23 Chunks of Being:
Gregory Grieve’s Experiments in Transmitting Pure actuality
6. Transmission 23 (2020)
Grieve made this video in March 2020, about three weeks into a case of COVID-19 that would linger for another month. In Grieve’s mind, this is a documentary about “attempting to think the unthought thought” during a typical day during quarantine. The film is composed of found footage, as well as images, and sounds from Grieve’s backyard, and refers to those around him (including the dog that did not bark). The video transmits Grieve’s fear through a filter of Heideggerian philosophy, Buddhism, and the extinction of the Neanderthals. The video is divided into three parts, “culture,” “science,” and “religion.” It is a mix of prosaic everyday things around him, and the search for the ultimate meaning of life. When he made it, the world seemed precarious, unstable, and on the edge of ending, and his own mind was suffering from a thick Covid fog. Death lingers —it is something strange in the air— in the background, and Grieve was exploring the difference between seeing and looking at it. In this video Grieve is again exploring the notion of transmission in four entangled ways. First, is the fact that all communication is transmitted through material sign systems. The second is when the Buddhist monk, Mahākāśyapa, realized direct transmission from the Gautama Buddha, when the Buddha held up a white lotus. The third is the constant Pinging of social media. And four, the video obviously directly indicates the transmission of the virus.