My mind leads me to speak now of forms changed
into new bodies
Ovid, Metamorphoses Book 1, The Shaping of Changes
You never reach the Body without Organs, you can't reach it, you are forever attaining it, it is a limit.
Deleuze & Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus
Living from moment to moment...merrily drifting along...your spirits unsinkable as a gourd riding a stream; that is life in the floating world.
Asai Ryo, Tales of the Floating World c. 1665
THIS FLEETING WORLD
Thus shall ye think of all of this fleeting world :
A star at dawn; a bubble in a stream;
A flash of lightning in a summer cloud;
A flickering lamp; a phantom; and a dream.
Being is rhizomatic. Any point can be connected to another.
Between 2013-17 I took over 10,000 photos with my phone. My cameras had been left behind on another continent, in another life, but I did not stop seeing, perceiving, playing. So easy (too easy) to record, with the sense of impermanence that came with a small device, what was around me. The immediate gratification and ease of Instagram filters replaced hours of working in Photoshop. I felt relieved from a sense of creating “real photographs” and just let myself delve into taking them - the unbecoming of a photographer. Or maybe I had to take them, they represented moments, relics almost, of sensory, material experiences within the assemblage of my life.
My life had entered a deconstruction of all that was - place, people, work. In the realm of appearance, it stopped being what it was and began an emergence into a something new - place, people, work - a becoming.
I lived and worked on the Zuni Pueblo, blocks away from the Middle Place - the mythological place where the ancestors came to rest and build a home at the end of a great migration after their emergence into the Daylight World.
I was given two sets of keys to two different classrooms and became “art teacher” to over 700 children. And the beginning of a period of isolation, personal struggle, and grief - another unbecoming.
Everything and nothing became material. Environment, surrounding, my five senses, matter and things, including light, time, and space. I found myself developing relationships with the spaces and things and phenomena that surrounded me. Immaterial and material realms. I was here, I was not here. The body cannot create light, but the material reality of being reflects that both are real.
Conversations with the changing light and empty spaces. Enlightened, comforted, tortured as a sensory being in the fleeting/floating world. Living in the impermanence of the material world and the potentialities of matter and having five senses. A phenomenology of perception; the material body and the corporeality of materials mirror each other. Secret findings of art objects in my classroom, school, and apartment. Remnants of the days' activities, revealing an aesthetics of how things are and can be and will be - a poetics of noticing.
With beauty around me I walk
It has become beauty again
This collection of /un/becoming is the first time I've attempted to go through this archive of images. Many of the individual photographs are of inferior quality technically (some may say also aesthetically) but my aim is that as an interconnected whole they tell the story of senses, materiality, and becoming that I hope they do. Often, the selection process was somewhat random, each photo selected was the one on which the cursor landed after one swipe on the mousepad with my fingers. Others, I specifically remember taking and searched for - and if I found the image, it was either exactly as I remembered, or my idealization of an image/moment was revealed to be very unbecoming, uninteresting. There are many images I remember taking but have not yet found in my cloud and hard drives. Another potential finding and becoming.
Space, time, and object were joint participants in the making of. Five senses, memory, material connectivities, concrete relationships, unconscious and subconscious aesthetics and references merge - becoming/unbecoming. Everything is connected. On a different day, one photo might belong to another “category” in the portfolio, and I have moved them around a lot, but here they stay for the present. In my conceptual imagination, the names, divisions, groupings, sameness, places would change in the website by themselves, without my doing so, in a rhizomatic regrouping - becoming something new every time.