The Tibet Within


12 01, 2006 10:57

Welcome to the "Tibetronica" web site. I am your host, Morley Robertson.

Polaroid has supported my endeavor to visit Tibet. This web site will document the entire voyage, from early preparations to the completion of an art work, in real-time.

This web site "Tibetronica" will also be a journey along the time axis. Various ideas will evolve from scratch and become embodied through experimentation and research, finally into a complete (or incomplete) piece. I aim to make the entire process as transparent as I can. Trying to break away from clichés and my own preconceptions about Tibet, I will carry on with my experiments.

The early phase of this project will be an attempt to travel to the "Tibet within". If there is indeed a secret land inside, I would like to look for it, before I leave home for the Tibet that is far away.

Many have pointed out that there are mysterious, primitive powers in the human mind and body. In fact, Western science, which taps into a very specialized channel of human capability, has come to dominate our lives, particularly in the developed countries. Convenient living has also come to mean boredom. It is ironical that after centuries of mighty efforts, people at the top of the ladder are finding less and less thrills and surprises, and are disconnected from their own life-force. Waking up to notice that most of the day is spent in front of a computer terminal or television… unattractive.

In the last decade of internet evolution, keeping up with the excitement and dazzling breakthroughs meant that you had to spend long hours at a computer. So lots of people just stayed home, while reaching out to the world of information. But now, to put information technology to the real test, I want to focus my IT know-how in the direction of Tibet.

Here is a brief self-introduction. I have always been, at the core, a musician. Because I moved back and forth between the United States and Japan from infancy, I developed bilingual abilities, and a bicultural perspective. My work in radio broadcasting has been well-known in Japan. In the last year, my personal broadcasts in the form of podcasts, outside the framework of traditional mass media, has also gained a following in some corners.

I have always preferred experimental music. My quest has been to discover sounds that I had never heard, and to hear the sounds in their primordial state, outside of the cultural framework of musical scales or theories. It might be more accurate to describe my search as "experimentation through music". I have been at it from the 1980's.

However, at this juncture, I notice how I have seemingly settled into a particular "method" of delivery. I could, if I wanted to, legitimize my various moves by theorizing what I do, catalog myself, and build a mold of repetition and predictability, so that eventually, I am "parodying" myself. I suppose that with the right packaging, I could even hope to sell off some of my works which used to be considered un-marketable or far-fetched, as collector’s items. But I do not want to "grow up" in that way, because it will defeat my purpose. A scenario for success like that would amount to premature senility. Overlap here the image a wealthy person who gradually loses control of bodily functions and the ability to imagine, through the passivity of convenient living.

So I have decided that my first endeavor would be to make things inconvenient. I intend to go looking for the "inner Tibet". Unchartered regions within the individual; there must be some. I have hints leading to those inner places, but at the same time my mind tries to bounce me off-course when I go in that direction. My body and mind have already adapted to their fixed routines, and neither want to really change. So I have to find a way to break through this lethargy.

I need to "re-wire" my insides. Physically and psychologically. My life has become, when you look at the bigger picture, a series of routines and repetitions. I am clever with my tricks to earn a living, but they just aren’t enough. So now, I want to bring in unpredictable elements into daily life, and create situations where my reflexes won’t work. I am going to knowingly immerse myself into activities in which I "do not excel". In that way, maybe I can galvanize my nervous system and psyche. I hope to metamorphose, out of the old mold.

Somewhere along my fifteen-year-long chase of the computer revolution, I left my body behind. Physical stuff is low-priority. IT and science keep extending my physical capabilities, so in the end, I won’t have to leave my home, and I can remote-control robotic forces far greater than my own. But what happens when I start drowning in that power? I could become seduced into thinking that the scientific toys given to me are manifestations of real power. And that would be when my mind and body start to fall apart. Or just become stupid, while thinking that I am creative.

So now, it is important that I enter a place where computers cannot assist me. The non-digital tool of choice is yoga. I signed up for a yoga school.