal files and layers makes me more productive in the long term. Also, I don't like when people don't value my time or make wrong assumptions about who I am.

What are your quirks?

Sometimes I'm very strict, organized, mindful of my time and I expect the same from others. Took me a while, but now I understand that other people have other way of working and being that is also valid.

How can people earn an extra gold star with you?

By showing me a general direction that I can take to learn something new. I value clarity, having everything structured but also leaving some space for improvisation.

What qualities do you particularly value in people who work with you?

The most important attributes for me are being able to adapt, a multidisciplinary approach, creative problem solving and having a lot of hobbies! I think people that have a passion and find joy in their life out of work are the best people to be around. Not only they will be more interesting, they will also use some of their skills from other spheres to make more meaningful work.

What are some things that people might misunderstand about you that you should clarify?

Because I have so many interests, sometimes people think I lack focus or strategic thinking. The former is half true, I enjoy dabbling at multiple projects at the time but everything I do is working towards a long term goal. I value my time and I'm aware at how I spend every moment. I rarely do something out of boredom, everything fits in a bigger picture.

How do you coach people to do their best work and develop their talents?

I believe in people. I think everyone has a secret super power that can be enhanced by understanding themselves, their shortcomings and advantages.

I learned this by teaching roller derby bootcamps for all levels. Some people only need a nudge of confidence to become their best self.

What’s the best way to communicate with you?

Email is still the best way to communicate with me. I keep my inbox tidy, always under 10 emails. If you want me to do something, send me an email about it. I can communicate in Discord and Slack, but email is always preferred.

What’s the best way to convince you to do something?

If that something that fits my overall interests and if I can learn something new out of it. Because that is a broad definition, I usually take a look at how it fits in my current goals. If something makes sense in the long-term, I'll do it without hesitation.

How do you like to give feedback?

I ask a lot of questions, almost Socratic I guess, to understand what information would be the most useful for the person to know. If there isn't something, I think just talking out loud with someone usually gets the job done.

How do you like to get feedback?

I like people to be straightforward and give me feedback directly. I rarely take it personal. I prefer to have a big chunk of feedback to work through because I enjoy solving problems on my own, but I also know that sometimes getting feedback earlier is better. It depends on the situation. I'm aware that I don’t know how to do everything and I still have plenty of technical skills to master, I'm always open to feedback.

Structured research 0.2 — Lenguajes para la reconstrucción

“What matters is not to know the world but to change it. "
F. Fanon
"I will overcome the tradition of silence."
G. Anzaldúa

Los lenguajes pueden ser una herramienta tanto de destrucción como de construcción. Ya Fanon afirma en el capítulo "The Negro and Language": "What we are getting at becomes plain: Mastery of language affords remarkable power." (FANON, 2008, p. 9). A su vez, Anzaldúa en el capítulo "How to tame a wild tongue" afirma "Even our own people, other Spanish speakers nos quieren poner candandos en la boca. They would hold us back with their bag of reglas de academia"(ANZALDÚA, 2008, p. 54). Estos dos autores, de manera diferente, articulan las estrategias tanto externas como internas para utilizar el lenguaje en contra de los individuos colonizados. Basada en estos dos capítulos, defiendo una versión donde las mismas estrategias son usadas de manera inversa, para la creación de lenguajes propios en búsqueda de una reconstrucción.

En este texto usaré las versiones en inglés de los dos autores, intencionalmente, como ejercicio propio de poder y de escritura; a forma de una meta escritura, tomando prestadas las técnicas de Anzaldúa.

Fanon investiga como y por qué los individuos de pueblos colonizados adoptan las culturas de los paises colonizadores. Se hace mas "apropiado" y mas blanca una persona que habla otro idioma, que adopta las ropas y las condiciones culturales de países europeos. Al adoptar una cultura diferente y rechazar la nuestra propia, encontramos un nuevo poder: el de ser temido por los compatriotas. "The one who expresses himself well, who has mastered the language, is inordinately feared." (FANON, 2008, p. 11).

Por su parte, Anzaldúa analiza las mismas prácticas de adopción desde varios puntos de vista. Desde la rebelión, con el Pachuco que va en contra del español e inglés estándar. O desde la evolución y el cambio, lenguajes que van evolucionando de acuerdo a los diferentes nuevos asentamientos y a las personas que viven en ellos. Su mirada es desde las fronteras, por ende "what recourse is left to them but to create their own language?"(ANZALDÚA, 2008, p. 55).

Con todo, tanto en Fanon como en Anzaldúa, la adopción de un nuevo lenguaje parece significar la mutilación del propio. "Because we internalize how our language has been used against us by the dominant culture, we use our language differences against each other" (ANZALDÚA, 2008, p. 58). Así mismo, mediante la modificación de los acentos propios, los dialectos, las expresiones: "One avoides Creolisms. Some families completely forbid the use of Creole"(FANON, 2008, p. 10).

Tanto desde el punto de vista externo como el interno, sobran las dificultades a ser consideradas cuando se piensa el lenguaje. Sin embargo, bajo la afirmación: "Gelb and Goldstein have shown us that the function of language is also broken into periods and steps" (FANON, 2008, p. 16), entendemos que cada periodo tiene particularidades a ser tenidas en cuenta. Los problemas de la época de los autores no están tan lejos de los de la nuestra, así mismo, tenemos unos nuevos, en particular aquellos provenientes de los medios de comunicación.

No nos es posible en la actualidad separarnos de las condiciones en las que nacimos, ni de las condiciones que fuimos forzados a adoptar. La solución parece estar más allá de solo renunciar a un lenguaje y optar por el silencio; o sumergirse completamente en la cultura ajena. Es importante enfatizar que "historically, it must be understood that the Negro wants to speak French because it is the key that can open doors which were still barred to him fifty years ago" (FANON, 2008, p. 25).

Estas puertas no pueden ser cerradas, es preciso inventar las formas de utilización de los lenguajes para reconstruir nuestras identidades. Y no solo las identidades: "Every dialect is a way of thinking." (FANON, 2008, p. 14). Será posible a su vez pensar y relacionarnos de una forma diferente. Usando las dislocaciones existentes, donde tanto interna como externamente, el lenguaje contiene posibilidades para crear nuevos hábitos y lugares donde habitar.

Mi propósito es análogo al de Fanon cuando afirma: "What I want to do is to help the black man to free himself of the arsenal of complexes that has been developed by the colonial environment."(FANON, 2008, p. 19). Parte de esta liberación, puede consistir en la creación de nuevos dialectos.

Si cada dialecto es una forma de pensar, nuevos dialectos pueden traer nuevas formas de pensar, de conectarnos con los otros. Los antecedentes de estos nuevos lenguajes son presentados cuando Anzaldúa analiza las capacidades propias de los múltiples idiomas hablados en las fronteras. "A language which they can connect their identity to, one capable of communicating the realities and values true to themselves - a language with terms that are neither español ni inglés, but both." (ANZALDÚA, 2008, p. 55).

La creación de múltiples lenguajes puede obedecer a la definición: "because we are complex, heterogeneous people, we speak many languages" (ANZALDÚA, 2008, p. 55). Dichas formas no necesariamente precisan obedecer a reglas oficiales, ni a límites de naciones. Las culturas sobrepasan las fronteras territoriales, así mismo:"to speak a language is to take on a world, a culture" (FANON, 2008, p. 25). Es posible crear formas de comunicarse que correspondan a formas plurales de vivir, lenguajes que sean vivientes y que permitan la reconstrucción de nuestras identidades.

Bibliografía:
FANON, Frantz. Black Skin, White Masks. London: Pluto Press, 2008.
ANZALDÚA, Gloria. Borderlands: the new mestiza = La Frontera. San Francisco: Aunt Lute, 1987.

F 0.2 — Who is a writer

I was listening to Bill Evans and reading a James Baldwin interview the day I realized I was a writer. I had to stop my train of thought and get out of bed at 8:26 am, 8°C in the strange winter of Curitiba.

How can I show where I am right now, how can I show who I am right now if it wasn't for this words that come out of me.

I'm still not sure about what I want to say but I feel the desire to write.

I see my drafts and everything I want to say. Until today, I was writing trying to say something to someone. The abstract reader I have in mind when I'm re-writing and editing.

From this sentence on, I'm writing for myself. As I always do.

What is it that I want to say? What is the thing that makes me go out of bed and start typing in the mornings?

Is the desire, burning inside of things that I want to say. After staying quiet for so long, waiting for permission to speak (not literally, but almost).

I've said this before: I used to stay quiet and pretend I was dumb in order to socialize and I accepted that as my life.

Re-learning how to speak and have my own voice, understanding that I don't need permission and I just need to say the things out loud. With confidence. My voice matters, what I have to say matters.

I still feel the fire building inside me, in my belly, telling me to keep going. There is something to explore, something here that wants to come out.

Learning how to hear what my body is saying have been so beautiful and rewarding. I started to recognize when something is painful because it makes my belly shake, hurts. Then something wants to come out and is a fire, a desire, a burning orange flame that makes me move and create. Then is the tension, that is almost always with me and sits between my shoulders and my neck, in the middle of my back and is only released with dancing or meditation. Or sex, but that is something I'm not going to discuss right now.

I don't know what it means to be a writer. I don't want to put names for myself than then I have to live up to.

Do I have to write a novel to be a writer? Publish? Be recognized as one in order to become one? By whom?

Is annoying to think about it and I feel something between my ribcage and my chest.

Fear is keeping me from writing more and I'm not sure if I have to push through or not. This is in general, for right now and for the rest of the drafts I have here.

They are going to see the light, for sure. Just no idea when.
(What is it about time that interests me so much?)

And this is not about making commitments, I don't have to commit to write, I do it because of the desire inside me.

Accepting that I'm a writer means I'm going to read more, think more, publish more and write with a different sense of determination.

--

A part of life is sitting in the discomfort of your own thoughts. Maybe writing is my way to let go of that discomfort by experiencing it deeply and trying to describe what it feels like. Hoping that is going to go away as soon as I describe it correctly.

Someone told me a few days ago that I was good at describing and explaining what was going on. I can only say that it is a conversation and it has two ways. I can only describe things exactly to someone willing to listen and to the people I think are going to understand me.

In a way, I only write for the people that want to read me and are willing to understand what I'm saying. Some sort of mystic impulse that drives people close or apart. I'm sure the right reader is reading this right now, but while I'm writing I am the right reader now.

In a different moment, someone is going to read this and is not going to be 9am of a sunday at 8°C, you're not going to be without glasses squinting over a screen, trying to understand what is this about. It is not a cold morning, you're not feeling alone and sad while listening Lonely Woman by Ornette Coleman. Is another reality that you're living in, but the words are the same. The words I'm typing now.

I realized that I'm a writer after reading a James Baldwin interview, at 8:26am, 8°C in a sunday.

And I accept this self-imposed label, in a solemn way, but I've always been a writer.


27.04.21

No one becomes a writer by accident, I have been writing my whole life.

F 0.1 — Why is everything about anything

Tired of pretending that life is a game for points I guess I should let myself just be today, stop everything and rest into the conviction of a new day tomorrow.

"Every human problem must be considered from the standpoint of time." F.F.

Why I wish to have eternal motivation and happiness and feel amazing everyday instead of just be, breathe and stay in the flow and ebb of whatever every day brings.
Why must everything should be about anything. Words on a blog, language, matter, energy, whatever.
This is not about anything, this is about the thing I have inside me, the desire to create. The burning, that thing, they call it passion, I call it my blessing, my vision, my inner fire.

Classified and numbered because I believe this will be read one day, someone will spend time writing about my writing and understanding why someone took the time to catalog and create * so * many * things *
Don't let me be wrong, I will be read.

A 0.1 — Intentional experimentation

Intentional experimentation of digital things that informs my theory.

--

I will experiment with digital things for the next seven years. In the form of creation, learning, reading, collaboration and actual working with clients and friends.
Even with a long term vision, I can't commit to explore everything.

My method will be to slowly approach the spaces that I find the most interesting, related to the concepts that are relevant according to my knowledge of philosophy and art theory.

I will then document the process, the outcomes and the insights. Writing about why that is interesting from the point of view of philosophical concepts.

I want my theory to come from a deep understanding of how digital things work and I want my experimentation to be informed by the ideas that I explore. It will be a cycle, that reflects itself into my work, my theory and my creative practice.

Structured research 0.1 — Imaginación, contracción y hábito en Deleuze

La repetición solamente puede ser entendida mediante la diferencia.
Esta es la paradoja de la repetición, que busca resolverse al
entender el cambio. El cambio entre casos repetitivos ocurre en el
espíritu que contempla, mediante la imaginación definida como poder
de contracción.

En el segundo párrafo del capítulo dos de Diferencia y Repetición (en
adelante DR), Deleuze explica que los casos separados y semejantes se
funden en una imaginación que contrae y actúa como placa sensible.
La imaginación tiene un papel doble: primero contrae casos y
elementos; después, los funde internamente en el espíritu.

Deleuze enfatiza que la contracción no es una reflexión y que la
imaginación no actúa como memoria o como operación del
entendimiento. La memoria y el entendimiento son síntesis activas,
que se superponen y se apoyan sobre la síntesis pasiva de la
imaginación. Para efectos prácticos, en este trabajo me enfocaré
en los momentos de la contracción como imaginación y como hábito
dentro de la síntesis pasiva.

La imaginación como contracción, en principio, forma una síntesis del
tiempo, que contrae los instantes sucesivos independientes para
constituir el presente viviente. Sobre este presente, se despliega el
tiempo, al cual pertenecen el pasado y el futuro.

Importante notar que éstos no son momentos distintos, sino dimensiones del
mismo presente contraído. Al desplegarse, revela un doble carácter:
va del pasado al futuro; de lo particular a lo general. En el pasado
"en la medida en que los instantes precedentes son retenidos en
la contracción" (p. 120, DR) y en "el futuro, porque la
espera es anticipación en esta misma contracción" (p. 120,
DR).

La contracción, es el punto en común, intermedio, desde los instantes
particulares contraídos, hacia la generalidad desarrollada en la
espera. Esta es la síntesis pasiva, esencialmente constituyente, que
se hace en el espíritu que contempla. La imaginación entonces es
el primer momento de la contracción, que opera sobre los instantes
particulares.

En un segundo momento encontramos que "el hábito es, en su
esencia, contracción" (p. 124, DR). Podemos entender la
contracción en el hábito de dos maneras: en un nivel, la
contracción designa un elemento activo en oposición a la
distención. En otro nivel, designa la fusión de instantes sucesivos
en la alma contemplativa, es decir, como síntesis pasiva. El hábito
como contracción es "la fusión de esta repetición en el
espíritu que contempla" (p. 124, DR).

En este sentido, la imaginación es el inicio del movimiento de
contracción y el hábito es la continuación. Los instantes
separados son contraídos y retenidos a través de la imaginación,
en el pasado, y se funden en el espíritu mediante el hábito.

Inicialmente, "el hábito sonsaca a la repetición algo nuevo: la
diferencia" (p. 124, DR) posteriormente se establece que ese
mismo es el papel de la imaginación "sonsacar a la repetición
algo nuevo, sonsacarle la diferencia" (p. 127, DR). Lo que
aparecía como una instancia única, es en realidad una instancia
doble.

La imaginación tiene el papel de hacer habitar la repetición en la
diferencia desde dos puntos de vista que confluyen haciendo de ella
un centro cuya función es duplicar. El primer punto de vista,
entendida como un espacio. En longitud, la diferencia habita la
repetición cuando pasa de un orden a otro en la repetición
instantánea a la síntesis pasiva. En profundidad, cuando la
diferencia pasa de un orden de repetición a otro, en las
síntesis pasivas. El segundo punto de vista, entendida como "la
repetición material y desnuda, la repetición dicha de lo mismo, es
la envoltura exterior, como una piel que se deshace, para un núcleo
de diferencia y de las repeticiones internas más complicadas"
(p. 128, DR)

En estas dos metáforas, relativas a un espacio, se resume el papel de
la imaginación dentro de las síntesis pasiva. Dos órdenes de
diferencia: La interna, en longitud y profundidad; la externa, en
envoltura y centro. Hacer pasar de un orden de diferencia a otro; he
ahí el movimiento doble de lo imaginario.

B 0.1 — Articulate intentions

My interest in art manifestos began almost ten years ago, after I got interested in Dadá. Theirs must have been the first one I read; striking, clear, against everything. "Dadá means nothing", Tzara writes, "A work of art should not be beauty in itself, for beauty is dead;". He shows an understanding and a disdain of art, central to Dadaism anti-art character.

Forgot about the existence of Manifestos until I found and saw Manifesto. A movie, a documentary, a collage of the most famous art manifestos. From there the concept have been in my mind, lurking and coming together now into this unstructured research that I'm planting now and I will be nurturing for the upcoming days, months and/or years.

Art manifestos teach us how to articulate in a few, concise bullet points what our intentions are and why.

"A manifesto is a communication made to the whole world, whose only pretension is to the discovery of an instant cure for political, astronomical, artistic, parliamentary, agronomical and literary syphilis. It may be pleasant, and good-natured, it's always right, it's strong, vigorous and logical. Apropos of logic, I consider myself very likeable." — Tristan Tzara

A0 — Active creativity

How can we cultivate our projects and ideas and make them flourish instead of getting discouraged because what you're doing is unconventional or too far away from reality?

Active Creativity: do whatever you want to do, with consistency.

Remove artificial constraints.

Permissionless creation.

What is unstructured research

Notes about the concepts I find interesting.

An exercise to pause, reflect and integrate the things I'm reading and learning about. In no particular order; without a visible structure.

"Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow... The kick of creation is the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward. I would tell all of you watching this screen: Before you go to bed, write a four line poem. Make it as good as you can. Don't show it to anybody. Put it where nobody will find it. And you will discover that you have your reward."

— Kurt Vonnegut

Three things to enjoy

Sept 20

I decided to pause this series of recommendations. This was good as a proof to myself that I can be consistent and stick to something for a while. It was also a good way to explore new things and start to get more confident at sharing.

I'm going to keep sharing, but I'm shifting to creation instead of recollection.

Sept 6

  1. This review of Ted Chiang's Exhalation
  2. This cool thing, just open the link and drag your mouse.
  3. An online puzzle! I made this one based on an image by Studio Feixen

Aug 30

  1. Baby Snake, by Ramiz Rovshan a poet from Azerbaijan
  2. This interview of Sun Ra, Helsinki 1978. (Video 9:06 min)
  3. These diagrams from Stan Allen

Aug 23

  1. An interview of James Baldwin
  2. An Isolation Odyssey, by Lydia Cambron (Video, 12:04 min)
  3. Four poems by Idea Vilariño, a poet from Uruguay

Aug 16

  1. The making of MILCAPS (video, 3:40 min), from the mind of one of my favorite artists: Marcelí Antúnez Roca
  2. The notebooks of Ana Frois, architect and visual artist from Portugal.
  3. An interview about cumbia from Mario Galeano Torres (5:37 min), a Colombian musician.

August 9

  1. Fading, an experimental short film (11 min) with amazing music by Donavon. By Jackson Tisi.
  2. The new album of Frente Cumbiero and Minyo Crusaders. Minyo Cumbiero: From Tokyo to Bogota
  3. Visual poetry by Erica Baum: The melody indicator.

July 21

  1. One song. Pais nublado, from Helado Negro.
  2. One article. Nina Simone on Time from brainpicker
  3. A video about gardens

July 26

  1. This cumbia playlist, for a chill and happy mood
  2. "La inconsistencia de lo visible" by Nicolas Lamas. A peruvian contemporary artist.
  3. The graphic design work of Okuyama Taiki.

July 19

  1. This Magritte painting
  2. A video of mountains, waves and the sea (1:39) From Morgan Maseen
  3. Two paragraphs and the beautiful images on the Tristan Tzara house designed by Adolf Loos