24 - 31 Jan 2019
Black Night White Snow
The bank of trees right-angle the field where the house is, this marks the edge. The abyss, the realm of indistinct velvet uncertainty.
Ezra scribbles furiously.
We left with the intention of writing a love-song to a non-human entity. Each night darkness envelopes the house. We walk out into the field, an expanse rather like a rectangle of paper, crisply cut to trim the plot of land. Snow snaps sharp like paper. We are hemmed in by the black mountains and forest.
We read Timothy Morton on the couch, crushed together, frustrated and intrigued by his inaccessible thoughts. We jump into the car in the morning and head for CERN. An epigraph to the underworld. Speed and matter and minuscule things collide, apparently. But when we get to the architectural warehouses and functional science buildings of one of the largest experiments in the world, we do not know where to look. Do we look at the shabby low-lying buildings, the torpedo-like oversized bullet plonked outside the half hearted Public Understanding of Science building?
Ezra says “it’s like going to Jurassic Park and being shown the broom cupboard’.
Each night, we come up with a new script and then we trundle out into the darkness and horizontal snow with the camera and Ezra performs the script. We find it so funny, falling in love with the darkness, that we roll about in hysterics and as we flash strips of light with the torch across the field to light our protagonist, he (Ezra) can hardly get the words out of his mouth cause he is laughing so hard and shouting over the weather.
There is a car, and two other artists, and Helen. We are at the airport, grinning at muscular concrete, at each other, at the huge mountains pressing against a broad, grey sky. We mount a ribbon of road, which hovers across gridded farmscapes, warehouses, wildernesses and vague suburbs of nowhere. The road curves; we plunge off it, through narrow agricultural arteries, up into muffled plains of snow and affluence – a golf course, mansions, tennis courts and tall green fences. Everywhere is the hushed whisper of wealth – even the snow seems somehow arranged to sit just so, all cars and houses crisply set – not a dereliction in sight. We come to a long, lavish cottage, abutting a pink mansion beneath a broad white field. This is the Angelot residency. This is where we are supposed to write a love-song to a non-human entity. It seems just the right place. I can’t see another human anywhere.
I am unwell, and sleepless. I stagger to bed, sweat, sleep, emerge to fondu, and a gaggle of other eager artists. We talk about ourselves, sheepishly, and then dwindle into a vigorous discussion on free will or its absence. I am still immensely tired, drunk tired, but excited. I feel embarrassed for talking too much, and saying too little. Later, Helen and I consider the goal. We strain to empathise with sapling trees, with stones and footprints in the snow, with darkness and the ‘backend’ of networks. We fail, mostly, but failing is fun.