In Search of A/The Point of Life

Archive for December, 2009

GOODBYE 2009. GOODBYE NOUGHTIES.

http://www.markertext.com/sans_soleil.htm
Samura Koichi: “Who said that time heals all
wounds? It would be better to say that time heals everything except wounds. With time,
the hurt of separation loses its real limits. With time, the desired body will soon disappear,
and if the desiring body has already ceased to exist for the other, then what remains is a wound… disembodied.”
Disembodied

Disembodied.

Who said that time heals all wounds? It would be better to say that time heals everything except wounds. With time, the hurt of separation loses its real limits. With time, the desired body will soon disappear,  and if the desiring body has already ceased to exist for the other, then what remains is a wound… disembodied.  - Sans Soleil 1983 Chris Marker.

In Life 3.0, Kaidie is free from the burden of memory. (If Kaidie had no camera, she would have forgetten). In Life 3.0, Kaidie is free from hurt, the hurt of separation, limitations of time, longing, desire, limitations of her body, limitations of her mind.


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DAY 19: KAIDIE HAS SHAPESHIFTED TO A 157m SPONGE SO AS TO BETTER SOAK UP THE FESTIVE ATMOSPHERE.

How are you enjoying the festivities, my Dear Readers?

This morning I took a hard look at myself at the mirror. I quite like my current formation as a hamster – I quite enjoyed being a cockroach as well, both of which are fabulous for going undercover, but I am also exhausted of only being vertically-challenged all the time. (For instance, what in gods’ names gives short men the right to chat up short women as if they are godsends, as if I should be ever so grateful for meeting someone of a physical formation [sic] that I could crush with the tip of my little toe?! Kaidie is a 3rdlifer, for chrissake, and is adamantly against smalltownprovincial incest, inbreeding and any sort of breeding. Have you forgotten that Kaidie is  a perfectly globalised cosmopolitan of metropolitan Nondon? Get out of my way shorties, let Kaidie mingle with all the other species, formations, forms, lifeforms and non-life forms out there.)

So, what should I become next? I pondered for a while… When in Rome, surely I should do as the Romans do. When in Nondon, surely I should do as Nondeners do. What better way to soak up the atmosphere than to be a sponge! But what size should I go for? A 1.57m kitchen sponge does not quite make a strong enough visual presence as a 157m one. So voila, I’ve made the transition. In order not to confuse you, my Dear Reader, for my continually refreshing renewals, renovations and reinventions, I created a diagramme for your kind reference. (My hamster formation is a few pixels, right at the left side of the diagramme, actually, can you spot it? ) As you can see, I have coloured myself in my favourite pink to try to add some neon glamour to the festive occasion. In addition, in order not to commit the frequent superhero fashion faux pas, I have dyed my square pants the same #ff02d8 shade as the rest of my body. Don’t you think this is a most fabulous getup for me to visit Frafalgar Square, the Nondon-I and the New Year’s Day Parade! How do you like it?

* PS THANK YOU my Facebook friends Breda and Vassili for your kind advice! *

* If YOU have any suggestions as to what (and when) I could become next, do SHOUT!*

small_sponge

Kaidie finally meeting her match in Nondon.

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DAY 15: KAIDIE HAS A NEW SUPERPOWER FOR 2010: LAUNCHING THE MIND over MATTER PLUGIN aka THE M&M PLUGIN (TM). Apologies, you can’t download it – BUT I will share it at my first real-life appearance on 20:00hrs 26 January in Villa Straeuli, Winterthur, Switzerland. So, COME!

Being that time of the year when we come up with new resolutions in desperate bids to triumph over evil habits, I have been terribly busy with my Winter assignment, that of coming up with a new superpower. Being already quite perfect as I am, what do I need? That was a tough one that had my mind all bogged down. However, today I invented one. Although it remains a state secret, I would like to reward you, my loyal Dear Readers of my Life 3.0 travel blog, by sharing with you the fruits of my labour here: I have willed myself a brand new plugin*, in time for the New Year: that of the Mind Over Matter (M&M) superpower.

* A brief note about superpowers of the 21st century, for the benefit of you, mere mortals: We post-911 superheroes no longer enter phone booths to put on crimson briefs over blue tights. Pink is better, but faster still are plugins (no learning curve!!). Simply switch them on, and I am ready to save the worlds.

Above: low-res photo of Kaidie's high-res brains (from my Blackberry).

Above: low-res photo of Kaidie's high-res brains (from my Blackberry).

My M&M plugin (NO, I am not abbreviating it to ‘MoM’  because I deplore all you righteous simpletons Freudian/Lacanian/Oprah/Jerry Springer/Psychobabble Crunchy Nutheads trying to read into all these and NO,  I am not in denial so kindly piss off) is most formidable, as with all of my other superpowers. I installed my M&M plugin this afternoon during my run at Regents Fark.

Allow me to explain, my Dear Readers. My right ankle was in a sort of a strain the first 4km of my 15km run yesterday. I was nearly limping. This afternoon, again, the right ankle was moaning in a dull tone – and this time for more than 6km! So Kaidie was presented with 2 choices: 1) ignore the moans of my sissy ankle, or 2) listen to my sissy ankle, give up the run, walk (slowly) home (in shame).

It was a no-brainer. Although I do not own any Triumph bra or panties for they are too momsy (SHUT UP again you psychobabblecrunchynuts), I am a never-say-die (until 09.09.2012 that is) Triumphant Triumphalist. I am no chicken! For, I am a hamster, remember! NOW get that! In Life 3.0, there is a 3rd choice: my brilliantly fertile mind got working, and there and then, at Regents Fark, I invented the M&M plugin, which I uploaded and installed immediately. I do not mean to boast (with my 3rdlifer modesty and terrific solo-auto upbringing) but with the M&M superpower, the rest of my 15km run today was chicken feed. No ankle strain or anything mundane like that, or rather, if there was,any, it did not  matter. The M&M plugin WORKS and is RUNNING WELL (pun intended)!

For those who lack imagination, I have decided to help you (this being the  oh-so-jolly season of giving and sharing, afterall!) I have taken a photo of my brains (please see above). The superpower plugins are the bits sticking up on the left (more to come). As clearly illustrated here, my mind is quite fertile, as I am of a fertile age (although, nothankyouverymuch, we are against reproduction philosophically – Kaidie is extremely principled as [self-]righteous, if you didn’t already know) – but of course, if you recall the circumstance of my birth, which was the cesspool of poo, my primary source of nutrients.

Oh goody, I’m really into the festive mood now.

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THE MUSEUM OF EVERYTHING AND HENRY DARGER (many thanks to JO & ROB for this wonderful recommendation!)

What is between everything and nothing? Something, for sure.

What is between everything and nothing? Something, for sure.

At Jo and Roy’s recommendation, I visited the Museum of Everything last Sunday. (DO GET YOUR RECOMMENDATIONS POURING IN! I will take them up and report back!! This blog entry is proof!) I walked to and from the museum (about 7km) at a temperature not fit for humans. Fortunately I was a hamster then (and now). Unfortunately, my little hands/feet (call them what you will – ok, limbs) could not have a good grip of the icy ground, so I slipped and landed on my ass. In Life 3.0, being the smart ass that I am, I turned my accident into a positive experience, and instead of trying to stand up and confront the chuckling spectators, I rolled myself on the ground, all the way to the Museum at Sharples Hall Street, which is right next to Primprose Hill.

Museum3

Sharples Hall Street

How glad I am to have visited. I quite like the show (though I must say that I find the term ‘Outsider Art’ – which the show has been described as – slightly problematic, the way all forms of ghetto-isation are, and also dangerous, to an extent, for a sort of mythologisation and romanticisation of artists and their processes. This is interesting also especially if the curators of a show are NOT outside but on the contrary, inside inside. Or perhaps this is meant to be an other of those clever contemporary self-reflexive joke?).

Anyways. I like the space, narrow even for me (I have been invariably described as ‘diminutive’ – yes yes, compared to you human beings I am vertically challenged, but please note that while I am a hamster, I am NOT a dwarf hamster – that’s an other breed altogether. Kindly note that I am much taller than them). Being the last day of the show (20 Dec), the place was jam-packed. What a surprise. A very tall (nearly 200cm) young man with very arresting green eyes tells me that the space used to be a dairy. The way the artworks are arranged is quite clever, efficient and intimate. For the uninitiated (like this writer for instance), this might have even appeared to be a show by a single artist. Which goes to show, either that the selection of artists/artworks is a result of their similar aesthetic approaches, or that the curators have done a good job in unifying the entire show in a sharp and coherent manner, or both.

My favourite, favourite is Henry Darger. I stared for some time at his large superwidescreen drawings of toddlers in what looks like edens. There is as much violence as there is beauty, transience as there is timelessness, comehither -ness as there is repugnance and repulsion. The drawings are highly restrained as they are too much.

Even though Life 3.0 is free from death (except on  09.09.2012), I respect the wishes of the organiser.

Even though Life 3.0 is free from death (except on 09.09.2012), I respect the wishes of the organiser.

This concoction of emotions is rather powerful. I quickly travel back in time and cycle through my bank of memory and knowledge, and immediately many names, images and sounds jump up for my attention: Bosch’s Garden of Earthly Delights, Chagall, El Greco, Elsie Beckmann and Hans Beckert/Peter Lorre in Lang’s M, Chapman Brothers, the muse of Lewis Carroll and imaginations of Nabokov, AES+F’s Last Riot, and of course, the Great Pretender Takashi Murakami and his faux naif approach. I also recall that I had felt this surge of feelings only a few times before in my previous life: when I saw Boltanski’s solo exhibition in France, a Mark Rothko painting in Chicago, and Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil.

I came back, and tell myself that I must, must go and find out more about Darger.

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ARE YOU A LONDONER? ENTER QUIZ NOW! LONDON QUIZ 1

Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. FILL THIS UP AND SUBMIT TO KAIDIE, NOW! There are several different quizzes. Do complete them all! And you can fill up as many as you wish. I will publish the most interesting ones! THOSE WITH THE BEST ANSWERS WILL WIN A SPECIAL, SECRET PRIZE FROM KAIDIE!

My Fieldset
 

cforms contact form by delicious:days

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COPENHAGEN: DEAL/NO DEAL/EITHER/OR/NEITHER/NOR

afterwarhol_1991

The age of stupid, again (and again, looped, across many life, and death cycles)

.

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ON MY 1 WEEK ANNIVERSARY OF LIFE ON googleEARTH, I GO FOR A 15km RUN AND DECIDE TO HAVE NO HAIRCUT FOR 992 DAYS.

Photograph of clouds taken by Autopilot.

Photo by autopilot.

Today I celebrate my 7-days of staying alive. I cannot believe how divine my life has been so far, so I bang my head on the wall and pinched myself a few times just to check. But in Life 3.0, the concept of pain is banished, so I have no way to determine if this is real.

And, as if my marvellous life is not celebratory enough, it’s a crisp, gorgeous Winter day today at 0 Degrees Celsius – and isn’t zero a delightful number, precariously perched between the positive and the negative. I decide to go for a run. It is my coldest run, ever. With a pair of still-unbendable knees and my bright orange hamster costume, it is not an easy start, but once I reach my beloved Regents Fark, I calm down and scuttle about the Outer Circle on an autopilot mode. I now feel neither cold, pain, nor anxiety. There are new challenges and fears that I have to confront everyday. In Life 3.0, I conquer them all – blindingly well. The only hitch I face today are the ducks who display an overtly friendly attitude to me, to which I am hesitant to reciprocate, for I am rather sure they have ulterior motives – even in Life 3.0, I doubt that you hear of ‘friendships’ between ducks and hamsters, don’t you think, my dear readers?

Peering out my Pings Pross flat 19 December 2009

Peering out my Pings Pross flat 19 December 2009

I complete 15 km in today’s run. During my autopilot mode, I take a picture of the pretty skies to share with you, whom I understand do not have such a vantage point. So, please see above.

In the past 7 days, I have also made new friends, some of whom groan (in pleasure?) that this travel blog is hard to navigate. Hence, for the benefit of you my Dear Readers, I have created a boring site map, though I highly recommend for you to PLEASE GET LOST. No, I am not swearing at you (I am polite to a fault! Even in Life 3.0.), but what I mean is that you should enjoy being lost, for you can have surprising encounters in your detours, but more importantly, the feeling of not having a clear destination and simply gallivanting about is pure pleasure, I would say. So, travel and explore a bit, my Dear Readers.

So, just to sum it up for you and me, in the past week some of the activities I have experienced include:

So many meaningful activities in a matter of 7 days!? Somebody pinch/punch me!

I check my ongoing Rough Guide, and am satisfied that I have practised several guidelines today, including: Free from pain, live life intensively, live life intently. Another lesson /conclusion I have learnt today: my hamster-costume, with all the fur and fat, works fashionably well this season. This gives me an idea – which is Tehching Hsieh’s, really – that I shall not cut my (head)hair for the next 992 days, as a marker of time. The picture to your left (and my right) shows my hair length as of 19 December 2009. Watch this space.


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DAY 6: MAPMAKING WORKSHOP AT THE BRITISH LIBRARY; ANOTHER SITE MAP FOR THIS SITE

Sight map of this website

Sight map of this website. I cannot bend my knees due to my folly of falling off the treadmill 2 days ago, but I can map the globe.

It is only Day 6, but every single day is full, fulfilling and meaningful for me. Today I take part in a mapmaking workshop at the British Library. This is my first ever workshop. I go as my current shape, a hamster. No one laughs at me, or find me strange- if they do, they do not show it. This is what I love about Nondon – that every one is different, every one has an accent, every one is as ‘entitled’. (To be sure, this is not what all Nondoners think, and certainly not what the Nick Griffin or the members of the  BNP [thats' the Banque Nationale De Paris , for the non British out there] think, I think).

There are many exquisite maps at the British Library. (Like the British Museum, there are many, many, many things in the British Library. One of the reasons as we all know quite well is that they, well, ‘appropriated’ many things from all over the world during the glorious days of imperialism, but Kaidie, a 3rdlifer, while aware and conscious of course of these discourses, is free from the baggage and burden of  history/histories. As well as taste, some might say, looking at my map, above).

After the workshop, I walk down the Euston Road, which leads to Marylebone Road. Opposite the Madam Tussaud’s Museum (which is full of my impersonator friends), is a pub named the Globe (see below). As a true-blue cosmopolitan Nondoner, I down 9 pints in quick succession in 6 minutes, of Hoegaarden, Asahi, 3 Moët et Chandon Brut Impérial, 2 Mojitos, washed down with 2 straight vodkas. Burp. (In Life 3.0, there is no legal age-limit. Nothing is illegal, or nothing is legal either.) Refreshed from my small drink, I go home and make my own map (see above).

We are told that there will be a big map show in April 2010 – either the show is a big show, or that the maps that are shown there are big, or it is a big show that shows big maps. Magnificent! I must go! I must put it down in my diary.

Around the Globe in 6 days.

Around the globe in 6 days.

I MUST, MUST go as well to look at The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam show which closes 21 Feb 2010! I have just signed up to receive online newsletters. I must register to be a Reader as well.

SO MUCH TO DO, AND SO MUCH TIME TO DO THEM ALL! How I adore Nondon! My Life 3.0 is a bed of roses. And fragrant proses. Sigh.

Do not, my dear Readers, envy me please. Inequality is life. Such is life. Accept it!

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A ROUGH GUIDE FOR A LIFE 3.0: DO CONTRIBUTE, AND I WILL TEST THEM OUT!

As Kaidie travels her Grand Tour of Life 3.0 for the next 1000 days, she will draw up, with your help, a list of guidelines. GUIDE KAIDIE! HELP HER NAVIGATE THIS PERFECT LIFE! For now, just to get us / her going, Kaidie has come up with a few. KAIDIE WILL TEST OUT WHAT YOU SUGGEST /WHAT WE COME UP WITH, TO SEE WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOESN’T. Through trial and error for the next 3 years, we can finetune them.  The list of guidelines that we end up with on 09.09.2012 will not be the last, as this list remains dynamic and always updatable, but it will be at a state that can be adapted by anyone, anywhere to live life 3.0. SO, WHICH OF THESE GUIDELINES SHOULD KAIDIE TWEAK? WHAT SHOULD KAIDIE REMOVE? WHAT SHOULD KAIDIE ADD? WHAT OTHER GUIDELINES SHOULD KAIDIE TEST OUT TO ENABLE HER TO LIVE A MEANINGFUL LIFE 3.0?

Original composition by Philip Tan 2009

* 16.12.2009: ADVICE FROM LUCY: “FOCUS KAIDIE, FOCUS!”


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DAY 5: THE GUINEA PIG OF LIFE 3.0 IS FALLEN (OFF THE TREADMILL)

Fallen

Fallen

In this long and lovely journey of Life 3,0, there are many lessons I will learn, as expected of a guinea pig of Life 3.0.

Indeed, I have already acquired my first injury for this road trip. At the last 100 metres of my 5km run on the treadmill, I fell off the treadmill at 14kmh, all due to the rather silly reason that I lost focus. 2 of my kneecaps have some skin off, in a warm crimson (no photohopping on this one, I tell you, my dear readers); fortunately, the other 4 legs are in tact.

Lessons learnt in Day 5 of my Quest For The Meaning of A Life 3.0:

1) DO NOT LOSE FOCUS!! It was only a quickie, and we have done this many, many times already in our previous lives – still, it happened. Now we doubt that Kaidie can complete that 42km marathon or the full 1000-days in life 3.0, don’t we! (tsk tsk).

2) Do not be injured ever again! Refer back to Rough Guide So Far: the dictum of ‘Do Not Be Hurt’. I have to have enough physical and mental stamina and fitness for the next 995 days. It is all about staying power.

3) It is dangerous to work out at the gym as a Roach. (Gregor is wise not to leave his room).

Indeed I have learnt my lesson well. If the news are to be believed, there will be more snowy days to come. Either run outdoors with a brolly, or shapeshift to a hamster to excel on the treadmill. All that hair would have cushioned my downfall from grace.

Hanging out on a snowy day 16 December 2009

Hanging out on a snowy day 16 December 2009

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DAY 4, OR 996 DAYS LEFT: HAVING SHAPESHIFTED TO A COCKROACH, KAIDIE SNEAKS INTO A PUBLIC LOO AT EATERLOO STATION, AND WHAT DOES SHE SEE?

A panda contemplating her own reflection.

Throne

We could have saved ourselves, but we didn’t. It’s amazing. What state of mind were we in, to face extinction and simply shrug it off? … We wouldn’t be the first life form to make itself extinct. But what would be unique about us is that we did it knowingly. What does that say about us?

- The Age of Stupid (Franny Armstrong, 2009)

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DAY 3: UNDERCOVER AS ROACH TO EXPLORE UNDERBELLY OF NONDON

Time flies when I am having fun. I have 997 days to go. How can I get beneath the surface of things, I wonder? So I Metamorphise into a roach. Not just an ordinary roach, but one on top of the food chain (in the lowest in the food chain) – Queen Roach. With an army of me, we scuttle down Nondon and explore the nooks and crannies, all the in-between spaces, as I suspect that The Meaning Of Life 3.0 could be hiding there. You reckon?

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“IT’S BEEN A LONG TIME SINCE I’VE BEEN ME.”

Há muito tempo que não sou eu. – Fernando Pessoa, A Factless Autobiography, edited by Richard Zenith, Lisbon, 2006, p. 143

Zenith

A phrase like ‘face-value’ would have been more than a double-entendre when it comes to describing someone like Portuguese poet /writer Fernando António Nogueira Pessoa (1888- 1935), who invented ‘at least 72 identities[i] in a self-mythologising ‘theatre’ of himself[ii]. This is all the more intriguing given that the author is nearly unknown in his own country, and that his work is only discovered and published posthumously. It is from the mountains of fragments – of some 25,000+ manuscripts written by the Pessoa under a multitude of pseudonyms – that one can begin to attempt to re-construct one, or a few, re-presentations of Pessoa(s).

Pessoa_1

The rather wonderful Richard Zenith elucidates the Pessoa’s craft:

The fragmentary state of the archives is emblematic of the author’s literary project of depersonalization. “Be plural like the universe!” wrote Pessoa with a flourish on a scrap of paper left in his famous trunk of manuscripts, and he set the example, multiplying himself into three major “heteronyms”-Alberto Caeiro, Ricardo Reis, and Alvaro de Campos- along with dozens of lesser “dramatis personae” who wrote poetry, stories, essays and criticism, very often about each other. Teresa Rita Lopes, one of Portugal’s most knowledgeable and astute Pessoa scholars, convincingly argues that the universe of Pessoa was a vast and ongoing theatre of himself, and she cites the protean poet’s own words as evidence. He wrote, for example, that the heteronyms “should be considered as distinct from their author. Each one forms a drama of sorts; and together they form another drama…. The works of these three poets constitute a dramatic ensemble, with careful attention having been paid to their intellectual and personal interaction. … It is a drama in people, instead of in acts.” [iii]

Pessoa2

Zenith writes a most brilliantly eloquent forward in Pessoa’s Book of Disquiet, which I strongly urge you, my dear reader, to read, and, of course, the book itself, which is nicely structured as aphorisms which you can dive into from any page, in a non-linear fashion, which is my kind of book, being a restless time-&-space-traveller with a highly challenged attention-span myself. Some of them are reproduced here, for you to have a bit of a taster. I scanned them with my best little friend, the lovely 6-year-old Renee, just before I ended my last life, and whom I do miss quite a bit from my previous life.



[i] John Gray, “Assault on authorship.” New Statesman, 2001. <http://www.newstatesman.com/200105280043> [accessed 9 July 2009]

[ii] Richard Zenith, “Fernando Pessoa and the Theatre of His Self,” Performing Arts Journal, 15 (1993), 47-49. I am responsible for highlighting the text in bold.

[iii] Zenith, p. 48.

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MUMMY DIES DURING CHILDBIRTH

My birth day is also a death day. During the almighty push that is my coming-into-being from her tummy, mummy reaches her own limits and gives up, gives in, expires, kicks the bucket. At least it is a snappy death. Such is life.

At her funeral, a bomb explodes. According to the twitter feed by the met, it is a suspected terrorist attack in Nondon. All my family members are wiped out in a single splash of fireworks. They are shredded into pieces, so many that I cannot pick up.

Anxious Nondeners gathering at Frafalgar Sqaure after the incident, awaiting updates.

Anxious Nondeners gathering at Frafalgar Square after the incident, awaiting updates.

So I am alone, here, in Life 3.0, an orphan, blank slate, tabula rasa, ground zero, with no memory, no baggage, no heritage, no history, no obligations, no expectations to fulfill, no roots, no customs, nothing to declare, an open book, no thing.

The clear, singular task and purpose that I am born is to look for the Meaning of Life 3.0. So we know our starting point, and the destination, but the in-between, the getting-there, is the point of this. The question is how we get there, and I need your help with that.

I say goodbye to mummy, daddy and my siblings, and embark on my trip. I move on.

NIETZSCHE SAID THAT ‘THOSE WHO HAS A WHY TO LIVE CAN BEAR WITH ALMOST ANY HOW’ – KAIDIE DOESN’T QUITE AGREE, AS THE ‘HOW’, THE JOURNEY/TRIP IS THE POINT, BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK? WRITE IN NOW!

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WHAT TO DO WITH MY LIFE THIS LIFE (PROJECTIONS)

2009 12.12: *Kaidie comes into being

2010: * January: Kaidie in Heidiland + Dignitas, Zurich: Alive Performance: Kaidie’s first ever Life 1.0 appearance, at Villa Straueli * Before April: Visit Olympics Park construction at Ratford * March 2: talk at art college (TBC) * March 8: Conference presentation at the Bartlett School of Architecture * 22 March: Word Image exhibition UCL * March: Visit V & A Decode * 25 April: Film London Marathon * Summer: Hempstead Heath Lido * Jaipur International Film Festival * August: Pearly Kings & Queens * 19 September: Kaidie runs her firstest, ever  ever marathon, Farnham Pilgrims’ Marathon in Surrey! * November: Guy Gawkes * Other real-live appearances of Kaidie(s).

2011: * Year of marathon-tourism: to participate in at least 2 of the following. To run with camera, run to check out city, not for time (only to complete marathon). *DO YOU WISH TO JOIN KAIDIE? DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER RACES (HALF OR FULL MARATHONS) IN NONDON? * 1 Jan: Zurich: first marathon of the year + coldest * April: Nondon: Nondon Marathon backing a charity * May: Belfast: City marathon * June: Norway: Midnight sun run* June: Sweden: Arctic Circle midnight sun run * October: Turkey: Eurasia City marathon: across Europe & Asia! * October: Nondon: Half marathon * October: Slovakia: oldest running event in Europe * December: hibernation

2012: * Summer: Kaidie begins to prepare for her death. * 27 July-12 August: Nondon Olympics * 29 Aug – 9 September: Nondon Paralympics

2012 09.09: * Kaidie ceases being. See you later / sooner or later.

WHAT ELSE APART FROM ALL THIS RUNNING CAN KAIDIE DO IN NONDON THAT COULD BE MEANINGFUL? SURELY LIFE HAS MORE TO OFFER! DO TELL ME!! AN EVENT, A PLACE TO VISIT, A PERSON TO SPEAK WITH, ETC – FILL UP MY CALENDAR! MAKE ME HAVE THINGS TO LOOK FORWARD TO!

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I MAKE A NEW FRIEND IN EAST NONDON

Explorations in the exotic east.

I swim out Mummy’s tummy and wander about. I reach a place with many tall buildings, which excite me. Peering inside, I see offices with no one, as it is a Saturday. I visit the Nondon Museum, which tells me about Nondon in the past, which is nice, since I would have quite limited knowledge of Nondon before I was born today, though I think I would also enjoy exploring cities knowing next to nothing about them. With adjustable lenses within my eyes, I see a giant cucumber in a distance. This makes me excited again. I feel hungry. With desire rushing to the end of my earlobes, I swallow a few bagels (salmon and cream cheese) at Brick Lane. I see an exhibition by an artist called Sophie Calle. This is new to me. Her work is quite interesting. So this is what contemporary art is. I think I like art. I then put on earphones and walk a tour by Janet Cardiff. As someone new to Nondon, and on the Grand Tour of Life 3.0, I like the idea of being on an other tour while being on a couple of tours. Cardiff whispers into my ears. I hear sounds of footsteps. I am unsure if it comes from the earphones or the environment. I turn around anyway, and see a person behind me. She has a large pair of plastic wings on her shoulders, which she uses to wipe her mouth.

‘Come join me on my tour’, I say to her, and offer her one of the earphones.

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4 LAPS AROUND REGENTS FARK: MIND OVER MATTER (IF IT MATTERS AT ALL)

Feeling particularly energetic on the first day of my life, I run 4 laps around Regents Fark. Including the distance to and from my starting point, I run a total of approximately 24km today. This is good for today, and although it is a long way towards even attempting to pay back for the damage I have done and will do, as well as to pay back for my stubborn continual existence in spite of  all this, it is a start, and a continual effort. As we know well, much of what Confucius says is rather dodgy, but the one thing he says about any change starting from oneself makes some sense.

I began running in the final year of my previous life. Prior to that I had been swimming 1.5km daily. I took part in my first half marathon and came in at 2 hours and a bit. As my wish to run my 1st marathon could not be fulfilled in my previous life, I will have to do it this life, by Summer 2010. If it takes me 5 hours, so be it. 8 hours, 10 hours, until the volunteers have all packed up to leave, until the cleaners have cleaned up the last crushed paper cup and runner’s poo on the streets the next morning, that is fine. I will run / walk / crawl / jump / fly / swim. Physical pain I can battle – the only thing I have to fight now is boredom. Being so young, my attention span is awfully short. I struggle to stay focused in any single activity for a stretch of several minutes, much less several hours (or years, or lifetimes). I think of 5 other things as I do one thing; linear events exhaust and bore me, as I already imagine travelling to 6 other places in 7 other directions. (That was how I got tired of my previous life, as it was going on for a while). (How I look forward to Life 3.0, then, since I am not bound by the trivial constraints of time and space! I will be able to do what I want, when I want, however I want it! More on this later…) Monotony is a weakness, though endurance is my strength. (Afterall, I have managed to endure myself all those years and life cycles). The only things that keep me going when running or swimming long distances is my imagination and willpower. Hopefully, by Summer, I will be older (more than 6 months old) and will have cultivated enough patience to not feel bored too quickly.

DO YOU KNOW OF ANY UPCOMING RACES? DO LET KAIDIE KNOW! WHAT DO YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU ARE RUNNING?

Running today at Regents Fark, 2 runners smile at me – huge smiles. I get suspicious and wonder if it is my unbecoming running gait that so amuses them – afterall I am a newborn and my movement remains awkward – but one of the cops carrying a large toy gun at Binfield House and another passerby both shout hello. On my way home, another says ‘Go! Go! Go!’ and sticks out his hand to make me slap it as I passed by. Although I have run in several cities in my previous life, this friendliness is rather refreshing (a couple of the few fellow runners I encountered in Tokyo, Fukuoka and Beppu in Papan did nod at me; people in Spore primarily stare disapprovingly at my folly of running under the hot sun as they sit fat in their air-conditioned cars in their air-conditioned carnation; in Oxford in Yengland some dogs looked like they were smiling, or perhaps those were their default teeth-&-tongue-revealing faces which do not necessarily translate as the human equivalent of smiling?).

WHY ON EARTH ARE OTHER RUNNERS AND PEOPLE AND ANIMALS SMILING AT KAIDIE? DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD SMILE BACK ? WHAT KIND OF SMILE SHOULD SHE ATTEMPT? SHOULD KAIDIE INITIATE SMILES? HOW MANY TIMES IN, SAY, A 10km RUN SHOULD KAIDIE ATTEMPT TO SMILE? LIKE AN AVERAGE OF 1 SMILE PER 100m? PER 1000m? WHAT ABOUT WHEN SHE IS RUNNING ON THE TREADMILL IN THE GYM?

Camus concludes that Sisyphus must be happy  – good for him, and him, but let me tell you, my dear reader, that the 1st 3km of any long run is always the most dreaded. As I run I protest/resist/fight/struggle and say, NO, I do not want to do this, this bloody hurts / this is no fun / I’d rather spend £4.50 to swim at the Union pool / I’d rather spend 45p to pay another version of myself doing this / I’d rather sit on my buttocks and do nothing and get furious for sitting on my buttocks and for doing nothing and sitting on my buttocks and for doing nothing but getting angry while sitting on my buttocks / I’d rather get greasy and let the calories choke my bloodstream and expire before the 1000-day duration / I rather slurp my own poo (with syrup) several litres over until I am flooded and I drown in, than to put one feet in front of the other, why do I have to do this of all people of this and other worlds / realities, why do I have to do this now of all my lifetimes. I have about 34,000 excuses that I come up with, looped, each and every time. Then after 3 km, I give up protesting as it gets boringly predictable as a broken record or a dislocated kaidie for that matter. Can’t go on, must go on, since there is no other options. So I go on. In the numbing repetitive motion, something else happens physically/psychologically. I begin to enjoy the groove and rhythm (never mind my beastly gait). I am there, much aware of my surroundings, and at the same time I am travelling elsewhere, as lucid as I am slightly intoxicated, somewhere that no one else is, where no one can touch me, where I am very much alone, feeling strong/alert/erect as much as I am unclenched/dreamy/soft where I am not fighting anymore, and am calm, at peace. So I push on. And on. My mind thinks of no thing, and it is aware that it is thinking of no thing. I remember getting there sometimes with my 1.5km swims in my previous life. It’s rather nice – and what’s nicer is the knowledge that it’s all MINE! Kaidie as a 3rd Lifer is a fabulous person and all that but she is also selfish when it comes to pleasure. Sorry!

Today is particularly interesting. At the 24th km, I not only feel calm, but happy. It is nice to feel happy. Then, I feel a large pair of plastic wings stapled onto my shoulders.

Original composition by PHILIP TAN

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WHILE FLYING ACROSS NONDON, I DECIDE TO BE A CATFISH IN MY NEXT LIFE

Flying across Nondon with my friends from one of my previous lives.

Flying across Nondon with my friends from one of my previous lives.

Today is a fabulous day. At 24km, I experience a runner’s high. I feel happy, calm, relaxed, smiling to myself, other runners, cops carrying large toy guns at Binfield House, babies visiting the zoo and having their other experience of animals apart from supermarkets, ducks and ants. Before I know it, a large pair of plastic wings is stapled onto my shoulders and I begin to fly. It is quite a lovely, crisp day, given December. I sight my friends from my one of my previous lives, who inform me that this has not been the case, as Nondon has been hazy lately. Hovering above Bee Tee Tower, I peer over at the Blade School of Dine Art – gosh, people certainly look different from a bird’s eye view. Being so high make me delightfully queasy, which surprises me, as one would imagine that the gift of flight automatically comes with anti-vertigo traits as well. Being a visitor in Nondon, Yengland, the land famed for its people of impeccable manners, I decide that, although recipients-to-be may not see me, it is best not to retch while in mid-air. I begin to make a slow descent. With vomit climbing up my eyes, my body begin  violent convulsions, and I see visions of myself as a catfish in my next life. Though I had been a fish and a cat in my previous lives, I had not been a combination of them – the prospect of becoming both at the same time at one go cannot sound more splendid. I suspect that the more I do this, the more efficient I become.

Finally, I reach the ground and find myself, as well as the other version of myself, in East Nondon. I begin to surreptitiously follow the other version of me, who is in the middle of a Janet Cardiff audio tour.

DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD CONFRONT HER OTHER SELF (WALKING KAIDIE IN EAST NONDON), OR SHOULD SHE (FLYING-BUT-SOON-TO-BE-ALSO-WALKING KAIDIE) JUST SECRETLY FOLLOW HER (WALKING KAIDIE) AND SEE WHAT SHE’S UP TO UNTIL SHE NOTICES? HOW DO YOU THINK SHE (FLYING KAIDIE, WALKING KAIDIE) WOULD REACT IF SHE SEES THE OTHER? WHAT SHOULD SHE SAY TO THE OTHER? SHOULD SHE SMILE?

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UPDATABLE GLOSSARY: SYSTEM OF 3s OR IN-BETWEEN

Farrington Roads

Farrington Roads

GLOSSARY/ WIKI ABOUT THE UNIVERSE OF KAIDIE / LIFE 3.0,?AND THE THEATRE OF CHARACTERS (ongoing). SEEKING DEFINITIONS AND MULTIPLE+ ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS! CONTRIBUTE NOW!

VARIATIONS OF SYSTEMS OF 3s or IN-BETWEENS:

* Ma

* Wa, Va

* Buddhism’s Middle Way

* Aristotle’s Mind, Self-knowledge, Self-love

* Plato’s Rational, Libidinous, Spirited

* Saussure’s Sign, Signified, Signifier

* Pierce’s Sign, Object, Interpretant

* Liminality

* Lacan’s real-symbolic-imaginary

* Trimurti

* Carl Jung’s triple dieties

* Tridevi

*Lacuna

* Tibetan Buddhism’s Bardo

* Hegel’s Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis

* Eisenstein’s Synthesis

* Karl Popper’s World 3

* Fuzzy Logic

* Deleuze’s becoming

* Derrida’s Diff’erance

* Heidegger’s in zwischen

* Artaud’s / Deleuze’s subjectile

* 3rd Eye

* 3rd Sex

* 3rd Age

* Holy Trinity

* Tony Blair’s 3rd way

THERE ARE SO MANY OTHER SYSTEMS OF 3 OUT THERE- WHICH OF THEM DO YOU THINK WOULD BE USEFUL FOR US TO ATTEMPT TO LOCATE LIFE 3.0?

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MA: THE CONCEPT OF IN-BETWEEN: PART 1

Life 3.0 is located in between Life 1.0 and Life 2.0. A 3rd-Lifer lives in a state of meta-cognition. Rather like Jeremy Benthem’s panopticon, and that ‘special’ edition of the Hollywood blockbuster with ‘Fimmaker’s audio commentary!’, I am my own commentator of my own life with super wide-screen x-ray vision -  as I live my life I am  simultaneously analysing, unpacking and commenting about it. Which is one of the reasons why we are here. (And, like other post-911 superheroes, this superpower of mine is as much a  blessing as it is a burden…) In the attempt to locate Life 3.0 so as to better understand my own position (literally), I re-read the thoughts of various philosophies. Here is one of them, the concept of in-between, ma. Here are some notes:

1)    WHAT IS MA? AN INTRODUCTION

Space is substance. Cézanne painted and modelled space. Giacometti sculpted by ‘taking the fat off space’. Mallarmé conceived poems with absences as well as words. Ralph Richardson asserted that acting lay in pauses. ‘I collect silences’, said Heinrich Boll […]   Isaac Stern described music as ‘that little bit between each note – silences which give the form’. Frank Kafka warned that ‘[…] Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence … someone might possibly have escaped from their singing, but for their silence, certainly never. [...] The Japanese have a word (ma) for this interval which gives shape to the whole. In the West we have neither word nor term. A serious omission. [1]

In the discussion of space, it is easy to neglect the significance of ‘negative space’, as designer Alan Fletcher reminds us in his encyclopaedic The Art Of Seeing. To be sure, that which is present (‘positive’) is surely more substantial to discuss than that which is not (‘negative’). The very term ‘negative’, in its ordinary day-to-day usage, may sometimes have an unpleasant connotation.

Well, you may not know what you are missing.

Do not mind the gap

Do not mind the gap.

Ma (?) is a concept of absence and in-between, which is a departure from a way of looking that privileges the tangible. It is a powerful concept with many faces and layers. Apart from space, ma is applied to the discussion of time as well, revealing that in Japan there was ‘not even a distinction between space and time like in modern Western thought’.[3] The word ‘ma’ essentially refers to ‘an “intervalbetween two (or more) spatial or temporal things and events. Thus it is not only used in compounds to suggest measurement but carries meanings such as gap, opening, space between, time between, and so forth’.[4]

This spatio-temporal principle of ma underlies all traditional Japanese art forms. However, Like other Japanese aesthetic principles, ma goes beyond just being a ‘way of seeing’, but is a ‘way of life’ as well, for, as Japanese architect Arata Isozaki puts it, it is a ‘fluid term able to encompass many aspects of life in Japan. [5]

[Ma] describes both time and space through a notion of interval. This usage is the basis for understanding all spheres of the environment, life and art to the extent that architecture, fine art, music, drama and gardens in Japan can be called ‘the art of ma’. This undifferentiated understanding of time and space can be considered an important basis for the emergence of differences expressed in Japanese and Western artistic expressions. [6]

That said, while now taken to be a ‘quintessentially’ Japanese notion, like many aspects of Japanese culture and life, ma has its origins in the Chinese philosophies of Taosim, Confucianism and Buddhism. In addition, as typical of cultures that view life as cyclical and temporal, ma as a concept appears to be imprecise according to Western paradigms, adhering to the exasperating ‘oriental’ logic of ‘contradiction’.[7] On another note, although initially a concept applied to the thinking of traditional Japanese art forms, like all robust concepts, ma is versatile enough to be extrapolated to the analysis of other arts (as seen in Fletcher’s quotation above) and indeed, life itself.

2) THE ROOTS OF MA

a) HISTORICAL CONTEXT

To be sure, the concept of a pregnant void has existed way before the notion of manothingness (or emptiness, manifested variously in concepts such as mu, wu, shunyata) is a recurrent theme in Eastern philosophies, a problematic term that is at once mystified and romanticised as it is often misunderstood. Rather than being something that is ‘negative’ or undesirable, it is, on the contrary, a coveted state of mind that diligent Hindus, Buddhists and Taoists alike seek to attain, via various rigorous techniques such as meditation. was formulated in Japan. The notion of

The bedrock of the philosophy of Taoism, Tao Te Ching, written around 6 B.C, contains several texts that deal with the notion of nothingness. Lao Tzu eloquently articulates the role of nothing:

Thirty spokes / Share one hub / Adapt the nothing [wu] therein to the purpose in hand, / and you will have the use of / the cart. Knead clay in  order to make a / vessel. Adapt the nothing therein to the / purpose in hand, and you will have the use of / the vessel. Cut out doors and windows in order / to make a room. Adapt the nothing therein to / the purpose in hand, and you will have the use / of the room. Thus what we gain is / Something [yu], yet it is by virtue of Nothing [wu] that this can be put / to use.[8]

For time immemorial, the Japanese have always proved to be Masters of Mashup, being cunningly skilful in how they sampled / appropriated systems and habits of the world to whip into something that would later be identified as ‘idiosyncratically Japanese’ (take for instance Japanese language and the kimono, which are from the Chinese [9]; astonishingly, in 1999, two Japanese companies even claim to have ‘invented’ Indian curry, and attempted to claim patent for it![10]). This was to be the case for the concept of ma as well, as ‘the Tao Te Ching is […] an important place to locate a ma-like element’.[11] Indeed, ma, ‘the Japanese concept of a time-space continuum, complements mu: ma conceives of time and space not as absolute measurable entities’, as the West think of them, but ‘essentially as a void, defined only by the movements and events that take place within it. Space and time are not two distinct entities, but two interrelated dimensions’.[12]

If ma has a contemporary human face (and body), he would manifest in the shape of Isozaki, who was responsible for ‘introducing’ the concept of ma to the western world through his seminal exhibition ‘Ma’: Space-Time in Japan (1978-81) in Paris and New York. This interdisciplinary exhibition ‘presented Japan’s artistic culture through the unifying concept of ‘Ma’ – Space/Time as a basic organisational principle found in Japanese painting, photography, theatre, performance, music, sculpture, architecture and daily life. [13] Ma-mascot Isozaki speculates that the oldest form of the concept of ma was the notion of utsu (void).

Utsu signifies the void inside a certain substance, a cave in a rocky mountain, the hollow inside an old tree, the ‘dug-out’ of a canoe, or the cavity of a pit dwelling – the sacred spirit was thought to lodge in all of these voids. As the view towards the void became more ritualised, even a solid gem was believed to contain a void a sack of cloth, without holes for hands and feet, was thought to be inhabited by the sacred God. The more severed from exteriority, the more sacred the internal void.[14]

This is consistent with our understanding of Shinto as a pantheistic religion. Isozaki explains how the ancient Japanese attempted to visualise and formalise the movement of the kami (spirits) through time and space. This act of waiting for the appearance of the kami is the underlying principle of the Japanese conception of space and time.[15] In fact, the essential subject of many Japanese artistic pursuits (such as Noh and Kabuki theatre) is precisely the representationmoment of inhabitation of a space by kami. [16] Isozaki goes on to assert that in this framework, ‘space was recognised only through the mediation of time’. [17] This is a radical departure from the Western conception of the objective time-space paradigm.

Let us keep this imagery of ma being a space in which the kami appears in mind. We shall come back to it later but for now, let us return to the mortal world attempt to look at more tangible ways to define ma, and see how it permeates in the basic tenets of Japanese life.

b) ETYMOLOGY OF THE WORD

Language is one area in which the Japanese have indeed done a good job in customising it to suit their needs, and any learner of the Japanese language can attest to the difficulty in grasping, much less mastering, the nuances ( – which is slightly embarrassing if one wishes to claim that one’s first language is Chinese). There was much that the teacher at my hothouse Japanese language school in Tokyo could teach (and I could learn) – but there was so much more that is fascinating as it is frustrating in the Japanese language.

Take the beguilingly simple single character of ma, which is the centre of our investigation. The Chinese character ma (?) is made up of two elements: the gate or door (mon, ?) and the inner character meaning sun (hi, ?) or moon (tsuki, ?). The character itself has a repertoire of meanings both tangible and abstract. ‘A room is called ma, for example, as it refers to the space between the walls; a rest in music is also ma as the pause between the notes or sounds’. [18]

For Isozaki,

Ma is the natural distance between two or more things existing in a continuity or the space delineated by posts and screens. To sense something invisible is an essence of Japanese art. It also pervades various aspects of life & culture in Japan. In painting, the focus has often been on the margin rather than on shape, in music on silence rather than the notes and in dance on stillness rather than movement. All of these can be expressed by a single term: ma ?.’[19]

One person inspired by the Ma exhibition in New York in 1979 who put his excitement into good use was Richard B. Pilgrim, a scholar on Japanese religion and art. Pilgrim waxes lyrical of this ideogram:

The visual image or character, therefore, suggests a light shining through a gate or door. If we were to take the gate itself as representing the things or phenomena and events of the world, the opening in the gate becomes a ma or interval between the things. Yet ma is not a mere emptiness or opening; through and in it shines a light, and the function of this ma becomes precisely to let that light shine through. [20]

Ecstatic with this imagery, Pilgrim goes on to elaborate:

A literary example of this image can be found in the twelfth-century novel, The Tale of Genji by Lady Murasaki: “It was the fifteenth night of the eighth month. The light of an enclouded full-moon shone between the ill-fitting planks of the roof and flooded the room. What a queer place to be lying in!, thought Genji, as he gazed around the garret, so different from any room he had ever known before.” [21]

While Pilgrim’s lyrical flourish may appear a little excessive, it is fascinating indeed that a single ideogram alone can encapsulate such a striking imagery. It helps us to understand the multifaceted ways in which ma is used in the Japanese language, and in essence, deeply ingrained in Japanese consciousness. Indeed, ‘the concept of ma became customised and widespread in many aspects of Japanese life’.[22] kami making a visitation in ma. Again, let us keep this imagery of light shining through a door in our mind; we shall return to this imagery later, along with that of the kami making a visitation in ma.

The character of ma can be combined with other words to make compound words related to time and space such as:

?? (ji kan):  time

?? (kuu kan): space (where kuu = ‘empty’; ma is read kan here)

???? (ma mo naku): soon

???? (ma ni au): on time

??? (kono aida)?the other day (where ma is read aida here)

Then, ma then can also mean ‘among’ :

??(naka ma): companion

?? (nin gen): human being (ma is read gen here)

Pilgrim takes the compound ningen to refer to ‘persons (nin, hito) stand within, among, or in relationship to others. As such, the word ma clearly begins to take on a relational meaning- a dynamic sense of standing in, with, among, or between’. [23]

Ma also ‘carries an experiential connotation since to be among persons is to interact in some dynamic way’. [24] The following phrases illustrate this nuance:

???? (ma wo toru): stop, pause

??? (ma chigai): mistake

???? (ma ga warui): unlucky, embarrassed

??? (ma nuke): stupidity

Since ma signifies the ‘distance between two points’, Isozaki adds that ‘maintaining distance was deemed imperative in human relations as well; those who ignore this were called manuke (missing or lacking distance), meaning “idiot”. [25] When I learnt this phrase in language school, I thought that this is such an elegant way to call someone an idiot that I would not hesitate to be called one (in the Japanese language). To be sure, there are other less poetic antonyms in the Japanese language, but compared to terms available in the English language,[26] I will take manuke anytime (and anywhere).


[1] Alan Fletcher, The Art of Looking Sideways (Phaidon Press,  2001), (p. 370).

[2]Concordia College, “Alberto Giacometti, 1901-1966.” Art and Physics: Artists. <http://www.cord.edu/faculty/andersod/giacometti.html> [accessed 20 November 2009]

[3] Arata Isozaki and Ken Tadashi Oshima, Arata Isozaki (Phaidon Press,  2009), (p. 161).

[4] Richard B. Pilgrim, “Intervals (“Ma”) in Space and Time: Foundations for a Religio-Aesthetic Paradigm in Japan,” History of Religions,  25 (1986), 255-277 (p. 255).

[5] Isozaki and Oshima, p. 158

[6] Arata Isozaki and Ken Tadashi Oshima, Arata Isozaki (Phaidon Press,  2009), (p. 157). Italics mine.

[7] Daniel Charles, “Bringing The Ryoan-Ji To The Screen.” Taka Iimura homepage. Translated by Eleanor Mitch from the French, copy edited by Nadine Covert <http://www.takaiimura.com/review/DC.html> [accessed 20 November 2009]

[8] Richard B. Pilgrim, “Intervals (“Ma”) in Space and Time: Foundations for a Religio-Aesthetic Paradigm in Japan,” History of Religions,  25 (1986), 255-277 (p. 264).

[9] RECALL MORE, AND STRONGER, SHARPER EXAMPLES- THERE ARE MANY!!!

[10] Geoffrey Lean and Fran Abrams, “Japan in a hurry to claim rights to curry – News – The Independent.” The Independent, November 28, 1999. <ariyavansa.org> [ accessed 20 November 2009]

[11] Pilgrim, p. 264

[12] Kathe Geist, “West Looks East: The Influence of Yasujiro Ozu on Wim Wenders and Peter Handke,” Art Journal,  43 (1983), 234-239 (p. 234).

[13] Isozaki and Oshima, p. 172

[14] Ibid, p. 158

[15] Ibid, p. 157

[16] Ibid, p. 157

[17] Ibid, p. 157

[18] Ibid, p. 158

[19] Isozaki and Oshima, p. 158

[20] Pilgrim, p. 257

[21] Ibid, p. 257

[22] Isozaki and Oshima, p. 161

[23] Pilgrim, p. 256

[24] Ibid, p. 256

[25] Isozaki and Oshima, p. 161

[26] Such as ‘fool, ass, halfwit, dunce, dolt, ignoramus, cretin, moron, imbecile, simpleton; informal dope, ninny, nincompoop, chump, dimwit, dumbo, dummy, dum-dum, loon, dork, sap, jackass, blockhead, jughead, bonehead, knucklehead, fathead, numbskull, numbnuts, dumb-ass, doofus, clod, dunderhead, ditz, lummox, dipstick, thickhead, meathead, meatball, woodenhead, airhead, pinhead, lamebrain, peabrain, birdbrain, jerk, nerd, donkey, nitwit, twit, boob, twerp, schmuck, bozo, turkey, chowderhead and dingbat’. From Apple Dictionary, version 2.0.2 (51.4).

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TALK TO ME! YES, YOU! WITH ME, KAIDIE! NOW! HERE!

Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. So don’t be shy. Come on in. Here are questions that I have come up, with to get us started. FILL THIS UP, AND SEND IT BACK TO ME. IN RETURN, YOU CAN ASK ME ANY QUESTION THAT YOU HAVE IN MIND. ANY – APART FROM THOSE ALREADY ADDRESSED IN THE FAQ – ANY, ANY, ANY. If you do not fill it up, I will not talk to you. Simple. You do not, of course, have to answer ALL of them (though it will so please me if you would). Just go for the ones you fancy. For the trickier questions, I have even provided some tips to help you! See, Life 3.0 is nice like this.

The Nondon Underground.

The Nondon Underground

  1. SCREEN NAME / STAGE NAME:
  2. CITY OF ORIGIN:
  3. LANGUAGES SPOKEN/WRITTEN:
  4. WHY ARE YOU IN LONDON?
  5. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN LONDON?
  6. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? DO YOU LIKE THE AREA YOU LIVE?
  7. WHAT KIND OF SPACE DO YOU DWELL? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tip: Bedsit, studio-apartment, dorm, hut, straw house, council block, cave etc
  8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LONDON? COMPARED TO THE CITY YOU HAVE COME FROM? COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES?
  9. WOULD YOU LIVE IN LONDON FOREVER? WHY? WHY NOT?
  10. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LONDONERS IN GENERAL?
  11. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A ‘LONDONER’?
  12. WHAT CAN KAIDIE DO TO BE A ‘LONDONER’?
  13. WHAT CAN KAIDIE DO TO BE A ‘TYPICAL’ LONDONER? ‘GOOD’ LONDONER?
  14. WHAT DO YOU LIKE/LOVE ABOUT LONDON?
  15. WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE/HATE ABOUT LONDON?
  16. WHAT DO YOU DO DURING WEEKENDS IN LONDON?
  17. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEANINGFUL PURSUITS FOR KAIDIE IN LONDON? WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE YOU GOT FOR KAIDIE TO DO IN LONDON?
  18. WHERE CAN SHE GO TO CHECK OUT DURING WEEKENDS?
  19. DO YOU THINK THERE IS ALWAYS NOT ENOUGH TIME, OR IS TIME JUST RIGHT?
  20. IF YOU ARE TO DIE TOMORROW, WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY?
  21. IF YOU HAVE 1 HOUR TO LIVE, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
  22. WHAT WILL YOU EAT AT YOUR LAST MEAL?
  23. TILL HOW OLD DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?
  24. HOW IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE? Tip: Mugged, at UCH(‘s waiting list) with swine flu, run over by the tube, hit by a taser gun, etc
  25. WHERE IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE?
  26. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE BEFORE YOU WERE ‘YOU’?
  27. WHAT DO YOU WISH TO BECOME IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?
  28. WOULD YOU WISH TO REPEAT THIS LIFE?
  29. WOULD YOU BE BACK IN LONDON THE NEXT TIME ROUND?
  30. IF YOU COULD LIVE YOUR LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN, HOW WOULD YOU CHANGE IT?
  31. IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
  32. IF YOU WERE MAYOR OF LONDON, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU WOULD DO?
  33. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BECOME IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?
  34. ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT YOUR LIFE NOW?
  35. ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT OUR LIFE IN GENERAL NOW?
  36. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH TO CHANGE?
  37. IF YOU WERE A SUPERHERO, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
  38. IF YOU HAD A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  39. IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  40. DO YOU HAVE A WISH FOR YOURSELF OR FOR ‘MANKIND’ IN GENERAL Tip: Imagine yourself as Ms Universe when you answer this question.
  41. RIGHT NOW, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH TO DO THAT YOU CANNOT?
  42. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED OF, THAT YOU CANNOT ACCOMPLISH, FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER?
  43. IF YOU ARE GIVEN A CHANCE TO REINVENT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD YOU BECOME? Tip: A famous personality, a not famous personality, a famous non-personality, a person with a different occupation/gender/class/accent/appearance, or not even a person, but perhaps something useful, like a falafel or curtains, etc.
  44. WHAT GOOD PERSONALITY TRAITS DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD HAVE?
  45. WHAT GOOD HABITS SHOULD KAIDIE DEVELOP?
  46. WHAT BAD HABITS DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD NOT DEVELOP?
  47. FROM YOUR PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KAIDIE’S QUEST?
  48. DO YOU HAVE TIPS FOR KAIDIE FOR HER TO LOOK FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE?
  49. ANY TIPS FOR KAIDIE TO BE HAPPY? BE HEALTHY? EAT WELL, HAVE A LOVING RELATIONSHIP, WORK-LIFE BALANCE, BE OPTIMISTIC ETC.
  50. WHAT OTHER ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE KAIDIE?
  51. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE IF YOU MEET HER?
  52. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE HERE?
  53. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE IN A PRIVATE CONVERSATION?
  54. WHAT ARE YOUR LAST WORDS TO KAIDIE?
  55. WHAT ARE YOUR LAST WORDS BEFORE YOU DIE?
  56. WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE ON YOUR TOMBSTONE (IF YOU COULD DO THAT JUST BEFORE YOU GO, THAT IS)?
  57. WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE AS YOUR LAST BLOG ENTRY TO US EARTHLINGS?
  58. WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE ON YOUR WALL AS A PARTING SHOT?
  59. WHAT IS YOUR LAST TWIT? (BE CONCISE NOW! ONLY 140 CHARACTERS!)
  60. FINALLY, ONE ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE. JUST ONE. Tip: fab, amazing, shite, so-so, what-life? etc
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UPDATABLE GLOSSARY: LONDON, NONDON, NON-LONDON

The world has more than One London, including the one 'so full of Stink and darknesse'.

The world has more than One London, including the one 'so full of Stink and darknesse', and - get this - London BEFORE London (?!?)

GLOSSARY/ WIKI ABOUT THE UNIVERSE OF KAIDIE / LIFE 3.0, AND THE THEATRE OF CHARACTERS (ongoing). SEEKING DEFINITIONS AND MULTIPLE+ALTERNATIVE DEFINITIONS! CONTRIBUTE NOW!

VARIATIONS OF LONDON:

* London, UK:

* London 2012′s London:

* Rough Guide’s London:

* London A-Z:

1) Contribution by reader KathyMartens 12/12/2009: ‘Something that ALL Londoners carry! Hallmark of a Londoner. If you don’t own one, you’re not a Londoner.’

* Nondon:

* Nondon in Bangladesh:

*Londoner:

1) Following KathyMartens’ definition, one that carries an A-Z.

* Nondoner:

1) Question from Michiko 12.12.2009: Is Kaidie the only inhabitant of Nondon?

* Virtual London: project by CASA at UCL; other digital versions of Londons

* At least 12 Londons in USA:

* Little Londons all over the UK, and Serbia, and Jamaica:

* Quite a few Londons in Canada:

* ‘London’ according to Patrick Keiller, Will Self, Woody Allen, Rowling/Potter, Loach, Gilliam, Neil Gaiman, Dickens, Wilde, Woolf, Kureishi, Rushdie, Hitchcock and Bond – James Bond:

DO YOU HAVE A FAVOURITE VERSION? HAVE YOU YOUR OWN VERSION OF LONDON TO SHARE WITH ME? OR, ARE THERE COPIES OF YOUR CITY OUT THERE? HAVE YOU YOUR PERSONALISED VERSION OF YOUR CITY?

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Hello world. I’ve just swum ou…

Hello world. I’ve just swum out of Mummy. I’m Kaidie, 3rdLifer. No, I’m not Michelin-woman-hamster. I’ve managed to shapeshift back on time.

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12.12.2009: A MOST UNNATURAL BIRTH. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, KAIDIE

birthHello world.

I come into being today.

Like most births, I am born bloody, crying, screaming, eyes shut tight, fingers glued together, skin wrinkled and translucent, panting, breathless before we even got started, in a pile of poo, crying, choking,  chortling a bit as well since I am supposed to be delighted at being born, and also nauseous,  toxic and intoxicated because I am in a pile of poo entangled with a smokey mountain of ethernet cables+IEEE 1394+millions of apple adaptors that you must buy in order to use the other adaptor from apple, etc.

After biting off my umbilical cord, I take a picture of my cirucmstance to share with you, on your right. It’s the best quality I can manage, given the dark and wet conditions in there.

However, unlike most births, I want to be born.

Some of you are born of a (contraceptive) accident/mistake; others are designer/designed goods, products of throes of passion; yet others  are the results of cunning selfish calculation -  to blackmail or sustain a partner or a relationship/save a marriage/grandiosely save the world (sic), or, in my case, as an experiment to test out a theory/concept/thesis/hypothesis which could potentially grandiosely save the world (sic). Not that we are under any illusion (if this poo is a specie of illusion?) any longer, in this day and age  – even at my tender age, even before I get started.

Unlike most of you, I get to choose the day and time to be alive.

Like you, we are born well knowing the outcome of the story.

Unlike many of you, I get to decide which day and time I die.

My parents even let me decide my name from Day 1, which ryhmes with Heidi. In fact I  am my own parent(s), having designed, manufactured and given birth to myself, today. However, unlike Frankenstein’s monster, the sensitive / grotesque / misunderstood figure in a gothic tragedy, my story is one of a triumphal contemporary urban-, cyber- fantasy, everyone’s dream (wet/dry), with the protagonist leading a meaningful life, that of Life 3.0.

Thus. Today being the first day of my new life, I feel particularly lethargic from the strenuous swim out of mummy, but at the same time, also energetic and all ready to go and to give this a go. So, why make a choice when you can have all the cake and eat them all? So I have a buffet: I walk 10km to explore East Nondon; simultaneously, the restless part of me run 4 rounds around Regent’s Fark. As if this is not fabulous enough in itself, I experience a runner’s high so high that I begin flying at 24km.

What a terrific start it has been. I am certain that the rest of the 999 days will be equally, if not even more amazing and meaningful.

So. If we head back to the issue of poo, that would mean that the stream of poo I swim out of is my own. All the streams of poo, in drips in floods, oceans and tsunamis, yours, mine, others’, all flow into a larger  chlorinated pool in which all of us are swimming/floating/sinking in.

Hello world.

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