Chimera Song Mosaic
Saturday, September 02, 2006
Back when I first began taking lots of photos, nothing special, just documenting my life, as if each vacation were something momentous (this is before I discovered how truly long my life would be), I recognized the problem of what to make of all the raw material generated by this archival impulse. Sticking all the photos into an album was expensive and made for dull reflection. Then came digital cameras, and I simply haven't bothered to translate these into physical media, so out go the picture books. The problem of archive and organization (really meaningful storage) is foisted on my computer.

I got a digital recorder to take down ideas, maybe poems, that occur to me at inopportune moments, namely while driving, but on a freeing roadtrip to Austin one day I filled up the entire chamber. If I had one with physical tapes, I would have removed that tape, labeled it, stuck in another, and gone on. But now I have a filled recorder and no way to relieve it or reuse it (the computer again!). So I thought about transcribing it, posting it all onto my blog (it would be like three years out of date by now), but I knew that would take forever, so I just left it.

Just had a terrifying thought: what if I were to videotape myself 24 hours a day, not for anyone's viewing but for myself to go through later to document those moments of creation, whenever I roll out of bed (or stay in it, most likely) and write a poem. Eventually I could get used to it, and I would forget the recorder was there, and later I would know what happens to the outside world, the environment of the room, when I go into that trance for 30 minutes. But then I thought of how I would have to go through all that material. Even on fast forward, the search would be agonizing. Then what would I do with all that by-product? By-product of documentation is the documentation itself.

Likewise I used to take copious notes whenever in a classroom environment. But then I realized that I would likely never go back and read them, never do anything with them. This is likely what started me blogging the first place, the hope to force something else to do my dirty work. Posting feels like having done something, and the archives are all there for you to click on.

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