Sunday, 22 November 2009

Another year ends, but this time it feels like a beginning

This blog began in 2007, which coincided with the start of my PhD. It also marked the beginning of a difficult few years of understanding myself beyond the academic label which had stuck since primary school, as well as independent of parental-societal-cultural expectations.

I have now been through a research trip to Canada to meet Deepa Mehta, conferences around Australia, invigorating trips to India, multiple visits to the library, numerous undergraduate essays and films, many thesis drafts, long hours of film editing and countless intellectual stimulants around the clock. This has been accompanied by the development of a self that is more self-assured, more poetic and also more forgiving of its own and others' mortal shortcomings. In addition to scholarly journals and books in my field, I have also taken to style blogs, street photography, bright nail paint, sequined berets, peep toe shoes, pencil skirts, retro dresses, statement necklaces, paisley scarves, fresh scents, orange tulips, cooking laksa, shopping in Chinatown, enjoying driving and most importantly, being unapologetic about all of the above. I have been through a fair share of admiration and heartache in a relatively short period, and find my feet moving to a new beat (yes, love is more likely a musical journey rather than a happy ending, but then I don't claim to be an expert). 

Then there is the likelihood that I may not be in Adelaide for very long. The past seven years, almost my entire adult life has been spent here, and for that I feel fortunate - as much for the great people I have met and befriended as for the education and work experience I have acquired. If and when I move, I know I will miss the Cibo aromas in winter, the jacaranda carpets in spring, the festival fever in summer, and the long weekends in autumn. Here's to 2010, wherever it may be!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Thinking Design

It fascinated me that during the assessment of my ten selected images from the entire term, it is my sense of design that drew the most attention. I am glad that this evolving instinct, this attunement to forms and textures in the environment is a) not confined to my growing love of vintage fashion, and b) has been recognized by professional photographers. There is certainly still a long way to go in learning photographic concepts, as well as mastering the darkroom, but I feel encouraged. Nerdy days begone, this academic girl thinks design!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Darkroom Zen

Working is the darkroom was challenging at first, but taught me a great deal about image tones (and that method, discipline and patience go hand-in-hand with art). As one of my fellow students put it, it is a rather zen-like experience. Only difference is that instead of incense sticks, you smell developers and fixers. But it grows on you.


After years of itching to learn the 'craft', I finally undertook and completed the nine-week Introduction to Film Photography course at the Centre for Creative Photography.

Tuesday, 8 September 2009


I'm editing my thesis and trying to explain the notion of a 'palimpsestic reading'. This needs to be referenced, hence I resort to Wikipedia, Google Scholar and Salman Rushdie's Imaginary Homelands. Still no definition. The reference is turning into a palimpsest in its own right. Then I turn to articles from a course on world literature undertaken in my undergrad years. More references to Rushdie's The Moor's Last Sigh, Michael Ondaatje's Running in the Family and Shakespeare's Othello. What a parchment! I'm turning it into a digital record.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


I am at Chocolate Bean and listening to Jeff Buckley's 'Hallelujah' - Hallelujah indeed!

Last time I was here, it was in the middle of a house move, a thesis draft, a documentary screening, a conference preparation and a personal decision hangover. Over two months ago. Only. 

Not that life is perfect now. Not that it ever will be. But it is a perfect moment now as Hallelujah comes on. Despite the pain of the past and the uncertainty of the future.

Hallelujah is now. The external is catching up with internal mechanics. It is not an affectation. It is wilful, ongoing and attuned. Now is hallelujah.

Sunday, 12 July 2009

Popular Wisdom

It has been an unusual weekend of gathering wisdom from the most unlikely of sources. One which began as my flight landed at Adelaide Airport on Friday evening. I had been conferencing in Brisbane the previous week and was undoubtedly weary. But the emotional turmoil resulting from seeing families travel together and unaccompanied travellers get embraced by kith and kin cannot be explained through fatigue. I was grateful for the professional opportunities I had thus far received, but at what cost? No one told me there was a sacrifice involved. Or that it entailed such a degree of self-reliance.
I have always craved the independence I now (almost) have, so why the hollowness? Well, while contemplating all of the above the following Saturday, I accidentally began watching The Princess Diaries, something I would not announce on an academic profile. Then there was the penultimate scene where the much-flawed and drenched character played by Anne Hathaway declares to a regal audience the reason she chose to take up the 'princess's job'. She said it was because this time it wasn't about her, but the others who could potentially benefit from the smooth carrying out of her duties. My scepticism about aristocracy and chick flicks aside, this is just the piece of advice I needed at that point. Settled or otherwise, I was not going to make my parents or friends or students any happier by drowning in melancholy.
Then there came the astrological column in the local daily suggesting Aquarians had a once in a lifetime opportunity to let go of the past. Again, potentially cliched, but it meant a lot to me in context. This happens to be a time when a lot of old tangible and intangible 'things' are biting the dust. I am going to choose to feel happy about the new opportnities this presents, as well as the space this creates in my life for hitherto unexperienced experiences. I also need to forgive myself just as I have forgotten and forgiven others. As I was worrying about the ghosts of persons past, I got the following message from a friend - "There's no bad karma of yours that hasn't been offset by their's. Mediaeval etiquette: It is bad manners to serve a lady while you are wearing a helmet". On that note, I decided to try and shed my emotional pessimism, work-related overdrive and general lack of exuberance. No point in attempting to be a supergirl when it hard enough being a 'normal' one. Breathe...

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Displacement for the Always Already Displaced

Eight more days of transit, and I can't wait to arrive. The importance of journeying notwithstanding, a combination of stability and uncertainty might be better than having your goods in two or more places. So many split selves.
This is the longest relationship I've had with a house outside of my parental home. Just over four years is not a long time, but encompassing my transition from a shaken twenty-one year old girl to a more realistic and self-assured person has been a significant shift. It may not be the rosiest period of my life, or the most memorable s/pace, but it has been meaningful in its own right. Its space has allowed me to experiment, to fail, to stand up again and to celebrate with good friends. It has given me room to manouevre around my own developing self, which I'm sure will continue to grow and learn.
The comfort zone established by this house and its radius has also generated a spatial inertia over the past couple of years that I have been craving to move beyond. I only have to shop in a new supermarket or buy coffee from a different cafe or drive down an unknown street to feel alive and adventurous. The hassle of un-cluttering and financial-physical-psychological stress aside, I am looking forward to this change. It is a small step towards tangibly letting go of a past that once felt like a giant leap. Lest I forget, changing countries/continents is a bigger ask. How could I have come to fear displacement? It is not the absence of roots, but an excess. A potentially constructive, creative excess at that. The Always Already Displaced need not be detached entities floating amoebically in deterritorialised discourse, we should feel at home everywhere.
It annoyed initially that this change beckons just as I am approaching a full draft of my doctoral thesis, and a not too distant submission date. However, my time management skills were probably in need of a force beyond control of this magnitude. And my intellectual-emotional energies, narrativising the project in the final chapter, were also possibly clamouring for a more recent, more embodied experience of displacement. This is not to say that the previous displacements have been forgotten, only that they have become souvenirs. A notebook here, a t-shirt there, and some furniture to deal with. Also, there are the episodes that have been consciously erased. Tears and troubled waters are now being mingled with hopes and dreams. A changed external configuration, an altered path of everyday existence may or may not make a difference to old habits that have turned into hindrances. But this time I'm looking out for light, not for ample space. If I can open my bedroom blinds in the new house, I will have let the outside in, the inside out.

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Displaced Thought c

There are other 'things' that need to go. Perhaps an online garage sale is the answer. Dangling earrings that I will not wear any more. Big statement necklaces that are lying unnoticed. Shoes that are a size too big or small, but good as new. Bags that could fetch moolah from vintage buyers. I'm feeling the change, and not just in terms of my current wardrobe. File, fold, give, take, the cycle continues.

Displaced Thought b

The first phase of packing up has been exhausting, but I was surprised to discover a $100 Dymocks bookstore voucher amongst the contents of my bookshelf. What a godsent! Not that I'm itching to buy anything in particluar at the moment, but this is incentive enough to get rid of those books that I have no academic or emotional attachment to. Some of them are giveaways from my year of sub-editing the literature section of the student newspaper 'On Dit', and others are spur-of-the-moment purchases that are best classified as 'chick lit'. Adios.

Displaced Thought a

I have successfully avoided moving houses for four and a half years. This is not because of any spiritual attachment to my current place, but partly because my last moving experience resulted in a broken wrist and a stolen laptop, and largely by virtue of that sin called sloth. So it is that time of life again, but I hope to unclutter properly in this instance. One steady step at a time.

Friday, 29 May 2009

Voice-over to End 'I Journey...'

I journeyed to Canada to interview filmmaker Deepa Mehta. I stayed with my cousin sister, her husband, and their four-year old son. I also spent time with my Mum's cousin and her partner in Toronto. It struck me that I was unlikely to meet this tree of the family, this curve of the paisley in India.
Yet I was considered an Australian researcher by Toronto Airport baggage officials and the crew on Mehta's film set. It was the accent they said, which sounded like it had journeyed and picked up its lyric on distant shores.
Will this journey end? Discussions about 'settling down' have become rife amongst family. The paisley might be reaching the border of the pashmina shawl. It may be time to wrap it around my shoulders, but I will not do it the traditional way. I will morph this Indianness and turn it into a scarf, a skirt, a throw, a photograph, a living memory. I will settle only if my future remembers this detail, this evidence of a journey.

Saturday, 23 May 2009

On speaking English

I'm reading renowned hybrid cultural theorist Ien Ang's On not speaking Chinese, and wondering about my own ambivalent relationship with the English language, especially in its accented and translated mutations. In her book, Ang justifies the use of autobiographical discourse as a means of both asserting the authority of authenticity, and undermining the grandeur of hegemonic narratives. Being a person of Chinese descent who was born in Indonesia, schooled in the Netherlands and is currently working in the Australian academy, her hyphenations are multiple and complex. She apologises for not being able to speak Chinese while also arguing that the shifting identity politics of the Chinese diaspora need not be anchored in a fixed linguistic identity associated with the homeland. 

In my own case, I vividly recall being asked as to where I learnt 'such good English' in formal and informal settings during my early days in Australia. This was a compliment at times, but largely a source of petulance because I didn't think an Australian (or any 'native' English speaker, other than those with the appropriate literary acumen) was in a position to pronounce judgement on my English-speaking skills. Once during an English Literature class where the tutor handed us a sheet on 'Zero Tolerance Errors in Formal Written English' accompanied by red marks on our assignments, I was surprised to see the sheer number of grammatical and syntactical corrections in the papers of my Australian-schooled peers. Now, as a tutor in the Humanities myself, I have to admit that overseas students with a shorter history of studying English struggle more with the language that their local counterparts. However, indifference to the rules of grammar and punctuation is often rampant in the writing and speech of many university goers, irrespective of nationality. In other words, who can judge whom?

I realise that as someone who attended English-medium schools in India where the Queen's English still prevailed, I am more privileged than most. I wouldn't admit to thinking in the language all the time, but its spoken version has become more relaxed and colloquial during my time in Australia. It is still the instrument of my intellect, of my creative impulses, and hence my work self values it above the other Indian language I have learned - Hindi, Punjabi and Urdu. Why did I not conduct the documentary interviews in one of these languages? Salman Rushdie and others in the diaspora have often commented on English being a link language in the linguistically-diverse Indian sub-continent. Therefore, the choice of English was strategic so as to access a wider range of people of Indian origin, as well as to render the doco semi-autobiographical.

Privileged I may be in some ways, but my experience of being a translator and interpreter for the Indian languages I am conversant in has brought me into contact with Indians and Pakistanis who are new migrants or on the struggling end of the socio-economic scale. Their stories have often been difficult to translate, but the role of mediator has taught me that transferring from one cultural idiom to another is not necessarily a loss. What is gained is an understanding, however stilted, of the seemingly inaccessible other. There are no doubt miles to go for improving this communication and making it more than a literal exchange of words. In the meantime, being aware of the relativity of linguistic and cultural norms is a crucial starting point.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Fragment d

I'm rummaging through forgotten drawers and discovering old wealth. What is this treasure? Gifts and cards. Music and soul food. Silver bangles with crests and troughs. Amethyst. Letters from my sister. Birthday messages. Notes. Audio cassettes from my sixteen year old days. Shakira, Elton John, Guns n Roses, Celine Dion, Zubeida. What taste. As electic as ever. And few photos. I wish I had them all here. I itch to print the digital ones. A new project?

Friday, 8 May 2009

Fragment c

And then there is the unconscious, almost fetishistic Japanese consumption at the moment. I'm reading Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Wood, bought the films Japanese Story and Tokyo Story from Borders, and had a craving for udon noodles. But how can one exotic want another, and other itself further? I'm watching a female Australian geologist explore the contours of a Japanese businessman's body. The music is tragically beatiful. Tragic because I know how the film ends. Beautiful because the traditional male gaze of Hollywood cinema is reversed, if not subverted. Would it have been possible if the male body was white? Therein lies another story.

Fragment b

This has also been a week without my Motorola mobile phone whose charging port broke down. I am currently using my old spearmint Nokia which is the equivalent of a gramophone record in the age of iTouch. Messaging is awkward, and I had to manually feed in almost 80 numbers. There is a new purchase decision to be made. But for now, I miss my jazz ring tone, the snooze alarm and the text message reminders. Talk about material attachments. Affective material attachments.

Fragment a

It has been been five days, and I am missing updating my status on Facebook (besides having my friends and family contacts at my fingertips). Is this a withdrawl symptom? Am I that narcissistic? I think it is both a means of procrastination and a somewhat public writing tool for me.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Online Experiments

I've been set a challenge by a friend - not to use Facebook for a week. This is not to illustrate my addiction to the ubiquitous social networking site. I don't perceive it as an addiction, merely a daily ritual which can be curiously time-consuming. Moreover, it might be acting as a substitute for real-time relationships instead of facilitating them. I spend a large proportion of my day reading and writing, so would prefer the voice and laughter of my friends and family to emoticons and lols. There is no doubt in my mind that I can cut off Facebook in the short term, and reduce usage in the longer term. A more pertinent question is - can this lead me to make more contact with friends and acquaintances? Will I be motivated to reorganise my social life and step out of the triangular comfort zone with the University, the Borders store, and the Nova Cinemas as its three focal points? The irony is I am blogging about this experiment, and will probably continue to do so. At least I have more than 150 characters to e-x-p-l-a-i-n.
And then there is another project I've had in mind for a while. I'm always on the lookout for new Adelaide cafes, and now also increasingly interested in which ones have free wifi as well as a work-and-socialising culture. Besides the Gloria Jean's cafe at the Borders store in Rundle Mall, Cibo on Rundle Street, and Chocolate Bean, it is hard to come across coffee shops where researchers like myself can just walk in, sip a latte and work on their laptops or read away to bliss. I plan to visit a number of indie and lesser known hangouts in the Adelaide CBD during the lunch hour over the next couple of weeks and take some photos. What is the vibe in these places? Are there many individuals with books, laptops and cameras for company here? Do these individuals interact? Will keep thou posted.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Interiority and the Elements

While catching up with a friend, I stumbled upon a potential solution for the content-analysis chapter of my thesis. The trouble so far has been that I want to stay away from traditional film or textual theory, while still talking about narrative through a particular lens. I have done three drafts of the chapter, with the first trying to amalgamate postcolonial and feminist concerns and project them onto a diasporic space, and the second and third spending a lot of word space on the genealogy of diaspora and why reading diasporic work calls for an organic approch. When I coined the 'organic' way of looking at film, I had just returned from a two-month sojourn in monsoon-flooded India, and was quite obsessed with the ideas of a life-like pace and fluidity in the context of representation (which is probably also why the first cut of my doco was unconventionally lingering). Looking back, it was a reaction to an overload of theory and I am now ready to give new life to this chapter.
What is this new life? I will not repress it under new age nomenclature and call it 'organic', but there is a particular kind of spatial and temporal composition in all three films of Mehta's trilogy that plays on binary oppositions like interior and exterior, light and shade, colour and austerity, poverty and wealth etc. There is an engagement with the interiority of the domestic space that is a motif for the interior lives of the characters themselves (and perhaps also a reflection on the diasporic artist's insulation from the present of the homeland, a space/place of memory and re-creation).
When thinking about the films from the point of view of a practitioner, I realised that I was most interested in the choices made by the writer-director. These choices not only pertain to detail and colour, both being aspects that Mehta is admittedly pedantic about. They are also macro choices - Why is the set constructed in a particular city? How is the set put together? What is the vision of the production designer? How does the cinematographer translate this vision? I realised that my documentary is also set in a range of domestic spaces, and I made this decision as I wanted the home of the interviewee to be entwined with the content of our conversation. These choices are crucial to the fabric of the films in question, and an analysis of the same fits in with the essence of my thesis argument. What is this essence? That diasporic creativity is not deterritorialised, but reterritorialised. In other words, a diasporic artistic practice like film is made and re-made at every stage of its conception and production, and viewed and re-viewed in each new socio-economic context. A consideration of both the global and local spaces of meaning-making is significant to a holistic understanding of diasporic creative impulses and pratices. And a consideration of diasporic creativity in turn is intergral to comprehending a world whose cultural and economic capital no longer adhere to east-west distinctions.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Freewheeling Free Will

I haven't written on my blog in a while because of a combination of reasons - I have had no time to write, and no will to create this time. The last couple of weeks have been emotionally and physically exhausting, but also rewarding in a curious way that I can't quite articulate yet. It has been a time when decisions were made and altered from one moment to the next. I would like to think that I exercised my own free will in arriving at and living through these decisions, albeit my free will decided it wanted to freewheel.
The wheel is still rolling, but I'm ready to reflect on its movement. There may be a pattern of sorts and even a particluar colour at certain times. However, I wonder if it is the norm for this wheel to roll, for my will to waver, for my decisions to appear indecisive. Thankfully, women around the world, as Jennifer Fox's brilliant documentary Flying explores, are riddled with choices that are not necessarilly freeing. Fox herself flees from her mother and grandmother, only to find her life is revolving around the poles that are a series of men. She chooses one in the end, and also makes peace with the matriarchal figures. But is she a free woman?
Am I a free woman? The choice I'm making now is, on the surface, more confining that freeing. Scratching the surface, however, I feel it will eventually enable me to freewheel, fly and flout with greater aplomb. I also want to capture this newfound freedom in my documentary. Perhaps film a Skype conversation with my parents, or other moments of difficulty. There is poetry in difficulty. The paisley cannot be contained any longer. It will double over. It's shadow will end the film. This shadow will journey too.

Sunday, 8 March 2009

Incubating in the Warm Light of the Academy

I didn't think I would write so soon after the most recent apparaisal of a draft of the introductory chapter of my thesis. I wanted my writing to return to its quasi-authoritative academic tone, one more appropriate for a successful PhD completion and greater publishing potential. I began to wonder if writing this blog for nearly two years now has spoilt me vis-a-vis a career in academia. Why can't a text remain provisional? I understand that my thesis, my film, even my blog have to be 'about something'. But, and herein lies my most demonstrable attempt at writerly assertiveness - I think these 'abouts' are multi- and contextual. Yes, the Academy is progressive enough to encompass the lengths and depths of a particular set of texts or even an entire genre, but it remains uncomfortable with anything that is, by nature, transient. Why this resistance to the ephemeral?

It is 'certainly' my migrant-state that attracts me to transitory form(s). However, temporary residents the world over cannot wait to be 'permanent'. And those in a somewhat settled situation long to get out, to travel. I'm not condoning a gypsy-esque existence for all and sundry, or an experimental discourse for all kinds of writing. It would be mighty nice if the Hegemonic social and academic powers that be began to recognise transience as a healthy expression of thought and emotion rather than consider it a sign of weakness, or dimiss it as just another juvenile phase.

Although I'm still incubating, I will 'probably' continue writing. The cost of not writing is higher than the cost of writing provisionally. Whether (and when) this or any other text will see the light of day that is critical approval is difficult to gauge. But the light here is warm and ideal for a timely emergence from the apprenticeship, a tentative fluttering of slow-growing wings.

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Editing = Stripping Down = Confronting Loss = Rebirth

I am not going to include an image with this post because I believe, for once, the writing can stand on its own feet (does writing have two feet, or more?).

The last two weeks have been led at an unprecedented pace, perhaps the rhythm of editing itself has been pacing my life. I have nearly completed a fine edit of my documentary, a process which has taught me a great deal about writing, not just film editing. I now know (not in the way one knows what one has once read, but in a more internalised way) that a holistic text is as much about what is left out as it is a composition of what is included. The frame reigns supreme.

Then there has been the Bigpond Adelaide Film Festival 2009, free access to which (courtesy a media pass) has enabled me to not just watch the best and latest in Australian and overseas cinema, but also inhale an environment where I can sense a future. Or some semblance of a future. Yesterday, attending the Screenwriters' Fringe, I felt for the first time in a long time, that I am lucky to be in Adelaide. Premier Mike Rann, in his consummate cinema-speech, seemed to suggest that it is a hub of film activity in Australia. While the question of native audience indifference looms large over the fate of local films as well as the diasporic films that I'm examining for my PhD, I'm confident that conceptual scripts and lyrical editing can turn the tide.

Monday, 16 February 2009

Catharsis in the Dark

When I first watched Philippe Claudel's I've Loved You So Long in a small theatre by myself over the Christmas break, I thought it was the dark intimacy of the cinemascape, combined with thoughts of family and recent emotional turmoil that caused me to bawl. Also noteworthy are the now questionable facts that I rarely cry, or only do so when 'stuff' has accumulated. Although getting teary in public remains taboo, I'm wondering if the enclosed darkness of a cinema hall really constitutes a public place. For my tear glands of late, apparently not.

I cried again today while watching Jonathan Demme's Rachel Getting Married, even if it was only in sniffles. However, this time, I was watching with a good friend, in a larger space, after a surprisingly good birthday-week, and with no emotional baggage that I could put my finger on. Perhaps I was drawn to the film because a friend had pre-informed me of its visual make-up. What was this make-up? A combination of Gothic undertones, Indian patterns, African brights - all shot in a Monsoon Wedding style of home-videoesque closeups and amateur pans. I think I was seeking a visual connection of sorts, if not a catharsis. Maybe I have come to expect it everytime I enter that dark space because I have alloted these movie outings the space where I can acknowledge life-affirming details. Is this space inner or outer, public or private, well-lit or dark? What I do know is that it fuels my passion for both the real and reel world(s).

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Textiles that Talk Back

Nigerian-British artist Yinka Shonibare stretches the skewed notions of cultural authenticity and class hegemony to the limit in his theory-as-performace art. Indonesian batik textiles, passed off as traditional African gear adorn headless Victorian figures. The patterns, the colours and the entire setting of the installation talk back to empire, as much as they comment on contemporary notions of race and ethnicity (that are in turn intersected, intertwined with class and gender). The visual presence of the figures is omnipotent, but their headlessness usurps them and lets the viewer stare and imagine without fear of rebuke. I am tempted to touch the fabrics, tactile things that they are. But I remain on the border - between the spaces of the maker and the tourist. The hyphen can be a thriving home for creativity and tenacity.

Friday, 16 January 2009


The Golden Globe glory of Slumdog Millionaire seems to be raising questions regarding audiences (divided along national, religious, geographic, gender, class and countless other lines) all over again. I have been grappling with these questions regarding the Mehta trilogy, but the recent critical acclaim accrued to the Danny Boyle film, as well as Aravind Adiga's Booker Prize-winning novel The White Tiger is literally pushing the Indian sublatern into the global spotlight. A review from The Australian refers to the gory yet life-affirming movie as 'poverty porn' and blames shallow western audiences rather than filmmakers for their tastes. It also raises the point that the Mumbai-based film has not even been released in India yet, which reminds me of the time Mehta's Water was nominated for an Oscar without having officially being screened in the country of origin. Perhaps critics who write such reviews need to consider the perfectly valid proposition that such films are specifically tailored for the western liberal (and occasionally mainstream) viewers. Maybe I'll revise that statement and say that such films are more likely to appeal to the cosmopolitan viewer, whether in India or overseas. While city-dwellers in India may be aware of the existence of slums, it is largely peripheral to their privileged lives. In other words, the film might be as shocking to a section of Indian viewers as it is to the western viewer. The purpose, then, may not be to reach the slum-dwellers themselves, but shake the rest of us out of our consumerist oblivion. Will the so-called slumdogs object to their onscreen portrayal? David Stratton called in Dickensian, and I think he might be right. The poor are not without agency in this film, so why cast them as victims?

What's in a Voice?

I have to have one for my film as well as my dissertation, preferably the same for both. But, what is a 'voice', leave alone 'my voice'? Also, why is it important?
Maybe it is something akin to a personal style (both aesthetic and political). Perhaps, instead of thinking about all my influences separately, what I need is to think of them holistically. It is how I combine these threads and produce a pattern that transcends the individual colours and textures that will determine the nature of my voice.
Theoretically speaking, I need to stop swimming in the theory. Do I know enough to last once I'm out of the water? Probably, but the water is not going to disappear. It is always there to be used as an aid.
As to the importance of the voice, I know intuitively that it can make or break a movie or a book. This is not to say that texts should be read as per the intentions of the auteur, but more so that the voice will come through more strongly if it is a subtle yet all-encompassing presence.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

e-motion = Emotion?

I was reading about humans in motion, and then I began to wonder if it was possible to conceptualise the post-globalisation flows of people as electronic movements. Why electronic? Because they are occurring at unprecedented levels, more rapid and widespread than at any other time in the course of human history. These flows are also greatly aided by advances in modern technology, be it means of transporting people physically from one place to another or imaginative conduits like the internet and satellite television. Hence the coinage of e-motion.

However, the question now arises - can e-motion encompass the brea(d)th of emotion that accompany this motion? This probably brings us to the age-old conflict between empirical facts and qualitative data, but need this relationship be divisive? I would like to think that science and art can mutually benefit from each other's company, be perfect complements. e-motion may not be equivalent to emotion, but it can certainly gain from the hues and textures of the latter concept. Similarly, emotion may appear devoid of rationale, and thereby gain from e-motion's exactitude.