Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Thursday, September 10, 2009

an obsession

Daoism, that archaic and arcane world. No, wait. It lives and breathes and has a future that is more vital than any other religion or philosophy on Terra. But no, that implies competition, so i desist. It was not until I had left the nuclear anglo-saxon buffer-zone that is living with ones parents in invercargill new zealand that I first encountered this strange philosophy. A young twenty something, vital, damaged-goods, looking back I was living the classic 'bohemian' life (as much as possible in 1990s dunedin - perhaps watered down, perhaps quaint and colloquial) - creativity and chaos at the expense of everything else (but did i care? i think not). Magic was in the air the day i rooted myself to the chair in that cute lil' cafe, a quaint bookshelf beckoning to me , a little slip of a book(let) gathered up into my tender 22 year old hands, what is this? The tao te ching? Dc Lau? I jumped straight to the text , ommiting Lau's intro; it was the famous 1st verse. And it was so simple, so utterly simple - it spoke straight to my silly little heart. The first verse was a challenge of sorts - a sort of baracade, a disclaimer. Thats it - its a disclaimer - the tao cannot be told, but if i must tell it, i will go on. i had discovered a take on the world unlike any other that day. it would take months for me to find my own copy. Years would pass before i even took to reading it in full. And the years passed and i read it in full and the years passed and my taste, my ravenous interest for the Dao, especially in its surface, its philosophic manifestation, grew. Daoism, and its namesake, the dao, has been a vital companion and an obsession of mine ever since that day. But why? Because it speaks truer to me than any other creed. It seems to point so clearly to the truth of existence, of human existence, of nature, of time and space, and oh! the beauty of quietism - the wisdom of it - the going along with it, riding with the truth, the murky essence behind all. The folly of needless ambition, of greed, of excess - temperance is of course a feature hinduism,buddhism, islam and christianity. Unlike abrahamic religions however, daoism has no central authority, no anthropomorphic deity. It is simple and earthly. Its is an utter going-with and letting-go, of letting be, and doing this nimbly, expertly, in tai chi i have found a practice that expounds many key daoist concepts - in a way that reveals itself deeper and deeper the longer i do it. Often i wonder why ancient china fascinates me so. I tend to see China more as a Mother of civilization than africa. China seems to be the seat of human refinement and knowledge. So simple, so real, so economic. How it steeps itself now in advanced capitalism seems a little sad, as was mentioned in AS Kline 'like water or clouds' - China will find itself increasingly at odds with its heritage the further it embraces its fierce brand of state capitalism. But yeah, I now quietly study this stuff like a real little nerd down at otagos central library. And i love it. All of it. Otagos' taoism section is probably the best in New Zealand and its a real treasure.

Monday, September 7, 2009

4 cruddy vids

Having just discovered the amateurish delights of Windows Movie Maker i thought i'd mess about with some cruddy stills i had lying around on the old crude hd and ad muzak to them. The ideas are there, theres even a terribly cheesy montage of images smacking of the political in ' new zealand', it's just , well, you can tell i've just started out with this..this..format. Oh well, its something to do isn't it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Artless Intent news - a new PLATTER is out:



a concept album, raw electro-acoustic music - guitars/effects/coins/drums/other ephemeral instruments. By Dunedin's Dene Barnes. More info on this release soon/ email me for info/pricing


They, the external - that, them: the other. The right would like to believe themselves independent of and not generated by the biosphere and that their wealth and station in life is purely their own doing. The fibres that keep their clothes together, the foods and chemicals they ingest, the electricity they wield, the tools they use, the water they drink, the plumbing they soil, the refridgeration they keep foods fresh with, the entertainments they devour, their mobility and logisitics, their comforts and luxuries, indeed all the commodities they consume, services they use and assets they 'own' - "thats none of your business mate". Has one ever really sat down and thought about how utterly interdependent and universally reliant we are on the labour, support and services provided by other people? The vital life-nurturing elements produced by animals, plants and the rounds of birth and decay? How utterly reliant we are on the other, that very other we tend to dismiss as so much useless shit? My mind boggles when i stop to think - everything i see around me and use has been created or provided by other people or other living things. Nothing is the exception.