Art Phuture Farm

Well then – this is long overdue…

I thought I’d post up the work I did over the weekend – the group from We Haunt ( http://www.greycontent.org.uk/wehaunt ) which unfortunately I’m not a ‘regular’ member of this year…However, I went along to a group excursion to Susie’s farm in Pembrokeshire over the weekend – and got involved in making some work and some photos.

On Saturday night we all got involved in Michal’s (www.michaliwanowski.com) photography around the farm with his technique of using a high-power torch and long-exposure. The results were really amazing…Here’s my ‘portrait’:

For my part, I found it quite overwhelming being in the space as I don’t usually work in site-specific performance of the kind the other artists are perhaps more well-versed in. But I forced myself to go round and do some automatic writing on the Saturday and then boiled it down and did a roving performance on Sunday – in the same car but covered in feathers.

After my initial writing, I decided on three loose ‘rules’ for the writing, which were:

1. The birds are in control.

2. The farm is a machine.

3. I am a cog in that machine, but I do not know what I am for.

Here’s what I wrote:

I: (by the barn at the top of the hill)

On the roof here too, loudly.
Spare barbed wire, coiled
in crowns, slithering.
To keep them out – not me in.
I think that’s it. It seems
to be growing. The vines on
the back wall pierce brick
like skin, growing. Coiled,
ready for a meal of something.
There are tools, but not for anything
I can do; shaped for elements
I can’t see or touch or harvest.
Symbols which might be language.
I recognise the skull at least,
and the X, but it doesn’t
translate. Arrow-shaped bodies
dart past, taking lives in their
mouths without chewing.

II: (by the dairy)

I know they need fluid, but
not which kind, or if I am
the right part to offer it. Sounds
through pipes, instrument-light,
flutter-roof, bangbangbang low-
rumble corrugated doors in
stereoscopic sound. They want it,
the gauges are their eyes above
and they might never come down
unless I find my part. It is
rusty and the roof is scratching at
my scalp again. In the other room
duracel-manic-flap, back and forth,
one is here and here is not
the sky. There’s a code and
it must be one I have
inside me if they
need me, here.

III: (by the branding gate/machine)

It is inviting, high enough for
me, but my horns were lost
among the grass some time ago
where they took root and
sprouted more of these devices.
But they are not ready yet, still
waiting to flower; cog-bloom, bolt-
sprout, mechanism rooting. My
feet are soft in the concrete, wet
with dew and I want to go
through but my nose does not
have a ring to it and I cannot
sing like the trees, my instructions.
I want to go through but
I don’t know who this is for, or
what it did the last time, or
the time before, or
the time before.

IV: (in the shed with the caravan and the horse-box)

There are eyes from the slot
in the box and at the other end
a tail, geared and hydrolic.
A lolling tongue, patterned and
floral, panting. It must be
tired from all the running and from
having people stepping in and out
of its ribs. But at least, I think,
it knows what it is. It does
not have eyes like mine, its ears
are pricked up and signalling. It
sings with the fluid machine as
I must, or else the clouds will
scatter, tatter, pillow-fight blizzard
will bleed from above. I am
a water-boatman skimming
milk, an earthworm
flying in the silt.

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