6 days in. 5 minutes out. It has to start somewhere somehow. Took a walk in between after/before, during these days/nights. The phone refuses to ring. Behind doors under self pronounced house arrest. Broken on its own, waiting for practically nothing. All the people met, heard—from the outside, on the silver screen. Yes, and the world wide web. Too many stories, overwhelming and confusing. What's real is, nothing, nobody is speaking. The unreal, the made up was supposed to be convincing. What's morally right, what's not. The mind is trashed, practically a couch potato. It stopped working, stuck and expired for right about 16/17/18/19 days. First move and without counter, waiting and counting and waiting, no results. Mister Gray, the vegetarian family in Fox, the wild things and names forgotten. It's not meant to be like that. Is a constant monologue considered a process. Is there a process when there's no communication, no contact. People known from before, and all that refusal to acknowledge such a relationship that had started and perhaps ended. It has got to be a punishment, like a karma chameleon only unlike the summer of colors. It's not at all exciting. No. Hideous peach trousers, Dunhill lights and bad pasta. "Happiness is only real when shared," he realized as he went into the wild. Amazon is not the answer. The purchase overdue. There'd got to be an exchange, like a puppy wanting all your love and affection. Stop asking and quit dancing with yourself. Move on but how, not now. Maybe you did, maybe you don't. Your heart will not be a hand-me-down. It's not even going around nor a step taken. Not up to no good, wasting time, killing time, building castles on clouds for unintended liars. The creamer is not talking. In Wonderfalls, pink flamingos, wax lions and wound up penguins talk. Most likely the representation of a love sick ass myself. The neighbors unseen except the strange african Chris, perhaps the other south asian in the opposite door that both in suspicion but never greeted and all the banging of the door behind the thin walls. Slammed or unlocked, always either. Garbage from fly tippers, screaming teens and the overcharging local only good for oyster. Tea drank at the missed temperature in this carpeted England. Homeless Santa on Oxford street and the palace that relocated half a year ago. Filled with too much drama and fantasy created by others that this reality seem more like a joke. An unwritten and unexpected journey is supposed to be celebrated yet it is rather ironic knowing its limits, ironic without knowledge. The rats, very big rats, are messing up the front lawn; but didn't dare to take a peek through those dusty blinds. The sound of the broken glass bottles against the pavement, the over-revved motorcycles as they pass in the night and the unbearable squeaking london bus brakes. If you could talk to me. 3/2/1/0 days and it's supposed to be a brand new year. Numbers, digits, however it's named; days, months, the year—a measurement of time, a representation—process. History, memory, the proof of one's existence. Life, passing by every second. Every blink of the cursor. Distractions, indulgence, the desperate desire for one's attention, for one's affection. The repulsion of reality. The adrenaline addiction. The nicotine and caffeine for taking that one stubborn distraction off the mind, always too short for comfort. Doing things you don't actually enjoy doing. Inflicting uncalled for self misery, suffocating, drowning in one's sorrows. Emotional negativism, hopeless indulgences are not experiments nor part of the process of anything—beneficial. Dysfunctional. Split. This entire 'the grass is greener on the other side' is satanic. Constantly stepping into melancholy. Since the entire world hates you already, your sorrows will be least of anyone's concern. Thus without an associate, the process which kind of is a set or series of actions directed to some end or simply the action of going forward, will no longer be a process. There can't be a process when nothing is happening and all that conceptualization of an infatuation or yearning will not be part of the process unless something is done, physically and perhaps not mentally. Be happy, be happy, that's all they tell you, that's it. Happiness, obviously, can't be taught. What makes you happy? Happiness verses pleasure. Bentham found pain and pleasure to be the only intrinsic values in the world, deriving the rule of utility: the good is whatever brings the greatest happiness to the greatest number of people. The altar of scraps and pieces of useless memories, stolen thoughts, articles of meaningless conversations, probably altered, drawings from kids I'd and will never meet, pictures of strangers and their objects, books that belonged to someone else from before, the jumper from a car boot sale—so what? What have they become of? An exhibition for no one outside of its scope. The dripping tap gets me, the constant tat from the neighbor's shower irritates. The burning cigarette with ashes falling on the keypad, the outgrown hair and the rumbling tummy. The silence getting louder itches the ears, the uncirculated air in this room with a fold-up bed and a kitchen in the cabinet and this automated spell check on text pad. I'm not in paris nor an artist, neither a writer, just a stupid student trying to do—art. And it blinks and keeps blinking till the next thought gets translated into words. Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, then Late Modern English. The history, the process of translation till today. "…paralyzed with wonder, and the boys with fear…" It has to reach an audience. An application. A cause. A use. Okay, it has to reach somebody. (In)sane rattling gets nowhere. I'm in love with Jaye Tyler. Lyrics in a song led to reminiscences; twenty years, maybe more, sitting on daddy's shoulders, almost crystal clear. Words led to situations past, scenarios led to unpromising flashbacks, pictures about today, people we spoke to yesterday. Like a child, we wish upon a falling star; wish you weren't so far. I'd closed my eyes but watched you slipped away. After awhile, couple of days, take the time, it can only get better. What would you talk about in a conversation with her. There was a friend, maybe 2, we could talk on the phone for hours for hours to sleep, now—we haven't, at all. There is this other friend, we couldn't talk on the phone, now—we have, not on a phone. The phone is jinx. I don't use it anymore. I only have pictures, some and very limited words. Sneak out of that door. What will my mama do, what will my daddy say if they knew about you. Are you on your way. I should forget. Take it easy. If everyone experiences a different process, why is their outcome similar. The trendsetters and the followers. The cycle. The rain in the sun, the foxes roam the rainbow over the horizon. Jump into the pool. The new dimension. It's the last day of the year. Human interactions, not too good with that. New year's resolution, just gotta have one—move on.
La version et les nots anglais
Sunday, 6 December '09
Instead of selling flowers on the square and before the sky becomes grey—we must learn to love the rain. Took the train to Gatwick and off we go, to Lyon and as planned, the rendezvous in Ville de Valence. With us the bags we made and in us the unbeaten hearts. Don't be shy, lets cause a scene.
By Romanians' fault and the alert on the system; first stop—Lyon Airport Security. We waited. The story of SScott began. No cuffs, just a stamp and a delighted policeman. A short transfer to the centre of Lyon and an introduction to SScott's which was a pleasure. Got off the bus 'round the corner of Avenue Rockefeller to Gare de Lyon and found ourselves no baggage lockers. Off to Charpennes then to Hôtel de Ville, dropped off the bags and pâte feuilletée for lunch on the square. Fête des Lumières in Lyon on the first day we arrived and Fête des Lumières in Ville de Valence on the last day we had to leave, both—we missed.
Trompe L'Oeil on walls, b/w stripped pavements/columns, street lamps wrapped in colours, slightly-short pedestrian traffic lights and a backdrop of the mysterious mountain as we passed every street in parallel. The crowd multiplied subtly, bands of red indians making music and a supposedly organized crowd-control metro system with barricades and signs made the journey time consuming and definitely confusing. George Brecht's chairs, couple of the others labeled 'art'—I, wondered, the rustic bronze spiral slides in corners and caught in the act of thievery at the Xe Biennale de Lyon.
Lost the time and missed the train. An hour and a half late, we arrived in the unexpected Ville de Valence. SScott and myself were warmly welcomed to the cozy home of AudS and CamS, pass midnight.
Monday, 7 December '09
"Bonjour Valence!" Pain au chocolat and coffee for breakfast. And off we went to the ghetto in AudS not so little white car, driven indifferently. Bumped onto EddC on his cycle on the road and soon found ourselves on the compound of ERBA. An oversized white tentage in the middle of a mostly quiet residential area, like a make-do traveling circus, it sat—unknown to the neighbors. Countless different worlds behind the walls as you walk through doors on painted floors; their thoughts and all the unspoken wars. Space. An enviously perfect printing studio and film rolls are free.
MarG + MakS, black top red bottoms. Spread the word, given a brief and created partners-in-crime. ReyP and myself soon found us to be in the dream team as the days passed; according to SScott, we'd been avoiding each other. It made them laugh. I reckon it wasn't too bad. It's the process, it's not always only about work for/and work. It's a way of life—the people we meet, the people we converse with, the people we share a meal with, the people we make merry with, the people who welcomed us into their homes, the people we secretly fall in love with. Their stories, their sorrows, their joy and they might well be our brand new meilleure amie. The surprises we find right here in an unexpecting Ville de Valence. An exchange or a workshop; however it's labeled—c'est la vie.
Took a walk from the ghetto to the centre of town with ReyP and the quietness of the streets got me. It was peaceful except the soft running engines of vehicles on the road, as if almost abandoned, everywhere. The 70s right here a decade past the millennium, the surrounding mountains and the castle on it made it indescribably mesmerizing. Heard about the donkeys in the mountains only couple of days later.
Caught up with GFereday and (R)oman as they searched for their secret hideout. Grabbed some wine, cheese and saucisson from the super-markt and had a communal lunch at AudS + CamS. Perfect. Close to having a collective nap, we split, in search of our places.
The black house on the hill next to the cemetery. The short cut through the ever expanding graveyard. No creeps six feet under, only memories floating in the air. Their lives, their death. Never a familiar feeling. Pass the motorway, the showrooms, the flats and an empty playground. Found us on Le Parc Jean Perdrix and deux châteaux d’eau futuristes (by sculptor Philolaos Tloupas and architect André Gomis) in revolving sight. A static motion, the indefinite change in perception each gradual movement you make. Too perfect, too beautiful. The lake, the greens, the hungry pigeons, the swimming ducks, the conspicuous men and their dogs. The twin towers for the 'V' of 'Valence'. The tabby cat guarding piscine tournesol. A convertible swimming pool by Bernard Schoeller as part of project '1000 pools'; it's back to the future. It's strange and it's charming, unlike the boy next door. Tabby followed us for a bit. Then a coke and back in the tent. We still haven't found what we're looking for.
Communal dinner at GaiV + ReyP. More cheese and more wine. Stories exchanged and stunts up our sleeves. Subjective criticism swapped and tips given. Back to bed by 2 in the morning.
Tuesday, 8 December '09
Magenta team in the offset printing room. Unfinished before lunch hour. ReyP continued and I sneaked out on a little trip to Emmaüs with BasB, GaiV, SScott and PedP. The drive out of town was peaceful. The odd shape of a part of the mountain, the open field, the anxious hearts and the setting sun. Incidental and accidental searches, we each took more than a piece out. The picturesque scene as we drove pass the towns, a myriad of flickering lights in the distance incomparable of any other cities we'd been. The missed opportunities—that's it.
"Créer des oeuvres d'auteurs vivants" Not exactly stolen wine and snacks for the night at the theatre. Languages bartered, secrets uncovered. Movie screening passed and performance skipped—we drank, again. And soon after moved to Le Malvern across the street from Gare de Valence Ville. A drunk soldier, a lying waiter and more wine gulped as the pub was closing. Bonne nuit.
Wednesday, 9 December '09
A rather unproductive day, at least of what I remember. A short discussion with ReyP about our change of location from the châteaux d’eau to piscine tournesol. Spoke of absurdity and relevance, spoke of donkey basketball then cheese rolling. Reckon it was going to be 1000 Idées Absurdes Ville de Valence par ReyP et JlsO and somehow came to the conclusion of 1000Valence in the next day. Very Valence/ You and me and everyone we know in Valence/ I ♥ VAL/ Saving Valence/ Run Valence Run/ etc. We meant—an alternative guide to Valence by a thousand reasons. The hidden beauty of Valence.
MarG + MakS prepared lunch. Waited too long, we left for the grannies' shop. Opens only from 14:30 to 17:00 every Wednesdays and Fridays. Heaps of clothing categorized in cardboard boxes, neatly hung jackets and dresses, shoes on shelves, stacks of books and tons of others stashed away. A hidden room behind the door filled with bottoms arranged by sizes. Found an accordion for CamS musical collection. We waited impatiently as SScott made her purchases, the lovely old ladies calculated unhurriedly; we needed lunch which we'd already missed. "Allez!"
By the time we got back, ReyP had to go and for the millionth time, we avoided each other again. Then it's back to AudS + CamS for yet another communal dinner and drinks. A raclette and potato feast, we savored. We spoke. They sang.
In the late of the night, some on bikes and others strolled. Climbed over the spiked gate and found us in an abandoned pool discovered by CamS + PedP. Sat on the edge of the diving board over dark waters, explored the compound, cranked open locked doors with a metal rod and an iPhone torch, moved the beach chairs, nicked the hangers, made a wee bit of commotion and gathered it was time to retreat. Next stop was the urban castle. Up the spiral stairway like in a David Lynch film; the fortress was packed. We shunned. Don't forget to breathe.
Thursday, 10 December '09
Half ten in the morning, ReyP and myself went on a walkabout. Fingers crossed in search of that 1000 valence/reasons on the streets of Ville de Valence. Could have and not been relevant, incidental spots and situational places recorded on camera. Accidental findings and forceful contextualizations. Lost and found, perhaps not. Off track, I thought so. Took a ride back to ERBA with ReyP and MakS. GaiV's and MatM's sancocho for lunch—divine! without doubt.
A ladder way oversized for the car, pails of papier-mâché, bags of grass and seeds, color pigments packed in plastic cups. With the back door of the car unclosed, (R)0man under the ladder in the back seat, the top sticking out and its end on my back. We drove, without much vigilance to the park where the statue stood that SScott + AudS had chosen to fix. The headlights of the car from a distance, the girls climbed up the statue and sculpted the head of the once headless baby, in the dark. It was convincing ultimately.
Mission accomplished. We head back for more raclette and x'mas ale for dinner. Shuffle party down the street at LioB's. Dipsy dancing through the night with stolen wine and unintentionally ended up in the wrong apartment, only to find each other awkwardly on the wrong side of the door 7 in the morning. It was a good laugh.
Friday, 11 December '09
To the motorway out of town further out south. Les valseuses remade, 3.5 decades later. ReyP as Pierrot, BasB as Jean-Claude and GaiV for Miou-Miou's role. Superb sun for the film despite the unbearable wind. They hitchhiked. Vehicles honked. Concerned cops pulled over for reassurance. A kind soul stopped by only to realize that it was not for real. A bottle of coke fell off, it was hilarious. Cut.
Back to the tent. MarG' + MakS', mostly in french, presentation was heavy for a non-french listener. I drifted, off and away.
Missed piscine tournesol and reassembled in all directions. Over the rainbow path, by books categorized. Broken glass bottles over the walls onto the roof. The quest for the hidden waterfall began. Down the stairway between 2 indistinct blocks after Shotokai Karatedo, you hear the heavy splashes echoing from the back. You listen as they speak.
Pass the park and through the woods, the expedition continued. A baby reborn and seeds for the birds in his mother's pocket. Subtly reunited, come spring shall they be distinguished. We observed as they discussed. Soon after, through the reserved neighborhood, cross the highway as it got further into dusk, we boarded the half sunk ship and watched the flag flew. The illuminated trail towards the sleepy mountains. The silhouettes against the calm waters. Somewhat surreal. Followed the pathway and off the beaten track then back onto trail. We braved the harsh wind and continued the peregrinate on the breakwater in search for the motorway of the sun. The brick tower as a viewing platform in both the direction of the river across and of the sky above—breathtaking. Valence revealed in various approaches and thats not it. Thereafter, a pressing shop left unopened for years, the articles remained untouched and forgotten. We celebrated The Last Lap/Call that we all missed, with hot chocolate and Kronenberg in a local bar.
Beer for dinner, pizza for supper and rum for pleasure. Classic!
Saturday, 12 December '09
A mellow last day in Valence after a heavy week of exploration and merriment. The temperature fell like our spirit did. Exceptional gloominess amongst us; can't really explain such affinity except that the beauty of life is the process of communication and through it the relationship between one and other. We go on separate ways and we shall meet again...
Every morning Charlotte checks Manystuff. Every morning Charlotte does Manystuff.
Round about 1,335 days, 2,515 entries and still going just as we speak. I couldn't understand the endurance, except feeling the indescribable affection she has for Graphic Design and that love perhaps couldn't be blind in such a context. Her role as a curator/editor/blogger brings together a growing number of graphic trendsetters on the world wide web from all across the countries, to be discovered by others and definitely a superlative platform for exchanges between one another. Once again, love had made the world go round.
The wonderful process about life is that it brings you surprises everyday; the people you meet, the places you go, the conversations you have and even the jokes you make…
THURSDAY - 26 NOVEMBER '09
JOHN SOANE MUSEUM
Humbly sat in the heart of town, with a facade that resembles just like the houses next to it. A different world lies behind the door, brings one from a concrete jungle into the ruins of Rome, open to the sky. What struck me most were not just the unrealized architecture designs of Soane but a fascinating collection of Hogarth paintings and his library of books that ranges from The Poems of Robert Herrick to Memoirs of An Author to Letters From Italy. An 'enchanted isle and its inhabitants' lived behind those walls for decades to come…
GROUP VISITS ( MUSEUM OF CHILDHOOD/ METAL SHOP ON HACKNEY ROAD )
Took a ride to London's East End, and found us standing on 212 years old Hackney Road. Heard about the blot's dad who roamed these streets with the Kray twins (the foremost perpetrators of organized crime during the 50s and 60s). Visited the V&A Museum of Childhood that contains the countless memories held in the huge collection of objects/toys that brought us through the years of imagination and creations. Bummed into a woman who got lost and another handcuffed on Bethnal Green Road, within minutes. Exchanged some quid for forgotten memories and neglected pieces at Spitalfields Market.
Dressed in black for the illuminating black box of Miroslaw Balka for The Unilever Series at Tate Modern. The light at the turn on the end saw the silhouettes of travelers from across the countries. The shadows of our feared souls overcame. The intimation felt by the guards, the rules unbent after a labeled-performance created a scene to be ended. We moved to Cargo.
FRIDAY - 27 NOVEMBER '09
WALTER'S WAY ON HONOR OAK PARK
On the rail to Southeast London, Lewisham. A frozen morning despite the sun in the clear blue sky. We gathered around listening as Alex Rich and Jürg Lehni spoke of their passion and briefly of their heartache for a particular project. Walter Segal's designs for the houses seem just like the perfect dwelling. They were honest, simply beautiful and the ability for modification was capturing. If only we could live by Walter's Way.
What a better way to live by Walter's way than to start off building our kitchen for food and a cinema for entertainment. Sawing, drilling, improvising, scraping—(simply) making. Creativity bounced across the cold walls; pickles and cheese on bread filled our stomach. Imagination warmed our hearts.
VEKTORKAT AT THE RCA ARTBAR
Getting to know everyone through music, cigarettes and alcohol. We made merry and danced the night away…
SATURDAY - 28 NOVEMBER '09
Hung over or not—fresh fish, fresh minds, fresh start for a wet weekend.
The kitchen crew prepared lunch and the builders completed the furniture. Tables set, candles lit, 2 films (Fischli & Weiss's Der Lauf deer Dinge & Mike Leigh's Nuts In May) played concurrently, miso mackerel and belham soup served. Small talks and sweet affections exchanged. The atmosphere and experience was—priceless.
D.I.Y. PINGPONG TOURNAMENT
Pool blue table with striking pink linings. Did-it-ourselves pingpong rackets: lighten bolt, scoop, scrape sheets, pyramid, double crackers, peddling stick, palm, 2-meters rod, 'P' handle, glove board, chopping board, etc. you name it. First prize went to Oman with his thunderous bolt. If only we could play pingpong all day, all night!
SUNDAY - 29 NOVEMBER '09
BATTERSEA CAR BOOT SALE
The crazy weather and unbeatable rain had made the day extremely challenging but entertainingly fun. Shopping, selling, touting, experimenting and singing in the rain! 20p, 50p, a quid and perhaps, free. Like any other days of the week, this day is irreplaceable and definitely unforgettable!
LEILA'S SHOP AT ARNOLD CIRCUS
A cup of tea to warm us from the harsh London weather and an introduction to Arnold Circus by an Ian Brown's music video, Keep What Ya Got. Bertrand Blier's Les Valseuses played and we were teleported to Valance in the 70s where two whimsical, aimless thugs harass and assault women, steal, murder, and alternately charm, fight, or sprint their way out of trouble. They take whatever the bourgeois characters value: whether it's cars, peace of mind, or daughters. What a way of life! Apparently only one third of the entire conversations were translated on english subtitles but I had loved it already. The humor and reckless adventures—time travelled. Sourdough bread, cheese and red wine accompanied this evening.
More drinks to mark the end of the week 'round the corner of Leila's Shop. Pool techniques exchanged with a local lad and amongst the boys. Chatting, chirping through Monday morning...