Darc Matter (Denise Aimee Rijnen)

Bewitched by words being defined by words, as a circular play, leaving most essential things unexplained and undefined. Words and measures used as conventions allow me to draw maps, but are not found on the face of the earth. They isolate me from the entirely indefinable something which is everything, they merely symbolize life.

Scanning the territory, digitally but most of all physically for possible material to forage. Combining environmental embodiment with the extraction of raw materials, relating, organizing & processing them. Climbing up that mountain, walking down that stream, getting lost in an old mining ground time and time again. Forced into thinking deep time in order to understand its emergence.

Having not only to restructure my synaptic connections in order to possibly comprehend all of its becoming and unbecoming that have led to this temporal structure that appears to us as vast and unmoving; but also having to disentangle the whole of myself to get under the mind: our physical body with its complex neural networks. Untangling knots opens us back to a space beneath them – a vast open wilderness.

Working with the illusory nature-culture binary is an attempt to grasp its fluidity, finding the irony, its movement along a line and the traces it leaves.

instagram.com/darc__matter | darcmatter.org

FIELDWORK Q&A – May 2020

How is fieldwork part of your practice?
Since I mostly work with raw materials and natural phenomenon like mountains, or entanglements of nature and culture like most rivers. It is rather crucial to get out there. Strangely enough this is the part of my practice of which I underestimate its profound importance each time I’m starting a project. When researching a material or natural (or entanglement) occurrence I first dive into my computer to drown myself with an exorbitant amount of information, becoming impressed by mere factoids. There is a comfort in written text and numbers, the comfort of assuming that it beholds truth. It is holding me back from diving into an insecure field research which probably will evoke even more questions. Also I am based in the most flat country with the least of wildest rivers. But we are great at controlling water and moving land. When I finally get myself to embark on a field trip and immerse myself into the topic of my research, I enter a much more free, wild, playful and embodied state of researching – open to the unexpected.

How would you describe your fieldwork activity?
When I finally get myself to go out into the (arguably) wild and unknown, indeed more questions are being evoked and I realize that actually I’ve learned so little about the real thing during these hours and days of computer research. To grasp the essence of the material, natural phenomenon, or an entanglement, I have to shut off my brain and move through the territory in a non linear way – without expectation and with open awareness, thinking beyond my limited human time-frame, embodying the mountain.

My field research mostly consists of getting lost over and over again, physically and mentally, getting to a state of absolute not knowing. Collecting raw materials, rocks, sand, clay on the way. I’m looking for what is hidden. Using my body as a tool to understand the material; licking the rock to discover its brilliance and hidden color. Biting the rock to determine its hardness and possible state or age – or its becoming or unbecoming. These actual field researches evoke more topics for research, and here the whole cycle of going back home and drowning myself in internet research starts all over again.

How are you currently sharing your fieldwork?
The fieldwork often results in a collection of materials, that I then organize and process. Often during a performance I bring the artifact – as a result of processing the material – back into nature, to make it interact with it’s environment or alter its state with the help of the elements.