In search of a resolution

Before i embarked on my North American clinical & holiday experience, my GP suggested that maybe I should talk to someone who has the time to listen — about everything — from my crazy medical journey to my past dotted with potential traumas. So after a few days of being back in the UK, I saw that recommended counsellor to talk about my nearing 4-5 year medical journey.

I wasn’t best pleased about the idea. It felt like a personal failure. I wasn’t even sure what we’d even talk about — and I certainly wasn’t pleased about the potential things he might make me do – a group session of our feelings perhaps, keeping diaries, ect? Really not Smizz style. But I duly went along because I’ll do anything to feel better, or cope better, and if my nearly upcoming 2 year long headache is something to do with a personal-trauma then let’s get it sorted.

But I was pleasantly surprised. VERY surprised.  I can’t explain how nice it was to just talk to someone impartial who listened compassionately – who was really helpful. He was consistently open. And I don’t think I’ve ever had someone so good at listening, listen to me before. I spoke about how hard it’s been. How misunderstood  & alone I feel in the (health) system. The constant feeling like my time is limited. How I want to make a positive difference. How i feel like a hindrance – to friends, and the NHS. How it’s completely changed my life upside down, inside out, and all the big adjustments I’ve had to make to keep living life as normally as i can. how it affects my work, my relationships, my social time. How it’s hard to live life normally, when it’s no longer my normal life. He made lots of suggestions – including that I should continue to live my life to the fullest.  I left feeling a lil bit lighter. With more food for thought. Because I’ve been dealing with everything alone for some time now, I’ve read A LOT of stuff out there on coping with life adjustments, chronic illnesses, chronic fatigue & pain – ect, ect. And I’ve adapted A LOT of these into my life, so I’m coping well, so I don’t have to go back unless I want to go back and chat – whenever – — since I’m already doing what some of the services offer – and have an awesome support system of friends & fam (who read my whiney long emails and blog posts and tweets). It was especially nice when he said I should be proud for how far i’ve come & how i’ve coped. And that feels weird that I needed to be praised for it — but I guess I needed my struggle to be acknowledged on some level – to feel like I’ve been heard & that it’s been really difficult.

I tell the world wide web about this experience because i know I put off ever going. But I’d recommend and encourage anyone going through something that has changed your life, a struggle- current – ongoing – or past that has changed you, something that’s not resolved itself, if you’re feeling really low, alone, need someone to listen to you – you should go (it’s free, obvs – and it’s really not like you’d expect it be. I genuinely can’t say how good it was) You’re not alone . The cancer of so many struggles is feeling like you need to deal with it in isolation. & it’s difficult because certain (medical) experiences are all uniquely personal. But let others help carry your burden. I know that I’m super lucky because I’ve always got friends and fam who will help me carry the burden – but there’s always more – there’s always stuff there that you didn’t know was there.

So I was up this morning, watching this sunrise — thinking.

Screen Shot 2015-09-27 at 14.19.43
There’s a lot I don’t know, there’s a lot I’m still learning. When I think I’m letting go, I find that my body its still burning. 
And I’m still held down, and Its still got me living in the past. Come on and pick me up. Someone help me clear this wreckage from the blast. But i’m alive. & I don’t need a witness to know that I survived. I’m not looking for forgiveness but I need a light in the dark to search for a resolution.

Sometimes I feel like I’ve gone from 0 to 100. I’m going to try and start rock climbing (once i get my dodgy foot looked at) – i’m back on my fixie and I’ve told myself — I’m going to go a search for the Northern Lights over this next year.  I really want to use this crazy medical/life experience to make the pathways so much better for future patients / service users. We should see every act as a contribution to a finite set of acts, all building to a contribution of goodness to the world. We should not delay working on the things that make us feel alive in the world, and help the world feel alive. We spend so little time trying to make the most out of the time we get. Your time is too valuable to let a moment go to waste. Steal as much life as you can out of each day

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Time: Before I’m Gone

Time.

Time fascinates me no end. I’ve read a lot of theories about time.

Can you remember when the 6 week summer holidays used to feel so long and hazy and hot? And now, before you know it, it’s already summer when it was only just Christmas. And you’re left thinking? Whoa, time!?

I just read a book called Time Warped by Claudia Hammond, which talks at length about how we perceive time. One of her arguments is that as we get older, we have fewer meaningful experiences. We fall into a routine of sorts and life becomes less memorable, which makes our perception of time feel like it’s speeding up as we age. It’s kind of a sad idea. But it does put things into perspective. We should be doing more things that are memorable! YOLO.

Another theory, by Paul Janet, is that we perceive time as relative to the ‘absolute’ time that we can compare it to. For example, when you’re born a day will feel MEGA long because it is literally ALL of your life. By the time your 50, a year will be 1 50th of your life. So that could explain why summer holidays felt longer than they do now, and waiting around fro christmas felt like a small lifetime. Because in time-terms – it was.

I’m not too sure on the latter explanation, as last summer when I was trying to learn the ropes of clinical radiation oncology and juggle the worst headache – the weeks felt long. Oh so very long. Now I know what I’m doing more, this summer has flown by. The years do feel shorter though and so I believe that time is a combination of both of those theories.

Money and time are both saved and spent. The more money that’s in the market, the less it becomes worth. Similarly, when you become aware of your time – and if you think it’s running out – or becoming shorter – the more worth it seems the accumulate. However, money can be circulated, you can get it back by many means, but time is fully-spent. Once time is gone, you can never get it back.

Death is always a surprise. No one expects it. We are never ready. It is never the right time. By the time it comes, you won’t have done all the things you wanted and should have done.

Sometimes I feel like I’m cheating time. I’ve been run over, fallen from buildings, been in a fire, and more. When I fell sick – I genuinely thought my time was coming to an end. I have days and weeks where I believe I’m going to live many years into old, old age. And then I have some days where I feel so poorly, and have the weirdest shit happen to me that I wonder if I’ll be here next year.

And then I have days – like yesterday – where you get a text in the middle of the train station and it literally takes away your breath and makes you forget how to breath.  I didn’t know what to do with myself. It makes you realize we care too much about things that don’t matter much. I’ve preached this before and often. Because when I’m in my everyday cycle – where I feel ok. The weight of mortality – that painful reminder – isn’t as ever present compared to when I’m in great pain.

Now I’m suddenly feeling this sense of urgency, again. For everything. Especially to spend more time with my mom & my nan & my bro, and my friends, and the world; to try and see them sooner rather than later.  And to correct all the wrong doings I’ve done (just stupid teenager-y stuff) It’s a lesson I keep on trying not to forget (and sometimes I do, and that’s bad).

All this has made me think, it’s not so much that we have so little time; it’s that we have so little awareness of time itself.

So I’m preparing to leave things in a way that if anything does happen to me – sooner rather than later, I have left my mark – I’ve left a trail – of something. I’m going to write blog-posts – letters – cards – emails. Sporadically. Thanking, forgiving, offering, planning, helping, laughing, grieving, making up for lost time and maybe even cheating time in the process.

As my nan says, “It all feels the same,”. Let’s not get caught up in meaninglessness. And let’s enjoy every second we get – together.

To the importance of time & what gives it weight.

Much Love, SMIZZ

Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen

I just bought a book I found in a bargin box for £2 on quantum physics. It’s by Brian Cox, it came out a few years ago when I was working one of my many part-part-time jobs in a bookstore. The book has always intrigued me from the shelf I used to stare at from the till, mostly because I love the font on the book cover (yes, i constantly judge books by their covers – USA bookcovers tend to be pretty bad) but also I really liked the title. “Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen”.

– Let’s all just think about this sentence for a moment. -“Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen”. !!!

Hot chocolates become cold, buildings crumble, and stars slowly die; that’s like a physical visual interpretation of time. The astronomer-philosopher Sir Arthur Eddington in 1927 cited the gradual dispersal of energy as evidence of an irreversible “arrow of time.”  In classic physics, this would be a mind-fuck because in theory you could put all the particles back together and reverse that effect. In very very basic lame-men terms.  (i’m blazing over some important parts, so this isn’t going to be your accurate quantum mechanics class)

Instead, what we’re left with is a strange effect called “quantum entanglement”. This is where energy disperses and objects equilibrate, scientists say it’s because of the way the elementary particles become intertwined when they interact. How cool is that? So  this entanglement builds up between the state of your peppermint hot chocolate and the state of the commuter train that you’re on.

So, now you’re wondering why I am banging on about hot-chocolates and entanglement which sounds like a sequel Disney movie? Well, entanglement could explain the flow of time. Why buildings don’t just re-build, why your cooled chocolate suddenly doesn’t get wicked hot again.

The story of time’s arrow begins with what we know, that nature is inherently uncertain.

In principle, as the state of your commuter train evolves, the hot choc could suddenly become unmixed from the air and enter another pure state of its own. But there are so many more mixed states than pure states available to the hot-choc that this practically never happens — and apparently we’d all have to outlive the universe to witness it. This statistical unlikelihood gives time’s arrow the appearance of irreversibility. But this is what makes it super interesting. Literally ANYTHING could happen to us. ANYTHING. There are endless possibilities, just the statistical unlikelihood which somewhat governs our chances.

This is just another significant discovery in trying to explain how changes in time occur, but we’re all still wondering about time in general? Like why it seems different (both perceptually and in the equations of quantum mechanics) to every one and everything. And helps with the questions of “why me?”, “why not me?”

I’ve written so much about time over the past few months. Trying to understand it. Own it. Its weight. Its heaviness and lightness. Its ungraspable real-ness.  I just read a book called Time Warped by Claudia Hammond, which talks at length about how we perceive time. One of her arguments is that as we get older, we have fewer meaningful experiences. We fall into a routine of sorts and life becomes less memorable, which makes our perception of time feel like it’s speeding up as we age (could be quantum flow of time). It’s kind of a sad idea. But it does put things into perspective. We should be doing more things that are memorable! YOLO.

Since I became sick, and lost certain abilities I used to have (still mourning)- and I seem to spend a ridiculous amount of time napping and sleeping than I ever did before. I have become obsessed with documenting and measuring time, in all of its forms. This is because I constantly feel like I either don’t have enough time, that I’m not using time wisely, or that it’s going to be snatched from me before my real time is/should be up.

As a result I have loads of apps that measure things for me.

One of my time-measuring things is my Fuelband. I like the Fuelband because it democratizes work outs and makes them all relatively equally by registering fuel points as apposed to steps, or calories, or work outs (it also measures those too) but the fuelpoint system works by making sure you get data and points for all activities equally from drumming, to running and walking to wood carving to even brushing your teeth. Whatever. But My Nike+ Fuelband obsession probably lasted about a month, and then maybe like 4 months before I truly didn’t give a shit about whether or not I hit my fuel-points target. This lack of concern came with getting knocked off my bike I think (anything can happen, quantum change!). Riding my bike was my main way of excerising because it’s fun, and free, and I can grind miles even when it’s really difficult to just walk.

But I am back, concerned about my time. It always takes a period of feeling stupidly unwell, and some crazy hospital visits to make me try and get my priorities back in line. I want to get back on the bike, to start to care again about my time &  get back on  doing stuff for my output into the fuelband. I want to spend more time with friends, do work in a timely manner, research loads, reply emails when I get them, not let them build up. Quantify my quality moments. Change bad habits into good habits.

It’s a lot to ask. But if a hot-chocolate can go cold because it equilibrates with the surrounding – I’m sure I can do the same.

Time is our most valuable resource, guys. Who knows how many christmas dinners I have left – so it’s about time that I take the time to spend with loved ones and enjoy things and do things that will help with using my time more efficiently. Because Everything That Can Happen, Does Happen.

Gravity

I’ve been working on a bunch of stuff for this amazing art conference called Gravity. It’s been running all year since Janurary. And now the website that i built is up – it’s actually really amazing to see how many well acomplished artists my co-workers/artists bagged – like ALOT of previous Turner Prize Nominees/winners- both current and past. Check out the site yourself. The research hasn’t been finished yet by the artists, but as soon as we have that – the website will have a fantastic dialogue going on between todays contemporary practices and our relationship with the balancing thinking and making. check it at http://www.gravity21.org. word.

just jack…

What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing?- it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies

Future Visions of History

http://criticalnetwork.co.uk/event.php?id=240

You should send a stamped address envolope. Just 2 see my work.

Today I think I’ve realised in myself that my need for status within the artworld is because I actually exist in my own non-entity. I’m not accepted on any platform. My own culture, the donx living has rejected me because of my interests, the way I talk, walk and just am. I never fitted in at school, and still dont within the university system. im just generally a bad student. I’m not interested in the institution, i’m not that smart or articulate. My grammar and spelling and way with words is god awful (and yet i dream of being a writer HAHAHA) mainly due 2 a poor schooling in a poor area.  And then I’m everything the artworld is not. I’m scared of what I will become without these entities that won’t accept me.

In the terms of the world. Where does Smizz fit in?

I dunno. I guess watch this space!

FIRST STUDENT-LED BIENNIAL EVER, IN SHEFFIELD

The accumulation of culture
Culture – a build up of.
In Dialogue.
The Transmission-ability of culture.
Plateau Platformo.
 
 
The “cultural stealth” of our own existence has started to take its toll upon us. In a culture where the idea of transmission-ability/ progress is given up in the name of Post Modernity, the disillusion and disenchantment that is accredited by de-motivated academics, leaves us – both as artist practitioners and spectators – feeling somewhat alienated.
 
Our position of being able to see, what Heidegger referred to as, our ‘World Picture’ and our acknowledgement of our Being in the world [poiesis] should ultimately offer us a space to reflect critically and engage in the viewing of art. But this isn’t necessarily the case.
 
The first art student-led, collaborative biennial held in Sheffield is a constellation of contemporary works of art, architecture and philosophy that celebrate, engage and explore these dynamics, both in art and life, and bring them to the table with all the losses and gains that this will entail. 
 
The ambiguity of the Agamben term ” transmissibility ”  is impossible to translate in all its levels of meaning. Transmissibility  refers to the ratio of input: output, thus a relation to progress. This notion can then be somehow located between action, activity, agency and participation.  In return, this reflects the base/theme of the festival, which is the idea of ‘platforms’, inspired by Agamben’s concept of the “Accumulation of Culture”.
 
We are constantly faced with the debate of whether an art festival can deliver, or delve, into a context that can open our eyes; reveal and ultimately really engage. That can subscribe to an alternative or create a more creative reflection of the artworld other than the model which has been commodified and capitalised. 
 
This transgressive influx on economic surplus value and branding market plans of artwork has alienated the process of making, the criticality value to a point of exhaustion and the authenticity of the pleasure of viewing art. This is exactly the paradigm structure that stops us from accessing our Being, where spectators and creators are no longer impassioned but are instead passive consumers.
 
Agamben’s writings often indulge in the political task of explaining that humanities role is to expose the innate potential in this zone of indistinguishability.  
 
As a starting point to examine diverse practices, we are proposing various forms of platforms, in all interpretations of the word. The very methods used for curation would provide a framework for the work to sit in.  A variety of ways of presenting work are going to be established through multiple venues and public spaces , including a ‘proposal free space’ as a ‘free-space’ for artists to utilise.
 
By using the Accumulation of Culture through the idea of Platforms, we are ultimately trying to create an ‘utopian’ biennial form of ideas living together and having a common structure, but being at the same time totally independent and autonomous.  It can’t teach us something we don’t already know, but perhaps help us ask more questions as apposed to answering them and seeking different perspectives.
 
By art taking place in the public sphere, is it thus has the opportunity to create possibilities for (political) action and agency, in order to make room for genuine meaning and poetic capacity.  To emancipate ourselves as artists and curators from the capitalistic aesthetic which dominates and help us redefine ourselves from franchised culture.
 
The biennial aims to intensify the interaction with the community, urban, philosophical and political contexts in Sheffield by inviting participants, AND CALLING FOR PROPOSAL SUBMISSIONS coming from different fields like arts, architecture, politics, Philosophy, anthropology etc.

The REAL Sheffield wide art event: a sample/ teaser text

The accumulation of culture

Culture – a build up of.

In Dialogue.

The Transmission-ability of culture.

 ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^>>>>> A teaser of our theme text, coming on FRIDAY

 

The “cultural stealth” of our own existence has started to take its toll upon us. In a culture where the idea of transmission-ability / progress is given up in the name of Post Modernity, the disillusion and disenchantment by which is accredited by de-motivated academics, leaves us – both as artist practioners and spectators – feeling somewhat alienated.

 

Our position of being able to see, what Heidegger referred to as, our ‘World Picture’ and our acknowledgement of our Being in the world [poiesis] should ultimately offer us a space to reflect critically and engage in the viewing of art. But this isn’t necessarily the case.

 

The first ever art student, collaborative biennial held in Sheffield is a constellation of contemporary works of art, architecture and philosophy that celebrate, engage and explore these dynamics, both in art and life, and bring them to the table with all the losses and gains that this will entail. 

 

The ambiguity of the Agamben term “ transmissibility  is impossible to translate in all its levels of meaning. Transmissibility refers to the ratio of input: output, thus a relation to progress. This idea can then be somehow located between action, activity, agency and participation…..

 

……………….TEXT TO BE CONTINUED

THIS IS JUST A TEASER.

 

CONTEMPORARY ART AS DIALOGUE COPYRIGHTED