Tomb Series VANTA (Recovery)

It reads Peradam, centred in viewfield. Cold white HyperZeit vectors overlay vagueness. Glyphs fade fast, picture plane sharpens and presents fixed first person perspective. Dazed, Person looks first to horizon. Iconic vertical of Europe city. Silver disc sent to sky, seen from far. Long time obsolete. No device remains that decodes its signal. Viewfield released to Person’s control. Clouds, at scale, gray early morning two five six deep. Panning around, pressed for space, Person finds themself in vast concrete square. Channelled by anxiety momentum of kettled clone-stamp bodies, back and forlorn-forth down columns of queued-up actions. Funnelled toward blank facade of Tomb hyperstructure that edges and dominates square. Distant diminutive door at base of truly daunting awe, some immense Tomb accepting batch bodies pipeline.


Prompted, Person looks down, hand snaps to viewfield. Handles key, unlike former handhelds really. Three second look triggers animation sixty dot gif. Paralysis moment that. Sets out symmetry of keyform. Both ends terminate eight bit. Two too toothy appendages to storm locks and reckon with counterparts. Not ideal, animation attracts attention. Person senses bodies encroaching. Nearing door aspect, fine print becoming legible. Tomb admits some bodies, others sent away gatekeeper prone. Protocol unclear then. Lock sculpts itself subtly for viewfield apparition. Person fully screened against door and key. Before reckoning bite, a figure cuts in, deflecting key transaction. “Don’t won’t with that now,” Figure claims, quiet and controlled but veryvery urgent. Figure ckicking and dragging resisting Person, four away along square edges toward block tower.


Ascending stares, QR’D with SRS Tomb acronomic promises of key-mod allow-list comet calendars. “Sensitive those. Loockdown,” insists Figure, “do not letget attention.” Five layers up, hard light setup, and into south east corner space. Figure offers Person thing and points toward seating at windowing rectangle over square. Figure: “Can’t need key to enter Tomb in daylight. Permissionless door. Key is! To seek Tomb night sanctuary.” Person is nodded along to that. Brightness, Figure: “Those bodies dodon’t can’t key. Bad advantage to enter with them. Save in the now. Wait for ’Sayers, return in dark. ’Sayer keyset protocol duty does doorstate change-up.” Person X closes out of window doubtful and dismisses message. Contrast, Figure: “Inside Tomb is one hangar so how deep. Void will hides guides. Black absorbs gazes all-nighter, auto-ejects at dawn. Policy is confuse and exhaust.” “Save in the now,” urges Figure, “get back in dark.” Figure gestures to blankets on floor. “Come dark come keyholders seeking ’Sayers to activate show guides shortcut. Bringing votives. Offering bits to ’Sayers. To build token mythograms and bit maps. Assets for ‘Sayer Recovery effort commodity platform.” Person’s eyes get shut, viewfield fades to black.

Person woken bi-deep muffled resonating through whole tower bass. Rectangle getting split slither pink light horizon. Figure beckoning back there, for review. Down in square crowd massing. Resolute bodies 10×10 at that distance. Somebodies with bright pixels glowing. “Key can’t stay hidden in dark.” Way across square, Tomb virtually unseeable. Keeps only silhouetting white light, spills it from beyond roof. That alone betrays extent. Its sheer blackness now. That’s overwhelming. Ultra-matt surface project. Depth-defying illusory risk. Bodies surge into it that cease visually. To exist! Figure points toward distant Tomb door and, regarding Person, opens calibration hope, wide gamut empathy display. Figure withdraws into space, preparing backup. Person transfixed by absolute scenes below. In time Person realises, unprompted, and turns to face doxed Figure. Unanticipated glorious key adorns Figure, anti-aliased now. Glows goes off purple and orange aligned eyeful for sublime solidity form recovery.


This text is part of an occasional series set in an autonomous world based on David Rudnick’s Tomb Series. A fictionalised adaptation of ‘How to do Words with Things’ by Bruno Latour, the text is a Recovery proposal, an attempt to extract one of its three NFT components from the Tomb VANTA (House SHADOW). These three NFTs, newly-commissioned digital artworks by Tatjana Stürmer, are conceptually derived from the three components of the Berlin Doppelschlüssel (double key) system described by Latour.

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