GIMP 2.9.x and 2.10.0 Release Candidate 1 (RC1) On Debian Buster/Sid

Last updated March 27th due the the release of 2.10 RC1

You can find more details here:

I compiled GIMP for my Debian Stretch/Sid. When I originally did this – for Debian Jessie, I used an openly licensed document, therefore this document may be distributed by the same license as the original CC Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported.

What to do under DEBIAN

Open a terminal window and copy line for line int the window. Press RETURN and watch. The block with all the packages are one line, the “\” tells the system to ignore the line break, so you can copy and paste it in one chunk into your terminal.

Prepare the environment

 export PREFIX=`echo ~/gimp`
 export PATH=$PREFIX/bin:$PATH
 export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PREFIX/lib/pkgconfig:$PREFIX/share/pkgconfig

Install needed packages

Become superuser, update your system, install, go back to normal user.

su -

 apt-get update
 apt-get upgrade
 apt-get install libtool automake autoconf git-core gettext \
 libglib2.0-0 libglib2.0-dev libgtk2.0-0 libgtk2.0-dev ruby \
 intltool libtiff5 libtiff5-dev python-dev python-gtk2-dev \
 libexif-dev libmng-dev liblcms2-dev libxpm-dev librsvg2-dev \
 libwmf-dev libasound2-dev valac xsltproc openexr libexif-dev \
 libexif12 libgexiv2-dev libbz2-dev gtk-doc-tools \
 libjson-glib-dev libjson-c-dev build-essential


There are also some optional packages to help with dependencies, recently added to this are OpenJPEG, AsciiArt, GhostScript and test utils appstream and xvfb :

su -

 apt-get install libaa1-dev libwebkitgtk-dev \
 libjavascriptcoregtk-1.0-dev libopenexr-dev \
 libgs-dev libpoppler-glib-dev \
 python-cairo-dev libaa1-dev libopenjp2-7-dev \
 libgs-dev appstream-util xvfb


Don’t worry about these for a basic compile though. This should be the last time you need to become root to complete the process. You may also install one more library if you wish libjasper-dev, but you’ll have to get it from Debian Sid. See Libjasper is not in Buster or Stretch.

Get the source

It’s now necessary to fix libmypaint at version 1.3.0, and to also get the separate brushes repository:

mkdir gimp-build
 cd ~/gimp-build
 git clone
 cd libmypaint
 git checkout v1.3.0
 cd ~/gimp-build
 git clone
 cd mypaint-brushes
 git checkout v1.3.x
 cd ~/gimp-build
 git clone git://

Generate the make files, compile and install

In the autogen lines a lot of checks are done – watch for warnings and error messages!

cd babl
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 make install

cd ../gegl
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 make install

cd ../libmypaint
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX --enable-gegl
 make install

cd ../mypaint-brushes
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX
make install

cd ../gimp
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX --disable-gtk-doc
 make install

This gets you gimp-2.9 in the directory ~/gimp/bin . If you have error try to add any missing package and try again. Post a comment on this post if you like.

Keeping GIMP up to date

Don’t delete the source directory. Backup your directory with the working GIMP 2.9. The update can break everything in there…..

You can update easily with:

 export PREFIX=`echo ~/gimp`
 export PATH=$PREFIX/bin:$PATH
 export PKG_CONFIG_PATH=$PREFIX/lib/pkgconfig:$PREFIX/share/pkgconfig

cd gimp-build

cd babl
 git clean -f
 git pull --rebase
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 make install

cd ../gegl
 git clean -f
 git pull --rebase
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 make install

cd ../libmypaint
 git clean -f
 git pull --rebase v1.3.0
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX --enable-gegl
 make install

cd ~/gimp-build/mypaint-brushes
 git clean -x -d -f
 git pull --rebase v1.3.x
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 ./configure --prefix=$PREFIX
make install
cd ../gimp 
 git clean -f 
 git pull --rebase
 ./ --prefix=$PREFIX
 make install

This is fast, because only new and changed stuff is pulled from the servers and compiled.

Notes from “The informed Bodymind” a workshop by Nita Little

This was a workshop held at The Trinity Centre, Bristol with Nita Little over 2 days in Summer 2016.


This article is a set of note I took at the two day workshops by Nita Little, written up so that they hopefully make sense to people other than me. They are by no means endorsed by Nita, though I have kept quotes as accurate as I could write them down on the day. The illuminated meanings of the quotes I provide are based on purely on my personal interpretation and have not been reviewed, or even currently seen by Nita. Please read and feedback.

Nita Little – The informed Bodymind: Beyond dance/The invisible CI skills

Mind and Body

Nita started the workshop by asking “Who thinks they are (our body)? Who thinks we are this skin bag?”. The braver of the the “Yes, of course we do. Because we are social”. Nita emphasised that we live as the socialised self. We abide with the illusion that we are this physical body, the farting eating bag of bones we appear to reside in. Yet we are not it. We have a body and mind. They are separated. Not necessarily separable in a physical sense, but nonetheless separate entities. Nita asks us to comprehend this separation of mind and body, and then states:

“We are interested in the space where they are not distinct”.

Key Statements

Nita spoke many words at her workshop, but some really stuck with us, personally, and as a community. Here are some and what I thought they meant.

Move only at the speed of your attention

This has become the most repeated statement of Nita’s workshop. We need to remember that our movements are our partners too, and hence, move at the speed of your partner’s attention. It’s very easy to move at your own speed, whilst ignoring the speed of the other participants. I’ve also elsewhere recorded this phrase as “move at the speed of you awareness”.

If you catch yourself anticipating what you are going to do – don’t do it

For me, this was the most helpful statement of the weekend. When doing contact improvisation, I often enter a state where I’m purely experiencing. I have no judgements or conscious thoughts, but exist in moment. Getting to this state could take a while, and didn’t always happen.

It turns out that for hat if we react to those judgements, plans, or idea that come up when we dance by refusing them, they quickly go away, leaving an in the moment consciousness in their wake. Beautiful and simple. This strategy has worked for me consistently since the workshop.

We usually think in big chunks of time. I want you to use thin slices of time.

What? So a big slice of time, experienced as a thought, would be “I’m going to go the shops and get a loaf of bread” or “I’m going to get ready for a jam now”. Smaller would be “I’m going to put my trousers on.” smaller would be “I’m going to put one leg in the is trouser leg”. The slice Nita was looking for were much much smaller than this. Not the time scale of plans at all, slices thin enough to experience where we are, and to be moving our shapes. Nothing thicker.

“If you are thinking at the level of behaviour, that’s too thick a slice.”

Experience each moment

Needs no explanation, but harder than it sounds. How true is you direct experiencing of each moment?

Feel the other person Feeling You

We were asked to be aware of that experience of being

This is where the the quantum physical concept of entanglement comes in. We are not one consciousness, but an entanglement of two or more. Just as the states of entangled quanta cannot be ascertained until observed, and yet are intrinsically linked, so the movements two human bodies, each aware of each other is the same. Only when we see the results of the interaction can we see what it was to become, both parts had a true and real moment together. Nita called this ‘Entangled Attention’ (see Karen Barad).

About Falling

We did a numer of exercise about falling. The focus was falling on to each other. Nita related the fact that we could fall onto someone. She wanted us to fall due to gravity. Our bodies would be solid. This is one of those things that’s much easier to demonstrate than describe. It proved difficult enough to describe that we witnessed various demonstrations of the mechanics required. Nita’s description proved not adequate to get everyone to perform as required. I was however still very useful, so I relate it here.

When we are falling into someone, we can fall at a range of intensities, between 1% and 100%.

At 100% someone is taking all our weight. We might be pushing or forcibly presenting our weight.

At 1% we are ‘falling’ into someone. Our weight is our own, and we simply prop ourselves against each other. We do not flop, we do not push. We do not push. This should be our default strategy, fall into each other, not pushing. This is a strategy that was demonstrated for standing partnerships.

What can we do with a falling partner?

This 1% transference, yet still falling under gravity into someone is always on it’s way to falling undergravity. Our partner can let this happen. We can allow the fall to happen. As our partner falls faster and faster under gravity, we can catch them. It turns out that if you let them fall completely under gravity, they hit the flour, probably with some kind of injury. This is less that ideal. Nita suggest the be might be somewhere in the middle of the falling process. I created this sophisticated (ahem) diagram to help me remember:

Exercise that touched my brain and body

Feeling the weight of you arm

Nita spoke a lot about a how we are bodies under gravity, and how we feel that. One exercise went like this “Feel the weight of the underside of your arm. Hold your arm out and feel the pull of that underside downwards. Twist your arm (slowly) and feel how the weight is still on the underside. Place your arm on someone’s shoulder. Feel the underside weight on them.”

This feeling of gravity, subtly sensed was a profound feeling for me, and one that pay attention to in moments of stillness.

Lie on top of someone

Lie on top of someone. Start with distributing your weight. Match their shape and cover them. Not they move, you allow (facilitate?) them. You think of

  • distributing your weight provding more surface against them
  • taking some weight yourself on whatever is touching the floor

Nita said whilst giving me some help, she felt I didn’t know how to but light “You must learn to always hold your hips up (with your hands and your feet), because you have mass”.with I am a fairly bulky person, so this felt like a sideways comment about the excess body fat. It amused both my and dance partner. I always remember now that I have mass, and usually more than the people I’m dancing with.

Question I asked where: How can I concentrate my weight on the floor bound parts of me. To what degree can I do this? How can I distribute my weight on the other person better – how can I give more surface. This is an ongoing project in my CI practice.


Teaching Style

I felt I learnt a lot from Nita’s style of teaching. She was a very open person who involved a huge range of interactions in her teaching. She had a dark humour at some points, was variously a clown, serious academic, a friend or a critic.

She would not allow anyone to indulge in wandering in the pseudo spiritual. She was dogged pursuer of truth. “I have no time for fantasies” she said. I asked her about this after the

When Jamus Woods ask for a clarification of the term body/mind idea, she demonstrated her observing Jamus – she was subject, Jamus object. She then mocked the situation as if she was treating Jamus as an object and sneered at him. We all laughed.

This may have also related to her idea that in very connected dances we are in a state of “feeling the other person feeling us”. To not do this is not to connect with the other person in a way that make contact improvisation happen.

Karen Barad

Nita introduced a person who she admired. Karen has take ideas from Quantum Physics and woven them into a philosophy of existence. I usually dislike these sorts of things, but she does not have the usual hall marks of this kind of work. She does not:

  • demonstrates a half understanding of science
  • come to overblown conclusions
  • demonstrate very little link between the two
  • add some new age nonsense

I’ve made a plan to get more in touch with her work at some point. I’m reminded a bit of Terence McKenna

Original Blurb

This was the original text used to publicise the workshop:

This dance form invites us to have a self-sense that extends spatially to include our partners and our environment. Its skills ask for physical/mental states beyond our normative modes and modalities. And, it stretches our understanding of physicality and perception. The aim of this class is to increase our ability to act responsively through developing new physical and perceptual skills that enhance our peripheral intelligence. By discovering new forms of awareness we will learn to dance safely in a state that gives us an ability to read each ecological moment spatially and energetically. With the dance as our teacher, we will come to able to trust ourselves to meet each moment successfully whether we are falling or flying.”

Tree and Wind

This is my first ever attempt to write up one of my favourite a Contact Improvisation exercise, this one is one of my favourites. It’s an introductory exercise which can be followed by dancers of all ability and experience levels and yet produces sensitive engaged and collaborative movement. I don’t know it’s origin. The write up is my take on it and how it works best. All constructive feedback, on any level, is most appreciated. I’ve deliberately gone into why I think particular elements are there, in order to court that feedback, so dig in.

The Tree and The Wind

Usual caveats around safety and self care, particularly for newer dancers, apply here. If you don’t know what those are, make sure you’ve found out before running a session.

The purpose of this exercise is to provide a simple way into a state of interacting in borderland between active and passive. It involves various somatic components which add skills which are isolated to enhance focus upon them. It can optionally end up in a open ended jam. Participants invest themselves the imagery of a tree and wind to evoking a range of movements and interactions.

I’d recommend doing an activity before this that increase internal physical awareness. It’ll work fine after a warm up, but better if people are primed.

When talking about the trees and winds of the real world which are our inspiration here, I use lower case letters. When talking about the participants taking on the roles of the TREE and of the WIND I use capitals.

The form of this exercise is:

  1. Participants form pairs
  2. One person acts as ‘the wind’, the other as ‘the tree’
  3. The participant reverse roles
  4. The participants do both roles at the same time
  5. Optional move into a jam

1. Forming pairs

There’s no particular need to pair any particular participant with any other, completely at random is fine. It’s pretty essential to do this in pairs though, trios don’t work because of the change over.

2. Tree and Wind

The session leader should find a person to demonstrate with, the demonstration can happen as the exercise progresses.

Each person allocates amongst themselves who will be ‘tree’ and who will be the ‘wind’. They have the following characteristics:

Tree – A tree is routed to the grounded, it must yield to the wind, but returns fluidly to it’s position of rest.

TREES should be encouraged to feel the earth through their feet (roots). They maintain their feet positions. They should have soft knees and limbs. Tone should be low. They should offer minimal resistance to being moved by the wind. Trees in nature that are too rigid will fall in the wind, they fail to yield. TREE movements should flow and come softly back to a comfortable standing position after being perturbed by the WIND. TREE should allow some resonance or swaying before returning to rest. TREEs should shut theirs eye, but might also try open focus.

Wind – The wind blows the trees branches in breezes gusts and bellows. It can wind in and out of the branches, lifting and touching.

WIND is encouraged to diversity of movement in their interactions with the tree, they might gently touch a leg or knee, lift or hold aloft an arm or hand, push against the torso or hips. Even the head might get a gently touch no and again.

The wind should begins gently at first, a soft summer breeze coming in from the see which lift the branches, little gusts in a leafy autumn meadow. The WIND should gently pushes or reserved lifting of the arms are a good start. Over the next 10 minutes, the wind can increase its force, it’s unpredictability. The participants should be instructed as to the level the wind has reached. The session leader might like to suggest some changes in weather, and possibly illuminate how those might be reflected in a specific physical movement – though TREEs and WINDs should very start to find their own movements and interactions inform by the metaphors the session leader provides and its probably best to keep this to minimum. Examples of how the WIND might physically interact with the TREEs are:

  • little gusts – a TREE’s limbs might knocked or pushed by the hand of the WIND.
  • breezes – a TREE will have its branch gently lifted for a short time by the WINDs hand.
  • strong winds – applying some force to the torso or one side of the hips or a shoulder.
  • spirals and twists – gusty wind doesn’t flow straight. It arcs and turns as it flows. WIND might gently twist or turn the torso via the chest or hips, maybe pull on a limb to create a torsional movement.

Participant can play with this and expand the metaphor is as many ways as they can think of. They probably will do this naturally, but encourage if you feel it necessary.

The WIND should never go to the point of being a storm, it’s not necessary in meeting the classes objectives (of course, if you wish to find time to experiment with wind forces up to hurricane outside of the session then do). The TREE should never receive enough force to actual become root loose, that is the feet should be allowed to maintain their position.

The WEATHER narrative the session leader encourages through the exercise is like this:

  1. calm
  2. breezy and gusty
  3. strongish winds
  4. back to breezy
  5. calm again

This can happen of any length of time, but take at least 15 minutes for this. Give participants lots of time and space without any talking.

3. Switch of roles

It’s time to swap. The TREE is now the WIND and WIND now the TREE. Saying something like this should just about do it.

“Take a minute now to find a comfortable way to change roles, the person who was the tree is now the wind, the person who was the wind is now the tree.”

Participants might need some extra instruction if they’ve forgotten the other role, but usually they can get right into it. They might forget to close eyes as TREEs or to stay rooted. Gently encourage the intended aspects.

Simply run the exercise again, the session leader being the WEATHER moving in the same pattern as in (2).

4, Both roles at the same time

Instructions to the participants something this should cover it:

“Now the final part of the exercise. At this point you become both the tree and wind. Take a minute to move into that both states. Remember the ways you interacted and tree and wind, and now do both at the same time. You are rootless and can move around, you both yield and act. Remain in pairs.”

There might be the odd confused look or question, but then people will get to it. Help out quietly anyone who is having trouble and can’t get there. People should essentially move into a state of listening to movement of others whilst being active within the dance, the simultaneous sending and receiving. Contact between participants will be limited in terms of the body parts interacted with due to the exercise, there may be no core to core interaction at first, but the internal process should be pretty solidly where we want it. Yay!

5. Moving into an open jam

There are a variety of ways this could move into an open jam and it might happen anyway. The session leader might try verbal instructions to remove some of the constraints present as they were presented during previous exercise, for example:

  • You now no longer need to work in pairs, interact with any other tree/winds in the room
  • You aren’t limited to hands and feet for your interaction, try hips, head and other bits for interacting
  • You aren’t limited to being on your feet

It’s worth thinking about a deep harvest at the end of this exercise. There will have been a lot of new feelings and internal machinations, some of which will be shared experience and other bits unique. It’s useful for dancers to find out how other people experienced the session.