You are camera: I deny you ownership

I am not - have never been - possession of 'eye'.
Once you have recognized that you are your own abstraction you will cease to perceive me as image.


Ruela said...

I like it a lot!

Pete Hoge said...

Interesting that you told me
it is a photograph because I
thought it was an animation cell.

My comment, "not sure", to Ruela's
image was not meant to be snide or
dismissive, more of a response to
the image itself, as in," I cannot
read lips very well".

Perhaps I was being silly.

I appreciate what you say, and no
I do not think it is morally
bankrupt though I am quite conservative in general.

If there was a vibrator near the
lips then I might have thought it
was such.



Iryna Harpy said...

Misinterpretation on my behalf then, Pete. My sincerest apologies for underestimating you.

Unfortunately, I think it is reflective of a deeply biased mind. Due to experiences throughout my life I have become deeply suspicious of religious people. I have 52 years behind me of trying to be a decent human being but being surrounded by religious people who want to 'convert' me in order to save me from the horrors they believe will befall my 'immortal soul'. The onus of proof of a God of any description somehow fell on me (that is, it was supposedly up to me to disprove His/Its existence).

It's quite ludicrous, don't you think? You have been put in a position of having to apologise for your beliefs and the assumption that any of your opinions are coloured by your being a religious person as if you were one dimensional. I, on the other hand, am reading you as being a one dimensional human being because you are religious. All I truly understand is that Christ would have kicked both of our butts for being idiots!

Oh, and I can tell you that had there been a vibrator near the lips I would not have been offended whereas my husband, a 'devout atheist', would have been. He his 'quite conservative in general', too.

Iryna Harpy said...

PS Communication exclusively via these forums isn't conducive to humour and that's a pity. I've been caught out trying to be funny/clever so often that I seem to spend most of my internet time apologising for levity being misread as insult.

After so many years, you might think I'd learnt not to misread... don't think it's going to happen. My mind takes over where good sense should be deployed...


Pete Hoge said...

I have not taken anything you
have said in an offensive way
yet because I sense that you
dwell in the light.

I don;t try and convert anyone
but I also don't apologize for
the power of the Christian faith.

I leave all that for another blog
and people who are with me on
that can talk to me there.

Art blogging is for," art".

and then religion has it's place
in another spot.


Iryna Harpy said...

Art is a reflection of our society, hence - as a member of society - your religious beliefs must be taken into account.

That is my way of telling you that I accept you and everything that constitutes 'you' as being acceptable to your response to art. Your agenda is also, obviously, as someone who dwells in the light. Our interpretations of the 'light' may differ but I feel that the fundamental humanity and humility are the same.

I'm more than happy to make a pact with you: I will accept and respect your opinions as being part of the complexity of a whole being. I won't apologise for not being a Christian and I will be offended by you only if you apologise for your Christian beliefs.

We are all far too complex to be defined by any single absolute.

Anonymous said...

Visual orientation is a perpetual mystery, the exploration of which I find delicious and motivational.
What, if any, is the kinship of image and actuality? Peel away the surface, is there not further imagery? Is there anything to you but what I see? You may say yes, that you are not my image, but what can I know of that other than what I see/understand? Is it just me; is it possible to perceive without imagery? And thus actually Know the person behind the appearance?

I'm reminded of a woman I once met, and initially I found her beautiful, very attractive; I wanted her. I worked my way into her presence, her company, her confidence, and gradually got to know her, more of what she was like as a person. I found her personality, her innards as a person unappealing, and although she was unchanged physically, I no longer experienced her appearance as beautiful.
Still, did I come to truly know her, or simply "see" enough otherwise that my image of her was altered?

I seek an understanding, a perception of the truth of reality that does not destroy the images I love so much, but rather retains them in the context of a comprehension of what sense they actually make.

Wuaugh! I feel like I'm in a rowboat with one paddle.

I've got the hots for your avatar and this pic just exacerbates the situation! ;-p

Anonymous said...

Please don't pull your images because of my reaction. If you've read my latest comment on "Master Plan?" just bear in mind, I'm looking out through a dirty window.


Iryna Harpy said...

No, I haven't heard the one about the hillbillies seeing an elevator for the first time? Did it lift their spirits or where they impressed by how big city apartments are?

Don't be concerned, mad-ecker, I'm too self-immersed & arrogant to pull images of myself out of feeling that I'm tweaking strings I should feel embarrassed about tweaking.

What I look like is what I look like. I know it may sound strange but I have NEVER been comfortable with my physical appearance which is why I have chosen to become a parody of what a woman should look like. Apparently, we're born with strangely arched feet shaped perfectly for high heels.

I've probably noted this before to you but, as our conversations have become something of a grab-bag of, "I'm sure he told me...", and "Where did she say that...", my main consideration in life has been being appreciated for my intellect. Being appreciated for my physical appearance truly annoys me yet, as I age, I realise that becoming 'old' will disempower me in a way I've never been prepared for.

The photo above is now about 15 years old. My avatar is about 2 or 3 years old. Basically, I still look very much as I have since reaching adulthood.

This society puts an enormous amount of pressure on females to be physically beautiful: whatever that means. I'm serious about being disparaging about 'physical beauty'. By the time I was a teenager I realised that I only noticed any given person's appearance for 5 minutes... after that, I saw them as themselves (some sort of abstract concept far more reliant on who they were as human beings as opposed to the image/initial reaction they elicited). For me, this still remains the case. One thing I do know about myself, aside from how smart and stupid I truly am, is that I have powerful talent at analysing and recognising people for who they are very, very quickly. Achilles' heel? I can see yours and, as a courtesy, I'll show you mine.

How does this bear on what you're trying to establish about yourself? Self-analysis is, for me, the most agonizing ongoing feature of my life. I am merciless and (well, just plain cruel) to and about myself. I've established myself in a world where I thought I'd let the great nothingness take me over and believed that, if I survived, I would be spat out at the other end somehow wiser about my expectations of life and myself. In fact, I did survive and came out the way I secretly suspected I would: with the same building blocks having to put myself together again.

Whoa. This is such a difficult venue in which to discuss the many points/question/demands and hopes of yourself. I feel as if I can only impart my opinion by writing a thesis...

We all form relationships which meet different demands. The complexity of our psyche is, as you implied about the woman you'd obviously believed yourself to have fallen in love with, a terribly confusing one. The temptation, no matter how old and experienced we get, is to want to believe that that moment in our existence represents everything we need to sustain a balance between ourselves and the complex relationship we have with life and the trivia that truly constitutes our existence. Moments fade. Certain expectations are met... for that point in time.

I've yet to meet a person who hasn't been involved in a relationship where, after breaking up, they couldn't understand what they'd seen in the other person. Often enough, they're astounded at the fact that they'd found that person attractive in any sense and express gratitude at having gotten away...

Iryna Harpy said...


I've rambled on here, Mr Decker. In these ramblings I feel that I've addressed something of what you're grappling with. I also know that, once you feel that you've articulated and come to terms with one issue (it's always the issue that seems to be THE one), another potential 'epiphany' begs to be addressed. Process is process is process. We exist until we cease to exist. We have the dubious privilege of looking back at prior processes and believing them to have been addressed and purged. We, as a species, are very good at creating emotional armour.

One empirical fact I am aware of, and have never felt the need to dispute, is that men and women perceive things differently. I don't care whether this is nature versus nurture, it is a reflection of the beings we become as we age within the bodies of the sex we were born into: men are extremely visually driven (i.e., heterosexual or homosexual) it is the physical attributes of a potential sexual partner that trigger their lust. Women, on the other hand, tend to be driven by a sense of trust. While I like the look of a hard, male body, I am more engaged with the emotional security... Bollocks! I like a hard male body! I LOVE a soft, curvaceous female body...

Sorry, I digressed. Ultimately, I see a parallel in your having found the dirty window within yourself and my own falling into the darkest, dirtiest recess in my mind from which I observe and attempt to reconstruct the dirt & ugliness with beautiful words.

How to finish? I know I've only addressed superficial aspects of the conversation we've been elaborating on but I'm a little tired and have had a little too much fermented potato juice while writing to you. I know you're struggling through some point in your life and I don't know you well enough to get to the bottom of it. The best I can do at this juncture is to refer you to a piece a wrote such a long time ago that I barely remember being that person. Nevertheless, every time I re-read it the honesty hits me and I can only wish that I could tighten it up a little more yet, to do so any further (I'm terribly anal-retentive) would probably destroy the honesty. It's a prose-poem called, "A Play for One Actor and One Person." It's not a long or difficult read. You're certainly not obligated to read it... It's just a suggestion. It is the closest to who I imagine myself to be. Relationships and recognition of self in desiring a relationship is probably the most agonising state of being human that can be. My understanding, whether it sits comfortably with me or not, hasn't changed. There is the first recognition then, as I have been taught by the amazing womenfolk who brought me up, there is only compromise. We all have to compromise with ourselves or learn to despise ourselves and wonder at what we ever saw in ourselves... or, we have to accept ourselves and still carry a little love for the person/persons we believed ourselves to be when we were prepared to observe ourselves through our safe, dirty windows or the clean, open infinity we believed/probably still want to believe could be our lot before we cease to exist:


- Hugs from the Harpy

Anonymous said...

I just read your play.

I just watched a short movie(in me head, yeah)based on your play. I usually have to let such things settle and grow through another sleep before my opinion is clear enough to articulate...

I need(irony unintentional) more time... ;-)

Iryna Harpy said...

No pressure, mad-ecker! Through a short span of dialogue, we've raised quite a few points which, on the surface, seem to be intertwined yet are hefty and need to be addressed separately before the common denominator can be extracted from the tangents than spin off in innumerable directions from the basic discussion. For me, it only proves that the complexity of our evolution doesn't allow for simple answers.

I was, ultimately, attempting to address that sense coming from the pit of your stomach (or wherever hiding in the recesses of self and watching/reproducing the world without being able to identify location other than metaphor exists).

As an example, I've been in contact with an incredibly talented and erudite writer/charcoaler for a few years. I truly believed he had a grasp of what the 'nothingness' means. He suffered a serious coronary last year and suddenly lost his taste for life. At this point, I realised that he'd never experienced the truth of the nothingness outside of intellectual theory. His beautiful wife and wonderful grandchildren ceased to mean anything because he hadn't truly lived the chaos. Suddenly, he expressed himself in an explosion of words and sense of being completely alone in his understanding of being... and how terrifying it truly is... but he isn't alone. He re-read old blogs and responses and felt some sense of comfort in realising that he IS understood.

I can't offer remedies. I still live in this reality and only came out of allowing myself to be chewed up and spat out by the chaos with the same, basic building blocks I entered with. No epiphanies; no revelations.

The 'play' (which is really not a play but a short story/prose-poem) is the best I could come up with to connect with you and human expectations. There are NO ABSOLUTES, NO ANSWERS: whatever you make of the two characters will not save either. IS just IS.

Anonymous said...

OK. I don't believe anybody, or tradition, what-have-you, that claims absolutes anyway.

The play/poem/story I find very well written and deliciously hallucinatory/dreamlike. I'm ...well of course I'm not sure if it's allegory or disguised autobiography, or maybe a creative twist of both. Definitely has that didactic quality you speak of elsewhere. Feels like it to me anyway, but that may be because I instinctively inject myself into any story I read or view, identify with any character whose view or experience is being presented. So it inspired a good bit of reflection for me, and I appreciate that.
I have to admit though, however logical and seriously interesting I find every mention of The Void/Chaos/Nothingness I come across, it as yet remains theoretical for me. And while I can sit here and say I would have joined the woman outside to enjoy the nothingness, that I believed her when she said it was quite beautiful, the fact is I don't really know that I could have...

You did really good work there, Iryna. Better than OK, methinks.

Iryna Harpy said...

Well, I didn't doubt for one moment that you'd recognise the amalgam of allegory & disguised autobiography in the piece, Messy Decker.

It's interesting that you feel distanced from 'The Void/Chaos/Nothingness' because, for me, I felt it (and still 'feel' it) to such an extent that I decided to leap into it and let it chew me up and spit me out.

While I detest the philosophical concept that manifests as solipsism, I cannot tolerate the notion of bourgeois projection in either life or reflected in the arts. I have a 'friend' from university days who persists in perceiving that 'there's a good short story in that'. He is the one who took the photograph (which I reinterpreted with 'tart', 'whore', 'image' before settling on 'Harpy' for this image).

He is also the same person who I have had to take to court 2 years ago because, after more than 30 years of knowing each other, is still obsessed with me as 'image'. I have won an intervention order against him for 10 years... & it breaks my heart that it had to come to this because he became a threat to everyone I'm close to (and I'm talking about a serious threat).

Ultimately, Mr D, the image was a rejection of his wanting to OWN me. Such a concept, in itself, is repugnant. The fact is that he wanted to BE me.

My recognition of 'self' as "Persona" (yes, you are free to interpret this as being the Bergman film) was a catalyst for truly feeling the nothingness/void/etc. and deciding to act on it. For me, 'the arsehole of the great nothingness' ceased to be an academic proposition. I wanted to be swallowed by everything I knew to be a lie and find out what I would come out as 'being' at the end of the process (if I survived, which is something I truly doubted in itself). Well, I survived after over a decade of pure, unadulterated self-destruction. I WAS spat out, eventually, as barely differing from the 'self' that I entered as.

The point I was trying to make in my usual, convoluted and over-analytical way, was that epiphanies are rubbish. The character who was so smug and determined that stepping outside would provide absolute perspective (in as much as that character could never have a true perspective) is one that cannot exist: an ideal engrossed in its own superiority.

In that sense, I asked you to read the piece because you seem to be going through a phase where you are attempting to step outside of the dirty window onto the world and find peace. I don't believe that it exists. Analysis is simply another methodology for distancing 'self' from 'self'.

We are all confused, flawed beings. Every time we think we've found a new approach to understanding ourselves we are merely stepping outside of a moment/the moment. There are no revelations. I completely understand/empathise with your desire to fathom the complex/simplistic being that is the 'self'. I do not, for one moment, believe that any approach can achieve anything other than a further distancing. We can be superstitious (even if we wish to believe that it's an empirical approach to understanding the forces that drive us). We can try to accept ephemera as the only true driving force. Neither will ever be satisfactory.

We ARE. What we ARE and the desire to understand the machinations is a load of bollocks.

This is me speaking from my own experience. I know that I can't vouch for my emotio-intellect. All I can do is BE until I cease. Such is life.

Is discharge Dada? No, it is not. Influenced by and with a similar attitude to, but not Dada..

Is discharge Fluxus? No, it is not. Influenced by and with a similar attitude to, but not Fluxus.

Is discharge art for intellectuals? No, discharge is for anyone and everyone who appreciates creativity in all its myriad forms. Be it static visual, audio or moving image; the written word or the deconstructed, non-linear form. The spoken word and noise.

All creativity is the springboard for discharge. It highjack’s a multitude of genres and disciplines and transposes them onto the internet. discharge is electronically transmitted art, be it via blog, myspace or whatever format possible, it can also be produced and seen in classic formats.

The discharge Chapbook. The discharge Building by Parts book. discharge has no rules. All contributors to discharge are responsible adults. discharge has no leaders although it has an elected body of rotating editors who oversee rather than dictate the flow of the group.

The aim of discharge is to profile creative people and to do away with the pretension of the art world. Everyday people creating art everyday to an exceptional quality.

Art by barrow boys and girls. discharge is international.