The following document comprises a collation of texts, scans and miscellaneous communications pertaining to the discovery and presentation of various ‘other-terrestrial’ objects sourced in the town of Lanark, Scotland. ‘Lanark’ itself, derived from the Cumbric Lanerc, means ‘clear space, glade’; as such, this dossier endeavours to provide as lucid as possible account of the events, discourse and research surrounding the objects in question.
The reader will find emails, notes, web content, diary entries, essays, reports and lectures all dating from 1987 to the present. While presented in chronological order, with editorial preamble, I make no attempt at directing the analysis of such content’s comprehension. The nature of this topic is a density of mystery, a simultaneous glut and dearth of information. As such, I wish that those who find themselves in its possession make their own minds of the events that occurred in the lead up to this quite remarkable installation project, whose imminent existence I was made aware of by a certain Lanark Artefax. Regarding the exhibition itself, I am still gathering details.
As the archivist, I identify myself as Dr. Aidan Gray; a doctoral graduate of Atmospheric Chemistry from the University of Glasgow. I spent my inaugural research focusing on the holy triad of ethnography, human geography and atmospheric chemistry: topics I believe interpenetrate one another in manners of deep profundity. I do not believe it possible to study environmental phenomenon without considering mythological, historical and civic contexts, and as such my research has always encompassed aspects of both the physical and social sciences.
Born in Lanark, my parents moved to Missouri while I was six. Lost in the spaciousness of that state, the towns I lived in, the overwhelming clearness of the sky, my midwestern childhood was spent longing for Scotland--for tall dark pines, the sticky ubiquity of rain, the smell of woodsmoke wafting through kitchen windows, the everyday bustle and ease of a historic market town. What appeared in great American profusion never quite met the particular parochial enchantments of my birthplace. As such, I found myself returning on the pretense of studying and quickly fell in love with the area again. Unfortunately, my PhD did not result in immediate employment and I was forced to return to the States for work--to be once again a small fish in a sprawling pond. Many years passed before circumstances brought me back to Scotland, armed this time with a hearty capacity for wonder, but also that Missourian scepticism that so befits a scientific career.
I write this to reassure the reader that the documents enclosed have been included with total faith in their veracity. My initiating encounters with material relating to a mysterious organisation, known as The Absent Material Gateway, can only skim the fringes of this shadowy conglomerate of men and conspiracy. I present this archive with the utmost conviction in the Gateway as both concrete force within the local economy and source of ethereal potential, with genuine links to technologies that transcend our everyday grasp of reality and matter. I believe that personal account, the subjective nuance of impression, is just as important for glimpsing the multi-faceted truths of such phenomena; as such, journal entries are shown alongside scientific documents with no hierarchy of epistemological distinction.
Tomorrow I set out to search once again for the objects themselves, to seek out that originary locus, the lodge of true discovery. After intricate discernment and calibration of climate data, I have pinpointed coordinates to a location in the Lanark Woods which I truly believe will unlock the secrets of these extraordinary objects. I implore you to join me, dear reader, in this momentous process of discovery. Apply both a scientist’s eye and an artist’s faith in strangeness and beauty. What follows may alarm or disturb, may enrich or bring joy. I can accept no responsibility beyond the archival impulse to present and curate, to offer what best account I can of this nebulous Gateway.
Dr. Aidan Gray