Not Home Alone… Creatively Connecting via COVID-driven Ingenuity

The following is an essay by Mr Pete —reflecting on changes he’s witnessed during our year of the pandemic. We’ve been thinking of it as #COVIDCreativity and #Ingenuity. This post is breakthrough for him as it moves beyond pure sharing to sharing with context and connections. What delighted us was all the references which demonstrate the breadth and depth of his knowledge.

So we made an editorial decision to run two versions of his “Not Home Alone…” piece. The first is a straight-up read for flow. Below it is one with links and annotations — for the #SCMF mind. We felt readers should be exposed to as much as they choose; drill deeper or circle back. Enjoy!! —ed


“Good Morning, Mr. Orwell” was the first international satellite “installation” by Korean-born visual artist Nam June Paik, considered the father of video art. It occurred on New Year’s Day, 1984.

Paik followed up the piece in 1986 with “Bye Bye Kipling” — a satellite installation linking New York, Seoul, and Tokyo. The title alluded to a poem by Rudyard Kipling: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

I had watched both of these shows, back in the day, on a New York City based Public Broadcast station (WNET). Also, I managed to record the programs on Beta tape (LOL – the technology standard before VHS took over).

At that time I thought the concept of connecting the whole world together in “Live Time” thorough digital media was a fascinating one.

I also had a thought that by recording the shows, I could “time-shift” the experience without losing the importance and richness of the concepts.

The knowledge and interest in these programs seemed to have faded like old discarded newspapers and magazines. In my travels over the years, I have either lost or trashed those Beta tapes (not that I could find a machine to play them on). Now I seem to have difficulty explaining the concepts to anyone without having the original source material as proof.

Fast-Forward: The Curse/Blessing of COVID-19

Isolation breeds a Certain Madness –said Mr Pete

Like the plague of the Dark Ages, Covid-19 forced the World to go into isolation. And that “isolation” breeds a Certain Madness.

People need to interact, if only in the knowledge that one could and will survive within the open borders of the shared experience.

“We are all in This Together” became the battle cry.
We just didn’t know how long this war would last…

Return of The Concept of World Unification through Digital Media

In this age of the Internet and YouTube, we now have the tools to connect and share our dreams and desires. With YouTube as a Window to the World, I noticed people were uploading their “isolation videos.”

Thematically, the first batch ranged from “Look at me! I’m still Alive!” to “Look at What I Can Do!”

We saw uplifting videos — like the British World War II vet marching with his walker around his garden everyday, to those folks banging on pots and pans daily at 7pm to exclaim their support for front liner workers (doctors, nurses and first responders).

Some were emotional and some were silly. A great example is the husband/wife team of Robert Fripp and Toyah who would entertain us with their “Sunday Brunch” videos.

Then there was the music world. DJs, who no longer had nightclubs to perform in, started gifting us with live sets from their living rooms. And singers/musicians offered us solo performances.

I discovered an out-of-work Broadway Star who serenaded his neighbors with Opera every afternoon. His rendition of “The Impossible Dream” will give you chills.

Also, “Nessun Dorma” was a common performance during the pandemic, especially with it’s closing line (as translated)

I discovered an out-of-work Broadway Star who serenaded his neighbors with Opera every afternoon. “Nessun Dorma” was a common performance, especially with it’s closing line (as translated):

“Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win!
I will win!”

Welcome to My World (The Zoom Version)

Artists, missing that creative magic that happens within the interactions of other Artists soon discovered (and harnessed) the digital tools needed “to make it happen.”

Simply using an iPhone, an Internet connection and a streaming platform, we now were all ready to embrace each other again if not with body, but with mind and spirit…

People although physically apart were soon united.

Bands re-formed.

Orchestras breathed again.

My sense was, once this digital experience is seasoned and well-cooked, it would become ready to serve at the global celebration of life and death.

Businesses were having Zoom Meetings to prove they were still vital and exist.

Musicians made their version of “isolation videos” to cure us –and they were the perfect prescriptions to bring us out of the shadows and into the light.

An Open Invitation: An SOS In A Bottle
[see separate piece here]

Melody Gardot, who I’ve written about before here at Jedemi, pretty much finished her new album right when the pandemic crisis hit. She knew the World was sad and hurting— people were suffering with heartache that she often sang about in her music. She also knew that the World needed to celebrate life and cherish those moments (if few) that we all share. She sent out a digital invitation for contributions to her new music video “From Paris with Love.”

The World accepted her Invitation…

I smile thinking about the response: There were Musicians and Performers, lone people and people in groups. There were People with Lovers, People with Families and People with their Pets.

Many were blowing kisses or holdings signs of where they were from. All had smiles and it appeared that their faces lit up with happiness and hope.

“Maybe one day I will see you
Maybe one day I will see you soon
With love, my love
A kiss beneath the moon…”

The Wrap-up, IMHO…

That, my friend, is “Our Digital Message in a Bottle,” a tapestry of emotions, from a mosaic of humanity, seasoned with a passion for life.

At night my thoughts wander as they often do. Is this the future that Nam June Paik dreamt of in HIS Electric Sleep?

“Walked out this morning, I don’t believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home”

—30—


The annotated version starts here…

Good Morning, Mr. Orwell” was the first international satellite “installation” by Korean-born visual artist Nam June Paik, considered the father of video art. It occurred on New Year’s Day, 1984.

Here is the whole 58-min piece if you have the time–ed

Paik followed up the piece in 1986 with “Bye Bye Kipling” — a satellite installation linking New York, Seoul, and Tokyo. The title alluded to a poem by Rudyard Kipling: “East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet.”

I had watched both of these shows, back in the day, on a New York City based Public Broadcast station (WNET). Also, I managed to record the programs on Beta tape (LOL – the technology standard before VHS took over).

At that time I thought the concept of connecting the whole world together in “Live Time” thorough digital media was a fascinating one.

I also had a thought that by recording the shows, I could “time-shift” the experience without losing the importance and richness of the concepts.

The knowledge and interest in these programs seemed to have faded like old discarded newspapers and magazines. In my travels over the years, I have either lost or trashed those Beta tapes (not that I could find a machine to play them on). Now I seem to have difficulty explaining the concepts to anyone without having the original source material as proof.

Fast-Forward: The Curse/Blessing of COVID-19

Isolation breeds a Certain Madness. said Mr Pete

Like the plague of the Dark Ages, Covid-19 forced the World to go into isolation.

But with that Isolation breeds a Certain Madness. People need to interact, if only in the knowledge that one could and will survive by within the open borders of the shared experience.

“We are all in This Together” became the battle cry.
We just didn’t know how long this war would last…

Return of The Concept of World Unification through Digital Media

In this age of the Internet and YouTube, we now have the tools to connect and share our dreams and desires. With YouTube as a “Window to the World,” I noticed people were uploading their “Isolation videos.”

Thematically, the first batch ranged from “Look at me! I’m still Alive!” to “Look at what I can do!”

We saw uplifting videos — like the British WW2 vet marching with his walker around his garden everyday, to those folks banging on pots and pans daily at 7pm to exclaim their support for front liner workers (doctors, nurses and first responders).

Some were emotional and some were silly. A great example is the Husband/Wife team of Robert Fripp and Toyah who would entertain us with their “Sunday Brunch” videos.

Then there was the music world. DJs who no longer had nightclubs to perform in started gifting us with live sets from their living rooms. And singers/musicians offered us solo performances.

I discovered an out-of-work Broadway Star who serenaded his neighbors with Opera every afternoon. His rendition of “The Impossible Dream” will give you chills.

Nessun Dorma” was a common performance during the pandemic, especially with it’s closing line (as translated)

“Vanish, o night!
Set, stars! Set, stars!
At dawn, I will win!
I will win!
I will win!”

Welcome to My World (The Zoom Version)
Artists, missing that creative magic that happens within the interactions of other Artists soon discovered the digital tools needed “to make it happen.”

Simply using an iPhone, an Internet connection and a streaming platform, we now were all ready to embrace each other again if not with body, but with mind and spirit…

Artists, missing that creative magic that happens within the interactions of other Artists soon discovered the digital tools needed “to make it happen.”

Simply using an iPhone, an Internet connection and a streaming platform, we now were all ready to embrace each other again if not with body, but with mind and spirit…

People although physically apart were soon united.
Bands reformed.

Orchestras breathed again.

My sense was, once this digital experience is seasoned and well-cooked, it would become ready to serve at the global celebration of life and death.

Businesses were having Zoom Meetings to prove they were still vital and exist.

Musicians made “isolation videos” to cure us —and they were the perfect prescriptions to bring us out of the shadows and into the light.

An Open Invitation: An SOS In A Bottle

Melody Gardot, who I’ve written about before here at Jedemi, pretty much finished her new album right when the pandemic crisis hit. She knew the World was sad and hurting— people were suffering with heartache that she often sang about in her music. She also knew that the World needed to celebrate life and cherish those moments (if few) that we all share. She sent out a digital invitation for contributions to her new music video “From Paris with Love.”

The World accepted her Invitation…

[see separate piece here]

I smile thinking about the response: There were Musicians and Performers, lone people and people in groups. There were People with Lovers , People with Families and People with their Pets.

Many were blowing kisses or holdings signs of where they were from. All had smiles and it appeared that their faces lit up with happiness and hope.

“Maybe one day I will see you
Maybe one day I will see you soon
With love, my love
A kiss beneath the moon…”

The Wrap-up, IMHO…

That, my friend, is “Our Digital Message in a Bottle,”
a tapestry of emotions, from a mosaic of humanity,
seasoned with a passion for life.

At night my thoughts wander as they often do. Is this the future that Nam June Paik dreamt of in his Electric Sleep?

“Walked out this morning, I don’t believe what I saw
Hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
Hundred billion castaways, looking for a home”


Thanks for taking the time to “take in” Mr Pete’s thoughts. We hope you enjoyed it and please… we invite you to share this piece and your thoughts. May the Jedemi Force be with you! –The Gang

—30—

About Mr Pete
A music aficionado, Mr. Pete’s mind and ears have no horizons. He has the uncanny ability to suss out the right song for the right time — a skill that is truly amazing. His lifelong passion for music began with his father’s influence and was kindled during his developmental years. Mr Pete built an extensive collection of record albums —diligently organized and catalogued— by the time he was a junior in high school. His mixed tape skills, honed in college during his stint as music director, have been in continuous use over the years while curating holiday CDs as gifts for friends. Jedemi welcomes his contributions.

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