A strange and poetic installation constructed by Multipoint (participants for this project include Pam Strugar, Linda Parnell, and April Durham), this project was installed at the Riverside Arts Project gallery in Riverside California, June 2010 and in the Kellogg Gallery at Cal Poly Pomona in November 2010. It lives in memory on the Small Wonder website (where you can hear the sound component if you turn up your speakers when you load the page) and elsewhere on the internet (see some links below). Following you will find an introduction. Don’t stop…
You enter this work as one in a consumer space. Next door you can get a floral dress or a feather headband. A little further on, margaritas come in vast salt-crusted bowls. Across the way, movies, falafels, and tiaras mingle with the sounds of swing or punk or retro-surfer music from the band of the day. In this space though, expectations explode. Some things seem broken but emit light; other elements are clearly non-functional yet a freeway rushes and a heart beats. Images remind you of your mother, the dreaded dictator of a bygone generation, yourself. Projections are hazy but then you remember that you saw that image last night in your dream.
Spanish architect Ignacio Solà-Morales used the French phraseterrain-vague (roughly translated “wasteland”) in the mid-90s to describe a place outside the normal, unified space of the city; it is a physical space but also a psychological space, a place of potential. It is wild and crumbling and therefore vital and wondrous. In his bridge trilogy novels, cyber-punk guru William Gibson situates the landscape of his marginalized heroes on the useless no-persons’ land of the defunct Bay Bridge. Nano technology has made the steel and concrete of the old bridge obsolete and nomads from all walks of life have come to occupy a new wasteland and make a community of sketch-artists, tale-tellers, and people who are free from the homogeneity of the normal. These people can actually assert some agency in a system that dominates every aspect of life, from vision to action. These people seem down and out but they are really the only ones who can change the world.
The space of Terminus Nodus is about investigating the terrain-vague without fixing it in time, nation, or language. It is an ebb and flow of memory: disastrous and beautiful, archaic and electrified, frightening and potent. Partly remembered stories mix with appropriated mathematical formulae and overlay broken and refigured objects, erasing former signification and evoking something new without making that new thing concrete.
Frames point to nodes that slip away again when a projection turns or a light flickers. A rush of muddled sound flickers past a note about that girl you once knew, that man who haunted your dreams, that boy with the curling hair.
If all that was known had been destroyed would we make art? Would we find a way on Cormac McCarthy’s road to express and create? What would aesthetics mean to us and how would we engage with them? If all the books were gone, what would the new ones look like? Would Eli be able to memorize them in a trip across America?
A fetish for memory occurs in another Gibson novel, Pattern Recognition. We wonder what would Casey do if she met Ivan the Terrible in a montage of sound from under the freeway in someplace really different from Tokyo. This is an experiment in colliding visions, teasing out a new expression, erasing the subject and re-inscribing it on the surface of collaborative and collective memory.
It is a nomad’s journey. Thank you for taking the ride with us.
Links to some other appearances:
Terminus Nodus on facebook
Terminus Nodus on youtube
Terminus Nodus in Riverside
Terminus Nodus continues (A Hunt in the South)