down/side (2009)

“down/side”  — choreography / dance and voice by Clarence Brooks, vocals by Frantz Deofils, music / text / film by Joey Bargsten (2009).

It’s pretty challenging to Escher-ize a subject in film, so I’m not certain I achieved that. But I was very pleased with the collaboration, and I like how the project stretched my personal notions of colliding narrative and non-narrative space.

The narrator talks about his “work”. Maybe it’s unclear that this is work in the opus or ouevre sense: the work of the artist (composer, dancer, filmmaker, whatever).


So, at the risk of being a little too earnest, here’s the text:

Visiting the mythical shanghai or tokyo of my dreemz:
LJ says once you arrive there, you take this awful shuttle
for 20 minutes to get to the city, “going past those horrible
student apartment buildings, one after another, for blocks
and blocks.”

We are waiting for the shuttle. It rains intensely, briefly.

At the guest house,
I am engaged in erotic fantasies
but, I have much work to do.
I’m distracted by a younger,
female robot version of myself.

She asks me about my work.
“how do you do it?”
I tell her, “Well,

You’ve got to be able to work
in spite of
regular, daily
especially by those who love you most.

You’ve got to be able to do the work
when you don’t want to,
and when you don’t have any money to do anything.

And, plus, you need to do this when you don’t have any time to do it, either.
And you need to do it when you’re really very tired,
And especially, when you are dispassionate
about the whole idea of work.”

So, that’s what I tell her.

She tells me, “You know,
I know of a falafel stand
 – – it’s down the street a ways,
and the guy there needs some help.
You should help him.”

Then, It turns out she has time
for some hanky-panky with me,
a near-total stranger!

At night in the mythical city,
lovers’ heads float in the air, slightly
above their bodies,
in the cool, damp, faded blue night.
They will attach themselves soon enough,
but they don’t always attach
to the right body.


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