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A Retrospective on Autoextinction - Room Thirteen & Room Fourteen
You’ll walk into room thirteen and wonder if you’re still Finn...
Room Thirteen: The Menace of Admission versus The Liberation of Exile
You’ll walk into room thirteen and wonder if you’re still Finn. You’ll feel the urge to convince yourself that you are not Finn and never were Finn and never will be Finn and this convincing—the voice in your head—will take the form of strobe light on ketamine sold as an art piece called The Menace of Admission versus The Liberation of Exile that speaks in the key of muted authority from a rather low-rent beyond:
“You’re living inside discarded narratives inside entombed origin myths and you’re doing it all right here: inside your very own Autoextinction ceremony. You only get one and you’ll only know it’s arrived when it’s passed. But I’m making a just for you exception: I’m letting you know that you’re in it. This space being collectively hallucinated (just for you!) is no shits and giggles factory. This is the only space where you are privy to the machinations and theatrical rewritings of your very own extinction.
You should know that all of this carries on whether you are here or not, whether it’s happening to a species hardwired to narrativize all of this or not: whether or not you believe that serpents don’t just slither and strike but create (and kill) and kill (and create) and whether or not you believe that ravens don’t just scavenge but offer circuitous wisdom delivered in dreams macabre: it’s happening whether or not you’ve grasped that Finn and B are not to be trusted because they trust reinvention as the only space worthy of invention.”
You’ll be convinced: You are not Finn.
The strobe lights will give way to four candles illuminating the idea of a corpse hanging in low orbit over your Autoextinction ceremony.
Room Fourteen: Shadow Prayer
You’ll have to admit, you’re a bit confused, a tad discombobulated as you walk into room fourteen and see a shadow version of B leading shadow versions of Audience and Applause in something resembling a prayer. A shadow prayer.
(You won’t, until much later, wonder about the source of light.)
You’ll follow the shadow: right there: to a corner of the room: to an altar: to a shadow of this very retrospective laid out in thoughts and possibilities that might be mistaken for a version of consciousness, or a cheap trick, and you’ll wonder if there is really much of a difference.
You’ll walk over to the shadow of A Retrospective on Autoextinction and realize you are casting a shadow as well.
You’ll play with the light. You’ll ask the voice in your head to play the role of assistant: to adjust the light as you give direction. You’ll tell yourself you “just want to get it right.” But really, your only thought will be: How do I look?
You’ll observe the shadow version of yourself joining B and Audience and Applause in something resembling a prayer. You’ll realize this room, the work of art called Shadow Prayer, is nothing more than a trick of the light, and you’ll—no kidding—be convinced that you are the light.
(photos by Spencer Ostrander)
I access this dimension through lunar dust — lots and lots of lunar dust. If you enjoy Highway B, consider supporting my lunar dust habit by buying a book.