2015

Countries visited: four.

States visited: four.

Photos taken: seventy-two thousand, six hundred and eleven (on my two main bodies. Not including my 5D, RX100, Kiev 88 or OM-2).

Major art projects: (Click for links).
The Art Olympics
Yours the Face
These Were the Sounds

Words transcribed for the Art Olympics: one hundred and thirty thousand, seven hundred and twenty-three.

Most-liked photo on Facebook: This one, taken in New York on my ten thousandth day on earth.

Sarah Walker 10,000 days upload

People photographed while they were sleeping: seven.

People kissed: eight.

Of which, sober: four.

Song I most often had stuck in my head: ‘The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill’ by the Beatles.

People who made me cry: one.

People I made cry: one, to the best of my knowledge.

Favourite photo I took:

Sarah Walker Dash after being catcalled upload

Favourite film: ‘The Lobster.’

Most-played album: ‘The Phosphorescent Blues’ by Punch Brothers.

Best recommenders of new music: Jordan, Mikey.

Favourite TV series: ‘Please Like Me.’

Number of books read: fifteen.

Of which, the best: ‘Infinite Jest’ by David Foster Wallace.

Best piece of theatre I saw: ‘YOUARENOWHERE’ at Arts House.

Favourite thing I made: My two sound-diaries from America and France, which I think are my favourites because they’re so different to everything else I do.

Best decision: shooting Darcy’s 30th birthday party.

Decisions I regret: three.

Shoots that went really badly: one.

People who told me they wanted to die: two.

Day that felt most golden: Reading at Women of Letters, riding home to spend the day laughing, drinking, singing, dreaming with old friends and new, ending in candlelight, lying on the floor holding hands with Izzy, shouting along to The Mountain Goats.

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Moments I felt so happy I could burst:

Sitting in Matt’s van at 2 am, drinking whiskey, as he and Dan played guitar and harmonised together.
Julian Burnside telling me stories about Beethoven, in a home stuffed to the brim with art.
Roddy doing a run of ‘Yours the Face’ in my bedroom ten days out from opening, just shining.
Riding my bike so fast down Kent Avenue in Brooklyn at midnight.
Laughing in a smoky Berlin bar, drinking wine with Hamza, Nico and Sebastian, on my last night in Europe.
Swimming at Northcote pool in winter, the only person in the outdoor pool, as the sun was dropping down through the clouds, sending sudden shafts of light shattering on the water, like swimming through a Titian painting.
Driving into Meredith, blaring ‘I Believe in a Thing Called Love’ with Mikey and Cam.
Eve’s face watching Ratatat at Meredith.

Moment I felt coolest: Sitting on the rooftop of Club Cardi with Darcy and Donna, watching In Capital play, looking out over Carlton roofs and good friends and rope light gone blurry with alcohol.

Most beautiful thing anyone said to me: David Finnigan, over Facebook chat –

‘people terrify people
& people also need people
so so much
we’re tied together in an inescapable web of mutuality and at the same time we’re undone by each other’

Favourite piece of drunk profundity: Sam talking about street signs: ‘Street signs help carve channels in the psychogeography of a place.’

Last year’s new year’s resolutions:
Remember that you are young.
Kiss good people.

This year’s new year’s resolutions:

Carve out time to make your own art.
Listen more.

Titles of lists that I made:

These are the things that are good.
Self-care.
An entirely superficial and incomplete list of the things I enjoy about you.
Books read.
Hiraeth.
Wunderkammer.
A list of the things I think of when I think about you.
The Ol’ ‘Everything Feels Possible When You’re on Holidays, So This is How I’ll be the Renaissance Upon Returning Home’ list.
Remember that.
Things to cook at home.
Books to read, via The Internet.

Things that gave me goosebumps:

Many times in the MUST reading of ‘Blessed’ – those descriptions of harsh, sick love.

Lucy’s ‘Dear/Hello’ letter.

Glen Hansard and the cast of ‘Once’ singing ‘The Auld Triangle’ on Youtube.

Luc talking about how people who’ve lived their whole lives in jungles have only ever needed depth perception to around 5 metres. When taken out into open space, they reach out to touch the mountains on the horizon.

Elbow’s ‘My Sad Captains’ on the bus to Washington, DC.

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Smithsonian Air and Space Museum – ‘To avoid the risk of both being killed in a crash, the brothers never flew together. Just this once, they threw caution to the wind and shared a six-minute flight – the only time they were in the air together. Later that day, Orville took up their 81-year-old father, Bishop Milton Wright. His only comment during the flight was, “Higher, Orville. Higher.”

From the same place, a sample of wood and fabric from the Wright Flyer that was carried to the surface of the moon by the crew of Apollo 11 in 1969.

Nate talking about his brother coming out to their aunt and uncle – fighting, him getting back in the car, the two brothers holding hands for courage.

Incredible women reading at the Nuyorican slam – fierce, defiant, wounded, proud words. Shivers rocketing down my whole body.

Cam Addicot telling me about the treasure hunt he made to propose to his boyfriend, replicating their first meeting in Paris.

‘This Year’ by the Mountain Goats – the lyric ‘Locking eyes / Holding hands / Twin high-maintenance machines.’

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Jess talking about mathematical savants being asked to multiply vast numbers, and their brains ticking away behind the scenes until, perhaps days or weeks later, the answer just pops into their heads. The inscrutable nature of the human brain.

Dad talking about Flojo – Florence Joyner – running the 200m: ‘At about 150 metres, she’d get this shit-eating grin on her face, and she’d just fly.’

Radiolab – ‘In the Dust of this Planet.’ ‘So what are we saying, with this affectation of nihilism?’ ‘We’re saying ‘I am not afraid. I am not afraid.”

Lots while talking with Jahman in Berlin. Noh theatre – the actors saying to the audience, ‘I can’t do this without you. I need you.’

Jahman describing ‘Enemy of the People’ – the lead actor turning to the audience and demanding that they give their opinions about society. Other actors argued, pointing out the audience’s hypocrisy. The argument built, built, built until everyone was screaming with passion at each other, and at the crescendo, the actors started pelting the lead with water balloons filled with paint – a chaos of noise, colour, passion.

Jahman describing tribes in the Amazon trying to reverse the flow of time, to turn back to before white people came, to stop the Amazon burning.

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Jahman talking about a production of ‘Iphigenia’ which opened with a total blackout, including the orchestra pit. Then slowly, the pit lights came up with the stage lights, to reveal a man swinging across the stage by his ankles, as Iphigenia stood with a knife.

‘Tristan and Isolde’ – Wagner. Based around a chord progression which never resolves – every time it gets close, it’s undercut, someone walks in, the notes are cut off. Then finally, at the climax of the opera, as Isolde dies, the final chord drops into place.

The gallery owner from Design Panoptikon telling me about the woman who lived in an iron lung for 60 years, and studied psychology at university, worked on a suicide hotline – all from this metal cage, breathing forever in… and out…

To my shame, twice (!) while watching ‘Pitch Perfect 2’ – when they did the a cappella version of ‘When I’m Gone’ and the reveal of all the previous singers joining in onstage. Dreadful.

Izzy reading me ‘Excuses for why we failed at love’ by Warsan Shire on her bed at 3 am.

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Teenagers talking about love in Arena’s SERA Arts Show in Footscray – ‘I’ve got someone’s hand to hold.’ The simplicity of it, the longing, the belief in it, as only children can, before the world gets in.

Izzy talking in the car after ‘Desdemona’ – ‘It’s about power. It’s about violence.’

Hozier: ‘When my time comes around / Lay me gently in the cold, dark earth / No grave will hold my body down / I’ll crawl home to her.’

Fleur talking about scientists working with deceased babies – ‘Every time I get the call saying we have some new baby eyes coming in, part of it is really upsetting, and part of it is the sense of privilege. That I’m going to do incredible things with these.’ The sense of reverence, of acknowledging the gravity of that gift.

Kieran saying that there’s a day every year that acknowledges all the people and animals who have given their lives so that we can know what we do about biology.

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Rachel’s letter to Bobby – ‘I felt like you were better lit than everyone else in the room.’

Listening to Elbow doing ‘Lippy Kids’ live at Jodrell Bank, and the audience just exploding with the words ‘Build a rocket, boys.’ The incredible power of thousands of voices united.

‘Inspiring Women’ – Tilly’s intro: ‘In this place, women are respected.’ Em Wheaton’s mum: ‘Death will put its arms around us and catch us as we fall.’

The Mountain Goats – ‘Love, Love, Love.’

Izzy talking about place, about her father being at the ocean. About capitalism and what it means to have a stake in a home.

Performer in Rawcus workshop. Kate asked them to call out names of people in the room and incorporate a gesture. He put his hand on his heart, looked up and said, ‘Dad, love and affection. Missing you.’

Matt Colin talking about his friends dying in a shipping container in the Blue Mountains. The woman’s sister coming in to wake them up, shaking them in the bed.

More embarrassing things – watching a deleted scene from ‘Love, Actually’ featuring a relationship between a headmistress and her terminally ill lover – Emma Thompson later in the movie saying, ‘Geraldine was a wonderful and wicked woman.’

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Oprah talking about reading in church as a young child, a woman coming up to her mother and saying, ‘Hattie May, this here’s a talkin’ child.’

Also her speaking about naming her stillborn son, over 40 years later – Canaan.

Father John Misty performing ‘Bored in the USA’ at Meredith – these lyrics about being white, overeducated, lost – this vocal ripple through the crowd.

Listening to the first episode of Serial Season 2 with Mikey and Cam, Bowe Bergahl talking about solitary confinement in the dark, about it actually hurting, physically and mentally. His description of the feeling being like having a word on the tip of your tongue, but it’s your whole self.

Mikey telling me that the moon is moving away from the earth at the rate that our fingernails grow.

Mark Wilson, sprawled on his sofa, talking about oblivion, throwing his arms wide and saying, ‘I can’t wait to be nothing!’ Joy in the face of mortality.

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S x

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