Dear esteemed colleagues, friends, supporters, patrons, 

This missive is about the observance of the quotidian as a counterpoint to the sweep of this overwhelming, paradigm-shifting, and tumultuous time, in the cosmos, here on earth, and in our inner-lives. 

The quotidian customarily connotes something hardly worth noticing, since it is day-to-day, prosaic, mundane, uneventful, etc. Yet, it is these very qualities of these moments, piled one on top of the other, or strung along a continuum, which make up the flow of daily life, or of living - to de-emphasize anything passive about standing in our existence.   

Because of the times, Tribal Crackling Wind’s big projects have had to be waylaid, and so my plans are now more of the moment, or cast not very far into the future, or more intimate or in camera (interestingly, meaning literally ‘in chambers’, private or ‘backstage’, but also meaning in this case, via a camera, as in, for digital recording). There are things that are literally small, but exquisite, and moments that are fleeting but potent. The usual evaluation of these activities in terms of public dissemination and impact have been acutely affected by principals of relativity. 

This adjustment has been challenging, since usually my responsibilities as a publicly funded artists have included a commensurate scope of planning in terms of extensiveness and time span, sometimes of multiple years. The push for quickly and reflexively putting work on line as a replacement for not being able to fulfil my public due and public presence within the live theatrical/studio space, has been problematic for me. I want to give and share, but I also want to eschew a lack of discrimination about what is given over to the public digital platform, based on its appropriate or non-appropriate qualities. I have spent decades wondering about the nature of live presentation in terms of real ritual and ceremony, sacred connection with place, time, and dimension, channelling and transformation through spontaneous altered states - and I find myself personally deficient as a translator of these into the digital realm. I have had to have a discussion with myself about this in terms of questioning if it is because of an unbecoming resistance to upgrading my digital technical capabilities, or a matter of clinging too much to some ultimate obsolescence that blinds me to vast digital possibilities.  

Nevertheless, stepping slightly away from those issues now, here, in prose and pictures, I essay to demonstrate to myself and then share with you, that the quotidian of my life, yields the extraordinary. I know this by trying to be mindful in each moment of this day-to-day consciousness, and in reflective hindsight, that there are many treasures of epiphany, knowing, delight, and discovery in the commonplace. The question persists to hang around, however, if these observations and renderings of them, and then the sharing with you of them, in this Missive Mondays format and other platforms, is art, artful, or artwork. 

And so, we inevitably arrive at the perennial question of life as art and visa-versa. As I have written before, I received my first big arts grant in 1989, to travel to Asia for the first time on a research trip, and part of the writing of that grant reflected on the inspiring example of traditional Balinese culture having no designated word for ‘art’ since creativity and the making of art was so integral to living day-to-day life. Imagine - that notion has stayed with me since, and I am day to day still endeavouring to live that out! 

My friend, the brilliant multidisciplinary artist Elyakim Taussig, when I was barely into my twenties, once uplifted me in a moment of crushing doubt as a young artist, by stirring me to wonder if my ultimate work of art was my life itself, and how I lived it. I never took that in a grandiose, self-aggrandizing way, but as a provocation to regard the way I lived my life, as art or as an artistic act over an expansive span of time - never questioning the validity, relevance or universal value of this concept.  

Here are a series of six videos, three of them less than a minute long. They all demonstrate the extraordinariness of the quotidian. The photos do this as well. I hope you enjoy them. 

Wishing you love, peace and all that’s good.

Peter Chin

Rites for the Dead & Rainbow
Sundown at NKK Residence
Anxiety at the Lotus Pond
Ceremony by Monks from Wat Po Banteaychey
The Dizzy Zinnia
Morning Ducks October 2020 Cambodia
Beetle and wilting bouquet
Simple flowers from the garden arranged on the patterned floor
The green beetle is dusty because it clung on to the broom for a sweep of the floor
Reflection of orchids on porcelain kitchen counter tiles
Water snowflake flower blooms for one day only as the fish swim below
Garden work transfigured dramatically at twilight 
The cow herder seen passing each day 
The decency of garden work, especially assisted by a young neighbour
Cute visitors relax in pavilion 
Cute visitors order a few drinks 
The friendly baby cow passes by each day 
Each day, the cows line up in the same pattern to graze the live long day
Sunset seen through kitchen window 
The cannonball tree seen through the window, turning colour as if experiencing a northern autumn, soon to drop leaves in order to accomodate new growth
Daily beauty of the sunset 
Sunset sears a meditative inner instant 
The late afternoon light transforms the work desk
The lotus pond, pavilion and house appear transformed by beautiful light
The resident gecko, heard nightly, makes a rare appearance
Flowers, Khmer traditional glazed pottery sit in the window looking out into the garden
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Tribal Crackling Wind · 33 Wood Street · Suite 3001 · Toronto, Ontario M4Y 2P8 · Canada

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