Archive for the ‘vision’ Category.
We, the people of the USA, are finally getting our shit together. We’re actually practicing democracy by taking direct responsibility for ourselves.
We’ve always been in power here but have inappropriately allowed our beliefs and behaviors to be determined by financial syndicates, military industrial complexes, fanatical religious bigots, schlock manufacturers, elitist empire builders and spooky conspirators. Sorry about that.
Fortunately it looks like we’re learning how to pay attention, be grateful for basic things and take care of each other. We are striving to feel, think and act not only in our own best interest, but in the collective best interest of all life on this shared and finite planet.
Thanks for your patience and please standby.
Wir, das Volk der USA, sind endlich unsere Scheißezusammen. Wir sind tatsächlich funktionierende Demokratiedurch die direkte Verantwortung für uns.
Wir haben immer an der Macht hier waren, aber unangemessenkonnten unsere Einstellungen und Verhaltensweisen, die vonFinanz-Syndikate, militärisch-industriellen Komplexe,fanatische religiöse Eiferer, schlock Hersteller, elitäre ReichBauherren und spooky Verschwörer gefahren werden. Tut mir leid.
Zum Glück ist es wie wir lernen, wie darauf zu achten, sieht,dankbar sein für grundlegende Dinge und kümmern uns umeinander. Wir sind bestrebt, fühlen, denken und nicht nur inunserem eigenen Interesse, sondern im kollektiven Interesse aller Leben auf diesem gemeinsamen und endlichen Planetenhandeln.
Vielen Dank für Ihre Geduld und bitte Standby-Modus.
Nous, les gens des états unis d’Amérique, ont finalement réglé nos emmerdes. Nous pratiquons la démocratie en assumant directement nos responsabilités.
Nous avons toujours eu le pouvoir mais nous avons laissé nos comportements et réactions être guidées de façon inappropriée par les syndicats financiers, les complexes militaires industriels, les bigots religieux fanatiques, des bâtisseurs d’empire élitistes des commerciaux pas très clairs et des conspirateurs sinistres. Désolant.
Heureusement, on dirait que nous apprenons à faire attention, à respecter les choses basiques et à prendre soin des autres. Nous ressentons constamment, pensons et agissons pas seulement à nos fins personnelles, mais dans le meilleur intérêt collectif de toute vie sur cette planette partagée et limitée.
thanks for you patience and please standby
Translations by Kai Schwarz and Laurence Schroeder
…and basking in beauty, that’s the summer of 2011. Hello World has been beached (blossomed) for a solid year following her crippling injury 30 miles north of Chicago that ended our 2010 expedition.
She’s communing with the flox and vetch across the street, waiting for repairs. Patrick and I are converting a storage shed into a workshop and that’s where she’ll be before the snow flies. I’ll mend her over the winter.
Meanwhile, she’s watching over another exploration of sustainability – the Lauren di Scipio memorial vegetable garden. I’ve followed the weed free (layer cake) method – with commercial organic soil in some beds and composted horse poop from Willy and Marijke Church in others. Unfortunately, the entire plot is shadowed by the backyard bluff and misses most of the morning sun. The corn patch is growing in a wedge shape, plants are progressively lower the closer they are to the bluff. There couldn’t be a clearer demonstration of solar power.
So what’s the prognosis for Around Lake Michigan, Search for Sustainable Civilizations? Will there be another expedition? What about posting movies from the rest of the 2010 expedition? What the hell has Dan Kelly been doing for the last year?!
After the 2010 expedition ended, I decided to leave NYC and return to Michigan full time. I enjoyed the summer on Crystal Lake, intent on posting the expedition movies and evaluating the project. The abrupt end of the sailing may have been more discouraging than I was able to admit, my passion for the project waned and… I got distracted.
In August, documentation of Gretchen Eichberger’s American Document flowed into discussions about starting a performance company, which ultimately triggered a traumatic misunderstanding. Though our friendship has bounced back, we’ve since steered clear of any significant collaborations.
In September the lads and I joined my brother Mike for a trip down the San Juan River in Utah. My no jet travel protocol and recent ALM experience prompted me to do a little trickstery critique of James Weston’s Africa documentary in November.
Speaking of James, my experience with Mykl Werth’s partner dance methodology started an extensive exploration of how Mykl’s classroom technique could be translated to video. We started in October but by the spring of 2011, disagreements with Mykl about the business model ended the project.
Also in September, the Trickster Pictures motion graphics show reel was re-activated, featuring work by myself and the Bear Lake Kelly brothers. We posted Version 0.9 in May of 2011.
From October 2010 – March 2011, I taught Tai Chi at Studio on Main in Frankfort, which Patrick and I have since moved to the house. Joe Cissel, Patrick and I were also teaching ourselves combat mime for most of the winter.
In the spring, I conned James into forming a production affinity group, the Michigan Movie Makers. After the first meeting, James was off to film school in Montana, but fortunately a slew of other local production VIPs have stepped into the breach. M3 had a presence at the recent Traverse City Film Festival, and I ended up volunteering for the TCFF video team and helping to edit a video for the Awards Ceremony.
The inventory of distractions wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t mention the house I’d neglected for the last 6 years. The furnace was toast, skylights leaking, etc. Still some stabilization required before real weather returns.
In summary, in the fall of 2010 I made a commitment to focus on current projects and not start any new ones. The Gretchen and Mykl dalliances were definitely new business – and they both tanked. M3 is also new business but has been justified as support for my relocated production presence. The other initiatives were arguably old business and have reached various stages of completion. However the two most important pre-existing projects – Daughter of God and Around Lake Michigan – have not been touched!
I haven’t been eating lotus only, progress has been made on various fronts and life is good. I even have a steady girlfriend and the possibility of an instant family.
But… I’m done with distractions. Now let’s be a laser beam, it’s time to make my movies. Since DOG has been on the back burner the longest, it’s first in the queue.
ALM is right after DOG. If we count the reconstruction of Hello World this fall, ALM will be happening concurrently to some degree. The next expedition of ALM will have to be re-thought if it’s going to accommodate sailing, movie making and distribution all at once. After Fukushima, I’ve been thinking about all those reactors I sailed by. What chance does a powered down civilization have surrounded by nuclear bombs? 10,000 years of toxic threat seems pretty daunting, maybe ALM needs a tighter focus.
Climbing high above a menacing mega-weather system, the VIP passengers aboard the Execu-jet attempt an escape to gentler climes, anticipating warm backrubs and frosty cocktails. Hubris! Even the mighty kerosene sucking turbo engines cannot forever loft such a heavy burden of sin! The weighty karma of their own greedy excess, their wanton spilling of carbon into the atmosphere and flippant sabotage of the global life support system drags them down. As if judged by the ancient gods, a bolt of rogue lightning strikes! Down, down into the swirling siphon perhaps to ditch in the flood waters or be smashed into jelly upon a mountain side. Fin.
Climate Change is a spin off of my Power Down PSA.
When my pals James and Jamaica were invited to document a travel boondoggle disguised as right livelihood, I felt compelled to whip up an editorial video. This didn’t stop the travel or even jam the hype, but I’m glad I spoke up. I’ve since been contacted by others who were also annoyed by the project’s premise, so at least I’m not the lone curmudgeon.
Is it possible to carve out a profitable niche in “green” industries and services? Can we convert our environmental debts into the comfortable currency of convenience and excess? How can we repair the global life support system if we’re not ready to abandon some familiar habits? Clearly, what we’ve been conditioned to think of as good and proper just isn’t. Hamlet, you have drunk your death.
I hear coffee enemas are good for you, but sucking the stuff down daily ain’t, period. Shipping beans or any other commodity around the world certainly isn’t healthy for the planet – check this container ship presentation. Riding your bike to work every morning will never make up for your vacation jet flight. If you’re going to process organic food, pay local growers more than California growers. Be on guard against activist arrogance – we can’t trade our good works for privilege. Beware of environmental leaders with large families, they need to hustle to feed all those kids. We’ve got real work to do and willful ignorance isn’t helping. I’m willing to be somewhat diplomatic and gentle in explaining the situation, but to those who assert their personal agenda over global survival, watch out.
I shot the jet footage at Cherry Capital Airport and wanted to wipe out the plane’s registration numbers so I wouldn’t need a release. It was unlikely that the owners of the jet would gang up with the boondogglers and retaliate, but better safe than sorry. Another job for After Effects! I mucked my way through and the results were… good enough!
When I was stabilizing the footage for the registration erasure, I wondered how the jet would look without it’s background. Weeks later, I was refreshing my roto chops with Pete O’Connell’s tutorials and needed some footage to practice with. The jet seemed ideal. After a rough roto extraction of the jet from the airport, I played with new backgrounds, including a trippy swirl that seemed to suck the stabilized jet in. That sketch became the basis for Climate Change.
The difference between a rough and a refined roto turned out to be about 3 days more work. The new roto tightened up the edges and wiped out the landing gear.
I also added a strobe flash, based on strobe from the original footage.
Lightning strikes are a bit of cliche, but so are apocalyptic images generally. Never mind that the plane is flying above the weather system, gimme some of that special Hollywood sauce! Extensive experimentation with various plugins eventually led to Sapphire’s S_ Zapto for the lightning and S_Glownoise for the dancing glow of rain on an electrically charged fuselage.
Jonathan and Patrick (experienced 3D modelers) both suggested that the plane’s movement was unrealistic, while James Weston (airplane pilot and flight instructor) was fine with the movement. Jeff wanted me to loose the rain streaks, he thought that broke the shot. The feedback was all over the place, so I decided to not make any changes. Maybe it is a little over the top. Jonathan thought the scene would work if it were pushed to be either totally over the top or totally realistic. I’ll ponder that when we plan the next release.
“Encounters at the End of the World” is my first encounter with Werner Herzog. The title of the movie has a double meaning, referring both to Herzog’s NSF sponsored visit to Antartica, and his cliche assertion that humanity is doomed. By filling the screen with field researchers, he attempts to borrow scientific imprimatur for his soured perspective. “Encounters” is a kind of ego porn in which Werner manages to be both trite AND pretentious. There’s certainly beauty in the work, but much of it seems accidental, as if Werner himself doesn’t know what he’s pointing the camera at or why. His ugly observations keep anything authentic from emerging on the screen. Extracting the merest nugget of pleasure required constant effort – untangling the hokey mishmash of condescending interviews, eye candy and reverb heavy choral music.
In the distant past I had posted about Grizzly Man, another Herzog project which I have yet to see. It’s supposedly about a kid who get’s eaten by the bears he loves. Since “Grizzly” isn’t an instant watch on Netflix, I figured “Encounters” would be a tasty appetizer. Now I’m really not looking forward to the entree.
This brings me to why I want to have parties. I’m all aglow about community building here in Michigan, about pooling artistic resources to become more than the sum of our parts. Making movies requires diverse talent. Gathering and taking inventory of regional creatives is key. It’s simple really. Who can have fun, who’s into living life? Parties are about social play and digging the moment. I know I can build a future with folks who like to laugh.
We’ve got a world to save, we’ve got to evolve and how. Sad old boors like Werner Herzog are not going to get the job done. We need vital folks for that, folks who have the human game sussed. Party people.
I’ve been away from ondesire.com for a couple of months, reconstructing my land based life and recovering from an NYC exit. Let’s return now to the Around Lake Michigan archives for further extraction and posting. I’m starting with a PSA exploring the ills of jet travel. ALM is a search for what’s useful, the artifacts of future sustainable civilizations. Rather than look at what is wrong and complain, ALM explores what might be right, what seems to work. Explaining why something works may require contrasting it with what doesn’t.
There’s a local effort underway to fund extensive jet travel, ostensibly for good works on the other side of the earth. Certainly the organizers mean well, but on the balance they’ll probably do way more harm than good. Having recently sailed hundreds of miles in an open catamaran, I’m in a unique position to comment, to offer some perspective on travel choices. Here’s a first draft of my narration.
Two years ago I was invited to sail around the islands of Hawaii and make a movie about sustainability. Getting to Hawaii usually means flying on a jet plane – and that’s a huge carbon footprint. Talking about the low impact lifestyle while having a big impact myself – that didn’t make sense. So I decided instead to stay home and make my movie right here, in Michigan. In fact, I decided to give up jet flight in general. This summer I visited my brother for a trip down the San Juan river in Utah, and it was Amtrak and cars the whole way.
Flying on jets is just about the biggest environmental impact we can have as Americans. Trying to do good deeds by flying to far away places is usually a contradiction. Do the ends justify the means?
I love to travel – adventure is my middle name. There’s so much to learn from other people and cultures. Maybe we can even help the folks we visit.
We don’t need to fly in jets to have adventures or be of service. Wondrous discoveries await within 200, 20 or 2 miles of our front door. There are plenty of people who need love and support in our own home towns.
If we want to help people in China or Africa, we can send checks to reputable organizations already there. If we want to make new friends on the other side of the earth, we can reach out through social networks, telephones and… wait for it… posted letters.
If we traveled around the world without taking a single jet, we would have a richer and more immediate experience, make more friends, have many more adventures and probably be a lot smarter after.
We are all responsible for each other, for our common survival. The choices we make determine what will happen to us and to our extended global family. Jet travel is not a responsible choice, it messes up the global life support system we all depend on.
live fully, go slow, power down
Day 5 was the second and for real launch. June 1st was the official day of getting Hello World into the Big Lake and starting to sail but the truth was we weren’t ready. A few days of puttering around in Bear Lake and Beulah and then 6.5 hours organizing and prepping on Arcadia beach got us there. This short 3:33 segment gives a taste of Day 5 and Day 6.
Sailing from Elberta to Arcadia on Day 2 was much easier than getting from Point Betsie to Elberta on Day 1. In this episode, I discuss the plan to beach Hello World and run some errands while still within range of the home base, recap Day 1, ramble about where the water comes and marvel at the miracle of solar power.
Perfection? The kingdom of god is spread upon the earth and man does not see it. Someone to tumble with in this grass would be sweet but as far as solo moments go, pretty near perfect. In tree shadow on sloping grass, facing the water and Hello World tugging on her can. So many other boats, most of them with masts! Behind me the great city yawns and rumbles with AM bustle.
Hello World is so low profile as to be nearly invisible, like a bigger boat that sank. Besides the buzzing and piping of birds, I hear hundreds of masts clanking against thier shackles, the accidental bells of an unplanned devotion. Each sail boat is a place of practice, a temple to the available free energy of wind. Hello World came right into Monroe Harbor under this energy, probably she’s the only boat who did. The rest manuevered to their cans with petrol motors. Out on the Big Lake, they sail.
All projects are test projects. I wonder about ALM, certainly a movie will emerge from this, but am I just setting the stage for a future scheme?
Much of ALM works, but I’m having problems with posting and sharing video. That’s kind of a crucial component. “Look at me I’m traveling” and “here’s what happened today” are not enough of an outcome to justify all the effort and expense. I’m living pretty minimally granted, but I want to offer more than just reporting the trivia of my admittedly unusual life.
Doing this project, I feel like an envoy of destiny, one foot stepping into an incredible possibility, an inevitable present that boggles. Are we really going there? Are we really getting in accord with the momma? I guess by dreaming it, by dedicating a summer to it, I am bringing it forth.
Yes the social aspect matters, it’s gotta make sense. Video and blogging are somehow integral, even if they are ineffective, if hardly anyone is paying attention. The ritual of outreach is what this is about, imaging the ideas flowing out and finding minds, delighting and inspiring. If I act in good faith, eventually the reality will catch up to my dreams.
Sarah Castle recently tweeted an New Scientist article by Deborah Mackenzie, Living in Denial, Why Sensible People Reject the Truth. This may have been a continuation of our exchange over my Stephen Hawkin inspired ET conquistador proposal, so I’ve been thinking about it, teasing out my ideas. It’s a sketch, perhaps once I am on the water I’ll elaborate on these themes.
There are many ways to ask a question. People test hypotheses, initiate conversations, open themselves to experience, devise tools for discovery, make myths, wonder without words and relax into knowing.
Science yields reliable predictions about the future. Compassion reveals the feelings of others. Mindfulness is an inquiry into the possibilities of the present. Living history is an exploration of the past from suppressed or forgotten perspectives, as demonstrated by Howard Zinn and John Hendrik Clarke.
Our experience of reality is determined by how we ask. We manipulate and fabricate reality with questions. ‘What do we want?’ can often be entangled with ‘What do we want to know?’ Know in the sense of both having pragmatic information and in the sense of wordless rapport, whether sexual, spiritual, aesthetic…
Science is one way of knowing. It’s emphasis on prediction has enabled our amazing technological civilization. We begin to realize though that the questions science poses cannot insure our survival or even guide us to joy.
Edward Bernays applied the theories of Sigmund Freud to develop the most destructive force yet unleashed against the earth – the consumer. Industrial productivity enabled by scientific inquiry has broken the climate. We literally cannot live with science alone. That’s Koyaanisquatsi – crazy life, life out of balance.
Science has rubbed out the authoritarian gods – and filled their shoes. Just one more rigid system that must not be transgressed, *cannot* be transgressed – it’s the law. The law of gravity, conservation of energy, etc. It’s impossible to step outside these laws… until our understanding shifts and we find those laws were just special cases, applicable only so long as x and y were true. Are we really so arrogant to think that our understanding is nearly complete?
Rather than demean or ignore other methods of inquiry, scientists should look for allies. Anyone who is intensely curious, anyone who is rigorous with inquiry – whatever the method – is potentially an ally. Openness to the idea of questions could be the basis for unity. Questions should not be evaluated by whether they can fit the dominant mode of inquiry but whether they are interesting, useful and even fun.
Conspiracy theorists attempt to break free of the gravity well of conventional thinking. They express a pragmatic and savvy skepticism of authority. They are entertaining. Not all conspiracy theories are bosh either, conspiracies really happen.
If we accept that Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with 911 and that he didn’t have significant weapons of mass destruction, why did we go to war with Iraq? Was it just a big mistake or can we use the C word here? I remember a lot of misleading imagery and dysfunctional reportage in the media back then. I remember fabrications by authorities and leaders. Who’s ready to step up and name that animal?
We can’t survive if we limit inquiry or act only on the authority of experts. Rather than deny the irrational we ought to find out what it has to offer. If both the rational and non-rational are our allies, we won’t be at war with ourselves.
New Scientist is doing a whole series on Living in Denial. Three days ago Michael Fitzpatrick contributed with Questioning Science isn’t Blasphemy. Dr Fitzpatrick may not agree with what I’ve asserted here, but I appreciate his bringing some balance. I had read Why Sensible People Reject the Truth weeks ago and was inspired to try and contrast my position, to articulate what seemed important. I have to thank Deborah Mackenzie, her assertion that folks who don’t agree with orthodoxy are mentally ill, she really had me going. I hadn’t reread her article until tonight and whoa! The generalization that “all denialists see themselves as underdogs fighting a corrupt elite” could as easily be applied to activists and reformers.
Here’s a conspiracy theory for you - There’s rumors that the Tea Party movement is corporate funded. If Ran Paul is the best those folks can muster, then maybe the whole point is to discredit dissident movements in general by equating them to the Tea Party. You wanna take back your government? Aw, go join the Tea Party!
Started to run Indian Trails this morning when the strange cramp in my starboard calf returned with a vengeance. I’m getting fat, now what? I walked out of the woods and onto the dunes to try a little tai chi in the sand, but couldn’t even manage half a short form. Looking to the Big Lake, wanna get out there.
Here’s the back page from the vintage Hobie Cat brochure that came with Hello World. Hobie had an intriguing angle on catamarans in 1979 – camping. Perhaps being a subsidiary of the Coleman Company had something to do with it. I don’t know whether this was a significant factor in sales back then, but this photo sure made an impression on me. Sailing Around Lake Michigan was not in my head when I bought her – so let’s hear it for the power of antique lifestyle marketing!
As the groovy copy explains, Hobie 16s can navigate very shallow water and can even be sailed right onto the beach – sandy preferably. They can go where few other boats can with minimal impact on the environment. That’s why Hello World is ideal for wilderness camping – in theory.
In practice, rocky shallows and sandy shores scrape away the hull bottoms. An lightly loaded Hobie bounces off rocks, deflecting the force of impact and minimizing damage. Add tents, sleeping bags and other cargo (like tripods and scuba tanks) and inertia increases, making direct impact and serious damage more likely. Landing a loaded Hobie on a rocky beach requires a slow approach. When the water is shallow enough to wade, it’s best to get off and walk her in, off load the bags, place Bao longs (solid fenders) under her hulls and then roll her up.
Even with such careful handling Hello World’s bottoms were pretty chewed up after last September’s trial run. To survive 3 months requires armor.
The highly worn areas along the bottom have already been protected with 9 layers of epoxy mixed with 10% powdered aluminum, an additive sold by West Systems for abrasion resistance.
Powdered aluminum is also a component of thermite – a steel cutting explosive used in building demolitions. Traces of thermite like residues have been detected in the dust from the Twin Towers. It took me two days to armor up the keel with the powdered aluminum, and each batch I mixed was a sort of meditation on dark history. My two beautiful fish, the feet of Hello World shod in sleek gray gloss. Perfect paradox.
Originally, Patrick and I had discussed installing thin steel plate along the keels. To conform to her complex curves, the plates could either be curved to match her contours or be placed as tiles, like on the space shuttle. In a worst case scenario, tiles could be torn away without taking a great chunk of hull with them.
Lining both keels with steel would have added a lot of weight – so aluminum powder was the choice. The most vulnerable section is between the bow and the mid section, the point of first impact below the water line. I repaired damage there when I bought Hello World and smashed it again myself last September.
|Armor detail on port hull. Roller texture will be abraded soon enough.||Port hull from inside. The most vulnerable area is defined by the width of the filing cabinets|
I’m currently investigating plating the most vulnerable bow/mid section with pre 1982 pennies, which are 95% copper.
…and by the way, Happy Birthday to Me!
James Cameron’s life is shifting because of his super blockbuster, Avatar. Democracy Now interviewed Cameron yesterday. Here’s where to find it.
Democracy Now archive Tuesday April 27, 2010 (audio or video)
ondesire.com archive mp3 (audio)
You might notice an unusual use of pronouns in this project. “We” usually replaces “I” when discussing the trip. That’s because Hello World has it’s own identity and presence, it’s not just Dan Kelly sailing Around Lake Michigan, it’s Dan Kelly and Hello World. When sailing we become a cybernetic / symbiotic fusion of two sentient beings, so technically “I” would be appropriate, but we’re not always sailing. Sometimes she and I are lounging on the beach or rolling at anchor in the swells.
How can Hello World be a “she”? I mentioned our symbiotic rapport when under sail. If the wind is wild, the edges between boat and Dan blur. My senses stretch – I feel the taughtness of the sail, hear the singing of the wires – every creak and twist of the hulls are happening in my own body. Comparing it to sex is a cliche – it’s sex with deep trust on the edge of oblivion. It’s sex to stay alive.
Once initiated into this mystery, one can’t help but see the radiant goddess in curves of fiberglass, swishing nylon and aluminum arches. She too is an artifact of the industrial age – love has no limits. Americans can learn to cherish sailboats and earthships as much as they loved their hydrocarbon powered cars, maybe more. Take heart.
Another unique use of “we” and “us” is in reference to the tribe. Everyone who’s thinking about the trip, telling friends about it or helping to make it possible is traveling along with Hello World and Dan Kelly. Even without blog posts or tweets, I can feel your attention and presence. We are all doing this together.
What’s today about? The schedule is already slipping but that’s to be expected. We’ll have to make daily adjustments as launch approaches. Concentrating on core issues, getting ready to go.
The master checklist is about 90% complete and posted. It will be revised right up to launch day as I sort, verify and (if needed) repair items. Borrowed, contributed and purchased gear will be arriving next week.
The itinerary was posted yesterday, but it’s really just a sketch. Short of having Edgar Cayce or Nostradamus on the team, there’s no way to know our schedule in advance. The itinerary has two functions – to provide a rough idea of where Hello World and I need to be and when so that the trip can wrap well before the snow flies (August) AND to inspire the tribe to think about artifacts and where they may be – specific people and places. We’re getting action on that already.
- √ flashlight [Sure Shot]
- √ dive flashlight [Intova]
- √ x4 lighter
- √ x3 chemical light sticks
- √ candle lantern
- √ x5 candles
Hygiene Health and First Aid
- √ scissor
- √ tweezor
- √ utility knife
- √ finger nail clipper
- √ bandaids
- √ cotton swabs
- √ hair ties x6
- √ electric razor
- √ floss [Toms]
- √ 3x toothbrush heads [Fuchs]
- √ toothbrush [Fuchs}
- √ cold sore (september)
- √ sunscreen [Dr Hauschka]
- √ x2 bug repellent (no deet) [Green Ban] (1)
- √ Niacinamide Gel [LifeLink]
- R-alpha lipoic acid [LifeLink]
- immune boost [Banyan botanicals immune support]
- √ Beta glucans [LifeLink]
- CoQ10 [LifeLink]
- melatonin [LifeLink]
- √ Dinindolyl methane (DIM) [LifeLink]
- √ Quercetin
- Lugal solution
- Steve’s skin saver
- B-12 [LifeLink]
- Zheng gu Shui (bone water)
- Wan hua oil (joints)
- Ching Wan Hung (burn medicine)
- oregano oil
- √ weather [Weather 1957]
- √ writing [Elements of Style, Strunk and White]
- √ first aid [Wilderness Medicine Beyond First Aid, Forgey]
- √ ropes [Ropes, Knots and Slings for Climbers, Wheelock]
- √ scuba [NAUI Openwater I Training]
- √ sailing [Catamaran Sailing from Start to Finish, Phil Berman]
- tai chi forms video [Ru]
- √ sword
- √ sword
This is based on the 09-08-31 Master Checklist, posted only 5 days before the September launch. We’re posting this 18 days before launch – that’s progress.
Launching 23 days late and this will be the final review. Yikes, so much for progress.
- √ tent, poles, stakes [The North Face]
- √ sleeping bag [The North Face, Cats Meow 2001]
- √ sleeping bag [Montbel, Ultra Light Alpine Burrow bag #3 2008]
- √ foam roll / yoga matte [Gaiam]
- √ x2 tarp 4′ x 8′
- 20′ rope, 30′ drawstring, 200′ twine
- √ tent, poles, stakes [The North Face]
- sailing wetsuit / drysuit
- √ skin out wetsuit[Gul]
- √ booties
- replace w/warmer
- replace w/warmer
- √ hood
- ASK *** drysuit
- √ skin out wetsuit[Gul]
- clothes – link
- √ water bottles x4 [Nalgene]
- √ ceramic filter pump [MSR]
- √ dual use – see Hello World/righting/big bucket
- √ locking pot with lid
- √ big family pot
- √ 4 x bowls
- √ 4 x spoons
- √ dish soap [Ecover]
- √ scrungy
- √ wooden spoon
- √ paring knife
- √ white gas stove [MSR Whisperlite]
- √ x2 fuel bottle large [MSR]
- √ food
- √ grains (make link)
- √ sanitation
- √ portable composting toilet
- √ prep
- √ sawdust bag (waterproof)
- √ portable composting toilet
- sundries – link
- Hello World [Hobie Cat]
- checked and repaired
- hull structure
- √ starboard bottom hole from rock impact, possibly near dune buggy blowouts UP
- √ starboard hull ratching hook dents under lip ~5
- √ port dent from stump pre 2009 launch
- √ ratcheting hook dents under lip ~5
- √ install hatches
- √ fair hatch surround
- √ reinforce inner hull under hatch
- √ fair and armor keels
- √ plate first impact
- safety patch
- √ frame
- √ lines, shrouds
- √ mast
- √ rudders
- √ sails [Whirlwind]
- √ remove Hobie logo
- √ shock cord for trapeze (10-05-13)
- √ main traveler (10-05-13)
- thread lock main traveler
- √ big bucket righting system
- √ test
- √ ditty bag
- spare parts
- √ paddle head or new paddle (10-05-13)
- √ harness with back support and spreader hook [Murrays] (10-05-13)
- √ hull graphics
- √ x4 baolong fenders (10-05-13)
- hull structure
- tools – link
- √ Passport
- √ Hello World registration
- √ x4 vds – water proof flares [Orion]
- √ air horn with bike pump [Ecohorn]
- √ torus bell [Winslow]
- √ x2 life preservers for trapeze [Stohlquist]
- √ x1 white light
- √ x1 red/green light
- √ x2 light mount and safety line
- √ x2 anchor, 6 feet chain with buoy
- √ x2 200 ft of anchor line (30 ft depth x ~5-7)
- √ x2 45 ft of line (5-7 ft depth separate or 12-18 ft combined)
- √ gps and charts iPhone application [iNavX]
- √ x2 compass [Engineer] [something that won't explode or fog up]
- Production and Power
- production and post kit – link [Canon] [Apple]
- √ submersible VHF – [iCom M72]
- ASK *** iPhone 3GS [Apple]
- √ dry bag [Aquapac]
- √ dry bag [Aquapac]
- √ iPhone back-up [Apple]
- √ dry bag [Aquapac]
- √ Mifi [Verizon]
- √ Mifi interface USB
- ASK *** summer connection
- Bags and straps
- √ backpack – [The North Face Snow Leopard 1991]
- √ backpack – [The North Face Technical 1995]
- needs repair
- √ dry bag backpack x2 [Seal line 115 2009]
- √ fanny pack dry bag x2 [Seal Line Sealpack 2009]
- √ messenger bag with shoulder and waist strap [Tenba]
- √ compression stuff sack [Granite Gear]
- √ x6 large stuff sacks [Granite Gear] [Sea to Summit]
- √ x7 small stuff sacks [Outdoor Research] [Granite Gear]
- √ x2 Pelican 1720NF Long Case without Foam Black 20lbs w/foam ~$400
- √ x8 climbing carabiners [Black Diamond
- √ x4 climbing carabiners locking [Omega Pacific]
- √ x12 H16 cargo plates [Dan Kelly and Chuck Hunt]
- Scuba and Snorkle
- ASK *** waterproof enclosure for Vixia [Light and Sound Bluefin] [Gates]
- √ waterproof enclosure for Vixia (shallows and light duty waterproof) [Aquapac]
- √ pony scuba tank 30 cu ft [Luxfer]
- √ pressure gauge [Cessi]
- √ harness
- √ adjusted straps removed shoulder release
- √ compatible with dual ponys?
- √ padding for pec/bicep
- √ regulator [Seaquest]
- √ purchased 87 rebuilt 7/09
- √ mask [Mares]
- √ snorkel [US Divers]
- √ x2 fins [Mares]
- √ x2 weight belt
- √ x4 dive weights
- √ flag
- flag mount
- √ NAUI card
- √ bag for mask and snorkle
- √ check mask for leaks
- √ mesh bag for all gear
- √ bicycle [Miyata, Steve Zilliax]
- needs service
- replace handlebars
- √ aircraft cable (cargo)
- √ ratcheting straps (square ends not hooks)
- √ heavy duty chain and lock [American]
- valve adapter
- √ bicycle [Miyata, Steve Zilliax]
- √ jbells
- *** ASK soft chaulk [Prang]
- √ Parlor Guitar [Larrivee] 36.25 x 13.25 x 4.5
- needs repair [Kelchak]
- armor [Dan Kelly]
- √ trailer
- checked and repaired
Time for a list of lists, a preliminary inventory. With 19 days left, we’ve got to design the optimal sequence of actions. To avoid the carbon cost of airplane flight, new gear needs to be shipped ground which means ordering within the week. Gear requests should be started first so we’ve got to decide what we want and who we are going to ask by Monday.
One of the prerequisites for asking is an effective introduction to the project. This is where the mini-movie fits in and it’s several days behind schedule. We are just going to have to make requests based on written materials with references to the long running video excerpts. There are five components to our collaboration proposal – a good idea (√), a coherent and workable plan (√), established distribution channels eg Ondesire.com, Facebook and Twitter (√), a documented mob (growing) and an articulate introduction (pending). Having a non profit umbrella would also be helpful so that contributions would be tax deductible. Since I missed my NP liaison last month, I doubt I could set this up before June 1, so I may just have to skip that. Perhaps it’s worth a phone call.
Monica Evans asked about making cash donations to the project. The trip itself is not all that expensive because it’s designed to be replicable/low budget/low impact, but post-production after the trip could cost $30k for labor and services. Asking for money doesn’t have to happen before launch, but it wouldn’t hurt to identify prospects now. I could then schedule several days during the trip to make these requests.
The origins, an overview. I’ve written deeply about the inspiration and origins of the project. Along with completing and posting the mini-movie, linking to the most articulate of these posts is vital. Methinks it might be a good idea to link first (today) and the sort out the mini-movie immediately after.
We’ve can instantly develop a starting inventory by linking to last September’s checklists, and then replace them with updates. They will also be helpful in identifying gear collaborators.
Posting our itinerary will not only trigger suggestions from the tribe about where to go and who to see, but other potential collaborators.
Finally, Hello World needs glass and rigging repair. There’s about a week worth of labor plus curing time after each patch, so this has got to begin no later than day 14 on the countdown.
So – here’s the order of operations draft…
• inventory/checklist rebuild 4/18
• introduction with links to inspiration and origins 4/18
• inventory revised with potential collaborators identified 4/18
• mini-movie 4/18+
18 – 16 days
• asks initiated 4/19 – 4/21 + mini-movie
• itinerary posted
17 -15 days
• ordering 4/22 – 4/23 + mini-movie
• Hello World repair 4/24+
12 – 10 days
• ordering and ask follow up 4/26-4/28
9 – 8 days
• provisions 4/29-4/30
• hulls complete and float test
• preliminary pack 5/1
• trailer and transport arranged
6 – 5 days
• final orders and provisions 5/2-5/3
4 – 2 days
• complete Hello World repairs and adjustments 5/4-5/6
• final pack 5/7
• trailer to E beach, launch party, overnight 5/8
• launch 5/9
Here are the general questions which helped me to develop this post.
Who can help, what companies are already involved?
What companies could be involved?
What’s the itinerary so far?
What does Hello World need to be water ready?
What provisions and consumables are needed?
I got back from NYC on Tuesday. The round trip from Beulah to Brooklyn is 1800 miles. Each 900 mile leg is about 14 hours of driving. In contrast, 900 miles of leisurely sailing might take 2 months or 1440 hours, 100 times slower than driving. It’s an apples to oranges comparison – the car trip is about nullifying geography and the boat trip is about about connecting to it. If I sailed vigorously, Hello World might manage 100 miles a day. A 900 mile trip would then take 9 days or 216 hours – still 15 times slower than driving.
Both methods of travel are good for thinking. The hazy blur of rushing road and the sparkling wind river of Hello World convert to a steady flow of insight. The following are my notes from last Friday’s drive between Michigan and New York.
Can Tiller and Roeder both be terrorists?
On April 2nd the BBC reported about the sentencing of Scott Roeder for the shooting of Dr George Tiller. The lawyer for the Tiller family, Lee Thompson called the murder an act of domestic terrorism. According to the BBC, Roeder also invoked terrorism to describe Tiller. “We do not need to be hunting terrorists in the mountains of Afghanistan. We have them in Kansas. Wichita is a far safer place for unborn babies without George Tiller.”
Can Tiller and Roeder both be terrorists? How do the terms terrorist or terrorism improve our understanding of a situation or the issues? Via an upgrade to ultimate epithet, terror variants have lost their meaning. The iconic 911 event was itself a cipher that triggered bizarre military operations and political obfuscation. Without a distinct definition, terror-isms will eventually loose their emotional charge. If so, then Terrorist Training Films may already be a bust. I sense that the BBC’s story contains some clue, a .jpg of the zeitgeist.
Another example of empty language was provided by NPR sponsor Monsanto, “sustainable agriculture”. I could be wrong, but I don’t think Around Lake Michigan is going to find Monsanto in the Search for Sustainable Civilizations. Patented seeds, Round Up and RICO ready operations aren’t artifacts of anything but the cult of suicide. Either I’ve got to make that word untenable for Monsanto or else change the movie’s working title. Are there any words which are inherently resistant to corporate acquisition? What about integrated, accordant, balanced or survivable civilizations? We understand what a civilization is, but perhaps modification isn’t effective. A custom concept might be a better approach, define a plausible sound.
Lake Michigan inspired sound
Speaking of sound, what about the soundtrack angle? Steve Elrick, Melonie Steffes, Jonathan, Luke and I talked about this weeks back, recruiting folks to contribute music to the project. I could find a place for the parlor guitar maybe. I (or someone) needs to reach out to the players and pitch the idea. Here’s the shortlist… Jamie and Kirk, Susan and Vince. Melonie and Shaun, Lucas, Gretchen, Jeff, the other Jeff, Todd and Laurie, Yvonne and on and on. After the calling card.
Add the wilds in
Colin Fletchers Walking the Green World reminds me to add the wilds in. It’s so obvious that like science fiction, I’ve tended to forget that it’s central. The Global Life Support System is functional wherever the wilds are intact. That’s why my personal mission is to expand global awareness to steward and expand the wilds. Terraforming is science fiction because we don’t yet understand terra, we don’t understand how this planet wide mechanism works, much less how to replicate it. All we know is that the wilds are part of it and industrial human presence not so much. So where we find wilds, we’ve got an opportunity to learn.
The most amazing thing is that the wilds are automatic. We don’t have to pay for or repair the wilds, we just have to leave them be. That’s why it’s called the global automatic control system. It’s big and it doesn’t need to be controlled or tinkered with. It just works. We get excited about new technology, yearning after gizmos and whatsits when we are surrounded by uber advanced technology, wilderness. Our own wondrous bodies run pretty well on leaves. The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth and man does not see it. Well, let’s see it already.
Asthma, diabetes and cancer are the result of environmental degradation. The cure for modern epidemics is to stop killing ourselves, eh? Burning books is symptomatic of ignorance. Wiping out wilderness is akin to dragging our families into the flames.
I watched one of the worst movies last night, one that I had seen long ago – Dino De Laurentiis and David Lynch’s Dune. There were so many awful things, but especially bad were the voice overs of characters thinking.
I’m working on a voice over for Around Lake Michigan, a way to get the search started. It might be fun to do an homage to De Laurentiis / Lynch. Imagine the ALM guide, gazing heroically over a rocking horizon or shaving in his rain pounded tent. We hear his thoughts…
Where you see rocks, watch out! They’re going to come alive… Alan Watts.
Earth is a giant ball of rock and metal skinned with life. Where does the rock end and the life start? People are alive, and trees and animals, that’s for sure. There’s even tiny things alive in the soil. Life is everywhere. Supposedly though, these things are not alive – water, rocks, air. Folks argue about how life came from non life – god or darwin. I am more interested in how life stays here. Whether by accident or design, the earth is a nice place to live. Everything is just so – the precise amount of oxygen in the atmosphere, consistent temperature, the right kind of light… but how does it stay that way? Somehow, life friendly conditions are maintained. That’s the global life support system, (analogies from NASA and science fiction abound).
Can humans damage or break the global life support system? Have we already? Maybe. Probably. Shit.
A more useful question is, can humans live in accord with it? Can we actually become an integral part of the global life support system? What would that look like?
A sustainable civilization would be in perfect accord with the global life support system. Concepts like garbage and pollution would be obsolete, archaic. There would be no consumption or waste, only cycles of transformation and renewal. Energy is free and abundant.
Hard to imagine, right?
The amazing thing is this…
This could be a preface for the premise.
In a scalding tub, burning away the muscle ache from yesterday’s kooky backward run. I skip showers for several days running just so I can dip neck deep in steamy agua caliente.
Today I bought a minivan from my fam and pondered how to introduce the concept of future artifacts into the project. I’ve got some major elements present in the current extended trailer. What’s missing is character development including DK’s science fiction influenced premise for Around Lake Michigan which points to artifacts of future sustainable civilizations. Take a breathe!
What does an artifact of FSC look like? Tricky, that. An artifact is anything that gets us past the hospice culture and on into living. Sure there will always be uncertainty, but can’t we take the pistol out of our maw for a decade or two, just give it a rest? Yes we can! Yes we did – in the post present.
Artifacts are telegrams from the future – we solved it and here’s how. Jet cars or sail boats? Soylent green or CSAs? Artifacts can be RL processes and perhaps cybernetic extensions. When Mozilla builds an open source Facebook into Firefox – that sort of thing. If Monsanto were run by Geshe Michael.
I know, it’s Dan Kelly’s perplexing internal world. Not since Tolkien has any artist fabricated a fantasy so arcane and detailed. Forget about comprehensible, this is the future talking. Buckle your seatbelts.
We’ll clarify all soon enough. The really big waves are preceeded by a sucking sound.
I’ve been so focused on social phenomenon that my first thought when I wake up is to get online. With only a month left before launch, it’s time to kick the habit.
I’m replacing my morning urge to compute with yoga and tai chi practice. I’ve joked about being eye candy for the camera but the truth is that Around Lake Michigan is physically demanding. I might spend hours hanging in harness if there’s big wind. I’ve got to pack and haul 70 lb drybags twice daily and push 300 lbs of sailboat on and off the beach… for three months.
My friends know I’ve been into yoga for about 20 years and studied tai chi since 2004. As a pragmatic guy, I judge the value of these disciplines by what they have enabled me to do, both physically and emotionally. I can call upon deep resources when things get intense.
Being fit and capable is as essential as packing flares and first aid. I’m confident I can get up to fighting trim within the month.
How is physicality an artifact of a future sustainable civilization? Yoga and Tai Chi are ancient practices with an expanding reach, even discounting the trite and goofy mutations. Bodies must move for optimal health, we are not designed to be sedentary. To be fit is to be alive and present. Julie had this great insight about the metaphor of planet as island, island as boat, boat as planet. With her usual directness she added – body as earth. Our body is a metaphor for earth. If we wish to be adept stewards of the earth, we must begin with our personal cosmos and portable ocean – our own body. Learning to steward and celebrate ourselves, what a concept.
Thanks for taking the time to check us out.
My name is Dan Kelly and I am working on the documentary movie. From May – August of 2010, I’ll be sailing a 16 ft catamaran all the way around Lake Michigan – solo. That’s about 1000 miles. Along the way I’ll visit people and places related to sustainability. With a high quality mobile production kit, I’ll record my discoveries and post them here.
I want to establish local connections before I go, that’s why I followed you. You might have great ideas about where to stop or who to visit. Perhaps you’d like to meet me yourself and talk about the future over tea or a beer.
Feel free to wander around this site and learn more. If you are intrigued with the project, email me directly firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me for updates on Twitter – http://twitter.com/OnDesire.
Thanks for your time!
and the On Desire team
Bounce rate has dropped from 40% to 10%, whoo! Congratulations team, landing page analysis and revisions are a success.
We’re generating a trickle of new visitors by selective follows on Twitter every day. From analytics it was pretty clear that the landing page didn’t engage, almost half of new visitors saw it and left. During the meeting we discussed how the landing page could be simplified and focused.
Note to self – remember to snap screen shots before making changes to key pages!? Since I didn’t make http://ondesire.com available to search engines until recently (doh!) Waybackmachine doesn’t have an archive, so there’s no before shot. If I’m lucky I’ll find an archival screenshot on our local drives. For now, the best I can do is show the after and describe the before, bah. Anyway, here’s the landing page circa 10-03-12 at 11:12.
The title was been changed from “On Desire” to “Desire”.
The subtitle was changed from “Big World Small Footprint” to “The crux of human experience, our collective destiny” – Melonie, Dan
The page title was changed from “You are Here” to “Our Collective Destiny, Desire” – Melonie, Dan
The body text was simplified to explain the On Desire concept and emphasize the only active project, Around Lake Michigan – Steve, Dan
Two active movie links were added, tho the picture is not obviously a video link yet – Patrick
Archive was changed to BLOG – Julie
A twitter icon was added
Launch date was added – Julie
PAGES was removed. Around Lake Michigan pages were brought to the top of the list and On Desire to the bottom.
Added An Around Lake Michigan premise page which will become a 15 second “watch this first” video link. The page starts with character development and then presents the character’s premise, addressing Jonathan’s doom feedback – Melonie, Jonathan, Dan
I’m fleshing out the links on the collaborators page and making a point of linking to resources like WBAI and SOMA (great music). Not only do I want to share the resources that inspire the project, these links increase the interconnectivity of ondesire to the rest of the www.
Jonathan has been questioning the veracity of the doom assertion in the ALM / artifact premise. A premise or pitch is a shorthand introduction to a project – typically delivered in less than 15 seconds (and often in an elevator). A great pitch should distill a project and summarize it rather than simplify. Here’s the current version of the ALM pitch.
We know that a sustainable civilization is coming because if it doesn’t show up, we (human beings) are doomed. Since we all expect to survive, survivable civilization(s) must emerge within the next 10 – 15 years. That means they must be already coming together, they must be in the process of emerging right now. We can can expect to find fragments and partially assembled components everywhere. These artifacts of future survivable civilizations can be discovered and shared, growing awareness globally. That is the objective of Around Lake Michigan.
Is this premise inherently misleading and broken? Jonathan offered some interesting insights.
Jonathan – What’s the proof that we are doomed? That reminds me of mainstream media’s fear mongering and exaggeration which makes intelligent folks allergic.
The more I think about it, the more of a core issue it seems this might be, as far as making this site truly communicate with folks.
It isn’t clear who is the source of the information, when you say that there’s dark things up ahead. Where is this prophecy coming from, you (dan kelly), the scientific community, the mainstream media, etc.? If the prophecy is coming from one of these sources, then you need to explain why the audience should be looking to themselves to answer what the solutions are, rather than this source. And that isn’t usually easy.
Example, if the scientific community is saying global warming is the problem to focus on, and people respect them and this opinion of theirs, then they’ll naturally look to the scientific community to tell them exactly what they should do about it. They won’t look to themselves for the answers, because they weren’t even capable of noticing the problem until science pointed it out to them.
Another example is 9/11. From observations and common sense people could see that it was not an accident, but not who was to blame for it. Later that same day the government/media started putting up a picture of Osama Bin Laden, explained who he was supposed to be and that he was supposed to be responsible. And so it was the government/media that folks followed to war, not their own individual pieces of knowledge or independent viewpoints.
If you want to break out of this system, of people following “leaders” or “experts”, and instead trusting in and finding solutions to problems themselves, then they have to become aware of the problem within their own experiences and minds. Otherwise it is just more blind faith. You need to show people the symptoms of a problem they can become aware of within their own life experience, independently. Ask them to confirm what you are saying within the things they have already seen.
Certainly if the artifacts of the solution are already around us, there must also be the artifacts of the problem for people to confirm what is going on for themselves.
Within the context of ALM and this website, you as the stand-in character for the everyman, the joe average, could talk about your personal experiences that made you become an environmentalist. Maybe recount how you saw certain things change over your lifetime that made you aware the present course was heading in a very dark direction.
Then recount some of the artifacts of a possible future way of life, that you experienced over your lifetime, that lead you to start this search for a sustainable way of life.
This reminder about individual experience is indeed powerful and worthy. Mass disconnection from direct experience is what makes the toxic consumption juggernaut possible. On Desire is a DIY effort, it’s about taking personal responsibility for the situation. “What situation?” Jonathan asks. What exactly is our ALM guide, Dan Kelly talking about? Let’s tease out some story from this.
A character effectively developed is believable. The audience travels with the ALM guide because they can relate to him, his struggles and aspirations have been offered and accepted by the audience. They don’t need to agree with him or even like him to go along on his journey, they just have to get him. Search the posts for “guide” for more background on this.
Andrea made the point that Dan Kelly can’t be a detached observer. Who would believe that a detached observer would fix buy a 16 foot cat and sail 1000 miles searching for artifacts of a survivable future? That sounds slightly passionate if not a obviously nuts. This character is motivated by something more compelling than reports on CNN, he is acting from his gut. He may be delusional, but his direct experience has galvanized action.
Of course the audience should look to their own experience, absolutely. That’s what makes character development possible. It’s tricky to ask for that in the premise though, there’s just not enough time. All we need to do is communicate that this is Dan Kelly’s premise, and illustrate how he acquired it.
Now the pitch starts like this… There’s this guy who believes (insert premise). Well – that’s interesting, how did he come to believe that? Cue character development.
The character development will illustrate how this guy’s direct experience – a heady brew of ecstatic physicality, presence with wilderness, speculative storytelling, an affinity for science and intuitive mysticism intoxicated him with the premise.
If the character makes a robust commit to act on his direct experience, that will be an example for others to attend to and act on theirs… and we’ve made a training film.
In conclusion, deconstructing the premise is a useful exercise. The character Dan Kelly has an epic bent. He has a strong feeling that earth and her human inhabitants are facing a crucial moment. Does he conjure the threat of annihilation to spice an otherwise dreary RL existence? Is he tilting at windmills? There’s no story without conflict, right?
We’ve had two dream team meetings, in Brooklyn (Faisal, Erica and Dan) and last Saturday in Beulah (Steve Elrick, Melonie, Jonathan, Lucas Kelly and Dan).
Inviting collaboration and contribution was the focus of Saturday’s meeting. Components of the ask package for fundraising were presented and discussed. Our collective web presence, including project blogs like http://ondesire.com and contractor blogs (http://meloniesteffes.com and http://jonathankellyarts.com) are key. We reviewed the design of the landing page for http://ondesire.com and discussed what our expectations are for it.
Melonie – The silhouette image of Dan on Hello World looks “girly”. It’s the first thing I think about when I see this page.
Dan – This is because the camera pack on his left side gives an impression of wide hips which combined with the long hair makes the image a little confusing.
Is it disturbing or discordant to visitors? Some testing is needed. It’s possible to either switch out this picture or try to ps the camera pack out. Might not be a bad idea to broaden my shoulders and add an ornate cod piece while were at it.
Jonathan – I’d like to see a link to the latest news, so that folks can jump to immediately to the last 5-6 posts.
The simplest solution is a link to all posts. The most recent will show up first.
Melonie – “Desire – the crux of human experience.” That’s important, it should be a headline or bigger.
Dan – “You are here” was intended to give a sense of place, suggesting maps and geography. We can repurpose this for the maps area.
Replace “You are Here” with the crux of human experience” to give it more prominence and simplify the page. Move you are here to the maps page.
Dan – On Desire was conceived as a container for many projects, Around Lake Michigan being one of them. Currently, ALM is the only project in there, so it needs to be more prominent.
On the sidebar, move Events up to the top and all the ondesire.com background down to the bottom. Perhaps move the background out of the sidebar totally.
Jonathan – The archives take a lot of real estate, be good to move them farther down the sidebar so it’s less cluttered up top.
Dan – Not sure that’s possible. If we had a little WP magic we could link to a separate page where the archives could live. Look into it. A benefit of the archives being on the sidebar is it demonstrates project longevity.
Investigate whether archives become a landing page link?
Dan – Perhaps Dan and Hello World are the vanguard for a wave of expeditions worldwide, perhaps one objective is to inspire other expeditions. ALM could be a demonstration on how to look for artifacts of a survivable future. How could the site be an aggregator for artifacts? Searchers could report discoveries by…
writing a letter / email
leaving a phone message
sending audio or video recordings – youtube, vimeo etc.
Steve – what about incorporating song writing? Steve relates a recent effort to rewrite the lyrics of Route 66 to fit the sights along M22. Could this be worked into ALM? Would song writers and performers be inspired with images of trip geography?
Dan – I really wanted to bring my guitar with me last September, the idea of a giant song writing quilt is awesome. Lucas and Melonie are both making music too, Steve sings so maybe we already have a strong base.
What other ideas can we deploy for hooking the general public into the project?
Who could organize and manage the music project? How would it work? What’s our protocol for integrating new artifacts, a resource for contributing must be developed.
Melonie – Right now the project is the Dan show. We need more artifacts up ASAP.
Dan – absolutely. We have some great material.
Priority – put up other interviews.
Dan – The premise, the pitch. We know that a sustainable civilization is coming because if it doesn’t show up, we (human beings) are doomed. Since we all expect to survive, a survivable civilization must emerge within the next 10 – 15 years. That means it must be already coming together, it must be in the process of emerging. We can can expect to find fragments and partially assembled components everywhere, right now. These artifacts of a future survivable civilization can be discovered and shared, growing awareness globally. That is the objective of Around Lake Michigan.
Jonathan – What’s the proof that we are doomed? That reminds me of mainstream media’s fear mongering and exaggeration which makes intelligent folks are allergic.
Dan – maybe “doom” switched to “things getting really unpleasant,” (wink, nod). Kind of under-promising approach.
Jonathan – Showing change from past to present, activate personal observation.
Melonie – focus on the good stuff, spreading the solutions
A 15 second premise video could be the first thing that visitors encounter.
Jonathan – we need definitions on the site, like xroll, civilizations and artifacts.
Build a project dictionary or a wikitionary
Dan – How do you guys feel about the process of blogging?
Melonie – an old friend found me through my website, I was embarrassed. the first thing I thought was I hope he didn’t read my blog.
Jonathan – I am posting technical stuff because I don’t feel very creative right now. When writing about technical issues, there’s a lot of overhead involved in explaining something simple. Saying exactly what I want, a process of taking stuff away.
Melonie – What about exploring your feelings about the project?
Dan – We will continue to blog, because it’s very powerful to look into ourselves and express what we are becoming. It’s very helpful for our development as artists and for our ability to communicate clearly – to each other and to the world at large. It’s an investment in ourselves. Melonie’s reaction is very telling, why should we be embarrassed about our own thoughts and feelings? What’s the matter with developing a public presence? Is that ego or just sharing? An open project means we share our lessons and discoveries.
Steve and Lucas can be encouraged to launch showcase sites with Jonathan and Melonie’s help. Jonathan and Melonie write a 1 or 2 paragraph premise – why writing and sharing my journey makes sense for me, or if it did make sense for me, why would it?
A sustainable civilization is a diverse proposition that includes all our future activity and experience. An artifact of a sustainable civilization is any object, process or behavior that points to the fundamental operating principles of a sustainable civilization. These principles in turn reveal individual perspectives that are in sync, viewpoints worth adopting. By adopting these viewpoints myself, I can travel into the future.
What’s the difference between changing the actual date and experiencing a Future Resonant Life? A significant date change means gray hair and wrinkles for my nephews and nieces while a FRL lets them grow slow. Why bother tasting a happy collective destiny if I’ve got to loose my peeps? Obviously whack, that.
So here’s the FRL groove so far and Prime Directives of Around Lake Michigan. Can you say “primordial soup”?
• reuse, renovate, re-purpose, multipurpose, rebuild, maker aesthetic, DIY
• low impact, small footprint, efficient, resource sipping, frugal, improvise, make do
• in accord with the global life support system. recognize and integrate into evolved cycles, inter-connection and inter-reliance
• RL networks, community, social capital, reputation economy, whuffie
• open source, open process, building knowledge, creative commons, transparency, global archives
• science fiction – extrapolation of social and technological developments to find the future and influence it, applied imagination, exploring alternate scenarios yields better choices.
• art, supercharged communication, cognitive hacks, surprise, direct experience transfer / translation, experience of being fully alive, mysticism, shamanism, storytelling
Great Lakes Restoration has posted video from a February 12, 2010 meeting on Asian carp. With luck, I’ll approaching carp entry points by the end of May. My brother in Arizona can’t stand my singing, and he’s about the same size as one of these fish. Maybe I can sing the carp away.
Today I am thinking about the indivisibility of story and audience. Which comes first? In May 2010, Hello World and I return to the Big Lake. I’d like to start with a more robust social presence than the project had in 2009. WordPress and Twitter apps on the iPhone were swell, but there hadn’t been much outreach before the launch.
Could we start this May with a robust and attentive audience of say 5000? If so, who would they be? Who should we invite? How should time be balanced between building a following and building the story?
That last question is a doozie, it scares me. Scan back through the posts from July – August 2009 and you’ll see how much preparation was going on. That’s where I am now, just two months from launch. Do I have time to build an audience? Do I want an audience if I am ill prepared for performance? What’s the point of having an incredible performance that nobody sees? What does an auspicious balance between audience building and story building look like?
Let’s back up and look at who the audience might be. Content attracts an audience that can relate to it. Context diversifies the audience. Both content and context flow from my story, so what’s my story? Story -> content + context -> audience. This might all seem abstract, so here’s an example.
A guy is going to sail a small catamaran around Lake Michigan. If that’s the story, then the content would be sailboats, water, beaches, maybe some interesting weather. This content appeals to folks familiar with Lake Michigan, sailors and some outdoor enthusiasts.
Add more story and the content expands… This guy believes he can fathom the future of the human race, he thinks he can figure out how we will radically reinvent our planetary presence and avoid environmental apoocalypse. Now the content includes encounters with all manner of kooky folks with clues about the future – rocking chair philosophers, garage scientists, mad prophets, sincere visionaries, hard working fanatics, angels in brown paper bags, irascible recluses and so on. The audience now includes folks who enjoy debate, new ideas, all the friends and family of the kooky folks, folks who are themselves somewhat kooky and anyone who thinks the human race is in big trouble.
Now comes the lovely magic of context. This guy who is going to sail around Lake Michigan likes science fiction. Not the watered down low octane Hollwood fluff, but the hard core, straight to the vein hard core. Science fiction from books. His shelves are sagging with ragged paperbacks from the masters – Bradbury, Wilhelm, Le Guin, Clarke, Dick, Lethem, Swanwick, Stephanson. He’s steeped deep. We explain this to the audience and suddenly we get this guy a little more. Poor dear, his brain’s been fried from too much reading! He’s projecting his imagination into the real world, he probably thinks his catamaran is the space shuttle. What will happen to this sap, will he end up drowned after being knocked off his boat by alien Asian carp? Now the content includes the guy’s history, scenes depicting his heartbreaking literary obsession – moments that make a connection to him. The audience may not agree with who he is or what he believes, but they can relate! He is every man, every woman. He becomes a placeholder for all of us. A 21st century Don Quixote on an impossible quest. If context is pulled off properly, the audience includes all, whether or not they like boats, philosophy or give a rats ass about the earth.
So I guess the question of balance didn’t get resolved here. Hmm. I’ll be back.
Wanted: Folks publishing with integrity and insight about the connections between environment, sustainability, social justice and spiritual fulfillment. Comment with your recommendations.
Getting fit for my return to the water in May, just 66 days away. Not only do I need to be eye candy, but I’ve gotta muscle 300 lbs of sailboat ashore over sand or stone.
Anastasia opined that I’m loosing tone – no wonder with all this screen staring. I’ve slacked on my body worship, maybe moving 2-3 times a week, if that.
I hit Prospect Park in my Five Fingers this morning, slogging through 2.5 miles of snow and drizzle in 28 minutes. Nothing to brag about, but it’s a start.
I’m also using my WordPress iPhone app to post, gotta get back into practice with that too.
Since the Around Lake Michigan movies are presented in a resizable window outside of the blog proper, folks couldn’t comment – doh! Just created a stack of posts to fix this slight oversight… and away we go!
Watch the movies and let us know what happens to you!
On December 13, 2008 I attended an Awakening the Dreamer symposium at Boricua College with Melanie Ida Chopko, aka Melonie Amazing. On Valentines Day weekend 2010, I trained with 34 others to be a symposium facilitator.
The symposium is a fascinating blend of modalities designed to activate waves of sleepy and disillusioned humans and deploy them to save our collective butts. Imagine bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on the planet. Here’s the recipe…
2-30 new participants (the audience)
1-3 facilitators / presenters
AV equipment, DVDs
The script is the key ingredient. It’s authored by various manifestations of local consciousness collectively known as Earth – aka Mother Earth, Gaia and Pachamama. Because of it’s unique origins the script acts like an energy pipe, connecting the audience directly to our fabulous starship’s forgotten super computer. This is not immediately obvious to the audience (and even some of the facilitators) as the script appears to be an ordinary stack of papers in a 3 ring binder.
If this sounds nutty then you are definitely reading the wrong blog.
In a largish room combine all ingredients for about 2-5 hours. This is called the symposium. Include non gmo snacks and drinks.
The facilitators offer the script to the audience, either by reciting it verbatim, rephrasing it into their own words or reading it directly from the binder. The results are the same regardless of how the script is offered – most of the audience enjoys a restored connection to planetary consciousness, enabling the conversion of their frustration and angst into great reservoirs of survival savvy. Powerful shifts towards a sustainable, just and fulfilling human presence, perfectly adapted to local conditions, manifests within months. A sense of community pervades.
Some members of the audience will demonstrate a strong desire for the script. A couple of days of additional exposure will make them facilitators. As new facilitators emerge, symposiums become more numerous and the process accelerates. A note about facilitators… angels in sackcloth, misfits and mad poets all make excellent facilitators, but there’s really no ideal type. Advertising executives and soccer moms/dads, elementary students, retirees, stock brokers – basically any articulate human has the capacity to facilitate.
Last night my nephew texted me about my weekend of environmental training – what was it all about? I passed him the ATD trailer link but he was still baffled. I didn’t know what to tell him, how to give the gestalt. Hence the above post, my first independent assimilation exercise. ‘Script’ is my shorthand by the way, ATD folks call it the symposium materials.
Here’s one highlight. 34 of us spent the weekend working through the material and on the last day we broke into groups to practice presenting. Nancy, Majandra, Keith, Darelyn and myself worked with Geri. As we took turns presenting, our unique talents and gifts were suddenly activated. We stumbled over the text and gaffed a bit, but underneath it all there was resonance. We had an enhanced quality of presence, we were upgraded.
Keith and I talked it over afterwards – it was the Earth. I have been actively practicing flowing Earth energy, feeling alive, being an Earth agent – but this was a new experience. The pages and pages of symposium material are the Mother’s point of presence. It’s not mere human gabble, science this and opinion that. It’s a direct connection, something I thought only existed in wilderness. My fellow presenters and I were amplified by offering it. Earth can speak to us directly, using actual symbolic language. Earth can make it’s own memes. Damn!
The primary lesson I learned making Daughter of God or DOG is this – finishing a movie by yourself takes forever. To complete DOG and support ALM this year, I’ve assembled a team of two knob spinning freelancers and five adhoc experts. Here’s some quick introductions.
Dan Kelly. Me.
Jonathan Kelly is a emerging artist working primarily in the digital domain. He’s been doing 3D modeling and game development for the past 4-5 years and has been expanding into editing and motion graphics with Premiere and After Effects respectively. He also has plans to pick up some programming to be able to extend and customize his toolkit. Jonathan has contributed significantly to the apocalyptic ambience of DOG with futuristic cars and a derelict cruise ship.
Melonie Steffes is a painter and musician. She is also an awesome mom and no slouch with a power saw. Melonie went on location for DOG in the spring of 2006 as assistant director, fabrication specialist and set stylist. Though Melonie favors real world materials, she has been computer savvy for at least a decade and is the proud owner of a zippy new OSX platform. Melonie is going to be mixing and matching traditional and digital expression to expand the visual horizons of both DOG and ALM.
Business and Outreach
Julie Constantin is a financier and business magus. Her venture capital career boasts a bevy of brave new start-ups and she’s raised multi-millions for nonprofit organizations. She’s seriously connected, an iconoclast and very hard to kill. She too is an amazing mom. Julie will be turbo charging our projects with her expertise on management and social marketing and blowing our minds with her visions of the post future.
Editorial and Story Advisors
Faisal Azam is an editor, filmmaker and writer. Faisal has plenty of corporate clients you’ve actually heard of and though he could have sold his soul to the beast a thousand times, he remains a force of integrity and goodness in the universe. He also has bitchin’ cool long hair. He and his squeeze Erica live in some god forsaken corner of Queens, but if you show up he’ll juice you some carrots. Faisal has generously offered to recut DOG to bring out the tasty bits. He doesn’t realize it yet, but he’s going to get even more deeply entangled in our crazy schemes. With any luck, we’ll drag Erica along too.
Jeff Gibbs is a filmmaker and composer. His hutzpah has powered such documentary blockbusters as Bowling for Columbine and Capitalism, A Love Story. In every camp he visits, his integrity and passion causes fur to bristle and minds to open. Jeff has had a profound influence on the development and philosophy of On Desire and Around Lake Michigan. His recent incarnation as a media savvy Lorax is galvanizing forest stewardship throughout Northern Michigan. He’s also rumored to be working on his own monumental cinematic expose of the human condition.
Steve Elrick is a painter, theatrical director and performer. He’s directed countless plays during his multi-decade career as the President of the Benzie County Players. Affable and gregarious, Steve is universally loved by the local arts community and anyone with half a brain would agree that he is the region’s premier arts advocate and ambassador. His acutely inquisitive nature and noble carriage merely hint at the full extent of his stellar character, a character only mildly tarnished by his crazed obsession with punning.
Andrea Maio is a filmmaker with an affinity for the experimental. She is a recent transplant to Benzie County, squatting her family’s cabin in Elberta when she’s not negotiating big deals in LA. Currently she’s pitching a food series centered around the Great Lakes region, featuring intimate portraits of cuisine artisans like the vintners of the Leelanau Pennisula. Andrea is also a gifted teacher, giving her a storytelling turbo charge. Her insightful guidance continues to inform the development of Around Lake Michigan.
But wait… Faisal is in New York, Julie’s in California, Jonathan and Melonie are in Michigan… Short of scorching the upper atmosphere with combusted kerosene, how can they effectively collaborate? Geographic and atmospheric impact are minimized by the Trickster Pictures Collaboratory.
Last year my documentary about sailing around the Hawaiian Islands morphed into a documentary about sailing around Lake Michigan. In September of 2009 I soloed 300 miles on the 16 foor catamaran Hello World, searching for sustainable civilizations. The plan for 2010 is to sail the entire perimeter of Lake Michigan, over 1000 miles!
The name of the documentary is (appropriately) Around Lake Michigan, Search for Sustainable Civilizations. Here’s the pitch.
If we can’t figure out how to live in accord with the global life support system, human beings are doomed. Becoming sustainable is bigger than recycling or buying low flush toilets, it’s a reimagining of our presence on the planet.
As the operations of governments and corporations are often at odds with human survival, we can’t rely on their guidance. The adventure of survival belongs to each of us.
The fragments of a sustainable civilization already exist, we have but to gather and assemble them. All over the world folks are figuring out what it looks like, inventing and rehearsing the survivable future.
In the spring of 2010 Dan Kelly resumes his expedition aboard the 16 foot catamaran Hello World, sailing Around Lake Michigan to Search for Sustainable Civilizations. Dan picked the big lake because it’s close to home, but it doesn’t matter where we start. The answers are all around us – wherever we are.
Visit the Around Lake Michigan blog at http://ondesire.com and toss in your two cents. We’re looking for ideas – people to interview and places to check out along the shores of Michigan, Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. Share your clues and rumors about sustainable civilizations. Offer feedback on the video vignettes, comment on the posts or create your own posts about relevant issues. Blogging is fun!
Lots of visitors and activity at http://ondesire will translate into contributions of equipment, expertise and funding for Around Lake Michigan this spring.
Folks always wonder what they can do beyond insulating their homes and installing compact florescent light bulbs. Flooding On Desire with your awareness sprouts the seeds of our native weeds.
I can toss my two cents but I’ve never visited On Desire before. Register at http://ondesire.com
I’ve already registered and ready to contribute, let’s go! Log in at http://ondesire.com
I only want to visit On Desire for now. Visit http://ondesire.com
There was another way of doing things once, a way that has become marginalized and almost forgotten but perhaps not quite totally annihilated. A way that isn’t self destructive.
We all know the legend… the native people of several continents knew the way, lived it. Then the bad old European colonizers showed up with their plagues, organized ignorance and naked greed. The native people were nearly rubbed out and their ways was lost, almost.
If the people who practiced the old way couldn’t prevail in combat, then that’s the way it goes. One culture is stronger than another. Survival of the fittest, that’s natures way, right? One might just as well believe that dumb Poles charged their horses directly at Nazi tanks in the battle of Krojanty.
You can turn a zillion dollars into 10 zillion by making a movie about it – big blue people, lots of explosions and a happy ending this time.
Meanwhile back on earth, we’re still fehgked. Our current behavior is killing us, we need to rediscover what’s been forgotten. Is there anyone left who remembers how it worked?
I am mostly invader stock, descended from European peasants and workers. My mom’s parents had been farmers in Austria/Hungary. My dad’s parents were a mish mash of ingredients from the British Isles – Ireland, Scotland and England, and had been in America for several generations. However, there’s a rumor that my dad’s mom had some cherokee blood. Maybe I can claim lineage.
The bottom line is that this knowledge of the way is inherent in the earth’s systems, the wilds. If we just pay attention we can get back in alignment. Lineage is good – knowledge passed down and life ways maintained, but it’s built into the planet, we need look no further than the great big beautiful planet.
Inspired by http://www.suppressedhistories.net/
I thought I had a plan for making the mothership blog, but not quite. Now I am confused. Here’s a little map to illustrate the flow.
BLOG Mothership (holyboners.com)
BLOG Daughter of God (dogthemovie.com)
BLOG Around Lake Michigan (ondesire.com)
BLOG Awesomeshit (artisthouse.com/fellowship)
Now this may seem silly, but I am hung up in an aesthetic snag. Holyboners is about fortunate mistakes but does this premise apply to Ondesire as well? Holyboners was a fine premise for Daughter of God, but I don’t think it flies for ALM. Not that I am giving up this wonderful principle but I think I am moving beyond fortunate mistakes as my primary strategy. What then would be the guiding force for the mothership?
TT seems a likely candidate, but there’s two problems. Though the mothership blog is not exactly public, it will be feeding the satellite blogs, and that in theory drives traffic back to the mothership unless I password protect it. I can use TT when crossposting to ondesire certainly, but it still invites exploration.
TT requires finesse. It’s not something to implement overnight.
The second problem is the guy in California owns TT.com and wants $2500 for it. It would be lovely to own the entire set and I don’t mind paying him something, but get real – he’s had the sucker since 2002. 8 years of paying for it or $80 let’s guess and then whatever other overhead he’s got. $100 if he’s savvy. I’ve offered him $200. I doubt he’ll bite, camping is his business.
The point is I’d like to launch TT eventually, but to mastermind a huge media effort just to have the traffic stolen later? The name will become a traffic magnet once I get going, increasing the value of that domain.
I probably should have not said, “I’ll check back in a few months” – it’s a contradiction to my premise of preparing to launch a media campaign for a film. If he counters my $200, perhaps I’ve got a chance.
Let’s come back to earth. I’ve configured blogs that will work as they are. I can play a bit of a waiting game with Don from California though he knows via whois I own every TT but his .com and that I am trying to create a matched set. I am motivated to assemble it. He knows he can wait me out, but he’s not even bargaining. I can always visualize his help, hee hee. That’s my kind of leverage. $400. I can play the straw man who is bidding against me, though I would need another account. It’s oh so fun to strategize, but much easier just to visualize.
So the plan is… holyboners remains the name of the mothership for now. If we want to rename the mothership later, that’s fine. In the meantime let’s just assemble the infrastructure and move forward. Let’s test for awhile – the whole mothership concept might be not be feasible.
Before we go – distill into a domain name the guiding principles of my journey, of my practice. Another time, perhaps.
Afterwards… The beauty of visualization. After an interesting exchange of emails with Don I got TT.com for $380. How about that? $20 under the visualized price! Could it be any clearer?
We’ve been writing and writing. What has all this writing accomplished? Here’s what we know so far.
- Objectives for the project are identified
- The story centers around the guide character – his motivations, experience, starting point and transformation
- Several character development schemes have been proposed
- An insane/ingenious approach to generate cutaway material – xroll – is on the table
- Scene construction supporting non linear presentation has been outlined
to be continued
Holographic scenes are trembling moments of pure gestalt. Put them in a sequence and call that a movie. Perhaps an alternate sequence reveals more. If you play it backward you hear, “I buried Paul.”
I’m imagining a burst of experience that also has a whole story inside it, everything is there.
Won’t a series of holographic scenes feel repetitive, like we are saying the same things over and over again? What if the things we are saying in each scene are slightly different. One thing about people is their layered motivation. I don’t shoot you because I hate you, that’s like so totally impoverished. I shoot you because I burnt my toast this morning AND you’re a brutal serial rapist AND you remind me of my older brother who I loved but was killed in the war then my parents kept his room like a shrine AND my girlfriend want’s to get married though I don’t really love her AND I dreamt of red roses last night AND…
It’s the layers of motivation that give the story depth. They can be completely separate tracks, none alone sufficient to prompt action, but together – viola!
What the hell is xroll? What if it’s not a gimmick, but a central organizing principle? It’s thoughts and experience, something like the memories of Spotless Mind and the dream sequences of Brazil. There’s symbolism and layers of meaning, but xroll doesn’t have to resolve in the sense that everything is sewed up nice and neat, it just has to evoke. Resolution is an evocation, everything comes together and wham, there’s an emotion there. The typical Hollywood resolution is “Yippee, we won!” Think about Casablanca, that resolution was bitter sweet comradely cynicism between Rick and the french cop. Dude, layers of emotion, complexity.
A turbocharged vignette that serves up an emotional cocktail to nuance the next moment, flows from xroll. After Effects verite, magical realism in motion.
A plot is the structure that sequences events, yes/no? No – a plot exists however the events are sequenced. Humans have a strong temporal sensibility, even if the events are out of order, we’ll put them back in sequence. On second thought, yes – maybe a plot is a structure that sequences events, maybe what we call plots are just applications of temporal sensibility. This scene leads to this scene which leads to this scene… we’ll find a plot given enough chunks.
If we think of xroll as the spine of the narrative, then perhaps the actual traveling and scenes of same are extensions of it. Xroll contrasts to b-roll in that it’s central as opposed to peripheral. It’s what we keep returning to, the continuity. In ALM, are the sailing moments Xroll? The best part of the trip certainly, the core of the adventure. Why not?
Looks like a script is about to happen, the old index card shtick.
Holographic scenes… moments which taste of eternity, fragments that contain the whole. Xroll… the threads between the scenes, revelations of the underlying fabric of reality.
I’m skating the edge of confusion and rapture here. If the above sounds like blather, there’s a 50% chance it is.
Making movies – I’ve discussed how much work is involved and how there’s not enough me to go around. I need to amp up 1) art / production and 2) fundraising and outreach. I am in the process of contracting two artists who have worked with me in the past, Jonathan Kelly and Melonie Steffes. Jonathan built 3D models for DOG (2007-2009), while Melonie constructed sets and props on location in Canada (2006). Together, we three will form an art department and manifest the rest of these movies.
Meanwhile, I’ve also been cultivating advisors and collaborators, polymaths all. Faisal Azam has generously re-imagined the editorial for DOG last summer and fall. Andrea Maio has been a savvy advisor for ALM, both from the story and fundraising perspective. Julie Constantin and I are exploring social collaboration and outreach for the projects, and she’s a funding powerhouse. Steve Elrick is a long time ally with great insights about expression and storytelling. Then of course there’s Jeff Gibbs, keeping it real.
I am pretty lucky to have all these folks, now I want to figure out how to bring them together and really tap their power. Is it a forum or what? I imagine resumes and portfolios too.
The last several ALM posts have been about clarifying DK’s journey, why exactly did he get on the boat? Is he really searching for sustainable civilizations or was there another reason? Why is this trip shrouded in mystery? Maybe he was really sailing off to commit murder, to make a remote rendevous with extra terrestrials, to perform a sacred ritual of summoning… with only the eyes of gods and satellites upon him. Why does he take this trip and why do we care?
He has a stated mission and maybe he is sincere, or maybe he’s obfuscating his true motives. Perhaps he is sincere and he achieves his mission, but maybe the achievement pales in comparison to an unexpected boon. If he is hiding something, is the secret mission ever revealed? Does he achieve his objective and what does his machinations have to do with the world at large? Does he even know why he is really going, or is he driven by sleeper programming?
It’s intriguing to dive deeper into a treatment, to treat the significant layers.
Whatever his reason for going, the mission doesn’t necessarily determine the outcome. It’s perhaps the difference between what he sets out to do and what actually happens that’s interesting. Someone wants something badly and is having difficulty getting it, having difficulty remembering what it is, changes his mind, get’s something better – the game has many variations. Deconstructing DK’s motivation is a worthy excercise, because there may be more here than even he realizes. BTW, it creeps me out in a fun way to view myself from a meta perspective, PKD style.
‘What’ DK is going after implies ‘why’ – and that’s the basis of the story. DK is going after super powers, he is searching for sustainable civilizations, he is channeling wild wisdom. The ending comes when the going after is done – DK demonstrates enhanced power, he has retrieved artifacts from the future, he shares the wisdom… or he gave up, failed, found something better, changed his mind, etc.
I think a start and end is cool, that is we understand why DK goes and can evaluate what he gets, decide for ourselves whether he was successful.
Last night coming out of Sanshiro Sugata I and II, I overheard someone say, “the message was be nice to your enemies”. They missed the point, Sanshiro wasn’t being nice to his enemies, he de-enemized them, that was the triumph of Judo. That’s the essence of Japanese martial arts as portrayed by Kurusawa, not to vanquish your enemies but to transform them. Sanshiro’s strength is his power to transform.
It’s very the ending that we understand what Sanshiro has actually accomplished, and without being hit over the head with it. Lovely. A student becoming a martial arts master is a perfect vehicle for this sort of trip, what does he set out to do, what is the completion of his journey? Does he get the girl? Without question – after he gets himself.
Dan Kelly is on this journey of discovery, he’s off to become miraculous, he’s searching for sustainable civilizations, he’s just an average American with an FBI record. Whatever his journey is, it’s open ended. Perhaps he has a general idea why he is out there but he doesn’t know what he will find or how it will change him. ALM is his transformation, what he thinks he’s about and what actually happens to him. The premise is open ended, but at the same time we have to know whether he succeeded in doing what he set out to. We want to know his start and end points.
Andrea’s approach is to cut the interviews short and then just have DK summarize what he learned, fitting the pieces together as he goes. His process is interpreted, translated to flow as a story. After Effects verite. Whatever’s not relevant drops to the cutting room floor, or maybe we’ll flashback out of sequence for special emphasis. Essentially I (the director) take over the narrative, it’s about getting the audience inside DK’s head, his thoughts and experience. This sort of thing would typically get tied together with voice over… but wait!
If we want to make these meta observations, long leaps of intuition and connection, why not do it experimentally – xroll? Suddenly, xroll isn’t a contrivance, it’s a way to experience DK’s thought flow directly, or at least as translated to the silver screen. Beyond mere voice over – it’s visual voice over.
The guide’s voice is like glue that holds the disparate pieces together and makes connections. Xroll goes beyond the guide’s voice to create a visual and audio style or environment that tells us we are in thought space, a bridging mode, the spine of the narrative.
What if there were a visual structure, a visual reference that anchored everything back? It could be map based – folks would be expecting a map anyway so we could make the map mental but disguised as geography. Or imagine an interface or an idea web. Since film is linear, we use a linear design rather than a spatial web that has to be scrolled across. How are elements organized in linear fashion, what’s an effective system for that?
Duh, a plot. A plot is a linear structure for organizing information. Wow, 360 degrees in one post, phenomenal. A book (comic book) seems linear in theory but it’s not strictly linear in execution. We can open a comic to any page and jump forward and backward pretty much instanteously. Except in a social setting like a theater, this is increasingly the case with movies too. Forget about physically rewinding the VCR tape past the playback heads, that’s archaic technology. Now we can pop to anywhere on the timeline with a click, or jump between chapters. Movies are designed to spool from beginning to end, they are typically not designed to work as random access.
Another circle – ALM could be designed for random access. Xroll and holographic scenes support this. Even in traditional linear spooling, xroll is the scaffold for constructing the experience, it’s the spinal cord of a flashing, sparking neural network. There’s where the script starts, the central concepts adjacent, meshing and turning together. What are they? The great galloping thoughts of DK on his journey, the fundamental ideas that infect him along the way, he stages of his transformation.
introduction for character Dan Kelly (everyman)
Unless you’re totally evil or from another planet, you are probably concerned about the future of this one, our earth. It’s old news to talk about how much trouble we are in, so I won’t waste time doing so. Basically, we are screwed. The mutant marriage between governments and corporations is pulling the plug on the global life support system, pretty soon there won’t be enough food, water, air to breath, etc. As I said, this is old news.
Scuttling around trying not to think about it – the end of the world as we know it. I got fed up with this 21 century duck and cover. Recycling, new light bulbs and donations to the Sierra club weren’t enough somehow. I wanted to get out into the world, learn and take action. Change my own destiny and maybe the rest of the world’s too.
We’ve been are our own enemies for at least 100 years, starting back when the father of public relations Edward Bernays got his start, training women how to smoke. I am talking about consumption, our shared madness. I’ve been committing suicide for the better part of my life, me and a few billion other people. We’re consumers. Can we find a way to really live? A better question might be, do we want to live? Can we find a way to enjoy the benefits of science and art without wiping out the foundation of our lives? Is there a sustainable civilization?
I decided to answer this question for myself – what would an excellent life feel like? I am not so different from other people, a civilization is made of individuals like me. Maybe if I found my life, I would find a tiny part of our collective future. Perhaps others could learn something from my search. I could bring a whole planet along with me, as I search for sustainable civilizations.
Discuss postponing DOG to do ALM
Carl and Yves as mentors
introduction for character Dan Kelly (becoming miraculous)
During intense experience I often get a clue about my full potential, what I am capable of. If I get into a situation that calls for a little something extra then lo, something extra shows up. When there’s no other option but to tap into extraordinary energy, it’s always been there. I am going to call this extraordinary energy – magic.
When I realized how much trouble the planet was in and assessed the task of healing all the damage, I realized that a miracle might be needed to turn things around. If we were past the point of no return on carbon loading, then the global life support system would crash and that pretty much means we’re doomed. I have an affinity for science, great stuff – astronomy, cognition, computers… love it. However, if I’ve got to go beyond science to save the planet, I don’t have a problem with that. If I’ve got to go with divine intervention, fine.
In 1976, after watching the first Star Wars I wondered where my light saber was. The feeling has never quite left me, even as I hit my 30s then 40′s and watched George Lucas dilute his vision in sparkle and schlock.
Over the years, my powers began to manifest. It started with healing – if I found a damaged body, my hands would tingle.
One day, Richard showed up in his wetsuit. He had been windsurfing near my house and injured his knee. I think he had problems with it in the past and had seen a doctor, so he was pretty distraught, “I know I am going to need surgery this time.” I asked him to sit down and share the food I had been making with another friend, Ann. He eased into a rocking chair and I brought him a plate. I felt the tingle. Richard was a professional massage therapist and so I was a little shy asking him if I could help him, but he cautiously accepted. We all sat around for an hour or so, eating and talking while I gently worked on this knee, following my intuition. Eventually he stood up and said that it felt better. He got in his car and went home. A couple of days later we checked in with each other. His knee was totally fine.
On a remote island, hiking at night, I discovered I could sense objects in the darkness, as if some kind of proximity radar had activated. It was an experience totally new to me, like growing another sense. I wondered how many other undocumented features the human body had.
One rainy evening I slipped off my friend’s fire escape and fell 12 feet to concrete, landing flat on my back. The impact was so intense that I involuntarily pissed myself. After lying there for a few moments, I felt compelled to move. Movement is contraindicated after a bad fall as spinal cords can be severed by broken bone, leading to permanent paralysis. Knowing this rationally, I ignored the calls of my friend Jon to “stay still, don’t move!” I painfully rolled over onto my stomach, got onto my hands and knees, and promptly passed out.
I had a vision. I was in a sort of control room, doing something really engaging and important. I felt both ecstatic and purposeful. Then, an annoying noise began to intrude. It was alien and at the same time vaguely familiar. It was a person’s name (what’s a person? what’s a name?) being repeated. I then realized that the name was somehow my name, that there was this other existence where that name belonged to me. My friend was back there, calling my name. I felt compassion for my friends who were very worried about me, perhaps I better go back and make them feel better. I left the ecstatic place and came back to consciousness with the friendly flavor of loamy soil in my mouth – I had buried my face in a little swirl of dirt and leaves by the floor drain. I told Jon I was back and asked him how long I had been out, he said about 20 seconds. Seemed like a lot went down in those 20 seconds.
I told him I was going to get up and he protested, he said an ambulance was coming. I asked him why and he said that his wife Laura had called 911 as soon as I had passed out. Now I was totally determined to get up and out of there, this was not an experience I cared to end in a hospital – and me with no health care! He asked me again not to move but I told him to trust me, I was alright and ready to get up. “I’ll help you” he said and I replied “No, don’t help me,” but he was having none of it. “I am going to help you!”
I slowly stood up with his arm on me, everything intact, amazing. I tried walking and that worked too, tho there was quite a bit of pain. We went back into their house and waited for the ambulance to arrive. I convinced the paramedics that I was fine and that I wasn’t going to ride with them. They made me sign papers and I headed home to a hot bath.
This incident was something of a demonstration. Did I slip off the deck by mistake? On a dark rainy evening, I tossed my body into the void, fell 12 feet down into darkness, missing iron handrails and push mowers by inches. I fit into a spatial keyhole with very little room for error and impacted flat backed on concrete, taking most of the impact on my coccyx. My head did not bang against the concrete, my neck didn’t break. I was up and walking within minutes and fully recovered within a month. I got xrays just to be sure and there were no fractures. Fluke, crazy luck? We make our luck.
I began to make my luck in earnest, to train my power decisively. I knew that if I told folks I was traveling around becoming magic, they might not get it. So I came up with this idea of searching for a sustainable civilization. Basically, one formula for healing the earth would be to replace the current status quo with something more humane and balanced. It might be a good idea to figure out what that looked like first and then I could cause it to be. This would be my cover story, but the main objective was to open my channels of power, to activate all my undocumented features. etc. If saving the earth was going to take a miracle, I would become miraculous.
introduction for character Dan Kelly (time traveler)
Yes, another movie about how much trouble we are in. It’s also about how we got out of the trouble. If you remember the future as I do, you’ll know that we almost didn’t make it. Did I mention that I am a time traveler? Actually time refugee is a slicker fit.
Anyway, we almost didn’t make it. Looking back from the future, it’s much easier to see just how precarious the present is, but of course it’s not so obvious if the now is all you’ve ever known. At the risk of sounding optimistic, I think the human race learned a valuable lesson by going through this, so in the after-future we won’t likely make the same mistakes we made in the pre-present.
To simplify the tenses, I’ll just refer to the present as the past. So how did we do it? We found our survival by looking for it. Folks just got bored with killing themselves and decided to try to find a little life. Some walked, some rode bicycles, some let the wind blow them hither and yon. They were like backwards archeologists – instead of searching for past civilizations, they went searching for future ones. The theory goes like this – since we decided to survive – then we would. That implied there was a way to survive, and probably the seeds of that way were scattered all over the place, just waiting to sprout. If folks found those seeds, then they could extrapolate what the seeds might grow into. Viola, the future. That’s how time travel works, btw or at least did work back in the day… that is, right now.
Let’s relive your ‘about to be’, discover what has almost happened and reenact a search that so many have yet to make. A sailboat I think and an inland ocean. I will be your guide of how we survived, how we didn’t cook the planet nor allow ignorance and greed to prevail – as it so ominously threatens to do so AT THIS VERY MOMENT, again, even though that may not be totally obvious. I am catching you at your most receptive, cause when the shit starts to hit the fan, there won’t be time to watch documentaries, you’ll be too busy building dikes and fending off looters. So sit back, relax and enjoy the show.
Who is this character Dan Kelly, ALM guide? Why is the audience intrigued by his journey?
Based on my discussion with Andrea, I can’t assume the audience will understand my assumptions and motivations regarding ALM. The 900 lb gorilla in the room is me, this project springs from my own crazed mind. Andrea’s golden nugget – the audience doesn’t need to agree with me, they just need to be able to get me, to find me plausible.
It’s easy to forget just how weird a cat I am. The audience might not believe I am for real, so the project provides context. It’s helpful to step back and think of myself as a fictional character that has to be introduced to the audience. Rather than flooding the screen with a DK fest, I like the idea of providing just enough character development to intrigue and maybe vex a tad. Who the hell is this guy?
There are two objectives for ALM, to establish rapport between my character and the audience, and to present a pragmatic magic primer aka Terrorist Training Films TM. The pragmatic magic can be integral to the character development, or it could happen incidentally without ever being named, just oozing across. That’s a key question – do I put the magical agenda front and center or allow it to suffuse the project, giving it to the audience by osmosis? For the character Dan Kelly magic is an underlying rhythm, a given. He brings it to the fore only occasionally, either through his musings or by getting kicked in the ass by the big boot of circumstance.
These are worthy distinctions because initially I didn’t think much about my own role in this, I had the idea that I would somehow be this ghost collaging the insights of others. I was just one of those others, a host. Now I see that the whole thing is driven by DK, his choice to go in the first place, his decision where to stop, who to see. Why? What’s he about? What makes him do this? If we don’t know, nothing makes much sense.
I am test driving different versions of the ALM guide, just to see what pops. So far they are…
ALM guide, becoming miraculous – out of the closet about the true nature of ALM, provides ‘evidence’ of magic, no shame.
ALM guide, time refugee – a science fiction enthusiast, slipping into iconic characters as a way to speak about the unspeakable, “you’ve seen it in movies, now live it – THE END OF THE WORLD”
So the guide discussion is this – how much DK is enough?
2.3 Objectives of ALM
2.3.1 convey the main character (premise / starting point) to establish rapport. He becomes a compelling guide / proxy for the audience (get inside his head)
22.214.171.124.1 life support system threatened
126.96.36.199.1.1 suicidal status quo – centuries in the making
188.8.131.52.1.1.1 -> empires/colonies -> industrial revolution -> consumer culture ->
184.108.40.206.1.2 ignorance on purpose – it’s not an accident, ok?
220.127.116.11.1.2.1 we’re supposed to stay stupid – school, culture, food, jobs, religion
18.104.22.168.1.3 toxic training makes consumers culpable
22.214.171.124.1.3.1 individual impact multiplied by billions
126.96.36.199.2 healing prevented (deliberate)
188.8.131.52.2.1 sustainable civ already exists in fragmented state (indigenous species) but
184.108.40.206.2.2 entrenched powers keep future artifacts obscure and scattered
220.127.116.11.2.3 acquisition and assembly discouraged (there are no options)
18.104.22.168.3 oh and BTW, we’ll need a miracle
22.214.171.124.3.1 carbon past point of no return
126.96.36.199.3.2 invisible opponents
188.8.131.52.3.3 trained to go insane, each of us our own enemy – soldiers attacking their own supply lines and themselves
184.108.40.206 our choice
220.127.116.11.1 decide to thrive
18.104.22.168.1.1 with rigorous persistance most anything is possible
22.214.171.124.1.2 find out what we really are
126.96.36.199.1.3 notice and question self imposed limits
188.8.131.52.1.4 live our bliss
184.108.40.206.1.5 identify (equate survival) with a robust global life support system
220.127.116.11.2 spread the love
18.104.22.168.2.1 do yourself first, then bring others along with shared techniques, knowledge, resources
22.214.171.124.2.2 vigorous practice of art / science to inspire and translate
126.96.36.199.2.3 build and celebrate community
188.8.131.52.3 find a way
184.108.40.206.3.1 pay attention
220.127.116.11.3.2 have an idea
18.104.22.168.3.3 start anywhere
22.214.171.124.3.4 have fun, have an adventure
126.96.36.199 becoming miraculous
188.8.131.52.1 simplicity rather than convenience
184.108.40.206.2 discovering the body’s undocumented features
220.127.116.11.4 beyond what we know
18.104.22.168.5 that which does not kill me… big adventure
22.214.171.124.6 feel it into being
126.96.36.199.7 ecstatic evidence
2.3.2 illustrated guide to post consumer pragmatic magic, or becoming miraculous
188.8.131.52 objectives don’t have to be revealed to the audience, they just have to be achieved. ALM never needs to explain that the point of the project is to show the audience how to become miraculous, it just has to do it. this is just the story of one man who thinks he can become miraculous and how he goes about it. one does not have to believe it’s possible to want to watch. he’s insane, how interesting. it doesn’t have to hold itself out as a manual for magic making, even though that’s exactly what it is – a terrorist training film. it can also hold itself out as a magic manual in a sort of tongue and cheek style, hiding in plain sight.
184.108.40.206 definition of miraculous and magic
220.127.116.11.1 is the magic only in my head then? is it a shared reality or private hallucination – that’s the question the audience asks. Dan – first we imagine the subtle energy, then we feel it… what’s the difference? first we have an idea, then we work towards realizing it… what’s the difference?
18.104.22.168.2 Miracles are not uncommon, they are the norm. Western folk are indoctrinated to ignore and even to deny them. If evidence of magic is presented, it must fit into a impoverished box which removes the very components that enable – participation. My experience of reverence is a connection to the experiment – I am this too. I am inextricably tangled in the test.
22.214.171.124.3 remember, we say demonstrate, we say illustrate. that’s doable. Rewriting the accepted definition of miracle does not cut it. What folks want to see is a suspension of physics, or the manifestation of an entity that is not easily cataloged by Darwin. What is proof to the documentary audience? Personal accounts? Recreations? Graphs and charts? An excellent question. When we say illustrate, what do we mean?
126.96.36.199 what’s miraculous about ALM? what did i do or experience that was miraculous? how did I invite magic?
188.8.131.52.1 connection to wilderness
184.108.40.206.1.1 this experience is available to those who can slip the default conditioning. it is perhaps a gift in these strange times to be able to feel the earth, be present in the wild places and ‘get it’. It’s pure feeling, a heady cocktail of emotions – elation, reverence, acute perception, open and available, power. For those who don’t know, can’t know, it’s a joke, a cliche. Thier scoffing laughter is zombie conditioning, keeps us all from knowing what we are, the sound of self loathing. Instead, allow robust joy to well up inside and perhaps laugh maniacally – like a mutant ape who has busted the lock on his cage, or chuckle gently – at the wonder of being anything at all, even just alive.
220.127.116.11.2 opening to the moment – release of temporal conditioning
18.104.22.168.3 men who ride mountains – discovering extra capability
22.214.171.124.4 my tribe is everywhere – expand and celebrate
126.96.36.199.5 beyond my self
188.8.131.52.6 risk alone
184.108.40.206.7 human and hobie and wind and water = one
220.127.116.11.8 miracles are repeatable, verifiable. reality as experienced by a flexible consciousness
18.104.22.168.9 strange things happen when communing with a planet sized entity that is your own personal starship. the very components of my body are of earth origins
2.3.3 open the process, share the process
22.214.171.124 songwriting and composition – lyrics about the journey
126.96.36.199 not only where are the artifacts but how to recognize and document them DIY. Distributing the on desire approach (crowd sourcing)
188.8.131.52.1 letters, drawings, audio, video
184.108.40.206 video remixes
220.127.116.11 ttf – having your own direct experience, trusting your own direct experience
2.1 Objectives common to both projects…
2.1.1 completion in 2010 OR new funding and remake
18.104.22.168 if new funding and remake, some version of the original becomes a fund raising vehicle, proof of concept, extensive previsualization etc.
22.214.171.124 if completion, then quality (hits personal aesthetic, key collaborators thumbs up)
2.1.2 expansion of post production team with dynamic and effective work approach, tuned workflow, ideal gear mix and just enough knowledge
126.96.36.199 accepted 3 oscar qualifying festivals 2011
188.8.131.52 awards / recognition for innovation/experimental, visual impact/effects, story
184.108.40.206 vehicle for future funding, collaboration, career
220.127.116.11 500,000 views in first 6 months after release
18.104.22.168 favorable reviews and appreciation by relevant players
22.214.171.124 spanish or chinese subtitle versions
Good Earth, have you been reading the recent posts from http://ondesire.com and http://holyboners.com? I have – and they are beginning to spin out of control. Some sort of fugue state is being entered into here, so many eggs are cracking wide I expect there’s one heck of a mega omelet on the horizon. I haven’t even done my review of Cameron’s Avatar in 3D or last night’s dinner with my favorite Africans. Let’s get this sorted out right now.
What are my objectives for the two current projects?
What’s my plan to finish them / take them to the next level?
I’ve got a mission, so let’s start there, Activating global consciousness to steward and expand the wilds. It’s a good mission, and one would expect my current projects to be in alignment. How then do these two movie projects support my mission?
Daughter of God is my most ambitious narrative project to date. It’s a surreal exploration of how picturesque and hilarious a crippled global life support system can get. The backstory also explores colonization and exploitation on a planetary scale. With this project I model my theories, channeling the answers to the questions that Fia asked last night – who benefits from the demise of an entire planet? Follow the money, follow the extraction of wealth. Who’s targeting all the world saviors, whose running this prison?
So Daughter of God is a vehicle for piercing the veil. It’s a way of figuring some things out, of playing with the story. Ah, there’s an insight.
What if the story has fragments, alternate eddies and branches? What if the edit is actually scrambled up to suggest alternate possibilities, variant explanations, visions beyond the existing narrative where all the backstories intermingle and cross pollinate? Y’all getting this? That’s how we rebuild the edit, with intersecting time lines and outcomes. Moments that suggest, fragments.
That means that the best moments are extracted and then interwoven as flash sidewise or parallel possibility, while remaining perfectly ordinary, like brushing teeth. Little diversion this, but worthy.
In summary, DOG supports the mission by being a way to better understand what might actually be going on in RL, suggest in ways like the i ching, never the same movie twice, ya get me? Got cha.
Seeking the artifacts of a future sustainable civilization is pragmatic action. No external authority is going to assemble our optimal existence and conveniently implode. We are responsible, I am responsible. The future surrounds us, fragments of annihilation and transcendence for the taking. We choose what we gather, I choose. That’s ALM, humans taking responsibility for our collective destiny, one Dan at a time. An adventure of autonomy and connection, of becoming miraculous and capable of planet saving. A hero’s journey waiting for each of us.
It’s about me, as Andrea pointed out, and my reinvention disguised as a sailing trip. Is it universal? Does it translate beyond boats and big lakes? Only if folks share my starting point. They don’t have to agree, they just have to get me. Stepping back, I realize that I am a character in this story.
The Dan Kelly character has a premise, aspirations, a costume, a budget, skills, assumptions, experience and a history. What do we need to know about him so that we can travel with him, suspend our disbelief, make his joy and pain our own?
He is a treehugger, an artist, a science fictionary, a warrior, a lover, a mystic, a caretaker, a technologist, a dreamer, a visionary. My character needs to be introduced to the audience, my character wants something badly and is having trouble getting it, my character undergoes a transformation. Don’t we all?
In summary, ALM supports the mission because it’s about what happens when WE decide to thrive. As my glorious destiny relies on the repair and care of the global life support system, I must become capable of healing planets. I must discover and eventually implement sustainable civilizations. If these epic outcomes are beyond the scope of my present self, then I must purposefully transform and become miraculous. That is the journey worth taking, the true and vital journey of ALM, common to all.
Many folks will find the premise crazy, so I’ve got to make a solid case that my character actually believes that he can develop extraordinary abilities and has ‘evidence’ to support it. Then even if they think my character is crazy, they’ll go on the journey with him. This crazy character will venture out to become a super hero and the surprise ending will be – maybe he was not so crazy after all.
The audience attitude might begin with ‘the poor delusional fellow is captivating’ then gradually progress to ‘wait, maybe he’s making sense’ and finish with ‘whoa, where do I sign up?’ It’s a cognitive hack for extracting folks from the suicidal hypnosis of dominant culture. Start them off with the idea that they are watching a crazy person running amuck, then give them cause to question that premise and in so doing examine their assumptions about what it means to be rational in a culture bent on apocalypse. Wonko the Sane lived outside the asylum (and he got his movie made).
What does memory look like? What do thoughts look like? What is the magic ingredient that makes reality real?
Let’s make some language. We’ve already got B roll, an antiquated term for supplementary footage used to cover audio edits in an interview. The concept of turbo charged B roll is experimental, so let’s call it exroll or xr, cause it sounds cool and avoids controversy about pronunciation later, (is it zeeroll or exeroll?).
So what do we need to make xr? Here’s what clobbered me in the Barnes and Noble yesterday – I’d like to be able to code visually again as in the bygone days of Director and Lingo. I’d like to be able to deal with a variety of media. I’d like the host application to be open source. Can you say – Open Source After Effects? Not yet? So it looks like I am stuck with After Effects.
Now we’ve got another piece of the puzzle. I just sent Patrick back with some After Effects tutorials, we’ll see how far he gets. I need lots of rotoscoping done for DOG, but now I’ve got another reason to climb the AE learning curve, XR. It’s almost time to start recruiting.
I had a flash today while listening to a Democracy Now report on http://storycorps.org, a huge oral history project catching the compelling eloquence of regular folks. That’s sort of what ALM is about too – finding extraordinary answers to global survival in ourselves.
I was thinking how cool it would be to visualize Storycorp histories with maybe animation or collage. It could be fun to listen to these stories and make sketches, to draw what came to mind and then match the sketches to the audio later. There’s power enough in the human voice alone, especially when the speaker is recorded in a dark room without the distractions of camera, bright lights and staring interviewer. With a shift to the internal world, memory playback becomes more vivid and descriptions more intense and compelling.
The brilliant colors that fire in the dark theater of imagination could be rediscovered. Rather than complementing narrative audio with contextual b-roll or a sync shot of the head that’s talking, interviews could be illustrated from inside that head. Then it hit me, this is the enhanced b-roll idea I need for the ALM interviews.
Backstory – While talking to Steve Elrick about his thoughts on the November 28 ALM sneak preview, I proposed the idea of enhanced b-roll for the interviews. I’ve got these heads talking and some cutaway imagery to edit to (b-roll), but we’ve seen all that before. It’s the same old, here’s the talent speaking and here’s some contextual shots to cover the edits. But what if there were b-roll custom built from scratch that took the moment to another level? What if we could see what the talent saw, an impressionistic glimpse of the talents own experience? Is this an opportunity to innovate the whole technique of b-roll beyond present art, redefine b-roll? Perhaps…
So here’s how I can start. I identify the audio for the segments I want to use and sketch some new visuals, forgetting completely about the live action. I can pull from the vast vocabulary of animation and live action to visualize them – cell, collage, clay, 3D, visual remix. I could recruit a slew of visual artists to help, especially my talented visual friends currently sucking wind in the not yet recovered economy. Viola, turbo b-roll. Illustrate it as if it were oral history, that’s the ticket. Make art, yay!
The “evolution” of Hello World is already leaning in this direction. The stop action treatment works, folks like it. Andrea said it was projected my delightful personality more accurately than my actual live action improvs. Sounds like a direction to me.
About 140 people attended our Evening of Exploration. We had a great ukulele and vocal set with Melonie and Shaun, Gretchen danced Glorious Dawn and I presented a 45 minute rough cut of Around Lake Michigan. Afterwards, I asked everyone to recall the most memorable moment or scene from the movie and to write a few sentences about it. We collected 86 feedback cards from the audience, a little over 50% response.
The following are two sided cards, front and back are layed out horizontally…
Two – count ‘em – two new chapters are available for your viewing pleasure, both documenting my two night sojourn on North Manitou Island. Disasters and blessings interpenetrate.
Have I written about this yet, or have I just thought about writing about it? I admit I’ve been inventing open source filmmaking in a vacuum, I am only slightly aware of what other filmmakers are doing on this front. I’ll eventually plug into all the social networking juice associated with open source film projects, but for now I remain blissfully ignorant, aside from the original inspiration of Robert Greenwald’s Rethinking Afghanistan. Actually, another important early influence was the Rebel’s Guide forum, where production strategies are shared.
What is Dan Kelly’s vision of open source filmmaking? So far three facets – chronicle, outreach, and get naked.
It’s about chronicling the process on this blog and connected channels – Twitter and Linked in for example. Even if nobody reads my ramblings, taking the time to communicate what’s going on helps me to focus and clarify my vision. As I take on more ambitious outcomes, I begin to walk the less traveled path. If there are other artists out there with related outcomes, perhaps they’ll improve their chances of success by learning about my exploits. If those folks and I connect and communicate, that’s nirvana. I am one neuron and the blog variations are my synapses, snaking out towards other neurons. You can make a brain by networking lots of neurons. Essentially, open source film making is one way to become part of something bigger, to amplify and extend myself.
That snaking pseudopodia part is important. As I mentioned above, it’s great to be a closet scribbler, that’s how Stephen King got his start after all. Eventually King had to slither out of his closet, he must have shared his work with friends and eventually editors. Without slithering, where would Stephen King be? One must learn to slither and ooze… what ho! Here’s the internet.
Oozing is a great word I think, because the internet is a universe of jagged dross. Spam and old school marketing schemes have inflexible edges meant to slice and tear, to force action. On the world wide web, incessant avalanches of edgy memes whirl and flash. Cognitive armor seems essential for extended surfing. Had enough metaphors? Bear with me… in RL surfing implies water. Water can’t be cut with a knife – it just gets out of the way.
Savvy neurons fluidly slide past sharp edges while expanding connections with oozed out extensions. These extensions are not hooks or bait, they are the neuron itself, awareness. Neurons flow into their surround, questing softly like spilled water on a level table. If water meets water, little puddles become bigger puddles, and the ocean of intelligence grows. Need some practical applications of how oozing works? On an online forum, only humans can enter. Having a persistent and relevant presence is the only way to network with the other humans there. That’s oozing… a sparkling puddle gently spreading. Oozing puddles are only good for making bigger puddles, so there’s no point in attempting a call to action or trying to motivate them.
I am sure this seems like a wild half baked digression, but outreach is not code for marketing. Making the distinction is important because we can’t afford to have ineffective outreach, the stakes are very high. Marketing harks back to the days of manipulating behavior and that’s the root of our problems on Planet Earth. Rather than manipulated behavior, let’s build a foundation on expanded consciousness. whoa.
Admit it, you skipped down to this part. Ok, maybe you started to read about the neural network, but that was boooring! So here we are, about to get naked.
Am I all about quality? Sure. Do I care about details and subtlety? I like to think so. Am I crafting a sublime aesthetic? You betcha! Well, screw all that – we are going open source!
Sharing the process goes beyond writing, it means providing access to a good portion of the raw footage. Sure some editing and assembling to illustrate the main ideas, but don’t get too precious, don’t fret about perfection. That’s what it means to get naked – to expose your bare essence to the scrutiny of the world. No polish or preening, no flowing mumu to hide my fat butt, no makeup or mousse. Just the raw sinewy meat, wrapped in glowing skin. Me, me… beautiful me!
This means that the work can be immediately available if activists or educators need it. It means I rough out ideas rapidly. It means others can give feedback and enhance the work. It’s an access point for collaborators to contribute. It’s gives the project a presence and buzz before the release. It’s a little more like what science is supposed to be, while retaining all the power of art. I keep finding things I like about this approach, now that I’ve gotten over being stark naked 24/7.
Drawbacks? Being stark naked is a little scary, but it helps that I am fit and svelte. I’ve got a nice body and by analogy my project is fun and engaging. So why not? Another problem is all that ownership crap, rights etc. In theory, Creative Commons protects the project from exploitaton by commercial entities. Another issue might be my eligibility for film festivals that dig the whole world premier schtick. My only defense there is that I am not posting my final edit, only sketches. If that doesn’t fly, then c’est live. Festivals serve the mission, not the other way around.
That’s my latest spiel on open source film making and why I am doing it. I think I may be repeating myself a little but that’s a habit I had even before I started turning into an old coot.
A sacred place on a sacred day, North Manitou Island, 09/09/09. Ponderings on turning back, being myself and ending the war against wisdom, aka consumption by becoming poetry incarnate.
Another working sketch posted, the transit from Sleeping Bear Point to North Manitou Island. The queasiness associated with exposing works in progress is becoming less of an issue. I think this sketch works and gets the idea across. There’s enough structure there to remind me where I want to go with it, and I’ve become pretty familiar with the raw content it’s extracted from. I usually fret about the soundtrack and creating a fortunate visual rhythm, but I am kinda proud that I didn’t get all precious. Cutting to music is fun stuff that I can breeze through later. So, enjoy.
I shot around 20 hours of video in September. Is that enough to build a coherent feature length movie?
My original idea was to post video during the trip, but It turns out that sailing 20-30 miles, camping/packing, shooting and editing are four unique and demanding jobs. Usually only two of them (occasionally three) are doable in any given day. So…
A trip rhythm might flow like this – sail to an interview or location and shoot (day 1-2), rough cut a ten – twenty minute chapter, perhaps moving to a remote site to minimize distraction (day 3-4) and post to the blog as at the next decent cell connection, (day 5). Repeat. If the weekly postings are consistent the chapters become episodes of a show. At the end of the trip the episodes might be reconfigured as a feature or perhaps a trilogy.
With more advanced packing techniques I may be able to reduce my cargo and the inherent complications of carrying gear for so many diverse activities. I can schedule destinations based on the rhythm and perhaps develop editing templates so chapters can be easily assembled. There’s lots of strategies for handling the unique workload of a windy filmmaker, the first step is feeling it – taking in the experience.
Then there’s the open source philosophy. Open source started with software development but has been migrating to other disciplines. It’s a cooperative ethic. My posted chapters are available under a Creative Commons license, which basically allows non commercial use with attribution, meaning folks can work with my video in their own projects as long as they are not making a profit and I get credit. This might queer my chances at distribution or getting into festivals, but I like the idea of providing public access to the film as it happens.
This is a lesson I took from working with Jeff Gibbs on his Planet project. We were in West Virginia interviewing a man whose land was being destroyed by a nearby mountaintop removal operation. I proposed to Jeff that we leave some footage behind so the local activists would have more resources for their struggle, but he declined – he needed the footage to remain under wraps until the entire project was completed, even if it took years. He didn’t want his footage getting used in some other project, he didn’t want to get his story scooped. His reasons made sense, but it meant that the local folks wouldn’t be any better off by our visit.
I’ve been thinking about that ever since. I recognize that by putting great gobs of my source material online I may be risking my feature project but if I find something that can advance global consciousness or energize regional activism then posting as I go makes sense.
As I’ve mentioned, I didn’t get to put much video up in transit, so the next best thing is to open up the editing process. This makes me feel a bit queasy though because I am showing rough cuts which are by nature – rough. I am making the first pass on my source material, grabbing interesting moments and slamming them into some kind of sketch. In a closed editing process would then drop that sketch into the archive for later review by the post production team. In an open process sketches go up on the web, warts and all, for public access. This is probably not really such a big deal – my public is less than 200-300 people presently. However, it’s likely to increase if I keep presenting interesting and valuable material. It’s both a marketing ploy and a proof of concept. I want to explore how an open source movie would actually work. What are the implications and can it be scaled up?
For me, this is what the entire project has been moving towards.
Back in Brooklyn after a 13 hour drive with my brother Steve yesterday. We’ve got a date today to help a mutual friend with his apartment, then Steve will be heading back to Michigan on Wednesday. Meanwhile, wow! What’s it like to be back in the burghs of NYC after almost 5 months of water work and wilds? As we flowed through the three and four lane feed lines of Manhattan yesterday evening, I couldn’t help comparing the presence of the Big Lake with the approaching Big City. Caught in a cluster of steel quanta hurtling along animated asphalt, eerie lights barely penetrating the dark jumble and riot of overpowered civilization. Just a week or so prior, the shape of distant clouds determined the day and the tickle of wind on my cheek was significant. Awesome energies inherent in either scenario, and perhaps there is relationship, commonality. I am the bridge between them certainly and they are both wonders of the planet earth at this general locus of space time. Could there be more?
After putting a good amount of distance between me and the starter fluid people, I blew off the idea of reaching Otter Creek. It was surely not far away, but it was getting late and I was ready to stop. I hauled her up on the beach and pitched my tent on the trampoline to pacify any passing rangers.
Up in the morning around 8:00 am, who happens by but Ranger Jim. I greet him and he asks if I know it was it was illegal to camp. I told him I was on my way to North Manitou, that I would have anchored had I not arrived very late, that I had a composting toilet and that the North Manitou ranger told me that it was ok to pull up a boat on the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and camp as long as I was 150 ft from the water, but I figured sleeping on my boat would do less damage than trying to wade into the dune grass in the pitch dark. He replied that the 150 foot rule applied only to the islands, not to the mainland. He said he was going to give me a break because I was on a boat, but that the other campers were going to get tickets. I thanked him and immediately ratted out the arsonists to the south, he told me he had found their empty cans of starter fluid. We parted on friendly terms.
Why do I pump? First morning on the Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore, lazing in the sun and expounding on earning water. I am made of water, sipping from the shores of a fresh water sea, feeling grateful.
Even a sailboat has an environmental cost. Rebuilding Hello World was intended as a low impact project, not a sustainable project as I defined it a few days ago. Not only was electricity and petroleum poured into the tools, lights and vehicles supporting the repairs, but waste was produced. The steel paint and acetone cans can be recycled and the 30 year old grinder can be dropped off at an electronics recycling box. The big bag of garbage and the vacuum cleaner bags full of fiberglass dust however are destined for the landfill. About 35 lbs of waste was generated to renovate 300 lbs of 30 year old sailboat. About 4 – 6 ounces of fiberglass / mineral dust and and a gallon of VOCs escaped into open air.
Once the entire budget has been tallied I’ll be able to make a wild guess at the carbon cost of the project.
Big Bear makes the point that wind turbine and solar panel factories are powered by coal fired and nuclear power plants and therefor wind and solar power are far from sustainable. Is anything we do sustainable? Do we have any technologies that are in accord with the global life support system?
There are seeds in my landfill lifestyle, seeds of change, seeds of a fuzzy future utopia. If we poke around, can we find some pre-sprouted possibility, can we find the incarnate potential, a hint of what IT might look like?
Around Lake Michigan there are mad experiments, noble projects, impractical dreams, pragmatic miracles. Scattered all around the planet in equal distribution. The shores of Lake Michigan are no different than any other place on earth when it comes to magic seeds. The kingdom of heaven is spread upon the earth and man does not see it. Tell me about it.
Get a trickster out there, a cwazy wabbit and look through his eyes. A sproutatarian, an animal magentized to the new shoots, the green life. Moi. If green means anything, it means fresh. Electrically luminous from rain, glowing with vibrant near knowing.
Forget the doublespeak abstraction of green that means just about whatever the marketers want it to, nothing. All natural, green – words that have had all the love sucked out of them, processed and nullified to serve the consuming civilization, the self consuming and nullifying anti-life.
So soup me, it’s late! Rather than sleeping, I see the shining moon and prepare to check the list. Shouldn’t be blogging, too much hot truth from a dizzy core dump.
Queue voice over by Rod Serling or Leonard Nimoy… not Twilight Zone or Star Trek, but the 70′s Cousteau docs of Serling’s and the 80s ‘In Search Of’ series hosted by Nimoy. Sustainable Civilizations has a mythic ring. They are not lost in the hoary past like some lame Indiana Jones sequel but rather waiting for us in an alternate future, a misty maybe world we must bring into razor sharp focus. It’s epic in the sense that we are running out of time. If we don’t find a path to a highly sustainable reality lickity split, we’re gonna suffer some serious trauma and maybe worse – extinction. No amount of military spending can protect you from a crippled global life support system. If you really love your grandchildren, change your life style. And so on.
Can we peer into the mists and make out some outlines of a sustainable human scenario? How would we change and will it be fun? What do we really want anyway? The tie in between our desire and our destiny is solid, what we want or think we want determines what we move toward.
I like wilderness. My personal mission is…
Activating global consciousness to steward and expand the wilds.
The way I see it, the global life support system includes the atmosphere, oceans, plants, algae, fungus, wild animals of all stripes, volcanos, rocks… It is certainly quite ancient, very sophisticated and complex – regardless whether one believes it’s designed by natural selection or a personal god.
The current configuration of cities, suburbs and strip malls and their associated infrastructure are probably not contributing to the proper function of the global life support system. That’s why my mission bucks the inevitable trend of building more stuff – I want to expand the wilds. Why? Because the wilds comprise an efficacious global life support system. When the earth has dominion over the land and seas, you can count on breathable air, potable water and reasonable temperatures. Human occupation and management as it’s currently configured hasn’t worked out all that well in the long term.
If you meet someone who doubts that humans can influence the global climate, check their stock portfolio. Chances are there’s some fossil fuel or uranium investments, probably defense industries too. Think about it – 6 billion people is a huge force, especially when augmented by machines. Is there anything we can’t do? Altering the climate of an entire planet? Childs play.
Relying on a government / corporate driven tech fix is not an option – some bogus half assed boondoggle porkbarrel scam slathered with a thick icky sweet icing of propagandertainment. Let’s just give it back to the ultimate technology, the 4 billion year old supra genius mutha. Let HER bring it back online for heavens sake, before it’s too late.
If you’ve been checking in at On Desire, you know I am not one of those ‘human beings are a cancer’ type. I’m not advocating ‘kill all humans’. For me it’s about figuring out how we fit into the global life support system.
We can take a little tech with us, certainly. Landing on the moon was cool, but for my money the best thing we’ve come up with lately is the internet. It’s a mostly harmless way to stimulate the brain and other parts. It’s got a footprint, but it get’s us all connected in a way that works for me. We can collaborate directly. I vote to keep the internet.
So it’s not about having 6 billion farmers either. Sustainable civilizations are a mystery we can solve, but it’s going to be much more juicy, enigmatic and elegant than anything yet described by the mainstream media. It’s to funky for the hollywood formula. We’ve got to make it, ourselves. We’ve got to do it together.
How does this apply to Around Lake Michigan? I am creating a bit of a spectacle with the lowest impact tools currently at my disposal, a sustainable moon landing or Jacques-Yves Cousteau riff. It’s a little kooky, it’s Dan Kelly style. Asking the right questions is what this is about, asking as if I expect there to be an answer. Ask questions in that way and the hazy horizon get’s a little bit brighter.