Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Some English Types: Maria And the Mirrors.

How do you live in dismal times? How do you live with poverty, how can you turn your alienation, your refusal. your anger and your passionate attachments into something? How can you create something beautiful out of what you can afford, the charity shops, the secondhand bins, the boxes of old videos, the boot fairs, the skips? 

What do you do with your youth?

You take drugs, you drink, you dream, you pull deeply inside yourself as you shuffle down dim streets in the rain, fill your cold room with books and quotes, pictures and clippings, posters, bits of art you may have knocked up yourself or that friends have given you, your battered old laptop constantly downloading sounds. You hunger for something rich in colour and sensation, for glamour, daring, flash, glitter, to lift yourself up above the narrow monotony of daily-life.

How to become equal to your dreams? Dreams of power, fame, sex, magical abandon, death, rapture, degradation, all the states your own isolation, your own cravings and unsatisfied hunger that the dull, sleepless nights on your bedroom floor have lead you to explore within yourself. How to reach those other worlds? Synthetic worlds in both senses, where everything condenses into a perfect image, where nothing natural or organic can be found but only a delirious fever-dream of plastic, rust, nylon,concrete, exposed wires, pistons, chrome, cables bleeding paint, plugs, sprockets, circuit boards. Mythological realms populated by fantastic, half-human creatures, machines of impossible sophistication, palaces, dungeons, temples, outlandish cities.

How to create and inhabit that richer world? How to irradiate the present, mutate it, repotentialize the fading power of the past? How to speak in a new language, share it with other initiates whose dreamworld overlaps with augments and thickens your own? How to build from the bottom up, from the detritus of a dead age, an iconography and an architecture that you can use to overlay the ugliness and squalor of the retail parks, the abandoned high streets, the degraded civic spaces, the damp flats, the rain-worn abandoned or half built projects?

Where can you go but through yourself, alone, and then out with the others you find there into a dimension still rich with possibilities beyond itself, horizonless ,where everything you have absorbed, that has shored you up is transmuted and refined, so that as you keep pushing forward  forging on, the echoes of what you have learned grow fainter, traces here and there, threads and filaments, dim reverberations until for an instant, together, the long hold the past has on you through the long, colonized future it has set you stumbling into, it seems, against all the odds, that victory is yours.

1 comment:

David W. Kasper said...

As I used to say when I was wasting my youth:

"That's heavy."