Bagel work

It’s 6.12pm. Emily Kai Bock’s music video for Arcade Fire has just appeared on screens around the world, and we’re in the kitchen picking broken bagel bits out of the toaster with a knife. Hunger-driven stupidity.

“It got released like two minutes ago. I really don’t want to have to deal with the comments, all the people ripping in.”

We rip into the bagel. She’s buying time. Our excavation efforts become delayed by caution. Eventually I find an off-switch.

“It’s like eight minutes long. It’s hard to pass something so close to you on and say, ‘here’s my baby’, to all these hard-core fans who will compare it to live recordings they’ve seen.”

I’m not a filmmaker. But I recognise the distinction between live and what’s been constructed. And a face of frustration.

“It happened with Grizzly Bear.”

I return my attention to the fist of dishwashed knives in my left hand and ask, what about Grimes?

“Well I made her first video, so of course there was nothing to compare it to. And it was before anyone knew she would turn into, Grimes. No one knew we were making it.”

I’m unable to resist inquiring further.

“Yeah super busy. I think I emailed her last like 6 months ago. But she’s out, doing it all.”

I bet, I say, I bet, replacing the knives failing my cleanliness test into the dishwasher for a repeat cycle. Yeah I bet.

“Do you want to play me your thing now?”

I pause, back turned. Somewhere in the office a phone rings, unanswered.

Yeah, oh yeah, sure, yes. Cool. Let’s do it. Bring the bagel with us. How funny the confidence which had taken me days to muster had evaporated faster than the condensation covered dishes I was now sad to leave behind.

Gingerly I open the nominated laptop, fumble around for the Internet. Simple things have become difficult.

“Oh, can you read that part first?”
“Oh, yeah, sorry.”

The cracks in these walls
meet the cracks of your lips–
speak to me, tell me your dreams
and all the things these trees have seen.

In a lifetime of growing you out
now you want in, let's begin to
imagine we want the same thing
while my heart quietly sings,



I sit frozen, anticipating the longest 4:36 of my life. But then the words come.

“That should be your name, not Somesuch.”
“He sounds a bit like James Blake.”
“Was that shot hand-held?”

Patiently she watches with intent, smiling perhaps wryly for the incongruity of what she’s seeing.

It ends. There are maybe 50 inked daisies now decorating my notepad.

“I like the mood a lot, how you decided to underexpose inside the Church, most people wouldn’t do that.”

We talk about The Devil’s Crossroad in Texas and the wandery, lonely feel of a spirit through forgotten buildings.

A bit like the spirit voyeur in St Luke’s.

I scribble notes, illegible letters now falling sideways on straight lines. How can I improve I want to know.

“I don’t think you needed to return back outside. Maybe. But I like that shot of the tree. And the contrast of outside to inside being like a tomb.”

She tells me about shooting mini documentaries of her friends on the worst little borrowed Sony camera during college. Matters have progressed.

I am smiling because right here, two people have deliberately not wanted to view work this evening. On sliding scales. Very sliding, slid.

Here, I realise presenting work is like exhibiting a bagel. No matter how intentional your decisions, people will always be able to spot a hole in it somewhere.

I consider adding such a profound statement to the flood of Internet comments Emily Kai Bock currently refuses to read.  


A much more in-depth interview with the creators project here.

Thanks Emily. 


1 comment:

  1. so. freaking. cool. can I Facebook that??