A Blindfold Has Fused With My Skin, 2021

I wrote this with the aim of producing a straight, comparative essay – drawing out the odd parallels between the stories of J.G. Ballard, and the videogame ‘Dear Esther’. But in the process of writing, the essay seemed to spin out. It became something stranger. Fiction is never truly fictional. It charts out the territory we are so often unable to map: the unseen forces, desires and compulsions that direct us through our lives. In the right mood, at the right time, and with the right works, you can be granted a glimpse at this behind-the-scenes infrastructure. I couldn’t help but notice the grooves that these fictions had carved into my life – the odd similarities and ghostly repetitions that ran between my imaginative life, and my flatlining real one. I compulsively ran my fingers over these grooves, teasing out the patterns. I travelled further and further inwards, in spiralling concentric circles. Is it possible to maintain a strict, scholarly distance from the fictions you love? Are you able and willing to assert yourself over them? Please, watch them closely. Their tendrils can spread out beyond the screen. (The images are not my own, and are cited at the end)