The Dust & Shadow Fieldnotes were collected over the course of two years during three fieldtrips in the deserts of the North-American Southwest. They are written as a panexperiential travelogue through the landscapes of the Anthropocene. As fleeting impressions encapsulated in impressionistic writing, the fieldnotes invite a sensual reading. The words and sentences can evoke sensory responses and the echoes of visceral contact with things that were or that might be. The fieldnotes are simultaneously descriptive, reflective and suggestive. They include contextual information alongside direct experience and observation, facts and anecdotes wrapped in critical questions and speculative scenarios. They deliberately incorporate the subjective vantage points of the authors as engaged participants in the process. Resemblance to persons living or dead may be uncoincidental.

Read the full text in collected fieldnotes, also available in PDF format, published in September 02019.

These fieldnotes are an explorer’s log that reframes the urban and wilderness of the desert. An alchemical work that opens the doors of perception to the unacknowledged presences with which we share the world.

Read the Foreword by Ron Broglio → Foreword

Sonoran desert 020170517 to 020170527

We had arrived in the Sonoran desert. A place of desiccated time, layered time, geological, vegetal, human time. Time kneads the Earth’s crust into deep folds, cracks and canyons. Plants lay dormant through cycles of drought or grow slowly for centuries, bursting into blossom after the first rains. Humans come and go. Blown through the ages like tumbleweeds. Things don’t really decay here. They shrivel, dry up or slowly rust, yet remain present, as they gradually erode into dust. A thick, dusty atmosphere of things that were, things that are and things that might be. Densities and intensities coagulating on a larger than human scale, illuminated by stark light or lurking in the deep shadow.

Read more in Fieldnotes #1 or Field Notes #1 on Medium


Sonoran desert 020171123 to 020171206

We spent two weeks on and around ASU — 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. 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.

Read more in Fieldnotes #2 or Field Notes #2 on Medium


Desertscapes of Arizona and Utah 020180304 to 020180330

Our gradual attunement to the desert expanse, its climate, rhythms and scales became an experiment in communing rather than examining. An exploration of an embodied sense of layered time and material wonder. Being part of the world without romanticising wilderness or drawing hard distinctions between the desert and the urban environments within it. And so we embarked on that most archetypal of American experiences, The Road Trip. Attunement to the surfaces of the desert at the pace of modernity. Atypically, in a small (by local standards) hybrid car.

Read more in Fieldnotes #3 or Field Notes #3 on Medium


“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.

Read the Afterword by Adam Nocek and Stacey Moran → Afterword

  • dust_and_shadow/fieldnotes.txt
  • Last modified: 2019-09-09 21:26
  • by maja