April 3rd, 2020
The Matrix was released March 31, 1999.
I am not a science fiction fan—or a fan of
disaster movies—these movies certainly
shaped the generations that have been
fed these Hollywood block busters—
the cool characters—fighting the big enemies
with huge cache of guns—and weapons—
with scenes of crushing violence–and
yes a love scene at the end to give
hope to the victor—these Matrix -like movies
are like corn-bread for the soul
—these flicks flashed across
the screens of the world —Now all
the guns of the world are hard pressed
to fight COVID-19. We isolate and
hide from something we cannot see—
how bizarre is this ??-while we hunker-
down in our bunkers. I have hope—
as we rise up and face these challenges
that are not made in movie studios but
in real time and real space.
Now as we sit alone in our cave I am
reminded of Plato and the CAVE theory—
(illusion is the force that keeps us from
reality.) Edison gave us light-movies
and a record player—Darwin
gave us the notion of the survival of
the fittest—so does the Matrix—Mr. Trump
and the neo-liberalists—but perhaps we need to
revisit these gun slinging concepts—
are we all about HIGH NOON— or
maybe we re-read Plato.
—I guess you are
wondering what does this have to do
with the MATRIX—the red pill and
the blue pill and the choice between this
and that—perhaps there is a third
choice—the green pill—the one that
is the cure for what ails us!!!—okay
enough—I am in the cave with the
Cat J.J. we are working this all out
and trying to see the truth of the time
that we are now witnessing—
in the time of COVID-19
April 2nd, 2020
Time & Chance :
here we are now swept
up in the snare — this is an evil time
and the New Testament says it well:
“The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor the bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of
Nor favor to men of skill:
But time and “chance
happen to them all.
For “man also does not know
Like the fish taken in a cruel
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are
snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon
March 29th, 2020
Oedipus and now-.
I was thinking about Oedipus Rex —the play from the
mind of Sophocles—and how he writes about the sick
state of Thebes. The play opens:
Oedipus enters and says that he wants to hear from
the people himself—not though messengers—
what is their grief?—the Priest says in short:
“Thebes is tossed on a murdering sea
And can not lift her head from the death surge.
…The god of plague and pyre
raids like detestable lightning through the city,
and all the house of Kadmos is laid waste,
all emptied, and all darkened: Death alone
battens upon the misery of Thebes.”…
…Find us our safety, find us a remedy,…
…keep the state from going down in storm!..
No man questions your power to rule the land:
but rule over men, not over a dead city!!
Ships are only hulls, citadels are nothing,
When no life moves in the empty passageways.”
(translations by FITTS & FITZGERALD)
This is the opening of Oedipus Rex—a play that
I have thought about for many years—since reading
this play and seeing productions —now more
then ever I am being haunted by the text.
Oedipus Rex has been tagged by Mr. Freud —
the Oedipus Complex has been the defining of a
great play which is more than about Oedipus having
made love to his mother—(unknowingly) It is a play
similar to Ibsen’s GHOSTS —a play is about
a mother and a son—the son has contracted
a disease (unknowingly) that he has inherited
from his father—Oswald has come home to die
and the terrible reality of what he has inherited
is visited upon him and the truth of the past has
to be faced by the mother and the son.
Both plays focus on the end as plays and narratives
always do—BUT I would like to focus on the start
of these plays—the start of each play is about the
past—and the past is prologue
in both Oedipus Rex & Ghosts—the past of
actions of the state and the father.
Both —Oedipus and Oswald
are victims of things of the father’s actions—we are now
witness to a pandemic — we are victims of—
the illness of the state is the result of greed and
an all consuming life where we have plundered
the planet by over producing and living in an
unconscious manner—and now we are sleeping
unknowingly with our mother and now after blinding
ourselves after the realization– we can hope to see—
it is maybe one more
chance for us to correct the damage done
and let the planet have a chance to sustain
us once again—or do we live in isolation and fear
forever? Oswald’s last words of the play are:
“mother give me the sun”.
March 26th, 2020
Comfort food for All.
Democracy in action.
As of March 19th, 2020
TSL has provided food for the community—
this project is funded by generous people
and foundations as well as volunteers
and our small and mighty staff here at
TSL. As you may or may not know ever
since TSL has been a part of this Hudson
Valley community we have played many
roles as a resource for support of people
who love art/culture and those who have
limited access to the basics of life—we have
sent kids to camp—we have provided
gardens—trips to events for young people-
provided music-art-and yes bench making
for the young people in our community—
And we have been home to young people fresh
out of school providing a space to work and
learn and practice the love of the theater–
we have been a place of refuge for many
here who have been left out cut out
and simply put out—NOW in this time
of Pandemic Crisis we are providing
a space to make food to the community
—-this is lasagna—and the famous
pot pies —comfort food—the great
democratic food that we all love—
AND we are open to serve everyone—all
delivered or picked up—by the mighty
TSL Staff led by chef Tyler
supported by Kevin, Jeff, Claudia,
Linda & More—anyone want to donate
or volunteer as delivery or want to
give donations of food reach out
via the TSL firstname.lastname@example.org
e-mail…We have great hope that
as a community we can work together
to conquer this harm that has visited
us all—we are forced into isolation
and made to be fearful—but we can
rise above this by reaching out….be
it a phone call or a letter or an e-mail
or a shout or a wave —
we need to communicate now more
than ever…don’t give up.
March 22nd, 2020
March 22, 2020
We have to look at the moment. Time is. Imagine that there is no answer.
And if the answer is not now then it is all illusion.
Illusion is why we believe. Without illusion we face the moment.
If the moment is longer than we could ever imagine then it is suspension.
We are now beyond existentialism—the favorite word of late—
We are now in the land of super-real—the super real is the
über fact that we are witnessing a changing time in the
life times of all of us—this is not a war or a bomb but a
transformation of how we live in the extreme—no hoarding
can fix this problem.
We can only devour our reflection and
get rid of narcissism.
The individual now must go to sleep
and the group emerge—
if we are to change the picture.
My cat has 9 lives and I have one.
Risk is now at all of our tables.
March 20th, 2020
What’s going on?
Right now here and now and now and here is what is going on in my little dash of the planet that we occupy.
TSL is closed to programming—however it is open to serve food
starting March 19th and continuing—offering comfort food at an affordable price—
no one is turned away—in addition our book store is open and we have some great books—
if you want to have a list of our selections you can give us a call or we can
order a book for you—and our dvd/cd store is open for shopping—it can be accessed by appointment–
or we can send you a list of our titles and make them available for you to be picked up or
sent/via mail. The suppers are $5.00 and are right now offered on Thursdays and Fridays
the menu changes—-As for movies at TSL we are closed right now for an indefinite period
of time —however we are hoping to maintain a limited staff and keep TSL alive working
on being a space that is serving the community in which we live and work.
People are in a state of shock and this shock and isolation will create another after shock
as this virus spreads throughout the nation and the world. We need to remember that
we must be strong and creative and share some empathy and understanding—how to
survive and rebuild is key—and this time a bail out must go to the bottom and the middle
class first—no more trickledown non-sense—it failed in 2008 and it is now going to
fail again if we don’t rebuild the systems—put money in rail roads/public transportation,
and build a green economy—that is for starters. As for employing people —this is the
long haul—bottom line is we need to build robust communities and seek ways of
sustaining these circles. The gig economy as we see has its limits….we need to be
more mindful of our social circles that can support one another.
March 20, 2020 the beginning of Spring.
March 16th, 2020
The day that the earth stood still seems to be upon us. Life has changed in an instant.
We now long for a normal—but normal has shifted out of our reach—were we not warned??
Yes–when the nation elected the president who imagined himself a leader with no vision we were on a path with no return—a man providing the perfect solution that matched the glare of the television —a blinding bright illusion that blinded the voters —a faker who snookered the nation —now the Corona Virus has delivered us into a state of shock—Naomi Klein predicted these states of shock in her writings—she told us what happens to the nation when the shock passes resulting in a loss for the “people” (like the Patriot Act after 9/11)—but this time perhaps it is different—the shock will result in a change that we have not yet seen in my life time—a shock that will remind us that literature exists -generosity is —and human kindness is not bought at Amazon. We can imagine that the heart is more than a pump in our left breast but it too is empathetic and regrets war —YES the standing still and a pattern of hold is perhaps what we have in fact been waiting for ever since the world just simply got too fast—we are in the gaze of the corona—the fire and the light—right now it is blinding—but like Shakespeare’s Gloucester who gouges out his eyes because seeing is blinding—we are now here in this stasis—we wait and we wait and we wait—Godot has left the stage and now we have to find out how to reimagine the world—perhaps we have one more chance to get it right?
March 12th, 2020
We gaze into the crystal ball–it tells us little–we continue to be the time and space that remains. Holding the space and time open to a shared experience is key to our role as a community space here in Hudson, NY. We are a place to be counted on for answers and solutions to questions–but some questions don’t have quick and easy answers—-As Gertrude Stein asked Alice– “What is the answer?” Alice remained silent— and Stein continued… “in that case—what is the question?” The virus has made “precarious” an ongoing part of our lives–nothing is secure ever–AND now we are in even deeper waters of the unknown–However TSL remains open and offering a refuge– which is the defined by– the arts. We look forward to seeing you all at TSL and know that we are working to make a safe environment. Your contributions at this time to our place are ever more important. If you would like to make sure TSL continues you can contribute here at our site www.timeandspace.org
March 11th, 2020
Max-what a great actor– he entertained us in our youth–watching a Bergman Movie was like religion for my generation of art-house movie goers–Max gave us such great and deep performances in Bergman’s cinema–the Lutheran Ministers–of my Indiana/Illinois childhood were reflected in many of these movies– Max expressed their angst in Winter Light, Through a Glass Darkly and The Silence and more–YES –the moody broody man—a kind of 20th century existential character which we came to see clearly thru the lens of Bergman—NO–nothing is forever–who knows what the next century will think of these performances— but his image is burned on the screens of our lives and our minds eye replays his performances. YES every time I go back to my childhood church in Illinois(in my mind only) where I was confirmed (as a black Lutheran)– I remember these spaces and these people — the dark broody Lutherans —those who dwelled in these cold dark spaces–it is my Bergman –my Max who take me on these shared journeys—AND every time I see a chess board I think of Max playing chess with the devil…..RIP MAX VON SYDOW March 10, 2020
February 21st, 2020
Knick Knacks new project opening on April 1. 2020
Knick Knacks is project to be performed in the east gallery—it is written and constructed by Linda Mussmann.
I have invited performers to help with this project–led by my longtime collaborator Claudia Bruce to perform this project—the text appears on 42 cards. The cards will be assigned and the order will be random on each of the nights that we plan on presenting on the following dates after April 1st than April 2 and 3. (each performance will be different)
There will be 2 stages on each end of the space and a runway space down the middle of the space where the performers will travel and do recitation as well as movement. The audience is positioned on each side of the run way and will be viewing performances at all points of performance. There will be limited seating for each event. If you would like to book a seat now please let me know for which date and how many tickets you would like to purchase. Knick Knacks is dedicated to the shelves that held Knick Knacks in the many houses of my childhood—My mother had many shelves that were dedicated to Knick Knacks—as well as Aunt Lydia, Aunt Esther, Aunt Martha, Malinda, Aunt Minnie & more and all of the women in my mother and grandmother’s lives. There were shelves dedicated to the holding of objects —objects which were gifts from travels, souvenirs, special plates, salt and pepper shakers, etc etc.—Knick Knacks even appeared in the Glass Menagerie of Tennessee Williams where Laura collected little glass animals and these became a world where she imagined a life….Knick Knacks for Linda are a collection of texts that she has written over time—January to July 2019—they are pieces of thought written daily as fragments—the fragments have been placed on these 40 + cards and distributed to the 6 performers. Join me on April fools day 2020 and see what we have cooked up. Random flares of fragments will emerge into the space at TSL. AND—We have nothing to say but we will say it anyway– as John Cage had suggested when he talked about his work —in the last century. We continue to do the “work” as John Cage recommended to us in the early 1980’s —doing the work continues to be our mantra–we go on— Yes—doing the work.