BLOG: To Become Visible

Footprints
  • Neon Fingerprints : Known Unknown

    A pause, this Leap Day 2020, the 29th of February. March abides, poised, red sword, promising to come in like a lion. In these look-before-you-leap shadows, the future seeps toward the present; the past folds and unfolds, a paper fan, a shaman’s staff, a collapsed umbrella.  This day, we the leap-frog into the … 

    It's not sector specific, or company specific. It's a known unknown. This is something that is developing daily, and the impact is going to depend on how long disruption lasts for, how wide, from a regional point of view, the disruption spreads.
    — Warren East, chief executive, Rolls-Royce Holdings, a leading UK-based engine manufacturer.  (Feb 2020)

    We used to talk about going into the wilderness and leaving only our footprints behind. In the Anthropocene we realize that's no longer possible, that we’ve touched every inch of the planet, left our neon fingerprints everywhere.
    — Diane Ackerman, Writer, from an interview with Robert Macfarlane in Confluence 73 (2019)

    One of them must be wrong, right?  There is strong support that the footprint extended beyond the satellite data and the closures.
    — Igal Berenshtein, lead author of “Invisible oil beyond the Deepwater Horizon satellite footprint,” published Feb2020 in the journal Science Advances.  

    We really cannot say whether it will get better, whether it will get worse, what sort of situation is going to unfold.
    — Lawrence Wong, Singaporean cabinet minister and co-chair of Singapore's CoV task force. (Feb2020)

    At the limit, the imaginary is a virtual image that is interfused with the real object, and vice versa, thereby constituting a crystal of the unconscious.
    — Gilles Deleuze, Philosopher

    Photos by Douglas Beauchamp (2020)
    Below: Art by Dorothy Siemens, on a Traffic Box (detail), Eugene OR

    :

  • Every wolf a deer

    No wolf howls alone in the wilderness. Every being is a biome. Just so, every predator is its prey, every enemy its own enemy. This is the lesson of ecology. Every wolf is a deer, every deer is a deer tick, every deer tick is a human, every human is a blade of grass. Every American is a radical Islamic mujahid. Every human is carbon, oxygen, electricity, and hydrogen. Every rock is paper.  Roy Scranton [1]

    [1] Roy Scranton, from “Rock Scissors Paper” in We're Doomed. Now What?: Essays on War and Climate Change (2018); Rock Scissors Paper presented as talk at Los Angeles County Museum 2016.

    Two images: A petroglyph boulder and a detail, Lake County, October 2018
    Noting two symetrically designed bear?paw? images and figure seeming to approach? natural cleft in the rock.

  • Making Tracks, Leaving Traces

    Track. Trace. Trait. These words originate from the Latin tractus: drawing, dragging, drafting, pulling. They all speak to marks resulting from an action. A pen on paper, a foot on sand, a hoof on mud. Stone on stone. With petroglyphs a doubling results. The petroglyph itself marking stone. The image resembling an animal or human print or track in real space. Further, the modern photograph digitally traces the reflected light. The traits of the image store as bits subject to recall by the computer, displayed as something recognizable. Traces.

    Petroglyph images as tracks and traces, though infrequent among the thousands of mostly abstract glyphs in the northwestern Great Basin, stand out due to their resonance as resemblance. We recognize. We have an idea, a memory, a feeling. We say it looks like. We may ascribe values. Look from placement to place. We will circle back to our own hands. Our feet. Our digital self.

    Most of these petroglyphs are thousands years old. Embedded, intentional, and crafted markings, they embody as signs, signals, symbols, icons, or metaphors. Their appearances alter through time. Though powerful markers, for us they now lack social or cultural context, eluding meaning while producing a tension, an ambiguity of presence and absence of th human and the animal we know has been here, gone there.

    The thinking and writing of David Summers, Bruno Latour, and Michel Serres has challenged my understanding. Of course they are no way liable for the track I have followed! 

    Album: Tracks & Traces Petroglyphs