I AM SITTING ON MY COUCH
Couch with speakers and TV screen with headphones in a collaboratively shared space with 2 other artists, Ioli Karyka and Amy Zhang
Film/audio piece on TV screen https://vimeo.com/manage/337240633/general (see below)
Sound piece on couch https://soundcloud.com/user-19784115/im-sitting-on-my-couch-ver-1 (see below)
I see a glow of orange coming out from the white room and I push open the doors to release the waft of warmth onto my face.
I’m immediately washed with a strobe of whitelight; my entire body feels orange. I look up to the wall and as I take steps forward, so do the images on the wall. It is following me or do I follow it? An occasional interruption: shadows, pixels, blues and oranges, human figures, mirrored subjects shone through a sea of suspended strings. I look further into the room and take a seat on the orange couch. A TV screen isn’t too far away, a setting all too familiar. Beside it, an imprint of a fireplace remains behind the whitewashed walls with two tiny paintings above it. Behind, the two windows are open, bringing in a light breeze, the sound of people and cars, a faint wash of yellow from a young sunset- a faint colour compared to the rest of the room. The sounds from the outside get softer as I lay my head against the pillow on the orange couch and I lie down. I watch the ceiling as I sink into the couch…
“the loneliest time of the day is when the long day ends, and the sun starts to set…”
I hear the pillow talking to me. I listen deeply, taking in this moment as my body lies paralysed and around me, the voices and sounds start to wash over me. There is an intimacy I begin to feel with this immediate time and space. I listen further…
“I’m just holding a pillow towards my chest and I’m… and there are things I can do: I can just leave the house, put on my shoes, sit on the bench that’s just 2 seconds outside the door…..(deep sigh) My heart is beating so fast. My face feels gross and I, I need to wash my face. I need to use the toilet; I need to take a shower. I’m sleepy, I’m tired I’ve taken 2 naps already.”.
I see another pillow on the couch and I hold it against my chest.
“And I turn to my side, I’m laying horizontal, and I look towards the corridor and its 8:13pm… and the apartment lights from the outside is shining through into my dark corridor because I haven’t turned on any lights. I see a deep contrast of dark blue and a medium yellow (sigh) and I feel like I’m getting closer. I feel like every single time I cry today; I feel tired and I wake up and then I blame myself for going to sleep because I’ve wasted another hour in the day. But I still feel like I’m getting closer to… getting out of this couch and doing something productive.”
I realise this room described is the room I’m in and I discover- this is me speaking. I am speaking to me.
“‘Ash’ Is mentioned 48 times in the bible, it’s very specific. It’s in the bible. And its mentioned that when a person is at their lowest point, in the Jewish tradition, you would have (…) and you would take ashes and put them all over yourself. To signify that you were at your lowest point, that life was basically destroyed. That the (…) was over. That the pain before god “I am a sinner” as we heard in the responsorial psalm… the ancient mark of the ashes and you will hear the words “Remember that you are dust and unto dust you shall return.”
I turn to my side; I sink further into the couch. I watch the orange flush of light in the room meet and diverge with the evening blue coming in through the windows behind me- “…I haven’t turned on any lights…”.
I stay on my side and watch the black TV screen’s static. Headphones attached; no audio audible from where I am. I watch the blank black screen in a daze and then I notice the time stamp speeding up suddenly. I lean in closer; the pace of the clock goes back to normal. I lay my head back down on the pillow and I take a glance at the TV screen again to watch time passing. Time is passing. Time is passing. Time is passing. Time has passed.
I sit up and I put on the headphones attached to the screen. I hear muffled sounds of people in a space that seems large, I can hear an obvious echo. Random clanking in the kitchen, laughter, music playing, the sound of silence in between. It sounds like a kitchen or a living room. It doesn’t feel like there’s a storyline, I feel unsure of whether I should even be listening in on their conversations. It feels private. I stay to listen anyway.
Sounds start to mix and weave into each other and everything sounds like everything and nothing. I take the headphones off and I lean my back towards the couch. I watch the other people walk into this space. I hear the pillow, faint from afar, and slowly as more people enter the room, the voices become noise and they avalanche. The sounds from the pillow almost disappear unless you’re close enough to hear it through the cotton. The room starts to become familiar to the audio attached to the TV screen. I look around. I stand up and I walk towards to door. I wash my body back into the ray of orange projected on the walls before a piercing white light hits the side of my face and enter a corridor of dark blues.
Film/audio piece on TV screen:
Compiled footage recorded unexpectedly from my nanny cam– blank screen, timestamp and sounds of me and my flatmate cooking dinner and chatting.