Monday, April 21, 2008

my scattered response to a recent inquiry

1.) "What, in your studied opinion, is the philosophy behind sonosophy?"

-To answer this I can try to quote Alex (from memory) :
"Sonosophy is to sound what Philosophy is to ideas..."
So, I guess there is no philosophy behind Sonosophy, as Sonosophy is a different project/discipline altogether. Sonosophy investigates sound as a primary way of understanding our emotions, our surroundings, our history, our selves, and so on. Sonosophy investigates that which Philosophy investigates, but in a different, more physical manner. The explanation of Sonosophy is rather elusive, it can't be explained nearly as much as it can be felt or experienced. Sonosophy is about experiencing sound in and through our bodies (voices, ears, chest, bones, flesh) in various localities, those localities being in nature or in man-made environments. Sound and word is regarded as the primary/essential creative action/medium/process to engage in. Soundwaves, vibrations, oscillations, tones are what hold things in our world together, on a very basic and fundamental level. This is the best I can do right now in this explanation. This project is a total collaboration, so please get an answer from Torben and/or Alex for more description and clarity...and feel free to ask me a more detailed question.

2.) "Why did you start up this project?"

We originally started up this project because Torben and I perceived a general lack of outside documentation of Alex's work. After being exposed to many of Alex's performances, classes (taught at UVSC), and written poetry/visual works, we had both developed a deep respect and love for Alex's creative work. Alex is a very influential teacher/mentor to us, and as we work with him we continue to develope a close friendship. In our view, such a unique, vital, and active artist calls for more attention and documentation. At first, our main goal was to begin documenting Alex's poetry, performance, and visual art. As we began to do that, the documentation project basically morphed into various projects of various sizes, this documentary film being the major project. The documentary film idea incited a lot of creative energy within us, and it simultaneously received a lot of immediate support, and so we are going through to the end with it. Also, in working with Alex and getting accustomed to Alex's working processes and methodologies, several ideas for projects continue to be planted, some of which will be connected and will work their way into our documentary film, others will be separate and may even go beyond the film itself. Other projects include a website: (which will be the main site for the documentary film), but will also continue to meticulously document and archive Alex's written and visual works. Other ideas that have been planted include future collaborations on performances that include filming as an element within the performance, as well as documentation of performance. Alex is very organized and works very diligently on a high volume of diverse things. We hope to help Alex develop some of those things to their potential and bring them out into the sun. Working with Alex is an extremely fluid and fertile experience where the process of creation is paramount. The primary purpose is to engage in creative activity/process; curious investigation into the mysterious, the unknown, and to bring from those realms manifestations (finished products/artworks) that somehow illustrate the experiences. I hope that makes sense, I'm not sure I understand the whole project. If it is just the film you are thinking about, then it is generally about documenting the life, current and existing works, and creative processes that Alex is engaged in. Again, please also talk to Torben and Alex...and feel free to ask more detailed questions.

Monday, April 14, 2008


We want to thank everyone that helped us out with the benefits at UVSC and Ken Sanders Rare Books, both of which were very successful. As of today all of our expenses are covered for our trip to NYC and Italy/Sicily...which is a MASSIVE relief. We've had our plane tickets for quite some time now and it has been kind of up in the air whether or not we were going to have all the funds that we had budgeted the travel costs, transportation, food, film, equipment, etc. Now, with that taken care of, we can now fully focus on getting the best possible footage while we are away. We are right on time with our original schedule for shooting, editing, and promoting the film. The School of General Academics at UVSC has been especially helpful in the past few weeks, thanks especially to Bonnie Henrie and Michelle Kearns. Also, we want to note that the Integrated Studies Department has constantly helped us from the very beginning...we wouldn't have ever been able to get this project off the ground without the sustained support we've received from Don LaVange and Scott Abbott. 
We also want to thank all of the various private donors, the many UVSC schools/departments/programs, and all those who helped us along the way in getting this far, there are way too many at this point to name comprehensively in a single blog post. We still have a lot of work to do on the film, but we feel confident that we can do it, and do it well...especially with such incredible support.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

loose concept for film?

How do you construct a profile of someone's life? Certainly presenting a life through a falsely linear and chronological order is insufficient. In fact, any attempt to present an all-encompassing portrait will prove inadequate. However, the best method i currently can conceive of is a conscious attempt to capture the fragmentary nature of life moments --- the complex web of connected impressions, emotions, and experiences --- dispersed throughout one's 'past' and 'present'. Symbols (a childhood toy, your home, a high school notebook) become containers which act as worm holes to transfer us fluidly through these temporal fragments. The emphasis is placed on motion. Once in a while we place our finger down and stop the spinning coin to reveal an image. This new structure allows us to manipulate past conventions and enter a realm in which the need for many past documentary techniques can be re-envisioned. For example, establishing shots no longer simply establish place and time, they distort place and time, becoming a river, carrying one 'paused' moment to the next. Today in aesthetics we were reading Dewey. This passage popped out to me in light of this stream of thought: "Experience like breathing is a rhythm of intakings and outgivings . Their succession is punctuated and made a rhythm by the existence of intervals, periods in which one phase is ceasing and the other is inchoate and preparing" (Nature of Art 148). Essentially, the film is trying to get at the rhythm of Alex's life (using symbols, experiences, performances, interviews, etc.), to punctuate revealing and perceived meaningful intervals. After class Nancy mentioned that the term "holiday" derives from the meaning "hole in time." These punctuated moments are basically personal holes in time, significant holidays or plot points of one's formated identity. Of course, this is not to say that each point moves to the next point causally, but rather, relationally. In other words, it's not a + b = c. It's a series of seemingly scattered impressions connected relationally. When I was on my mission in Thailand, I went into a bathroom of some other elders. In the bathroom I saw a bottle of Cool Water cologne. Having worn this cologne most of my time in high school, I picked it up and smelled it. A flood of memories carried me through high school and fractured memories. I didn't only smell Cool Water, I smelled Cool Water covering up the marijuana smoke on my clothes. It made me think of visine. It made me think of my girlfriend. It transported me. This is what I'm talking about. This is the loose concept for the structure of the documentary --- a passage through moments, symbols, and abstractions, transporting the audience through the motion of dream-like manifestations of life at its most earnest and open form. This is just the beginning of questioning. Within questioning, there seems to be implicit motion, less concrete, but more substantial than answers. My mind is blown.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

it rains even on who's already wet

Please join us at 7:00 p.m. on April 12th at Ken Sanders Rare Books (268 South 300 East, SLC). Alex Caldiero will be performing several of his new works. Admission is free. This is a benefit for the documentary project "The Sonosopher". Donations will be accepted and there will be a silent auction on rare books and artwork, as well as select baked goods/food items. Click on the image above to enlarge it and to view more details about the event. Hope to see you there.