Monday, January 21, 2008

As the Animal Molts

Speaking of not-working as a work of art
who said that underworld dreaming and shedding ones skin
while transitioning into a novel form of creative life
has anything to do with work in the first place?

During a deep dream at the turn of this year
an animal appeared and by the time I awoke
I felt like it was time to reinvestigate
what we have come to call Human Nature

as in

"Is it in human nature to dream the animal spirit?"

And in dreaming it are we somehow connecting
with another aspect of our own creative momentum
while resisting the call of materialism?

Or at least by asking those questions
that's how I programmed myself
to interpret both the dream and what ensued

For what ensued i.e. manifested soon after the dream
was the fact that here in Kailua where we recently
opened a new branch of Mark Amerika Nature Photography
the new year was brought in with the arrival
of a rare and endangered Hawaiian monk seal

In fact the Hawaiian monk seal
is the most endangered marine animal
in all of the United States of America

So its arrival on our local beach
where most of our photography takes place
was quite an occasion for everyone
since as the neighborhood elders noted
"Nobody has ever seen one on these shores"

For me the deep dream that was really a premonition
and that anticipated the arrival of the monk seal
was heightened by the fact that one of the rants
I wrote the morning after the dream
featured some spontaneous riffs devoted to molting
or what I imagined to be a kind of "creative molting process"
which is related to why the monk seal was at the beach
that is to say it came to sleep and molt


Probablistic algorithm?

Pseudorandom numbers crunching
my overcalculated visualization scheme?

What is the anticipated runtime
of my premonition algorithm?

Did it originate in my deep dream
the script I improvised the morning after
or the moment the seal began molting?

Excerpt from the improvised morning rant:
"Nature always wears the colors of the spirit"
writes Ralph Waldo Emerson

and yet what is nature in virtuality
and do we wear the colors of the spirit
while postproducing in VirtualRealityLand?

This is not Second Life new age self-flagellation
nor is it a reactionary Get A Life doctrinaire formula
for those who are feeling irrelevant

It’s more about going deep inside
the studio of your cosmicomic soul
as part of your "going back to nature"

Your nature

But a nature that has become overdetermined
overbought oversold overstretched
overcompensating for its supposed lack
while it still attempts to maintain ultimate value

Uber Value

as an avant-garde agent of formal radicalism
standing fast before the brave new world
of digicash paracurrencies funding subprime
point and click megaconsumerism high
on the gutted bellies of their SOMA sanctuaries
artificially juiced by their mixed reality TV boxes
stoned on the engorgement of organic Gee Whiz
melting plastic fantastic time forming dense molds
of plastered brains saturated with excess lies
that artificially inflate ones sense of self-esteem
even as the wet-dream of climbing Trumped towers
leaves them feeling on the verge of collapse

Meanwhile all of these autogenerated 3-D boxes
keep sprouting around your body aura
trying to close you in and categorize you
so that you can be easily packaged and neutered
into the soft blue funk of an ethereal oblivion

Who are you this time?

Creative Art Think!
Designer Guru!
Interactive Pipe Dream!
Mobilized Mega Hype Star!
Long Lost Messiah!
Morbid Meshuguna!

This is when your Second Life begins boxing you in
layering itself over your mythological body
as it swiftly navigates through the faux environments
your artwork gets ported through as part of some
ongoing social energy force field of commercial relatedness

Meanwhile your creative spirit has become compromised
and you’re wondering if maybe you are losing touch
with the necessary angel of animal magnetism
your creative body has been moving-remixing in

Imagine another life beyond Second Life
beyond the totally immersive video game of your dreams
a life where you see yourself throwing off your avatar-skin
a kind of creative molting process
but where you have multiple layers to peel away
every layer stripped off a deeper peeling of the onion
as more and more of the unknown opens up to you
and you get closer to what you can only imagine is
the heart of the source material

As you continue shedding away the layers of skin
with increasing gain force speed and intensity
and the Outer You keeps disappearing faster than ever
you inevitably become hyperaware of the fact that
you will never really truly get to the core of the matter
because the core of the matter does not exist as a core
but is an all-encompassing source material
and these layers you keep shedding and discarding
reveal the molting process in fastforward motion
since new layers keep growing back faster than you can molt
and so now this screaming fast coming loose of the avatar
becomes a never-ending quest to reveal to yourself
everything you don't know and will never know
until there is nothing left but the dreaming-molting
the sensation of letting yourself go as you tap into
the "molting lava" of what hides just underneath the skin
the skin of your role-playing avatar as it shakes everything off
and you go back to first skins best skins every only skins
meanwhile the rumble of the deep interior anticipating
your next inside-out creative eruption
and somewhere in the middle of this molting-lava striptease
where your inside is out and your outside is in
you ask yourself "What is it that seeks?"

Pseudo-Self Portrait of the Artist
as Endangered Hawaiian Monk Seal
by Mark Amerika Nature Photography

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