WARREN ELLIS LTD Articles.
Totally lost track of time yesterday, ended up working on an outline until past 1am to re-assemble and clean up its complications. I do these things to myself. Also had to switch on double opt-in on my newsletter as someone set a bot on it and by the afternoon 600 machine-generated Gmail addresses had subscribed. That sort of thing can be terrible for sending authority. I dislike double opt-in, because in my experience some newsletter hosts just can’t make it work properly. We will see if Beehiiv can, I guess – or I’ll just switch it off again when I resume the newsletter in a couple of weeks (I’m taking a break to get some pressing work done).
ON DECK: Finishing that outline, pulling up two rewrites, starting a new outline
READING: very into PLANTA SAPIENS
ON DECK: I fell behind a bit yesterday due to mind wandering and a work light dying, so I need to get moving today. Lucky the new coffee beans arrived. Bad news: they have to sit for 36 hours after roasting to offgas. Also I have some deliveries incoming which will break up the day, and I need to repot some raspberry canes before it gets dark, so…
INBOX: 66, am responding to email steadily
SHIPPING FORECAST: I also have some more notions and hardly-baked thoughts I want to note down this week
I write this note mostly to add the “slowness” tag. I’m also writing this on the backup laptop, an old ultralight ThinkPad Carbon thing, in the web editor, and it looks a bit odd, so it may post the same way. I keep this laptop downstairs, with a laptop board my kid got me for Xmas a couple of years ago – the idea being, I guess, that I could type in comfort in the evenings while downstairs on the sofa in front of the tv with a glass of something cheerful, if I wasn’t feeling like writing in the notebook.
I’ve just booted up this machine and spent an hour running updates, because I haven’t picked it up in some months, and right now I could use the extra keyboard time to get things done. This obviously sounds like the antithesis of slowness. Slowness came to me this morning when I saw that new Nordic Kitchen post. And again when I shut down the main machines at 4pm to spend ninety minutes potting and sowing plants. Gardening is part of a therapeutic recovery practice: earbuds in, you can’t do or think about much of anything except what you’re doing. And you can’t do it fast. You can’t roast coffee beans fast. I’ve been training myself back to slowness.
Slow cinema has been an interest of mine for years: it demands long focus and long engagement. I suspect that years of listening to long ambient and experimental music pieces put me in the frame for slow cinema. I also suspect that it was subconscious antidote dosing for a work life that moved very fast – #1000mphClub.
Work is gearing up again, and there’s a chance or two that it could get faster. I never want to go at 1000mph again – by the end of 2019, possibly the busiest work year of my life, I was an absolute zombie husk. I want to go at things with more intention. Which finds me jotting this note to myself on the sofa at 10pm. And to imagine what a slower life looks like. Ideally while still producing the same amount of work, but in a more sustainable way.
So. Slowness will be a tag here, as I think about slowness (and, probably, “time pressure,” thanks Tarkovsky and Schrader) in relation to the creative life.
We have to think into the experiences of other organisms dramatically different from ourselves, however rudimentary or complex they might be. So different in fact that their experiences might be generated without any of the familiar animal thinking machinery. No brains, neurones or synapses. I began to think about the sapience of plants. We are so entrenched in the dogma of neuronal intelligence, brain-centric consciousness, that we find it difficult to imagine alternative kinds of internal experience.
PLANTA SAPIENS, Paco Calvo & Natalie Lawrence
(The speculative realism crowd will have a field day with this, if they’ve pried themselves away from “ferreting out the specific psychic reality” of rocks.)
I own a lot of material from Brawl Records. I got an email saying that if you click through to their site:
“We are having a March FLASH SALE for one week! (ends midnight next Saturday 25th)
Please use the code “merrymarch30″ at the checkout for Digital & Physical sales.”
Dunno why I put that there, as I’m the only person who reads this log, but whatever…
A fringe of loyalists such as Valery Gergiev, a conductor, and Vladimir Mashkov, a theatre director, openly embrace the war. At the most grotesque end of the spectrum is a new wave of Z-culture, which the Kremlin has actively promoted. So far the most prominent artist to have broken into the mainstream is the musician Shaman, who has taken to performing hits such as “I’m Russian”—“I’m Russian/I go to the end/I’m Russian/My blood comes from my fa-aa-ther”—for the already war-shocked citizens of Donbas in occupied eastern Ukraine.
Some unlikely figures have also begun dabbling in the arts scene. The warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin—whose Wagner brand is better known for executions by sledgehammer—has opened a “cultural” and “co-working” space in St Petersburg.
In a 497-acre wild forest, among rolling hills, creeks, streams, and wetlands, New York-based architecture studio Marc Thorpe Design has created ‘Crystal Lake Pavilion’: a stunning concept for a meditation sanctuary in the middle of a sublime, motionless lake.
The gallery is gorgeous.