I made one piece. I wanted to create a space that was conducive to levitation. The first thing I did was to cover the sixty by thirty foot floor with white paper and to tape white paper on the walls. The floor had been dark, but it became such a brilliant white that if you were at one end of it, it glared, it hurt your eyes to look at someone standing at the other end. It was such a buoyant space that anyone in it was already walking on air. Then I laid down a ton and a half of dirt, taken from under a freeway on Army Street, in an eleven and a half foot square. The mold was made with four redwood planks each twice my body height—I used my body as a unit of measure for most of the elements in the piece. The dirt was taken from the freeway because of the idea of explosion. When the freeway was built, the earth was compressed, held down. You can conceive of it expanding when you release it rising, becoming buoyant. Of course, it’s physically impossible. But for me the mere suggestion was enough. I was trying to rise too. I fasted to empty myself.
How long for?
Just a day. I drew a circle in the middle of the dirt with my own blood. Its diameter was my height. According to the medieval notion, that creates a magic space. Then I lay on my back in the middle of the circle, holding four clear polyethylene tubes filled with blood, urine, milk, and water. They represented the elemental fluids that I was expelling from my body. I lay there for six hours with the tubes in my hand trying to levitate. The doors were locked. Nobody saw me. I didn’t move a muscle. I didn’t close my eyes. I tried not to change my focal point.
What were you staring at?
Nothing. I was trying to think about leaving the ground, until I realized I should be thinking about entering the air. For me that changed everything, made it work. I mean, I levitated. After the fourth hour I couldn’t feel any part of my body, not even my chest expanding and contracting. My legs and arms were probably asleep. I felt I was somewhere else. I’d gone, I’d left my body. Then something weird happened. A fly started buzzing around, and I thought I was the fly. That hallucination didn’t last very long, but the feeling of being out of my body persisted for about two hours.
”—Terry Fox, in an interview from Issue 2 of Avalanche Magazine (via hauntology)