Encounters with Adata #3

28 Sep 2015 | Alex Head - Adata Island, Bulgaria

10. August |

"This is how it should be done: lodge yourself on a stratum, experiment with the opportunities it offers, find an advantageous place on it, find potential movements of deterritorialisation, possible lines of flight, experience them, produce flow conjunctions here and there, try out continuums and intensities segment by segment, have a small plot of new land at all times."

Unbelievable: I cut the arms off my t shirt and loose about ten degrees of body heat. No one tells you these things. I swing over to the right side of the motorway before making my entry, peering into the East side of Adata, the as yet unknown unknown.

It looks a bit more used, a more recent layering of plastic bottles? From the North bank my suspicions are confirmed, there is some pronounced wearing of the river bank for swimming and traces of a path that cut back to… the stairs? I'm not alone! I try to peer over from the North river bank to see where and if I could be observed by the fishermen that I sometimes think could catch a glimpse of me swimming. Erotic image?

Today i'm experimenting with wayfinders. Small strips of batik to mark a trail from the studio back to the path that leads to the exit stairs. A subaltern forest world of nightmarish freedom not a million miles away from, yes, the cliché, Andre Tarkovsky's Zone. Only with a Tranger to cook on and a lovely flat to retreat to when it all gets a bit too much. The wayfinders work perfectly but not as I expect: you only see them when your immediately in front of the branch. Its not a sign to look for in the distance like the tour guide's red umbrella, its a sign that you're on the right track.


I sit with my back to the meditation bench reading 1000 years of non linear history, by Manual De Landa. Its a section concerning the adaptation and exploitation by urban settlements of their surrounding environments. A knot in the fallen tree juts into my back. I seek out my axe, a gift from the architect and dispatch with the obtrusive lump before continuing …the flow of cast iron, triggered the beginning of the metallization of the urban exoskeleton… Mosquito, as the emerging colonial agent on this island you and I are sworn enemies! I'm here primarily to listen and to observe. But the curiosity of the bug life is so pervasive i'm beginning to wonder if it is not the other way around. This white butterfly sat directly above my heart for five minutes yesterday and the guys with the pink pants are SUPER interactive today, everything I put down, anything new I bring to the studio they wanna know 'what is it?' Its a bag man! But do enjoy that tea cup as you make your rounds… The dragonfly - the turquoise ones, not the green ones, or the yellow ones or the electric blue and black fellas - will actually jump up from wherever they sit, staring at me, and onto my index finger at the slightest suggestion now. My entomological garden of eden is disturbed however by a new species. I catch a large red ant-like assemblage with a black head and rear section crossing the tarp. I realise how familiar the other species have become. A mosquito-looking thing lands on my hand. Only its got these white dotted eyelashes swimming out of its upper back… beautiful, until it pokes its probe head into my skin and splat!

Britons, so conscious of their race, are in fact an amalgam of the Beaker Folk of the Bronze Age, the Indo-European Celts of the first millennium B.C., the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, and Picts of the first millennium A.D, and finally the Vikings and their parvenu grand children, the Normans… [Hence] the notion that there are stable, pure races that only now are in danger of mixing under the influence of modern industrial culture is nonsense. What or who is parasitising on whom here? Who or what is the subject being investigated… am I becoming host? Does the river island shelter me (from societies normal obligations and expectations) or am I sheltered from the wildlife of Adata when I return back into the urban sprawl? I'm experiencing the rural and urban side by side. The contrast is electrifying. Deserted forest Island by day - rooftop view of six to seven thousand year old city by night. Black-out from heat stroke - take a vodka tonic on the way home. My journey continues but i'm not sure if the island couldn't do with another interlocutor some time soon… It's awfully quiet there these days.

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