My consciousness comes into my body, laying here. It is not my body, right now I am someone else.
My eyes do not open yet. I’m in a single bed. It is quite firm. Many people have lain in this bed before me, their energy is stronger than my new presence in this space, it causes me to forget who I am even after I remember where I am.
The small room I inhabit is no more than 500mm bigger than the single bed in two directions, the other two surfaces are flush against sheer curtains and plywood partitions demarcating two other people’s sleeping spaces in this room. My travelling case fills the width of the floorspace and I step over it daily. Artists compete to take this place. They fill in application forms, undergo interviews and agree to pay fees in order to be offered it. Next to me the young intern acting as kitchen manager stirs in his sleep. Normally he is awake and up by now. He likes the mornings, few of the 12 residents are awake and he plays the banjo in the ghost room upstairs.
I am Elsewhere. A residency in North Carolina, US held in a three story former thrift store and boarding house. It’s a living museum, its residents the art13. I have been here for three days and I have not left the building. As a part of the Elsewhere collective, most of your daily living needs are taken care of in-house. I decide to walk. I head out to the street and look up. The leaves on the trees turning yellow and orange. Two days ago I was astounded that the trees looked like that in spring time in this part of the world. As I walk through it now I realise that it is not spring, it’s autumn. I have not seen spring for over two years, and my subconscious was obviously so eager to be in a season of renewal that for three days I lived it. Here we are again. Autumn is a time of cutting back, of reaching deep inside and letting go. This, my fourth autumn without a spring I feel like I may be scraping the vital lining of the barrel. Certainly a clear out... looks like this place to do with a clear out too!