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 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" 

BTS 3

PART ONE

Hurricane Irma passed Atlanta on Monday. My roommate Anneliese made a big pot of vegan chili. My hands felt swollen after moving loose objects into our shed before the storm hit. Everyone fell asleep as it moved through Atlanta. Journal entry:

"Hibernating through a hurricane. My body feels different. I feel the weather. I feel my surroundings. I feel me. I. me. The world - madness - such a harsh word. Especially underlined. We toil, for what. What is the proof? The Heart.  A desire for understanding. If others understand - you're not alone. Friendship. Co-dependence. We should depend on one another to survive. Do you depend on any of your friends? Do you depend on anyone. If not- is it a sign of strength? But we do depend. On our system - government, police, global markets, bankers - we depend on everyone but our friends. Because we are all so independent that we can't bother each other. The independence is killing us."

Anneliese feeding the home.

Anneliese feeding the home.

EDIT: After hibernation I showed The New World by Terrance Malick to my roommates for the first time. It was a powerful bonding moment. 

PART TWO

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:

 

PART THREE

The Bakery. Inspired by the muralists and presented with a wall, I started putting up my first mural. Throughout the week I sketched out the idea and figured out the colors. I usually spend more time with the colors, but did not have that opportunity this time. 

Mural as of Sept 18th 2017

 

PART FOUR

Organizing a video installation for The Bakery opening featuring local Atlanta artists.

Currently the line up features: "Gomi Maku" by Brandon English, feat music by 10th Letter. "Silver Planet" by Chris Hunt feat music by Kasie Marie. "New Life" by Lev Omelchenko feat music by Chris Gravely AKA Red Waters. "Rhythm of Ghana" by Brandon Polack feat tradition live drum music from Ghana. "Levitate Levitate Levitate" by Ebony Blanding and Amber Bournett of House of June, feat musical score by Belle Bynone. 

On the look out for more artists to include. 

Here's a look at New Life, which I directed Winter 2017.

 

PART FIVE

Finished Journal Number XIII

Last page:

" I just came out of the shower - meditating on the mural. Colors, shapes, nature, memory. I was meditating on the ancient sacred symbols. Sun, Earth, Water. Fire, mountain, Reflection. Air - the royal creative force. The Breath - The Soul. These thoughts feel ancient. A cry for truth - for a path - for a memory. For life. Alive."

BTS WEEK 2

PART ONE - BLUE JAYS

I AM 99% DONE WITH BLUE JAYS MUSIC VIDEO FOR SEQUOYAH. Excited to share it with the Patreon subscribers as soon as it's at 100% in the next few days. The official release date of Sequoyah's new album - Dream Sequence - and the music video is still undecided. However, a work in progress version of the video was accepted to Y'allywood Film Festival, which showcases films from the South. It will be playing at 7 Stages in Little 5 Points at some point October 9th - 15th. Very excited to be featured in an excellent local festival.

Opening Credits with Y'allywood Festival laurels for "Blue Jays" Music Video for Sequoyah Murray's new album "Dream Sequence"

PART TWO - EXPERIMENT 002

Spent some time this week discussing the logistics of a Virtual Reality Dance project in collaboration with Anicka Austin. I've worked with her previously on visual's for Chris Gravely's "LIFE" and she was Sequoyah's  Movement Coach for "Blue Jays". This project would be an experiment in preparation for her year long project "Sunday Mornings at Seven" which will feature an experimental VR component. 

If this project is a reality, it would be with the help of Kyle Morais and Brandon Polack of Argha Noah, a new art organization in Atlanta. They're working with 9to5.tv - the winner's of Goat Farms field experiment and are bringing a ton of cool art into the digital space for the month of September and first week of October. 

PART THREE - TO OUR FRIENDS

I've been reading "To Our Friends" by the Invisible Committee. It's very good. It does a really good job of communicating and supporting its perspective on Government, Power, Surveillance, Environment, Cybernetics, Community and Revolution.

"As to the truth about the present nature of power, every European has it printed exemplar of it in their pocket. It can be stated this way: power now resides in the infrastructures of this world. Contemporary power is of an architectural and impersonal, and not a representative or personal nature. ... Power is the very organization of this world, this engineered, configured, purposed world. ... Whoever determines the organization of space, whoever governs the social environments and atmospheres, whoever administers tings, whoever manages the access - governs men."

It's the second of 3 books published by an anonymous French collective. I first came across their writing in a friend's kitchen in the form of a newspaper, then through an audio book. I decided to get my sister the first book "The Coming Insurrection" for her birthday (along with two of the best books I've read this year - Of Woman Born by Adrienne Rich and The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin).

"Life and humanity were dissected into a set of needs; then a synthesis of these elements was organized. It doesn't really matter whether this synthesis was given the name of 'socialist planning' or 'market planning'. ... The outcome is the same: a desert and existential anemia.

Nothing is left of a form of life once it has partitioned into organs. Conversely, this is explains the palpable joy that overflowed the occupied squares of Puerta del Sol, Tahrir, Gezi or the attraction exerted, despite infernal muds of Nantes countryside, by the land occupation at Notre-Dame-des-Landes. It is the joy that attaches to every commune. Suddenly life ceases being sliced up into connected segments. Sleeping, fighting, eating, taking care of oneself, partying, conspiring, discussing all belong to the same vital movement. Not everything is organized, everything organizes itself. The difference is meaningful. One requires management, the other attention - dispositions that are incompatible in every respect" (p88 To Our Friends)

 

 

PART FOUR - MURALS

I'm excited to help document Living Wall's  incredible project on Bufford Highway this upcoming week. Anyone that has time should come out and support and experience some of the events that they're putting on.

That includes: A Lecture Series, a Movie Night and the Block Party!

Come and be an ally to the communities that are facing some of the most violence and intimidation from the white supremacy of USA. 

Jess Snow putting up one of TWO beautiful murals on Bufford Highway last week.

Being around talented mural artists, has also inspired me to attempt my own mural. The Bakery is currently getting itself ready to open in October and is opening its doors on the weekends to people to come and help paint. 

I plan on heading out there next weekend to 1. Document the process of building up a new art space and 2. Starting my first mural based on a sketch that I've been playing with for a long time. Will take time this week to figure out the colors. 

It has usually taken my a long time to figure out colors before, so in the very least it might a black and white line drawing. 

 

PART FIVE- 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