Soft Launch is artist Emil McAvoy's pilgrimage to the epicentre of 'crop circle country' in Wiltshire, UK, embedding himself in communities and subcultures of crop circle makers, researchers, enthusiasts, tourists and locals.
His suite of photographs document the complex and layered landscapes in which this allegedly paranormal or supernatural phenomenon occurs – a UNESCO World Heritage Site featuring Stone Henge, Avebury Stone Circle, Silbury Hill, ancient burial grounds, chalk figures carved into the hillsides, military training grounds and swathes of high-yield farmland.
The term 'exopoetics' refers to the idea that this unique region is witness to a test site for extraterrestrial communication – imagined or real – soft launching zones for poetic extraterrestrial exchange on Earth and hidden in plain sight.
A suite of photographs from Soft Launch recently appeared as part of the international group exhibition The Truth is Out There, curated by Dr. Chelsea Nichols for The Dowse Art Museum, 12 March – 14 August 2022.
The project was revised and expanded for this photobook and features a number of previously unreleased photographs and an essay by Chelsea Nichols.
Published by PUFF PIECE x Bad News Books in association with the expanded solo exhibition at PHOTO OP. in Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland, Aotearoa New Zealand, 8 - 29 October 2022.