Friday, May 15, 2009

Failure--what a concept!

Update: "Craft" video to your right!

Yesterday, I criticized my own method, which seemed increasingly all about procrastination. Yesterday, I spend much of the day in a desultory haze, working--or, frankly, not working--to little purpose. I started actually putting together that video that turned out so disappointingly late in the day. I happened to come up with the idea of using Donna Haraway's "Companion Species Manifesto" in a completely random moment.

Now, I have long been a believer in the serendipitous discovery (a friend from grad school was the first one to call it that)--the fact that I even knew there was such a thing as the "Companion Species Manifesto" depended upon the fact that I went to grad school, studied such a thing as theory, knew who Donna Haraway was, knew post-colonial and feminist theory, or at least a thing or two about them, and knew what I had found when I stumbled upon this tiny book in a bookstore in Santa Cruz. Still. There's only so much justification for the haphazard, lazy way I pursue--or, frankly, don't pursue, rather just think about pursuing--projects.

Last night when I showed the video to the historian, a video I knew had so many issues it probably wasn't worth the time it took to export to Quicktime, he said, "It needs a little more Bruiser, doesn't it?" and before he had even finished this sentence, I held up my hand: Just stop. That's how aggravated I was about this project and my own lack of skill. I kind of had a hard time getting to sleep.

Anyway, making that little failed exercise yesterday gave me so much motivation today! Rather than cruising around in the desultory way I do, I resolved a technical issue, re-shot new footage of Bruiser the dog, dove right into Final Cut instead of letting it bully me, made my little film on craft/technique that I had let lapse (because of the FC Express bullying issue).

I like to think of this as similar to the Houston Rockets' response to their recent loss in L.A. I may not have the equivalent of power (Ming) or flow (McGrady) in my skill set, but I do have pugnaciousness (Artest). And all those other guys/skills. Okay, maybe this basketball metaphor breaks down--but anyway: resurgence! tenacity! don't tell me I can't!


  1. Dear Video Artist:

    Great pun on Artest.

    I loved the Bruiser film. I unleash my admiration for you and your work. No lie.

    Now I must ask: How did Bruiser respond to your work? Favorably, I have no doubt.


  2. you know what I thought towards the end of this film, your motto for life, "how hard could it be?" or in other words, "I could do that"
    Love you.

  3. I will never ever view Artest in the same light again. When I see him I'll see you--which means he just got more beautiful in my book.

  4. I love the connections between proprioception, technique and knowing. How does one know when a poem's good enough? How do you know if the dumplings will hold? How do you slurp out the soup?



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