Atticus Bastow

Entry #1

16.10.2014

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Oct 9th – 14th
I arrived on the 9th to a crisp and still late afternoon at the Bogong Alpine Village. Since it’s outside of ski season, the local population seems to be not much more than myself only, resulting in an utterly static atmosphere amongst the various cabins and infrastructure, save for the ebb and flow of the wind.

The first couple of days were spent exploring the local area, going on a number of walks around Lake Guy and the surrounding forest, as well as spending a significant amount of time exploring the Junction Dam.

The Dam in particular is quite an experience. The outer walls are encrusted with lichen and moss, decorated with stress fractures and general weathering and discolouration. Inside the various accessible chambers at the base of the dam, a micro ecosystem of lush moss and ferns occupies the stale, cool air. Inside the dam walls, a caged, concrete galley files through the tops of the various chambers, each one with its own unique properties of reverberation and sonic atmosphere, from sporadic drips and perhaps the calls of unseen creatures, to the roaring white noise of the central chamber. Inspired to say the least, I have decided to make extra work on top of my proposed project, as time and focus are both certainly in my favour thus far. The first will be a sound work based on the aforementioned acoustic and resonant qualities of the Junction Dam, using rocks, voice, body percussion, and tone generators to activate the various chambers inside the dam walls.

Over the following days I spent time exploring the high plains, including Falls Creek, though spending a significant amount of time in Pretty Valley. There I installed the first of two planned iterations of my Location Study works (the fourth and fifth of the series, respectively). I had planned to walk a track to a hut, instead following intrigue and impulse I left the track and spent my time crossing the valley to a spotted outcrop of rocks and barren trees on the adjacent side. The shrubs and spiky grasses were still bent in the direction of the now disappeared currents of water that once were, now the majority of the snow has melted and disappeared. Following the Dam piece, the next of the extra works will be a piece focused on this particular area of Pretty Valley. While collecting samples for the fourth iteration of the Location Study works, I continuously came across incredibly various and alien plant life, too extraordinary not to feature in some way. The work will be a mostly visual focus, consisting of natural samples found in Pretty Valley (housed in glass bottles), as well as a text based graphical element comprised of impressionistic writing exercises I did while in-situ. I will perhaps add a sound element, but for now it will remain a soundless work.

Since then, the weather has erupted into violent windstorms and occasional sideways hail – as such, my recent days have been spent indoors. I had planned to return to Mt McKay for a contact mic recording of the fire spotting tower there, but unfortunately the roads up the mountain were closed due to fallen trees. No doubt I will have another chance in the near future.

The unpredictability of the mountain is exciting to say the least!