The Huge First Nothing

Rise after rise bow the phantoms behind me,
Afar down I see the huge first Nothing, I know I was even there,
I waited unseen and always, and slept through the lethargic mist,
And took my time, and took no hurt from the fetid carbon

poetry quotes from Song of Myself by Walt Whitman

In the studio continuing the painting, (its future a matter of the continuous past):

I confront this beginning, this rebeginning, face it, reflecting it as it does me. We are both physical. We are material. The material comes first, atoms, everything comes from the material.

 I celebrate myself, and sing myself,
And what I assume you shall assume,
For every atom belonging to me as good belongs to you.

I make my first mark, disrupt the perfect surface, its potential is already diminished but I compensate it, restate its potential as a black dot. The black dot that was there at the Big Bang, out of which all that now exists has come. Potential is reset, reidentified, refound.

Already it has history, and it begins to assert itself back at me – its form, this body this cell, spheroidal. An apostrophe, representing something that is now absent. Look at it, listen to it, read it, translate it, think of/for it. Absence as presence.

I am in love with it I have been in love with it countless times already. I shall play with it as it is – for a while – I do not know for how long. I am uncertain, whatever I do I both destroy, and reincarnate it in the same instant. This is the palpable present, suspended moment of indefinite duration.

Black for carbon, for bodies, we are bodies. Afterall the world is perhaps best understood as a body (I repeat myself)

I have been here countless times and must remember not to live in fear. I always have to remind myself that it is I, myself, making this and no other.

I ask myself is it possible to do painting like this (I know that it is, as I can do nothing else like it) and I mean painting in a traditional way, whilst existing in a world of the digital.

I have no argument with the world, do not/dare not question it.

Meanwhile, the implications of (technological) progress are vast.

The digital, and beyond…

To play is this:
Record its presence (in the easiest possible way, and its passing (if that is to be the case) take more photos of it, think more about it, rationalise it, love it more, get some distance on it, become its audience. Use the camera and then see it come up on the computer screen, like a miracle. Rotate it, work with it, live with it a while, keep loving it. I would not like to be without such easy tools. These are tools that help to tell the story – set it free from the silence of the painting itself. The silence within the interspace. Everything happens at the edge – watch the invisible edge closely, feel it intensely. Then, translate it, just you, just me, alone.

I first had a digital camera – pocket-sized, the one I still use in these notes, it revolutionised my relationship with my paintings. I was able to see them as the viewer, and that meant I was better able to clarify my next step.

I weave a fabric out of everything and make a thoroughfare through it all.

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