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dust_and_shadow:collected_fieldnotes [2019-09-09 20:49]
maja [Dust & shadow. Fieldnotes]
dust_and_shadow:collected_fieldnotes [2019-09-28 01:03] (current)
98.172.99.4
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 ====Dust & shadow. Fieldnotes==== ====Dust & shadow. Fieldnotes====
  
-Text and images from the {{ :​dust_and_shadow:​dust_shadow_fieldnotes.pdf |Fieldnotes booklet}}, published in September 02019+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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 <​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>​ <​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. <​cite>​Italo Calvino</​cite></​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.
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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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 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. <​cite>​Alphonso Lingis, The Imperative</​cite></​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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-{{http://​miro.medium.com/​max/​1400/​1*sQnNqK4AYWwU2epbPST3Pw.png}}+{{tuba-city-map.png}}
  
 //Tuba City Uranium disposal cell// //Tuba City Uranium disposal cell//
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 {{>​http://​www.flickr.com/​photos/​foam/​41060054721/​in/​album-72157681429258454/​}} {{>​http://​www.flickr.com/​photos/​foam/​41060054721/​in/​album-72157681429258454/​}}
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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. <​cite>​Ian Bogost, Alien Phenomenology</​cite></​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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 ====Bibliography==== ====Bibliography====