The false promise of a midday sun
sidenote: these images have not been manipulated in any way. This is how the camera viewed the space at these particular moments in time. No filters were used and the intensity of the blue that the camera has documented closely matches my memory of experiencing the midwinter arctic light. These images were taken purely for my own documentation and aren't intended as finished work so it is important to keep the images as they were documented at the time.
I now have to start at the end and write the future by looking into the past. All written words have vanished into thin air. Rather fitting really.
I lost the journal that I had been writing somewhere between New York and Sydney - I don't think you could ask for a more substantial amount of space in which to misplace an item of value.
The intriguing part is I had questioned the potential of a nonlinear experience, and I guess this is what our memories are. Disjointed fragments and reinterpretations, recollections of the imagined, entwined with the perception and illusion of reality all held together with those parts that feel entirely forgotten. Those same parts that somehow resurface at seemingly random points in the future. It's funny because one of the books I ended up taking to Iceland to read was The Holographic Universe: the revolutionary theory of reality by Michel Talbot. The coincidence is that this theory began with a neuroscientist trying to determine where in the brain we store memory. And now I only have my memory to recall the words I once had. Even the cover of the book holds a remarkable similarity to the light that permeated the entire space on most afternoons.
black - the 4 am ritual
Before leaving, I had asked each person in my critique group to give something for me to "take" to Iceland in the form of a small daily ritual of sorts. George had told me about his project where he photographs the first thing he sees in the morning. These were the words George sent me:
Inquiry: Notes Keep No Such Record.
Using one of two primary senses, visually [ photograph ] hold first experience of environment new.
///// silent. thunder-stick waking up at a time of 3.22 am on the 21st day in November, 2 millennia’s after 17, my bed cradled a rich mechanism of sensory information showing consciousness. The immanence of intuition emanated 91% humidity so the hours of conversation wander into experiential projects and developed the following lines. /////
Earth, The Power of anechoic chamber
served, From projects you tour to its life sciences
well stepped and, Day exists a photograph of that first meeting
Perceive your perceptions
Make yourself conscious of your consciousness
(Sorry George, I couldn't make the words red)
I did this project each morning as promised. I was waking up at 4 am, so of course, the first thing I would see was black - even if I had awoken at 7 am each morning - still the first thing I would see is black. The first indigo light of dawn started at around 10:30 am (on clear days and much later when storm clouds filled the sky). Each morning I would see black but the camera would pickup traces in the landscape.
The images above are a selection of photos taken from the series inspired by George's words. I see these as large charcoal drawings someday. Interestingly, they already appear like the charcoal drawings I had been working on before I left. I like the ambiguity of the landscape and the intervention of the moonlight on some mornings. Other mornings it was pure black when the sky was full of storm clouds or during the new moon. Luckily I had a window behind my bed, so this genuinely was the first thing that the camera (& I) would see.