Moriarty on tour, Southern France, december 2011: after a month in the cold plains of Germany and the fogs of eastern Europe we’re all blinded by the pinkish sunlights and pristine surreal reflections on the coastal waters. Lakes like mirrors, mountains on the horizon floating in mid-air, hovering above a cushion of fog, possibly man-made. We reach Istres at the edge of the industrial zones. As night falls the darkened skeletons and flickering lights of oil refineries are like miniature cities. Echoes of architect and sculptor Tony Smith come to mind – « … someone told me how I could get on to the unfinished New Jersey Turnpike. I took three students and drove from somewhere in the Meadows to New Brunswick. It was a dark night and there were no lights or shoulder markers, lines, railings or anything at all except the dark pavement moving through the landscape of the flats, rimmed by hills in the distance, but punctuated by stacks, towers, fumes and colored lights. This drive was a revealing experience. The road and much of the landscape was artificial, and yet it couldn’t be called a work of art. It did something for me that art has never done. It seemed that there was a reality there which had not had any expression in art… » And out there in the open wastelands, tucked in-between the motorway and the huge endless cylindrical petroleum tanks, lies « l’Usine » where we’ll be performing tonight… A big crowd comes to the show, gathered from Marseille to Aix. Good to back – even though the venue’s acoustics sound like those of… a factory! Then late at night we reach the Ariane hotel at the edge of the military airfield. Portraits of orange-clad NASA astronauts stare behind the reception desk – the place was an emergency landing site for the space shuttle, but since that program has been terminated – instead of packing up – the US has turned the NASA plant into a NATO base and now they’re flying big tankers from Istres to wage wars in that part of the planet – so you don’t see astronauts anymore in the hotel lobby, but US Air Force pilots… So much for civilian space research! The next morning we’re off to Perpignan…










By isabella