Inflatable Dreamland, A Performed Paper; A Digital Exhibition.
Presentation, Digital Photography, Writing, AI Image Generation, 2023
Gold Foil Inflatable Dreamland
Collective Fever Dream
The Promised Land
Gold Foil Inflatable Promised Land
My Inflatable Promised Land Dreams
My Violent Cartoon Future
The darkness hums.
It buzzes gently,
the carpet breathes. The streetlight outside
splits the blinds silently.
Stripes of artificial light somehow make the darkness more dark.
The shadows smile
in the damp cold corners of the room.
Daylight. Today is lead lined, scratchy throated, wool in the skull. Low sunlight, the hum of a vending machine, the absence of any kind of human interaction. Peripheral chatter, through frosted glass. A world full of enemies. Profound loneliness. Deeply uncomfortable.
Sometimes the quiet goes
Through me like a knife
Suddenly I’m confronted with your absence
The silence drives that home
The sharpest moment of clarity
Those seconds last for hours
Don’t move. Get up.
The fear creeps in, like the
Road noise and the chatter and the
Banging of pans from the other room.
So much space between the earth
And the sky, empty cold air,
No darkness to nestle
These moments are the hardest, the Cold cold light of day
I might die here in bed. Waiting. Hiding. Some kind of death; a quiet disappearance. A gentle withdrawal from everything and everyone. A crumpled stained quilt, golden light licks the black mould on the windowsill. Another day down. Another day, down.
I hope you never see this.
Again and again.
Im not entirely sure I’m here anymore. Admittedly the absence of that initial screaming, paralysing grief is welcome, but with it went any proximity to feelings of any kind. I have not smiled for weeks, not laughed for months. I can cry silently whilst googling the weather or commute without watching the road. I can be upstairs without knowing how I got there. I can walk to the newsagents and buy a sandwich in total silence. I can check in on my life now and again, brief observation from the viewing platform, but I can’t tell you where I am the rest of the time.
I drove to the coast today. Across empty farmland and nowhere towns. Straight over at every roundabout, a lonely procession to a winter seaside last resort. The amusement arcades pump empty pop across the concrete, the bus stop stares back, unmoved. Boarded up cafes sleep through the afternoon, crazy golf courses become monumental graveyards of plastic castles and fake palms. The rides on the pier look out to sea, stoic, tired and creaking in the wind. Semi-sentient anoraks plod up and down the strip in silence, the odd abstract figure haunts a window here and there in mute seafront hotels. Big windows for the view; the grey horizon stares blankly back. A Ford Escort marooned in the middle of an empty pay and display. An artificial lake in the rain.
On the way to the coast there’s a town. A dead town. It used to be thriving, you can tell from the market halls, the corn exchange and the church. But now it’s adrift, out beyond metropolis, pre-internet and fading fast. Every shop is an antiques store selling fine china in milk crates out the back in the drizzle. The people that used fine china abandoned the town long ago, the people that replaced them don’t need it. They’ve got flags. St George’s crosses and Ariel bold on plastic Union Jacks. ENGLAND they shout, in Comic sans, to the empty streets and closed down pubs. Functional, tangible things must go. Ideas will fill the plates of the hungry, national pride will quench their thirst. A longing for an imagined yesterday will need to lift today, and tomorrow, and every day until it’s all finally gone.
A deep longing for a home one can’t return to
Or that never was