Graduate Student, Creative Writing, UCC
Gregory Ulmer’s concept of a “MEmorial” consists of the composition of a web-based testimonial or bearing witness to a “disaster in progress” (140). I believe that the greatest disasters in progress are often those within us. And they are often caused by living in the future or in the past, instead of being present in the moment, this moment.
Mindfulness tells us that by accepting the present, and by being in the moment, that our future is secure (Kabat-Zinn). But to do this we must pay attention. We must be aware.
I was first thinking about the development of this video in November 2015 and at that time, when I woke every morning, the first thing I heard was the sound of a robin singing in my garden. And the idea came to me of being present with that birdsong, and using that birdsong as a frame within which I could set my video.
I chose a set of daily, quotidian moments and activities and developed a set of photographic and short textual representations to accompany them. I chose a piece of music that facilitated reflection and contemplation of these moments, and how we can be present to them. I wanted a pace and tone of calm inspection, consciousness, and thoughtfulness.
My aim was to bring the viewer into these apparently simple and everyday moments. Because by being here, right here and now, we can facilitate great change. We can believe, we can overcome our struggles and we can avert disaster.
Kabat-Zinn, Jon. Full Catastrophe Living: Using the Wisdom of Your Body and Mind to Face Stress, Pain, and Illness. New York, N.Y.: Delta Trade Paperbacks, 1991.
Ulmer, Gregory. Electronic Monuments. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.