Meanwhile, a group of three women trudged along empty, deserted landscapes, a scene suggesting they are the lone survivors of beloved planet earth and the protagonists of this awkward scenario. “You said that humanity never asked itself why it survived for so long. Why are we still here for each other, knowing that we will die alone, in a universe where everything succumbs to entropy?,” asks one of them, while the second woman thinks of the end of the world by ice. She thinks of the end of the world by fire. She thinks of the end of the world by exhaustion, boredom, spite, indifference. The third one answers: “People can fundamentally disagree on truth or haircuts, fail to understand one another, yet their motion is still channeled by nonhuman entities, technologies, resources, microbes, that structure their environment—a dance of the commons.
A certain gravity, does not all matter, aching, attract all matter? A natural force that is radically impartial. It's the universal and affectionate Yes of the earth that holds us in place.” The first agrees wholeheartedly: “And sympathy is the aesthetic relation of things. To interact is to feel with. It is felt abstraction. To touch someone is to have moulded their skin in your mind. It's the way your feet share a flatness with the ground, how the cup shapes for your hand, how you call my name, how the night times your insomnia. It's how a city is moulded to the light. Time is not what happens to a place, it's how places happen. A city shapes time and is shaped by time. Sympathy is what things feel when they shape each other, like the dripping on the stone. A mirroring motion—a dance of the commons.” The second one thinks about gravity, she thinks about falling: “To fall asleep, to fall in love, to fall apart, to slip on a banana, to break down. Oh gravity, oh to feel anew that this planet wants you. Just like us, the earth is constantly trying to fall into the sun, but it keeps missing. Just like me, it can’t overcome it’s inertia.”
“I once read about the freedom Kepler felt discovering the elliptical orbits of the planets. You know, if the gods had created the universe, they would be neat and perfect, circular. For him the ellipse was just a random mathematical tool that coincided with his calculations. Ellipses show conflicting trajectories, their movement reflects a constant contradiction that is actualized just as much as it is solved.“ The third one added: “And if the gods had written our history, it would be perfect, it would all end with fireworks and salvation and laughter and we can be just passive participants of the story. But it does not. It was all a fracking mess and perpetual crisis. I think a crisis is not exceptional to history or consciousness but a process embedded in the ordinary that unfolds in stories about navigating what’s overwhelming. A crisis is not what happens to us but it is how we happen. We keep running into slightly evolved and at times more complicated versions of the same problems.” “Yes, and I was wondering if time was some kind of ellipse, with two kinds of distinct seasons. One where we move at a pedestrian pace, the course feels stable and steady and the shape is long, slightly curved and slope-y. And one in which change is sudden, undercurrents surface, and the curve takes on a new and unexpected direction.”
The second one looked at the sky, an unstruck music vibrated in her and she thought to herself: “It's like someone painted the world in different colors. All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again. Man of cruelty, mark of Cain, drawn to all things, man of delight, born again born again. Man of the laws, the ever-broken laws, governing wrong and right, blindness and sight. To die on a dying Earth–I'll live, if only to weep.”
Text by Baptiste Ohrtmann