On Glass, part three: some demands of influence

On Glass, part three: some demands of influence

 

0.     On Glass: Not a physical approximation to the object as in sitting, leaning, or standing on glass nor the subject therein but rather, and more specifically, under the influence of its silent, nonreflective, invisible deception. Like inhaling a day late traveling breeze, it makes no difference because you already exhaled it. Influence is a funny pill you keep taking in even though you never asked for it or didn’t know you could use it. It invites itself, pokes around until it finds a seat, then it sits with you. And somehow through some chemical imbalances or maybe balances, you continue to spit out. Influence gives weight and like the weight that stops us from floating, it exerts but only in secret, never ever revealing itself. This is our universal force of attraction.

1.     Gravity: An IMAX mental picture set in the heavens with Sandra Bullock suspended in it.

2.     Some propositions to the sky: What if God was one of us? Ms. Osborne asks.  Just a slob like one of us or a stranger on the bus? If God had a name what would it be? And would you call it to his face? Good questions, Ms. Osborne, but Ariana thinks God is a woman. That is beside the point, Ms. Osborne replies. Yes, I agree, I need to stay on topic. But where does your ‘he’ image of God come from? Is that a 90s thing? I know this isn’t a conversation about gender but it acts in a similar way, don’t you think?

3.     Materializing abstraction: God is an undercover boss looking for your honest opinions. This is your opportunity to let out your gripes about the institution’s failings. God is here to hear you out and for once you can share how you truly feel. The stakes are low, your confessions will be confidential and there’s no one here to hold you back.

4.    Area rugs: Were you the quiet one? The one who stopped to hold the door? Are you the volunteer? You tried to jump in, did you? Are you the one who offered to give us a ride? The one from the ninth floor? The editor who made his speech more appealing? The research assistant behind the organization’s new acclaim? Was that you? Have we met before? I ask because I’m not sure. I’m not sure because you seem to keep it that way. Have a seat and make yourself at home. The pop song is seeking to empathize with you. It says you are having a bad day. You say you don’t know but the camera doesn’t lie. Perhaps you just could use a blue-sky holiday. 

5.     Realism: A screen actress on a late-night talk show responds to the interviewer’s question about her “process” for “getting lost” in her latest role. “I didn’t recognize you throughout the film. Your transformation was quite fascinating”, the interviewer comments. “It’s all about tactility for me. I need to get as close to it as possible, no matter what it takes”, she responds. I take a very holist approach to forming an inner image of the role as well as external explorations. That means a continuous course of rehearsals on and off the set. That’s the thing about the "art of experiencing" that Stanislavski talks about. Ultimately, extensive preparation is its own reward, she adds.

6.     Cinema Verité: What did the home movies ever show us about the structure of the nuclear family? What are shaky cameras’ improvisations letting us in on our reality? Is your sloppiness my unraveling? Are there any outtakes or is this it? Can you take me back to all the outtakes? Can long unbroken takes really take us there? And by there, I mean, the there that is not near to us but looks within sight. Sight, can we ever see without any post-production? Just look at the big picture, you say, it's over there! Where? I say, I can’t see what you mean. Forget it, it is more than meets the eye anyway, you say. I think I can see what you are saying now. But I’ve seen it all before and so, I saw it coming. It’s all just a story the eye tells the mind.

7.     Appetite: Yes, I know the spot that serves Chilean cuisine was bad tonight but I thought maybe we too should taste the residue of civil unrest and endemic inequality.

8.     Legumes: Life is all about talking yourself out of eating that perfect bag of potato chips. Art is all about talking others into empathizing with your appetites. Vegetarianism left me in the dark and now I can’t help but feel darkened by it.  

9.     Influence is a bakery: I think I’m going to be a bakery for about a week. No, a month. That would give me more time. More time to fasten all the joints that aid suspending disbelief. More time for my thoughts to drift far out. Out through the neighbourhoods, dissipating through each address, each room, and each breakfast nook. It will become a trajectory of its own. My thoughts will linger, and without any awareness, they will digest it . They’ll swap their conscious for my recipes. They’ll get comfortable losing their train of thought and in its place, my opinions will become theirs. Opinions the root of which will become untraceable. It is what they’ll come to know. What they’ve always known. Each time the timer goes off and the ovens are emptied out onto the cooling racks, the rising heat lifting into steam will become like a warm familiar memory. The residues of this will continue to absorb each of the senses and colour everything else they do. It is said that like any channel for data delivery, it becomes an irresistible force when invisible. This for them will become a kind of generative agency. A perpetual rotation addressed to an adjacent next of kin. This will be part of my ongoing efforts to be helpful to the local economy but at this point, I will then step back a bit from the metaphor. Maybe. That is if I forget to internalize my own history or become self-conscious of this same history. History with its pointy edges will feel curved yet just as standoffish. Language and whatever meanings follow it will twitch, forget itself, and become up for grabs. With community approval and support, I will be accepted to compete in Cup Cake Wars on the Food Network Channel, I will come in a close second, but this will be enough to set me on the right path. I will run into Rachel Ray or maybe Duff Godman in the hallway at the network studios. My glowing image of either will become ever so vivid and remain just as intact upon shaking their hands. I will say something like: ‘you are such an inspiration, everything I do is because of you.’ They won’t know how to respond. They might just chuckle out of politeness. My thoughts during this competition will reach new viewers even if filtered through their screens. They’ll record and watch it later on their way to work. The eavesdropping eyes on the commuter train will catch glimpses and it will reaffirm them of something they’ve heard about before. An image flowing out of another image. An image creating new atmospheres of feeling and intuition. My reputation would have begun to fortify at this moment.  I will be willfully accepted as is. There will be free samples and reward programs. Recommend a friend and you get your first choice of indifference exactly how you want it done. For a small sum of three dollars, you get your own ___ and 10 points towards your loyalty card. Even aloof Mr. M and his kids from down the street will marvel. They will pass by and look through my glistening windows. Look! Over there! Look at all the nutritional profiles lined in the backyard of the gingerbread houses, pressing their fingers on the windows as they point, dazzled. It is like a snow globe, they’ll say. And maybe that’s a better metaphor. My fantasy will become their recognized reality. 

Image: Luther Konadu
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Artist Biography: 

Luther Konadu is a writer and artist of Ghanaian descent based in Winnipeg Manitoba. He is a content creator for the online publication Public Parking. A project for highlighting the working practices of emerging creators and thinkers. He is also a writing contributor for Akimbo. His studio labour is project-based and realized through photographic print media and painting processes. He is interested in how the legacies of those mediums continue to shape prevailing perceptions of group identities. He uses his work to reinterpret those image-making mediums. Konadu lives and works on Treaty One Territory, the stolen lands of the Anishinaabe, Métis, Cree, Dakota and Oji-Cree Nations.