Christopher Dewdney responds to Elaine Cameron-Weir
Resinous mist suffuses the interior atmosphere with a sacred, coniferous plasma. Angel bandit at vector alpha, her radial axis of symmetry a silken membrane exalted upon the stereotaxic brace. Stainless steel armature of exquisite sensation. Surprisingly, the clamps held during the irradiation event, leaving four glass isomers. After several failures the sublingual attractor harvested a psychic residue, though stabilizing the plasma required so much energy that we had to re-set the alternators. Altitude released the sandbags but each footprint froze inside a torroidal gravitation vortex. It’s the same modal reversal that allows the dual bivalve neon emitters to create an oscillating consciousness modification node at their focal point. The entire field shifts along the wavelengths of the diffraction grating interference. It seems one of the assistants completely evaporated, leaving behind only a lab coat that, in some sort of infernal alchemy, had completely turned to lead. She placed it in a stainless steel containment vessel, specially contoured to confine the alpha energy. Could we have re-built the anomaly generator? I doubt it. Anyway, no one expected the cult to reach these numbers.
A dark grey, squid jigger’s rubber mackintosh raincoat, with its ceremonial amber yoke completely intact, hangs from the ceiling. Shipments of copal, frankincense, myrrh, benzoin and Palo Santo arrive daily. The impact velocity was so high that remnants of the power cell penetrated the triptych, despite the leather stabilizers. Each panel is now missing a positive electron pair, though that was hardly an impediment. Rather, the missing pairs enhanced ancillary entrapment of the psychic residue. (Even with the loss of pressure at such altitude.) It’s hard to believe that modelling this data set was enough, in and of itself, to trigger such massive electron bursts, and who would have imagined that the axis of consciousness, confined between the neon bivalve emitters, could be calibrated without the use of quantum entanglement? The electron static of planetary storms provides a sonic background to the laboratory rituals. Human nerve endings are encouraged to grow into the oscillator receptors with neurotropic growth hormones. We are not the ghost in the machine, we are the machine.
White sand from the testing facility in New Mexico has the highest reflective index, ideal not only for supporting the equipment, but also shielding it from gravitational waves. Outside the facility, a mesh covered skeletonized globe, supported only by longitudinal ribs and a wire equator, sits upright in a field. Datelines hard-wired, latitude analog. Nearby a derelict, planetary probe is partially submerged in its own impact crater. A forest of golden, metallic philodendrons rise from freshly quarried stones in the distance. Are these ribbed philodendrons the index tropical species indigenous to the split-level ranch style interior of a once and present future? The skin of a giant, metallic snake has been hoisted for our examination. Touching it produces a sudden thrill of lust. Calling them visitors” was, I think, a bit disingenuous.
The length of retrograde amnesia in the test subject was inversely proportional to how much time spent in the bivalve chamber, the mnemonic neon lattice crystallized effortlessly. It was almost as if the reaction was self perpetuating, at least in those who’d been administered the nootropic preparations. Her carrier wave broadcast on every frequency. We could smell Tuesday in there. The heraldic icons are pataphysical stand-ins. Only by invoking erotic reveries could the rays of the deity be enticed to enter the subject’s body.
Mirror-image pairs dominate this doctrine of signatures. Divine twins. Exhibition. Each alchemical stage is an isomorphic projection of the prior one in a different medium, a primordial grid immersed within a dream. Adorned with jewelled diodes we ride the asynchronous power surge. A night breeze stirs the curtains in a deserted palace. They were released from their restraining harnesses by the planetary beacons. Her abandoned identity re-formed at irregular intersects.
Christopher Dewdney is the author of five books of non-fiction as well as eleven books of poetry. A four-time nominee for the Governor General’s Award, he won first-prize in the CBC Literary Competition for poetry and was awarded the Harbourfront Festival Prize, given in recognition of his contribution to Canadian literature. His non-fiction book, Acquainted With The Night; Excursions into the World After Dark, was nominated for both a Governor General’s Award and The Charles Taylor Prize for non-fiction, and was published in six countries. Dewdney appeared in the critically acclaimed film, Poetry in Motion, and an adaptation of his book, Acquainted With the Night, was released as a feature documentary by Markham Street Films in 2010. The movie garnered a Gemini award in 2011. His most recent non-fiction title, 18 Miles: The Epic Drama of our Atmosphere and its Weather, was published by ECW in 2018. Dewdney teaches creative writing and poetics at York University in Toronto.
This text was commissioned in association with the exhibition III: HeavyShield, Knowles, Cameron-Weir (August 31, 2018 – January 20, 2019). The exhibition brings together artists of different generations connected to the Prairies: Faye HeavyShield, Dorothy Knowles and Elaine Cameron-Weir. Working in diverse media, including large-scale installation, painting and sculpture, they offer powerful reflections on the natural world and human experience.