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dust_and_shadow:fieldnotes_2 [2019-08-30 14:06]
nik
dust_and_shadow:fieldnotes_2 [2019-09-10 08:55] (current)
maja
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 Excerpts from [[https://​medium.com/​@foam/​dust-and-shadow-field-notes-2-3a4542feeecd|Dust and Shadow Fieldnotes #2]] by Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney Excerpts from [[https://​medium.com/​@foam/​dust-and-shadow-field-notes-2-3a4542feeecd|Dust and Shadow Fieldnotes #2]] by Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney
  
-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. 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. ​ 
  
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-We followed the 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 civilisation evaporated in that mirage.  +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 civilisation evaporated in that mirage. ​
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-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. <​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>​ <​cite>​J.G. Ballard. The Atrocity Exhibition</​cite></​blockquote>​
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 +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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- +"Arms trading, dictatorships and murder are environmental politics."​ points out China Miéville. They cannot be separated from pollution, climate change and renewable energy targets.
-Here we are, working on a project funded by the Global Institute of Sustainability,​ looking at environmental issues in the region. Even our short commute across Tempe suggests that environmental issues are an inextricable part of entangled social, economic and political realities. ​"Arms trading, dictatorships and murder are environmental politics."​ points out China Miéville. They cannot be separated from pollution, climate change and renewable energy targets.+
  
 <​blockquote>​The Anthropocene is the time at which the human becomes truly thinkable in a non-teleological,​ non-metaphysical sense. The waste products in Earth’s crust are also the human in this expanded, spectral sense, as if what the human becomes is a flickering ghost surrounded by a penumbra of flickering shadows that seem to hover around it like a distorted halo. <​blockquote>​The Anthropocene is the time at which the human becomes truly thinkable in a non-teleological,​ non-metaphysical sense. The waste products in Earth’s crust are also the human in this expanded, spectral sense, as if what the human becomes is a flickering ghost surrounded by a penumbra of flickering shadows that seem to hover around it like a distorted halo.
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-----+<​blockquote>​I have also tried to make the desert my own. But none us will be able to capture and resell the lonely magic. That belongs to the High Desert and to experience it, you will have to let yourself get lost. 
 +<​cite>​Ivy Pochoda, In the California Desert</​cite></​blockquote>​
  
-{{>​http://​www.flickr.com/​photos/​foam/​27292613289/​ ?​maxwidth=1000}}\\ 
  
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 +{{>​http://​www.flickr.com/​photos/​foam/​41060050321/​i ?​maxwidth=1000}}\\
  
-<​blockquote>​I have also tried to make the desert my own. But none us will be able to capture and resell the lonely magic. That belongs to the High Desert and to experience it, you will have to let yourself get lost. +----
-<​cite>​Ivy Pochoda, In the California Desert</​cite></​blockquote>​ +
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-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” becomes “The polyamourous cult leader” of Sedona 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 Dionisian world of the Carnivàle.+
  
  
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 <​blockquote>​In this time of diminished expectations,​ I look for disturbance-based ecologies in which many species sometimes live together without either harmony or conquest. ​ <​blockquote>​In this time of diminished expectations,​ I look for disturbance-based ecologies in which many species sometimes live together without either harmony or conquest. ​
 <​cite>​Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World</​cite></​blockquote>​ <​cite>​Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World</​cite></​blockquote>​
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 +{{>​http://​www.flickr.com/​photos/​foam/​26978592178/​ ?​maxwidth=1000}}\\
  
 <​blockquote>​I am not interested in reconciliation or restoration,​ but I am deeply committed to the more modest possibilities of partial [multispecies] recuperation and getting on together. Call that staying with the trouble, (...) with less denial and more experimental justice. <​blockquote>​I am not interested in reconciliation or restoration,​ but I am deeply committed to the more modest possibilities of partial [multispecies] recuperation and getting on together. Call that staying with the trouble, (...) with less denial and more experimental justice.
 <​cite>​Donna Haraway, Staying with the trouble</​cite></​blockquote>​ <​cite>​Donna Haraway, Staying with the trouble</​cite></​blockquote>​
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-We reached Shadow Belmont. A place deeply familiar with shade. Shade architecture,​ shaded transport, sheltered time. A cityscape layered with a latticework of porches, pergolas, verandas, galleries, awnings, canopies, umbrellas and trees. From above the city looks like a desert garden. The shade of the high canopy stands on cactimorphic succulent pillars, doubling as public water sources. Closer to the ground, multi-trunked mesquite marquees diffuse light across outdoor kitchens and intimate courtyards. The ubiquitous antennae of the place mingle with soaring ocotillo vines, their cabling protected by dessicated saguaro skeletons+We reached Shadow Belmont. A place deeply familiar with shade. Shade architecture,​ shaded transport, sheltered time. A cityscape layered with a latticework of porches, pergolas, verandas, galleries, awnings, canopies, umbrellas and trees. From above the city looks like a desert garden. The shade of the high canopy stands on cactimorphic succulent pillars, doubling as public water sources. Closer to the ground, multi-trunked mesquite marquees diffuse light across outdoor kitchens and intimate courtyards. ​
  
 <​blockquote>​BUILDINGS SELF-AGGREGATED OUT OF ANGLES AND shade <​blockquote>​BUILDINGS SELF-AGGREGATED OUT OF ANGLES AND shade
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 <​cite>​John Tresch, Romantic Machine</​cite></​blockquote>​ <​cite>​John Tresch, Romantic Machine</​cite></​blockquote>​
  
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-{{>​http://​www.flickr.com/​photos/​foam/​39069831191/​ ?​maxwidth=1000}}\\ +This place does not shy away from its own shadow. The shadows of dust storms, water shortages, gun-slinging individualism,​ heat delirium and venomous critters, the fickleness of the desert and its inhospitable heart. ​
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-This place does not shy away from its own shadow. The shadows of dust storms, water shortages, gun-slinging individualism,​ heat delirium and venomous critters, the fickleness of the desert and its inhospitable heart. The nameless dust clouds and rocky outcrops, the social insects in their frantic mounds. The shy reptilian monsters and the passive-aggressive chollas. The gloomy spirits of cell towers and brooding pygmy owls+
  
 <​blockquote>​ Spectrality,​ the way a thing keeps exceeding itself, or is displaced from itself, or is ecstatically outside itself (ekstasis, “ex-sistence”),​ doesn’t just belong to human being […] Humankind is flickering, displaced from itself, ecstatic, rippling and dappled with shadows. Shadows made not only by some other entity interacting with it, like the sun through the trees, but shadows that are an intrinsic part of the thing.” ​ <​blockquote>​ Spectrality,​ the way a thing keeps exceeding itself, or is displaced from itself, or is ecstatically outside itself (ekstasis, “ex-sistence”),​ doesn’t just belong to human being […] Humankind is flickering, displaced from itself, ecstatic, rippling and dappled with shadows. Shadows made not only by some other entity interacting with it, like the sun through the trees, but shadows that are an intrinsic part of the thing.” ​
 <​cite>​Timothy Morton. Human Kind</​cite></​blockquote>​ <​cite>​Timothy Morton. Human Kind</​cite></​blockquote>​
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-Occult sciences, fictocriticism,​ coven studies and dust theory are common fields of study. Entrepreneurial alchemists embrace the long process of transforming zombie-utopias into compost for regenerative heterotopias. ​ 
  
 With drought cycles lengthening,​ water tokens fluctuating and heat waves becoming less predictable,​ self-reliance is gradually giving way to the security of commons management, stewarding the preciousness of life, in a desert teeming with life. With drought cycles lengthening,​ water tokens fluctuating and heat waves becoming less predictable,​ self-reliance is gradually giving way to the security of commons management, stewarding the preciousness of life, in a desert teeming with life.
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