In a grove of fast growing walnut trees outside Paris, Illinois, a marker shares the story of a fictional road building culture.
Sitting along a dusty gray gravel road, this marker tells the story of an intersection between two very different narratives: the story of the Tehachapi, the great road-building culture of Kcymaerxthaere and that of Amory Frontage, founder of all the Parisses in what we call North America. If none of that sounds familiar, it’s because it’s part of the history of an imagined parallel universe known as Kcymaerxthaere.
An art project created by Eames Demetrios, Kcymaerxthaere consists of a series of plaques and other markers around the world. Each of these monuments honors an event or person from a parallel universe that, according to Demetrios, “co-exists to some degree with ours.” Most of these installations are bronze or stone plaques inscribed with stories but some are larger, even entire buildings. As of 2021, there are more than 140 sites spread across six continents and 30 countries.
Within the Kcymaerxthaere lore, this marker concerns a rare example of the non-asphalt roads made to “bind” the land with an intuitive assessment of its potential—such roads were called Faerie Traces.
Know Before You Go
Just off Route 150, a few miles east of Paris. Obviously, it is actually on a road called Durkee's Ferry Trace. Park carefully and you will see it in a linear walnut orchard.
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