BTS 11 - FEBRUARY

PART ONE - UKRAINE

In the past month I've assembled a 45 min edit from the footage I shot on my grandmothers farm. I have enough footage to make it into my first feature length film. However, as I cut it, I keep wishing I shot things differently. As the film stands right now, its mostly all cut from footage shot on a single day, really a single morning of my grandmother's 70th birthday. After the morning, the footage becomes a lot more sparse, with practically nothing from the evening. I'm conflicted about the quality of the film, of the footage, and my approach to it. If this is going to be my first feature film, I would really like to do something more polished. Yet, I also like the rawness of this film. I didn't know how I would be cutting this film. I didn't know what kind of film I would be making. By the time I was leaving Ukraine, up until I started going through the footage, I thought this would be a multichannel installation. However, it has emerged as a long form documentary film. 

It's been a really interesting process, especially paired with my work with Sunday Morning at Seven. I've watched several Chantal Akerman films in the past month, which have informed how I think about space and time within a frame. Constantly I find myself wishing that I didn't move the camera, that I just let it soak in all the detail of my grandmother's home, her farm, her space and time. 

I'm considering a fundraiser screening this film once it's "done" as a first iteration, and using the money I might make off the ticket sales and prints to go back to Ukraine this summer to do a fresh take on the film. Maybe it'll be a whole new film, maybe I'll interconnect the footage between the years. Maybe it'll become a ritual, a pilgrimage. 

All I know is I want an excuse to go back. 

 

PART TWO SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

My work on this project continues. I'm struggling to find enthusiastic commitment to this project from my filmmaker friends. It's a big film, and to ask anyone to work on it for free is a huge leap. I'd like to do a crowdfunding campaign, and am comitted enough to it to put my own money into it as well. (Hoping crypto does well in the coming months). 

Here's a draft of the script:

And some photos from the lovely SIP+SUPPORT:

PART THREE - ZAMI

Anicka came to my birthday bonfire when I got back from NYC, and got me a book as a birthday present. 

"Zami. A New Spelling of My Name" by Audre Lorde. 

The book is the only one I finished in February, and it's a beautiful and wild read about the loves and struggles of a young Audre Lorde. One of the reasons this post is coming so late, is that I wanted to do a review of the book, but I have a hard time articulating anything intelligent about it. She just writes so so beautifully about the love life, about the passion and about the pain. It really cultivates a desire in me to fall deeply in love with someone. 

Her adventures, to Mexico, her survival in NYC with no money, her pereservernce in difficult and suffocating situations, give me such inspiration. And makes me want to demand more of myself. 

And this is true when I look at my grandmother work. There's a powerful perseverance. Survival. Motion.  

I think someone should make a film about Audre's life, based on this book. 

So here are some really powerful quotes from the book that I Starred or "Wowed"

" 'Just because you're strong doesn't mean you can let other people depend on you too much. It's not fair to them, because when you can't be what they want they're disappointed, and you feel bad.' " (153)
"It was here in the breathtaking dawns and quick hill-twilights of Cuernavaca that I learned it really is easier to be quiet in the woods. One morning I came down the hill toward the square at dawn to catch my ride to teh District. The birds suddenly cut loose all around me in the unberlievable sweet warm air. I had never heard anythign so beautiful and unexpected before. I felt shaken by the waves of song. For the first time in my life, I had an insight into what poetry could be. I could use words to recreate that feeling, rather than to create a dream, which was what so much of my writing had been" (p169) 
"in a paradoxical sense, once I accepted my position as different from the larger society as well as from any single sub-society - Black or gay - I felt I didn't have to try so hard. TO be accepted. To look femme. To be straight. To lok straight. To be proper. To look "nice" TO be liked. TO be loved. TO be approved. What I didn't realize was how much harder I had to try merely to stay alive, or rather, to stay human. How much stronger a person I became in that trying" (p181) 
"Muriel and I talked about love as a voluntary commitment, while we each struggled through the steps of an old dance, not consciously learned, but desperately followed. We had learned well in the kitchens of our mothers, both powerful women who did not let go easily. In those warm places of survival, love was another name for control, however openly given" (p214)
"I lost my sister, Gennie, to my silence and her pain and despair, to both our angers and to a world's cruelty that destroys its own young in passing - not even as a rebel gesture or sacrifice or hope for another living of the spriit, but out of not noticing or caring about the destruction. I have never been blind to that cruelty, which according to one definition of mental health, makes me mentally unhealthy" (252) 

PART FOUR - WORK HUSTLE 

Sooo for real, the reason I didn't make more posts this month is cuz I didn't do that much. The whole, gigs will come my way and I'll totally make enough money to pay my bills didn't pan out that well in January. And it didn't seem to improve in Feb either...

So I was feeling kinda stressed, thinking about my options, considering ways to not burn through my savings while I spent a fortune repairing my car. Waiting on people to hit me up. etc etc. Not having a job can be very stressful and time consuming when you don't know where your money is coming from! 

And then things are seeming to come thrruuuu. It looks like I'll have a contract with  WonderRoot, which, if it goes through as it seems that it will - will provide me with a pretty consistent income for several months. Not a ton, but enough to ease some of the stress I've had to deal with in February. I would also get the opportunity to meet some interesting people through the gig and hopefully expand my community in this city even further. 

Here's to hoping it all works out!!!

 

PART FIVE - LIBRARY

Being involved with this organization is cool - giving me a chance to slowly get more familiarized with "Solidarity Economy", "Next Economy", Coops, conscious consumerism, non-hierarchical decision making etc etc. I realize that ultimately everyone has certain skills, a certain awareness and if I can contribute with what I know how to do and like to do, I can feel ok with not being as skilled in other areas. 

I haven't done graphic design in a while, especially not for anyone other than myself. I was pretty happy with the logo I came up with - and it's definitely inspired by my father's process of drawing things out by hand and then translating it into a digital design. 

BTS 2017

BTS 1 - LIVING WALLS

Finally got to do some work with Living Walls. Got to meet Chip Thomas. Got to meet Killer Mike. One of the better Mondays. 

 

BTS 2 - A LATE NIGHT JOURNAL ENTRY

Katy "What is the intention?"

Sequoyah's Music Video. Intetion: Make Something Beautiful. <-- Memory: Anicka reminds me of this in a coffee shop. Beautiful Collaboration.

What are we digging into/ Our desire for connection --> language

Vulnerability 

#ME asked ME "King, why did YOU wake up in the morning". I respond by repeating the question, which made no sense to ME.

#ME woke up to "Serve"

"Why did I wake up?" and "What is the Intention?" 

"Why do I wake up in the morning" - To build community. The more skills I have, the more useful I am. Freedom. Friendship. 

"'Friend' and 'Free' in English come and "Freund' and 'Frei' in German come from the same Indo-European root, which conveys the idea of a shared pwoer that grows. Being free and having ties was one and the same thing. I am free because I have ties, because I am linked to a reality greater than me". (To Our Friends p 127) 

The more freedom I have, Fuck #Me, Mean

Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

Follow @greetingsme7 to plug into what #ME has to say. #ME KNOW #ME

BTS 3 - LIVING WALLS

Living Walls. After the storm cleared, I was out on Buford Highway filming most of the week. Filming the talented artists as they put up their work, filming the Living Walls crew and volunteers working tirelessly to support the artists, filming the community as it joined in the passion of the work. 

Here are some pictures:

 

BTS 4 - THE BAKERY

Finished "Heart Balance", my first mural at The Bakery. The biggest change was the addition of white flourishes, which really opened up all the energy stored in the colors and geometry. I knew white was the answer, and one of the motivations for using it was advice I got from an art teacher back in first grade. I was working on a painting of underwater fish that was meant to be in a "stain glass" style. He told me to add white to the paining to really make it pop. I didn't really understand what I was supposed to do, and he added some elements for me. It really worked, and the painting was featured in the school calendar for the month of January. It's really beautiful how advice from 19 years ago helped me find the way with this piece. 

The Bakery Opening. I'm disappointed that I didn't take more photos and video of the work that we put in before the opening, but I'm very happy with how things went. Willow is a badass and I have really high hopes for what we can accomplish with the space.

 

BTS 5 - THE GUILD

I've spent a solid part of this week finishing The Guild video. Niki and I met almost a year and a half ago at Atlanta Film Festival. We started talking about doing a video, and it slowly materialized over time. In that time I built a real relationship with her and her team. Connecting in unexpected places through beautiful people. The video should be coming out soon. 

 

BTS 6 - SUNDAY MORNING AT 7

I've been brainstorming with Anicka on how to approach her dance project "Sunday Mornings at 7" from a film perspective. Part of the challenge is for me to really understand the core of what this work means to her and why she is developing it. The work is based on the Cupid and Psyche myth, and I'm trying to understand what "myth" means in a modern context. I can probably find some literature on the subject. 

For inspiration I watched "Pina" by Wim Wenders and was blown away by the quality of dance, and the masterful translation of the work to cinema. I hope I can develop my craft and perception to approach the level of sincerity and emotional depth of Pina. The diversity of people, the actors is really breathtaking. The quotes they share from her are brilliant. 

"Go on Searching" "Make me Scared" "Dance for Love" "What are you longing for? Where is the yearning coming from?" 

Attended a rehearsal this Sunday. Had a conversation with Anicka to further discuss the heart of the project. Feel like I got some real serious closure. As a man - this is a rare opportunity that I need to value as deeply as possible. 

Read the introduction to the book Bloom, that my friend Ariana let me look over while at the Goat Farm. (I should make an effort to be there at least once a week).

"Desire needs to be embedded in empathy"

"praying to the energies from the earth, willing the limped serenity of the skies, meditating on the still reflections of the waters. Honoring the gods of small things."

"But a Fool's Paradise also where comical and surreal creations are paraded with zeal to act out the trivial aspects of human condition, stretching the borders of belief to include a hallucinating faith in the power of imagination and story telling, a fold tradition that thrives and even gains importance, giving wings to the carnival of naked truth." 

"Delving in a deep well of human experiences tokes from the selvage of time." 

-Lidewij Edelkoort

 

BTS 7 - COLORADO

Journal Entry November 6, 2017

"On a plane back to Atlanta. A wonderful and very necessary trip. "Be in the moment with Joy" 

The waterfalls. 

The mountains.

The sky.

The water. 

The fire. Warm bodies.

Full moon. Bright white.

Alec - from Donetsk.

Infinite gratitude to the energy of Colorado. It has worked its healing magic on me. I am focused and clear. I must actively maintain that state of mind for my own good."

Finished the tea bus video as soon I got back from Denver with some footage that I got there.

 

BTS 8 - BLUE JAYS

Friday November 17th Sequoyah and I premiered his album Dream Sequence and the "Blue Jays" film at Argha Noah. This week's post is a reflection on my experience collaborating with him so far. 

"I found a rare gem in Sequoyah as a Collaborator" - Journal Entry

Another big inspiration on this project was Wong Kar Wai. Specifically his brilliant use of color and the step printing technique. (There's an cool video essaythat explores ways in which Moonlight by Jenkins might have been influenced by Wong Kar Wai's work.)

This video is from a rehearsal at the Work Room. Sequoyah and Anicka had been praciticing his movement for several weeks and  I came to see how it translates to video, espesially at low shutter speeds/low frame rates.

 

BTS 9

Enchanted. Crowned by Shira.

This film premiered December 2nd at Shira Benson's launch of her new website and release of her Crowns. It was an awesome experience and I'm very honored to have been part of the event. I was humbled the reception of the film and hope that it helps spread her work to a wide audience.

When she commissioned this film, I was reading Carl Jung's writings on alchemy, specifically his thoughts on Coniunctio or the "sacred marriage".
"Literally, “conjunction,” used in alchemy to refer to chemical combinations; psychologically, it points to the union of opposites and the birth of new possibilities."
In conceptualizing the film my goal was to understand and communicate Shira's intention with the Crowns. I needed to cinematically manifest the Power of her work.
It was a challenge. I first met Shira as her new roommate when I arrived to Atlanta. Our personalities were strikingly different and we came from alien worlds. In many ways we were opposites. Our yearlong collaboration on this film, with all its complications, reflects our new friendship and is itself a "union of opposites and the birth new possibilities".
I think that's beautiful, and it inspires me to seek new collaborators.

 

One more interesting note:
In originally envisioned a scene lit by moonlight. It was an unrealistic goal considering the limitations of the shoot. Looking back at my notes on the project I found this quote from Jung striking:
"Seek the coldness of the moon and you shall find the heat of the sun."
I wish her the best of luck and envision much success for her work.

Here are some BTS photos of the film shoot:

 

If you've made it all the way down the page, Thank You very much for following my work. I'm excited to continue collaborating with you.

I wish you Love, Peace, Joy, Gratitude, Kindness, and Beauty in 2018. 

 

 

 

 

BTS WEEK 5

PART ONE

THE BAKERY.

A Moroccan dinner at The Bakery. A thank you from Willow to everyone that helped on opening the space. I've had several dreams where the space has manifested itself in some beautiful shape or form. 

Willow has a strong vision and its attracting really interesting people. 

Meeting at the Bakery

I have high hopes.

PART TWO

THE GUILD

I've spent a solid part of this week finishing The Guild video. Niki and I met almost a year and a half ago at Atlanta Film Festival. We started talking about doing a video, and it slowly materialized over time. In that time I built a real relationship with her and her team. Connecting in unexpected places through beautiful people. The video should be coming out as soon as Monday!

PART THREE
SATURDAY MORNINGS AT 7: Pina, Psyche and Cupid

I've been brainstorming with Anicka on how to approach her dance project "Sunday Mornings at 7" from a film perspective. Part of the challenge is for me to really understand the core of what this work means to her and why she is developing it. The work is based on the Cupid and Psyche myth, and I'm trying to understand what "myth" means in a modern context. I can probably find some literature on the subject. 

 

For inspiration I watched "Pina" by Wim Wenders and was blown away by the quality of dance, and the masterful translation of the work to cinema. I hope I can develop my craft and perception to approach the level of sincerity and emotional depth of Pina. The diversity of people, the actors is really breathtaking. The quotes they share from her are brilliant. 

"Go on Searching" "Make me Scared" "Dance for Love" "What are you longing for? Where is the yearning coming from?" 

 I finally went to a rehearsal to see the dancers move. 

Cupid and Psyche. Photography by Lev Omelchenko. 

 

PART FOUR

LIVING WALLS and SIGNS OF SOLIDARITY

Filmed an interview with Mónica Campana for Living Walls. 

Monica Campana, Executive Director of Living Walls. Photography by Lev Omelchenko. 

Living Walls Potluck at Hi-Lo Press was awesome. 

"'Vulnerable'" featuring Franco Bejarano and Kristin Consuegra. Photography by Lev Omelchenko.

Agreed to do a Signs of Solidarity and now have a 6x8" canvas to paint. This is the banner I came up with - it's not overtly political - yet I consider it a wake up call. A battle cry. 

PART FIVE

I LEFT BOSTON 2 YEARS AGO.

Good Bye Boston. October 21, 2015. Photography by Lev Omelchenko.

"Thank you everyone who made Boston home for the past 4 years. Big thanks to everyone who let me stay with them for the past month and a half. All are loved and will be missed. See you soon!"

Body Work 1254. October 21, 2017. Photography by Lev Omelchenko. 

"Ian is leading a body work routine. 2 years ago I left Boston - I had no image -

vision - 

of this moment.

I came for Life

I created a project called Life.  It gave life to new relationships.

I cam for adventure - I'm leaving for Denver in 2 weeks - I was in Ukraine for a month

Life is wild

Insanity leads to truth

Beauty to Love" 

Atlanta Streets Part 1

Atlanta Streets are alive with energy. Protesters. Preachers. Survivors. Angels. 

Farewell, Rowdy Dowdy

Shot some photos at the Farewell Show at Rowdy Dowdy. (This was the last show at 730 Pryor, but the Dowdy Girls are relocating and will be hosting soon.) It was a pretty incredible line up and a great show. (Unfortunately not all the artists that performed are featured in these photos)

DOWDY GIRLS

FAREWELL ROWDY DOWDY