THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
This album is only available to stream Monday, April 1st, 2013 to Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013. It will then be removed from the internet, unreleased, and abandoned. A promise written in water.
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
/// /// /// /// /// /// http://kramran.bandcamp.com/album/the-pattern-of-abandonment
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
IN (an effort to) SYSTEMATIZE PT. I
04/01/2013 - 04/03/2013
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
IN VIDEO PT. IV
AVAILABLE FOR 3 DAYS ONLY
MONDAY, APRIL 1ST - WEDNESDAY, APRIL 3RD, 2013
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
IN TALK RADIO PT. I
ckuw 95. 9 // stream ckuw.ca // highbrow low blows
Sunday, March 31st, Noon.
V. THE ROUND TABLE SITS EMPTY
The round table sits vacant & on it lies nothing. There is a silent dance staged, a democracy of dread. You disappear.
No ally. No love.
A prayer for you to return, but where there was once salt there is now stone. You disappear. There is a democracy of dread & a republic of one. Come real talk you disappear.
I thought you were there for me but now you are… Gone.
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
IN WORDS PT. VI
available in 2 days for 3 days
04/01/2013 - 04/03/2013
IV. MEASURES OF AUSTERITY
Pull out when the baby of progress peaks, copping out, we could have been an empire. But everyone has a heavy curtain draped to a point - led by our hands and head to our knees, we meet at the bottom and curtained from the top. Empirical songs stripped to suit citizens; friends we are not.
You abandoned me for a liberal cushion of self-flagrant charitable comfort, smeared with self-aware hypocritical easy-out content. What nerve to be naive and believe your actions are without intent or effect, or merely micro they won’t produce psychopathic behaviour. Every exchange an electrical surge through my boiling veins.
Here there is no affectation, just now absolute depression. When the song stops I stop & black out – joining the masses, bed-ridden guilt: can’t whip it, can’t whip it… Whip it.
Don’t have the pleasure like you with a charade to alleviate the pattern in the maze. My finger doesn’t move. Please hold my hand and push me instead of just letting go.
The truth I uphold and I want to bash myself for what you inflict upon me and how I want to beat you in return, and leave you in the bloody pool of your patriarchy. But getting a grip, like you, disciplined to manipulate your biggest fear: the affliction of your abuse, your fat fucking function ploy to play dumb – but it only takes one tear to wash out the panic room you’re hiding in. On the outside you’re ugly, you’re a liar, you beat yourself, just like your petty, privileged parents did.
You’re a bitch with a mirror, but a babe with a safe. You’re a bastard with a mirror, but a saint with a safe. You’re a dictator with a mirror, but a prophet with a safe. I’m a self-righteous hypocrite with a mirror, but naked without a safe.
You let me down - I let down my trust, my beliefs, my hope, my discipline. You let me down, and I’ll take up arms (I’m sorry).
Heaven is just a panic room, but we’re all claustrophobic up to a point. Each a savage on their own but independently saved. Together we’re doomed - no dedication to the currents of dread, which is love for a friend. Every lover an escapist, mixing love as feelings, though feelings are only fleeting. Time’s trend is to break trust and then ties. The fear of loyalty, eternally tyrannized to one, or, tear a page out of promise and belief: one loss closer to fulfilled extinction.
THE PATTERN OF ABANDONMENT
IN WORDS PT. V
||||||||available for 3 days in 4 days||||||||
Things I learned while creating the first video for a track from cerebral post Canadian noise artist Kram Ran’s spring 2013 album The Pattern of Abandonment:
- I often begin the creation of small projects based on a whim which seems more personally amusing than artistically important only to find when I finish that I find a deep connection to a greater meaning in what I have created. I feel unable to know for certain if my projects are as significant as I perceive them because I suspect I am biased by pride and by guilt linked to the amount of time I devoted to them, but in some cases I feel fairly certain the projects were worth the invested time not only for me personally, but for others. I hope and believe this is true in the case of the video above, (Void).
- The way we transfer our own emotions onto those of animals (not to mention objects – I don’t want to compare animals to objects because I hate that idea, but we do do this as well) is similar to the way we transfer our emotions onto the people in our lives. I reject the idea of anthropomorphism because 1. in reality, it has been proven that animals do feel complex emotions and 2. we do not project “human” emotions only onto un-human beings, we also project personal emotions on to the human beings we see around us. Examples of this include meme images based on photographs of human beings. We take human expressions we see in these images and find patterns in them: ourselves, when the photos show a human individual who we do not know personally and who has no actual part in our catharses, and indeed, only made a certain expression for a split second in view of a camera as a matter of chance. Of course this pattern also exists in advertising photos and videos (a fashion model is trained to look outwardly the way consumers prefer to feel inside, be it sexy, fun, mysterious, etc, in order to sell clothing; an Amnesty International image of a war victim or starving child seeks to find in us our own pain and suffering, in pursuit of sympathy that will lead to forms of aid for their programs), but perhaps the most interesting application is our ability to transfer our own emotional experiences onto the face of the human beings we see within our personal lives, from strangers to lovers. When we see another being, no matter whom, emoting and we profess to understand, what do we really understand? Only ourselves.
- Working with imagery of animals in an emotional context was a new experience for me, and brought me happiness. In these animals I was able to find my most tender emotions, ranging from sad to joyful, and project them onto the images I was working with. Animals presented in a more sorrowful context, for example a (possibly doctored) crying cat, still touched a place of positive emotion: an acceptance of sadness rather than an outrage, because no context of cruelty had been set into place, so the emotion was presented as abstract and symbolic. My hope was other viewers of the video, like all viewers who enjoy animal gifs, animal meme images, animal listicles, etc, would feel these positive emotions as well. As no set backstory has erected a context for sympathy, the emotions the animals can be seen to portray exist only for the purpose of our attempt to connect with them.
- In his upcoming album The Pattern of Abandonment, Kram Ran has been working with the concepts of abandonment, finding inspiration in the seemingly cold, indifferent (here we find emotional transference) architectural renderings of airports, where the act of leaving is carried out thousand or millions of times each day, and where complicated systems and patterns keep complicated mechanics and schedules running smoothly. In TPOA Kram Ran, a noise and electronic musician whose primary interest is emotion, investigates the patterns of human abandonment which mirror these frigid airport diagrams: the concept of a “cold shoulder”: an unemotional departure or shunning occuring at an inopportune or undesirable moment.
- To be abandoned is to be disappointed, and to be disappointed is one of the most difficult parts of human life, from childhood to adulthood. Entire pockets of culture are dedicated to the psychological effects of disappointment, from TV dramas (GIRLS, Hoarders) and film (Wes Anderson, Roy Andersson – not to compare the two) to music (Radiohead, the punk, sad-core, pop-punk, emo, and scream-o genres) and to literature (Bukowski, Plath, Steinbeck). While there are many occurances to be profoundly disappointed by in one’s lifetime, many of which are on a political and economic level, abandonment is perhaps disappointment’s most human and compelling facet or source. We can feel abandoned not only from our family and social relations, but from employers, educational institutions, government, corporate identities, and even society at large. Often the emotions one would feel at abandonment by one’s mother or father can be easily transferred to abandonment by a comparatively non-personal entity such as a corporate company. Abandonment by a lover or a government, for instance, can lead to severe depression, or in some cases violence. While abandonment is not an emotion in itself, it is connected to some of our strongest negative emotional responses.
- For the video (Void), feeling a connection between my own history of abandonment and Kram Ran’s investigation, I found gif images which I connected with in a strong emotional way. Images which do not portray feelings of disappointment portrayed, to me, the experiences which come prior to disappointment such as intimacy (raccoon and cat), and camaraderie (two pug dogs), or suggested aspects of being abandoned, such as the dog shaking water from its fur. I also chose images which I perceived to be cute, as to be portraying the concept of abandonment meant establishing an emotional connection with the viewer beyond images of sadness or devastation: abandonment disappoints most when it creeps up on us and attacks us at our most vulnerable moments, when we ourselves feel small. I will include a list of what each gif I worked with came to represent to me in the context of (Void).
- All the gifs I used were created by other human beings who also felt these animals were displaying emotions they themselves had experienced. It is interesting to me that human beings are driven to create these gifs and share them. Like many acts on the internet, the act of sharing such an image is an act of sharing transference. When we feel that we are projecting the same remembered emotion onto the same image as someone other than ourselves, we feel connected. For instance, what is the rabbit doing? To me the rabbit is shaking his head in a negative response, as if to say simply “no”. Perhaps to someone else, he is “dancing”, as he seems to shake his head as if in time to a rhythm. If I were to share this image with someone who saw the rabbit as dancing, and the person simply expressed enjoyment of the image, might I assume that this person had seen and enjoyed, like me, a rabbit displaying the act of refusal? Might this person assume I shared the image because I saw a rabbit dancing? The meaningfulness of our sharing an act of emotional transference or “anthropomorphism” is then diluted by our separate interpretations. In this way images can be a disastrous form of attempted human communication: while we both enjoyed the image of the rabbit, we have built an assumed connection with each other’s perception which does not exist. Perhaps upon reading this you will project pathos and your own disappointing experiences onto this example. I believe in general images do have an enormous capability of bringing us together, and this accounts for the success of image sharing culture both online (gifs, Tumblr) and offline (the MOMA, silent film) – and of my eagerness to collect these images, all made by others, for my own use in (Void) – yet it is important to remember that, like fine art, gifs are not an infallible way to establish rapport with other human beings.
- Structurally speaking Kram Ran’s song (Void) is largely loop-based music, and features at its forefront sounds played backwards, so a seamless loop-based video which included images moving backwards is a logical accompaniment. I realized this shortly before the video was completed, while working with an image of a polar bear falling up a hill. Loop based images also work within their own patterns, and as I tried to display abandonment, I found myself working with patterns, which of course I eagerly tied to Kram Ran’s album title, The Pattern of Abandonment. I mused too on how it was the elements of abandonment I’d observed in the images that made me choose them (for instance, a young polar bear slides on the ice while following its parent: if it doesn’t keep up it could be abandoned) and I could only recognize these elements based on the patterns of abandonment I’d observed myself: perhaps a young animal who can’t keep up with its mother will be abandoned and perhaps if I can’t keep up economically or emotionally with my social circle, I will be, and have experienced being, abandoned. This relates, as I hope you will see all my other points above do, to my first point: while making a video based on a whim which seemed to me rather silly (making and enjoying animal gifs are read as frivolous pastimes in our culture) I found that there were substantial themes at play in my work, both technically and philosophically.
Animals as I perceive them:
- Raccoon: Included not because of transferred abandonment but because he symbolizes the musician, in this case Kram Ran, working with patterns to create the basis of the video (Void), that being the song (Void). He could be channeling his feelings of abandonment into song, but we do not see any perceivable history or future of abandonment in the raccoon.
- Pug on the Beach: The pug attempts to shake water off its fur, onto which I project either the act of an attempt to forget past disappointment or failure and or the act of outcasting – abandoning – another being.
- Puppy and Cat: The young puppy lavishes attention on the cat, who does not reciprocate. I project both the emotions of the puppy, seeking affection, and the emotions of the cat, seeking to be left alone. I am connected to a sense of sadness for the puppy’s isolation, and a sense of shame: I have been both puppy and cat, and regret inflicting my need for affections on parties for whom my feelings were unrequited.
- Bear: Shy and afraid, perhaps of rejection. Perhaps hiding from me; in the act of my rejection.
- Monkey: Appears insecure, confused, and frightened, much like how I have felt after being abandoned. Its lonesome state is only heightened by the fact it is being given a bath: paid attention to in a way it does not desire. Its wide eyes also remind me of the confused eyes of people who have abandoned me in the past, feigning innocence in response to my disappointment.
- Swimming Pug: Appears insecure, confused, and frightened, much like how I have felt after being abandoned. The pug’s lonesome state is only heightened by the fact it is being held above water: paid attention to in a way its worried eyes suggest he does not desire. Its paws mark the repetition that suggests the pattern of repeated injustices, as well as the idea of having to carry on despite them. A tired resolution is evoked.
- Baby Penguin: Running to and fro again suggests the pattern of life’s repeated injustices, as well as the idea of having to carry on despite them. A tired resolution is evoked. Added to this is the effect of the penguin’s youth: we are abandoned and hurt even in life’s early stages, and these abandonments are often what we remember as most painful.
- Baby Pig: Like the Pug on the Beach, the pig shakes vigorously, onto which I project either the act of an attempt to forget past disappointment or failure and or the act of outcasting – abandoning – another being.
- Two Pugs Running: Perhaps the most important image in the video. Two pugs run and play. The images are rapid, then slower, then in one-eighth speed slow-motion, which is a visual trope often used in our culture to suggest a memory. The camaraderie and joy of the pugs is presented as something that has now past. The final frames show the fawn coloured pug alone, yet it seems to be unaware of any impending harm. I often have fond memories of those who have abandoned me, and these memories become psychologically confusing and toxic.
- Raccoon and Cat: It is difficult to tell how the cat feels towards the raccoon’s intimate and tender caress. Onto the images I project times when I have accepted the embraces of those I later abandoned rather cruelly, and times I have lavished affection on those who later showed themselves to be disinterested in my affection, and who abandoned it, and me. Again, memories of these moments of intimacy before abandonment or abandoning become confusing and sting.
- Crying Cat: Perhaps Kram Ran’s least favourite of the images I included in the video as we can neither prove nor confirm the reality of the tear. I kept this image because of the intensity the emotional projection it can stir is so high it could be perceived as ridiculous, and at my most upset and disappointed, I have felt like, and behaved as, a ridiculous being. Meanwhile in my heart, I do not feel ridiculous.
- Polar Bear Falling: As I stated earlier, the polar bear falls, obviously counter to physics, both upwards and downwards, as elements of the song (Void) also play both forwards and backwards. The polar bear evokes a feeling of failure and loss of control, which are often post-abandonment emotions. The repetition and upward motion leading to downward motion that suggest the pattern of repeated hopes leading to injustices, as well as the idea of having to carry on despite them.
- Penguin Falling: Much like the polar bear falling (see above), but add to this that the penguin, traditionally and in this case, is perceived by our culture as projecting ideas of stoicism and dignity via its upright posture and tuxedo-like colouring. To see it fall repeatedly touches my own sense of dignity and reminds me of times I have lost it, perhaps after being abandoned in some way.
- Hedgehog: Lies listlessly on its back as subtle water currents move both itself and the rubber items in the basin. Much like the previous animals, the hedgehog evokes a feeling of loss of control. Perhaps the hedgehog would like to get out of the water, but it cannot. Perhaps because it has been abandoned, or feels it has been. I remember times I have felt as though I am on my back being swept to and fro by a current with no one to help me after being abandoned.
- Baby Polar Bear: Stretches with its eyes tightly shut. If we see it as joyful, perhaps it is free of sadness after a long time of being depressed after being abandoned, or perhaps it has just abandoned someone (less likely due to its vulnerable youthful appearance). If we see unhappiness, the polar bear may also be in great pain, completely over taken physically by an emotional affliction caused by abandonment. My confusion over how to feel for the polar bear relates to confusion I have felt in reading other beings in abandonment situations.
- Fox and Dog: Like the little polar bear, there are different ways to read this image. Perhaps like the Pugs Running, the dog and fox are friends who will experience abandonment later. Or perhaps the dog feels as though the fox has leapt over him and abandoned him already, energetic, selfish, and callous compared to the dog’s slow, unsure movements.
- Rabbit: I have addressed the complexities that might ensue from viewing the Rabbit in detail above. To me, the Rabbit is emitting a negative response: saying “no”. It could be saying “no” in an act of rejection while abandoning (and isn’t this how I see those who abandon me: looming over my head and saying “No, No, No” in response to my identity?), or it could be saying “no, don’t abandon me”; “no, I can’t believe I have been abandoned”; or, humorously, “no, I don’t wish to be in this video, why have you abandoned my image in it”.
- Third Raccoon: Shakes its head to a rhythm which suggests repeated abandonments. A serious expression could suggest either cruelty – the act of abandoning – or depression caused by repeated abandonments and the realization that abandonment is a fact of life. The brisk repetition also suggests this acceptance of fate. The briefness yet intensity of this clip suggests we do not hold on to a calm acceptance of life’s cruelty for very long before slipping back into an emotionally vulnerable state; or that the actual act of abandonment takes only a brief amount of time, but can have a great impact.
- Pug With Tongue: A second appearance of the artist, or a symbol for him. While I hope The Pug with Tongue appears to be singing, it may also be telling a story of a personal abandonment.
- Baby Polar Bear On Ice: The baby bear attempts to keep up with a larger bear, likely its parent. On a foreword/backward loop as it appears here, the bear appears to be forever sliding closer and further away from its goal of keeping up. As I addressed above, anxiety to keep up with other beings is often based in a fear of being abandoned. The bear’s youth also evokes our fears of being abandoned while in a vulnerable state, or of seeing this happen to others.
- Dog on Swing: Couldn’t have gotten there by itself, yet we don’t observe the being who put it there. It seems the dog may have been abandoned in a place it neither understands nor sees a clear way out of. I remember times I have felt this way and it is a severe form of abandonment. The repetition of the swing suggests repeated injustices (a pattern of abandonment leading to a tragic sense of familiarity), as well as the idea of having to carry on despite them.
- Cat and Dog: The cat seems to attempt to show affection to the dog, who sits resolutely and continues to ignore the cat; thanks to the looping pattern and the clip’s placement at the video’s end, this seems to continue infinitely. I am reminded of the hopelessness of human connection and the abandonment I have felt even while I am comparatively close or intimate with other beings. To be abandoned is not always to be given a wide berth from the abandoner.
It is almost (but not) without warning I abandon you here.