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    Montevideo (part 6)
    Project: Polytopia
    Now summer has passed,
    As if it had never been.
    It is warm in the sun.
    But this isn't enough.

    By Arseniy Tarkovsky


    Today, when cinema fights hard not to drown in a sea of glamorized triviality, and baseness seems to rule the day; I find myself engaged with the memory of Andrei Tarkovsky.

    Today, my reflection begins with the taste of longing, not for what cinema was, as the medium has changed and developed across the lines of technological up-grades, but for the intimate deep reflective atmosphere that some of the grand artists of cinema cared to deliver, forging the tints and shades of it in our mind.

    Not many directors held such a dramatic stand for the human spirit as did Tarkovsky. “Stalker”, 1979, was his fifth movie (out of seven), and I wish to use it as a preface with which to continue the unfoldment of this series.

    Stalker Synopsis:

    Twenty years ago, a meteorite falls to Earth, and decimates a provincial Russian town. Villagers travel through this curious area, now known as The Zone, and disappear. Stories purport that there is an inner chamber within The Zone called The Room that grants one's deepest wishes. Fearing the consequences of the knowledge of such an inscrutable resource, the army immediately secures the area with barbed wire and armed patrols. But the desperate and the suffering continue to make the treacherous journey, led by a disciplined, experienced stalker, who can stealthily navigate through the constantly changing traps and pitfalls of The Zone. A successful Writer perhaps searching for inspiration or adventure, and a Scientist searching for Truth or salvation, enroll the Stalker to guide them through The Zone and to reach the doorsteps of the Room.


    All that might have been,
    Like a five-cornered leaf
    Fell right into my hands,
    But this isn't enough.

    Sculpting time

    “Stalker” is a movie that deals with the uncertainty partaking in spiritual longing. It is a movie about the life of self-reflection, the hunting of a passageway between unfulfilled spiritual longings and the integrity rising from self-discovery. All of which is portrayed in the background of human attempts to cross over towards the “there”.

    Tarkovsky developed a theory of cinema that he called "sculpting in time". By this he meant that the unique characteristics of cinema as a medium take our experience of time and alter it.

    Bringing closer the texture of the inner reflective ground, where one engages oneself in deliberations of integrity; where one enacts a fragile freedom and elects one’s longing.

    In the cinematic language that Tarkovsky developed there is a direct and innocent presentation of the inner life of a human, mainly a masterpiece portrait of longing, human longing.

    In our time, when new technological lines are rising by the day, proposing to reshape our basic grounds and inviting our imagination to ‘pick’ ourselves anew, I find that the metaphor of the “Room” is still standing.

    What are the consequences of a situation in which our longing is exposed to lead the actuation of our dreams and wishes?


    Neither evil nor good
    Had vanished in vain,
    It all burnt with white light,
    But this isn't enough.


    The Room is here, an actuation machine that every day grows its technological wings, but where do we turn when in the Room? To which orientation facility?

    The Room will not deliver an answer of who we are (nor inherently disclose our profound wishes or deepest nature), it will reflect however that which we can do, plugging our dreams and wishes to a can-do instrument and not necessarily to the voyage of self-discovery enclosed in longing, nor in the richness of mind and emotions proper to it.


    Life took me under its wing,
    Preserved and protected,
    Indeed I have been lucky.
    But this isn't enough.


    A compelling attraction

    And so, while dwelling in the imaginative participation of sculpturing a far future, it comes to mind that the very lines of our longing can serve us as an instrument of orientation.

    I turn to longing when the Room is now rising around me. While our endless can-do machines keep on growing our powers of influence, I do find it relevant to wrestle a crack into the chain of actuation.

    Longing opens as a virtual bridge in between different states; a tension searching to rest not in established capabilities, but in the constancy of disclosing the moment.

    It is a voyage towards the possibility of a friendly universe; a soft erotic passion towards the unknown, including the past as a vehicle and the future as its open field of roaming.

    It is the leverage by which I do keep an open-end bare with no-restraints, allowing the emergence of an imaginative space. A compelling attraction to walk beyond a contour of knowledge, being it the knowledge of one self or any other body of knowledge.

    In this sense I read longing as an emotional verb, free from specific objects, emoting with that rare intimate sense of emergence of a singular mind, breaking-through the contour of mortality.
    Longing is a catalyst bringing forth the event in which, through minding, potentialities are eventually being cut into form.

    Isn’t longing the potent and intense mind situation in which what, how and who we are, is being re-shaped; isn’t it the moment in which the unimaginable becomes believable?

    A change in the curriculum vitae of men

    Longing, a raft of the futurist as that of the artist, the stuff upon which imagination glides and cares to deliver a change in the curriculum vitae of man.

    What is mortality?
    Is it life that enfolds the irregularity of death? Or is it a multiple set of limits, the very defining contour of oneself? Is it the conceptual end or a repetition of history? Is it the sound of the monotonous or the pristine taste of mystery?

    Mortality I understand, mostly, as a restrained imagination, justified by the irregularity of death. While immortality I choose to read as imagination with no-restraints.

    Imagination glides into existence upon the synaptic tentacles of our longing, and it opens into an unrestrained space for our mind to expand.

    It seizes the possibility we entail to be emotionally active and reactive beyond the immediate sense of reality. Imagination is the ability to reintroduce again and again a lucid spark into the appearance of the concrete.

    In it I find the origins of the portfolio of significant moments, those we address with terms such as insight, intuition, creativity and understanding. Don’t they all begin with imagination approximating no-restraints?

    We are human when the taste of infinity is crossing ways with us; we are human when the indefinite shades of it are falling softly like snow on a crisp morning, unveiling rafts to cross over into the ‘resuming’ of sanity.


    Not a leaf had been scorched,
    Not a branch broken off. . .
    The day wiped clean as clear glass,
    But this isn't enough.

    And so I elect my longing… rising in my mind as a ‘disciplined stalker’ needed to stealthily navigate through the constantly changing traps and pitfalls of unrestrained open spaces. A time and space folding machine, bringing from within potentialities as a crossing surface to emote with, yielding an imaginative space within which to maneuver the mind in a singular fashion. Longing, the provocation of an un-ending mind, walking futures in the process of self-discovery.

    It is Now

    To be continued..

    The Poem was written by Arseniy Tarkovsky, the father of Andrei Tarkovsky, a renowned Russian poet, one of the poems I love and find always contemporary.(Poem of Arseniy Tarkovsky Translated by Maria Pearse)

    Image 1, 2, 3 are from the movie Stalker
    Image 4 - Giacometti preparing an exhibition

    Wed, Aug 5, 2009  Permanent link
    Categories: Tarkovsky, longing, Emotions, Imaginiation
    Sent to project: Polytopia
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    gamma     Wed, Aug 5, 2009  Permanent link
    Excellent post really. I could use it to heal my shopping spree madness, but not discuss it. My neural network has a hill across Microsoft ergonomic keyboard. Excellent post, really. One small thing I suppose. It seems you possess a secret knowledge. When you first arrive into the room, you apparently know that it won't be enough, that you need something else too. I tend to spend my day looking it at things as if they are peaks or at their peak in some way or I look for perfect everything. What is hard about the room?
    rawsilk     Thu, Aug 6, 2009  Permanent link
    It is now 17:54/06-08/09 just finish reading..
    silence all around me, nothing seems to move..
    longing, pristine mystery, infinity crossing way..
    the room seems to dissolve
    mind to open,
    imagination flowing
    i surf it close to you..

    to be continuum ..

    Xaos     Sun, Aug 9, 2009  Permanent link
    Thanks Gamma for your words, and your question “what is hard about the room?” does touch a critical nerve. The Room, metaphorically speaking, the way I refer to in this piece, is the growing medium around us, a can-do medium. The metaphor is a way to transport the self reflection procedure in my mind into a radical situation; When in the ultimate actuation machine, the whole of it under your finger and no necessary way to go (no need to repeat history in this sense) isn’t the effort one of capturing new orientation and weaving a sense of direction?
    gamma     Sun, Aug 9, 2009  Permanent link
    I was thinking when you finally catch a super-lucid, cohesive dream, there is a feeling of grounding, hence no escape from dream. Except if you know you finally arrived into a dream, so who cares to undo it.