Sara Huntley: Dimensional Writing
I felt the urge to understand what they could mean,
and as an artist, document them.
Sara Huntley writes with fire, paint, and tattoo pigments as she experiments broadly with communications in altered states. The texts that follow are Sara’s session report from a xenolinguistical session.
The first time I saw the language-like patterns was on the inner surface of my forearm one spring day on an exquisite psilocybin journey. I had ingested mushrooms a number of times before, and was familiar with a variety of hallucinations. Visually this was a particularly amazing trip. After being hypnotized for nearly an hour by a divine mandala like pattern in the plaster popcorn ceiling, I sat up to inspect my surroundings again, and in turn looked down at my body, which seemed beside myself and puppet like. Upon inspection, i saw there were embossed angular imprints on my skin, they looked like crystalline fractals.
Instead of a linear organization, they spread out in all directions. They looked more circuit-like than typical language and sentence structures. Instantly mesmerized by its complexity, and beauty, I felt the urge to understand what they could mean, and as an artist, document them. It seemed to be a part of my arm, some blueprint to an underlying structure i could not see with a normal gaze. If I tried to look at them too directly, they subtly shimmered away. They seemed only visible when the light hit on them in a particular angle or in peripheral vision.
Not to miss out on this window into the visionary state, I grabbed a pen and set to scratching out every distinct shape I could in the pattern. Once I had exhausted everyone that I could catch, I let my trip move into other modalities. The next morning, I transcribed the language from my arm into my sketchbook.
The entry became a point of fascination for my artwork. It had a genuineness of character that could not be duplicated or made up. If I tried to emulate the pattern it fell flat and didn’t hold the same intrigue. So i decided not to fake the pattern in any of my artwork, though I could not decipher its meaning.
A year and a half after the first encounter with this language form, I was experiencing a mild acid trip with a close friend, when to my astonishment I saw a familiar crystalline pattern on the surface of a cardboard box in the living room. My mind was pulled into witnessing the same distinct circuit language on the box. Thoughts raced, as this chemical catalyst is of a completely different order then the mushrooms. A dozen hypotheses came up, could this be some kind of architecture of my mind, how my brain stitches together sensory stimulus into the hologram-like construct we call reality?
Are they higher dimensional artifacts filtering into my limited awareness as my senses expand in psychedelic consciousness? None of these questions could be answered. I knew I had to capture this evidence before it evaporated. With a blue colored pencil I drew directly on the box, pulling the pattern from the visionary state into our objective corporeal space. I photographed this box, and later transcribed the patterns into my sketchbook along side what had been previously dubbed, “the mushroom language” at this point, I had to revise my nickname for it, and it became, “The Alien Language”.
The third time this language made itself evident was by far the most potent and interactive discovery to date. I had ingested 2C-B for the first time, and was about 2 hours into the experience. After listening to some drum and bass electronic music, and drawing out the synaesthesia of my closed eye visual pattern, I turned my page over, to start doodling on the back, when in the imprints the pencil had made in page on the other side, I saw elements of that same language. At this point I had discovered that the angles of the language work on a 8 fold grid, which made it easier to spot.
I gingerly drew the language as it appeared on the page, and then to my surprise, as I lifted the page and light shone through it, that it matched up with the pattern on the other side of the paper. I felt like an explorer discovering artifacts from another world. This gave me further insight into the nature of what the language could mean. The pattern I had been drawing is similar to an interlocking Japanese kimono fabric pattern, which I later learned is a p6m in crystallographic code. So this language has overlapping qualities with wallpaper patterns, which are mathematic classifications of a two-dimensional repetitive pattern based on its symmetries.
With more information, there are more questions and possible explanations. Is this a language that is within my mind all the time? and when in altered states of consciousness my awareness is witness to it, or is this something that only arises because of the psychedelic catalyst? If this is something biochemical in nature, and inside my mind, what is the structure I’m seeing? Is it architectural in content, or is it allegorical? What is the nature of the intelligence behind its organization?
Could they be related to Cymatic wave patterns, how vibratory fields give rise to form? Or higher dimensional media being compressed into lower dimensional framework? I wonder sometimes if the scale of my consciousness is getting cross fed with information from smaller micro biological scales, or higher dimensions. Regardless, I feel very grateful it has graced my eyes and mind, it fills me with wonder, and keeps my mind open to all kinds of pattern in the cosmos. I always wonder where I will see it next.