Tuesday, February 10, 2009

gem hunter presents: the phantom island


photos by bret pittman 
compilation track list:

1. brian eno & jon hassell - delta rain dream
2. alejandro jodorowsky - 300 conejos
3. bola sete - the lonely gaucho
4. material - the end of words
5. ozo - anambra (long version)
6. ghost note - holy jungle
7. lee frank - safari
8. laurie anderson - white lily
9. b12 - colloid
10. new order - blue monday (jam & spoon andrea mix)
11. andy summer & robert fripp - bewitched
12. seefeel - gatha
13. edward artemyev - station
14. richard pinhas - iceland (part two)
15. wind harp - beginnings
16. this mortal coil - waves become wings
17. arp - the rising sun
18. deuter - life is love
text by william rauscher
Bretly and t'aja were young newlyweds, and in those days they often went to puerto rico where t'aja's parents had built their vacation home, several hours' drive from san juan, on the southwestern corner, where there was only sand and crystal water and puerto ricans. they loved each other very much and were lucky to have found each other so early in life, as you could count on one hand the number of people who could put up with the sort of foul-mouthed, slang-drenched absurdities that served them as love's own secret language. 
In those days they often went to puerto rico, to escape the grey pit of pressurized despair that the city had become. Some neighborhoods in the south bronx had ceased using money altogether, relying instead on an ad-hoc barter system, its currency regulated by the demand for ketamine and bootleg reggaeton. With funding for social services and scientific research gone dry, the bedbug infestation had worsened, in part as the species itself had mutated. Left untreated, the venom in bites from this evolved bedbug could reach the brain, causing paralysis, hallucinations, aggressive dementia. by mayoral decree, staten island had become a borough-sized quarantine-zone for those citizens plagued by the bug. 
Sitting half-upright, bretly could comfortably rest his iphone in his lap to see live webcam footage from the staten riots, where those forceably relocated had begun to stagger out in the streets, accompanied by members of the ACLU, who, protesting "Gitmo-era tactics," had been illegally airlifted onto the island. They could be spotted by their full-body orange ACLU jumpsuits designed to protect from infection. Bretly swallowed a muscle relaxant and a swig of rum and watched his wife swim in the saltwater pool. 
Restless after several days of blissful inactivity, bretly and t'aja decided to take a scenic jaunt to the radar telescope in Arecibo. To their surprise, they learned that the observatory had, deliberately with very little fanfare, been sold by NASA to a private buyer in the past six months. With government funds running scarce, the observatory had gotten the axe. The telescope itself was a ruined marvel, the edge of its basin now overgrown with foliage, its suspended antenna now rickety, with a snapped cable or two, its once-white surface gone piss yellow from the tropical climate. When t'aja stepped to the viewing ledge, she believed she could still hear, somehow, those since-ceased signals, interstellar echoes, white noise-rumblings of cosmic dust. Shards of electric sound, whirlwinds of voices running backwards, lonely pulses of green light that blink across unfathomable blackness. 
The telescope had been sold to a professor doctor wolfgang spiegelman, a shady, spittle-mouthed east German with a glass eye, who told them he had renamed the observatory the Transworld Communications Institute, and that in the next few weeks his small team of devoted followers would begin arriving, in time for the onset of the institute's spring semester. Spiegelman came across as half-guru, half-huckster, as if perpetually on the verge of believing his own bullshit once and for all. Bretly couldn't decide which was worse, the possibility that spiegelman was a remorseless cynic, or a deluded evangelist with an overactive imagination. Bretly had a sinking feeling about the whole set-up, and wanted to get in the car and go back home right away, but he knew better than to leave a lunatic German alone in charge of some piece of gargantuan, semi-abandoned technology in the middle of the Puerto Rican jungle. 


dj slow said...

gem hunter takes me away to that floating place i long to be...

Bret Pittman said...


Note: This is by no means a world record attempt. The speed runs are speed runs for getting the cheats, and that's it. I only did it until I got the cheat, I didn't re-do them to get my best time, as you can tell by watching the screen when it says "New cheat available." If you feel the need to say you could do better, feel free to upload your own video, otherwise don't comment.

Bret Pittman said...