Friday, June 12, 2015

When You're Dark, and Golden

Some of Golden Waters by Grimanesa Amorós

When you're dark and golden
phantasms rise up
in the desert city, out of night

[aside #1]
But what's a phantasm in this age of science and technology and we know everything?
Sprial galaxies (probably ours included) exhibit a perplexing tendency
for their constituent parts to rotate at velocities relative to each other
in such a way as to defy a model built only of stuff we know about. To account for this
spinning like a much heavier thing than we think it seems like, we've posited (made up)
dark matter and dark energy. After we made those up, we then realized that,
while these would work, in terms of explaining why the pieces of spiral galaxies
rotate with the relative velocities they do, more careful measurements
yielded the result that, by far, the cosmos must mostly consist
of this made-up dark energy and dark matter. [end aside #1]

This art has been installed at the Scottsdale Waterfront in the canal running beneath the Soleri Bridge, and I rode out Friday night to see it, and also to assert that still I live, still I breath, that still a heart beats inside me, that still a possible soul might haunt this foolishly happy night cycling coil. 

These white tubes are going to glow golden in the dark waters, soon, according to the placard below. Tonight, though, the tubes slithered through the Arizona Canal's waters (greenish in the timelapse). Every night from soon now on, they'll glow golden,until they don't any more, and are taken back where they came from, but tonight they were dark.

It was a privileged view, this dark vantage of them before they come alive, come alight, become what they will, night after night through this summer. They were pre-golden tonight, and only on this or perhaps a few more nights at most, I predict, when they become actual golden, post-dark, once-dark, light lines of force and meaning rising from the water.

[aside #2, in the style of intro snippet above]
I took a slinky
when I was ten
in a bout of enthusiastic what-if-ness
balled it up in a tangled mass
wove a red wire through it,
gave it to my mom and told her:
look, my first Inner Struggle of Man sculpture
I was reminded of that looking at Golden Waters,
being ten and creative I mean
same person who mentioned dark energy and dark matter in the same post, though,
so my powers of relevant correlation
are shaky at best.
But it is true that if you were properly situated, and so inclined,
and had an accurate enough stopwatch,
you could just time the stars spining around the arms of a sprial galaxy,
crunch the numbers, 
and say, hey! There's not enough normal stuff to account for this velocity curve!
The cosmos seems like it's only made up of, like, 6% stuff we think we sort of understand.
So maybe I was onto something with the slinky and the red wire.
[end of aside #2, in the style of intro snippet above]

Helpful, descriptive, social media enabled placard

The sign says "elegance"
And in a flash like a camera in my face
I saw the golden coils vividly glowing over the waters
In a screaming monsoon rain show the night of August 1, 2015
Lightning crackling
A dusty wind stirring the tubes strung up on their wires
That ripping sound the wind-blown downpour makes
The lights haloed with rain-glow
A guy with a bicycle standing in the rain
Calling out to the canal and nobody
Hey dark energy hey dark matter
I made it this far, and so have the Golden Waters
And maybe it's very good 
We don't know the why,
But do know the what:
Sky-water on my upturned face on a summer night
Water, as for lifting me, dark, and golden.

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