note from the perpetual dusk

field recording, text
contribution for the “ab lux, ad nox” collective publication
softcover — 13x19cm — edition of 200
published by Aber Press

note from the perpetual dusk is an audio-textual piece made for and published in ab lux, ad nox, the third iteration of Aber Press’ anthology. Approached as an open invitation to think alongside the yearly changes and shifts of daylight – the project is structured as an anthology in four parts, published in interplay with the yearly light cycle. Starting at spring equinox and ending at midwinter solstice 2021, each part invites a group of artists to contribute with freeform textual material filtered through the prevailing light conditions. The third publication of the series, sits in the period of decreasing light and explores intermediate positions in the transition from light towards darkness. Produced during a period where light recedes, and released on 2021’s autumn equinox, when the length of day and night intersect; this edition aims to engage with expanded concepts and ideas of the interstice or transitory states between light and darkness, within and alongside artistic practices. Light/darkness and their in-betweens as visual phenomena and materialities; as emotional states; as fiction and narration; as driving forces or anchoring points. — Aber Press

> The publication is available for purchase (10€ + shipping) via Aber Press’ email or instagram (@aber_press), and at Malmö Konsthall’s library.

listen and read below


It is a warm evening of early June when the sun sets on the Lusatia region and its bodies of water. I travelled from Berlin in search of a certain animal, an amphibian, whose call I wanted to witness. As I approach the local wetlands, the murmur of Bombina bombina frogs, also known as fire-bellied toads, rises and envelops my surroundings. Hidden between reeds, none of them appear to my eyes, but our closeness is felt through sound. They have been singing since the afternoon already, and now their gentle and diffuse chant fills the air as dusk timidly falls.
        I think of dusk as a half-light ecotone bordered by two distinct luminous flux. An interplay of light and shadow, a chiaroscuro of infinite possibilities. For it is in this transitory space, where the sun’s beams blend with the moon’s, that diurnal, crepuscular, and nocturnal living organisms meet. The twilight period thus becomes, for a brief instant, the theatre of a discreet coalition where disparate species dwell together simultaneously. Making dusk an inter-glowing zone of momentary and undefined coexistence. Caught in this shifting radiance and tuned to the melody of fire-bellied toads, I find their song gradually merging with avian species’ and tree frogs’ calls as the sun disappears. Darkness is gaining ground in Lusatia and the tree frogs’ presence grows — inevitably initiating a vivid amphibious symphony. Too often shadowed by its more appreciated counterpart, the dusk chorus can be as spectacular as the dawn’s. I sit there for a while and listen.

[pause & listen]

It is then, under the influence of the amphibians’ songs, that I realise that I too am an ecotone, a crepuscular creature, that finds refuge within these amorphous intersections. My body and mind exist in a countercurrent of socio- and heteropatriarchal binary constructs. Neither a man, nor a woman, or perhaps a cocktail of both, I drift in space and time in an endless liminal state, a perpetual dusk. A welcoming vagueness woven by inexhaustible metamorphoses, where fluidity is as warm as this evening of June and the biophony that inhabits it. We have something to learn from the eventide’s shadows, the non-human vespertine world, and the conjunctions they birth. Including from their soundscapes, where species leave one another space for their calls to reach far out, while forming an immaterial whole. What if we created such twilight zones rooted in ambiguity, empathy, and polymorphic ways of existence? Where the multiple layers of human and non-human realities wouldn’t clash in domination, fear, and conflict, but intertwine into one large caring web. And by doing so, liquify the authoritarian and oppressive constrains that are forced onto so many of us, humans as well as non-humans. Liquify the violence caused to immigrants, people of colour, women, homosexuals, trans, intersex, gender nonconforming, sex workers, people with disabilities, and all other marginalised individuals considered heretics by the Western, capitalistic, fascist, white, and patriarchal doctrines. This is the same violence that is endangering the amphibians that I am listening to now. Endangering the world we live in — its glaciers, its oceans, its forests, its ecosystems, its biodiversity, its dwellers, its beauty…it is all interlaced. By liquifying, I mean challenge, deconstruct and transform the hard-as-rock status quo into a substance that flows freely among us. A force, an attention, a tenderness. An unfathomable fluid. An interspecies kinship that enables and celebrates diversity as well as endless intersections and possibilities for all sentient beings — might they be diurnal, nocturnal, or crepuscular — to crawl out, thrive, and exist together in the boundlessness of the perpetual dusk.

© Pablo Diserens — 2020 →  2024