Biomech

No prizes for guessing the source of the idea behind this doodle.  This was overlaid onto the background shown below used in a previous post.

I have been listening to Alien: Out of the Shadows, an audio adaptation of a novel, itself written from a script of a film sequel never made.  We start 40 years from the destruction of the Nostromo with Ripley teamed with the surviving crew of a mining vessel, again facing the devastating egg-laying hive monsters.  The on-board computers, and those on the planet-side mining station, are corrupted by the single minded purpose of Ash, the synth humanoid she thought beaten to destruction on discovering its over-riding programming to bring back a viable xenomorph specimen, “all crew expendable”.

Fighting a plague when the governing minds have other purposes: a story for our time perhaps.

The City and the City

Somewhere in the Balkans the city of Besźel occupies the same topological space as Ul Qoma.  The two cities are separated by culture, religion, language, taking opposite sides in the cold war and and before that between the Allies and Axis. Citizens of one space unsee, unhear, unreact to all protuberances from the other.  You can reach one from the USA, the other has more links to Canada.  Internet and cell phones work on both sides, but to communicate between the cities, that must go long distance through international exchanges, or perhaps not at all.

The air is shared, but aromas from one side are unsmelled on the other. Objects exist strictly in one or the other place, but as they disintegrate to anonymous detritus, they blow with the wind through both cities.  They say it rains more in Besźel.

I cannot tell if this is some quirk of folded space-time that brings together these specific overlapping fragments of parallel universes separated by an historical quantum event, or instead this is an idiosyncrasy of two populations in a single conurbation reinforced by intense taboos and policed by the feared invisible omniscient Breach.

This is The City and the City by China Mieville which I have listened to as an audiobook.

While listening to this book, I came across this video “to survive, to live – 2019” through twitter.  The writer who introduced me to it now has a blog.  I thought, this is the city and the city.  People live precariously, and isolation during a pandemic leaves them without resource and invisible.  I thought, we are not asked to judge, just to not unsee.

Red Black 3: music

 

 

My guitar teacher is a sucker for Brazilian rhythms, though her interests span the globe.  I am currently working on both the melody and accompaniment to a pair of Brazilian songs “Minha Jangada” and “Praia do Janga” running back to back with change of key between.  The first of these is on this wonderfully pixellated monochrome video, which feels like a possible source for further artwork.  Previously, I was learning two Klezmer pieces written by Josi Hartmann in commemoration of the Holocaust, one of which is here.  My taking up guitar later in life led my wife to do what she had dreamed of from a child and learn to play the flute.

Zen Brush 2 app, iphone 7, fingers.

Red Black 2: Urge for going

Now the warriors of winter they gave a cold triumphant shout
And all that stays is dying and all that lives is getting out
See the geese in chevron flight flapping and racing on before the snow
They’ve got the urge for going and they’ve got the wings so they can go

 

 

Words from “Urge for Going“, Joni Mitchell, 1966

A melancholy song, but from simpler time when threat of apocalypse might be a foolish press on a button, not near certainty from the ordinary actions of each of us, daily, just living our lives.

Red Black 1

 

A long time with little drawing, save these sketches on a simple app on the iphone.  Most are abstract, reflecting my moods and thoughts.  Only one of these relates directly to our having lost our European citizenship and soon to be rights and trading partners, for a bright new future as supplicants of American corporations.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Creon’s judgement

“Up in the rocks, up where nobody goes,

There’s a steep path that leads higher, to a cave.

She’ll be put in there and some food put in with her –

And once she’s in, she can pray to her heart’s content

To her god of death.”

After all her Hades talk,

It’ll be her chance to see if he can save her.

 

The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles’ Antigone.  Seamus Heaney

Enter Creon

Chorus:

“King Creon.  All hail to Creon.

He’s the new king but he’s right

For this city at this moment.”

Creon:

“Gentlemen.  We have entered calmer waters.

Our ship of state was very nearly wrecked

But the gods have kept her safe.”

 

The Burial at Thebes: Sophocles’ Antigone.  Seamus Heaney