DigitalDiary 3/3 – 3/9/2016

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Sunday Reading : Identity/body image, violence, death, & beauty

Closing the Loop : Aria Dean, The New Inquiry
Body Anxiety and a new wave of digifeminist art : Charlotte Jansen, Dazed
Visions : Kate Gaskin, Guernica
The Language of Violence : Danez Smith and Brian Russell, Poetry Foundation
Being Mortal : Zan Boag, New Philosopher
Beauty and Autonomy on the Bike : Claire Tighe, Bird’s Thumb
The strange, sad quest to match a severed, embalmed head with its story : Michael E. Miller, The Washington Post
Deadly Decisions : Ann Neumann in conversation with Sheri FinkGuernica
This Better And Truer History : J.M. Coetzee and Arabella Kurtz, Longreads
The Fruit of My Woman : Han Kang, Granta 

Kwaidan: The Woman of the Snow

The second story in Kwaidan was The Woman of the Snow, about a ghost that can claim the lives of mortals. She appears to blow onto their faces, freezing them to death, and the victims are later described as having no blood (or something like that). Despite her desire to kill people during snowstorms, she is not entirely absent of other desires or pity. The cold, frightening, powerful ghost compared to the subservient, warm, loving wife is interesting, but most especially after you can see where they overlap and how her sense of power and compassion affects her speech.

In this story, the theatrical nature of the environments are heightened one step further. There are scenes where the environment does not look real at all, and surrealism takes over to depict the true feeling of the moment. Visually speaking, that was perhaps my favourite part of this story. The movement of the trees during the snowstorm (along with the music) and the first meeting of the ghost woman were, of course, not really something I could represent in a single screen shot. Or even multiple. It was a strange combination of stillness or silence, and specific, graceful, unhesitating action.

At the end, I thought a lot about identity. You might not want to read this part if you haven’t seen the movie. On the surface, she decided one night to test his vow of silence. He failed her test, and she didn’t kill him because of their children, but she did leave them immediately. Given the context, it’s not surprising at all that he would tell his wife about that night. So, really, why did she suddenly decide to leave?

It reminds me of other stories I’ve read about female ghosts, entities,spirits and so forth that match up with men, then suddenly leave and “return” to their dominant identity.

these days

… We’re moving.
… The rabbit died in his sleep.
… It seems that I talk a lot in my sleep.
… Very little painting or drawing. Despite dead bird in freezer.
… Feeling disconnected from people (again).
… Can’t wait for my hair to get longer.
Cooking often.
… Wet. And chillier than you’d expect.
… The Farmer’s Market (fingers crossed for + vegan doughnuts & – store bought produce).
… Found a good cheap wine that I like.
… Wanting to go camping. All the time.
Warrior Dash.
… Looking forward to picking up old starts, like building screens for screenprinting, carving stamps and small prints, book-making, and the website.
… Really feeling Monica Canilao‘s work. I might be able to approach mixed media collage again.
… Also happily introduced to Unica Zurn.
… Strong idea for a show. Work to follow.