Too bad Cabinet just had their deadline for containers — I just moved last weekend and my life is boxes upon boxes. Upon boxes. And more boxes!

But I’ve also been working on a project lately that I’ve told a couple of you about privately already. It’s called the Dark Archive and I was asked to participate by artist Erica Scourti, who’s on commission from the Rotterdam Museum. The project is ongoing and she’s not providing any links so far, but as soon as there is something, I will put it up on the POD site.

Basically she came to me because she was looking for a writer who uses aleatory or divinatory techniques. My job was to provide her with a keyword. She then used this keyword to search her archive of images and sent me what she unearthed. My task was to then compose the “dark archive” of her archive, that is, the images that I thought were missing, and to write captions for these missing images. With my captions, she will then create those images or leave them as captions for missing images. There are other writers involved, each one working with different techniques.

This relates to processes of asemic writing (Ken?), aleatory writing (Cody?), and has been interesting for my own development of automatic writing as a practice. If you’re interested, here’s what I came up with. I’d like to somehow link to or expand on this work as part of our POD work, and I’d also like to hear what you guys think about this kind of writing; trance writing; writing by chance; using devices such as Tarot; etc. Here ’tis.

These captions were created in collaboration with the Tarot deck. The card selected from the Tarot was The Devil (XV), which inspired the searchword “beast.” Based on the images prompted by the searchword, I composed 15 captions under a light trance. There is a technique in reading Tarot cards where the reader looks not to the images in the cards themselves but to the small space between the cards; in this way, I looked to the small spaces between the images in the “beast” archive and the dark archive popped out.

Caption 1: A woman who was speaking and then stopped.

Caption 2: I came across this creature and immediately had to look it up. A type of soliloquy, said the book, who haunts the vibratory field. In the image it has been translated.

Caption 3: Looking to the left, and then to the right.

Caption 4: The results displayed in the table are indelicate.

Caption 5: Gash of the widow frond.

Caption 6: Rational shimmers.

Caption 7: All the paint has been chipped off.

Caption 8: If you blur your vision, you’ll see a hall in the background. It veers off to an underground fountain. The fountain contains minerals and is swarmed by vestal bees but this is all a rumour.

Caption 9: The findings of the Digital Inquiry into Half-Lights, Thursday, January 4th, 2001.

Caption 10: Here, a claw of unknown origin has scratched through the fourth wall.

Caption 11: Anonymous. A fraud.

Caption 12: Lucid framing techniques used in contraband markets.

Caption 13: One must look closely to recognize the face.

Caption 14: Relics that have been carefully restored to represent the wild.

Caption 15: Cloven beads.

(here’s the link she provided for me to search, but please do not share…