Brexit diary

Pencil on paper


I've been dancing the news. ‘Talking and dancing, being all the parts of the news. The movement is very gestural, the kind of gesture that happens when one is speaking, explaining and describing, but here the gesture takes on the whole body. What is being explained is a personal vision: that flickering, fluid vision of the world that we each have, that vision which is fed by the news media. It's a dream-like vision, with visual, kinetic, and verbal components.
   – Simone Forti, Oh Tongue

In October 2019, in the lead up to the Brexit deadline, I set myself the task of charting my attention as I woke to the radio alarm each morning. Lying between wake and sleep I took notes from the news as it filters through me. Using myself as a recording device I screened the latest political drama, social turmoil or environmental catastrophe through my subconcious collecting rhetoric and reporting as it sticks. Lying between states I absorbed the narratives that blur fact and fiction into works of drama, melodrama and horror.

As the weeks passed I missed days or sleep through the alarm, sometimes getting a word down before falling back asleep. I wrote the wrong date, misspelt names and misheard phrases. My attention slippped as the relentlessness of the activity exhausted me. Private emotions and experiences blurred with the public ones reported; another federal election one week before Christmas...The new exit deadline crosses over with self-assessment tax returns, last time it was Halloween...Trump is escalating conflict with Iran...A drone strike results in a passenger plane shot down...An outbreak of a potential pandemic virus in China coincides with the Lunar New Year and I’m halfway through the new Dracula miniseries...Irreversible effects of climate change escalate resulting in floods in Yorkshire, bushfires in New South Wales, and volcanoes erupting in Indonesia...Meanwhile it's Boris by a landslide...the devil is in the detail...the deal is in the divorce.