"The first stage of the journey, one that has some claim to reality, sees a liminal landscape of industrial estates and retail parks slip by and I find myself at a meeting place. Though there’s no clear indication that it is a meeting place — no A board, no hand written sign. Maybe I imagined this, conjured it up, fell into a slipstream of make believe.
"I’m at the right place. A small group of people are greeted, regulations explained, and another stage begins. A stage that feels like the one that preceded it; normal, almost tedious, and not what I was expected. As we pause at an underground station, our ‘leader,’ or The Visitor, hands members of the group tabards which proclaim individual professions. These will identify us.
"Only it’s not me, it’s someone else: an ‘Insectary Technician’. As this group undertakes another stage of the journey, I wonder if the only way to cope with these competing narratives is to become fiction myself. To be a simulation."
Art In association with FACT Liverpool's Science Fiction: New Death exhibition, The Zone, the post-apocalyptic wilderness featured in Andrei Tarkovsky's film Stalker has been recreated at Bidston Moss. There are tours, but the places are limited or on days when I'm not available. C James Fagan has been though and writes for The Double Negative about the experience: