Monday, 31 October 2011

Reading Glasses

The performance today did not take place, except as a potential in my mind on the way home. I arrived home late having not even had lunch, so the importance of routine (and reality of hunger, and the fact that I have a cold) led me to dispense with any woods-based activity. 

Interesting/noteworthy event of the evening: Steve found the pinhole glasses and asked, "What are these for, exactly?" I told him they were for focussing the eyes when reading, and he tried it and said,

"I can't read through those!"

Creative effort this evening went into carving a Hallowe'en pumpkin.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


If I set out not knowing what I want to achieve, and return having achieved little or nothing, then am I, in fact, wasting my time?

Today it is raining. As I have a cold and an umbrella, I decided to take the latter with me. I also took the former, although I had less say in that decision.

Arriving at the space wearing the glasses, I found that the Standing Rocks are not too slippery to stand on, despite the rain.

I had a Good Look at the cliff rock. It has good form: a pleasing symmetry. Perhaps this is partly what attracted me about this space. 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Standing Rock Slouch

With little idea initially of what would occur, today's action mainly involved the Standing Rocks.

And the new tree is still there.

Monday, 24 October 2011

Tree Growing Ceremony

After standing and stretching to warm up, I obtained the Re-bar from its location in the trees. I approached the tree I had planted the day before, and gave it harmony, tapping the Re-bar as I let it slide through my fingers, finding all the harmonies of the bar, then tapping the bar as it lay on the ground in the tree's shadow, willing the tree to grow taller and taller.

Sunday, 23 October 2011

New Tree

My brother Steve had found some spruce seedlings, similar to those he was planting a couple of years ago in Northern B.C. Steve showed me the planting method, and I decided that I would plant one of these trees in the place.

 I stood for a while on the standing rocks, and started to look for look for an appropriate tree-planting spot.

In doing so, I became aware that the whole area is scattered with deposits of canine faeces in varying stages of decomposition. I am glad to have noticed this: it is not, I think, a good idea to undertake any performances in which I have physical bodily contact with the ground.

Ideally I would plant the tree centrally, directly in between the two standing rocks. But since this is right in the middle of the path, the tree would likely be stepped on or removed before getting a chance to grow. I selected a spot with good linear connections (in line with other trees, and with the standing stones, and the other side of one of the stones from the path). Under a tree, I found a length of metal rebar, which I used to scrape away earth, creating a hole big enough to bury the root base of the tree.

I put the tree in the ground, and filled in the earth around it.

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Finding Winding Route

Today I set out with a clear idea of what I wanted to accomplish: a close-up film of the winding route up the prominent face of the cliff-rock that dominates the area.

Daylight. Slightly rainy.

no glasses.

wariness of bears but no fear.

From the standing rocks, I observed the cliffrock, and considered the line...


It was immediately clear to me that I would not be able to get high enough off the ground to make the film that I intended. To follow the line all the way up would require me to be 20 feet tall. Climbing up the rock may be an option, but for the treacherous slippery condition it was in.

I did make an attempt at the film, however, starting at the loose rock near the base of the cliff (the "dog rock") and raising the camera up until I could reach no higher.

Friday, 21 October 2011

after dark bear fear

This evening I did not get outside until after dark.

The darkness swamped me with fear. Always here there is the possibility that a bear, cougar or coyote may be on the path ahead or around the next corner. I have seen many bears since arriving in Whistler. They mostly like to get out of the way, but if I were to accidentally walk into one in the dark, it may be a different matter. I went to the Space the long way around via the road, and the scariest animal I encountered was a growling guard dog.

Donning the pinhole spectacles, I could immediately see almost nothing. Darkness enveloped me all the more completely. Tilting my head up, I could barely make out the negative space of the sky defined by the outline of the trees. Looking down, I could see nothing at all.

a quick sketch depicting the memory of near-total darkness
with a rotary smidgen of out-of-sight ambient light reflecting off the insides of the pinholes
When I took off the spectacles, all became comparatively clear and bright. The rocks were faintly illuminated by light scattered from a house or porch somewhere. I had been planning to use the darkness as an opportunity to listen. But there was far too much to see.

Having got somewhat accustomed to the darkness, I made my return journey via a shorter darker route. It was less scary that I had anticipated on the outward leg: it was far easier to move through the very dark from the dark to the light than vice versa. But still, every shadow held the fear of a bear.

The shape of the fear of a bear was more real this evening than the animal itself.

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Space => Place

Earlier today, on my way back home from Whistler Village, I discovered that the Space has already become a Place for me: I considered taking a detour and going there on the way home. I seem to define Place as somewhere I would go out of my way to visit.

Decisions I made about today's occurrence:

  • I would document using photographs, one taken every 10 seconds.
  • I would journey to the Space by a similar route to the one I took the first time I went there - down the slope through the woods behind the bin shed.
  • I would wear my rough muddy work trousers, and my green hooded fleece. I would also wear my pinhole glasses.

I arrived in the space and stood on the standing rocks.

 Today, as I stood on the standing rocks, a line became visible to me. A remarkable form exists within the cliff-rock that winds its way up the outcrop and tangles with the trees. I think that at some point it needs to be followed. The space is a good starting point, but there is so much within it that it is difficult to know where to begin.

There is so much wrapped up in any place or space. Even within half an hour's experience, there is more than I can fit in to a short report. So I intend to keep these experimental happenings short. They are to be sketches. Whether or not they will develop into something more remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Starting Point

Today, the day of discovery, was the first performance in the Space.

I found two rocks that have been placed just far enough apart that I can stand with one foot on one and one foot on the other, either looking towards the big cliff-rock or away from it. I stand on these standing-rocks and exist within the space.

I notice the autumnal nature of the season. Leaves are brown. Gusty air movements bring some drops of rain. The cliff-rock has a varied texture. A dog approaches me, uncertain of my status. The sounds of people approach. I dismount from the standing rocks and return to my abode, excited to be at the starting point.

A Space

I have found a space. It seems to be a space where things are meant to happen. Everything about it seems ripe for inhabiting. It is not a well-delineated space, but seems to be a focal point at a combination of different ways-through and natural outcrops.

The space seems to link together various aspects of the area known as Whistler and aspects of my experience in this area.
  • It is close to where I live,
  • It has a view towards the ski hill (the main reason why I - and the majority of other inhabitants - are in the Whistler area to begin with).
  • The space is close to a suburban cul-de-sac which contains a variety of dwellings - some of these are inhabited by Whistlerites, and some are second homes owned by people from elsewhere. 

  • The space is at once a park-like area, and a rocky forested outcrop of crags - it forms a meeting point between tamed and untamed "nature", and features some rocks that have been placed by humans and some that have been there for longer than humans have been moving rocks. The trees, too are a mixture of those placed by humans and those that have found their own way there.

  • Being near my current abode, the space is convenient for regular visits, but is not on the way anywhere - it is not somewhere I will pass through every day without intention.

In the guise of Performance Architect I hereby declare my intention to interact regularly with this space. If possible, every day. Three times a week at the minimum.

The inhabiting of this space through actions and beingnesses may delineate or define the space further than I have here. To start with, I am going to simply start interacting and see what happens.