Event Horizon

Go out onto the ice. Go ice fishing. Listen.

 

Ear to the ice; maybe you hear nothing emanating below your feet. But is there nothing? Cut a hole two and a half feet by three feet. This is your window to the world beneath you, not quite the center of the earth: a little scopophilic, a little voyeuristic. The ice as stratum, a layer descriptive of time and place, air and water. Inside the ice shanty: a dark room/darkroom. Observe the ice where you cut. Look through its thickness at the traveling light—the event horizon. It is the edge of this world at your particular location. Notice it is a landscape without reference point.

 

eventhorizon

 

This landscape is akin to driving in Iceland on mountain roads during a white out blizzard. You know it is daylight, faintly you see the yellow light and the yellow markers on the cliff edge of the road.

 

What road? There is no road, no mountainside, no cliff side, no front, no back. An avalanche blocks one of two lanes. Back up? Go forward? It does not matter in the slightest, but this is the question you are confronted with. Visually you are located at a point, fixed, in a vacuum of white; are you moving at all? Maybe around the next bend the weather will improve.

No.

Maybe the next?

No.

Vegagerđin probably closed the road. It appears as though you are no longer here, but of course you are here, because there is a here here and you perceive it…as much as you can. An awareness of your disconnection with nature sets in. Inside the car you are relatively safe. Outside, you do not belong. How can this be?

 

Your sense of place is challenged by your inability to perceive it, bringing to question the notion of place. Who decides what defines place? Is place a noun, a verb, an adjective? Poul Erik Tøjner speculates the idea of place in the most anti- of places: “Is the Arctic a place? Is the Arctic a landscape? Considering the icy wastes, frequent absence of a sense of scale, polar mirages, sundogs, northern lights and the kind of weather that makes everything new again every time a storm blows over…”[1] In the absence of perceivable place, there is an architecture, a design that structures and sustains you—the car. You feel trapped. Claustrophobic in this steel frame and this locational pindot: no x, no y, no z. But that is all there is.

 

How does time function in this vacuum? A long drive made longer as you creep along at 20, no, 10 km an hour. The longer you drive the less you feel that you are in a locatable part of the world. Not some place but somewhere internal, a psychogeography of your own design: negative place.

 

 

 

 

[1] Poul Erik Tøjner, “The Wide World,” in Arctic, by Minik Rosing, ed. by Michael Holm and Mathias Seeberg. (Louisiana: Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2014), 15.

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See Sound

 

 

 

The negative curvature of space—a receding sound—a whirlpool. Imagine the surface of your skin, a flat plane strewn with tiny hyperbolic forms—pores. Within this space the external becomes internal, the positive becomes negative as it is absorbed and embodied. A sound travels through this space to reach your innards; maybe you can feel it. Loud and powerful it shakes your organs: your heart skips a beat, you gasp for air. It seems to excite the negative spaces of your body—those occupied by blood, air, and water. The sound waves agitate their geometries into these mediums as they occupy space within your body: a vessel for sound.