words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Posts tagged “Biking

your world beginning | in a place of subtle distance


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“I love you, so I don’t care what I think of you” – Joan Crawford
… in a place of subtle distance

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your world beginning | into the gathering of dreams – day 3


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filmed in 1080 HD: please select this quality setting in the tool icon, for high-definition viewing

“Into the Gathering of Dreams – Day 3”, continues my series “Your World Beginning”, which explores the fusion of past, present, and future through the lens of daily life, dreams, and aspirations; beautiful times gone by, transcending the mundane, and an unknown future. The series is an attempt to capture the essence of being in the present moment, while simultaneously reliving moments from the past and dreaming of the future: Into the gathering of dreams.

The central filming in the video is from an afternoon biking at the Forks Area Trail System (FATS) in South Carolina, located on the border of South Carolina and Georgia. The filming of the biking was produced in 2010. The system consists of four machine-made trails, each approximately 6 miles in length. They are fast and free-flowing, making for a wonderful biking experience. Located in the midlands of South Carolina, the trails themselves are not as intimidating as the mountain trails located in North Carolina and are a joy to ride.

“Into the Gathering of Dreams” combines different elements, each having its own moment in time and space. I recently watched again, a documentary on the opera “Einstein on the Beach” by Robert Wilson and Phillip Glass. I had the pleasure of seeing this 4 hour opera in 1984 at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. I mention this because the main concept was how time and space interacts with objects, people and places. Place a familiar object in an unfamiliar place and you create a new reality. Surreal, beautiful, conflicting, or contrasting, yet a reality unto itself. Part of my process as a digital artist is to reinvent and remix these “realities”. The digital medium and digital process itself, provides a beautiful, infinite and creative end to this objective. And it is also my objective through the process to infuse an emotional integrity, influenced by the experiences we all share. To touch on something that is universal.


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variations | a pattern of maps and trails

variations | while you were gone

without hesitation
i followed
my map
your trail
> to the point of dreaming


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variations | biking (a maps, quotes, and trails remix)

The bicycle, the bicycle surely, should always be the vehicle of novelists and poets. ~ Christopher Morley

When I go biking, I repeat a mantra of the day’s sensations: bright sun, blue sky, warm breeze, blue jay’s call, ice melting and so on. This helps me transcend the traffic, ignore the clamorings of work, leave all the mind theaters behind and focus on nature instead. I still must abide by the rules of the road, of biking, of gravity. But I am mentally far away from civilization. The world is breaking someone else’s heart. ~ Diane Ackerman

Life is like riding a bicycle – in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~ Albert Einstein

After your first day of cycling, one dream is inevitable. A memory of motion lingers in the muscles of your legs, and round and round they seem to go. You ride through Dreamland on wonderful dream bicycles that change and grow. ~ H.G. Wells, The Wheels of Chance


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variations | a day in the life: 12pm on Paris Mountain

variations | a day in the life: 12pm on Paris Mountain a

It’s a beautiful day here at the base of Paris Mountain. The elevation is 1,200 feet and I plan to climb to 1,400 feet. It may not sound like much but the climb is about 2 miles. And the gradient is pretty steep. The downhill fast and sweeping. Last week, I was on the trails, and now the road. I have my ipod and will be listening Bvdub’s new cd “Born in Tokyo.”


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variations | a day in the life: bike and mountain

variations | a day in the life: bike and mountain

Today the mountain called. Beautiful was the color of sky and earth.


variations | a dreamtime returning

Well it is the final week of the Tour de France. And I must say it has been an enjoyable ride indeed. The final few days, starting with today will be climbing in the Alps, before the final day in Paris. Chris Froome is leading all contenders. And my favorite rider, the Spaniard, Alberto Contador is in second as of today. Approximately 4 minutes and 28 seconds in time behind. We can all assume that Chris Froome will continue to ride in yellow all the way to Paris and to the win. It looks like a four or five way battle for the second and third place positions on the podium. Hopefully Alberto will succeed in capturing second place. Last week in celebration of the tour, I had a very nice ride on my day off. I put in twenty miles in an hour and 45 minutes. The course was hilly and fast, in my humble opinion. Tomorrow before work I hope to get out and do about 10 miles. It’s that time of year when it is extremely hot and humid, so I hope to begin around 9 a.m.. Riding is a beautiful expression of will, consciousness and endurance. Each time I get on the bike it is a profound feeling of a returning Dreamtime.


variations | when biking le tour, we discover more about ourselves

The pleasure of the moment. In retrospect, a sense of warmth. The night turning to morning …

I was very excited about waking up at 6:30 a.m. to watch stage 9 of the Tour de France. The stage is a 168.5 km trek through the Pyrenees in Southern France. For me the mountain stages are the most exhilarating of all the various stages. The trek from Saint Girons to Bagneres de Bigorre includes four category one climbs, each over 5000 feet and a category 2 climb. A test of man and machine. I believe that climbing is my best skill as a rider, and I certainly can relate to the difficulty inherent to climbing. Whether it is mountain biking or road biking, I love the challenge. Climbing is very meditative; slow and methodical. One has to really focus inward. On the breath, and on the movement of the body. Everything is recorded over and over again. Sometimes with much pain. Physically and mentally is can be quite exhausting, but in the end very rewarding. There is a certain ‘Peacetime’ when the silence of nature, movement and breath come together. An inner bliss without end.


experiment: data complex 5 | a returning place | video art

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The journey to silence as visited through “A Returning Place”. Often the road to our true essence is discovered through the meditative path of silence. In that silence, we navigate the past; leaving it behind. We dismiss the anxiety of an uncertain future; freeing us from our thoughts. It is our hope that we find the journey without moving, The one that takes us on the road inward: The present moment, and the freedom through enlightenment to see things as they really are.

This video captures some of the elements of natural and man-made silence: Silent films, Space, singularity, and the journey one takes alone … in this thing called life.


variations | when, without moving we travel to a new vision

on the road
to Silence
> at last
quiet stillness

‘I think, therefore I am’, is far from the truth revealed in Silence (our thoughts are not who we are). As I move forward, stillness surrounds me. The ever-present moment awakens through the noise of distractions, attachments, thoughts. Creativity begins to make its presence known. The true vision that laid hidden … emerges.

There are moments, when traveling without moving; my mind turns inward. Often the idea for a new piece comes to me in the stillness of repetitive motion e.g. when driving home from work late at night or during the day riding my bike for hours. Both experiences are brought to a new level when simultaneously interwoven with ambient music of some kind: Inventive and emotional. Ethereal and far-reaching. Both movement and sound collapse the night and day into the black hole of my ever-expanding need for creativity. With each movement forward, with each night and day, like a sought out mystery, it mysteriously reveals itself. In Silence, I become one with my creative Truth.

Music for Backgrounds: Bvdub from the cd Resistance Is Beautiful and the track Nothing Like You. Perfect for that ride, drive or creative spark.

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