Year of publication: 2019
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Simon Ings THE SMOKE For Michelle ONE - This desert, stretching in every direction visible to the observer, is not smooth. Its topology is in fact absurdly disordered. Yet the observing eye, unable to parse its complexity, flattens everything. Simply to comprehend it, the eye must reduce its thousand thousand defiles and dried riverbeds, stands of silver gidgee trees and banks of Mitchell grass, to a flat monotony. This desert is made of stones and sand and indeterminate things which, alive or not, have found little use for the living state. Anyway they are so coated with dust that they are already halfway mineral. The sun has risen too far to reveal, by way of shadows, Woomera’s natural topography: how the ground rises to the north; the geological remnants of an ancient coastline to the west; to the south-east, the rubbed-out, filled-in sketch of an archaic meteor strike. The blast pits, on the other hand,...