Monday, March 23, 2009

from Benedict Anderson, Imagined Communities...

In the modal feudal journey, the heir of Noble A, on his father's death, moves up one step to the father's place. This ascension requires a round-trip, to the centre for investiture, and then back home to the ancestral demesne. For the new functionary, however, things are more complex. Talent, not death, charts his course, He sees before him a summit rather than a centre. He travels up its corniches in a series of looping arcs which, he hopes, will become smaller and tighter as he nears the top. Sent out to township A at rank V, he may return to the capital at rank W; proceed to province B at rank X; continue to vice-royalty C at rank Y; and end his pilgrimage in the capital at rank Z. On this journey there is no assured resting-place; every pause is provisional. The last thing the functionary wants is to return home; for he HAS no home with any intrinsic value. And this: on his upward-spiralling road he encounters as eager fellow-pilgrims his functionary colleagues, from places and families he has scarcely heard of and surely hopes never to have to see. But in experiencing them as traveling-companions, a consciousness of connectedness ("Why are WE ... HERE ... TOGETHER?) emerges, above all when all share a single language of state.

Friday, February 6, 2009

I had a dream that I was upstate- I think I morphed/amalgamated a beautiful rustic location for the center for book arts with a special retreat place that belonged to WSW, not belonged, but belonged to someone they are friends with and i'd been too before. it was in a verdant, big-sur like woods (but small-scale, east coast) and on a slight rise and i was walking around the outside with someone talking about how it was this amazing place but impossible to photograph - eg this main area that was like a warren of conjoined small log cabins, but we were saying it was just impossible to get back from it enough to take a picture (and weirdly the structure and the fact that in the beginning i was doing marbling in the rustic cba space with dexter sinister and stuart was really anxious). Many details of this dream make me equate it with present work and task related stress, this wood installation that is not getting to france in time for an exhibition etc. Yet the place was amazing, and right before i woke up, or right before i became aware of needing to pee in a way that made me aware of dreaming, i was walking down a path realizing that it was 8.30 and growing dark and time to drive back to the city or wherever, a couple of hours, and i caught a whiff of some woodsy smell that i associated with childhood/long lost places, and i had to sit down and cry.