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dust_and_shadow:collected_fieldnotes [2019-09-09 11:12]
maja
dust_and_shadow:collected_fieldnotes [2019-09-28 01:03] (current)
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 ====Dust & shadow. Fieldnotes==== ====Dust & shadow. Fieldnotes====
  
 +Text and images from the Fieldnotes booklet, also available in {{ :​dust_and_shadow:​dust_shadow_fieldnotes.pdf |PDF format}}. ​
  
 ==== Foreword ==== ==== Foreword ====
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 **Sonoran & Mojave deserts 020170517 to 020170527** **Sonoran & Mojave deserts 020170517 to 020170527**
  
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 It was as if the city didn’t want to let us leave, pulling us back into it’s humid lethargy. It took us more than two days to leave Brussels (a train accident, flight delays, arcane regulations,​ etc.) and when we finally landed in Phoenix we were greeted by the dry warmth of desert evening. This was a different kind of warmth, one that glides across the skin rather than cloying and stifling. It was as if the city didn’t want to let us leave, pulling us back into it’s humid lethargy. It took us more than two days to leave Brussels (a train accident, flight delays, arcane regulations,​ etc.) and when we finally landed in Phoenix we were greeted by the dry warmth of desert evening. This was a different kind of warmth, one that glides across the skin rather than cloying and stifling.
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 There are others here listening too. An incomprehensible historical grammar of rock formations. Alien plant morphologies with antennae into parallel presents and alternate futures. The rustle of slithering reptiles, the buzz of invisible insects and thick webs woven by secretive arachnids. There are others here listening too. An incomprehensible historical grammar of rock formations. Alien plant morphologies with antennae into parallel presents and alternate futures. The rustle of slithering reptiles, the buzz of invisible insects and thick webs woven by secretive arachnids.
  
-<​blockquote>​I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the self merges with a non-human world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock.” —Edward Abbey</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​I dream of a hard and brutal mysticism in which the self merges with a non-human world and yet somehow survives still intact, individual, separate. Paradox and bedrock. ​<​cite>​Edward Abbey</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
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 Perhaps we’re after a humanist (or at least humane) view without anthropocentrism,​ balancing on a fine edge between social constructivism and social engineering. Moving from social contracts to a natural contract. From value to valuation (of matter, of ecology, of experience…). From sequential decisions to layered selections. From static matter to a space of operation. From the frame to framing. From facilitating to communing, catalysing and spawning. How do we decentre without falling into the abyss of nihilism? Finding and cultivating places of care, empathy and conviviality within the contemporary worlds. Increasing the porousness between interiority and exteriority. From the space between the cells to the space between the stars. Perhaps we’re after a humanist (or at least humane) view without anthropocentrism,​ balancing on a fine edge between social constructivism and social engineering. Moving from social contracts to a natural contract. From value to valuation (of matter, of ecology, of experience…). From sequential decisions to layered selections. From static matter to a space of operation. From the frame to framing. From facilitating to communing, catalysing and spawning. How do we decentre without falling into the abyss of nihilism? Finding and cultivating places of care, empathy and conviviality within the contemporary worlds. Increasing the porousness between interiority and exteriority. From the space between the cells to the space between the stars.
  
-<​blockquote>​To engage with animism necessarily involves being provoked to think more carefully about what it means to be a person. [T]he understanding that persons always live in relation with others and, in animist communities,​ are regularly encouraged to act respectfully — especially towards those one intends to eat. That is, this animism is always local and specific. It might not be at all romantic, transcendent or esoteric, but might instead be quite practical or pragmatic as people negotiate everyday needs.” –Graham Harvey</​blockquote>​ +<​blockquote>​To engage with animism necessarily involves being provoked to think more carefully about what it means to be a person. [T]he understanding that persons always live in relation with others and, in animist communities,​ are regularly encouraged to act respectfully — especially towards those one intends to eat. That is, this animism is always local and specific. It might not be at all romantic, transcendent or esoteric, but might instead be quite practical or pragmatic as people negotiate everyday needs. ​<​cite>​Graham Harvey</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
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 Amidst the many traces of human failure, we felt a pervading sense of possibility,​ of resonance, confluence and synchronicity. Nearing the adjacent possible. From myth making to re-animating myths and re-activating inert (geological or architectural) markers. Geomancy. Material wonder. Walking. From shinto to shamanism (and back again). In sacred refugia and wild sanctuaries. Vaporous thoughts condensed into propositions,​ commonplaces and fieldguides. ∆[∆] …until all our material traces erode and conjoin with countless dust particles in the ever expanding desert. Amidst the many traces of human failure, we felt a pervading sense of possibility,​ of resonance, confluence and synchronicity. Nearing the adjacent possible. From myth making to re-animating myths and re-activating inert (geological or architectural) markers. Geomancy. Material wonder. Walking. From shinto to shamanism (and back again). In sacred refugia and wild sanctuaries. Vaporous thoughts condensed into propositions,​ commonplaces and fieldguides. ∆[∆] …until all our material traces erode and conjoin with countless dust particles in the ever expanding desert.
  
-<​blockquote>​“In the same way the garden remains the garden designed 500 years ago by a poet-architect,​ even though every plant follows the course of the seasons, rains, frosts, wind; similarly the lines of a poem are handed down over time while the paper of the pages on which the lines are systematically written disappears into dust.” –Italo Calvino</​blockquote>​ 
  
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 **Sonoran desert 020171123 to 020171206** **Sonoran desert 020171123 to 020171206**
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 We spent two weeks on and around The ASU Tempe campus— immersed in university life and surrounded by urban sprawl — inquiring about the relationships between people and the desert. Uncovering the mythical foundations of contemporary lifestyles. Seeking out counter-myths more closely attuned to the desert environment. Exploring the topological spaces of bodies as fields, bodies as listening devices. Creating propositions,​ designing experiments and publications. Conversing. Reading. Listening. Aligning. Futurecrafting. Socialising. Falling asleep and waking up to the sound of airplanes and air-conditioning. We spent two weeks on and around The ASU Tempe campus— immersed in university life and surrounded by urban sprawl — inquiring about the relationships between people and the desert. Uncovering the mythical foundations of contemporary lifestyles. Seeking out counter-myths more closely attuned to the desert environment. Exploring the topological spaces of bodies as fields, bodies as listening devices. Creating propositions,​ designing experiments and publications. Conversing. Reading. Listening. Aligning. Futurecrafting. Socialising. Falling asleep and waking up to the sound of airplanes and air-conditioning.
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 From time to time we would follow the edges between city and desert. Searching for sites of dust and shadow, where the city-desert and the wilderness-desert entwine. The Piestewa peak, Moeur park. We followed shadows along the abandoned “Cut” of a railway that was not to be, in the remains of utility poles, in the cairns beneath a flight path and a wetland between two highways. We traced a path of divination. In the delirium of heat and jetlag, we hiked into the Superstitions in search of the mythical source of dust storms, finding enigmatic petroglyphs and a dry creek bed. From our higher vantage point the city became a mirage, merging into the hazy plain punctuated by saguaro cacti. Centuries of human inhabitation evaporated in that mirage. Occasionally re-appearing with small groups of hikers, a procession of jeans, t-shirts, trainers, ball caps, water bottles, snacks, dusty sunglasses. At full-moon, we joined a larger group for a night walk in the liminally illuminated Papago park. Silence without stillness. The hum of internal and external traffic pulling at our attentions and perceptions. From time to time we would follow the edges between city and desert. Searching for sites of dust and shadow, where the city-desert and the wilderness-desert entwine. The Piestewa peak, Moeur park. We followed shadows along the abandoned “Cut” of a railway that was not to be, in the remains of utility poles, in the cairns beneath a flight path and a wetland between two highways. We traced a path of divination. In the delirium of heat and jetlag, we hiked into the Superstitions in search of the mythical source of dust storms, finding enigmatic petroglyphs and a dry creek bed. From our higher vantage point the city became a mirage, merging into the hazy plain punctuated by saguaro cacti. Centuries of human inhabitation evaporated in that mirage. Occasionally re-appearing with small groups of hikers, a procession of jeans, t-shirts, trainers, ball caps, water bottles, snacks, dusty sunglasses. At full-moon, we joined a larger group for a night walk in the liminally illuminated Papago park. Silence without stillness. The hum of internal and external traffic pulling at our attentions and perceptions.
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 We watched The Last Angel of History speak of fractures and dislocation,​ weave musically and deploy science fictions in which alien ships take on multiple sinister meanings. A stark contrast to the narrative simplicity of the exhibits at Superstition Mountain. We listened to the Legend of the Lost Dutchman, a story of places where people, treasure, mines and even whole towns vanish into the landscape, never to be found. We traversed personal and cultural memories in search of an experiential imperative. Sacred objects, collected materials and traces of the desert across suburbia became text. A tuft of coyote’s fur, a date, a red rock, a cholla spike, and a drop of mezcal, drunk with friends under the vast, darkening skies. We watched The Last Angel of History speak of fractures and dislocation,​ weave musically and deploy science fictions in which alien ships take on multiple sinister meanings. A stark contrast to the narrative simplicity of the exhibits at Superstition Mountain. We listened to the Legend of the Lost Dutchman, a story of places where people, treasure, mines and even whole towns vanish into the landscape, never to be found. We traversed personal and cultural memories in search of an experiential imperative. Sacred objects, collected materials and traces of the desert across suburbia became text. A tuft of coyote’s fur, a date, a red rock, a cholla spike, and a drop of mezcal, drunk with friends under the vast, darkening skies.
  
-<​blockquote>​Deserts possess a particular magic, since they have exhausted their own futures, and are thus free of time.” — J.G. Ballard. The Atrocity Exhibition.</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​Deserts possess a particular magic, since they have exhausted their own futures, and are thus free of time. 
 +<​cite>​J.G. Ballard. The Atrocity Exhibition.</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
 == List 1 == == List 1 ==
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 What are the environmental politics in the North American South West, specifically to life in the desert? What are the implications for the people, plants, plastics (etc.) and the environment they live in? What peculiar futures or parallel presents exist in this “Valley of the Sun”? What new worlds can emerge from a region swayed by the unpredictability of heatwaves, poor water distribution and over-enthusiastic promises of the tech industry? What are the environmental politics in the North American South West, specifically to life in the desert? What are the implications for the people, plants, plastics (etc.) and the environment they live in? What peculiar futures or parallel presents exist in this “Valley of the Sun”? What new worlds can emerge from a region swayed by the unpredictability of heatwaves, poor water distribution and over-enthusiastic promises of the tech industry?
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 We travelled through layers of signals, systems and stories in search of the hardened sediment of metaphoric undercurrents. The libertarian ethos and protestant work-ethic ration desert time into a neurotic drip and trickle of temporal scarcity. Time is submitted to a relentless economic valuation. There is an inherent trust in “the market” as regulatory system. Politicians gamble with a growing population, in a labyrinth of tax benefits, cheap real-estate and myopic risk tolerance. Scale up Arizona’s 5Cs (copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.). Work must continue, no matter the conditions, in the “Sand of the Free, Sprawl of the Brave”. School starts in the hot, sticky month of August as kids hold tight to youthful curiosity while navigating a system caught between funding cuts. Idleness is still considered the devil’s playground, siestas close to sacrilege. A distrust of “elites” and the rhetoric of self-reliance encourage a culture of conservative individualists and a precarious belief in the Dominion of Man over Earth. We travelled through layers of signals, systems and stories in search of the hardened sediment of metaphoric undercurrents. The libertarian ethos and protestant work-ethic ration desert time into a neurotic drip and trickle of temporal scarcity. Time is submitted to a relentless economic valuation. There is an inherent trust in “the market” as regulatory system. Politicians gamble with a growing population, in a labyrinth of tax benefits, cheap real-estate and myopic risk tolerance. Scale up Arizona’s 5Cs (copper, cattle, cotton, citrus and climate.). Work must continue, no matter the conditions, in the “Sand of the Free, Sprawl of the Brave”. School starts in the hot, sticky month of August as kids hold tight to youthful curiosity while navigating a system caught between funding cuts. Idleness is still considered the devil’s playground, siestas close to sacrilege. A distrust of “elites” and the rhetoric of self-reliance encourage a culture of conservative individualists and a precarious belief in the Dominion of Man over Earth.
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 Water rights and food sovereignty stretch public infrastructure close to breaking point. Environmental problems tend to be tackled as single issues with inventive technological solutions. Water banking from CAP & SRP is increasing reserves in the sub-basins beneath the Phoenix metro area. At the Palo Verde Generating Station nuclear reactors are cooled by sewage from nearby towns. Non-native oranges now thrive across the state. The “Smart City” of Belmont is taking root, born in a fever dream of real-estate speculation and the shimmering promise of technology. Yet a larger concern remains; Phoenix exists far from equilibrium,​ requiring massive external inputs for its continued existence. Despite the desert, not with the desert. Holding onto an idealised image of urban life, haunted by the shadow of its possible demise. Kept alive by snow melt. Water, power and other essentials imported from afar to maintain the appearance of a stable oasis. The myth of the Wild West in a desert on demand. The purity (and dread) of the Wilderness kept at arms length, only to be occasionally appropriated for solitary transcendence,​ urbophobian escapism and utopian experimentation. Where both nascent and long gone ways of life overlap. A “Tech Bro Guru” finds his place in Sedona as a “polyamourous cult leader” wrapping a very contemporary hollowness around huckster tricks and Barnum effects. Alongside King Clone (the unassuming 11,700 year old creosote bush) lie the ruins of a vanished Pueblo Grande. And yet, here too could be found the American Gods, time-unbinding desert monks and the Dionysian world of the Carnivàle. Water rights and food sovereignty stretch public infrastructure close to breaking point. Environmental problems tend to be tackled as single issues with inventive technological solutions. Water banking from CAP & SRP is increasing reserves in the sub-basins beneath the Phoenix metro area. At the Palo Verde Generating Station nuclear reactors are cooled by sewage from nearby towns. Non-native oranges now thrive across the state. The “Smart City” of Belmont is taking root, born in a fever dream of real-estate speculation and the shimmering promise of technology. Yet a larger concern remains; Phoenix exists far from equilibrium,​ requiring massive external inputs for its continued existence. Despite the desert, not with the desert. Holding onto an idealised image of urban life, haunted by the shadow of its possible demise. Kept alive by snow melt. Water, power and other essentials imported from afar to maintain the appearance of a stable oasis. The myth of the Wild West in a desert on demand. The purity (and dread) of the Wilderness kept at arms length, only to be occasionally appropriated for solitary transcendence,​ urbophobian escapism and utopian experimentation. Where both nascent and long gone ways of life overlap. A “Tech Bro Guru” finds his place in Sedona as a “polyamourous cult leader” wrapping a very contemporary hollowness around huckster tricks and Barnum effects. Alongside King Clone (the unassuming 11,700 year old creosote bush) lie the ruins of a vanished Pueblo Grande. And yet, here too could be found the American Gods, time-unbinding desert monks and the Dionysian world of the Carnivàle.
  
-<​blockquote>​All is shadow mixed with dust, and there’s no voice but in the sounds made by what the wind lifts up or sweeps forward, nor silence except from what the wind abandons.” —Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​All is shadow mixed with dust, and there’s no voice but in the sounds made by what the wind lifts up or sweeps forward, nor silence except from what the wind abandons. ​<​cite>​Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
 ==List 2==  ==List 2== 
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 In transition, the government functions as a medium between humans and other entities in the district. Water, with all it’s power, is treated as a nonaligned political entity in its own right. The shadow minister of translocal affairs advocates “the social responsibility of a coven” and inclusion of an act for the rights of “diverse states of matter” in her inaugural speech. With drought cycles lengthening,​ water tokens fluctuating and heat waves becoming less predictable,​ self-reliance is gradually finding a place alongside the security of intergenerational commons management and stewarding the preciousness of life, in a desert teeming with life. In transition, the government functions as a medium between humans and other entities in the district. Water, with all it’s power, is treated as a nonaligned political entity in its own right. The shadow minister of translocal affairs advocates “the social responsibility of a coven” and inclusion of an act for the rights of “diverse states of matter” in her inaugural speech. With drought cycles lengthening,​ water tokens fluctuating and heat waves becoming less predictable,​ self-reliance is gradually finding a place alongside the security of intergenerational commons management and stewarding the preciousness of life, in a desert teeming with life.
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-<​blockquote>​“As the day comes to an end, the twilight dissolves the surfaces, absorbing their colors, leaving their reflections suspended in space. The luminous transparency in open spaces condenses into beams and phosphorescence. Things lose their separatedness. The shadows advance over the colors and the contours that they outlined are lost. Darkness infiltrates the landscape, obliterating its paths and filling up its open planes. Overhead the blue of the atmosphere recedes and the starlights drift over unmeasurable distances.” —Alphonso Lingis, The Imperative</​blockquote>​ 
  
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 ==List 3==  ==List 3== 
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 ====Dust and shadow. Fieldnotes #3==== ====Dust and shadow. Fieldnotes #3====
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-<​blockquote>​“The true alien recedes interminably even as it surrounds us completely. It is not hidden in the darkness of the outer cosmos or in the deep-sea shelf but in plain sight, everywhere, in everything. Mountain summits and gypsum beds, chile roasters and buckshot, microprocessors and ROM chips can no more communicate with us and one another than can [an] extraterrestrial. It is an instructive and humbling sign. Speculative realism really does require speculation:​ benighted meandering in an exotic world of utterly incomprehensible objects.” —Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​“The true alien recedes interminably even as it surrounds us completely. It is not hidden in the darkness of the outer cosmos or in the deep-sea shelf but in plain sight, everywhere, in everything. Mountain summits and gypsum beds, chile roasters and buckshot, microprocessors and ROM chips can no more communicate with us and one another than can [an] extraterrestrial. It is an instructive and humbling sign. Speculative realism really does require speculation:​ benighted meandering in an exotic world of utterly incomprehensible objects. ​<​cite>​Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
 We landed at the Sky Harbour around midnight. After a dazed stumble through the near deserted airport we found ourselves in a dark, semi-covered street, smelling of fuel and stale exhaust fumes. Deep shadows lingering in the air speckled with particulate dust. Distant sounds of unseen critters, in a desert marked by stark contrasts between heat and chill, adoration and dread, escape and extraction. We landed at the Sky Harbour around midnight. After a dazed stumble through the near deserted airport we found ourselves in a dark, semi-covered street, smelling of fuel and stale exhaust fumes. Deep shadows lingering in the air speckled with particulate dust. Distant sounds of unseen critters, in a desert marked by stark contrasts between heat and chill, adoration and dread, escape and extraction.
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 An attunement at various speeds and human densities. Attuning to the smear of the landscape sliding past while driving, to the irregularities of the path while trail-running or hiking, to the sounds of the frosty ground and howling wind while walking. Along the Path of Time, where each step marks one million years. Down beyond the rim of the Grand Canyon, its scale overwhelming physically and perceptually,​ joining the intrepid 3% of visitors who dare leaving the comfort of buses and paved paths. We would stop and listen. Seek out faceted moments of geomediation at the Hermits Rest, after staring down The Abyss. Layers upon layers, Bright Angel Shale, Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite. The Great Unconformity (an absence, a non-layer). The desert chirped and rattled and murmured, punctuated every few minutes by the roar of an airplane overhead, buffeting the chatter of birds, cracking of wood, or an argument between unseen humans. The effortless, unperturbed,​ lithic existence of the planet present in its apparent stillness. An attunement at various speeds and human densities. Attuning to the smear of the landscape sliding past while driving, to the irregularities of the path while trail-running or hiking, to the sounds of the frosty ground and howling wind while walking. Along the Path of Time, where each step marks one million years. Down beyond the rim of the Grand Canyon, its scale overwhelming physically and perceptually,​ joining the intrepid 3% of visitors who dare leaving the comfort of buses and paved paths. We would stop and listen. Seek out faceted moments of geomediation at the Hermits Rest, after staring down The Abyss. Layers upon layers, Bright Angel Shale, Vishnu Schist and Zoroaster Granite. The Great Unconformity (an absence, a non-layer). The desert chirped and rattled and murmured, punctuated every few minutes by the roar of an airplane overhead, buffeting the chatter of birds, cracking of wood, or an argument between unseen humans. The effortless, unperturbed,​ lithic existence of the planet present in its apparent stillness.
  
-<​blockquote>​Here is the Stillness, which is not still even on a good day. Now it ripples, reverberates,​ in cataclysm. Now there is a line, roughly east-west and too straight, almost neat in its manifest unnaturalness,​ spanning the girth of the land’s equator. (…) The line is deep and raw, a cut to the quick of the planet. Magma wells in its wake, fresh and glowing red. The earth is good at healing itself. This wound will scab over quickly in geologic terms, and then the cleansing ocean will follow its lie to bisect Stillness into two lands. Until this happens, however, the wound will fester with not only heat but gas and gritty, dark ash — enough to choke off the sky across most of the Stillness’s face within a few weeks. Plants everywhere will die, and the animals that depend on them will starve, and the animals that eat those will starve. Winter will come early, and hard, and it will last a long, long time. It will end, of course, like every winter does, and then the world will return to its old self. Eventually. (…) Eventually meaning in this case in a few thousand years.— N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​Here is the Stillness, which is not still even on a good day. Now it ripples, reverberates,​ in cataclysm. Now there is a line, roughly east-west and too straight, almost neat in its manifest unnaturalness,​ spanning the girth of the land’s equator. (…) The line is deep and raw, a cut to the quick of the planet. Magma wells in its wake, fresh and glowing red. The earth is good at healing itself. This wound will scab over quickly in geologic terms, and then the cleansing ocean will follow its lie to bisect Stillness into two lands. Until this happens, however, the wound will fester with not only heat but gas and gritty, dark ash — enough to choke off the sky across most of the Stillness’s face within a few weeks. Plants everywhere will die, and the animals that depend on them will starve, and the animals that eat those will starve. Winter will come early, and hard, and it will last a long, long time. It will end, of course, like every winter does, and then the world will return to its old self. Eventually. (…) Eventually meaning in this case in a few thousand years. 
 +<​cite>​N.K. Jemisin, The Fifth Season</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
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 In front of the legendary Antelope Canyon, our Navajo guide warned us that this is a spiritual place, where no-one (except flood water) should enter. Yet she ushered us in. Uncanny shafts of light framed by smooth undulating rocks guided our gaze as we scuffled along in hazy shadows. Thick drifts of dust stirred up by thousands of feet. The perspective changed with occasional flickers of iron-ore coloured light, opening upwards into cavernous formations. Looking up, we could have been in the womb of the planet, all red and warm and smooth. Looking around, reds turned into dusty browns, pinks and ochres of human faces. Some bewildered, some quietly overwhelmed,​ others indifferent and impatient. A complicated tangle of humans cramped between unyielding rocks, compressed into the slotted time of a tour, rubbing shoulders with those who came before and after us. An attunement to the rhythms of desert tourism. In front of the legendary Antelope Canyon, our Navajo guide warned us that this is a spiritual place, where no-one (except flood water) should enter. Yet she ushered us in. Uncanny shafts of light framed by smooth undulating rocks guided our gaze as we scuffled along in hazy shadows. Thick drifts of dust stirred up by thousands of feet. The perspective changed with occasional flickers of iron-ore coloured light, opening upwards into cavernous formations. Looking up, we could have been in the womb of the planet, all red and warm and smooth. Looking around, reds turned into dusty browns, pinks and ochres of human faces. Some bewildered, some quietly overwhelmed,​ others indifferent and impatient. A complicated tangle of humans cramped between unyielding rocks, compressed into the slotted time of a tour, rubbing shoulders with those who came before and after us. An attunement to the rhythms of desert tourism.
  
-<​blockquote>​ Since a thing cannot be known directly or totally, one can only attune to it, with greater or lesser degrees of intimacy. This is not a “merely” aesthetic approach to a basically blank extensional substance. Since appearance can’t be peeled decisively from the reality of a thing, attunement is a living, dynamic relation with another being. ​Timothy Morton, Attune (in Veer Ecology)</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​ Since a thing cannot be known directly or totally, one can only attune to it, with greater or lesser degrees of intimacy. This is not a “merely” aesthetic approach to a basically blank extensional substance. Since appearance can’t be peeled decisively from the reality of a thing, attunement is a living, dynamic relation with another being. ​<​cite>​Timothy Morton, Attune (in Veer Ecology)</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
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 //Tuba City Uranium disposal cell// //Tuba City Uranium disposal cell//
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-<​blockquote>​It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space.”— ​Edward Abbey</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. ​<​cite>​Edward Abbey</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
 Dark clouds had covered the sky completely as we began the slow descent from the Colorado plateau. We followed miles of power lines and fences, occasional churches emerging from the mirage of an endless road. No Sunset Crater, no Marble Canyon and no condors. No dusk recordings. Instead, the highway framed in icy rain lead us to the creature comforts of Flagstaff. The historic Monte Vista hotel celebrating its famous guests alongside ghost stories and disturbances (when John Wayne met The Phantom Bellboy). Craft beer and pizza. Motion sickness pills and “The Broken Earth”. Dark clouds had covered the sky completely as we began the slow descent from the Colorado plateau. We followed miles of power lines and fences, occasional churches emerging from the mirage of an endless road. No Sunset Crater, no Marble Canyon and no condors. No dusk recordings. Instead, the highway framed in icy rain lead us to the creature comforts of Flagstaff. The historic Monte Vista hotel celebrating its famous guests alongside ghost stories and disturbances (when John Wayne met The Phantom Bellboy). Craft beer and pizza. Motion sickness pills and “The Broken Earth”.
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-<​blockquote>​[Gordon Hempton] discovered that the use of a microphone turned him into a better listener, because he learned to take his cue from that tool, which didn’t judge the relative value of the different sounds it was absorbing. Having always in the past striven to listen for the “important” sounds, Hempton stopped trying to prioritize based on his own limited perspective and discovered the majesty of the uncurated soundscape.” —George Prochnik, Silence</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​[Gordon Hempton] discovered that the use of a microphone turned him into a better listener, because he learned to take his cue from that tool, which didn’t judge the relative value of the different sounds it was absorbing. Having always in the past striven to listen for the “important” sounds, Hempton stopped trying to prioritize based on his own limited perspective and discovered the majesty of the uncurated soundscape. ​<​cite>​George Prochnik, Silence</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
 We unpacked our machinic assistants and spent several days listening to the desert as our ears adjusted and a range of microphones,​ headphones and speakers widened the scope. We began to learn the subtle variations in daily routines of plants and animals. We explored the sonic textures of cacti, palo verde trees and creosote bushes, listening to the wind on their skin and caressing surfaces with sensing devices. We experimented with directional and ambient recordings, deliberate and incidental sounds. The Saguaro, the dawn chorus, omnipresent engines, and the occasional droning of military helicopters in urban training exercises. Woodpeckers playing metal chimneys, thrashers mimicking police sirens, howling conversations between dogs and coyotes at dusk. Above and through it all, vast geological scales cast their long shadows, imposing a silent, harsh indifference. We unpacked our machinic assistants and spent several days listening to the desert as our ears adjusted and a range of microphones,​ headphones and speakers widened the scope. We began to learn the subtle variations in daily routines of plants and animals. We explored the sonic textures of cacti, palo verde trees and creosote bushes, listening to the wind on their skin and caressing surfaces with sensing devices. We experimented with directional and ambient recordings, deliberate and incidental sounds. The Saguaro, the dawn chorus, omnipresent engines, and the occasional droning of military helicopters in urban training exercises. Woodpeckers playing metal chimneys, thrashers mimicking police sirens, howling conversations between dogs and coyotes at dusk. Above and through it all, vast geological scales cast their long shadows, imposing a silent, harsh indifference.
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-<​blockquote>​Our buildings are designed from the outside in and the inside out such that their form is a reflection of spaces within and never just form for form’s sake. An authenticity of material choices and rigorous detail resolution carry the logic of ‘making’ and provide a weighted connectedness to place (…) [A]ll our senses are alerted and nourished. Our curiosity is piqued, our time and place is reflected and respected in unexpected ways. Our minds are opened to new ideas, our confidence in the possibility of the human endeavour renewed. We feel comfortable yet challenged, understood yet urged to stretch. We want to be in such places alone and together with others. (…) We want such places to serve as markers of our best efforts. We want such places to exist beyond our lifetime.Will Bruder Architects</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​Our buildings are designed from the outside in and the inside out such that their form is a reflection of spaces within and never just form for form’s sake. An authenticity of material choices and rigorous detail resolution carry the logic of ‘making’ and provide a weighted connectedness to place (…) [A]ll our senses are alerted and nourished. Our curiosity is piqued, our time and place is reflected and respected in unexpected ways. Our minds are opened to new ideas, our confidence in the possibility of the human endeavour renewed. We feel comfortable yet challenged, understood yet urged to stretch. We want to be in such places alone and together with others. (…) We want such places to serve as markers of our best efforts. We want such places to exist beyond our lifetime. 
 +<​cite>​Will Bruder Architects</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
 Such places entwine human and environmental energies into a home. A home that lends itself to deep work and solitary reflection as much as to convivial gatherings. Tables filled with seeds, herbs, grains and flowers. Pinyon pine nuts, chia seeds, amaranth, sumac, sunflower seeds, corn and mesquite flour. Agave and aloe vera juice. Mezcal, pulque, tequila. A Dionysian feast heralding the season of flowering cacti and renewed growth. Meandering alongside cholla buds, nopalitos, yucca, ocotillo and palo verde flowers. A celebration of the vernal equinox, at a time when light and darkness, the mundane and the sacred are equipoised. A time for alignment and attunement. As we attuned to the vigour of spring, the frosty thorns of winter were ritually banished with scented smoke and resonant words… Such places entwine human and environmental energies into a home. A home that lends itself to deep work and solitary reflection as much as to convivial gatherings. Tables filled with seeds, herbs, grains and flowers. Pinyon pine nuts, chia seeds, amaranth, sumac, sunflower seeds, corn and mesquite flour. Agave and aloe vera juice. Mezcal, pulque, tequila. A Dionysian feast heralding the season of flowering cacti and renewed growth. Meandering alongside cholla buds, nopalitos, yucca, ocotillo and palo verde flowers. A celebration of the vernal equinox, at a time when light and darkness, the mundane and the sacred are equipoised. A time for alignment and attunement. As we attuned to the vigour of spring, the frosty thorns of winter were ritually banished with scented smoke and resonant words…
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 On a tiny staircase connecting the circular Kiva with the desert, stood an abandoned statue of Kokopelli, the trickster god of fertility, agriculture and music. An auspicious coincidence. We placed two bowls in offering. One bowl of water and one bowl of creosote branches. When moistened, the oils in the rough creosote leaves emit a scent reminiscent of the desert. Dry, bitter and pungent. A scent announcing the season of replenishment and renewal. On a tiny staircase connecting the circular Kiva with the desert, stood an abandoned statue of Kokopelli, the trickster god of fertility, agriculture and music. An auspicious coincidence. We placed two bowls in offering. One bowl of water and one bowl of creosote branches. When moistened, the oils in the rough creosote leaves emit a scent reminiscent of the desert. Dry, bitter and pungent. A scent announcing the season of replenishment and renewal.
  
-<​blockquote>​Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us. Robin Wall Kimerer, Braiding Sweetgrass</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​Action on behalf of life transforms. Because the relationship between self and the world is reciprocal, it is not a question of first getting enlightened or saved and then acting. As we work to heal the earth, the earth heals us. <​cite>​Robin Wall Kimerer, Braiding Sweetgrass</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
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 With the experiments in desert attunement our creative process began to merge with the spatial and temporal qualities of the surroundings. A strong aesthetic resonance with the organic architecture of our workspace and the shimmer of the landscape. Yet the sense of being surrounded by boundless desert was an illusion. Our attempts to walk further than a few minutes in any direction were soon hindered by visible and invisible fences. There are few traces of walking here. The only suggestions of habitation were traffic noise, warning signs and the occasional flashes of light reflected off distant surfaces. A place of beauty devoid of human contact. With the experiments in desert attunement our creative process began to merge with the spatial and temporal qualities of the surroundings. A strong aesthetic resonance with the organic architecture of our workspace and the shimmer of the landscape. Yet the sense of being surrounded by boundless desert was an illusion. Our attempts to walk further than a few minutes in any direction were soon hindered by visible and invisible fences. There are few traces of walking here. The only suggestions of habitation were traffic noise, warning signs and the occasional flashes of light reflected off distant surfaces. A place of beauty devoid of human contact.
  
-<​blockquote>​[Andrew Ross] warns of an “eco-apartheid”,​ whereby low-income neighbourhoods on the more polluted south side of the Salt River (which once flowed vigorously through the city and is now a trickle) are less able to protect themselves from the heat and drought than wealthier citizens. “There’s a stark disparity,​” he says. “The resource havens, with their hybrid cars, their solar panels and other green gizmos; and the folks on the other side struggling to breathe clean air and drink uncontaminated water. It’s a prediction of where the world is headed.”  —Joanna Walters, Plight of Phoenix: how long can the world’s ‘least sustainable’ city survive?</​blockquote>​+<​blockquote>​[Andrew Ross] warns of an “eco-apartheid”,​ whereby low-income neighbourhoods on the more polluted south side of the Salt River (which once flowed vigorously through the city and is now a trickle) are less able to protect themselves from the heat and drought than wealthier citizens. “There’s a stark disparity,​” he says. “The resource havens, with their hybrid cars, their solar panels and other green gizmos; and the folks on the other side struggling to breathe clean air and drink uncontaminated water. It’s a prediction of where the world is headed. ​<​cite>​Joanna Walters, Plight of Phoenix: how long can the world’s ‘least sustainable’ city survive?</​cite>​</​blockquote>​
  
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-<​blockquote>​[O]ur job is to amplify the black noise of objects to make the resonant frequencies of the stuffs inside them hum in credibly satisfying ways. Our job is to write the speculative fictions of their processes, of their unit operations. Our job is to get our hands dirty with grease, juice, gunpowder, and gypsum. Our job is to go where everyone has gone before, but where few have bothered to linger. —Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology</​blockquote>​ 
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 We see Dust & Shadow as one of many ongoing attempts to pry open the cracks in our cultural imaginary and craft propositions for protection, healing, and thriving in a world that is in dire need of more shadowy practices. ​ We see Dust & Shadow as one of many ongoing attempts to pry open the cracks in our cultural imaginary and craft propositions for protection, healing, and thriving in a world that is in dire need of more shadowy practices. ​
  
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