loose in the forest encircling the city and the sown land

  1. There have been periods of my life when I’ve filmed incessantly. I miss that.
  2. “It is the spirit of the unknown and the disorderly, loose in the forest encircling the city and the sown land… wildness makes of these connections spaces of darkness and light in which objects stare out of their mottled nakedness while signifiers float by. Wildness is the death space of signification.”
    —Michael Taussig
  3. Flat against the dirt of this island shivering in a northern ocean, I look for wildness in cracks.
  4. Earlier this year I spent a few days as part of a group studying with an artist in rural Cambridgeshire. Among the many things discussed — and put into practice — was the idea of body-knowledge (a topic pertinent to the work I was currently engaged in; it still is).
  5. Following a session of meditation and movement (attempts at the former never quite work out for me, but the capacity of my body for the latter regularly surprises and intrigues), I took some time to walk the perimeter of the art centre, a former farm.
  6. The dull, startling base of the bird-scarers.
  7. Utopia in intimate gesture.
  8. Utopia is wish landscapes
  9. (someone said the wooden house sculpture in the woods was built by that artist who paints on the gum stuck in the metal slats of the Millennium Bridge)
  10. “Wildness must take us into its mottled embrace and press us to stare into those places of slippage between language and experience and life and death; wildness can give us access to the unknown and the disorderly, and we will enter there at our own risk.”
    —Jack Halberstam, Wildness, Loss, Death
  11. I was given a small, cheap video camera for my birthday this year. It becomes both talisman and prosthetic.
  12. “Our machines are disturbingly lively and we ourselves frighteningly inert.”
    —Donna Haraway, The Cyborg Manifesto
  13. I remember my first weeks in England. The realisation that mud could freeze. The browns of Oxfam knits and dead leaves. Seeing my fingers change colour as I never had before. I didn’t know I’d be an alien when we got here.

 

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Jamie Atherton

Jamie Atherton is an artist living and working in London.

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