So once again I will cross over the big pool of water and stay for awhile in Europe. This time out I will be mostly in the UK, but making short journeys to Malmo, Sweden for a screening of Chronicle and to Rome to film a live concert of AMM in action.

I have been thinking about the idea of where we live, about the concept of staying in one place versus moving on continually in search of something we need. I have projected now for months that I am moving to Europe this year, London being the first stop on an eventual move to someplace warm and south, like Lisbon or Seville. A place to settle in the long run.

But really what has come to me is that I am not so much moving to someplace else as stopping living in one place at all. I am being unbound in my habitat, free to roam, to fly.

I remember reading an article in Wired where Brian Eno talks about getting up one morning and saying to himself “I think I should move to St. Petersburg, Russia” and then he did just that for a year to explore its culture. I was probably 20 at the time and thought to myself that it would be amazing to be able to wake up one morning and move to anyplace that one liked simply to go there. But anyone can do this at anytime for a months rent worth of money. You just have to get up and go do it.

Why has society settled for its current stagnation instead of returning to its nomadic roots? How have cities evolved to allow us to become free of this specification on a particular place of residence? As travel has become more commonplace and inexpensive why have we not continually moved, shifting our focus from culture to culture, exploring cities and developing tastes for things we have never imagined existed? The world is there all around you, why not taste its treasures?

I think the primary reason is ownership of property. I am not talking about real estate but the stuff we keep in and on our real estate. The bullshit of modern living. But technology is making most of our property go in our pocket. No more records or books to haul from apartment to apartment. We take everything with us everyday anyway. Our laptop is our TV, our stereo (in conjunction with our Ipods), everything becomes portable. We are becoming free from place. Free to explore space on this earth.

And so I will stop being tied to one place. I will have my studio in Chicago for summers and visits, a place to rebound to for isolation and work. But I will travel as part of my daily habit. No longer living in a place, but moving on to a state of modern nomad.


A serpent sleeps
tail in mouth, his
body encompasses
the world

and so he dreams
deep in slumber
on the seas
bottom unfurled

from north to
south the waves
will ride and
echo with his moan

until the day
when he awakes
and crushes
thunders bones

new year

What a lot of change is happening all around me. This new year brings a new chapter in my life. My previous journeys have left me with the knowledge that my path lay out in the world, not hiding in some studio in Chicago.

So the new year will bring me much travel, a new city of residence, and a level of creative inspiration that I have not know in many years.

In our lives we are often faced with the difficulty of making a decision that will not only affect us, but all of the people around us. We must consider every action, every desire, and its affect on the shape of who we are.

Every year I hear friends talk about resolutions for the coming year. About these vague promises to themselves to change this or that. To renew their faith in some thing, or more often to stop some ridiculous habit. But do we need to pass a certain day on the colander to think positively? Must we promise to ourselves that we will change only for the first week of every year, then slump back into laziness in terms of self evolution?

Even if the new year had not just passed all of the things preceding this date would have occurred (my travels, work, etc). I would still be planning on moving out of Chicago, on taking my daughter to live in Europe, on building a better life for myself and creating work outside of the confinement of American living.

But a new year is in fact here – 3 days in and I can feel the surge of change around me. The phone calls and emails that interrupt the flow of the day to announce new and amazing happenings. Opportunities knocking at every door.

I ran into a friend the other day and asked what he had been up to, he replied “Not much”. I said, didn’t you go to Australia with your mom and brother recently? He said, “yeah – I went sky diving while I was there.” He went on to say that it was only scary for the first few seconds.

I am about to jump. The first few seconds might be scary but the free fall will undoubtedly be amazing.

On the Nature of Light published in PAJ

For those of you interested in this sort of thing I have a new article
in the current issue of PAJ (Performance Arts Journal) published by MIT
press. The piece is titled:

On the Nature of Light: The Cinematic Experience as Occult Ritual

The issue focuses on spirituality in contemporary art forms. Worth checking out in general.


Raymond Salvatore Harmon

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