Travel Weary Senses- headed to Australia and stuck in Limbo: Day 00
Bruce Odland stranded in an International Non-Place.
My senses are very compressed by extreme disorientation, travel fatigue and jet lag. My eyes and ears are taking in almost nothing at all and what they do take in my brain cannot seem to process. I’ve been up for days it seems, but how many? I cant tell. I’ve crossed too many time zones. I’ve lost all rational track of time.
I left New York Monday but it was supposed to be Sunday, flew was it one or two zones to Dallas, waited how many hours? I took on a sixteen hour flight cross another how many zones? Midway one of these theortetical days was cancelled like a bookkeeping error. The international date line pushed me over the edge. Landed in Brisbane but that wasn’t on my ticket and they either do or dont have daylight savings time there. I dont find that out till the delayed plane arrives in Sydney and I loose that hour again and miss the flight to Wagga Wagga. Now I’m waiting for hours in a non-place limbo with jittery limbs and a blackout brain. When I look outside into daylight it is the wrong season. I’ve jump cut into the southern sun rays of springtime. But my last clear memory of a real place was a premature blizzard in New York that cut off power and snapped thousands of trees. My senses are a jumble of misfires.
Is it true that I can hear and see less well or is my brain misfiring? Is there any way to tell? Let me try to concentrate. . .
Listening to this waiting room is like hearing a monaural recording of a confusing space, or maybe like going to a big party with plugged ears. I just can’t sort out what I’m hearing.. . . . . an ancient dot matrix printer by the check in desk mixes with a desperate announcer voice from a tiny tinny television , the roar of jets and propellers through thick glass, the suitcase wheels on the ridges of the moving walkways, several wailing children somewhere in the distance down a glass corridor, high heels echoing on fake marble floor, dinging bells of announcements. . . . but it all turns into acoustical and perceptual “muddy muddy water” and carries almost no information at all through my tired ears to my tired brain.
But why should it make any sense? Really! Has anyone given it any thought at all? If there is a designer responsible for this madness please raise your hand! I’m listening to the sounds of a non-place and apparently no one at all seems to be responsible for the mix. It could be almost any airport in the world. I cannot really process the activity all around me. I’m sitting like a stone in the soup –– separated, alone, impermeable.
Some indeterminate time later I will get on a plane and it will bring me to the familiar face of Vic. And the familiar face of Vic will bring me to the old schoolhouse where I will get a chance to reset my internal clock to something like nature, and skies and smells. Till then I just have to tolerate a state of limbo with its random images and sounds. Behind me a silly informercial song about kangaroos and zoos does its desperate best to capture my attention. But no one knows why it is playing or cares.
Place and non-place. What are the characteristics of each?
That is what I hope to explore with this project. How do our senses –– particularly hearing –– help us form an impression of where we are. How is it that we recognize a place?
It seems that I have accidentally started this exploration process in the Limbo of Non-Place. From here I hope to pop up fresh and impressionable somewhere I have never been. Like Gulliver on a travel. Like Candide. Like a baby.