In the final section of Electric Field, audiences are given small picnics and taken by bus to an outdoor location, Beacon Hill, overlooking Halifax. The fictional couple had ended their journey back in the Dean Clough studio, sitting on a park bench looking at a view projected on a screen and buying ice creams when an ice cream vendor came along. Now, as part of the audience I [Middleton] sit on the hillside with my picnic. Once again, the couple appears and sits on a bench to take in the view. The ice cream van arrives, and the man buys ice creams for the woman and himself. In the studio, we heard the couple’s conversation as they sat and looked at the scene. Now, in the open air, they can no longer be heard, but their conversation still echoes in my ears. It is a beautiful summer’s night, and there are people around: archers practising in a nearby field, cyclists and dog walkers coming through. It is not at all clear what has been stage-managed as part of the fiction and what is ‘real’ – it is not clear which elements in my experience are to be recruited into the blend.
The process by which we construct meaning – indeed, construct reality itself – is highlighted as we now place the blends from the fiction into the conceptual space of ‘real life’. The resistant, associative blends that we have experienced throughout the evening continue to shimmer in a mental space, or series of mental spaces – resonant and inconclusive.