it is so pointless
I am always somewhere on the internet. I’m off Twitter for a bit and it’s actually kind of worse without it — I wasn’t taking it too seriously, liked a space to share thoughts and build upon it. I am still on Instagram where I also don’t really care and am sharing stuff every now and then.
I shared my kind of chaotic blog that essentials acts as the substitute for random thoughts, but am not sure if I should have made it that public.
Offline, I’m moving to San Francisco soon and am dealing with all the delusions I put on myself over the past year: that I would spend this summer working a million jobs (I didn’t and intentionally didn’t go for my work authorization until the last possible moment) or that rest would teach me new things (it really didn’t, which I distinguish from the practice of ‘conscious listening’ that I’ve been doing ever since leaning more into sound—I suppose I am someone who finds solace in making something for myself). Now I feel kind of unsettled with the lack of time I have here and guilty.
I spent the past two weekends at a cabin, then in New York, then here in my apartment alone. I will miss it so much. And I need to get rid of everything that I’ve touched. And I have a hard time parting with material things, especially when this is the first time I’ve learned to imbue so much of myself into physical space — which was important for me to feel like I can be connected with the world and what becomes of it.
I move to San Francisco on the 17th. I leave behind most of the people I know here, and all the people I have yet to meet. Most of my major life events are uneventful if not sad. I should be saying goodbye to the people I’ve encountered by proximity and wish to keep for longer, but I feel weird and no longer welcome and unnecessary. It’s the constant self-fulfilling prophecy of not reaching out and never being seen. It doesn’t hurt as much anymore though, kind of just living with it. It’s hard to reach for my phone or engage with people. I’m mostly keeping to myself these next weeks.
I took care of https://chia.design/ and have been starting to make a massive archive of my work. There’s a weird gap between 2013–2016 so far. Hmm. I don’t really know what I was doing then.
I like prolific portfolios and seeing quantity. We often talk about the adage of the ceramics class where the students who produce a hundred pots ended up with better work than those students required to produce one ‘perfect’ pot. I never liked portfolios that showed only polished highlights, in the same way that we never only like the polished highlights of a person. On paper, this will probably suck at me getting jobs — which is the intention of the website (though it kind of conflicts with http://ifyouknewmewouldyoulove.me/ rn, which I’ll fix to be more experimental and a collection of only ‘artsy’ pieces later). But most of my scrappy, smaller jobs and opportunities mentioned that they liked how much I’ve done. I even forego a lot of the impressive metrics in this, such as the gathering projects with Developh that took months of planning and congregated many. There’s still a lot more work to document and archive. Funnily enough, I learned that I was better at keeping record of my work in high school when I was designing for student councils and organizations than at Yale — where I’ve lost half of the work I’ve done and constantly spoke of how my high school had better extracurricular systems.
‘Gathering’ is a new word I settled on that I feel describes the work I do well. It was one of my wishes to take graduate-level ‘On Gathering‘ class in my last Spring 2022 semester, but I was taking seven classes in order to graduate (where the normal is 4–5, and I had to petition vigorously) and knew I wouldn’t really be able to be fully present and wouldn’t make much of it. All I want to do, I write, is to gather the people I love in one place.
I started a Patreon now that I’m legally allowed to do it. I had it set up for a long time and figured why not just publish it now. I think my output is consistent enough where it might be interesting to share, though I’m not expecting much from it. I’m planning to be most consistent with updates on research interests, talks, and projects there; as well as to solicit feedback and advice on what to prioritize since I have so much I want to build—and do tend to build it all.
If you do choose to support, the hobbies I’ve engaged in over the past year have made me accrue a lot of trinkets from prints, keychains, cassette tapes (mostly mixes, field recordings… very 1/1 stuff), and stickers that I’ve handmade that I’d love to spread around the world.
I’m going to do more comprehensive writeups on these soon that I’ll try to publish on Patreon, but here are some things I’ve done lately:
- I am making a gardening idle.
- I’ve been using up all my cassettes. The hiss from my shoebox recorder is unbearable.
- There was a piece about love that I was writing and then suddenly stopped because I felt weird and alone and then wrote all those sad things. I will get back to it soon.
- Developh is restarting programming, and I’ve been idly re-connecting, fixing institutional things, etc.
- I’m writing a series of talks for Developh with these topics that will come soon:
More people than usual have reached out in the past weeks… I’ve always been bad at getting back, mostly because I feel unworthy of anything. I’ve been feeling especially gloomy but I will try to get back soon amidst selling and moving. Thank you for remembering me.
One day last year I wrote post-it notes with moments I felt loved and put them all over my closet door. Last week I then ripped them all apart.
Lately I’ve been seething at the reduction of hatred as a fuel, which is ironic in itself.
How many times have I pushed for a better world because I resented the state of the people around me? I’m wondering how often the hemming of anger as a volatile, reckless force has shut down movements & time of radical revolt. I am thinking about how ‘respectability’ and ‘politeness’ has never brought me far. Worse, it is used as a silencing tactic to dismiss the concerns and voices of the marginalized.
I enjoy the small, beautiful, and tender things in life because there is so much darkness threatening to crush it that I must save it all from, and when my hands are battered — of course I allow myself to scream every now and then.
And how much of a life have I lived through because I wanted, despite the hatred I was given, to get to the other side? And because I had no other choice, but to reinvent a place to be of my making? To hate this body and resolve to find a better vessel for it? To hate all the bodies that have given a cruel vestige in front of us, to hate is to respect the stewards again, to make the possibility of choice available, to refuse to revel and to always ask — “is this all there is?”
I walked backwards and pressed my back against the dock, against a shrouded night only withheld because of human light, and wondered if this is all we choose to see. I and all the perspectives I bear of my making, I and the human hand that cups water perfectly & struggles to pierce itself, I to look keenly and because of that detest what has dampened the natural world. If we move towards the artificial, how do I make it of my own making… Because anger is often synonymized with powerlessness, whilst joy is reduced to immersion in the present — and thus some sense of complacency.
When I listen I want to feel richly interconnected and interdependent. I want to fall into this world, caught with all the human hands and the machines they have made to continue carrying this body—I want to continue, against all ideas of what ‘joy’ should be, to truly feel this sensation. I want to listen without settling. I want to be needed. I want to need things again.
My microphone sits with my body and we record the night. I do this to remember the feeling; to capture something true for the people I love, to capture a sound I hadn’t heard in ages. For a moment, I also remember the human quest for silence, e.g. the need to find spaces without human noise, to find natural ambience again.
And then again I felt most comfortable in times of struggle. Unlike many others, I can’t sit still knowing something is brewing, and this summer has affirmed that completely. When I bask in the world there must be a next step, for all in this world is something to be shared and given to another, for I know that when I listen deeply to the world there is someone who has never been afforded this sound and all I seek to do is share it with them.
So in this incomprehensible mess I think of: absence, complacency, neutralization, everything, nothing, all that I could be is all that I choose, that to me what is ‘momentous’ is everything, and that I must spend my whole life tossing this strength around, and that I cannot silence the little feeling of suffering but I can spend a lifetime ensuring that nobody feels the same sense of dread. That hatred might be love disguised, a possessed kind of love carrying every burden, a love sure to ignite but a love we fear for with ignition comes the extinguishment, because I dislike all the pieces of this world that have been shown that absence of love and care and believe that everything I have ever hated comes from a desire to rewrite, fix, hold, see differently.
I’m walking home knowing the soil deserves better.
I’m walking because the world is carrying me.
I want to pluck tender things and give them to my friends, offering bits of joy. Not just from myself, but out of the things I see and feel and hear and touch. Because my life has been so devoid of experience, I’ve learned to fill this rift in by making. I make the beautiful things to give to others.
This summer I was listening.
And I listened carefully to my heart and what ails it.
Where this rhythm has been conscious and giving me life, against all odds, from before I could remember. What made me cry when I was nine still makes me cry now. So much of this life is about giving, unasked for, until we cannot give any more ——
because I want to experience and know life for the sake of my friends,
because I want to create an experience and a way of seeing for the people I love,
because I want to challenge abnegation and see that nothing is irredeemable, even myself,
because I want to see the sky with all my friends knowing that shrouded or not, it is in clear view, it is something we can reach towards.
How much reaching do I have to wait for?
How much listening until I know that a thing is not worth it,
that a presence is only picking up the sickly and feasting on all the ills,
such that the presence does no good…
And I wanted to find light in every
and I wanted to find light
- Make a world
- And then leave it
Tuesday, August 16, 2022
so i find it so tragic when the movie posits that the girl remembers nothing; like how my heart blacks out when i wake up and text people asking if they remember something until they reassure me yes, where the worry is coming from; or my mind racing when i remember it and you don’t; why i think it’s disappointing to shrivel dying without being able to comprehend what’s in front of you — it must be a feeling worse than dead to me
so it mustn’t be bad to want to be remembered, to remember that i remembered. the desire might be inherently selfish, but what if i switch it around — to be remembered must mean that i left some indelible mark, if even momentarily
and i can’t remember anything good that happened to me in the past 22 years, and i still freak out at minor acts of kindness (thinking about men being offered cigarettes on death row and being so taken aback), and there must be a special kind of torture in being told you mean something without seeing any proof of it
I love every reason that I have to live
I love every reason that I have to leave
I love disappearing from everything
I need to find a way
I believe in this world so much
I believe in all the worlds I can live in so much