Swimming Against the Stream

The Anadromist

Anadromist #1

Byrne Power: Writer, Puppeteer, Music and Film Historian, Experimental Lo-Fi Filmmaker, Radio DJ, Lecturer

Residence: Haines, Alaska. Formerly of New York City, Switzerland, the San Francisco Bay Area, Hawaii, Montana, France

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Photo © Byrne Power

Guest Anadromist

Carsten Hyatt: Biola Grad, MK, Horror & Film Aficionado,  Philosophy Student, Shadow Puppeteer and Husband to Rebecca.

Residence: Los Angeles, California. Formerly Germany, Hungary, Oxford, UK, Brazil, and Alaska among other places.

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Andrei Tarkovsky on Time

From Sculpting in Time

Time is necessary to man, so that, made flesh, he may be able to realize himself as a personality. But I am not thinking of linear time, meaning the possibility of getting something done, performing some action. The action is a result, and what I am considering is the cause, which makes man incarnate in a moral sense.

History is still not Time; nor is it evolution. They are both consequences. Time is a state: the flame in which there lives the salamander of the human soul.

Time and memory merge into each other; they are like the two side of a medal. It is obvious enough that without Time, memory cannot exist either. But memory is something so complex that no list of all its attributes could define the totality of the impressions through which it affects us. Memory is a spiritual concept! For instance, if somebody tells us of his impressions of childhood, we can say with certainty that we shall have enough material in our hands to form a complete picture of that person. Bereft of memory, a person becomes the prisoner of an illusory existence; falling out of time he is unable to seize his own link with the outside world–in other words he is doomed to madness.

As a moral being, man is endowed with memory, which sows in him a sense of dissatisfaction. It makes us vulnerable, subject to pain.

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Owen Barfield on Imagination
From SAVING THE APPEARANCES

Imagination is not, as some poets have thought, simply synonymous with good. It may be either good or evil. As long as art remained primarily mimetic, the evil which imagination could do was limited by nature. Again, as long as it was treated as an amusement, the evil which it could do was limited in scope. But in an age when the connection between imagination and figuration is beginning to be dimly realized, when the fact of the directionally creator relation is beginning to break through into consciousness, both the good and the evil latent in the working of imagination begin to appear unlimited. We have seen in the Romantic movement an instance of the way in which the making of images may react upon the collective representations. It is a fairly rudimentary instance, but even so it has already gone beyond the dreams and responses of a leisured few. The economic and social structure of Switzerland is noticeably affected by its tourist industry, and that is due only in part to increased facilities of travel. It is due not less to the condition that (whatever may be said about their ‘particles’) the mountains which twentieth-century man sees are not the mountains which eighteenth-century man saw.

It may be objected that this is a very small matter, and that it will be a long time before the imagination of man substantially alters those appearances of nature with which his figuration supplies him. But then I am taking the long view. Even so, we need not be too confident. Even if the pace of change remained the same, one who is really sensitive to (for example) the difference between the medieval collective representations and our own will be aware that, without traveling any greater distance than we have come since the fourteenth century, we could very well move forward into a chaotically empty or fantastically hideous world. But the pace of change has not remained the same. It has accelerated and is accelerating.

We should remember this, when appraising the aberrations of the formally representational arts. Of course, in so far as these are due to affectation, they are of no importance. But in so far as they are genuine, they are genuine because the artist has in some way or other experienced the world he represents. And in so far as they are appreciated, they are appreciated by those who are themselves willing to make a move towards seeing the world in that way, and, ultimately therefore, seeing that kind of world. We should remember this, when we see pictures of a dog with six legs emerging from a vegetable marrow or a woman with a motorbicycle substituted for her left breast.

6 responses

  1. You have much to teach me. Thank you for your passionate work. I, for one, adore it. I wonder, have any Anadromists ever been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology?

    January 14, 2013 at 2:27 PM

    • Caroline, thanks for your kind comment. I have never been to the Museum of Jurassic Technology, though I’ve heard it’s quite an interesting place. Carsten may have been there he has lived in LA for several years.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:09 PM

  2. Here’s a slice of American Gothic from 1806: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amherst_college_archives/8125176738/in/set-72157631887909732

    It was part of our Halloween blog post last fall.

    love your site!

    February 27, 2013 at 5:00 AM

  3. 1806 I must say I’m impressed. Thanks Mike!

    February 27, 2013 at 7:15 AM

  4. I like it, the blog is perfect!

    June 9, 2013 at 11:32 PM

  5. And if you need to get in touch write me at reckoningmotions (a t) y a h o o d ot c om

    October 23, 2015 at 11:42 PM

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