I have become spectral in Abney. The heaviness of my fleshy particularity flickers. It takes on a new atmospheric identity—a new cosmic materiality—of which our humanness has not yet encountered. The elemental in me finds divergent molecular construction. Here in Abney, I’ve come into closer proximity with the spectral.
As if the liquidation of my body has purified, in this process of absorbing sunlight, my capillaries have burst upon and into themselves. Microcosmic ruptures with macro-psychological repercussions. A profusion of my blood steams from each orifice. My innards contort in a rhythmic percussion, elucidating my proximity to other phases of the kinaesthetic and magnetic (abnorm)alities.
My watery container—this body—is reduced to evaporation. I have become corpuscular, a matter-filled occurrence along the matter fields. Neither a dense nor rare quality about me, or directional and or otherwise sporadic in the gravitational. Instead, a phenomenon of diffraction, interfering with my current context through the configuration of interrelation.
In the absurdity of my strangeness—the becoming of the strange—in creating kinship with the surrounding inhabitants, that of reproductive intelligence, plants and beyond us species, I’ve become sentient with my psoas. A vibrato begins from this core of my intelligence, located at the long fusiform muscle on either side of my vertebral column, at the bridge of the lesser pelvis in my neuro-rich, bio-wise, tissue. I take root in tree stock, dig branches into skyscapes, nestle against the afterglow of a light flare smoothing itself against hard gravestone surfaces. Contorting with rigour. Decomposing with stamina.
Newton assumed that the reflection of light is due to the repulsion between the corpuscles and reflecting surface, while refraction of light is due to the attraction between the corpuscles and reflecting surface. However, later proved wrong, it is now known that in equal measures we can both be a mirror (reflect) or be porous (refract). I wonder in which direction I shine forward. I wonder if the sun is future-refractal, something we’re gliding toward.
Chardin’s science of corpuscular theory suggests there is no void, no action at a distance that is not without the plurality of vision and touch working cooperatively. To eye-touch with the felt-touch. ~I take a moment to breathe through my ears~. The haptic and the optic are not autonomous but intertwined into a new unified mode of being. Corpuscles are positional, informed, squishy and tactile.
The Tale of Genji is ephemeral and secular, with a psychological realm where people cohabitate with living spirits in the lightness of everyday human consciousness, conversed with the nightmare spirit-self which haunts our virtues.
Murakami says the world of the grotesque is the darkness within us. The correlation between darkness and our subconscious, these two forms of darkness, the outside and the inner workings of the soul, used to coexist. There was no boundary of separation but now the connection is a confusing contradiction; we’ve become untethered.
Peele explores this in Us.
In Frankenstein, light symbolises knowledge, discovery and enlightenment. A flame lights the darkest corners of our world but is also a harmful tool to touch. Life giving, life taking.
Here in Abney, light breathes and bends the forbidden. The electrical currents feed the hidden, sparking life to the lifeless particulars that are dependent on polyrhythmic beating. The cross-rhythm breath conceives an overwhelming potential for destruction and chaos. Collapse butterfly kisses Hope, consensually thrusting and thrashing one another in waltz.
Reverberating through me in symphonic bursts is the knowledge that within the furrows of this space, nature life is queer nature in becoming. The more peculiar my body becomes in an isomorphic, warped, transnature, yet kindred alteration—in reaching to sources of vital light for new growth—is the knowledge that I must also sink into the subterranean body, and entangle with the microcosmic organisms by deepening my comfort into the soil that recedes into yet even darker terrains of existence.
The parallels of multi-existence within this space can be seen as monstrous, with ligaments and seedlings in a state of posed feral; (re)forming, performing, splaying with every squelch. Yet, for this reason, the consequences of my indulgence in the likeness of lightness in Abney is actually because really you know it happens to be quite truly in a very surreal sort of realistic way, just beyond interpretation, exactly disco spectral-sissy.
I am this moment, a revelation of the ‘human’ and the ‘beyond us’. A wildfire controlled. A loitered house. A mosquito, tsunami, cheeseburger with pickles. Both symbol and state, territory and organisation. The deepest fascination, repulsive standardisation. The smoky quartz, the grief in mourning. The colour blue that only ever originates from the temperament of green. Into delta, gamma, theta depths. The eyes and fingertips cast over developing breasts. Skin softening, a stick cracking with the force of a boot. The OBSCURED open wide for the OBSCURED to consume.
I’ve hardly any sense of self, here in the spectral. Feathered and fraying, I surround your sight and sonic temporalities. I am the number three. Most earnestly composed of a kaleidoscopic frequency.
This is post-sissy-ism. My body is post-sissy in the spectral. Shimmering. A more-than-queer.
Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore (Vintage Books, 2006)
Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, I. Bernard Cohen, Opticks (Dover Publications, 2012)
Jonathan Crary, Techniques of the Observer: On Vision and Modernity in the Nineteenth Century (MIT Press, 1992)
Jordan Peele, Us, 2019
J.B. Chardin, Boy Blowing Bubbles, 1739
Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Frankenstein (Penguin Classics, 2018)
Murasaki Shikibu, The Tale of Genji (Penguin, 2003)
Pierce’s (they/them) pedagogy as a curator, dramaturg and writer is rooted in an entangled existence with ecological systems and the knowledge(s) they hold, produce and share. Their interests evoke a sense of reciprocity, kinship, non-dualism and sovereignty–centring ethics of listening, caring, queering and decentralising–(re)imagining new eco-systems into their practices.