Monday, January 10, 2011
Tree-Mixing and Tree-Blogging
What I Saw from Jonny Gray on Vimeo.
Our little tree is off to a slow but steady start today. I am most consumed by the opportunity to use this project to learn some new skills. The "mix" I have made as soundtrack for this little video is first baby-steps, to be sure. But those steps took some considerable time today. Time lost, in that I might have been doing something else that needed doing. Time gained, in that in addition to the "object" I created, I learned some new skills.
This is Shiva's dance around the trunk of our tree, the acknowledgement that every act of creation is an act of destruction. To note this is not to dismiss destruction, not to embrace or excuse the buzz of the saw and the drone of the bulldozer. But it is to see those things as having, in their right measure, a place. Was John Muir concerned about the loss of any great sequoias, or the rate of their loss and for such trivial gains? From time management to resource extraction, the question is rarely either/or but how much of each at the expense of the other.
We make art together, in this project (and always, really), but we also still make art alone. What does it take to make something and know that someone else might unmake it? Is art, as we are perhaps most familiar with it, too invested in its own preservation as the lasting product of the lone, inspired creator? To (re)mix is to engage in a violent act, the making of something while breaking something else. I look out the window at the gnarled branches of a tangled wood; I look at the warm and knotted patterns in my floor boards. A tree -- as branch, as plank, as wooden spoon -- knows this fundamental truth about transformation and creation. It sometimes burns with the knowledge.
This video and post drew inspiration from here and here.