I didn’t sleep too well — woke up every two hours or so — but it wasn’t such a big deal. I did yoga and made breakfast and read Karen Barad, who is deep in technical explanations of Schrödinger’s equations and the nature of measurement. I decided today that this is a kind of meditation (though as Rachel put it, when I texted that to her, it’s really meta-tation … metaphysics, etc. haha). But it is, for me, this engagement with this logic that is sort of outside of everyday reality. It takes a different kind of focus, and even if I’m only in it for 20-30 mins a day (and therefore taking forever to finish the book), it’s still helpful and interesting to engage.
After breakfast I spent some time sorting out my travel plans to get to Kilpisjärvi; I decided I’ll spend the night in Oulu and then go in one fell swoop / really long day on a 5am train to Rovaniemi and then an 8am bus to Kilpisjärvi. It just seems easier, even though it’s going to be an insane trip. It’s crazy Kilpisjärvi is so far away. Finland is big! But I also found this travel guide which suggests there’s a bunch of stuff to do there easily, which I’m really excited about. (Getting very excited to go there…) and also this page, which seems useful too.
I went out for a walk as usual around 1:30. It was so warm and sunny, it felt really great to be outside in the sunshine even was feeling a little bit low. Nice to see the colors of the landscape in the sun for a change, everything has been so gray — which of course I don’t mind, and even kind of like, but it’s always nice to see the sun. I went to S-Market which distracted me from whatever I was thinking about, and then went back to the residency and got to work on some more new stuff, this time for a video. Everything takes a ton of time, but at least it’s moving. While I was working, I listened to this podcast, about listening and silence, which is so so good (even though the guy gets on my nerves, actually). It was really affirming both in terms of the types of things I’m focused on, even if I’m paying more attention visually than aurally a lot of the time (though not all the time), and also just a reminder and external justification, in a way, of why it’s important to be up here where I am. Sometimes I get caught up in my own head and the way being up here on my own fits into some larger structures of society or whatever. But listening to something like that actually reminds me that it doesn’t matter what society has to say, it’s important that I’m here doing this work. In an email yesterday, Stephen said, in terms of why make art, “For me, it’s worth doing if it gives you a sense of focus and pleasure.” Which is such good advice. And that’s what being up here is for me, along with a host of other things.
I made dinner and listened to another climate podcast, and then got back to work for a few hours. Someone posted on facebook this amazing audio walk, so adding to the amazing day today of external stimulation/inspiration, I spend an hour or so while working listening to this incredible interview with a guy in remote Russia who still lives near the 12km deep borehole they dug back in the 90s, I think. It’s fascinating and so well done. Again, more people rewarded by listening, by remoteness, by connectedness to nature. I think it was triggering some good work ideas, too — working on these sections of video feels really loose and playful, like drawing. It’s precision work too, of course, but in a different way than the prints are. It’s fun to go back and forth.
Anyway, now it’s late. I guess these posts are getting long because I haven’t talked to anybody all day, except texting with Ruth and a few other people here and there, and writing some emails. But I’m happy that there’s been so much food for thought this week, because in a way that’s the other reason to be somewhere like this — to have time to take things in, and think about them. So, more tomorrow.