– video still from “superman, you’re crying,” SJD

Thursday I saw my brother off at the airport, with his lovely family, Liliele, and Iris, their one-year-old, on their adventure: Seoul, Istanbul, the Balkans, taking in Montenegro, to Berlin; there to lay by at a reasonable rent while on a recce of the job prospects, training prospects, potentially at the old UFA. So it’s into a holding-pattern for our collaboration. But to find out what that might have meant, click on the still of Sean standing in his little car and you’ll be swizzle-whizzled to Darkroasted Studio, online.

Scroll down through the videos to reel cut, which cuts together, and rhymes to Dom’s beats, recent work, a bit of award-winning work, something which didn’t make it through the first round of Filmaka but that Filmaka have since asked to use to advertise the success [sic] of their competition, SJD videos, high physics, hard camp, a nice explosion of ideas that we didn’t have the resources, and, or, the faith shown in us, to fully develop, to further develop and explore, to carry on doing, here, here, then … then.

I regret that we didn’t discover a sustainable source of energy for our projects together. The absurdity of even attempting them in a vacuum – the vacuum of arts production in NZ is still crucially a critical reality, since its lack of integration into the broader cultural life of these islands precludes its reaching a critical momentum, a stage of acceptance and clear, however indistinct, importance – this sense of absurdity can keep a low-input solo unit getting on with its self-generated output but sooner or later, even for the independent artist alone in her studio or garret or bach or barn or council flat, further and other input will be required, unless the artist in question is not only self-generating but also self-destroying.

To use oneself as fuel is an obvious option and has clear precedents in the green ghetto of our dreaming islands: first, of course, you have either to heat up or dissolve the self from which you mean to extract the energy; alcohol, Malcolm Lowry’s universal solvent, alkahest, is preferred by artistic New Zealanders who mean to stay within the law.

We are ardent image consumers in our desperation to keep up with what’s going on in the world, a desperation that metabolises influence in us faster than in those creative types closer to the cultural centres. However an image-enriched diet can eventually jade the palate, thicken the arteries and clog the heart’s sensitivity; the opposite extreme goes the same green way, in pounamu-ising parochialism and kitsch.

The clean carbon-expending way to go is travel; this is why I’m delighted my brother’s left, the collaboration’s suspended its latterly anyway sluggish animation: which is not to say I neither regret, nor blame the place in space I’m here occupying, elaborating, looking for the entrances into as much as the exits from, and wondering at the consumption necessary just to stay alive and the waste and expense involved: like the gospel sample goes, on that Pay it All Back, the volume number eludes me, I’m so glad I’m not dead… I mean spirtually dead… and glad that the souldeath hasn’t taken those I love best.