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Words about words, brands, names and naming, and the creative process.

#sparkchamber 103017 — Cynthia Mitchell

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On this day before Halloween, All Hallow’s Eve, Día de Muertos, All Saints’ Day, this time of year when, it is said, the veil separating the worlds is the most thin and porous, enabling spirits to more easily pass between them, we rejoice!

Spirits are connected to the mystical and magical, to things ethereal, known yet not necessarily visible. Spirit — life force, fire, essence; muse, divine messenger, guardian angel; specter, illusion, a thing that goes bump in the night — is an intangible that can neither be explained nor categorized, contained nor counted on.

#Sparkchamber celebrates the spirit that guides, that inspires, that moves us beyond thought and emotion, the spirit that sparks — music, dance, writing, painting, drawing, poetry, photography, film, theater, invention — creative expression of every kind.

Today, in that spirit  ;-) we are pleased to welcome artist Cynthia Mitchell, a writer, filmmaker, and painter [among her many creative pursuits]. Cynthia is a double Capricorn, and an avid basketball fan. She has personal nicknames for dozens of NBA players, and this month she launched a basketball-related podcast called Soft in the Paint

Her most recent film, The Exchange, which she wrote and co-directed, is an homage to dialog-heavy French films, and looks at the relation between love and performance, on and off stage.

Cynthia currently lives in Montreal with a husband, and a soulmate [who is a black cat named Nada]. 

1.] Where do ideas come from?

A continuous flow of images and language passes from the ether [milky Electrickal substance of the universe and gods] through the part of consciousness that has its domain in the ether and thus moves the ether into the body to strike the nervous system activating the Electrickal field of the idea-haver in such a way that it is given to the idea-haver to see in the material realm that which does not yet have existence in the material realm and if the forces of Will are in proper alignment with the Electrickal energies, the idea-haver may bring into solidity a new object for the world’s contemplation and use.

2.] What is the itch you are scratching?

The itch is the clamor of voices that are part ancestral, part cultural, part unconscious all intermingled, contradictory, and on multi-levels of what’s called thought demanding to speak in one voice that does not necessarily have its vocabulary in words.

3.] Early bird or night owl? Tortoise or hare?

Not tortoise or hare but house cat: long intervals of extreme laziness, staring at things that aren’t there, thinking and talking about food incessantly, and self-grooming intercut with bouts of wild-eyed hunting, pouncing, and very serious play/fights with both real and imaginary playmates/foes that might take place at any time of the day or night.

4.] How do you know when you are done?

Different mediums have different ways of achieving completion. With a film, the variables are exhausted. With a painting, it has to find a kind of repose. Some paintings can sleep at night and others can’t stop twitching because of some weakness or instability. Some artists can structure a painting on that restlessness but only if they are a mechanical genius, like El Lissitzky. Even the most chaotic paintings are usually very stable. Sometimes a painting paints itself and sometimes it hangs around for years always asking for one more thing but never really being satisfied no matter what you give it. Writing has no natural ending point as is shown by Cervantes, Musil, Proust, and Bolaño, so where it ends depends on the stamina of the writer and the container they bring to the writing. Sometimes though, you go with your container in the morning to fill it with writing and you find that the river, which is writing, has moved somewhere else while you were sleeping.