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     Text by tobias c. van Veen. written for the upcomming DVD of the Dynamic Constellations by Johnny Ranger -

"to produce spontaneity, one must be authentic,

but to be authentic one must practice spontaneity"
      -Kulavadhut Satpurananda , les constellations dynamiques.


      Ji – self, myself, you & me and the Buddha. The deity in your eyes, in the dance of your feet, the microphonic preying mantis in your hand and on my lens. (With the cap off, exposed.)

      One preying mantis and one elephant. In the heat.

      But all of this is neither here nor there, but rather, in India.

      They will ask and say one day: Jean, Johnny, the Ranger has he not traveled, the Marco Polo of the 21C? He travails so hard, they will say. He questions his subjects in other countries distant from his own as he would question the known. He grants no exclusive place to the captured: they grace the world as he must also face his lens, in the indirectness of contact, in the flesh he must sit in ("all the world connected," he tells me, but also sitting, lying down, smoking, en chair). Together but today, on this screen, always removed and fractured (but never so intimate). Animal, human, landscape, stars, water, well, the mind, dream, animation, music, words, language – they all play in his universe, which is ours when we sit in it, naked en chair.

      And all those words wizzing around like little points and infinite lines in-between jolie de-ranger languages. No one's proper language. Ad-hoc traduction to gain some traction.

      Fractured, but this word, it also contains the fractal, the fractalized, and between us are all the fractals imaginable, entire constellations of them between you and me (and the camera, is it not a fractal machine of its own ?). The fractal. Is it not the condition of our communication through the screen, the invisible layer here made tangible through its exposure ?

      Plunge into that infinite well, an image opened by Tarkovsky (Stalker). Smoke it for a bit, suck on it, roll it off the tongue like dynamic constellation in a foreign if not unpronouncable language, take the time to savour your lozenge durée.

      A lens wide open at full exposure burns the film, although the film's negative itself, an anachronism, has been negated by the digital capture. What is exposed is through its gesture of sketch, line, drawing and computer animation, the exposure of the technology of the other. Yes, tekhne, already "over there," and in fact it always has been. When Johnny walks with his camera the introduction or imposition of technology so evident in some respects nevertheless pays respect to what came before, it comes not from him or his West, but at them all.  Travails of the "East" – for it is not a vacance – India, that course without direction, drifting, navigation by intuited moon and starlight, or as he calls it, "side trips" through the image capture that releases the self, that "takes time," and returns it in abundance, as memoire.

      Why India ? Has not India always been the depository of the dreams, excursions, transcendental deferrals if not the exhibited showplace of the exotic, the erotic and the ancient (de l'Ouest) ?

      (Filling the frame with what the body keeps at distance, that is, the body of the other.)

      If India is a destination for the West, whatever this West is and has become, it is also the place where it goes to lose itself, its time, its culture. One arrives in India, one's destination, to lose all destinations, to "drop out." As Derrida writes, the destination, the point of destination, like as Johnny reminds us, the infinite points that form a line (and thus a constellation), this destination is by necessity deferred and delayed. Axiomatic, that is, flipside constellation: the trip is never but side-trips, even if unconsciously so, a destinerration. Johnny, as artist, image releaser, as reader of Deleuze and Guattari, themeatizes this word, grants destinerration its détournement, for he creates, in his capture, re-edit, and release, a destinarration (plus d'un).

      (My cat begins to watch the birds. Fascinated. She has never watched the television before, but now the birds occupy all of her attention. Bird mimicry is a language of philosophy.)

      The mystics, whom you speak with on your journey, will say that it was always written before you learned how to speak. Ranging far & wide, have you not deranged a visual and sonic language of the creative delay, that is, of transformation and change, as narrated by no one in particular save each and every one before the lens, dans la chair ?

      (Johnny you make the ants dance. Then later they drown.)

      And now the technonomad returns, to record images, but not only images: jolts of the frame, overlaid with the patterns of the mindroots, moving point à point.

      The technonomad has surpassed nostalgia over a pure world, as it exists only in violent fantasy.  Ruins, then, here, are only memories of the other's technology in its materiality of the past, the historic glitch.

      The shutter is drawing to a close, which is well, as my clothes have been burnt.

      Ji – self, when the image becomes forgotten, when the self, as a wound of pleasure, is forever open, touching, a sensorium of rhythm and pulse, a transformation of the dirt roads, temples, bazaars, forests and waterfalls, the surf and ocean and sun, the night and the animal and the human body that the Ranger takes into himself, that now, and perhaps always have, make-up the rearranged.

      A thousand eyes and the geometricism of the line overlay what is otherwise. The documentary as presenting the unrevealed is dissolved, and unresolved, rhythm interminable.

      A cross is the intersection of two (infinite) lines.

      Inscribed, on your figure, your fingers form your hands in inscriptions of forgotten erotic gestures.

                                                                                                                                - tobias c. van Veen

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