matter-scapes (in progress)

As I have been listening to field recordings, reading, and writing for my thesis over the last year, I’ve been ‘decompressing’ in my down time by practicing automatic painting and drawing. It turns out even my spare time is obsessed with imagining space.

This is a series of oil pastel drawings in progress (I’m working across them, so they’re at different stages). It’s my first time really playing with pastels, and I’m enjoying the potency of their colour.

These imaginary matter-scapesĀ are suggested by sound, light, and architectures (ruined and rising) of stories that cannot be collapsed into words.

When I was a kid I had trouble sleeping because when I closed my eyes at night, I started drifting or even flying into these colourful spaces behind my eyelids. They moved and pulsed in ways that felt full of meaning, but I could not translate.

I try to imagine being cellular and cosmic at the same time; one entity, yet many organisms; fixed and fluid. Every shift in focus makes a new scene without eradicating the last, multiplying tunnels that reconstruct the world at every scale.

[a little entity meets a bigger one: fiction from the simulation (excerpt)]

She told me that language didn’t work the same — when you uttered a word, you never uttered one word but layered hundreds, even thousands, of words at the same time. Uttered did not refer just to the voice, and words was only a rough translation. These were spatial forms with peaks and buttresses and funnels that doubled the in for the out, generating whirlpools of creation. Imagine mirrors that are also oceans, moving and rippling, invoking presence and absence in constant reconfiguration. In this atmosphere, through our breath (again a rough translation) meaning constellates and thunders in an eternal bloom. She was kind but clear: I would never experience even a fraction of the narrative, much less ‘understand’ it. No cross-section or snap-shot could ever express the whole. I was hanging, reverberating in a void blown open by our encounter. She had already forgotten me, and there was little chance I would meet one like her again.

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