AlgoMantra, b. 2005

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Friday, May 06, 2005
Song of the Repossesed
"We begin to walk. We feel the ground beneath our feet, the wind in our face. And as we do, we leave traces. We are involved in the landscape. We leave the prints of our body, the touch of flesh on metal and stone. We constantly wear things out, with our hands, our feet, our backs, our lips. And we leave the traces of singular actions: the unintentional, the random, the intimate, unplanned touch of history's passing: we break twigs, move pebbles, crush ants... all the signs that trackers learn to read... And we discard things - we throw things away, we lose things - material which, in years to come, others will regard as artefacts, as the remains of past actions...

We begin to create a palimpsest - writing over writing over writing - in a kind of stratigraphy of text. Perhaps we became frustrated and threw it away, a love letter that wouldn't compose itself. But as we retrieve it, we realise something unusual. Points which were once separated in time and space are now adjacent, in a new non-linear relationship... We try to straighten it out. But of course we can't. It has developed a kind of topography of creases, bumps, rips, all of which will now influence how we might move across it... Different paths enact different stories of action...

It is the matrix of particular folds and creases, the vernacular detail, which attached us to a place... In these notions, landscape is not separate from the lives lived there. But they are not... precise territorial zones, rigorously defined, delineated and patrolled... This is slippery ground, places without firm boundaries, places which perhaps only the poet can map."

-- Mike Pearson and Michael Shanks' Theatre/Archaeology