I Don’t Know.

I don’t know if the water knows how it will make its way to the sea.

I don’t know if the road knows that I run over it. I don’t know if the trees know that I breathe their breath.

 

I don’t know if the water knows how it will make its way to the sea.

Installation trial, 16 August 2018

 

I don’t know how to access the access modes of other entities.  Thinking with Timothy Morton I am attempting to adopt a position outside of anthropocentric humanism, I consider the possibility that thought, while currently the primary mode through which humans access their surroundings, is not innately the highest or most valid access mode in existence. We have many other access modes, such as imagining, dreaming, tasting, feeling, though we consider these less valid. Similarly, nonhuman entities have access modes that may be inaccessible and foreign-seeming to us and consequently deemed invalid. The possibility that nonhumans might have access modes that we had failed to notice was, for the longest time, invisible beneath the mantle of our own thought-dominant world.

The advent of the geological era of the Anthropocene, with its grudging acknowledgement that human activity has been the driver of geological epoch change, leads humans into an imaginative crisis of world. It is the end of the Human World, the end of the world effect within which we have been living for the past 10,000 years, in which humans are separate from, and autonomously act upon, the Natural world. The Anthropocene empties out this singular world effect. Now we have to acknowledge that everyone has a world, water, running down the gutter or into my bath has a world. Rocks have a world, albeit a world in which timescales are vastly more massive than our own, so vast that we have perceived them as static. The Anthropocene makes us realise that when we look at a rock, we are a human looking at a rock; the shape of us in there in our looking.

Interestingly we are comfortable to scientifically imagine rocks as moving liquid over a vast timescale, however, we are less comfortable to philosophically imagine a rock as acting within its own world and world time. We accept scientifically that we are, or tellingly, our bodies are made up of an array of received and inherited DNA, that bacteria living in our gut are essential to our ongoing life, yet we feel uncomfortable to think ‘I am a heaving pile of entities cohabiting’. To acknowledge that not only do I have a microbiome, I am a biome.

 

 I don’t know if the road knows that I run over it.

I don’t know if the trees know that I breathe their breath.

Installation trial at Massey University, 26 July 2018

 

Experimentaion at pearce Gallery June 2018

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