In Search of A/The Point of Life

Posts Tagged ‘layers of lives’

MEIFUMADO by M4SK 22, ‘INSPIRED BY A MEETING WITH SOMEONE WHO DOESN’T EXIST’. Thank you M4sk 22 for inspiring us with a lively and life-affirming work! Let’s keep running together.

Meifumadô by M4SK 22, April 2010.

IN THE WORDS OF M4SK 22:

‘Keep Running, Keep Dreaming, Keep Believing… Music and video by M4SK 22. Inspired by the selfless journey of Kaidie http://kaisyngtan.com/3rdlifekaidie. Footage from Princess Iron Fan, the first Chinese animated feature film, made by Wan Guchan and Wan Laiming (the Wan brothers) and released on January 1, 1941. The story was liberally adapted from a short sequence in the popular Chinese folk tale Journey to the West. Meifumadô (land of the demons) is also the title of the 5th Kozure ?kami (lone wolf and cub) film.’?

ABOUT M4SK 22:

M4SK 22, a sound and vision project by Simon Woolham and David Moss: ‘Artists making music with whatever we can get our hands on. Mixing acoustic and electric instruments roots, soils and dusts, samples and software, in a desire fired sonic crucible.’

Follow the work of M4SK 22 in Myspace, Blogspot, Twitter, Youtube and Vimeo.

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19 APRIL MONDAY GMT 15:00 SLT 07:00: (RE)VISIT PHUKET WITH KAIDIE AND THE GOOD PIRATE (Kaidie’s Virtual Tourist Notes From Second Life #3)

ABOUT THE GOOD PIRATE aka CHUTHA INDIGO aka CHUTHATIP ACHAVASMIT:

Chuthatip is a town planner at Department of Town and Country Planning (DTCP) in Thailand joining CASA in University College London as an Mphil/PhD. student in April 2004. She has a Bachelors Degree in Industrial Design from Chulalongkorn University, Thailand, a Masters of Urban and Regional Planning from VPI & SU, USA and a Professional Master Degree in Geoinformation Systems for Urban Management Application from ITC, the Netherlands. Chuthatip’s GI experience includes: utilising GIS in planning practice such as GIS-based planning methodology, integrating inter-organisation datasets for industrial pollution analysis and application for urban intensity calculation. Her interests are in Planning and Tourism, Digital City, Management of Geographic Information Infrastructure (GII). She is currently working on Urban Information System focusing on tourism in Phuket.

GETTING THERE:

1) You must first have Second Life installed on your computer. 2) Click here. (Location number 183 61 93) 3) Click the orange tab ‘teleport now’ on the popup window. 4) Allow website to open the program on your computer.?? OR 1) In SL, click tab ‘map’ on the lower bar, map window will pop up. 2) Enter or replace location numbers to ‘183 61 93′ 3) Click ‘teleport’. * When you reach there, you have to fly vertically up! Virtual Phuket is floating! To ensure that you get there, there, simply add ‘KAIDIE ABSENT’ and/or ‘CHUTHA INDIGO’ as your friend!

**** BREAKING NEWS: 19 APRIL MAY BE THE LAST DAY OF THE EXISTENCE OF VIRTUAL PHUKET!! SO, PLEASE DO COME BY!!****

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HELLO WORLD. THIS IS KAIDIE. (Kaidie’s Virtual Tourist Notes From Second Life #1)

Kaidie returns. Sort of.

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IN THE METAVERSE, NO ICARUS WILL CRASH. Even if/when I crash, I will be reborn and life goes on. And on. Infinitely. Ad nauseum.

A generation cushioned from the cold by central heating, from the heat by airconditioning, carted in aseptic transports from one identical house or hotel to the another, should feel the need for journeys of mind and body, for pep pills or tranquillisers, or for the cathartic journeys of sex, music and dance. We spend far too much time in shuttered rooms.

–  Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness: Selected Writings 1969 – 1989 [1]


Travelling is the act of getting from one place to another[2]. There has been a long history of human movement. Motivations vary – people travel out of pleasure, or reasons political , economical and poetic, or out of necessity, for short or long term, due to push or pull factors, and in various modes of transportation as technologies improve and ambitions engorge. Think climate changes, agricultural practices, trade, migration, famines. Think nomads, gypsies, sailors, stateless people and their diasporas. Think political conquests, search for new, virgin territories, untapped resources, ‘discoveries’ of ‘new’ continents like your Americas and Temasek-s[3]. Think of the revolutionary heroes, as writer, romantic and compulsive traveller Chatwin urges, who are ‘not worth a thing until he has been on a good walk. Che Guevara spoke of the “nomadic phase” of the Cuban Revolution. Look what the Long March did for Mao TseTung, or Exodus for Moses.’[4] Think escape and the search for Paradise, by Thelma, Louise, and Gauguin, and the middle-aged European/Australian woman in Bali with the Kuta cowboys, and the modestly-sized Oriental man with the towering platinum-blonde escort. Think religious pilgrimages, rites of passage and existential quests for the meaning of life. Think Romantic, heroic and punishing quests by madmen Fitzcarraldo/Klaus Kinski in the Amazon, and the solo walks from Kiev to Madrid by Werner Herzog himself, as if the very act of a strenuous trek exorcises their demons. Think trade shows, World Expos, and the travelling circus in town. Think Grand Tours to see the world for those with the leisure time (for it did take a bit longer than it would today) and spending power. For those with even more spending power, think travels to outer space, as the guy appropriately named Laliberte did in 2009 – something technologically impossible only years ago, but haunted those rich in imagination for centuries, like George Melies and Arthur C. Clark. Think poetic search for inspirations and new ways of seeing, by Barthes in Japan, and Basho the poet who cured himself of his loneliness by islandhopping in Japan. As Chatwin observes,

travel does not merely broaden the mind. It makes the mind, The raw materials of Proust’s imagination were two walks round the town of Illiers where he spent his family holidays. These walks later became Méséglise and Guermantes Ways in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu. [5]

Chatwin notes also that ‘(m)an walked and swam long before he rode or flew. Our human possibilities are best fulfilled on land or sea. Poor Icarus crashed.’[6]. Think Maldives, Goa, Ibiza. Entire cities and towns perform. Today, globalisation and 1-pence early-bird gimmicks from budget airlines gives everyone the opportunity to fly, making travelling a part of contemporary life. We become tourists, take breaks, have getaways, go for vacations, perform public sex on the beach with strangers [7] in the city constructed for public show-and-tell. Think casino-city Macau, Documenta in Kassel once every 5 years, Olympics in London in 2012. Then, there are also those who travel simply because the act of travelling is pleasurable in itself, like ‘the indefatigable Arab wanderer who strolled from Tangier to China and back for the sake of it’ [8].

Some American brain specialists took encephalograh reading of travellers. They found that changes of scenery and awareness of the passage of seasons trough the year stimulated the rhythms of the brain, contributing to a sense of wellbeing and an active purpose in life. Monotonous surroundings and tedious regular activities wove patterns which produce fatigue, nervous disorders, apathy, self-disgust and violent reactions.

– Chatwin[9]



[1] Bruce Chatwin, Anatomy of Restlessness: Uncollected Writings, New edition (Picador, 1997). (pp 100-106)

[2] ‘Travel – Definition of travel noun’, in  (Cambridge Dictionary Online: Free English Dictionary and Thesaurus, 2009) [accessed 30 December 2009].

[3] Temasek was the ancient name of Singapore before its ‘founding’ by the British.

[4] Chatwin.

[5] Chatwin.

[6] Chatwin.

[7] John Bingham and Laura Clout, ‘British couple arrested in Dubai over ‘sex on the beach’’, Telegraph.co.uk, 9 July 2008 [accessed 31 December 2009].

[8] Chatwin.

[9] Chatwin.

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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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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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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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