FILM WAVES (based on a dreary afternoon’s out pouring)
He began to make films when he found a super 8 camera buried above someone’s head in an attic space. He films events to run as backdrops for performances that he attempts with Heilco Van der Ploeug under the semblance of BeingKarnal. They become little known and accompany the weather girls at the Fridge in Brixton and Test Department at the Lee Centre in South London.
His works integrate other peoples ideas and learnings. He has little understanding and often appears confusionist. Whilst operating as a market trader and selling shoes to Derek Jarman, a semblance of a narrative arrives in the form of Klipperty Klopp. Contemplative and all silly billy, a runaround whilst letting off steam in the landscape dragging the sump oiled drawings behind him.
Klipperty klopp 1984
The words fit later to become the picture:
this is where it began, all round here,
it takes you right back to when; things are a lot clearer now,
here he goes, here he goes, he’d just launch himself off
he'd fall tit over arse,
but always landing in the same place…
he'd run round and round in circles, he'd run round and round all the time,
he'd wreck the grass and he made a terrible mess of himself…..
He is still a painter and decorator and one of his clients in the guise of Philip Jenkinson has been impressed by the film’s post punk pagan sensibilty and particularly likes the bestiality, buggery and boundless energy. Jenkinson shows him some of what he’s got : The Running Jumping Standing Still Film (Richard Lester), Help my snowman’s burning down (Carston Davison) , Take off (Gunvor Nelson) , The battle of New Orleans (Bob Godfrey) ; The Devil in Miss Jones and Film Noir, it all helps him.
Meanwhile he himself has been moved by Brisley, Beuys, Stelarc and
Bruce Nauman’s bouncing balls. He watches Eraserhead on the big screen
and Antony Hopkins in the round. He listens to wire, the young marble giants and front line compilations, he is seduced by Richard Brautigan and reads :
no need to elaborate works - merely say something that can be murmured in the ear of a drunkard or a dying man.EM Cioran
which disturbs him, so he leaves for South America and plots his course on the underneath of furniture that he encounters whilst sojourning, traces which he hopes to one day recover. He is now in love. She tells him that :
A genuine work of art is not a postponed suicide it’s a dig for victory.
He accuses her of sophistry all subtle and unsound fallacious
reasoning but he loves her nevertheless and now they have been
travelling a long while.
Him the second hand thinker, superior simpleton and allgonewrong.
He plays with ideas, posing as a fitfull buffoon and has been experiencing the LANDSCAPE first hand in TheGreatoutOfdoors. Awash with catholicism, animism and religiously shaped iron filings he returns to Britain to prove it.
He is encouraged to participate in staged events with no apparent rationale : Anvilhead the hun is manifest (a retelling of the Jesus story), Super 8, 40mins black and white :
‘....by his cross he had set them free but by pretending he had one he didn’t fool me...did christ never get tired of bleeding? king jerk sent jerking spasmodically across the land, what a pubescent jerk, just some big joseph looking for a manger. life was to be led in ley lines, preambling days were spent contemplating the past, the soil, all that came before and everything that kept cropping up; there’s always a place to bury a stranger; which took us to the big one in the sky, the man in the blackest anorak, biggest hands, saw everything in miniature, he played with lives willy nilly, wider than the widest boy furier than the furiest dice, the earth was his altar, oh lordy christ.’
© andrew kotting 1986
Film per se is a medium that he does not find haptic enough. The structuralists confound him and sometimes entertain him but they rarely smile and are forever letting the perimeter fence drop on unwanted interlopers. The loud discourse is rife but the auditoriums are quiet and full of fidget. (The voice he later finds out is frowned upon in these circles of visual mastery.)
He does not feel comfortable at the Film Makers Coop, but is happy to imbibe in order to play with the optical printer for hours on end. A man with a pigeon chest and thin legs arrives to help him; anarchic post structuralist topsy turveyist that he likes from the getgo and so an affair with Nick Gordon Smith begins.
It is now the 80’s and he is trying things on 16mm, ‘ists’ are rife but he is reluctant to locate and contextualise the work, others are told they make a good job of it, it is their job, and besides the family tells him : ‘It’s not normal to carry out an autopsy on a new born child.’
There is no agenda and he feels that he still has no idea what’s going on. In the cinema when the lights go out the dark is lush on him and he can hide whilst watching them watch. Something he could never do when ‘performing’, this is fruit full of consolation.
He has had to accept that he is haphazardist, befuddled and keen on
contingency. A post modern predicament ist, a cut-up regurgitator.
Hopelessly hit-or-miss. Never a script just some ideas and the
possibility of the single screen.
Endurance, herbalism and the self harming are firmly upon him. Also forget full. (Some things don’t want forgetting, but they do, it's as if they’ve forgotten themselves.)
There is an ever stronger desire to tell the porky pie with the film as coneyor, he feeds off the mythologies ; the fairy tale and the folk laureate. The Slade and his first 16mm film as muddled narrative nonsense c/o the senate house library, London. Text and the literary : Self Heal.
and prose-passages about kicking up the dust, helen damnation and being blinded by dog shit :
to see dog shit only
thanked my dog shit for worldly things
origins of dog shit is dog shit
put your arms around a dog shit
trust in dog shit and do right
that dog shit we both adore
the lord is dog shit indeed or so they say
put dog shit in his statements
new treasures dog shit will provide
no dog shit the wicked sayeth
put dog shit in his statements
the dog shit i speak in spanish
not dog shit in gardens
none that can read dog shit can see to write
dog shit moves in mysterious ways
dog shit on the head
not afraid of dog shit, afraid of me
on dog shits side
if dog shit were standing there
if you want to take in dog shit then take it on board
patted dog shit into my ears
just are the ways of dog shit
knowledge makes a dog shit of me
lost my boot to boot in dog shit
men that dog shit made mad
led me to confess a dog shit
saw dog shit and blushed
sacrifice the dog shit to the devil’s leavings
when dog shit by man trod
when dog shit lets loose a thinker
wherever dog shit erects a house
with dog shit all things are possible
just worn out with dog shit
taken from a 2000 word outburst on dog shit © ark 1988
He travels some more ; to Madadgascar (land of man eating trees and gas blown stomachs) makes notes and watches. He takes the school camera with him, it is broken ; the light pours in from around the filter and children follow him wherever he goes. It is a joyous occasion and the woman he loves is now heavily pregnant. He returns in the wake of horrendous storms (1987), and to conclude the project as ex voto to the tree spirits, documents three days in the New Forest, hiding. No bedding, no mapping, rarely clothing, kendall mint cake and hawthorne for sustaining. Hububinthebaobabs (35mins 16mm) is born as premature sister to the hopeless runt of a bad litter; (Gallivant). All psychogeography come journeying but he doesn’t know this yet.
He partakes in the danger that is Gary Parker and has found more kindred spirit than at first he might imagine, they make film together, allowing the adjoin to remain unclear, things are left hanging, dripping elemental out of doors and now above their heads. A creator collaborator that permeates his creative. He is told that the enemy are the unthinking acceptors of a particular discipline or style, the final vocabularyists, the linear narrativists. Gary Parker makes an alabaster model of the universe to prove it and a specific instruction about it throbbing. (The Scientific American produce their own version a few years later.)
Because of Stan Brackage, Tony Hill and a four track Porta Studio he accepts film as a remarkably sculptural medium, possibilities of improvisation and the ability to : transport you to a place you have not been before.He is experiencing Janet and Colin Bord, Kurt Vonnegut, John Berger, Richard Rorty, Henryk Gorecki, Alex C Rodgers, John Wall, France and ecstasy. Landscape = The area and features of land that can be seen in a broad view, especially when they form a particular type of scenery. The countryside, natural elements such as trees, rivers and mountains, the genre of this.
His perversions have suggested to him that he try out a new directors , a new bfi direction, a script, a begin and an end. Never up to the task himself, Sean Lock appears from beneath a pile of alcoholic jetsum and thrusts his talents onto the paper. Smart Alek is born, inspired by the nightmare that was family holidays. A moment to tell a story.
smart alek 1993
Aware of the powers of rediscription, the smell of the seaside and the titilation of the mnemonic. The oannes and its cacophony of voices. Shortly after the BBC are kind enough to foist another idea upon him, linear narratives abound and La Bas arrives. For the first time the staged events have an apparent rationale, the disparity always looming large as the sonic possibilities continue to beguile him.
But for this moment he finds himself drawn back into a booming arena : where the geography, both human or otherwise have a hold on him. His life was being lived in the deep Pyrenees and from afar, perhaps for the first time Britain looked manageable. He is overcome by the support of Mr Woolford and they devise a plan to take his grandmother and daughter on the trip with him, the only beginning Bexhill on sea, the only end Bexhill on sea and whatever happened in between. Celebrating an environment, the here and now, just gone or elsewhere. Sticks of rock are produced.
Free to thinking within the moving pictorial - sound space.
Gallivant comes about ; (to wander about seeking pleasure or diversion, to go about with members of the opposite sex.)
They say by way of an explanation thatPsychogeography was a term used by the situationists (acting the goatists) from the 1950’s onwards. They saw psychogeography as a means of understanding the way geographical enviroments condition everyday lives.
One of the main principles was the DERIVE or drifting, a sort of free association in time and place. The derive was intended as a playful creation, dependent on a subjective transformation of the everyday. The British Isles as a mass observation experience - never the official story just a figment of an imagination, a retelling, idiosyncratic testimonies rather than hard facts; not a documentarist but a viralist, spreading his disease.
To be drowned at birth like the runt of a bad litter " daily mail
The travelling in the great out of doors invigorates him, he spends time meeting, talking configuring and confabulating. Celluloid and now video is the medium with which he is familiar. This has become a vehicle, but not part of the industry that is cinema. Television exerts its own pressures. All this seduces the simpleton.
Moreover as hunter gatherer, looking to assimilate, collate and then regurgitate.The happenstance and division of his thinking is what he is now experiencing. Indulging the meditative state, the dreamlike but rooted in an elemental unclean present, seeking solace in the pastoral : sometimes berserk, a place to self harm, a place to embrace the scratching, the sweating and the bruising. (His blood line both sides of the family is farming and thus explained is the improvised deliberating and timeless eclectic borrowings from things rural).
The lumpen half grasped bargeman indulging in the confluence of things passing. Ubiquitarian moderned predicamentist :
I want to spend the rest of my life everywhere, with everyone, one to one always, forever, now. (Hirst)
Now as derivist, wanderer or celebrator he decides momentarily to contextualise himself, not in the hyper real but the here and filthy now. So he creates a place of settledown for the inbreds to tell a new story. He works with many others and returns full of squit, still dismayed by his lack of ability at being able to arrive at any empirical truth, still happy to leave it with the unreliable narrators. He tells himself more recently to withdraw and perceive therein a silence but his face is wearing a layer of someone else’s skin so he sticks with his own attempts at transforming the everyday. Which is no way to carry on.