“… when confronted with unusual life situations… A warrior acts as if nothing had ever happened, because he doesn’t believe in anything, yet he accepts everything at its face value.”
Carlos Castaneda

Tales of Power

Arriving

n

I recently had the pleasure of performing with Shlomit again – this time in a small and intimate gallery in Jerusalem. The performance was an invitation to respond to the space itself and to the exhibition that it contained. It had been a long physical and metaphysical journey that brought me to this performance. In the end it was my simple wish to immerse myself again (it has been a while) in a creative bubble that motivated me to set out and complete the journey. I am glad I did.

Ironically, especially now as I read the words I have written, the highlight of the evening was for me before the performance itself. I usually prefer to get the technical setup done and then take time to myself. An electrical outlet changed those plans – I now had to wait for the electrician. So I laid down on the floor, on my back, and spent some time settling. When my body felt the need to move I let it, and soon I was again lying on the floor face down, my left cheek touching the floor, my arm partly obstructing my view. Then it happened.

I think that for the first time in my life I was conscious of arriving. It was as if the blinking of my eyelids came to a stop and sight became still. It was as if a comet trail I left behind me finally caught up with me and I came into focus. I do not recall sounds – everything went quiet. Someone moved through my field of vision, yet my attention did not follow. All my senses felt open yet steadily turned inwards. I was in peaceful awe. Though I feel this is a familiar experience – I don’t recall being so aware of it before.

I cannot say much about the performance itself and I don’t really want to. I can say that for the first time I was completely free – even from, and maybe especially from, photography. I was not looking for images, I was completely in a performance body dancing (no point in avoiding that word anymore) with Shlomit. I, also for the first time in a performance, played my Shakuhachi – and it too was so kind to me, sounds came with ease. I did not see the images that I took and were projected into the space, and I have not even downloaded them from the camera. Even in this writing, I have no motivation to go through a process of photography to display and share images.

After the performance Andreea and I went to a wonderful japanese restaurant. My body was warm and overheating – I removed all but one layer of clothing in the cool Jerusalem weather. As we sat down Radiohead’s “House of Cards” was playing in the background and I felt as if I was sinking into it. When I took the first spoonful of warm soup my eyes closed and my entire body embraced it like it rarely does anymore. The experience of flavor was refreshing and new. With my hunger satisfied we began the journey back home. I was alert and awake despite the late hour.

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No words!

n

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Jamie Lidell

n

Another recent pearl in my musical awareness. Upbeat embracing, comforting and perking-upping at the same time. Enjoy : )

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The SweetClarity Business

n

My yoga teachers training course included studies of a prominent Yoga text called “The Yoga Sura” by Patanjali. If memory serves – there is a part in the second chapter that talks about a path of devotion – which is an optional path in Yoga. In this part of the text the word God appeared several times and I encountered much friction with it  – even though the Yoga Sutra is carefully crafted as a non-religious text. I was able to transform that friction into a supportive curiosity by playing around with an alternate word – quality. It seemed to fit in perfectly and it resonated within me deeply.

Over the past two years I have been immersed in creative exploration of art that is dedicated to inspiration, art that embraces and commits to a present moment – over and over again. In it I found an opportunity to experience quality – and ironically I found myself reinstating the word God. I have said many times and truly believe that when beautiful images occur before me and are captured through me – it is the work of God. My work is more about not-doing, not getting in the way, remaining present, being there when divine expression takes place.

When I left my last steady/paying job over two years ago I was scared. For the first two weeks I was scared about money and where it would come from. Then that fear was replaced by another fear – which surprised me. Read More »

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Glimpses 06 – December 2008

n

i have taken another liberty – and i have shaken the grip that time had on glimpses. though i am still taking a trip down memory line – i am no longer committed to a linear trip. i am releasing the memories as they come. sometimes it starts with an image that leads to a memory and words, other times it is a memory that leads to images and words. this time though – it’s a word that led to a memory of images and then more words. violence.

Read More »

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Upcoming Performance in Jerusalem

n

On the coming thursday – December 11th – I will partake in an improvised performance space that will take place at Beit Anna Ticho (9 Harav Kuk St. – Jerusalem).  The performance is taking place within a photography exhibition titled “Woman with a Camera”. There will be three performance groups that will perform consecutively and in a loop from 20:00 – 22:00.  I have been invited to perform with Shlomit (who I first met here) – and I am grateful for this opportunity to work with her again. During her performances I will be using live-stills. Ilay will also be there so I expect to do something with him as well.  Should be good fun – please come if you are in the area.

 

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Woah Jolene!

n

Ever since I started the “enjoy” category (thanks again Ryan for the inspiration!) I really enjoy my excursions into youtube land – I run into some surprising stuff and usually burn up way too much time on it : ) During my recent excursion for the post on Cake – I came across this ooooomph version of my parent’s-generation-classic-all-time-favorite Jolene. Speechless! If my parents happen to come across this – then… we’ll have something to talk about at the next family dinner : ) These are the White Stripes. Enjoy : )

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Interrogation & Compassion

n

Once in an inconsistent while I scroll through my twitter and quickly pull out a few links to review at a later time. They stay open in tabs in my browser until a later time when I actually read them. Sometimes I follow some of those links to other links – and that I think sums up the majority of my internet reading. This morning I found myself reading two articles/posts consecutively. When I was finished I toggled between the two back and forth a few times. The first about Happiness, Compassion and Sharing and the second about interrogation techniques used by Americans in Iraq. I’ll leave you to connect your own dots.

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I Will Survive

n

“I Will Survive” is a song that used to be really popular at Israeli weddings (it may still be – but I haven’t been to one in ages so…). I always thought that was just hilarious (or just plain stupid – depending on my mood) – listening to the lyrics – this is so not a wedding song. In come Cake – I think they really nailed this song for what it really is. Here is them doing it live. I definitely to add them to my “see in concert” list. Enjoy : )

This is another Cake track. For me – it is ultimately THEIR sound. Every time I listen to this track – I wish I knew someone with a stereo so loud (and no neighbors for a radius of 2 miles)  you can just crank it up to dangerous levels, then bring it down a bit (for safety) – and then hit play. There is no video – which is good – because you can focus on the sound : ) Enjoy.

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Bret Dennen

n

Another musician that I find comforting and embracing… just the right kind of presence when I want something soothing. Enjoy Bret:

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Yoga & Breath – Ujjayi Breathing

n

Now that you have some familiarity with your natural breathing we can take another step forward into Ujjayi (u-jay-ee) breathing. The core idea with Ujjayi basic is to create a mechanism by which you can control and manipulate the structure of your own breathing. You can think of Ujjayi technique as a valve in the throat which regulates the flow of breath. Without using the valve your breath flows freely within the fully capacity permitted by your phyiscality – the size of your windpipe. In Ujjayi breathing we use musculature to narrow that pipe down so that the passage of air is more constricted – we close the valve a bit. How much we close it effects the flow of breath.

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Posted in Breath, Getting Started, Yoga | You are welcome to read 13 comments and to add yours

Beautiful House

n

I recently visited one of the most beautiful, pleasant and spacious houses I encountered in Israel. It also happens to be for sale – so if you are looking for a wonderful place – you might be interested in it : ) It sits on 8 acres of land which includes two houses & beautiful stables (11 stalls). It is located in a place called Udim – about 20 minutes north of Tel-Aviv and a few minutes drive from the beach. It is two minutes away from the main Israeli coastal highway – but the house is in complete silence. It is all about space and quality. Behind it are more fields great for long walks and horse-back riding. It’s a very special place! It is on the market for 7 million Euro’s. I wish I could put a bid in – but its not yet my time. Maybe its yours? If you happen to be interested and want the contact details pleaes feel free to drop me a line (iamronen@iamronen.com) and I will gladly put you in touch with the owners.

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Higher Education, CDNow & Sting

n

Many years ago I attended an official university for one year (it was a default thing to do in life). It took me the first half of that year to realize that I didn’t wan’t to be there and the another half to come to terms with that conclusion. My class attendance was slowly replaced by hours at the computer – taking advantage of the internet via dull textual green screens – then available only on university campuses. One of the small treasures was CDNow – I think it was one of the first online shops ever. Using a textual interface of scrolling menus I was able to get my hands on music that I couldn’t get in stores. I spent a long time (I recall it took more then a year, so it must have continued when I could get internet from home) hunting down an audio recording of Sting performing Message in a Bottle in The Secret Policemen’s Ball – until I was finally able to get my hands on a copy. Now the video is freely available for all.

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g-speak

n

Remember the user interaction Tom Cruz operated on Steven Speilberg’s “Minority Report?”. It’s coming:

g-speak overview 1828121108 from john underkoffler on Vimeo.

Posted in Coming Through, Enjoy, inside, outside, Tech Stuff | You are welcome to add your comment

Living in a Fractal & Playing the Stereo loud & (what the heck do I know about) World Economics

n

During my recent visit to Tel-Aviv, a friend I met, (who lives in Tel-Aviv) asked if we (my wife – need to find a better word for that! – and I) would accept an invitation to join her for dinner some time. I replied that the chances were slim. I don’t get to Tel-Aviv often (and avoid it altogether when possible) and keep my travels to a minimum. I am trying to keep my life simple and inexpensive – two years ago I gave up the luxury of money for the luxury of creativity and happiness.

As I was driving home with my wife (that word again!) I shared with her an image that came to me right there and then. My experience these days is as if reality is squeezing me into a tighter and tighter spot. It seems to be getting smaller and smaller. Yet I want and need to experience life with plenty of space. So I am surrendering to this shrinking bubble that’s wrapping me and “shrinking” myself – so that I still have a sense of space within my perceived limitations.

This morning as I was sitting on the beach I had a glimpse of some clarity. I recalled a fractal image I read about and saw many years ago (Chaos: Making a New Science) and as I drew it in the sand the shrinking metaphor (and I) expanded …

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Wish: Ilay’s Room

n

I just returned from a performance that Ilay produced and in which he performs. Ilay is a friend and performer whom I met in the context of my work with Shahar and who appears in many of my images. The performance took place on the roof of his apartment building in Tel-Aviv. An impressive audience of about 30 people attended. The performance seems to be centered around a character that Ilay has been developing. I met this character a few weeks ago during our excursion to the desert (I hope that soon images will be made available on StillCreation). During the performance – a clear image of a creative event appeared to me. I would like this event to reach out from my imagination into an experienced reality. I would like to do a 3 day photography/performance event during which Ilay’s character evolves and appears.

Read More »

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Yoga & Breath – Natural Breathing

n

“A change in breath can diminish the experience of limits. A breathing pattern is usually committed to memory and the limits are associated with it. When the breathing is altered, the memory of the limit disappears and we can explore beyond.”

Though I intended to explain why you should breathe systemically in your Yoga practice – I have opted not to. I will say what I say to my Yoga students – if you are not breathing consciously and systemically then your practice is not Yoga. You can being doing great stretching, strengthening, balancing, whatever exercises – but you are not practicing Yoga.

The only way, I know of, for you to create a relevant relationship (one that goes beyond your mind’s resistance or embracing of it) with this statement is simple: practice passionately and compassionately with breathing for a meaningful period of time and accumulate your own experience. If you’ve never practiced Yoga – then breathing is a great place to start. Read More »

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Painting with Light

n

Is photography about to change forever? Are still-images and video merging?  High resolution, high video frame rates, hi definition (higher then most commercial screens can display), raw video and still files, completely modular, compatible with existing optics… never mind the price… mind the dream! Apparently the guy behind Oakley is going at it big time.  Click on the image for more on this innovative company.

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‘Aint No Sunshine

n

I first came across this song (many many years ago) when I heard Sting perform it live on a bootleg concert recording. Eventually I traced the song to it’s origins – and found Bill Withers. Embracing music:

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Hello Goodbye

n

I recently had an opportunity to do some work in the desert. I was about to upload some images from this work – and then I changed my mind. A few months ago I had been to the same area in the desert with two amazing performers – Anna & Helena. It was during the second Artness Orchard Labs project. That first visit was a very intense and personal project (on the more recent visit  I was more of a guest) – that has not been completed. I wanted to breathe new life into it. So this post is about that first visit.

A few weeks before the Orchard Labs began I spontaneously wrote a text. It was based on the lyrics of a song. It was written with a twist in the song’s story telling character. Each verse in the song became an individual text. The text poured out of me and was completed in 20 minutes. I then wanted to do something with the text during the Orchard Labs. It’s a wonderful opportunity because of the wonderful performers that attended and their complete focus and dedication to create.

I shared this idea with Shahar and played around with it for some time. At the beginning of the Orchard Labs I still didn’t know what I wanted to do – or actually if I wanted to do anything at all. I kept swinging from passionately wanting to do something to completely forgetting about it. It was clear all the time that if something were to happen – it would be in the desert. At one point I approached Helena with the idea and asked her to consider joining me. She spent some time with the text and then generously said she would gladly join. Then during one practice session, just a day before the planned departure, it occured to me, watching her work, that Anna needed to be a part of this. Helena and I discussed this and couldn’t make up our minds, so we asked Anna – and her response tipped the scales. She too joined the project.

The project took place over one day from early morning to sunset. We transformed each part of the text I had written into an improvisation score. We then began to drive through the desert. When we found an appealing location we stopped and performed. The work kept changing to the very end. Some scores were performed as planned, others never took place, and somethings happened that were not at all planned. I was amazed and humbled by Anna’s and Helena’s dedication – they did some difficult physical work and the conditions were not easy. I feel that it is this dedication to create and the improvisational openness to embrace whatever may come – that made this day an amazing and inspiring experience.

We came back with over 1500 images and  75 minutes of video footage. Following is just a small taste:

[slidepress gallery=’hello-goodbye-preview’]
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