desirepath

[ Listen here: desirepath on Bandcamp ]

Ballroom Marfa & Rob Frye’s Birdscapes Radio, for International Dawn Chorus Day 2020

Distance I miss you. There, i said it.

Diversion I look for the city in the sun, new leaves, in building materials, the text on bits of garbage stuck to tram tracks, birdsong heard through half closed eyes. Then i look away to doomscroll.

Deconstruction You try to reason, make plans, look at timetables and project scheduling apps. This sort of approach leads to technologising, solutionising, skimming surfaces, innovation-seeking that divert attention from questions about structural conditions that lie underneath, unexamined.

Dissociation, Disconnection I often, when i walk cities, feel a sense of being an intruder. of treading roughshod on weeds, of not giving enough respect to trees. A deep disconnection. A sense of not having enough capacity to appreciate all that there is and not enough time. The distance is insurmountable. You rush right past. There is no time to see, to watch closely. You touch screens.

Acknowledgement How important is it to you to have a map? Do you know where you’re going? How do you feel if you don’t know where you’re going? Do you love maps? How do you map love?

Awareness

Collection In “The Painter of Modern Life” Charles Baudelaire speaks of Edgar Allen Poe’s urban fable and its convalescent hero on the margins of the cosmopolitan masses: //Do you remember a picture (it really is a picture!), painted — or rather written — by the most powerful pen of our age, and entitled The Man of the Crowd? In the window of a coffee house there sits a convalescent, pleasurably absorbed in gazing at the crowd, and mingling, through the medium of thought, in the turmoil of thought that surrounds him. But lately returned from the valley of the shadow of death, he is rapturously breathing all the odours and essences of life; as he has been on the brink of total oblivion, he remembers, and fervently desires to remember, everything.//

Awareness Crow

Black is her colour as she soars and alights
She knows exactly where she goes
When you won’t step aside
She can see right through you
Her glittering beady eye.

She remembers your face
Your disgusting hateful gaze
Calls calls to her sisters
To stay away
Calls calls
Stay away

She plays with her shadows
Raucous games, elaborate tools
Building her nest
Of iron and twine
In gold laburnum cool

Sharpens her dark ivory tales
Glossy featherlight whims
On a mossy parapet wall
She shares
With nimble cat and death grip roots

She remembers your face
Your disgusting hateful gaze
Calls calls to her sisters
To stay away
Calls calls
Stay away

She knows this city
better than you ever will
Where to hitch a ride
How to have her fill
Who gives her daily dal
Who wishes her ill

She remembers your face
Your disgusting hateful gaze
Calls calls to her sisters
To stay away
Calls calls
Stay away

Observation //They hate contradictions. It doesn’t fit with their worldview. The economists love to confront what they call problems, and problems have solutions. Contradictions don’t. They exist with you all the time, and therefore you have to manage them.// — David Harvey in an interview on Why Marx still matters.

Awareness The ashy prinia, or the ashy wren-warbler, is a small warbler, a resident breeder in the Indian Subcontinent It is a common bird in urban gardens and farmland and its small size, distinctive colours and upright tail make it easy to identify... i can’t explain exactly why but its call is one of my favourite birdcalls. Or maybe i can explain. There is a fading mist of a drizzle in its voice, a sun-warmed stone, a slate slab footpath pelted with the hot fat raindrops of monsoon’s end, a humidity of waiting, in the void of a still afternoon calling for a thwarted love, an undulating grassland gently blanketing history underneath that is passed by on an urgent train smelling of iron and sweat. Everything ends too soon, too soon. The ashy prinia.

Sensing, Feeling, Touching I don’t like how we have to be with each other in diminished, narrowed, disembodiment of sight sound screen. But at least we are in touch. I walk the city sometimes feeling walls, tracing tiles, examining moss, caressing bark. It is a way to not lose touch, to keep alive connections between sensing, touching and feeling.

Awareness bird chorus — parrots, bulbuls, cuckoos, tailor birds, coppersmiths, mynahs, crows, sunbirds, sparrows, magpie robins, bee-eaters, orioles, hoopoes, crow pheasants, prinias, barn owls.

Connection I often, when i walk, feel a sense of being an intruder. of treading too roughshod on weeds, of not giving enough respect to trees. I think this stems out of a deep sense of connection. A sense of not having enough capacity to appreciate all that there is and never enough time. That sounds distraught i suppose...

Care Algorithms flatten, capitalism flattens — all the better to measure, monetise, extract, control. They seek to universalise, standardise, they end up erasing, assimilating, colonising and surveilling. Daniel McQuillan on Medium in AI after the Pandemic says //The aim is to challenge the erasure of lived experience by the ideology of efficiency and to generate a counter project to the algorithmic production of carelessness…”knowing-caring”: Instead of predicting-preempting, we need to develop an approach of knowing-caring…A techno-politics of care starts with attention to the exclusions and boundaries of a stratified society.// Care is about detail, edges, cracks and folds. Care is beyond utility. It is a way of being within and without a context.

Distance I miss you.

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