for Copenhagen Art Week, 2015. Curated by Kristoffer Orum
The Green Flash
My Winnipeg, the Winnipeg that had been building itself as an ungrounded place-no-place for as long as I could remember, had over the course of seven days rushed into a concrescence of absence and finitude, a still landscape with a rapidly nearing regional airport unfolding on the horizon, by way of directional signposts and the minutes on a car’s clock radio counting towards the one-hour-before check in time of a 7:50 am flight to Toronto.
This work was initially presented at the Copenhagen Art week in 2015 as part of Kristoffer Oerum's 'Captive Portal' project.
The imagery, In A Flash, was created in collaboration with Marc Wieser
There are moments of extreme affect when the world begins to unhinge from reality: Events, time, the people and things in front of you begin to feel like objects in a funhouse mirror, distanced and distorted, a surplus of feeling that is whirling, floating, looking for an object on which to land. The airport filling the windshield happened after the world’s focus inverted, after the gigantic ‘crack’ in perceptive normality; but a kitchen, normally a place of quiet domestic buzz, housed an airport coming-in-to-being, alongside feelings of horror, loss, and the extreme alienness of knowing that home is on the other side of a long tunnel in a parallel universe.
The Saskatchewan Sun
Manitoba, then, becomes a tailor-made purgatory: The sun is a small, ominous orb in the sky, its usual immediacy both obscured and intensified by the haze of infernos one province over, where forest fires rage through the long, dry summer. The world in turn feels similarly mediated, the usual primacy of sensual perception supplanted by the directly perceived. Every nerve in your body becomes solidly connected to a feeling of the world and its trajectories of movement, the thoughts and appetites of animate and inanimate alike. You find yourself in a choose-your-own adventure of which you are the only agent incapable of exerting decision. The world is carrying you in its tidal movements, and you must give in.
An Alien Caress
You imprint yourself on your surroundings with the same insistence as the world that presses into your sense of self. Resignation, shock, disbelief are not only contributories to the numbing disconnect from objective reality; they are also superhighways for perceptive transfer between virtual machinations of the world and your sense of sanity. The coming-in-to-awareness that the world that your intertwined lives created is winking out of existence pulls into its gravitational well your sense of selfhood and togetherness. A familiar caress between strangers in an airport feels like it has been violently clawed from you, and with a sense of horror you realize that someone has stolen and is running away with your feeling.
The Return of the Blue Moon
For the next four weeks you dispassionately reply to emails and check facebook. You’re still in the wrong universe, but are becoming comfortable with your new mode of perception and begin to realize that perhaps this landscape is the right way up, and perhaps you have escaped from a funhouse bubble that you didn’t even know you were trapped within. A blue moon approaches. You hear that this is the perfect time for emotional clarity. The day before the blue moon, the bubble pops again. You become calm and focused, weighing the immediately perceptible world with the affective gusts of the not-yet-having-come-into-being. On the day of the new moon, you reconcile. You never actually see the blue moon, but everyone is talking about it. In the news, the angry, smoky sun has moved over to a different city and province - Vancouver, British Columbia - and you breathe a little bit more easily, for a time.