The question was asked during an art installation at Gallery Weekend in Berlin. After thinking about it for a while, I was surprised by my own response…
At first all I could see was what I haven’t accomplished. I imagined 2004-me giving 2014-me a hard time about that. But as I reflected a little more, I realised a lot of 2014-me’s ambitions, ideas and views weren’t yet a part of 2004-me… Remembering where and who I was back then, and imagining him being shown where I’m at today, I think he’d be pretty happy about some things, and even amazed by one or two.
So: what would 2004 Ray Mann be struck by about 2014 Ray Mann?
1. 2014-Ray actually lives in Berlin. It was in 2004 that I first visited this city. I only very reluctantly left – but not before promising myself that one day I’d return, and stay awhile. 2004-Ray would be so happy to know that, long and windy as the road back here would get, he really would make it back.
2. 2014-Ray is all about making art. My initial thought was that 2004-Ray may would be a little disheartened to discover that 2014-Ray still has to work to support his art. But then I remembered: no, 2004 Ray never even imagined being a full-time artist, much less being one for an entire year.
3. 2014-Ray has produced an album himself. 2004-Ray hadn’t imagined making an album at all. (2008 Ray, on the other hand, who envisioned releasing an album every year, might be a little disappointed to discover he’d only have released two albums and change by 2014). I think 2004 Ray would be pretty amazed to know he’d get to do that.
4. 2014-Ray has played in Japan. 2004-Ray never could have seen that one coming.
5. 2004-Ray to 2014-Ray: “Damn baby, where your curls at?”
… actually, my real number 5 would be: 2014-Ray has made so many music videos for himself. 2004-Ray, a shiny new graduate of film and design school, would be happy to know all that study was at least put to some use. For reasons that I might write about another time, I think 2004-Ray would be particularly stoked about this one:
What would 10-Years-Ago-You think of Today-You?
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Ray Mann plays live shows and DJ sets this month. Details on the gigs page.