I had the chance to experience The Chalkroom yesterday, an immersive VR experience created by Laurie Anderson and Hsien-Chien Huang. I was given a headset and two VR controllers, and for fifteen minutes I was able to fly through and explore a total of over ten virtual "chalkrooms" in a gigantic construct that seemed to float in an endless night sky. The idea is to embark "on an exploratory journey through a labyrinth of collective memories. Fragments of language and sound entangle in this space."
According to Laurie Anderson, "the visitor is encouraged to embrace an experience of isolation...one that restores the imaginative self". And how better to do that through virtual flight?
This reminded me of why I've just started journalling, since that experience serves exactly the same purpose. I am currently writing morning pages based on The Artist's Way. What are these? The author Julia Cameron explains them in the introduction to the workbook: "They are three pages of daily longhand stream of consciousness, written first thing upon arising. An excellent meditation practice,...the pages clarify and prioritize our day. Morning pages are not intended to be high art. They are not "real" writing. They are simply the siphoning off of the mind's surface so that we can get to the deeper thoughts and impulses that lie beneath our daily voice-over."
The Chalkroom gave me a perfect way to visualize the kind of environment I want my journal to be. The installation is currently open to the public free-of-charge in Singapore at the SMU de Suantio Gallery as part of the Singapore Bienniale 2019 until the 22nd of March.
REFLECT/CREATE: Sit down and fill three pages with continuous writing. This is something you can start with on any day that you simply want to "show up" for your journalling and honour the habit.
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“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”