for mira

Jun 10, 2015

for mira

I made this video for Mira. Or rather, with her always in my thoughts.

Before beginning, I explained to Mira (the performer) and Cassandra (the composer) my intentions and motivations for wanting to make this.

synopsis of events:

– I’m doing this so I can untangle some knots

– ok, they said

– we all moved forward

This video is a chapter marker. Like Rod’s ‘the keys to everything that ever existed’ (which he has yet to release), this piece is a burial rite. He is my twin, and sometimes we make art from the same place. This place in particular…we saw this place together, and things kept happening in our lives that just seemed to be the universe folding over, necessitating serendipities.


Part of a constellation falls.

A birdhouse–from this set of three–which months prior I had made a print of…




…falls with perfect timing.


My dog Millie gifts me a bird, with perfect timing. As if she knew what I had lost. Millie walked the dead bird into the house in her mouth and dropped it next to me. I didn’t know what I was looking at at first.


Also, as Cassandra explains, the music takes a short sample of Kurt Cobain’s singing voice and reveals facets of its quality and structure through repetition….

Ok, so going way, way, back to when I was a teenager…

Nirvana was a very important part of my life. Of course I would know that Where Did You Sleep Last Night (which is the ‘source material’ for for mira), was performed on a stage that Kurt Cobain requested resemble a wake. This is why there is an abundance of stargazer lilies up on stage with him.

Kurt Cobain On 'MTV Unplugged'

For me, making the video for for mira was a way of saying good-bye; my use of stargazer lilies was not an accident.


There is also the inclusion of a complete, uncompromised heart, which is also burning. As this video can be whatever I want it to be, there are no fragments–no missing pieces.

As a very real marker, this version of me has come out of the middle of the making of this video. This is how I make art. I hope that it will change me. And coming out of this video, I feel it is the telling of a story of a memory. Meaning, I now feel the distance from it’s catalyst events, and underwent the

physio-alchemical act of  housing this ghost in my long-term memory. That’s what making this video finally did to me. That, or  the two things just so happened in parallel. Anyway, the end result is the same: this is where I release.

Time resonances become more and more faint….

Though as Terence McKenna said, if you pay close enough attention you can feel that Rome falls nine times an hour

Mira and Cassandra, I love you both.

Thank you for coming into my life.


above, from Rod’s score the keys to everything that ever existed

Click here to read Cassandra’s blog post about for mira, and here to read Mira’s.

[A post I had previously made on March 13, 2015]

On March 13th I shot most of the footage for ‘For Mira‘.

It is a work performed by violinist, Mira Benjamin

and was composed by Cassandra Miller.

Making for mira into a music video opens up the possibility of exploring the piece’s repetition in a way that is unique to this medium. Cassandra, Mira, and Rodrigo are working closely to treat the final audio with that in mind.

There are still a few shots I want to get, and then of course there is the editing (which is really where the heavy lifting occurs), but here are a few production shots in the meantime while it all comes together.

Hands on deck that day: Rodrigo Constanzo, Richard Craig, Cassandra Miller, Mira Benjamin, myself.