Monday, October 18, 2010
The first thing I did when I made it to where Don was, TwoThousandThen, was to go and get lots of magazines… and I started looking for things that resonated with the times. I was trying to be open, I didn’t really know what I was doing, but I thought that the best way to learn about a culture was from it’s pictures, and in TwoThousandThen there were way more pictures than I ever saw in 1933. I saw immediately that pictures were their own language now, spoken by everyone.
Don had given me something called a “laptop” and he showed me how to play small videos on it.
One night — late as I was cutting out pictures of spraycan nozzles, I saw how I was in my own heaven finally, a heaven I had created with my own choices… my own attempts at premonition… and weird timely luck. There were two songs that I saw group of people sing on the laptop… people who called themselves “Talking Heads” — one was called “This Must Be the Place.” I was numb, and it was exciting to be in another place — and time, — but I felt so much pressure to get going and do what I felt I had to do. The other song was called “Heaven.” Those two songs and the pictures I was looking at and cutting and arranging — they did something to my head. I saw visions and drew things… I saw pictures of the familiar and the alien, but now they were all of the same world to me.
Because of what Don had done for me for years, now I knew the people Don now knew. That would make it alittle easier, maybe make something go faster… I had The Cleavage Pets™ idea and thought about going further with that, I made collages to help me process everything around me. I wrote things I didn’t understand yet.
I desperately and ruthlessly tried to feel the NOW times when I’d just left my own behind. No matter what I’d learned from Don, no matter what I’d imagined… when I finally was in the actual future I’d been seeing in his pictures… well, I mean you’ve seen pictures of 1933, you get the idea.
A couple of times, I thought painting my dad would make me feel better. Painting hadn’t changed much in TwoThousandThen… but I could see why Don was a photographer and not a painter…
After I’d painted my dad, and thought alittle… I painted over what I had and painted my dad like he would have been now, where I was. I thought that was the right thing to do. Even though I felt that a lot of suits looked horrible now… well, that was my dad. If my dad was in NOW. He would have laughed at now and what was happening, with me, with everyone.
I just kept thinking of how to get where I wanted to be, where I was now. Where I was now was obviously not in my “comfort zone” as Don said people were into saying now. The world was an explosion of imagery. It was jarring, collages were exactly what I felt like.
I could tell Don hadn’t told me everything… like this jockey he kept shooting at the tracks, yes he was a great jockey… John Velazquez, but those looks he gave Don… they weren’t sports looks… I couldn’t put my finger on it. I made a mental note to ask Don at some point what was in Johnny V’s looks…
Don kept on shooting while I was trying to distill what I should be doing from my own writing and collages. I didn’t have enough money to keep buying notebooks all the time, they were now really expensive… so I started just working over some of the writing ones with pictures. Noone was gonna want to read the writing so much anyway I thought… I felt like I was caught between words and pictures, that’s what I was doing looked like anyway.
None of my plans had changed that much really. Even though I wasn’t in 1933 anymore, I was still looking for the same things I wanted from Don in the first place. I was glad he’d been so aggressive about getting me into the future. Sometimes a close friend can do that for you — and the realization that you can’t change the past. That’s what happened in my case anyway.
I finally got to meet Pandora, and she was just as beautiful in real life as she was in Don’s pictures. I sat in the same chair at the Players Club in New York City that I had the week before I left for TwoThousandThen! And it smelled the same! How did that happen? Shit! It was surreal, I am not sure that people were made to feel what I was feeling…
I looked at this picture Don had taken of Lydia… the electronic file, on a laptop. It was like looking at a young Theda Bara, after Theda was long gone. Electronic imagery on a monitor was like nothing I could imagine. It was like fire. I had to drink sometimes… the conflicting lifestyles between the eras was sortof hard to jump emotionally. I felt like crying a lot, because I didn’t think I was going back, to my dad… 1933, that old Depression I’d left — hey at least this was a new and exciting different Depression! They even had Prohibition, but it wasn’t alcohol this time, this time it was more about marijuana. I read it was the biggest cash crop in America at the time… hahah Louis Armstrong would have thought that was funny. He loved that shit.
I dreamed of a “rock band” one night I was doing the collages. They were called Graft Zeppelina. I think seeing all the videos made that happen in my head. They were all characters that were familiar but also unreal, neoclassic I guess you would say. I tried to draw them and define them… one of them was a minotaur character called Buffalo Jennifre (I know that it’s spelled wrong, but that’s the way it was in my dream. She was known for doing a burlesque performance with a see-through flag. I think the neoburlesque scene was doing things to my head. I felt so alone, I guess I needed to make up some friends who were just MINE. Like gods maybe, gods of my own.
It was definitely all the videos. Seeing the actual world that was full of such things… crazy images and crazy music… somehow made me want to run away… and with more than two feet.
I dreamt of Christene Jone’s — she was singing a song called “So Long Marianne,” by a man called Leonard Cohen. I wanted blinders, I wanted a guitar, I wanted boots on my hooves. I’d wake up exhausted and draw… I’d date them all 2000, because to me that was the date that mattered at this point. The truth and fiction took on a different meaning to me, in a really profound way. The truth and fiction didn’t seem that different to too many people, why not just start believing they were the same and just see what happens?
If you could look like that, wouldn’t you too?
I dreamt a drummer that had snakes, like a Medusa. I suppose that was just about percussion and stuff, the rattles. I was drinking coffee too, and it would make me shake more than I already did now. I felt rattled myself! I knew this stuff was now called “intellectual property” now, and that I had to protect it… I was learning all the time, there was no time when I wasn’t anymore! Dreams were the true intellectual property.
Go figure. I wanted to be the Donald Trump of intellectual property, before I even knew of him himself.
I wanted to get people to see things too.
I had skyscraper dreams of intellectual property, like it was a crazy landscape, and Graft Zeppelina sang the soundtrack. For me, the future was where I belonged now… it was funny how I’d wanted to stay where I as so badly, but then when I actually left 1933 and stepped out into TwoThousandThen… well, why wouldn’t someone have tons of weird visions doing that shit!
Doing something doesn’t mean that you understand what it will do to you. At all!
The collages were sentimental to me. I was thinking about things — like what would the opposite of nostalgia be? Because now I knew for sure that nostalgia was no place to go, but what about a strange nostalgia for things that could happen? Or would happen? I could see the beautiful edges of things… but filling them in was not what I could do yet, I couldn’t see the inside of my future yet. There was no way to recognize THAT, no matter what the edges were like.
I started going to things with Don. It was like the past, when we’d go places… speakeasies… events… I dreamt of silver bomb blasts made out of antique silver, like my mother had had so much of.
A STERLING BLAST… a sterling blast… a sterling blast — I guess I felt like that was what I was in for. I saw myself in a see-through dressy thing, with a straw hat, walking away… or maybe leading… there was graffiti everywhere. Things were getting hairy in the world. My pictures were how I divined things for myself — a lot! The outer world of the new world of New York City in TwoThousandThen was definitely something I was going to have to come to terms with before I could safely do anything.
Every night in my dreams I saw microphones, makeup… like smoke. I heard jazz… I saw explosions and fashionable clothing and our flag…
the color pink, the clothing of TwoThousandThen was gorgeous and I wanted to buy it so badly… magazines were full of dreams. This era was a lot to take in after where I’d been, I cannot say that enough, I had to keep repeating this to myself even to calm me down… I walked for miles in the new world I was in., and my scissors cut miles around the images of the day. I was making my own Bible, like no other Bible ever.
There it is, the cover of my own private Bible. Punk Jazz Duke was my god, I could thank my dreams for him, not the other way around.
I walked around Coney Island a lot. I had always gone there, back in 1933. Of course, like everything else, it had changed… but to me it was still home. There was a thing called “SHOOT THE FREAK” — and I thought of how me and my friends would have died laughing if that had been around in 1933. I climbed down a crappy ladder and walked around where the Freak himself probably walked — or jumped around trying not to get shot. Junk, weeds, paint like a bloody massacre, the silence of a rainy slow day.
Then I turned around, and in a time millions of miles from the time I’d been born in, I saw who I was, for the first time ever.
TO BE CONTINUED
NOTE! THIS IS A COMPLETELY FICTIONAL ACCOUNT USING THE REAL PEOPLE I HAVE PHOTOGRAPHED IN AND AROUND NEW YORK CITY FOR YEARS. IT IN NO WAY REFLECTS REALITY!
here are the other episodes sofar:
episode 1) — http://lensjockey.blogspot.com/2010/08/cleavage-pets-nyc-reality-noir.html
episode 2) — http://lensjockey.blogspot.com/2010/09/cleavage-pets-nyc-reality-noir.html
episode 3) — http://lensjockey.blogspot.com/2010/09/cleavage-pets-nyc-reality-noir-episode.html
episode 4) — http://lensjockey.blogspot.com/2010/10/cleavage-pets-nyc-reality-noir-episode.html
Posted by lensjockey at 11:25 AM