From a temporary galaxy of red flares over Lake Eyre South to the blood moon in July, Earthdream has been a voyage of outlandish illuminations. An iced-over eve in late May and the crammed French Island bus lurched down to the shores of Lake Eyre South. Braving the chill, e.dreamers simultaneously launched hundreds of flares packing 33,000 candela each. With the night ablaze, a pantheon of trailblazers gazed aloft to wonder in awe at their own collective reflection.
Kansas, this isn't Toto anymore! Sailing beyond the Alberrie Portal aboard the Earthdream Arc, convoyagers were bound for a place remote from normality. With Lake Eyre flares emblazoned across our collective psyche, we tacked north, disembarking eventually at the Clay Pan near Alice - the substitute venue for the Winter Solstice party. When Uluru fell through, we settled there, out past the old Ghan. The enclave established made the most insane contrast to that of our neighbours up the valley at Pine Gap. We were like summer compared to their winter.
By Solstice, June 21, the clay harbour bristled with activity as Mutoid Waste Co, Bedlam, Negusa Negast, Jupiter3, Ohms not Bombs and LabRats performed docking procedures. Soon enough, an armada of free NRGetic systems rocked on the rippling fissures of this natural dance floor. Outback renegadoes, surfari.commies and a cornucopia of esoteric tourists of the mind, body and spirit absorbed the Pan-arama.
It was the Millennium, the World Turn'd Upside Down, a full-scale ludic assault on linear reality. A combined arsenal of sound rigs occupied this chasm in the calendar. Jacked up and juxtaposed, they mounted an aural broadside the effect of which would enervate all in the hood. A four-on-the-floor salvo lifted me off my feet and hurled me onto the dance floor whirling like a dervish. There, in that liminal breach, I grew an extra leg and stomped it to a stump.
Squiffy Oz said 'let there be light' - and there was. In fact, the longest night of the year afforded visuals filtered through a neon kaleidoscope. At 0300 hours, Tine Stiltgirl's squadron of sparkly fire spinners stormed the hill overlooking the arena. Throughout the night, alter-natives assailed the floors. At dawn, as short range flares and mutinous Northern Territory Day fireworks went vertical, phosfluorescent twirlers worked out to Robin Mutoid's fire-didge organ. As military freight aircraft thundered overhead to set down at Alice, it was Apocalypse Now meets Salvidor Dali. The colour .... the colour.
And, over the ensuing weeks, with lights from the old Ghan ghosting the Pan at night and local phantoms performing circle work, madness was indeed inside the area.
On the panscape in the dead of winter one literally had to dance to survive -a feat achieved with the likes of Fluffy ('get rid of the Howard Government') Pete and others effecting stomping rhythms from the poop deck of that phunky sloop, the Peace Bus. Earthdream productions were on location at Alice for around a month. Up against a local team, there were two home and away games of psycho soccer , (with one victory apiece), circus skills workshops conducted for local kids, screen printing marathons, and a 'Nightmare on Our Street' (of)fence mural produced - subsequently white-washed by members of the Alice Royal Society for the Erasure of Difference.
While in town, many jumped at the opportunity to earn dough at the Alice Show, becoming proto-carnes, lured by the prospect of running away with the Show. As the Show and Earthdream shared northerly trajectories, e-dream luminaries would become rein-carne-ated as they charted towards Darwin. Convoyeurs were the shining lights of the Show at Alice, Tennant Creek and that 'Hanson Heartland', Katherine. In the midst of grown men deep throating dagwood dogs down by the dodgems, infiltrating the dodgy Cult of the Chiko Roll, they were all the fun at the fair.
After the Alice Show, these athletic aesthetes and carnivalesque insurrectionaries converged at the resurrected drive-in to watch them selves up on the big screen - film provided by the Earthdream fezzaratszi and projections care of the Lab Rats mobile wind powered cinema.
Lunarcy. On July 18, now in scattered clusters north of Alice, e.dreamers were witness to a rusting moon, a total lunar eclipse - where the moon passed directly through the molten core of the Earth's shadow. Hunkered down at my vantage on a marscape out of Katherine, I spied the warning beacon up in the night. Portentous I thought was the now unfamiliar red disc, which won't reappear for another 1000 years - a small dent on the half-life of Radium 226! Awareness of the terrestrial rapaciousness inflicted by uranium-industry developers and waste dumpers fires the 'torch' currently carried by uncle Kev Buzzacott and friends all the way from Lake Eyre to the Sydney Games. A brazen affront to the mass-mediated Olympic torch relay, Kev's firestick illuminates the anti-nuclear cause, refracting the lunar signal, flaming the government's lip-service to 'reconciliation' and 'the environment'
From Mutonia (Alberrie Creek) to the gates of Mordor (Olympic Dam), from Beverley to KOLE (Keepers Of Lake Eyre), from Trick Hill to the Clay Pan and beyond, e.dreamers have manifested Pyrate Utopias - a chain of auto-numinous zones. On this antipodean odyssey, mounting a series of user-friendly and in-yer-face performances, they have left strong traces of conscientious presence in their wake, demonstrating to all that the marvelous does indeed penetrate the everyday.