Sunday, March 6, 2011

Analogue Narratives

-View of Mount Analogue from the Isle of Stability - William Evertson-

One of the projects I'm currently involved with is Analogue Narratives. A loose collaboration with several artists adding to the unfinished novel by French author René Daumal. At the time of his death in 1944 Daumal's book Mount Analogue: A Novel of Symbolically Authentic Non-Euclidean Adventures in Mountain Climbing, remained unfinished.
Analogue Narratives is a web based work and ongoing with new art and chapters added every week or so as story-lines are pushed forward  by our contributors.

Daumal's original book is an allegorical tale concerning the adventure of climbing a mountain in which he uses alpinism as a foil to describe spiritual journeys and on occasion art.

"Alpinism is the art of climbing mountains by confronting the greatest dangers with the greatest prudence. Art is used here to mean the accomplishment of knowledge in action. You cannot always stay on the summits. You have to come down again... So what’s the point? Only this: what is above knows what is below, what is below does not know what is above. While climbing, take note of all the difficulties along your path. During the descent, you will no longer see them, but you will know that they are there if you have observed carefully. There is an art to finding your way in the lower regions by the memory of what you have seen when you were higher up. When you can no longer see, you can at least still know"

A spontaneous decision to continue Daumal's trek began in October of 2010 by a small group of artists who had been discussing the work on Facebook. Indeed this story continues to unfold as an example of Exquisite Corpse written on a Facebook thread.  The commentary and narratives as well as the pictures, sounds and links form our version of possible endings for Daumal's classic tale of searching.

California artist Mara Thompson suggested the reading and after a few weeks of on again off again fragmented posts, Ria Vanden Eynde, my Belgian Seeking Kali collaborator suggested we take the plunge of finishing the classic.

Several months later we are fourteen chapters in with no great insights but instead our writing style or lack of style has led us on many tangents that serve well for our collage, drawings and video work.  In fact the writing serves to challenge each of the contributors to come up with ways of illustrating improbable happenings.

Click to view Analogue Narratives. 

Top: Mara Thompson, William Evertson, Susan Shulman, Ria Vanden Eynde, Lee Goldberg, Cathy Nolan Vincevic
Bottom: Kathleen Hughes, Bibiana Padilla Maltos, Mark Bloch, angela Ferrara, Jane Wang, Christopher Reynolds

Visit Analogue Narratives for links to individual artists.