monthly | January Took a Long Time to Load
Everyone has made their joke about how horrible 2020 was, including corporations (saw a P*psi advert on a bus stop talking about the New Year not arriving fast enough or something to that effect). My joke was not creating any online content during the lockdown periods. Yes, I know how to use streams. Yes, I work with pre-recorded videos and images. I have experience in website-making and an account on most of the relevant social media platforms. And yet, no, I didn't find merit in documenting 'my experience' of the pandemic or disclosing how much I miss the gym and other people's bodies, whether I'm touching them, they're touching me or we're just in some proximity of each other. Not that I miss public transport, but I do miss my bicycle. There's something to be said about my contrarian tendencies, and one of my good friends already said it, so there's no need to repeat that. Instead, let me welcome 2021, introduce it to this transient writing space and say – let's commit to meeting on a loose schedule at least twelve times.
Sneaked in Events from Last Year
Working on and finishing Close-ups, a DIVERT Inclusive Dance Collective production in collaboration with Silvia Marchig who authored it, was an important highlight for me. It started as a single invite to an early rehearsal and continued into a steady presence that quietly documents, gives external feedback and creates videos for the performance and the teaser. There was a break in the process due to the first lockdown, but the piece managed to have its premiere and second performance. I enjoyed working with the team, getting to know Lada and Marina, and collaborating with Silvia in an authorial context. Inviting Tea to do the costumes was the best decision I made during the process; Silvia and Tea continue to collaborate past this project. I'm very pleased.
Packing my equipment and moving to Scotland wasn't planned, but was a long time coming. The feeling I should geographically be somewhere else followed me like a benevolent but ominous shadow for five years before I decided to indulge it. My cousin and her husband were moving and I asked to join them. They said yes. Financially, it made sense, as I couldn't afford to move anywhere on my own. Pandemically, it made less sense, but the thought was, you never know and let's beat Br*exit before it becomes difficult to move to the UK. Socially and artistically, who knows; it's been difficult searching for local events and meeting new people during a lockdown, and I miss everyone, but not everything, in Croatia.
Working remotely on Wider than the Body with Marta Krešić, Antonia Dorbić, Danijela Renić and Lana Šprajcer, and shown on The Hub, proved to be very successful and manageable (Croatia, Scotland and Australia is the collaboration combo The World wanted and needed) and while I've made new, cosmetically improved exports of two older works, Two Bisexual Cats (pilot) and John Smith Showreel, the personal artist website I finally launched is still under construction. Also, check out my LinkedIn and Behance accounts to see how serious I am about finding employment.
Echoes of the Abyss Called Recent Events
Edinburgh, unlike my previous city, has a rodent problem and we have mice in our apartment. A new challenge. One took the peanut butter bait and died an instantaneous death last year. Another one tried to make a swift escape on New Year's Day, but ultimately hid in the wrong empty yogurt bottle, allowing us to catch it and take it three kilometers away in order to release it where it cannot find its way back. We named the mouse Cameron. As we were releasing it in the unlit park, two police officers materialized out of nowhere, mistaking me for a missing person they were looking for. My co-conspirator volunteered the information that we were here to release a mouse. “That's fine,” the policeman said, while the policewoman concluded I didn't fit the description after all. 'Philosophy and Adventure over a Mouse, feat. Cops' is one way to finish the first day of the year.
Second skin, Third Women, an artistic collaborative project between DIVERT Inclusive Dance Collective, Dance Collective Magija and KIP Collaborative Performance Platform, has more lives than a cat, having died and then come back to life many times, thanks to the continuous stubborn and dedicated efforts of its authors and producers (one of whom may, in fact, be a cat). Organizing rehearsals with a cast from three Croatian cities, making cast changes during the process, in a climate of an ever reducing number of adequate and available rehearsal spaces, with financing that is running late, pandemic lockdowns, limited time and an inclusive cast, is no simple feat. Throw in my livestreamed participation as a performer for good measure and you have a chain made out of sand. The chain held. The performances went well. I had a hard time not photographing and recording this piece, but I suppose if I was in Croatia, I still wouldn't have done it, since I'd be performing in it. I did make the visual identity, poster and flyer for it, though.
Having not found local employment, I've instead perfected the skill of staying at home and freezing behind single-glazed windows, while working remotely on projects based in Croatia. I've learned how to install dual boot Linux on my PC many times and demonstrated to my software engineer friend that if you can't find a working driver for your WiFi card, one possible solution is to open your laptop and replace the card with a different model that you've bought online, whose drivers come preinstalled with Ubuntu. Tinkering around a PC's hardware guts is fun. With Linux installed and behaving itself, I am ready to engage with a programming language called 'Ruby', specifically when it is 'on Rails'. Why? Because I've grown weary of Wordpress/PHP and I want to be able to create my own content from scratch.