11 November 2020

A Land & The Book of Unconformities

-oh objectified—thinly sliced stratified fortified horizontal cross-section of the eventual—unified—till—all traces of the layers are erased—prettified—creating the sensation of a single solid
            ground—emulsified—petrified—gradations stations seams—such as the world. Or time. Sintering, fusing. Such that the thing before you appears whole. Is whole. Also holy.

Jorie Graham, from The Enmeshments in Fast (2017)

In each book — A Land & The Book of Unconformities — the writer considers the passionate human relationship with stone, rock, the Earth. Deeper, the shifting relationship of the evolving, living, planet to the human endeavor.

Anthropologist Hugh Raffles, who grew up in London and lives in New York City, writing in The Book of Unconformities: Speculations on Lost Time (2020):  Stone persists, perhaps for eternity, requiring only to be animated.  The frustration is that this archaeological animation—ultimately simply the rediscovery of the animating principles of its time—relies on the conceptual and theoretical repertoire of our own time … a repertoire too distant and disenchanted for the task.  Still, this is the alluring gap that these stones open, evidence, but refuse to fill …

English archaeologist Jacquetta Hawkes (1910-1996), writing in her 1950 book A Land: At this one moment of time I can feel consciousness stretching from the crystalline virus that blights tomato plants, through fish, reptiles and mammals to the minds of men. Indeed, it is obviously only an expedient convention to stop with the forms of life that are earliest in time, or the simplest in space. Consciousness must surely be traced back to the rocks —the rocks which have been here since life began and so make a meeting place for the roots of life in time and space, the earliest and the simplest. … Even now imagine that I can feel all the particles of the universe nourishing my consciousness just as my consciousness informs all the particles of the universe.


CLICK on any photo to enlarge

Images.  Isle of Arran, western Scotland.  Photos by Douglas Beauchamp, Spring 2019. 

—Standing Stone, Machrie Moor

—Cupules, surface detail of the Standing Stone, above

—Standing Stone, Machrie Moor

Old Graveyard, originally associated with Glenshurig church (demolished in 1931), near Brodick. Mesolithic (8000 years bp) occupation is documented at Glenshurig, Machrie Moor, and several other sites in Arran.

Stronach Ridge, Cup-and-Ring Marked Bedrock (detail), Isle of Arran.  A mile walk into Stronach Wood from the Glenshurig area,

—Standing Stone, Doon (Fort), on Drumadoon Point, a headland north Blackwaterfoot, Isle of Arran.  This upright stone is the only visible feature in the 12-acre fort, the largest on Arran, encompassed by cliffs and a running wall.

31 October 2020

GHOST: Shadow and Simile

Jacquetta Hawkes:  Every living creature among us has taken an irrevocable step between the beginning of this sentence and its end.

Though it has duration, the sentence above is not about time. It is an image-sign. Like a shadow — absence relying on a presence. Real, but contingent. Like Ghost, an image-sign, like a shadow obedient to a presence. One ruminates, of what? The answer, ambiguous, eludes; slides away, a trace, beckoning.

Ghost is also like a spirit or, some say, is a spirit, an ephemeral existing beyond physical being as a body expires.  So a ghost is like an inspiration, an irresponsible potential, a latency inherent in every moment.

An ever-present shadow abiding, an unhurried soul, inevitable. 
Like art itself, always a shadow, a revelation, invisible until a transpiring and, as one consents, it glides across the threshold.  It crosses, they say, and some return, eliding, their tidings oblique.

James Hillman: Three dimensions become two as the perspective of nature, flesh, and matter fall away, leaving an existence of immaterial, mirrorlike images, eidola. We are in the land of the soul.


— Petroglyph image on basalt, Lake County OR Oct2020.

— Graffiti Ghost, Spray paint. Ghost (def.): Lingering image from removed graffiti.  Eugene OR 2020

— Skeletal Spectral, Mixed-media, Eugene OR Oct2020

— Eidolon, Ink and Water on Rice Paper (detail), Douglas Beauchamp 1973


—Jacquetta Hawkes (1910-1996), a distinguished English archaeologist. from A Land (1950). Robert Macfarlane in Landmarks (2016) devotes a chapter “Stone-Books” to Hawkes.

— James Hillman, The Dream and the Underworld (1979)

23 October 2020

America is a concept

Baudrillard:  America is a concept.

Q:  Are you saying that America represents the ideal of democracy?

B:  No, the simulation of power. … All our values are simulated. What is freedom?  We have a choice between buying one car or buying another car?  It’s a simulation of freedom.

(CLICK to enlarge any photo)
Roadside America Flagging photos by this blog author.
Excerpt from an interview with Jean Baudrillard (French philosopher 1929-2007), New York Times Magazine, November 2005.

09 October 2020

VEXICON: Signs of the Times

This far from the sea and still we know these signs.

The night is an open book.

But the world beyond the night remains a mystery.

-- Louise Gl├╝ck, from her poem Before The Storm, in A Village Life, 2009.

Vexicon: Image becoming communal.

Public signs and signings agitate, warn, command, envision. 

 Signs ephemeral stand forth with anger, hope, demand. 

Signs direct and mis-direct, dictate, enchant.

The night is an open book … but the world beyond …

PHOTOS:  Being random recordings situated in Eugene Oregon by the author adrift with iPhoneXR. March-October 2020.  Photos above: Hands on Street at US Federal Courthouse; Graf-Mask; Greta on Willamette River Bikeway; Lincoln Street Rose

Link to album: VEXICON: Signs of the Times


Vexicon entwines with her brother Lexicon, seeding, as in the old ways...

keep 6 feet/maintain 6 feet

wildfire smoke hazardous



social distancing/physical distancing






Black Lines Matter




Seat Closed



love and lightning

at your own risk


on Zoom


Silence is compliance


For President

things to expect

19 September 2020

SIMULACRA: A la playa

What figures in this clay: gives a sharper bone?
What turns the spirit white? Wanting to abbreviate?
The years in the blood keep us naked to the bone. 
Light breaks down the days to printless stone. 
Duane Niatum, from his poem The Art of Clay

(CLICK to enlarge any photo)

A playa, Oregon, Northern Great Basin, late August 2020. Fake flat stuck “Pronghorn” imported from ? by a company in Pennsylvania called Montana. Two muzzleloader hunters emerge from their fake-foresty hunt-hut — a blind. We chat. Friendly, they say, With you guys here Pronghorn wont come today. Rut season. Thirst season. They go off on their quad hidden behind the BLM’s backhoed mound, to return next day. We go hiking, looking with sky-eyes, juniper-sense, rock-n-rollin’...