Brandon Jan Blommaert:
Brandon Jan Blommaert
Work from his oeuvre.
Below is his essay from CIAC’s ELECTRONIC MAGAZINE.
“The coma lasted all of four years and some months. While coming to, his eyes adjust to that long lost sensation caused by light bouncing off of surfaces – everything shimmering in a hazy sparkling blur. Soon those pale green institutional walls would regain their hard edges and corners. Details begin to reveal themselves. switches, outlets, chips in the paint. To other eyes these walls bring up feelings of drudgery, sickness and pain. But, puzzled as a new born child, these flat surfaces seem endlessly amazing. For the past four years this room has been a womb, wires dangling from nowhere providing nourishment, engineered air providing warmth.
He waits. And waits. All he can remember from his previous life is a tiny OS9 watch icon ticking away in an endless loop. He imagines this watch hovering in front of his face, he lifts his wrist and holds it behind this invisible watch. He does not know that this icon is no longer in use. No one will walk in to find him in this fully wakened state for three hours and fifty seven minutes. In this time his imaginary watch will progress roughly one hour and fifteen minutes. He is only able to hold his wrist in position behind the imaginary watch for thirty-seven seconds. he has no concept of time.
Eventually he is released and returns to the home he was brought up in. His parents hastily prep his old room for him, furnishings are quickly cobbled together out of items from various rooms around the house. One corner is illuminated only by an elliptical pink light being emitted by a salt crystal lamp borrowed from his mom’s meditation room. Outside of a nearby window leaves lose there varying hues to become one large black shaking silhouette. In the dark he mistakenly puts his sweat pants on backwards. “Crap, no going back now” he thinks, “I’ll just have to live with this”. sure they feel a little awkward, but he has no plans to be upwardly mobile any time soon. He compensates for this disorderly pants disaster by lying on his stomach. Somehow he thinks this should balance things out.
Back exposed, stomach flat he closes his eyes. After pretending to sleep for half an hour he looks about the room. Besides the fact that all of his stuff has disappeared and been replaced it doesn’t feel like he has been away for that long, maybe a day or two. Gazing about he tries to remember all of the things he used to have and considers remaking them all out of Papier-mâché. His pet turtles would certainly be nice to have back, even in Papier-mâché
form. Did they die? Get adopted? Maybe they will come crawling through his bedroom door any minute now, flags of greeting glued to their shells. His worse fear is probably closer to reality though, he tries not to picture them struggling against the current of a mini whirlpool before getting sucked into the narrow pipes that fill the walls of this house.
He can’t help but notice that his old outdated rectangular cyclops friend remained sitting on the ground in another corner, under a plastic sheet. Instead of resting, he noodles. He has not touched a computer for over 4 years and likewise, this computer has been left off in his absence. “Aw nuts” he thinks, “I probably wasn’t going to sleep anyways.” Gas oozes out of the speakers. A real audio sludgefest. Fields of buttons and sliders erupt from a bank of icons. Adjusting one tiny shape in a timeline will effect the outcome of each connected layer and the permutations are endless. He will finick and fuss until every possible combination has been tried. These cycle endlessly. After outputting 20 alternate versions of the same tessellating lattice structure he snuffs out the crystal light, outs his computer to sleep and closes his eyes. Anxious about his first day back at work he will not sleep.
When he arrives he heads straight to his cubicle. Also empty, fresh, and new. He doesn’t recognize any of the faces around him. He seems to be the only one who has aged as everyone he knows has moved on and been updated with a newer, younger person. He will have to catch up. He does not know these people. They make jokes and pop culture references that he does not understand. They communicate with devices he has never seen before. They use newly invented words and phrases he does not know.
After 4 months he is fully into the swing of things, it is like he was never gone. He is eventually granted a visit to the office-appointed psychic masseuse. It has been a long time. She is all set up in the middle of this large Grey darkened room. New age flute music is playing. Camera equipment, shelves, all sorts of weird gadgets line the walls. They rarely get used; this is the future after-all, and all these machines are now obsolete. In the middle of the room is a strangely shaped object. He can tell by all the white cushions on it’s various appendages that he is supposed to be sitting on it but he is not quite sure where to begin. Its shape forces you to sit…wrongly – or rightly depending on how you think about it. It tilts your whole body forward the way it might if you were dive-bombing a jet plane. He is on his knees in a prayer like position, his head resting in a cold, donut shaped pillow. He imagines he is back in a coma being carried to safety by a strange animal. ‘If you where my Tauntaun I would not open up your stomach”, he thinks. This might be the closest to levitating that a human can get.
For one brief moment within a sea of days filled with sore backs and pains from too much slouching and hunching, some momentary relief is found. She has this way of finding one tiny spot on your body where pain has been building and building. She touches it. She doesn’t even put any pressure on it and the pain starts to dissipate. She must have some wicked E.T. finger.” – Brandon Jan Blommaert