Excerpt: ‘Body Horror’, by Alex Cuffe

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Artwork by Tommi PG.

Adapted transcript from Alex Cuffe’s performance at TarraWarra Museum of Art, which they delivered as part of Liquid Architecture’s ‘Time out of Time’ program, 24th October 2015.


Sound measures time in space, and space in time: reverb goes out, but echo comes back.

In my art practice I produce and misrepresent geological formation. Falsifying time objects.

I have made papier mâché asteroids and meteors. False glittering rocks animated by tiny motors. Time preserved in form.

But.

Plastiglomerate is formed when melted plastic waste on beaches mixes with sediment, lava fragments, and organic debris.

This is a new material.

Trinitite is the glassy residue left on the desert floor after the plutonium-based nuclear bomb has been detonated above the surface of the desert, fusing the sand into radioactive glass. It is known to have a green hue.

This is a new material.

This is a contemporary fossil.

We live in an age of human-made transformations of nature.

We have terraformed the very landscape we sit in.

Those trees.

That lake.

This grass.

We are not in nature.

And.

I don’t make rocks. I haven’t for a very long time. In fact, I don’t make many things these days.

I am sorry, but I don’t have an artwork for you. I only have me.

This body. These thoughts.

I am new to this and yet I am not new. I’ve known my entire life. I’ve known that I have never agreed to what has been prescribed to me to perform.

Who of you have?


This piece appears in full in The Lifted Brow #29 — grab a copy or subscribe and we’ll post you a copy immediately. You can also read the piece online in full as part of the digital version of our magazine.

Alex Cuffe is a person, artist, filmmaker and musician currently based in Melbourne.

Tommi PG (formerly Katie Parrish), is a cartoonist based in Melbourne. Tommi has a book coming out mid 2016 with 2dcloud, and is an art editor of The Lifted Brow.