The Swamp

The benevolence of the swamp lies in its utter chaos. It is known for leaving the authoritative role indefinitely empty to endorse subterranean forces. It doesn't decide where it drains or leaks, when it dries up. The swamp can be many things at the same time, but its surface refuses reflection and does not divulge any of its hidden characteristics. The surface inertia belies its erosion by the underground, where burrows, lairs, tunnels and slits constitute an imbroglio. Water trickles down, seeping through millions of ephemeral interlocking holes. Beings crawl and twist and carve out concaves and convexes. There are no rules with which to declare domination.  

The swamp forgoes and abstains from governing through regulation or management. In the whispering of the underground streams, living beings dig, drill and converge into one another, never going out of sync. Every stimulus can evoke something unexpected, that is to say, causality and consequentiality are defunct in the swamp. 

The swamp forces the most intricate form of co-dependency onto every form of life. Time leaks through, never fully accessible. There is no longer the progression from day to day, season to season—every moment is glued into a cohesive, complex lapse, where beings drift collectively. Even if the swamp’s affordances are not sufficient, it is a place to learn to live with those who have incompatible coping mechanisms and simply make do. It’s constantly devouring volumes and hoarding spaces in treacherous and circuitous fashion.

It could be rather hypnotizing to look at from above, like a lucid dream in motion. 


Macalline Art Center is a practice-oriented site focused on contemporary visual inventions. The Center engages with artists and art groups by building physical and online communities through events and research. The Center is guided by the working processes of artists, constantly re-defining and testing itself and renewing perceptual and cognitive systems in contemporary situations and contexts.