I’m so happy to share with you electric wire, the first video single from my Angkor Wat book and album. electric wire represents the genesis of the entire project, it being the first poem I wrote during my first visit to Siem Reap. It’s based on my experience of exploring the town and the things I experienced and saw there. The video is a visual interpretation of the poem (and the experiences it describes). There’s also an electric wire zine and even tote bag you can get as gifts over at my fundraiser for Cambodian children. Check it out and enjoy.
Understanding the difference between skillful vs unskillful fear is an important Buddhist concept. I’ve been thinking about this in very personal terms. When I did my convergence installation earlier this year, I had to face some fears. The piece is installed in the middle of the woods. To fully experience the piece, you must visit in the dark of night with no lights. That can be a somewhat scary thing, especially with the constant sounds of the forest and all the animals around you. But I pushed myself forward to do this with skillful fear. I remember sitting there under cover of darkness, the convergence orbs glowing nearby, hearing the snaps and cracks of animals and birds all around. I even heard the snorting of deer who dashed away as soon as they detected my presence. My heart raced at these encounters with skillful fear, helping me ultimately get more in touch with my love for these animals and nature at large.
I captured one of the encounters on video when I heard something moving towards me. It turned out to be an armadillo! I had never seen an armadillo in Georgia before. When I showed the footage to my parents, they were amazed as in their almost-70 years of living there, they also had never seen an armadillo. I guess it takes a New York artist working in the woods—and a bit of skillful fear—to bring them out!
No matter what your fears may be, I encourage you to practice skillful fear. Use your fear as a tool to uncover more productive feelings within—not as a weapon in defense.
I’ve released two short video diary clips leading up to a more formal video which I’ll be releasing about the woods are watching, a brand new work that I am very excited about. Tune in to Michael Harren’s podcast this Thursday, 17 September, to learn about the work. In the meantime, watch these two clips and subscribe to my YouTube channel—it really helps if you subscribe—so you don’t miss the new video when it comes out!
UPDATE: The full video is out now!
I first performed my journey meditation walk in 2011. I was deeply enmeshed in the Jordan’s Journey project at the time and the meditation walk video was a one-off creative experiment that I did while I was working on the Jordan’s Journey videos. In fact, the meditation walk video clip ended up being part of that trailer. I sat aside the footage and in 2012 first created the standalone journey video both as documentation of the original performance and as original video art.