Įvadas

2022 Sausis, Tautvydas Urbelis

2020-ųjų pabaigoje vykusio paskutinio aštuntosios Rupert Alternatyvios edukacijos programos renginio pavadinimas „Daiktai, su kuriais mąstome“ nejaukiai atitiko laikmečio dvasią. Jis ne tik nurodė į nesenstančią Donnos Haraway citatą, bet ir priminė apie pasaulį apimančią būseną. Pandemijos dėka paaštrėjusi būsena paskatino, o tiksliau, pareikalavo naujai permąstyti patį mąstymą. Mąstymas, kuriuo teoretikai ir menininkai kliovėsi savo nesibaigiančiuose bandymuose nukarūnuoti cogito bei kurį paspartino mašininio mokymosi ir neuroninių tinklų paplitimas, galutinai įsitvirtino kaip visą kūną apimanti patirtis. Tačiau tas kūnas pamažu išaugo iš savo materialiojo kiauto ir tapo gličia, įtinklinta mąstymo buveine.

Be abejo, tai drąsus pareiškimas ir niekas nesitiki, kad iš karto jį suprasite. Bandant suvokti šią būseną (kuriai dar neturime pavadinimo) aiškėja, kad tiek pačios būsenos, tiek bandymo ją suprasti šerdyje slypi triksteriškas paradoksas. Karštligiškai bandydami suteikti šiam argumentui aiškumo, galėtume sakyti, kad ta būsena yra daiktai. Kaip ir daiktai, ji yra labai materiali – daiktams suteikiame beveik neribotą prieigą prie savo kūnų, apklostome save jų daiktiškumu. Tuo pat metu tie daiktai išlieka mums svetimais, Kitais. Pavyzdžiui, galime kiek tik norime bandyti sinchronizuoti šlamančių lapų, ūžiančių kriptovaliutų kasyklų ir Xanax prislopintų savo širdžių plakimo ritmus, bet kažkas vis tiek nedera, tarsi mus nuolat trikdytų mūsų pačių daiktiškumas. O jei sugebėtume absoliučiai viską sinchronizuoti, realybė greičiausiai susitrauktų į mažytį begalinės energijos taškelį, plūduriuojantį visuotiniame atsitiktinumo vandenyne. Toli gražu ne idealus scenarijus.

Jei dar nepradėjote raukytis ar nekantriai svarstyti, ką reiškia visas šitas reikalas apie mąstymą ir daiktiškumą, pasiruoškite – viskas tuoj dar labiau susipainios. O gal tiksliau susiraizgys (angl. meshier). Mat daiktai, su kuriais mąstome, nėra tiesiog materialūs objektai; tai yra tinklai ir raizgalynės, įvairiausi takūs procesai. Mąstymas – ne tik kognityvinis gebėjimas; mąstymas taip pat yra ir kūnas. Ir ne paprastas kūnas, o veikiau trūkčiojantis (angl. glitching) bandymas susijungti ir sinchronizuotis su pasauliu, kuriame gyvename. Iš tikrųjų mums niekad nepavyksta susisinchronizuoti, tad vietoje to tiesiog trūkinėdami skinamės kelią į (anot kai kurių mąstytojų, atšauktą) ateitį. Tai bent maišalynė! Kyla pagunda klausti: ar jau suprantate? Ne senuoju linijiniu maskulinistiniu suvokimo būdu, o supratimu, įkūnijusiu procesą, paremtą ryšiais, klaidomis, buvimu-pasaulyje. Nesibaiminkite, jei jaučiatės pasimetę ir atminkite – niekas ir nesitiki, jog išsyk suprasite. Dabar tiesiog bandome nubrėžti mąstymo su daiktais galimybių gaires. 

Penkis keistų 2020 metų mėnesius trylika atrinktų menininkų, kuratorių, mąstytojų, tyrėjų ir programišių mąstė kartu, su daiktais, kartais irgi bandydami visa tai suprasti. Paaiškėjo, kad supratimas nėra toks jau tiesmukas procesas ar galutinis tikslas, veikiau – banguojanti tapsmo būsena arba intymus išpainiojimo procesas ar rami įsitraukimo akimirka. Šiame Rupert žurnalo numeryje rasite įvairiai su šiais daiktų, kuriais mąstome, procesais ir modalumais susijusius kūrinius. Aistės Ambrazevičiūtės, Dalios Maini, Artūro Čertovo, Céline Mathieu, Jo Kalinowskos ir Georgie’o Sinclairo („plot twist“), Jurgio Bernatonio, Sholto Dobie, Annos Karanevskajos ir Valentino Duduko (CONTAMINATED NAILS), Guodos Šulskytės, NKO, Viliaus Vaitiekūno kūrinius lydi specialiai užsakyti Susannos M. Winterling, Eglės Ambrasaitės ir Viktorijos Rybakovos tekstai bei Patricijos Reed interviu, visi kartu jie turėtų padėti naviguoti šiame keistame daiktų ir galvojimo kraštovaizdyje.

Dalyviai: Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė, Contaminated Nails, Artūras Čertovas, Céline Mathieu, Dalia Maini, Guoda Šulskytė, Eglė Ambrasaitė, Jo Kalinowska ir Georgie Sinclair („plot twist“), Jurgis Bernatonis, NKO, Patricia Reed, Sholto Dobie, Susanne M. Winterling, Viktorija Rybakova, Vilius Vaitiekūnas

Kuratorius: Tautvydas Urbelis
Koordinatorė: Goda Aksamitauskaitė
Vertimas: Paulius Balčytis
Redagavimas: Dovydas Laurinaitis (ENG)
Grafinis dizainas: Taktika Studio
Programavimas: Andrius Zupkus
Praktikantės: Saulė Savanevičiūtė, Radvilė Mauricaitė, Ramunė Balčiūnaitė

Rupert veiklą remia Lietuvos kultūros taryba
Rėmėjai: Vilniaus miesto savivaldybė
Programos partneriai: Pakrantė, Gluk Media, Kintai Arts, Žeimių dvaras / Aikas Žado laboratorija
Dėkojame: Rupert komandai, Rupert tarybai, Alumni tarybai, Nidos meno kolonijai, Kauno menininkų namams, Galerijai 101, SODAS 2123, Atletika, Autarkia, Techanariumas ir visiems nepakartojamiems programos tutoriams

Keli brūkštelėjimai apie kirminų priežiūrą ir kitus susidūrimus su priklausomumu

2022 Sausis, Susanne M. Winterling

2020 m. ruduo. Dėl kitaip patiriamų metų laikų semestras Norvegijoje prasidėjo rugpjūtį. Visai nudžiungu, kai mane pasiekia kvietimas dalyvauti Rupert Alternatyvios edukacijos programoje, nes, nors švietimo sistemos, bendruomenės ir vyriausybės kenčia nuo pandemijos, kažkodėl tikimasi, kad pavieniai asmenys ir jų tinklai kažkaip atsilaikys ir išsaugos pusiausvyrą. Pusiausvyra yra budistinis siekis (jei galima taip pasakyti, susitaikius su kalbos ribotumu), bet, būdami pririšti prie savo įsipainiojančių kūnų, a priori žinome, kad jį įgyvendinti bus nemenkas iššūkis. Sudėtinga suvokti ir pajausti skirtingus smurto lygmenis, Gajos brovimąsi ir visą žinių, medžiagų bei duomenų, kuriais mainomasi, infrastruktūrą. Kraštutiniu atveju šis siekis atskleidžia, kaip stipriai viena nuo kitos yra nutolusios švietimo institucijos ir jų požiūris į tai, ką reiškia būti žmogumi krizės metu.

Prisimenu Sylvios Wynter „On Being Human as Praxis“. Ji taip pat siūlė perrašyti žiniją, kad „taptų įmanoma suprasti taisykles, pagal kurias veikia žmogaus suvokimo režimai, ir jų nulemiamas elgsenas – pavyzdžiui, klaidingą žmogiško giminingumo atpažinimą“.1 Nors neramumai, kilę dėl jos minimų nužudymų, vyko apie 1992 m., tokios pat nepakeliamos žudynės tebevyksta ir dabar.

Sisteminė prievarta plinta; ją valdingai įtvirtina įgaliojimai ir taisyklės, kurie pasirodo nesantys nei konstruktyvūs, nei naudingi, kai viruso pavidalu Gajos tvarka yra pažeidžiama. Jį dar labiau stiprina auganti nelygybė – galbūt manote, kad Europoje mažiau, bet ne. Nuo pat vaikystės man buvo lemta girdėti, kaip auga žolė, ir aš tai priimu kaip komplimentą. Kirminai tikriausiai irgi gali tai daryti – girdėti, kaip auga žolė. Bet taip, žinome, kad tai nėra lengvai pasiekiama pozicija; vis dėlto, kur empatija? Ji atrodo būtina norint iš tikrųjų dirbti su undercommons.2

Šuniui dvokia iš nasrų, bet pavydžiu jam gebėjimo jausti blogą energiją; kiek nesutarimų būtų galima išvengti sudarius visuotinį blogos energijos žemėlapį?

Leidžiamės į kelionę. Pandemijos metu vien išeiti iš namų atrodo nuotykis. Šuo Ivanas ir komposto kirminai, kuriuos protofašistai vadovai išmetė iš švietimo sistemos, nors visiems mokiniams jau buvo pradėję patikti, jie atlieka visą darbą – kompostavimo darbą, kirminų darbą. Netikėta, kiek juokinga, bet gera kompanija mūsų lėtoje kelionėje jūra ir žeme. Galvoju: „Kodėl bandau parodyti, kad tai yra mokymo įsipareigojimų ir naudojimosi bendra žeme esmė?“ Atsakymas – materiali estetika ir prisilietimo intymumas. Kirminai tavo rankoje, jų išskiriami produktai, procesai yra už kalbos ribų, tačiau kartu labai akivaizdūs. Turėtume valgyti savo atliekas, bet anaiptol nevalgome. Visur šiukšlės. Perdirbimas neveikia, jei žmonės nėra užmezgę santykio su vietomis, iš kurių atkeliauja ir į kurias iškeliauja medžiagos. Kirminams perdirbimas yra visa jų būtis. Į žmogų orientuota kalba ir epistemologija yra savotiški spąstai. Keliaujant su kirminais po jų gyvenamąją vietą taip pat išryškėja įsipareigojimas į savo valios sferą kasdien priimti kitas gyvybes, nesistengiant pernelyg tiksliai apskaičiuoti to veiksmo rezultatų ir ne visada vadovaujantis maloniai nuteikiančia propaganda. 

Kolegos nesiryžta paliesti kirminų, bet visi jaučiame, kad šio susitikimo metu kažkas vyksta, ypač kai sėdime lauke besišildydami paskutiniuose rudenėjančios saulės spinduliuose, apsupti kitų visuose elementuose – ore, vandenyje, žemėje – tūnančių biomasių.

„Šis įsipareigojimas rūpintis neredukuotinas iki „pakilios savijautos“ ar „malonių jausmų“; pasibjaurėjimas nėra nesuderinamas su mylinčiu rūpesčiu (tai turbūt žino kiekvienas, kada nors keitęs kūdikio vystyklus ar valęs draugo vėmalus). Įsipareigojimo rūpintis kita žemiška būtybe, su kuria mus sieja tarpusavio priklausomybė, taip pat nereikėtų suprasti utilitariai – prižiūriu gruntą ir kirminus, nes man jų reikia, nes jie man naudingi, taigi rūpinuosi Žeme“.3

Šuo turi pasą ir čipą, kas žino, kokius duomenis Ivanas sugeneruoja satelitinėje sekimo sistemoje, priešingai nei kirminai, kurie keliauja jos nesekami. Galbūt jie yra biologinį pavojų keliančios toksiškos atliekos. Einame per kažkokius geopolitinius minų laukus, kai staiga atsiduriame ties Baltarusijos siena, kalašnikovas įremtas man į galvą, o joje šmėkščioja gatvėse prieš smurtą protestuojančių moterų su gėlėmis rankose vaizdiniai.

Važiuojame ir per Lenkiją, jaučiu visą savo kūną, savo venas ir jose pulsuojantį karštį, atsisakančius kelti koją į homofobišką kraštą – ne tik tai, bet… Laimei, mums nereikia sustoti nė vienoje degalinėje. Svarbu atskirti dalykus vienus nuo kitų, bet taip pat svarbu paisyti savo nuostatų.

Painūs kūnu patiriamos neteisybės tinklai irgi yra savita sistema. Dabartinėmis buvimo, mokymosi arba dalijimosi žiniomis apie įgūdžius sąlygomis, iš kirminų galime pasimokyti, kad kai kurių dalykų neįmanoma depolitizuoti tą pačią sekundę ir kad transformacijos vyksta per kalbą, dėmesį bei buvimo būdus.

„Gamtos išnaudojimas savaime yra seksistinė ir rasistinė problema, neatskiriama nuo struktūrinių sąlygų, kurios, priklausomai nuo patriarchalinių arba baltųjų suprematizmu grindžiamų normų, skirtingus žmonės traktuoja ir jiems grėsmę kelia nevienodai. Sekant metų metus sklandančią juodaodžių ir čiabuvių ekofeministinę mintį, „moterys yra pirmoji aplinka“.4

Ir toliau:
„Iš tikrųjų pasipriešinti esamai ekonominio ir gamtinio išnaudojimo sistemai su giliomis rasistinėmis, seksistinėmis ir kolonialistinėmis šaknimis galėsime tik tuomet, kai visuomenė pradės vertinti juodaodžių gyvybes. Tik kai visuomenė vertins savybes, kurios siejamos su moteriškumu – puoselėjimas, dalijimasis ir rūpinimasis vieni kitais; o ne vyriškumu, kaip agresija, kaupimas ir varžymasis, pagaliau galėsime išvystyti socialines struktūras, leisiančias išsaugoti gyvybę Žemėje, įskaitant ir socialiniais poreikiais, o ne individų godumu pagrįstą ekonomiką […] Jei norime visuotinai taikios ateities, mūsų vienintelė viltis yra greitai, iš pašaknų, vykdoma ir antirasistiniais, antipatriarchaliniais, antikolonialistiniais įsipareigojimais paremta socialinė transformacija“.5

1. Sylvia Wynter, No Humans Involved: An Open Letter to My Colleagues, 1992, p. 69.
2. Žr. Fred Moten, Stefano Harney, J. Jack Halberstam, The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study, 2013.
3. Maria Puig de la Bellacasa, Matters of Care. Speculative Ethics More Than Human Worlds, University of Minnesota Press, 2017, p. 157.
4. Michael Wilson-Becerril, „Why environmental justice is an anti-colonial struggle
It is increasingly clear that systemic oppression and environmental collapse are inextricably linked
“, in: Aljazeera, 2020 m. rugsėjo 22 d.
5. Ten pat.

Interviu su Patricia Reed

2022 Sausis, Tautvydas Urbelis

TU. Sveika, Patricia! Pirmiausia norėčiau pasakyti, kad tavo behorizončių ateičių idėja sukėlė man daug minčių besiruošiant pastarųjų metų Rupert Alternatyvios edukacijos programai. Man ji pasirodė kaip labai drąsus būdas atsispirti šių dienų melancholijai, ypač dabar, kai, kad ir ką darytume, kaipmat užplūsta visaapimantis neužtikrintumas. Ar galėtum paaiškinti, kas yra toji behorizontė ateitis ir kaip tau nepritrūksta drąsos pasinerti į behorizontį mąstymą? 

PR. Džiaugiuosi, kad ši idėja rezonavo su tavo mintimis! Vargu ar pavadinčiau ją drąsia, bet ji tikrai sąmoningai antimelancholiška. Behorizontės ateities sąvoka yra draugiška provokacija ateities atšaukimą skelbiantiems diskursams. Pagrindinė mintis – horizontas nebėra svarbus orientacinis referentas erdvinio ar lingvistinio koegzistavimo sąlygoms planetų lygmeniu. Skirtingas istorines epochas galima atpažinti pagal specifinius žinių sisteminimo ir vertinimo būdus, iš kurių savo ruožtu gimsta juos atspindinčios praktikos ir artefaktai (konceptualūs, gestiniai ar materialūs), taigi galima sakyti, kad istorinėms epochoms būdingas ir savitos erdvės konfigūracijos. Erdvės atžvilgiu, horizontas yra žmogiškosios optinės sistemos artefaktas, dėl kurio realybė atrodo pradingstanti ties tam tikra riba, o toks tikrovės reprezentavimo „natūraliu būdu“ režimas paplito, kaip žinia, Renesanso laikotarpiu. Šis reprezentavimo tropas sutapo su humanistinės filosofijos atsiradimu (pagal kurią žmogus suvokiamas kaip racionali, pajėgi, atskira nuo žemės, turinti laisvo apsisprendimo galimybę būtybė). Be abejo, tai tik labai glaustas apibūdinimas, praleidžiantis nemažai įvairių humanizmo genealogijai priskiriamų judėjimų ir tendencijų. Tačiau mums aktualu tai, kad vienu metu šalia vienas kito radosi ir abstrakti (to meto) filosofinė koncepcija, ir reprezentacinis šablonas (pakartojamas metodas), veiksmingai perkėlęs šią koncepciją į erdvę bei padaręs ją lengviau suvokiamą ir perskaitomą. Vadovaujantis grynai antropocentrinio, žmogaus nulemto pasaulio logika, nenuostabu, kad vadinamasis „tikslus“ tapybinis tikrovės vaizdavimas nė kiek nesivaržo iškreipti tikrovę, pritaikydamas ją prie bio-okulistinės žmogaus sistemos. Santykis tarp koncepcijos ir jos erdvinės sistemos taip pat turi įtakos kuriant mūsų pačių būtent mums optimizuotą pasaulį. Akivaizdu, kad tie „mes“ – tipiniai humanistiniai žmonės – praktikoje visuomet buvo šališki, taip pat ir rinkdamiesi reprezentacinius tropus, todėl iš tikrųjų visai nebuvo „tipiniai“, o toji „žmonija“ niekad nebuvo realizuota, nepaisant retorinio ar idealizuoto šio termino paplitimo. Massimo Scolari savo knygoje „Oblique Drawing: A History of Anti-Perspective“, dokumentuojančioje koreliaciją tarp žiūros ir mąstymo būdų, vieną skyrių dedikavo visiškai sužlugusioms jėzuitų misijoms Kinijoje XVI–XVII a., kurių metu jie bandė skelbti krikščionybę pasitelkdami antropocentrinę reprezentaciją. Europiečių mokėjimas pamėgdžioti žmogaus regą Kinijoje galbūt ir buvo įvertintas kaip techninis pasiekimas, tačiau vienintelio „teisingo“ žiūros taško prielaida buvo atmesta konceptualiai, o Sou Che netgi cituojamas gana niekinamai sakęs: „Kas vertina paveikslą vadovaudamasis panašumo samprata, rodo vaikišką supratimą“ (lai neįsižeidžia vaikai). Anot Scolari, tokia vaizdavimo forma Kinijoje atmesta visų pirma dėl to, kad čia nebuvo priimtina žmogų nupasakoti ir pozicionuoti kaip lyginamąjį visų dalykų matą.

Taigi erdvės atžvilgiu horizontas indeksuoja istorinę pasaulio konfigūraciją, paremtą nerealizuotu bendrinio referento – žmogaus, turinčio visokeriopą valią transformuoti pasaulį pagal save ir savo atvaizdą – universalumu. Būtent toks erdvės reprezentavimas modernybėje išsivystė į liūdnai pagarsėjusį, daug teoriškai svarstytą tinklelį, kuris iki šiol tebėra gajus geometrinis artefaktas, integruotas į įvairią projektavimui skirtą „AutoCAD“ tipo projektavimo programinę įrangą ir veikia kaip „neutralus“ sluoksnis, kuriame galima dėlioti elementus be jokios trinties su aplinka ar situacija. Ši programinė įranga savo dabartiniu pavidalu tampa istoriškai humanistinio žmogaus žaidimų erdve; taigi, nors tiesiogiai nebesivadovaujame klasikine perspektyva, jos erdvinės logikos tebegyvuoja operatyvizuotais, natūralizuotais ir automatizuotais būdais. Už šią minties trajektoriją iš dalies taip pat galime būti dėkingi Sylviai Wynter, kuri teoriškai apibūdino audringą iki tol atskirų žmonijos istorijų ir geografijų susiliejimą į bendrą, tačiau nebendrai išgyvenamą, aplinką – tai, ką dabar vadiname planetos lygmeniu (angl. the planetary). Wynter tai daro sekdama istorinį, materialų ir praktika grįstą žmogaus savivokos poveikį kultūrinėms, episteminėms ir socialinėms sistemoms nuo europinio humanizmo pradžios iki dabarties bei konkrečiai nagrinėdama, kaip eurohumanistinis žmogus tapo vienalyčiu pakaitalu žmonijos referentui „mes“ ir kaip tam tikra savivoka paskatino žiauraus dominavimo režimus (t. y. praktikas, griaunančias pačius universalistinius konceptualius teiginius, teikiančius pagrindą referencinei žmogaus figūrai). Man buvo įdomu Wynter sistemos rėmuose mąstyti, kaip tai taikytina erdviniam pasauliui – viena vertus, kad suprasčiau, kaip toks buvimo žmogumi paveikslas sustiprinamas per reprezentaciją, kita vertus, kaip tokie suerdvinimo šablonai trukdo mūsų supratimui apie situacinį pozicionalumą ir, tuo pačiu, santykiškumą. Mano nuomone, šie užsitęsę reprezentacijos trukdžiai turi realias pasekmes. Labai trumpai tariant, ilgai trukusios modernybės istorinės epochos situacinis supratimas teikia prioritetą „aš“ – „teisingai“, statiškai pozicijai ar mazgui (atsispindinčiam ir politinio liberalizmo principuose), tuo tarpu norint išrasti planetos lygmens erdviškumus būtina prioretizuoti „mums“ išdėstymą – geografiškai paskirstytoms, bendroms būtybėms, pabrėžiant jų konstitucinius ir kokybinius santykius ar paribius. Praktine, realia prasme tokia planetinė, erdvinė-geografinė euristika dar neįgyvendinta, bet bus būtina tai padaryti, kai prieisime prie XXI a. nešališko rizikų paskirstymo klausimų.

Iš lingvistinės pusės, į visuotinį terminų horizontas ir ateitybė siejimą dabar galima žiūrėti kaip į būdą indeksuoti ateitybės režimą, priklausantį ilgai antropocentrinei istorinei epochai, kurią įgalino euroregioninis žmogaus kaip visų dalykų mato reprezentavimas. Taigi liūdėti dėl ateities horizontų trūkumo tolygu gedėti šios plačios istorinės epochos ir tuo pačiu tam tikro buvimo žmogumi režimo, tampančio šios būsenos operaciniu referentu. Manau, šis pastebėjimas padeda atskleisti keletą santykinių ateitybės laipsnių, atsižvelgiant į tai, kiek yra leistinų tam tikrai istorinei epochai priklausančių ateičių (vis dėlto nėra taip, kad per kelis šimtmečius niekas nepasikeičia), tačiau tos ateitys tęsia bendrines, pamatines istorines linkmes atpažįstamose duotojo istorinio pasaulio ribose. Esama ir ateičių, pašvęstų kovoms dėl netęstinių istorinių epochų, galiausiai turinčių perkonstruoti arba naujai apibrėžti sampratas apie tai, ką ateitybė apskritai reiškia ir apima. Planetos lygmuo pasitarnauja kaip preliminarus episteminis ir konceptualus žymuo, įkvepiantis kovoti dėl naujų istorijų, kadangi tęstinumas, išlaikant dabartines logikas ir konfigūracijas, nebegalimas. Tokios kovos nevyksta vakuume, jos turi būti įerdvintos konceptualiais ir praktiniais būdais, kad būtų sudarytos naujos gyvenamos sąlygos sambūviui. Šis atsakymas jau darosi labai ilgas, bet vis dar negaliu tau atsakyti, kas yra behorizontė ateitis. Vis dėlto tikiuosi, kad dabar aiškiau, kodėl nebegalime orientuotis į horizontą ir specifinį žmonijos savivokos pobūdį, su kuriuo jis surištas – šiandien ateitybę privalome suprasti kaip kovą dėl netęstinių istorinių sąlygų. Šioje diagnozėje nėra nieko melancholiško, ji tik reiškia, kad tęstinė ateitybė, priklausanti šiai istorinei epochai, nebėra nei pageidaujama, nei patvari. Tu teisus sakydamas, kad šis momentas itin neaiškus ir audringas, nes nėra jokių garantijų, kad dalykai, kuriuos sukursime remdamiesi planetos lygmens prielaida, bus geresni ar teisingesni, bet tai veikia kaip motyvacija skubiai sutelkti savo energiją, kad ir kokiomis galimybėmis operuotume, ir nusiteikti kritiškai peržiūrėti galimas ilgalaikes savo pačių natūralizacijas bei daugiamatę aplinką, kurioje sugyvename.

TU. Kitas klausimas tebūnie vėl apie švietimą ir tarpdisciplinines praktikas. Vienas pagrindinių Alternatyviosios edukacijos programos tikslų – sutelkti žmones iš skirtingų sričių, kad jie galėtų kartu dalintis žiniomis ir mokytis. Tai iššūkius keliantis, tačiau ir džiuginantis procesas, kuris aiškiai parodo, kaip veikla tam tikrame lauke struktūruoja suvokimą ir kalibruoja jautrumą. Tavo meninė praktika šiuo atžvilgiu įdomi, nes panašu, kad pastaraisiais metais teorija ir rašymas tapo tavo pagrindiniais užsiėmimais. Ar sutiktum, kad skirtingos praktikos ne tik reikalauja skirtingų įgūdžių ir jautrumo, bet neišvengiamai reiškia ir tam tikro suvokimo praradimą arba ženklų poslinkį?

PR. Mane drąsina tai, kad gausu alternatyvios edukacijos programų, tokių kaip Rupert, iškeliančių ir besiremiančių faktu, kad šiuolaikinis menas sudaro sąlygas mišriai domėtis įvairiomis disciplinomis. Nors alternatyvios edukacijos platformų kūrimas nėra naujiena, manau, kad mūsų laikais ši tendencija gimsta iš bendro nusivylimo švietimo pajungimu ekonomikai ir disciplinų nepaslankumo, kai ateina laikas iš esmės metodologiškai peržiūrėti mokymo planus, užuot šiek tiek pakoregavus programas. Alternatyvios programos taip pat užklausia esamus, sankcionuotus būdus įvertinti, kas apskritai yra mokymasis, kaip mes mokomės ir kokiomis formomis pasireiškia „žinios“. Čia galbūt verta paminėti Lewiso Gordono disciplinų dekadanso sąvoką, padedančią kalbėti apie tai, kaip darbas konkrečiame lauke kalibruoja ne tik tai, galvojame, o ir kaip galvojame. Gordonas įspėja apie atitrūkimo nuo realybės pavojų, kai disciplinos pernelyg susitelkia į save ir nebepripažįsta savo ribų, rūpindamosis tik savų taisyklių ir metodų išsaugojimu. Kaip ir bet kuri sritis, šiuolaikinis menas nėra atsparus tokiam disciplinų dekadansui ir nėra tarpdisciplininis, nors ir atrodo, kad jis galėtų sumažinti šią problemą. Taip pat verta atkreipti dėmesį į mūsų anksčiau aptartą koreliaciją: tas pats susireikšminimo principas veikia ir prilyginant tam tikrą žmogaus savivaizdį visaapimančiam žmonijos referentui. Dėl to Wynter taip pat narplioja episteminių paradigmų, atnešančių vien „adaptyvias tiesas“ problemą, tai yra situaciją, kai žinios naudojamos tik siekiant patvirtinti disciplinai priskiriamų taisyklių ir metodų „teisingumą“. Adaptyvias tiesas arba adaptyvias žinijas galima suprasti kaip atitrūkimą nuo realybės (kuri, kaip pastebi Gordonas, visuomet yra platesnė už bet kurią discipliną), o jos gyvuoja todėl, kad vėl ir vėl naudojami tie patys disciplinai priskiriami sankcionuoti metodai ir kanoniniai šaltiniai. Itin problemiška tai, kad didžioji dalis institucinio švietimo, ypač aukštesniuose lygmenyse, skatina praktikas, pagal kurias mokymasis nukrypsta į būtent tos sferos kodų, kalbos ir metodų perėmimą, užuot jį suvokus kaip kritinio peržiūrėjimo praktiką, kurios metu drauge tikrinami ir metodai, ir pats mąstymas. Matome, kad toks disciplinų dekadanso paskatintas adaptyvių tiesų kūrimas užtraukia rimtą riziką nukrypti į dogmas, kai kadaise naudinga, bet visuomet šališka disciplina pati save išstumia iš aktualumo lauko.

Tiesa, teorija ir rašymas pastaraisiais metais nustelbė mano materialias ir menines praktikas – bent nebeturiu sandėliavimo problemų! Juokai juokais, bet rašymą vertinu dėl to, kad tai labai sociali, nors ir daug vienatvės reikalaujanti veikla – rašant įvairių mąstytojų idėjos sumezgamos į vieną giją, su jais pradedamas tam tikras atviras dialogas nepriklausomai nuo to, ar jie gyvi, ar mirę. Man pasisekė, kad rašymas ilgainiui leido užmegzti ryšius su nepaprastais žmonėmis, kurie įkvepia ir užklausia mano idėjas; tokie susidūrimai nebūtų įvykę be spausdinto žodžio tarpininkavimo. Šie susidūrimai nebūtinai visuomet patvirtina tai, kas parašyta, bet dėl to jie tampa tik dar svarbesni – bent jau kai rašoma išlaikant tam tikrą kuklumą ir intelektualinį atvirumą. Tačiau pasiilgstu kurti, nes tam reikalingas visai kitoks mąstymas, nereikia galvoti įtaigių argumentų, tai veikiau galvojimas per medžiagas, vaizdus, judesį ir formas. Kai kurie menininkai ir rašytojai labai sumaniai valdo abi praktikas vienu metu, bet man, deja, nepavyksta, todėl prieš sugrįždama prie meninės praktikos turėčiau pailsėti nuo rašymo, palengva pereiti prie kitokio mąstymo. Nepaisant to, galbūt dėl pandemijos primestos fizinės izoliacijos, bendradarbiavimas atrodo kaip itin viliojantis būdas tęsti darbą tiek rašymo, tiek meninės kūrybos laukuose. Keletas tokių bendrų projektų jau yra ankstyvose vystymo stadijose, tad žiūrėsime, kaip klosis – atvirai kalbant, nieko baisaus, jei ir neišeis nieko apčiuopiamo, nes jau vien dialogai suteikia pakankamai peno. 

TU. Kalbant apie tavo darbą prieš ir po Rupert, vis sugrįždavau prie vienos minties. Buvo sutariama, kad tavo tekstai neabejotinai tiršti ir nelengvi žmonėms, mažiau įgudusiems akademinių tekstų skaityme. Tuo pačiu jie turi ir kone poetiškų savybių, padedančių įkvepiančiai perteikti idėjas ir pritraukti skaitytojus. Ar sąmoningai sieki to tirštumo ir specifinės tėkmės? Koks tavo požiūris į rašymą apskritai?

PR. Stiliaus prasme vertinu glaustumą, kurio pati ekstremaliausia forma pasireiškia diagramomis, dažnai papildančiomis rašinius. Svarbu išlaikyti pusiausvyrą tarp tirštumo ir aiškumo; jei tekstas pernelyg sutrauktas, jis tampa nebesuprantamas, kaip ir pernelyg suspaustas jpeg paveikslėlis tampa purvina, neįskaitoma koše. Man rašymas yra labai lėtas ir varginantis procesas. Pradėdama dažniausiai turiu tik kelias grubias, intuityvias idėjas, bet dar nežinau, kokia kryptimi viskas eis, tad tenka pasitreniruoti galvoti čia ir dabar. Tuo atžvilgiu rašymo veikla nėra itin maloni, bet, kaip suformulavo mano kolega tviteryje, pasitenkinimas ateina, kai jau turi kažką parašiusi! Paprastai daugiau gaunu iš sunkiau ar net ne iki galo suprantamos paskaitos nei tokio pat teksto, nes tas atotrūkis paskatina vis sugrįžti mintimis, įkvepia smalsumą ir tolesnę refleksiją. Be abejo, tai subtilus dalykas, nes jei praraja per didelė, smalsumas išblėsta, jį pakeičia abejingumas. Reikia praktikos, be to, svarbi ir kolegų bendruomenė, padedanti susigaudyti, jei prašaunu pro šalį, jau nekalbant apie deramai neįvertinamą gerų redaktorių darbą, paverčiant tekstų žaliavą aiškiais rašiniais. 

TU. Įtampos tarp sisteminės visumos ir individo tavo tekste „Freedom and Fiction“ iškelia įdomų klausimą. Manau, nepaneigiama, kad pastaraisiais metais girdime vis daugiau balsų, kurie iki šiol buvo nustumti į šalį, turime galimybę geriau suprasti anksčiau priespaudoje buvusias tapatybes. Tuo pačiu metu epistema, kurioje gyvename, energijos semiasi iš taksonominės plėtros, kone iškart viską suverslina ir pasisavina. Ar yra būdas puoselėti ribines tapatybes, neprisitaikančius kūnus ir visus tuos daugialypiškumus, nenugrimztant į suverslinimo keliamą letargą?

PR. Trumpas atsakymas: epistemą reikia transformuoti, kad nepakliūtume į tokius adaptyvius spąstus. Bet klausimas sudėtingas, nes iš esmės klausi, kaip pakeisti mūsų politinę-ekonominę sistemą, kuri jau sukurta taip, kad aktyviai propaguotų naujas rinkas, tuo pat metu negalėdama veikti be varijuojančio masto prievartos, neproporcingai nukreiptos į tuos, kurie arba neįkūnija referentinės žmogaus sampratos, apie kurią kalbėjome anksčiau, arba nesielgia „teisingais“, jai priskiriamais būdais. Dėl to diskutuodami negalime daryti prielaidos, kad pagrindinė problema yra atskirtis, pirmiausia baudžiamuosius įtraukties režimus turime atpažinti kaip sistemos ypatybę, o ne anomaliją. Vis dėlto sisteminės transformacijos epistemos lygiu neįvyksta pernakt, be to, milijonai žmonių tiesiog negali laukti didelio masto pokyčių, nes jų patiriami sunkumai yra išgyvenimo čia ir dabar klausimas. Teorinė refleksija atlieka tam tikrą vaidmenį permąstant tokias masyvias, persipynusias problemas, ji gali padėti kitaip pamatyti ir konstruoti konceptualius ir materialius įsipareigojimus, bet svarbu nepervertinti jos praktinio vaidmens sprendžiant tokio masto sistemines problemas. Žinau vos kelis teoretikus, įskaitant save, turinčius kompetencijų atlikti būtiną ir dažnai nematomą, užkulisiuose vykstantį organizavimo, strategavimo darbą. Kai atrodo, kad spontaniškai ėmė rastis naujas judėjimas, galime būti tikri, kad iki jam tampant pastebimu plačiojoje visuomenėje, metų metus mums nematant dirbo nesuskaičiuojami individai, grupės, o gal net kartos. Manau, turėtume skirti daugiau dėmesio tos genealogijos pripažinimui ir priešintis lengvai plintančiam cinizmui, kuris kyla tuomet, kai judėjimai bent iš dalies ima atrodyti suverslinti arba išskydę dėl savo masinio populiarumo. Viena sudėtinių šios užduoties dalių yra (naratyvinių ir materialių) jungčių formavimas tarp konkrečių, tapatybėmis pagrįstų, geografiškai ir materialiai specifiškų tiesioginių žalos sukėlėjų ir ilgalaikių, išskirstytų, skaliarinių transformacijų. Kitais žodžiais tariant, tarp čia ir dabar ir kažkur, kažkada. Jungčių kūrimas padeda lengviau suvokti sunkumų sąlyginumą. Galima tikėtis, kad tokie saitai atskleis naujas galimybes, kurios iki tol buvo apsunkintos arba nematomos. Galimybių išplėtimas yra vienas iš įgalinimo būdų, susijęs ir su tavo klausimu apie „puoselėjančią globą“. Pastarosios problema ta, kad jei ši veikla yra vienkryptė, galios disbalansas išlieka. Panašiai kalbama apie „ryšius“ – į juos dažnai apeliuojama, nekreipiant dėmesio į santykių kokybę arba neapibrėžiant „rūpinimosi“, tarsi tai būtų savaime suprantamas, grynai geranoriškas reiškinys. Galbūt tiksliau būtų klausti, kaip galima puoselėti solidarumo saitus, tokiu būdu puoselėjimo veiksmą fokusuojant į pačius santykius ir suponuojant abipusiškumą. Kaip teigia Gordonas, judėjimai turi plačios transformacijos galią, nes apima santykių su realybe performavimą ir nusistovėjusių būdų, kuriais ji normatyviškai konfigūruojama, istoriškai nupasakojama, socialiai organizuojama ir materialiai stratifikuojama, kvestionavimą. Greta vienpusiškai suprantamos paramos tampa svarbu atpažinti, kaip judėjimai sukuria galimybes transformuoti santykius su realybe, ir tuo pačiu formuoti bendrus įsipareigojimus, kurių būtinybę atskleidžia tokie atnaujinti santykiai.

TU. Atrodo, kad mūsų apgyvendintas materialus pasaulis kupinas įvairiausių kitų pasaulių ir buvimo pasaulyje procesų. Nuo Kathleen Stewart afektyvaus-intensyvaus buvimo pasaulyje (angl. affective-intensive worlding) iki Donnos Haraway draugystės (angl. companionship) arba Marios Lugones keliavimo po pasaulį, Frederico Campagna pasaulio pabaigos bei daugybės kitų. Naujausiame tekste „The End of a World and its Pedagogies“ tu taip pat žadini eschatologinius jausmus švietimui. Į akis iškart krenta tai, kad pasaulis ir buvimas pasaulyje veikia įvairiausiais masteliais – nuo molekulinio iki planetinio. Kaip manai, ar vis dar galime suvokti pasaulių pradžias ir pabaigas? Kaip nepasiduoti melancholijai klajojant po senojo pasaulio griuvėsius?

PR. Parafrazuodama kolegą Lukáš Likavčan pasakysiu, kad planetinį lygmenį galima atrasti net ir mažiausiuose dalykuose. Manau, ši mintis svarbi, nes padeda atsikratyti idėjos, kad planetinis lygmuo sietinas tik su neaprėpiama begalybe. Planetinis lygmuo dėl savo kompleksiškumo egzistuoja daugybėje tarpusavyje susijusių mastelių ar dimensijų, todėl galime sukurti būdus bent dalinai prie jo prieiti, užuot jautęsi visiškai priblokšti, rizikuodami pasiduoti mistifikavimui ar išvis atsitraukti. Nebūtinai pritarčiau, kad apeliavau į eschatologiją, nes yra nemenkas skirtumas tarp pasaulio pabaigos ir Pasaulio pabaigos. Sakydama „pasaulis“ turiu omenyje tiesiog tam tikrą gyvenamų sambūvių konfigūraciją, tad pasaulio pabaiga reiškia tam tikros konfigūracijos pabaigą, arba, kaip sakytų Campagna, tam tikro istorinio pasakojimo pabaigą. Prisimenant Wynter, tai taip pat reiškia tam tikro referentinio žmogaus formavimo būdo pabaigą. Tai, kad vienokią ar kitokią pasaulio pabaigos versiją paliečiantys diskursai paplinta tuo pat metu, kai mąstytojai išryškina įprastinių žmogiškumo sampratų problemiškumą, nėra paprasčiausias sutapimas. Visa tai yra įrankiai, kurie padeda suvokti pasaulio pabaigą, tačiau jie yra visiška holivudinio paskutiniojo teismo dienos žanro antitezė (šis žanras yra išpūsta reprezentacija, visiškai suplakanti pasaulio ir Pasaulio pabaigą). Tam tikro pasaulio pabaiga melancholiškai atrodo tik pasišventusiems išsaugoti būtent to esamo pasaulio konfigūraciją. Net nežinau, ar šiandien galima tai bent iš dalies pateisinti, nors ir jaučiamės neramiai, neužtikrintai gyvenimo tarp dviejų skirtingų epistemų klausimo akivaizdoje.

Mano tarpdisciplininiai meninių tyrimų vargai 

2022 Sausis, Viktorija Rybakova

Viktorijos Rybakovos pokalbis su Daraghu Reevesu
2021 m. kovo 21, sekmadienis

Parašyti tekstą Rupert žurnalui mane pakvietė Tautvydas Urbelis, šiuo metu vadovaujantis Rupert Alternatyvios edukacijos programai. Dar 2012 m. man teko garbė tapti pirmąja Rupert studente „nomade“ – fizinis meno centras tuomet neegzistavo, edukacinės programos pamatai buvo dar tik klojami.

Mūsų studijų grupė su kviestiniais dėstytojais susitikdavo kavinėse arba užimdavo laisvas Vilniaus dailės akademijos erdves. Institucija neturėjo sienų, šis atvirumas persikėlė ir į pačią studijų programą – mums buvo pasiūlytas gausus ir įvairus dalykų spektras. Kartais suprasdavome atsidūrę visos dienos trukmės filosofiniame seminare, nors neišmanėme nė paprasčiausių filosofinių sąvokų, iš vis dėlto su pasimėgavimu klausydavomės bene labiausiai mąstymą provokuojančių to meto filosofų, pavyzdžiui, Reza Negarestani. Tai mane labai žavėjo. Anuomet mano anglų kalbos žinios buvo ribotos, bet dėl to buvo tik dar žavingiau, nes klausydamasi turėjau pasitelkti viską, ką išmaniau.

Pirmiausia baigiau architektūrą Vilniuje, norėjau susipažinti su urbanistinėmis struktūromis ir pirminėmis jas sudarančiomis medžiagomis. Po studijų ieškojau būdų susieti savo teorinius ir praktinius interesus tarpdisciplininėje terpėje. Širdimi jutau polinkį mąstyti pasitelkiant struktūrinius elementus, bet siela troško kažko, ko mano profesinė disciplina negalėjo pasiūlyti. Su tam tikru užsispyrimu, akla viltimi ėmiau ieškoti alternatyvų mene ir architektūroje.

Ryškiai atsiminiau aptrintame amerikietiškame 8 dešimtmečio architektūros žurnale, kažkieno veikiausiai dar sovietiniais laikais slapta atneštame į mano universiteto biblioteką, skaičiusi straipsnį apie architektą Luisą Barragáną, tad nutariau važiuoti į Meksiko miestą, vietą, apie kurią žinojau labai mažai. Architektūros katedros biblioteka nebuvo reikšmingai pildoma nuo pat įsteigimo 9 dešimtmečio pradžioje, tad tie seni žurnalai taip ir gulėjo pastate, atmindami laikus, kai menininkai ir architektai dalyvavo Sąjūdyje ir įvairias žinių iš Vakarų formas laikė autoritetu.

Barragánas, bendradarbiaudamas su skulptoriumi Mathiasu Goeritzu, pradėjo „emocingos architektūros“ judėjimą, kūrusį keistus architektūros ir skulptūros hibridus. Užaugus eklektiškoje posovietinėje 10 dešimtmečio aplinkoje, mintis, kad emocijos gali atrasti vietą architektūroje, man atvėrė visiškai naujas jausmingumo teritorijas. Svajonė susipažinti su kuo nors visiškai kitokiu nei tai, kas buvo išmokta ir patirta vaiduokliškuose pilkuose mano aplinkos kraštovaizdžiuose, labai viliojo. Beveik nedvejodama nusipirkau bilietus į Meksiką.

Man nė netoptelėjo, jog dideliems miestams, kad ir kokiems viliojantiems, būdingas intensyvumas, o tai ne visada lengva pakelti. Pamačiusi įvairias Meksiko puses, daug sužinojau apie šį kvapą gniaužiančio grožio kraštą persmelkusią korumpuotą politiką, narkotikų karus ir socialinę nelygybę. Užaugusi mažoje šalyje, į pasaulį žvelgiau šiek tiek naiviai, manau, tai mane išgelbėjo situacijose, kurios galėjo baigtis žymiai liūdniau, jei mano akys būtų buvusios persmelktos visažiniškos baimės. Nežinojimas taip pat skatino norą sugrįžti ir geriau suprasti.

Klestinti meksikietiška šiuolaikinio meno scena ir turtingas vietinių amatų bei etnofarmacijos paveldas prikaustė mano vaizduotę. Taigi po pusės metų vėl atsidūriau Meksike ir darbavausi prie meninio tyrimo apie plastiko istoriją, medžiagos, taip paplitusios tradicinėje meksikiečių kultūroje ir miesto kraštovaizdyje, kad pradėjau stebėtis ir domėtis jos kilme šioje šalyje.

Tik labai aptakiai nutuokdama, kaip šis tyrimas turėtų klostytis, ir lydima savo plastiško projekto partnerės, grafikos dizainerės Godos Budvydytės, pradėjau pažindintis su kiekvienu Meksikos žmogumi, galinčiu turėti saitų su plastiku. Atsitiktinių ir intuityvių sąsajų dėka tyrimas iš šalies centro išsikerojo pakraščių link. Pradžioje buvo sunku nusakyti, ko tiksliai ieškome ar kokia yra pagrindinė tyrimo projekto idėja, tačiau galiausiai sutiktų žmonių atvirumas paliko ryškius atsiminimus ir patirtis, tapusius pagrindu knygai.

Po Meksikos teko garbė dalyvauti tarptautinėje poakademinėje Jan Van Eyck akademijos programoje Nyderlanduose. Pirmą kartą atsidūriau profesinėje aplinkoje, įkūnijusioje ir įprasminusioje visa, ką veikiau kaip architektė ir nepriklausoma tyrėja. 

Šis laikotarpis buvo produktyvus – pilnai pasinėriau į savo mokslinius ir meninius interesus, siekdama išnaudoti vaizduotę įkvėpusias žinias ir smalsumą bei sukurti ką nors nauja, iki tol neapibūdinta ir neaptarta. Iš to išsivystė veiksmingas meninis režimas, kurio laikydamasi leidau sau tirti anksčiau neatrastas teritorijas ir ieškoti naujų sąsajų, kurios kitaip nebūtų pastebėtos, arba tobulintis tam tikroje srityje. Jaučiau, kad tai, ką darau, gali prisidėti prie mokslinių atradimų metodų ir suteikti raiškos laisvę, galimybę išsakyti dalykus, kurie duomenų imties kontekste neatrodo vertingi, bet įgyja prasmę neapsiribojus racionaliu duomenų analizės supratimu – kitaip tariant, intuityvias žinias.

Meno ir architektūros sąlyčio taškų paieškos peraugo į tai, kas dabar vadinama „tyrimu pagrįsta“ arba „tarpdisciplinine“ meno praktika bei tampa vis labiau populiarėjančio paraakademinio lauko dalimi. Vis stiprėjo pomėgis retkarčiais šį tą parašyti, o baigiantis veiklai Jan Van Eyck akademijoje jau buvau įpratusi atlikti literatūrinę savirefleksiją. Mano tekstai – tai nenuoseklus akademinio rašymo, žurnalistinio tyrimo ir asmeniškumo hibridas. Dažniausiai rašymą pasitelkiu kaip pagrindą naujam kūriniui. Sukuriu literatūrinį pasaulį, kuriame tas objektas gali egzistuoti, tarsi turėdama sau pagrįsti, kodėl jis turi teisę gyvuoti.

Teko kalbėtis su vizualiųjų menų atstovu Daraghu Reevesu, studijavusiu meną Londono, Niujorko ir Amsterdamo mokyklose, kuriose vizuali raiška ir idėjos buvo laikomos svarbiausiu meno-darymo elementu. Daugybę kartų girdėjau jį sakant, kad dėstytojai mokė atrasti prasmę pačiame daryme. 

Kartą, vakarojant mano virtuvėje, Daraghas pasidalijo savo požiūriu į šiuolaikinės meno praktikos pokyčius ir iškėlė klausimą, ką papildomo duoda tarpdisciplininis tyrimas, lyginant su tradiciniu menininko vykdomu tyrimu, pavyzdžiui, vaizdų rinkimu, naujų spalvų derinių, formų ir piešimo technikų stebėjimu.

Ištrauka iš mūsų pokalbio: 

Šį tą pastebėjau – menininkas gali sukurti, tarkim, filmą – gražų, estetišką, idiosinkratišką kūrinį – bet pasirinkti politinę temą, kaip Palestina, Šaltasis karas arba tamsus prekybos ginklais pasaulis, žodžiu, ką nors sunkaus. Tuomet menininką kviečiasi įvairios kultūros institucijos, publika žiūri filmą ir apie ką ji po to diskutuoja? Ne koks gražus tas filmas, kaip menininkas jį sumontavo, nes apie tai nepadiskutuosi. Niekas nenori kalbėtis apie estetiką. Net patys menininkai taip neaptarinėja meno. Vizualiųjų menų kūrėjai susitikę kalbasi apie šampūną, sportbačius arba ką nors iš populiariosios kultūros – kvailus dalykus. Tiesiogiai kalbėti apie gryną vizualųjį meną neįmanoma. Kitaip tariant, institucijoms tai tikras košmaras, nes jos negali organizuoti pokalbių apie tokios rūšies meną, o žmonėms juk reikia darbo. 

Mano nuomone, tai tėra pseudodiskusijos – menininko nuomonė yra mėgėjiška. Jo menas profesionalus ir išskirtinis, vis dėlto jo išsakyta nuomonė pasirinkta tema nepasiekia tokio pat lygio. Bet kuris kitas tą diskusiją išgirdęs profesionalas klaustų, kas čia per pantomima?! 

Negaliu nesutikti, kad menininkų rašomos „teminės“ paraiškos projektų finansavimui arba populiariomis politinėmis temomis, užtikrinančiomis visuomenės paramą ir matomumą, kuriamas menas šiek tiek dvelkia pretenzingumu. Tačiau tuo pat metu egzistuoja skirtingos mąstymo formos – šokis yra mąstymas kūnu, vizualieji menai yra mąstymas spalvomis ir gestais – ir negalime paneigti tokių žinių vertės. 

Galvoju apie tradicinius menininkus, pavyzdžiui, tapytojus. Jų darbas – tyrimo rezultatus paversti puikiu menu. O tuo tyrimu jie susidomėjo tik dėl to, kad norėjo sukurti puikų darbą. Šiandien nemažai tyrimais-paremtos medžiagos sudaro tiesiog žurnalų iškarpos be jokios apčiuopiamos link konkretaus kūrinio vedančios alchemijos. Tarsi sakytum: „Ei, mane domina šis dalykas, tiesiog norėjau jums apie tai pranešti ir parodyti, ką pavyko rasti“.

Tradicinis menininkas, renkantis tas įkvepiančias iškarpas, nepamiršta ir savo darbo – kūrybiniu veiksmu jas transformuoti, supainioti, prisotinti, išgryninti iki asmeninės kalbos, leidžiančios sukurti turtingą ir įsimintiną formos originalumą. Jeigu tiesiog parodai savo iškarpų albumą prieš tai neatlikęs transformacijos veiksmo, kuo tu skiriesi nuo didžėjaus? Nuo lepaus linksmintojo, tikėtina, net nesukuriančio tikros pramogos, arba veikiau stileivos, mėginančio patapti skonio formuotoju, o iš tiesų svajojančio įsteigti save kaip Mido tipo genijų ir nesusitepti rankų primityviais darymo veiksmais.

Kartą girdėjau, kad norint kurti meną reikia būti kvailiu – ir, galima pridurti, neturėti gėdos jausmo. Galbūt tyrimais grįstus darbus kurie tie, kurie pernelyg gėdijasi atrodyti kvailai ir verčiau parodys, ką žino, nei tai, ko dar nežino. Bet darbuose kai ko pritrūksta – nežinomybės. 

Viena iš puikaus meno savybių man yra įsimintinumas. Turiu galvoje, kad menas įsimena dėl puikios formos. Aišku, visokiausias menas yra reikalingas, bet svarbu susimąstyti, ką paliekame po savęs. Kas įsimintina? Kas žmogui rezonuoja ir kultūrine prasme kelia kartelę? Kaip užkimšti čakras? Tai nėra lengva, bet pirmiausia turbūt reikia savų atsiminimų elemento, kokio nors asmeniškumo. 

Išties, reikia, kad mums užkimštų čakras, kad paveiktų emociškai ir primintų, koks įdomus, bauginantis ir gražus yra gyvenimas. Reikia, kad kas nors pakreiptų mūsų neracionalius impulsus tam tikra linkme ir atvertų mums įvairaus pobūdžio patirtis.

Po ilgo pokalbio su Daraghu pradėjau kvestionuoti tarpdisciplininių tyrimų, kuriuos atlikdama jaučiausi taip patogiai, miglotumą ir susitikau su keliais mokslininkais, norėdama pasiteirauti apie jų tyrimų eigą. Atradau, kad naujus žinojimus generuojantys moksliniai metodai yra labai lėti, o procesai, įrodantys naujų atradimų tikrumą, atskleidžia labai nedaug. Priešingai nei mėgėjiškos meno pasaulio žinių sklaidos sistemos, galinčios sukurti intensyvius, aklai į ateitį ir į praeitį šaudančius pasakojimus, mokslinės žinios yra pamatuotos, pasvertos ir išdiskutuotos, nors kartais šaudo taip pat aklai. Manau, šis aklumas kyla iš žmogaus percepcijos nepastovumo. Mūsų struktūriniai pojūčiai apie čia ir dabar irgi nuolat kinta. 

Psichologas man sakė, kad tas „čia ir dabar“ trunka 7 sekundes, nes tiek laiko mūsų smegenys gali išbūti susitelkusios ir atsispirti trikdžiams. Tai taip pat reiškia, kad idėjas sugalvojame per tą trumpą laiko tarpą. Ką nors sugalvoti trunka tik kelias sekundes, bet realizavimas gali užtrukti valandas, dienas, mėnesius ar metų metus. Labiausiai mane žavi tai, kad meno objektas išlieka arčiausiai 7 sekundžių momento, tos nepertrauktos realybės, autentiškos ir nekvestionuojamos tiesos. Nepaisant dabartinės mados nepaliaujamai aprašinėti meno kūrinius, visuomet tikėsiu kūrinio autonomiškumu ir nepriklausomybe nuo literatūrinio pasaulio.

Išlieku atvira diskusijoms apie tai, ką tarpdisciplininiai tyrimai gali pasiūlyti lyginant su tyliomis ar įkūnytomis žiniomis, kuriomis menininkai dalindavosi prieš menotyrai įsiveržiant ir apsigyvenant meno kūriniuose. Ar galėtume mėgautis kūriniu be žodžių, atsietai nuo jo literatūrinės interpretacijos? Salomé Voegelin tai apibūdina kaip „iššūkį padaryti vizualaus kūrinio nebylumą suvokiamu, nepajungiant jo analitinei interpretacijų kalbai“.

Galų gale, tikiu, kad menas iškelia gražią kalbėjimosi tyloje idėją ir kad svarbu nepamiršti nebylaus pokalbio galios.

Trikdanti(-čios) meilė(s): bendrumo tyrinėjimai „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos ir Eglės Ambrasaitės teoriniuose, praktiniuose ir meniniuose apmąstymuose

2022 Sausis. Eglė Ambrasaitė

Mūsų brutaliai komodifikuotoje tikrovėje, pasaulinių politinės ultradešinės uraganų ir pandemijos superaudrų sūkuryje, įsivaizduoti kolektyviškumą, kolektyviškumo praktikavimą, atlikti kolektyvinį darbą, kartu tirti, kurti, konstruoti bendros daugiau-nei-namų, daugiau-nei-žmogiškos tarpusavio ryšių erdvės mikrokosmą, tampantį bendramylimųjų (angl. co-lovers) bendruomenės dalimi, tampa (beveik) neįmanoma. Vis dėlto tokia vieta ar būtis egzistuoja, bent jau man, mums – „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos, įsikūrusios Žeimių miestelyje, Žeimių dvare, būtybėms. Siekdama priartėti prie savo pačios ir Žeimių dvaro audžiamos daugiau-nei-namų, daugiau-nei-žmogiškumo teminės gijos, kartais tekste vartosiu įvardžius „mes“, „mus“, o kartais – „jie“, „juos“. Kalbant apie „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos veiklas vien trečiuoju asmeniu, tarp manęs ir mano aptariamų subjektų atsirastų nereikalingas atstumas ir ant mūsų sudėtingo abipusio susipainiojimo kristų šešėlis.1 O nuolat kalbėti pirmuoju asmeniu reikštų savo žinių ir pozicijos savinimąsi, kadangi šio teksto pasakotojas gali tiksliai ir įvairiapusiškai atstovauti mūsų kolektyvą bei visą žmogiškų ir nežmogiškų ryšių ir prieraišumų spektrą. Kitaip tariant, nors mano jautrūs saitai atliepia „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos bendruomenės požiūrį, įsitikinimus ir vargus, mūsų praktikos gali varijuoti, kadangi jos apima visą spektrą judrių, kartu įvairias persipynusias žavingas ir drąsias draugystes mezgančių žmogiškų ir nežmogiškų kompanionų. Atsižvelgdama į teksto apimtį, jame nepateiksiu detalios „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos gyventojų ar jų bendrų teorinių, praktinių ir meninių praktikų analizės.2 Tai bus savotiška „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos kolektyvo / bendruomenės / socialinio darinio išpažintis ir savotiškas skundas, reflektuojantis veiklas, kurias pristatėme brangiesiems Rupert Alternatyvios edukacijos programos dalyviams.3

„Materija jaučia, kalbasi, kenčia, trokšta, ilgisi ir prisimena“4

Rankos žemėje.
Sode ir parke, sodina ir persodina krūmus, augina medžius, leidžia jiems augti (kartais), kur nori, taip pat, kaip (kartais) suteikia tokią laisvę piktžolėms; 
ties grindų ir sienų įtrūkiais: aliejinė tapyba, priimame šių XVIII a. sienų laiko trūkius, švelniai liesdami tinko odą;
kąsnoti, šveisti, šiek tiek pašukuoti, gyti; 
kone lūžtančios nugaros, sutinusios pėdos, purvinos panagės, linų sėmenų aliejus, terpentinas, denatūruotas spiritas; 
grandinėmis prirakinti šunys, lojantys tolumoje; turistai, žvelgiantys pro langus: „Jūs čia gyvenate?“ – nesvarbu, kad kažkuris iš mūsų rūko cigaretę apsiavęs šlepetėmis. 
Nešukuoti plaukai. Šiandien šeštadienis. Slepi vakarykštį vyno butelį ant dvaro laiptų; 
vėjas laukuose; 
kartais girdi mišką, varlių balsus;
dar vieną vištą pasiglemžė lapė, ar ji jau tampa mūsų naminiu gyvūnu? 
vakarais: džiugūs žvilgsniai arba nuvargę keiksmažodžiai baigus instaliuoti kieno nors kūrinį; siuvimas, veržimas, kalimas,
daug rašymo, taip pat ir skaitymo;
apkabinus naktį: griliai, laužai, šokiai, vynuogės, pokalbiai, juokas, šypsenos;
visur gėlės, trys nuostabios būtybės-katės ir būtybė-šuo;
dienos eina taip lėtai ir taip greit; keičiasi metų laikai;
dalijantis, queerinant, mylint, šlubuojant, šlubuojant, mylint, queerinant, dalijantis.

2020 m. rugsėjį pasitikome Rupert Alternatyvios edukacijos programos dalyvius, kad pasidalytume savo įvietintomis praktikomis ir jas pagrindžiančiomis teorijomis. Domas Noreika parengė ekspediciją „Snarglys“, kurioje daugiausia dėmesio skirta vietinių medžiagų ir materijos savybėms, jų lipnumui, takumui ir riebumui. „Ištraukęs materialius veiksnius į priešakį ir perkonfigūravęs […] materijos sampratą“ bei pabrėždamas „materialaus priežastingumo svarbą bei kūniškumo reikšmę“, Domas Noreika pristatė įvairias rūpinimosi praktikas ir tarpusavio priklausymo formas: nežmogiškas, dirbtines ir negyvas.5 Ši ekspedicija buvo „Lady Mary Wortley Montagu expeditions 2020: OS“ programos, skirtos tirti OS (objektoseksualumą arba objektofiliją, angl. objectum-sexuality arba objectophilia), dalis. Trumpai tariant, žmonės, priskiriantys save OS, patiria emocinius, romantinius ir / arba seksualinius jausmus negyviems objektams, pavyzdžiui, tiltui, statulai arba geležinkelio stočiai. Kai kuriems seksualiniai ar artimi emociniai santykiai su žmonėmis yra nesuvokiami. Be to, kai kurie objektoseksualūs individai tiki, kad negyvi objektai turi sielą, sąmonę, jausmus, gali komunikuoti. Atsižvelgiant į tai, šios ekspedicijos buvo skirtos ištirti meilės jausmus, skirtus pačiam Žeimių dvarui, meilę jo sudėtinėms dalims: tinkui, bibliotekos ir kinotekos lipdiniams, auksinėms liūtų galvoms, alyvuotiems ir kreiduotiems paviršiams ir t. t. „Snarglio“ metu „mylėdamas“ dvarą galėjai suvokti skirtumus tarp prezervacijos ir konservacijos metodų bei koncepcijų, susipažinti su įvairiais kitais paveldo ir šiuolaikinio meno scenarijais, praktikuojamais Žeimių dvare. Po to Rupert dalyviai buvo pakviesti pasinerti į betarpę patirtį ir tuo pačiu naujai įvertinti materijos ir materializacijos procesų galią, neantropocentrišku požiūriu analizuojant tiek „žmogiškų ir nežmogiškų, organinių ir neorganinių būties formų“ materialumą, tiek jų neišvengiamą pusiausvyrą.6 

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„Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos nuotrauka

Kitą dieną atėjo mano eilė. Siekiau sukurti laikiną erdvę keitimuisi žiniomis ir kūrybinei sąveikai, tad paruošiau pristatymą apie Žeimių dvaro ekologinį mąstymą ir savo dabartinių doktorantūros tyrimų lauką – vietinių moterų patirtis, kuriomis remdamasi siekiu sudaryti lytimi paremtų biopolitikos mechanizmų žemėlapį Žeimių miestelyje vėlyvojo socializmo ir ankstyvojo posocializmo laikotarpiu, taip pat savo kuratorinę veiklą rengiant parodą „Užkerėti kraštovaizdžiai“ ir (tuo metu būsimą) personalinę parodą „Žodis – ne žvirblis“. Šiomis tarpdisciplininėmis praktikomis, apimančiomis plačius teorinius ir meninius mano interesus, bandžiau: a) kvestionuoti kolektyviškumo sampratą „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos daugiau-nei-žmogiško susipainiojimo atžvilgiu; b) nupasakoti saito tarp tyrėjo ir jo respondentų svarbą bei iš tokių santykių galinčius kilti rezultatus (kiek tai liečia mano doktorantūros rėmus ir Žeimių moteris); c) pristatyti savo kuravimo ir menines praktikas, susijusias su lingvistiniu ir kūnišku atjautimu, meile, santykiais ir intensyvumais, mąstant per toksiškumo ir rūpesčio prizmes. 

Man kolektyviškumo praktikavimas reiškia tarpusavio artumą. Ne tik erdvinį, fizinį ar virtualų, o ir emocinį, pagrįstą tarpusavio pagarba ir dėmesingumu. Dėl to kolektyvinis kūrimas man atrodo panašus į švelnų klausymąsi. Jis juda trajektorijomis, nulemtomis dvišalių derybų. Primena mėgavimąsi žydinčiomis vyšniomis, užuot bandžius išsirankioti patraukliausias uogas. Jo metu praktikuojami teigiami vidiniai ir išoriniai ryšiai, puoselėjama meilė, sprendimai priimami horizontaliuoju principu. Jis sudaro sąlygas kilti klausimams, abejonėms, rūpesčiams ir skatina juos tapti mintimis, veiksmais ar palaiminimais. Kolektyvinės praktikos nesiekia sukurti naują, holistinę struktūrą, priešingai, jos, besivadovaudamos nehierarchine daugiarūšiškumo idėja, skatina heterogeniškumą ir įvairovę! Todėl tie, kas praktikuoja kolektyviškumą, patys steigia, patys vadovauja, patys lyderiauja ir, svarbiausia, praktikuoja „kitokį gyvenimo būdą, kitokius poreikius, kitokius žmogiško gyvenimo kriterijus“ ir ne tik.7 Gali kilti klausimas: kokie tie poreikiai, kokie tie kriterijai, koks tas kitoks gyvenimo būdas? Geriausia tai, kad jie sutampa su mano požiūriu į kolektyvines praktikas ir bendruomenių veikimą apskritai. Mano akimis, jos veikia ne savanaudiškai, ne iš nepasitikėjimo ar baimės, o atvirai, jautriai, gebėdamos prisitaikyti. Jos juda pirmyn nusiteikusios netikėtumams, praktikuodamos tvarų vartojimą ir tarpusavio priklausomybes, priima sprendimus remdamosis kolektyvine valia ir kultivuoja gyvybę palaikančius įpročius; jos kvepia susidūrimais, išgyvenančiais (angl. surviving) kartu, lygiavertiškai, gerai. Įkūnydami kolektyviškumą „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijoje nuolat stengiamės suvokti ciklišką floros ir faunos bei santykių tarp kiekvieno iš mūsų prigimtį, mūsų bendrąjį neatskiriamą ryšį arba, kaip tai vadina Guattari, pusiausvyros sistemą: grįžtamojo ryšio ciklus ir grandines, nelinijines priklausomybes ir santykius.8 Taigi pareikšdami, kad mūsų anksčiau laikyti žirgai neskirti jojimui, leisdami savo vištoms laisvai vaikštinėti, o dilgėlių ir kitų laukinių žolių plotams pavirsti pievomis ir kitokiais želdynais, siekiame ne sensacingos manijos, o daugiau-nei-empatija grįstos pagarbos. Suprasdami, kad visi kartu esame susipainioję „biosocialinių ir politinių santykių komplekse“ ir kad „kai kurie augalai [ir kitos būtybės] rūpestingai puoselėjami, o kiti rūpestingai išnaikinami“, siekiame paskatinti teritoriją kuruoti save pačią, kad jos gyvieji padarai galėtų išreikšti savo valią, sąmoningumą ir gebėjimą reaguoti.9 XVIII–XIX a. į Žeimių dvarą jo ankstesnių buržuazinių savininkų atvežti „sensacingai kitokie“ medžiai ir krūmai maišosi su vietine flora ir kuria vaizdą, kurį būtų galima pavadinti „sensacingai nuobodžiu“ – tai iš dalies sensacingas reginys, jei lyginsime su įsivaizdavimu, kas „turėtų būti dvare“, ir tuo, ko reikalauja Kitu paverčiantis (paprastai baltaodžio viduriniosios klasės vyro) žvilgsnis.10 Buvimas su gyva būtybe mūsų laboratorijos praktikoje visų pirma yra savęs pažinimo ir savirealizicijos klausimas. Klausiame: kiek gerai galiu pažinti tą gyvą būtybę ir kiek jos dėka galiu sužinoti apie save? Pažinti gyvą būtybę mums reiškia susitikti daugybę kitų gyvų būtybių, tuo pat metu stojant akistatoje su pačiu savimi. Mus įkvepia Harlano Weaverio samprotavimai – jis pasisako už kompleksiškas tapatybes, žmogiškų ir nežmogiškų gyvūnų įpainiojamas į takų, nestatišką procesinį tapsmą, jo vadinamą tapsmu rūšyje (angl. becoming in kind). Šia sąvoka jis ontologinius motyvus susieja su platesniais socialiniais pasauliais; šis mąstymo būdas remiasi tokiomis kategorijomis kaip rūšis, veislė, rasė, klasė ir lytis.11 Dėl to Žeimių dvare mūsų meilė yra trikdanti. Tai tam tikras neramios meilės, skirtumų meilės tipas, pagrįstas atkuriamuoju teisingumu ir supratimu, kaip žmogiški ir nežmogiški santykiai „formuoja vienas kitą per rasizmo, klasizmo, seksizmo ir rūšizmo sandūras“.12 Kitaip tariant, žmogiški ir nežmogiški santykiai „Aikas Žado“ laboratorijoje tampa įvairiomis tapsmo rūšyje galimybėmis, nuolat skatinančiomis trikdymą. Čia, Žeimiuose, stengiamės atsikratyti kultūros ir natūros skirties, kartais įsivaizduotų miestą ir provinciją perskiriančių spragų. Palaipsniui tampame ta ant senų medinių dvaro grindų miegančia kate arba tomis bakterijomis tolimiausiame sienos kampelyje, tuo pomidoru, vešančiu neravėtame darže. Tam, kad sunaikintume antropocentrines hierarchijas, įsigiliname į savo tarpusavio susipainiojimą, sankirtas ir trikdančiai tampame rūšyje.

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Eglės Ambrasaitės nuotrauka
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Eglės Ambrasaitės nuotrauka
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„Aikas Žado“ laboratorijos nuotrauka

Dabartinį doktorantūros tyrimą vykdau remdamasi panašiomis teorinėmis prieigomis, tiriu biopolitinius socialinės lyties mechanizmus Žeimių moterų kūnuose ir įkūnijimuose vėlyvuoju sovietiniu ir ankstyvuoju posovietiniu laikotarpiu. Fiksuotą Žeimių teritoriją laikau „Tvin Pykso miestelio“ arba „Wayward Pines“ veiksmo vietų manifestacija – mažas miestelis, galintis iliustruoti platesnius sovietinius (bio)politinius mechanizmus, veikusius Lietuvoje vėlyvuoju sovietiniu laikotarpiu ir dariusius įtaką ekonominiams, socialiniams bei politiniams pokyčiams pereinamuoju posocialistiniu laikotarpiu ir vėliau. Man labai pasisekė, kad, nepaisant pasaulinės COVID-19 pandemijos, 2020 m. vasarą galėjau nedelsiant pasinerti į lauko ir archyvinius tyrimus. Panašu, kad abipusė pagarba, kurią pavyko užsitarnauti susitikimų ir interviu su keliomis pirmosiomis Žeimių moterimis metu, padrąsino ir kitas moteris dalyvauti mano tyrime, pasidalyti tam tikromis savo gyvenimo istorijomis. Iki dabar atliktas tyrimas padėjo sukurti tvirtą, nuoširdų ryšį tarp manęs, kaip tyrėjos, ir Žeimiuose gyvenančių moterų, kaip dalyvių. Šis ryšys transformavo mano pozicionalumą ir sustiprimo refleksyvumą, nes: a) įsivaizdavimai ir išankstiniai nusistatymai apie moterų gyvenimą kaimo vietovėse, kurių net nemaniau turinti, tačiau turėjau, buvo dekonstruoti; b) susiformavo visiškai naujas santykis su pačiais Žeimiais, kuriuose gyvenau daugiau nei penkerius metus, tačiau apie kuriuos, kaip dabar supratau, žinojau ir patyriau taip mažai. Ši akis atverianti patirtis padarė įtaką mano požiūriui į šio darbo objektą apskritai, paskatino keisti metodologiją ir suformavo naujus teorinius būdus argumentų konstravimui, remiantis itin turtinga ir turininga surinkta medžiaga. Dėl šios priežasties, per moterų patirtis mėgindama perprasti biopolitiškai organizuojamo gyvenimo detales ir analizuodama, kaip toks gyvenimas buvo gyvenamas ir jaučiamas Žeimiuose, dėmesį sutelkiu į pagrindinį valstybinės infrastruktūros organą Žeimiuose – Žeimių kolūkį. Koncentruodamasi į kolūkį, infrastruktūras tiriu ne tik fiziniu, o ir erdviniu, laiko ir emocijų pavidalais, tokiu būdu siekiu išsiaiškinti, kaip jos struktūruojasi ir nusėda pasaulyje, demaskuodamos lyčių normas ir socialinės lyties priskyrimo procesus.13 Nagrinėjant specifinį moteriškų kūnų ir ne tik kūnų struktūravimą per netolygias erdvines ir laikines infrastruktūras, man svarbi tokio platesnio žvilgsnio galia atskleisti, kodėl kai kurie (biopolitinio) gyvenimo aspektai yra skatinami, o kiti – apleidžiami. Biopolitikos tyrimų laukui dėmesio skyręs Prozorovas (2014) teigė, kad „biopolitikos studijos beveik nekalba apie bene ambicingiausią pozityvios žmonių gyvenimo transformacijos projektą, t. y. „naujo sovietinio žmogaus“, emancipuoto socialistinės visuomenės subjekto, sukūrimą, kuris kartu išlaisvino beprecedentį teroro prieš tuos pačius transformuojamuosius asmenis negatyvumą“.14 Taigi sovietinio socializmo tyrimai galėtų padėti išspręsti biopolitikos teorijos problematiką – jei ne aporiją – ir suprasti ontologius biopolitikos pamatus, kurie konceptualiai liko taip ir neapibrėžti tokių autorių kaip Foucault (2008; 2009; 2013), Agambenas (1998; 1999; 2016) ir Esposito (2008a; 2008b). Sekdama Prozorovo (2007; 2014; 2017), Dunn (2004) ir Colliero (2005; 2011), pradėjusių diskusiją apie sovietų biopolitikos specifiką, keliu, bet daugiausiai remdamasi Healey‘io (2001) tyrimu apie šio reiškinio lyčių aspektą, pagrindinį dėmesį skiriu vėlyvajam sovietiniam ir ankstyvajam posovietiniam laikotarpiui Lietuvos kontekste, mėginu išsiaiškinti, kaip sovietinė biopolitika veikė lytimi grįstuose mechanizmuose. Kuo vėlyvojo sovietinio laikotarpio biopolitika XX a. 9 deš. Lietuvoje skyrėsi nuo „pereinamosios“ biopolitikos arba kuo skiriasi nuo „Vakarų“ pasaulio anuomet ir dabar? Savo tyrimu teigiu, kad sovietų biopolitika buvo specifinė, ir siekiu atskleisti išskirtinį sovietinės socialinių lyčių biopolitikos bruožą, kylantį iš jos dviprasmiško, nestatiško, daugialypio charakterio ir nuolatinių mutacijų nulemto nenutrūkstamo ryšio su darbu; kitaip tariant, socialinių lyčių santykių ir santykių gamybos vietoje tarpusavio priklausomybę. Štai kodėl linkstu tyrinėti būtent Žeimių moterų patirtis, susijusias su darbo, reprodukcijos ir intymumo persipynimu, arba, kitaip tariant, trimis moterų atliekamo darbo rūšimis: produktyvaus, reproduktyvaus bei emocinio. Tikiu, kad tokia mikropercepcija (Foucault, 2002; Deleuze, 2005; Massumi, 2009) gali padėti reflektuoti kolektyvinių situacijų kompleksiškumą bei vienų ir tų pačių jausmų nepastovumą neieškant globalių sprendimų, tačiau geriau suprantant, kas lieka už valstybės (makropolitikos), suteikiančios jai pamatą, ribų.15 Tai suprasti kritiškai svarbu mąstant apie posocialistines visuomenes ir bandant nuversti nacionalistines galios struktūras, pateikiant istoriją iš vietinių (Žeimių) gyventojų perspektyvos bei, tikėkimės, formuojant naują, pačią vargo ir valios prigimtį apibūdinančią sampratą, atradus „teorinį kompromisą tarp priešinimosi ir pasidavimo [įvairiems galios mechanizmams].16

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Eglės Ambrasaitės ekrano nuotrauka

2020 m. vasarą „Aikas Žado“ laboratorija kartu su programa „Lady Mary Wortley Montagu expeditions 2020: OS“ organizavo ir grupinę parodą „Užkerėti landšaftai“, ją aplankyti ir patirti galėjo Rupert Alternatyviosios edukacijos programos dalyviai. Parodoje dalyvavo Dorota Gawęda ir Eglė Kulbokaitė, Ieva Lygnugarytė, Rūta Vėbraitė ir Sofia Bordin, OFF2Ensemble, Domas Noreika, Enrika Stanulevičiūtė bei Urtė Kat. Meilė tapo pagrindine „Užkerėtų landšaftų“ temine gija, tad pakvietėme publiką patirti „skirtingus, unikalius, nepakartojamus, nestabilius ir svetimus“ požiūrius į meilę, santykius ir intensyvumus, kuriuos pateikė dalyvavę menininkai, siekę sužadinti apmąstymus apie santykių tarp žmonių, nežmonių, materialumų ir infrastruktūrų transformaciją ir plėtimąsi.17 Tam, kad būtų galima pamatyti, kokios jėgos suformavo mūsų įsitikinimus, santykius ir praktikas, bei sąmoningai ištrūkti iš senųjų, persiimti naujais požiūriais, tapti pažeidžiamiems ir atviriems naujiems mąstymo ir matymo būdams, bei, kaip jau minėjau, tapti tapsmu rūšyje, buvo ypatingai svarbu suvokti savo kūnus ir perprasti savo įsikūnijimus. Kuruodama šią parodą atsikračiau meilės sentimentalumo ir romantizavimo, siekiau atskleisti meilę kaip ontologinę būseną, ontologinę galią, kuri pakeičia žmogų, o per santykius su kitais gali perorientuoti ir visuomenę. 

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Grupinės parodos „Užkerėti landšaftai“ atidarymas, 2020. Enrikos Stanulevičiūtės nuotrauka

Be to, pasiruošimas šiai parodai tapo vertingu tyrimo procesu, vedusiu mano personalinės parodos „Žodis – ne žvirblis“ (2021) link. Jai latekso pagrindu sukūriau skulptūrinius odos pavidalo plakatus, priklausančius savitai sistemai – savotiškam mikrokosmui, reprezentuojančiam kūno (odos) / proto (žodžių) / sielos (keturių pradų keturiuose skirtinguose video) sąveiką ir parodančiam, kaip kalba tiesiogiai veikia kūną, kaip jungiasi liežuvis ir kūnas, kaip toksiškos kalbos efektas juntamas odoje – paviršiniame jutiminių patirčių navigatoriuje. Dėl to žmogaus kūnas čia matomas kaip odovaizdis, formuojamas ir modifikuojamas kiekvienos kūniškos patirties; kūnas, atsiveriantis pasauliui per savo odą, liečiančią ir liečiamą kitų dėl savo išoriškumo, ne tik kūniškai, bet ir žodžiais. „Kalba – tai oda: savo kalba aš trinuosi į kitą“, rašė Barthesas knygoje „Meilės diskursas: fragmentai“ (1977).18 Nepaisant Zaratustros įspėjimų, keturi ugnies, žemės, vandens ir oro pradai yra užteršti. Nors šiuo kūriniu mėginau vizualizuoti tokią emocinę būseną, vis dėlto mano pagrindinė intencija buvo išlaisvinti žmogų iš jos, atstatant persipynusių proto, kūno ir sielos jungčių pusiausvyrą.

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„Žodis – ne žvirblis“, 2021. Eglės Ambrasaitės ekrano nuotraukos

Galiausiai, po tokios į teoriją įtraukiančios patirties, pakviečiau brangiuosius Rupert Alternatyviosios edukacijos programos dalyvius į diskusiją / dirbtuves / kolektyvinį skaitymą apie rūpesčio praktikavimo galimybes tiek individualiai, tiek bendrystėje. Vakare, po įsitraukimo į tokias skirtingas temas ir kūniškas / kalbines veiklas, užkūrėme grilį ir susėdome aplink pasimėgauti ugnies teikiama ramybe ir nemoderuojamais, tačiau visaapimančiais, ilgais bei įdomiais pokalbiais. 

1. Sandilands, Catriona,Floral Sensations: Plant Biopolitics“, The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 226-237. 
2. Išsamesnę analizę žr.: Ambrasaitė, Eglė, „We can, so we must”: in the search of post-hegemony in Žeimiai”, Kajet Journal, red. Petrică Mogoș ir Laura Naum, Nr. 1, 2017, p. 98-106 ir Ambrasaitė, Eglė, „Keistas nepažįstamumas: kaip nespoksoti į ne žmogų“, Literatūra ir menas, Nr. 22, 2018, p. 35-38.
3. „Skundas kaip įvairovę skatinantį darbą“, Sarah Ahmed įžodinta praktika, Complaint, 2017.
4. Barad, Karen., „Interview with Karen Barad“, New Materialism: Interview and Cartographies, red. Rick Dolphijn ir Iris van der Tuin, Michigan: Open Humanities Press, 2012, p. 48.
5. Coole, Diana ir Frost, Samantha, New Materialisms: Ontology, Agency, and Politics, Durham: Duke University Press, 2010, p. 2.
6. Bennett, Jane, Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things, Durham: Duke University Press, 2010, p. 21.
7. Castoriadis, Cornelius, The Imaginary Institution of Society, Massachusetts: The MIT Press Cambridge, 1975, p. 250.
8. Guattari, Felix, The Three Ecologies. London and New Brunswick: The Athlone Press, 2000.
9. Sandilands, Catriona,Floral Sensations: Plant Biopolitics“, The Oxford Handbook of Environmental Political Theory, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, p. 233, 235.
10. Ten pat, p. 226.
11. Weaver, Harlan, „Becoming in Kind“: Race, Class, Gender, and Nation in Cultures of Dog Rescue and Dogfighting.“ American Quarterly 65.3, 2013, p. 690.
12. Ten pat, p. 706.
13. Murphy, Michelle, „Distributed Reproduction, Chemical Violence, and Latency“, The Scholar & Feminist Online, 2018.
14. Prozorov, Sergei, „Foucault and Soviet Biopolitics.“ History of the Human Sciences, Nr. 27 (5), 2014, p. 9.
15. Deleuze, Gilles ir Guattari, Fèlix, A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia, Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2005.
16. Dunn, Elizabeth Cullen, Privatizing Poland: Baby Food, Big Business, and the Remaking of Labor, New York: Cornell University Press, 2004, p. 133.
17.  Badiou, Alain ir Truong, Nicolas, In Praise of Love, London: Serpent’s Tail, 2012, p. 98.
18. Barthes, Roland, A Lover’s Discourse: Fragments, New York: Hill and Wang, 2001, p. 73.

Baltymų sodas

2022 Sausis, Jurgis Bernatonis

Pastaruosius penkis mėnesius rinkau duomenis apie įvairius baltymus. Pasinaudojęs rastais duomenimis sukūriau algoritminę seką, kad imituočiau naujų baltymų struktūrų augimą. Parašęs kodą palengvinau skaičiavimo procesus sode, kaip augimo kintamajame.

„Baltymų sodas“ tiria archyvuotus skaitmeninius baltymų duomenis, algoritmus interpretuojančių variklių paklaidas ir materialines tikroves. Struktūrinėje biologijoje grafiniai vaizdavimai padeda geriau suprasti sudėtingus junginius, nukleorūgštis ir yra svarbūs perduodant surinktus duomenis. Vizualus pateikimas padeda suvokti didelius kiekius sudėtingų skaitmeninių duomenų, kurie kitaip žmonėms būtų nesuprantami, tačiau jis iš esmės yra linkęs į išskyrimą, todėl daugelis istorijų lieka nepapasakotos.

Instaliacija buvo suprojektuota ir iškasta mano tėvų sode, tarp braškių ir krapų. Konstrukcija buvo pastatyta ir veikė vieną savaitę. Nors mano programoje vis dar yra klaidų ir nesklandumų, ji sukūrė naujas baltymų struktūras, kurias demonstruoju vaizdo įraše.

MATERIJA

2022 Sausis, Céline Mathieu

Skaito Alex Rodgers

ATHLETIC MESH KNIT
CRYSTAL MEDIUM BLUE

There is a pair of trousers sturdy, tailored and green. It has a full-length pleat, the excess fabric of which folds inwards towards the leg, you might feel it as you walk. Following the line that contours from hip to ankle, the pleat runs, held in place by two snap buttons. When seated, the fold gapes open like a mouth. The cloth is thick and waterproof, a fisherman’s favourite, the type that emits sounds with every gesture. The inside of this fabric can feel cold and wet; that is your water dampened onto the lining. The furrowed elastic that keeps the trousers on your waist and protects you from higher types of water splashes, leaves an itching skin mark. To make a piece fully waterproof, its seams are melted to seamlessness—I feel it like a waffle. The soft rims fuse before solidifying like an enamoured couple. This type of impermeability seals: it protects from the outside and meanwhile also padlocks the body in its own microclimate.

The top’s long sleeves are for hanger appeal mainly. Along the back, lines of sportswear stitches run, symmetrical curves drawn by a hand and a machine. These seams don’t bind, they line like touching fingertips. Tracing the drawing, index fingers follow the rhythm of the ribbed seams. A never objective touch now contours the model. The fabric is flexible. It breathes but not without dampening. When you fold your arm the fabric tenses around the elbow and when you stretch your arms up, you feel it pull in the exact same way the skin and the abs pull in the exact same direction and speed. When you take a deep breath in, you feel supported and caged in the nicest way, tugged.

There are shoes which are plainly opened medical clay packs. They have dried taking the imprints of your feet and they are more for other moments, they are always not for now. They serve the memory of the clay hugging your pinky toes, embracing them in a merging way, and your feet’s skin taking up some good healthy soil drinking it through the tiny tunnels of your pores, locking it in. Drinking it, locking it in. The shoe soles, tied with a headscarf, can always remain on the side table a few inches above the floor.

There is a selection of thin dresses, veined with gold thread. You can see through them; you wear them enthusiastically, naked, and find that the metallic strands lightly scratch nipples. The dress is cut tight and loose, the body covered and naked; aside from the itch, it’s everything you ever wanted. It holds heat like an ozone layer, or at least that is how I imagine it, and it is only when the outside air blows through it that you feel air again on your skin; it is the most porous of dresses.

The wetsuit with pads is neoprene. The rain trousers I would say, polyurethane. The top could also be in cotton piqué.

A steamer stands free; its black square head feeding off a bottle of vitamin water. The steam comes out as a cloud and angles upward as physics takes over in a variation of an earthbound air-tied phenomenon: heat. The moisture makes the air visible for a moment. Then it all evaporates, and I imagine it carrying small globes of vitamins B5, C, and zinc.

There is a drawing in collagen powder on the floor. The lines are thick and thin, brush-like strokes of poured powder, taking the shape of animal-like figures. Characters I call feelings because every time I send them to someone in a picture they guess they are dogs or more of a lamb or a dolphin. Collagen is essentially the glue that holds together a body. This connective tissue is an insoluble, fibrous protein borrowed from other bodies of animals. Consumed or smeared as a supplement it serves to enhance skin elasticity, and strengthen bones. It comes in powder, pills or liquid. The collagen powder is thin and smooth, leaving an easy imprint when touched; it is graininess crushed. A thin current of air transforms it into a dust cloud, suspended and then dispersed. When in a pile, or any little mess, powder gets more angular than you’d expect, with straight lines and edges. And when pressed and rubbed between two fingers, enough of it makes an unpleasant sound that translates in an odd touch.

There is a suit jacket with bold shoulders made up in wetsuit fabric. It is stitched using the flatlock coverstitch, a technique appropriated from sportswear, developed for its ability to stretch in different directions. It lays on top of the fabric, and ‘fuses’ seperate pieces. This thick jacket hangs and holds. It turns bodies into dolphins. On the same hanger, inside the jacket, hangs a mesh catsuit. It is designed to cover the body; wrists, ankles, and neck included. The principle of its neat upward collar is mirrored in the way its long sleeves are held in place by circular openings for the middle and ring fingers.

All of this (im)permeable play happens in the same open space. Moistures cling to the absorbing, breathing or waterproof garments. Steam dampens the powder and condenses on the cold medical clay pack shoes. Vitamins and collagen engage in a private ballet, travelling through the air. They saturate open cellular structures and damp eyelashes.

This text is a collaboration with fashion designer Vaida Voraite. At the time of writing, the garments described were being collectively designed and produced.

To arrange a private viewing of the garments, please e-mail cln.mathieu@gmail.com

Sūkuriai: I

2022 Sausis, Sholto Dobie

Šie kūriniai – kompostuoti trijų performansų, vykusių temstant trijų vandens telkinių pakraščiuose prie Druskininkų miesto, likučiai. Naudodami mikrofonus, rastas nuolaužas ir styginį instrumentą jie nueina miglotą kelią tarp autoportreto ir lauko įrašymo, dokumentuodami bandymą pokštauti ir bendrauti su slidžia aplinka.

kompaktiškas suvarstymas: kvietimas į vakarėlį

2022 Sausis, NKO

Siųstuvai gieda minkštąją apokalipsę. Išnyra ateivių pavidalai, statiškas triukšmas. Apdorok pažangą. Nepakankamai valandų žaidime.

„kompaktiškas suvarstymas“ – kvietimas į vakarėlį, prasidėjęs kaip sapnas, galiausiai tapęs techno-kūrybinių suvaržymų mankšta. Nuo kūno atsietas NKO ir Rupert dirbtinio intelekto pokalbių robotas laiptinėje audžia antinaratyvus apie sekimo intymumą, virtualią realybę, prieigą prie skaičiavimų ir negebėjimą laisvai judėti erdvėje. NKO ekrane dokumentuoja savo atsitiktinį mokymąsi dirbti 3D modeliavimo programine įranga, kviesdama(-s) jus į šiluminio kartografavimo vakarėlį, vyksiantį kažkada pavasarį. Tai planavimo etapas.

Tarp lizdų ir vamzdžių

2022 Sausis, Artūras Čertovas

Įvietinta architektūrinių objektų, statybos elementų, fotografijos ir užskvotintos erdvės instaliacija. Ją įkvėpė struktūrinė statybų aikštelių laisvė ir pragmatiškas, pakartotinis daiktų panaudojimas kaimo vietovėse. Objektai buvo sukurti stipriai trokštant improvizuoti ir iš vieno dalyko sukurti kitą; jie buvo sukonstruoti iš aplinkoje rastų elementų ir žaliavinių statybinių medžiagų likučių. Pats darbas balansuoja tarp:

baigtumo ir neišbaigtumo
neapibrėžtumo ir konkretumo
funkcionalumo ir nefunkcionalumo
pragmatiškumo ir poetiškumo
klestėjimo ir irimo.

Nepaisant instaliacinių objektų klajokliškumo, jie susilieja su parodos erdve ir tampa vienu darbu. Tokiu, į kurį galite įeiti ir naudoti bet kokiems tikslams.

Koordinatės jus nuves į instaliacijos vietą – 1 km pėsčiomis nuo Karvio pliažo, toliau sekite mėlyną vamzdį.

Sūkuriai: II

2022 January, Sholto Dobie

Polifoninis asambliažas

2022 Sausis, Aistė Ambrazevičiūtė

Surinkau vieno Ruperte esančio beržo žievės atvaizdus ir panaudojau juos kurdama į medį panašias, žieviškas, apčiuopiamas, daugiaraštes, jutimines, dekoratyvias, intuityvias, sudėtingas, hiperartkuliuotas, įvairiapuses, drovias, drąsias, analogines, virtualias, natūralias, dirbtines, pasenusias, madingas, abstrakčias, materialias, makro, nostalgiškas, įsivaizduojamas, vietines, kosmines, nederančias, blizgančias, pilkas, žvilgančias, permatomas, auksines tamsias tekstūras.

Įprastai naudoju skaitmeninius įrankius ir didžiąją laiko dalį praleidžiu prie ekrano. Šie metai mums visiems buvo kitokie ir aš pajutau norą kurti negatyvioje erdvėje, kuri man labiausiai patinka. Šiam projektui nusprendžiau sukurti fizinį tekstūrų albumą, pažaisti su visais įmanomais popieriniais paviršiais, kuriuos galėjau įsigyti, ir galiausiai nufilmuoti bei sumontuoti savo pirmą namų gamybos vaizdo įrašą.

Kviečiu pažiūrėti dokumentaciją apie mąstymą tekstūromis, lietimu įgyjamą supratimą ir mokymąsi per jausmą.

We EW

2022 Sausis, Dalia Maini

„We EW“ – tarpusavio priklausomybės ir bendrumo istorija, įsikūrusi vienos iš daugybės galimų ateičių ribose. Iš tikrųjų ji reikalauja jūsų, skaitytojų, vaizduotės pastangų. Pažadėkite man, kad laikysitės tvirtai įsikibę aplink esančių elementų: žemės, oro, vandens, biosferos, kurios dalimi esate, savo mėgstamiausio technologinio įrankio. Vykdydami šį suvokimų, įspūdžių rinkimo ir grūdų grandinės prašymą, laikykite savo mylimojo ar mylimosios rankas.
Ir turėkite omenyje, kad žemės, dirvožemio negalima pasisavinti, jis priklauso jai; ji nepriklauso niekam. (Bruno Latour)

TRAILS

Ewa had woken up early in order to be ready at an acceptable time and avoid the suffocating heat of the sun. When she slowly stepped her foot outside of the comfortable duvet on her bed, she didn’t feel in perfect shape. She couldn’t detect the provenance of the annoyance until she burned her freshly roasted coffee, and the tastes of her breakfast were muffled in a homogeneous indefinite flavour. Just then she recognized a pulsating vein inside her right nostril was the cause of the annoying sensation of gustatory-olfactory numbness. That was unusual, since the meal she was consuming was based on fresh and simple products: a whole wheat croissant, honey, cherries and milk cafe. Surprised, but not worried yet, she tried to separate each flavour and slow down the chewing in order to detect and enjoy the consistencies of the foods. The croissant was fragrant, the honey syrupy, cherries tonic and juicy, the milk coffee velvety, but the tonality of flavours perceived by her tastebuds was grey. Good taste and good textures meant to her a good equilibrium between elements and a deepest relation with the environment around, the system of growth, and the process of digestion. Indeed she had grown up with the thought that flavours were not just sensory phenomena activated by molecules, but a sensual junction between food production systems and organization of the human life on the planet, where the unrespectful behavior of the latter on the production chain could cause immediate alteration in the environment.

Ewa the gut is the second brain and a reliable environmental thermometer, her mother used to tell her, keep your stomach bacteria happy with happy food and they will cheer you up with good feelings and an elastic brain motility. Therefore she liked to eat food that came from respect for the environment, which could fit her moods, variations of consistencies and which flavours could represent the shape she wanted to give to her thoughts. Eating was a celebration to life and a ritual of gratitude for the land she belonged to, a moment to share with other mouths and brains.

Indeed, luckily her housemate Michele was in the kitchen and about to leave for work when Ewa was surprised by the tastelessness of her breakfast and immediately recognized the disappointment on her friend’s face. What is going on Ewa, you look like pouty.

Can you try it? Ewa asked, offering her the croissant. Mmm yes sure, what is wrong with it? The woman gave a moderate bite to a corner of the croissant. To me tastes fine, did you bake it with the butter coming from the cows of the northwestern tableland? It came from there, yess, but to me it’s tasteless and smelless, and was wondering if it was just me.

Blow your nose, maybe the humidity in your room has clogged it, and try to brush your teeth. Sometimes night mouth bacteria can create a thick layer in our oral cavity and inhibit our taste receptor. And you know smell and taste are strictly related, Michele suggested. I need to go now, but I wish you to fully gain your senses back and enjoy your special day.

Everyone in the habitation units knew that every 15th of the month was marked on the calendar as one of the dearest to Ewa, indeed, although the annoying morning phenomenon of sensual numbness she had plenty of goods wishes for that favourite monthly free time activities: shopping at the Hightide community market.

The market, one of the oldest of the town, took place in the Lorde basalt-paved square of the city of N, which perimeter outlined by maritime pines, sheltered it from the chaotic traffic of the nodal southern street. The market was a rare gem of the metropolitan economic system which tried to reestablish the organic cycle between production and consumption. There, any kind of waste was avoided and the surplus was repurposed and rethought in order to avoid its accumulation. The Hightide protocol of behavior for merchants and customers forbade to ask too much to nature in terms of fertility just for the sake of human sustainability. Indeed most of the products sold or bargained at Hightide, coming from eccentric small cooperatively-run farms, companies along the coast or the district gardens of the city, were an incredible embodiment of a collaboration between nature, knowledges and technological practices of care. There, each vendor, storyteller, crop lover, taste witch and recipe inventor, firstly producer and connoisseur of what was sold, was ready to disclose the efforts of the rhizomatic secrets of the mushrooms or offer the many tenderness of the petals.

Ewa’s attention toward choosing the products and telling stories was always accompanied by an intense odorous experience. She enjoyed indulging in discoveries and experiencing their smellable properties, holding the smells in her hand and bringing them close to her nose -in a childish fashion- with any sort of organic and inorganic material. Indeed, her life practice was entangled with the benefits of spending long time strolling, observing, encountering new essences and tastes, and implementing the stock of scents for her atmosphere-related research. The market was always an inebriating feast of smell, and a moment of celebration between a successful process of re-equilibration of life.

After the unpleasant sensorial experience at breakfast, Ewa tried to calm her nerves with her aromatic beauty routine. She warmed her body in a shower enriched by sea salt crystals, rubbed her skin with sage leaves and cleaned her nasal cavity with salty water. She brushed her teeth with extra stevia paste and gargled with a fresh mint extract. Contrary to many of her friends, occupied with taking care of their nails and their eyebrows, she was seriously passionate about the health of the nose, and seriously committed to the pleasures of the scents, her tool in order to navigate life. Her rootedness in perfumed atmospheres blurred her in an ungraspable aura, and often people believed she was light headed, but she always tried to give to her beloved ones a pleasant round fragrant perception. Indeed every time someone was enveloping her in a hug a symphony of scents was holding them back.

Her alliance with smells came from the life lessons of her godmother Demewa, a generous white headed woman who contrary to the pragmatic teachings of her mum, always gifted the younger Ewa scents embedded in memories. The woman was always carrying around healing aromatic oils, leaving behind her a perfumed trail able to hypersensorialize the space and stimulate affective feelings. Indeed Ewa learned from her to detect the aromatic compound of each element, the active interaction of volatile molecules, living cells employed in the metabolism.

And Ewa committed her life to the idea of metamorphosis through smells, since one of the sharpest emotion based vehicles for memories. A collectivity builder exhalation which tickles and stimulates all the other senses, that could evoke individual or collective experience, giving back tenderness or soothing sadness. The ineffability of fragrance was, for Ewa, terms to challenge traditional notions of subjectivity. Indeed she had grown up with a sense of depth for the surface of things, developing a specific curiosity for the invisible and fluid foundation of life. What humans could sensorially experience was just the youngest product of centuries of holistic movements, chemical dances, fluid geometries, vibrating conversation between matters, and behaviors which needed to be accounted for.

If you smell differently you can attract different kinship. Indeed through olfaction, she could invoke characters buried in history and refuse the embodied limitations of things, while connecting all the bodies by a fluid network.

VOLCANO

After her full immersion in odorous vapors and scented moisturizers, she smelled her body and she could detect the fragrances she used in order to revitalize her olfactory, now flittering the atmosphere closer to her skin. She felt so relieved that she didn’t recognize the intensity of her aromatic perception had slightly dimmed. The light of the sun was invading Ewa’s room, projecting on the walls an iridescent game of shimmers. Ewa turned on the audio system, hoping to sonorize her room with gentle melodies, then stood in front of her wardrobe and mirrored her body dressed by the game of the dawn lights and shadows. My flirtatious wind, you want to stay still, but your destiny is to swirl her mom used to address her singing that verse, putting an accent on her atmospheric essence while slightly condemning her cute vanity and need for attention. The woman, always pointing to dark corners and soft curves of her personality, had infused in her a quite sharp awareness of her body, its space, its slow pace, the iridescent aura enveloping it, and the conscious impact she impressed on people’s curiosity.

She chose her functional outfit taking inspiration from the dark green and uneven leaves of her monstera plant, dressing a light sleeveless dress with air intakes and a big flap hat, in order to fully protect her shoulders and her face from the imminent heat. Keeping in mind the agenda of the day she carefully organized in her bag all the tools she was about to need for the shopping and ran on the street in order to catch the tram 65 for downtown, which was, at that hour, already quite busy.

The city of N was perched along and at different heights of the slopes of 3 hills, marking with a waving flow to the urban texture. The route of the tram enfolded the major one of them, giving to the morning passengers a breathtaking view of the seaside. Where Ewa lived, was a geographic site characterized by special circumstances, indeed the course of human history there, was very much entangled in the mysteries of nature, while ruled by natural phenomenons and environmental disaster. A massive active Volcano located just a few kilometers away from the metropolitan center, had intertwined more than human rules of humbleness in the coastal inhabitants. The gigantic presence, establishing the law of the eternal return, was worshipped as symbols of interconnectedness between different states: the liquid nucleus of the earth and the vaporosity of the clouds. The composition of the soil, which used to be the allocation of their agricultural cultivations, used to be extraordinarily fertile due to its marriage with the dry rare magmatic substances and rocks coming from the lavic womb of the earth. Indeed the Volcano regularly sedimented with new strata of organic matter in the thick layer of the land, preserved its quality and assured its chemical balanceness. The lives of the community of N, placed in a boiling cauldron of life and death, followed the pace of telluric movements stitched together by the roots of secular trees and beneficial vapours injected in the air from the volcanic conduits. They, witnessing under the shape of the lavic eruption, the constant mutation of the matter and its adaptability, were familiar with the precariousness of life and its continuity with the mysteries of nature coevolution.

But just a century before, for the first time in N history, a matter of concern shaped in land and human abuse had intruded their harmonious relationship with the surrounding. In a planetary fashion it was not news, indeed in the most industrialized and economically developed countries climate recalibration was already occurring regularly under the form of small, but catastrophic events as response to an only-anthropocentric version of the planet. Those consistent shifts mirrored humanity with its own exceptionalism and affective power, forcing it to negotiate survival strategies, not enjoyment prophecies. Whether the atmospheric pollution was more sensorially evident, and bodily affective, all those polluting activities taking place on the lands, had influenced the crust of the earth, infiltrating it with venomous proliferating agents. Fossil fuels, governing the movements of goods and the life of people, not the rotatory spin of the earth around the sun, played a messy game of atmospheric confusion, ruling the seasons and the agriculture systems.

Inevitably the predatory hand of economic pursuit, scouting for virgin lands to colonize, found in the coastal area a promising new geography to prey on. The run for progress, blind to the exploitation staining all the aspects of life, moved from the northern hemisphere further south, causing the incremental saturation of the air with CO2. The decentralization of industrial activities to the southern area, where the resources seemed infinite and the cost of labor lower, didn’t guarantee the local inhabitants or to the environment any rights.

MEMORIES

During the last decade of the 21st century the relationship between the communities of N and the environment was jeopardized, when along the cultivated grass field of the coast, settled the epicenter of the Farm-Industrial Area of the Mediterranean.

That happened many generations before Ewa’s, but she could recall when in her childhood during the educational cycles, the Memories Disseminator, an artificial intelligence fed by centuries of voices and experiences, told about that destructive historical event as a violent cornerstone for their population.

This imposition arrived under the shield of innovation, whereas we, trustworthy, local people weren’t given the chance to reply or act against it. Indeed the advertisements promoted this new endeavour as the chance of an effortless lifestyle, where humans could finally become owners of their existence, distrusting any non-human outer agent, explained Miss Farsight, the human-shaped embodiment of the collective AI memory, cuddling a big yellow cat nested on her legs and sipping a chamomile from a big cup.

The population was used to a slower lifestyle orchestrated around a natural pace, where the rhythms of the local production varied accordingly to the generosity of the land and the mastering of its secrets. Contrary, the industrial agriculture system of the FIAM was not based on the understanding of biodynamic processes; rather, the imposition of a collection of extractive tools. The extractive new paradigm saw the land as a machine and nature as dead matter. It was not the mutual balance with the environment anymore, but a new technological solidarity with economics and a vision of the land as resources to be exploited, that established the pace of their human needs. This new fashion immersed the communities of N in an alluring synthetic consumption flux in order to dispose of all the overproduced materials.

And at that point in the narrative Miss Farsight used to turn on the 3D holographic machine disturbing the sleeping cat. A massive unfriendly complex of buildings, chimneys, containers and tanks, spread all over the coast materialized in the middle of the room, where Ewa and other kids were absorbed and scared by the narrative.

Taking a dramatic breath she would have continued thinking her voice tonality, Look kids, this is The Farm-Industrial Area of the Mediterranean, isn’t it monstrous. It confined the growing/breeding production in the countryside, widened the distances between growing process and consumption chain and derealized its deep connection with climatic and environmental factors. This new industrial paradigm of agriculture during times had become one of the major factors causing greenhouse gas emissions. Fertilizers production, farm machinery, intensive production and wastefully transportation of the food across the country contributed to carbon emissions overproduction.

Can you imagine kids, all the bees got exterminated, not even scary hornets survived, since pesticides, not cross pollinations, were the trajectories of an economy based on the law of abuse and commodities production. Chemical agents treating lives as a threat to plantation growth and seeds engineered in laboratories in order to react to chemicals, created an entirely new type of pollution, disastrously impacting plants and animals, human health, and the livelihoods of farmers, communities and biodiversity. She would have taken from a basket a series of candies wrapped in plastic and offered them to the kids. This was the taste of most of all the edible food. Does it resemble to you something you have ever seen in nature? They chewed super sweet unknown flavours.

Alimentaries of all genres, if produced intensively and detached from the natural cycles of growth and the knowledge of inland farmers, have this taste.

What about the farmers? Asked Florencia, an empathic kid that in her adulthood would have devoted her life to human rights.

At that point of the story Miss Farsight used to weep, and quite stressed, grabbed again the cat, nervously and intensely cuddling her fur.

The few employed as workers in the intensive farm industries, unused to the saturated air quality, were affected by lung cancers and cardiac diseases provoked by the increase of volatile particles, and died. All the wealth created by the economic exchanges was not benefitting the majority of people, but the greed of an elite ruling class. The phenomenon of working-class-murder and environmental recklessness for productivity’s sake was therefore the main trait and the symptom of a rotting environmental process.

You know what happened then? She asked the tense crowd of children in front of her. The Vulcano manifested its potency over humans, and while saying so her posture became more elevated and confident.

The Volcanic Observatory Oracle, invoking its telluric power in order to sabotage the settlement of the FIAM, succeeded in a bloody-lavic coalition. A massive explosion caused a tsunami which reaching the coast, destroyed the industries located there. The tsunami dispossessed the invader but revolted the natural landscape and melted the familiar order of things, displacing living organisms and flooding part of the coast. At that point she would have turned on the huge space ventilator and would have pointed outside the window at the flooded portion of the coast, which used to be fertile soil and now a perennial swamp.

And you know how we live now.

MEADOW

The consequence of this land abuse – and the destructive mightiness of nature – had been unexpected and contrasting. Due to the new warmth, caused by greenhouse emissions, the wind had disappeared, blocked by walls of heavy warm air, causing the stagnation of the aerial realm. On the terrestrial side, the soil, soaked in sea water, was hardened by the salty crystallization and couldn’t dry up.

Indeed the inhabitants of N, now needed to face the contrast occurrence of drought and humidity without rainfall, within the same geographical area. They become a population of the dusk and the dawn, since the humid atmosphere and warm temperature worsen by the absence of refreshing storms brought by the wind, or refrigeration carried by cold currents made daily hours impossible to live.

In order to adapt to the new vastly changed environment and wary of not falling back in land abuses, the communities of the city of N, engineered -via articulated technological infrastructures- the rebahlanciation between all the realms of life. They tried to reenact a relationship of mutuality, adopting technologies which could emulate the lost fluidity and equilibrium of their coastal ecosystem. Fields of solar panels were employed in order to produce clean energy from the most abundant source of warmth, evaporation systems were employed in order to irrigate and furnish water to the city, via self-desalinating pipelines. New sustainable systems of living were experimented through the help of biologized machines, technologies infused with sentient qualities, which could detect beforehand any alteration in the strata of life. They experimented with new forms of political building, claiming equal rights not only for human bodies, but for broader and ancient cosmological practices, which strived to connect transtemporal knowledges.

We can say that everything is human, in order to treat the wholeness of matter equally and to bring closer through the language what we can’t grasp, but nothing is only human if we observe its molecular composition, Ewa’s mother used to say. Through a process of constant negotiation, they broke down the individualistic and egocentric sense of the self, and opened up the notion of humanity to a sense of interdependence between human, non-human and differently sentient beings.

Indeed and foremost, among the metropolitan and rural societies, a collaborative project was established. Emulating the liminal character of the coast, an ecotone zone of transition between the water and the land, the communities organized a production chain strictly devoted to evolutive interconnection. More together, locally engaged and responsible, exchanging a continuous flux of knowledge, the swamp farmers and post-disaster technicians sealed an unwritten deal of mutuality. Agreeing on moral values of balance they were providers for heartfelt and healthy nourishment from the flooded land, and researchers of technological possibilities in order to achieve a better structural dialogue from the land traumatized by the human hand and by the explosion of the volcano. Activating the process of the sodality between seeds and soil, soils and animals, insects and air, fishes and water, water and crops, crops and vegetables, vegetables and humans.

Pushing her forehead on the cold window of the tram 65, Ewa could feel the volcanic shape in her peripheral gaze; its purple black solid mass was omnipresently visible from each street of the city center and was a memento of situatedness. Ewa draws her eyes in the colour palette of the landscape, which that July morning was enveloped by a light mist of shimmering pink. The city was already active when she jumped out of the tram and moved toward the market square. The noises of people busy with the early morning activities echoed in daily gestures in the neighborhood of the Historical Center, while the sunlight was worming its way among the empty spaces within the various architectures of the stands, caressing the faces of the first shoppers and casting the market in a set-like light. Entering the market square Ewa observed a group of people occupied in a Tai Chi practice of attunement, waving their hands around their bodies with broad, slow ritualistic gestures, as lazy demiurges of their atmosphere, and she felt fascinated and moved by a sense of gratitude for the spectacle of life. She had always thought of the dynamics of the common space of the city as her battlefield and her ecosystem, where many unexpected trails could materialize and where the voices of the many could coalesce in choirs. Each street for her was a synecdoche of the society itself, where the right to diversity was the claim of freedom.

Indeed Ewa was a big supporter of the Clusterem committee whose ethical campaign and practice promoted the granular meadow thinking in order to systematized a solution for their environmental condition. The manifesto said a meadow is more than a meadow, but a puzzle of worlds that come together in order to meadowize a space. A meadow as an open habitat, or land, vegetated by grass, herbs and other non-woody plants, insects, animals and air, sparsely covered with trees or shrubs, needs to maintain an open character given by the sum total of the co-operation and competition of its diversity. Thereby the city of N was a climate positive environment, which tried to repair the life-support system of the land, resilient to disruption, where all the habitations and business were adaptable green pods with a zero or low carbon emission: they tried to regenerate more than use.

The ownership of the city was of its inhabitants in measure of their commitment to practice and take care of it. Public spaces and services were no longer transitional junctures, but true commons, where people could meet purposeless, and generate shared experience, discourses, build collective memories, and design the space itself according to their needs. N was not just made of streets and buildings, and squares, and parks, and gardens, and bridges, it was not a container, but a bonanza of networks moved not exclusively by the collaboration of people inhabiting it, but the spontaneous shrub growing between the gaps, the seagulls nesting on the windowpanes and occasionally ravaging in the biotrash, the micro robot incharge of collecting shiny dusts.

COLOR COUNTRY

That day Ewa, inspired by the colours of the surroundings and the latent worry for her olfactory gustatory system, had decided to consciously practice gentleness. An attribute she would have always desired to give and receive, especially when feeling a bit bodily weak, but contrasted with her stubbornness. Ewa placed herself at the center of the market, and took the pose of a diva on a stage, feeling her body as an attractor and catalyst of potentialities. Her presence was -after all- the synonym of agency, of seeing through the space and of shaping the tiny structures which glued together a society. She could define the feeling as an awareness of the spaces within things, the opalescent vibration created by the intrusion of a different kind of breath inside human habitats.

And she was committed to preserve and deepen the complexity.

She gazed around in order to meet the eyes of someone she had an appointment with, a witchy companion, but there was no sign of that person yet. She waited for a few minutes, but then decided to go ahead with her market experience. She thought Mila would call me when she will be here, and she knew her friend wouldn’t have minded if she started shopping without her. Relieved by the waiting Ewa moved in the direction of the Cream stand, a pink pastel colour designed bubble, which curvy design and mellow decorative palettes didn’t represent the explosive tastes of the products sold there. She stood in front of it and observed the daily menu above the vendor table offering brand new recipes and smiled at the totally-red-dressed Japanese girl behind it. Ciao Apolline, good morning my jolie, how are you? I brought you back the glasses from last week and she placed her silk tote bag on the counter in front of the woman and started to pick from its inside a set of small vases and jars.

The girl didn’t give Ewa the time to empty the bag before, she grabbed from Ewa’s hand, the pale blue jar adorned by floreal inlays, and rolling her eyes, as she always did when she was surprised, she placed it beside the lacquered surface of the table. What are you, tiny thing?, she talked to herself – Hi Ewa, I couldn’t remember I sold one of my precious creams inside of it, you know usually I don’t borrow blue jars as a product container, they are not good for the blend inside of them.

Aw, Sorry Apolline I didn’t pay attention to it, but I can assure that the cranberry mousse was splendid as always, indeed I am here also to buy 500 g more of it. As you can see I have already emptied the jar, no matter its colour.

Happy you enjoyed it, but promise me you won’t eat any of my recipes inside blu jars, please. How many times do I need to tell you that the cold colours catalyze negative energies? She was starting to get agitated, You know it doesn’t make any sense to eat my creams if the negative energy induced by blue glass pollutes them.

Apolline’s stand was specialized in red-toned-cream-based desserts as she was a confident believer in the interaction between ingredients and colour. Ewa liked to speak with her about synesthetic phenomenons, the smells of colours, and taste of smells each time she bought something at the stand, but that day, her schedule already in delay due to her nasal numbness and Mila not showing up to the market, made her be in a hurry, also for the ATI.

I will Apolline, Ewa assured her, and sorry for not following your instructions, but really the mousse was a hyper sensorial experience. I could taste each ingredient perfectly mixed into a cloud like consistency. Also on the daily offers there is the arbutus infused in strawberry gelee, I am very intrigued by it. Can I have a serving? And do you have something spicy? I need to find a decongestant therapy for my nose.

Apolline, took from a yellow jar the ruby arbutus infused in strawberry gelee and from a cubic orange jar something that looked like glossy marmalade. What is it? Ewa inquired, Well you asked for something spicy and I will give you my special project, a recipe I am just experimenting with. It is a squash and calabrese pepper coulis, the pepper comes from Anatol cultivation inherited by her uncle Antonio, it is not so distant from the crater of the Volcano, it heats as much as the lava. But, I suggest combining it with a refreshing or sour taste, maybe a fine sliced pompelmo tartare, Apolline replied while generously pouring the coulis and placing it in vermillion pot, then she licked the spoon. Her face blushed while her body was rippled with a tiny thrill of pleasure, that she tried to hide suddenly behaving busy in putting away the blended mixes. She was one of those people who prefer relations with taste to relations with things: a real sweet tooth. Often Ewa had wondered if in front of a life choice between a bite of dark chocolate cake or the kiss of her soulmate she would have picked the first one, but maybe those attributes were essentially inseparable for Apolline. Someone can prefer non-human relations by those with her same species.

Ewa placed the refilled jars in her bag and was about to pick her phone for e-paying when Apolline, whose face was back to its normal color, stopped her. Nah, don’t worry Ewa, the jasmine extract you gave me last week repays those creams, we will exchange money next time.

The decentralized social solidarity economic systems, which diversified currencies and systems of exchange, was a fresh scenario for people such as her, for whom the value of life was measured more in bodily bonds, gifts and sensations than in banknotes and assets. Its’ principles were an ethical and value-based approach to economic development that prioritizes the wellbeing of people and planet, over profits and blind growth. That exchange system gave a good margin of expression to people like her, who would have had, in a profit based economy, a struggle to survive. Indeed her attribute of “smeller” was not exactly a skill socially evaluated in terms of production, although her nose was one of the fines in town. As scent trail collector her currency was the untold preciousness of connections, the affective and invisible infrastructure of life, much more powerful than any other institutions. And from this bodily need of connecting value, the social agency had pushed in the direction of the SSES which gave ordinary people an active role in shaping also the economic dimension of human exchange.

Therefore when she recognized that Apolline was on her same page, she delightedly nodded and thanked her. Lovely, have a vibrant day and will let you know about the new tastes with no blues connected.

While walking away she checked her phone, at that point Mila was very late. A guilty message revealed that she was still in bed with a disturbing headache, probably caused by the abundance of wine consumed the night before. Ewa flowed with a specific state and tried to not be negatively affected by Mila disorganization, although she was enthusiastic to meet her companion. She replied to the message with irony, sharing the song “All night passion” in order to defuse her friend’s growing habits to live accelerated during the night, while indulging in bed all day. Ewa had always considered Mila the ghostly version of herself, the keepers of dreams of darkness and the only soul always awake and keen to deliver suggestions during an insomniac night or diluish melancholic oriented insecurities. Ewa had talked to her many times regarding her reluctance to show up under the daylight, she suspected that for Mila, coming from a history of racial inequalities, the shadows were shields and the jurisdiction for enhancing a sort of differential politic. Indeed she used to say, quoting a collective of artists make politics work when it is dark, learn to read signs in torchlight, work with night vision.

Mila was the only and unquestioned artistic director of the NWAD, a district building with fully darkened rooms, which brought together in messy, but resonating clusters human and non human objects, written knowledges, arts, ununderstandable foundings to be explored following candle lights and intuitions. We need to be present in the unknown, and if we feel disoriented we need to scout our own coordinates in order to make order, to find our answers and your compound of heritages. As a space of culture at NWAD we need to institute practices learning from lost movements, we can give some handholds to clamp on or clues to resolve trauma, but not the methods. We need to learn complexity by the variety of them. A bee inside the building gets lost and scared, so we need to respect if a beehive coagulates on the shoulder of a marble statue. A hive is a surviving mechanism and a cultural method of society making.

Indeed Ewa would have never blamed her. Some creatures on the earth gleam and are prone for nocturnal activities more than others, and speaking bluntly they are very needed in order to witness what otherwise would be hidden by the disappearance of the sun or the shady blue of the ocean.

GHOST

But the sun was getting higher and she fixed the bag on her shoulder and moved forward to the next stopover of her shopping: PowderSpeculation. She needed to stop for a few minutes since a sudden electric pain running from the nostril worsened the latent feeling of sensorial displacement. She squeezed the nostrils between her fingers, and releasing them inhaled as much air as she could. Its humidity penetrated her lungs without giving her back any scented experience, what a strange and terrifying sensation. She searched in her bag for something that could have given her any help. There were many unguents, dried leaves wrapped in pieces of textiles, keys, lipstick, but apart from a pair of moon shaped sunglasses and a capsule of ginger extract she couldn’t find anything of interest. Connecting those symptoms to a more familiar migraine she wore the moon glasses hoping at least in the relief of the darker shade of the lens and left the ginger for another occasion.

The two people co-managing the powder stands were eclectic and blunt, always matching the patterns of their outfits, and arguing between each other as a way of collaborating. They were the evidence that plurality is much better than individuality. When they saw Ewa walking in front of them in unison exclaimed Are you sick honey? She got surprised since wearing the moon-shaped glasses was more a manifesto for mundanity than an index of pain, indeed she frantically replied Why so?

Well you look wrinkled, but not as someone you love has kept you close, or loud music has made your energy flow all night, more as you have worked too much or something is outshining your body. She got anxious, what a grey diagnosis. Well I think I am in the midst of a migraine that is shrinking my sense of smell, and you know how it is important for me. They looked at her pretty seriously and asked if she had taken care of the hygiene of her nose following her daily routine, and she had. Well, we suggest some melissa and cards powder, you will just need to wait for a few minutes, we need to give you the soluble version of it. They said maliciously, we know you don’t want to clog up your nasal cavity with anything, although often it’s the fastest way.

All right I will wait, but not for too long today, my schedule had already exploded once. Anyway I had brought to you the deep sea sponge you had asked me. I think I had never smelled something so strongly evocative of the submerged world. It is very special. During the process of drying all the salt crystals and organisms of which it was soaked dried with it.

She dug the pockets of her dress and from the right one she brought to light an amorphous porous stone-like object. It was as big as the palm of her hand and some of its edges were a bit crumbled from the rubbing with the textile of the dress. The bottom of her pocket now was full of fine sponge dust, a sandy sea sensation under her fingers.

She pounded its feather like weight then she smelled it, although the numbness of her olfactory receptors, a pale memory of her discovery materialized in front of her. She had collected the sponge during an excursion along the rocky northern mountain sides of the Volcano. The geographical site was the embodiment of the memory of the sea, a cemetery of transitional corpses. Indeed that northern coastal zone was never regenerated by the lavic flux, since the hotspots of the conical craters were channeled in valleys and volcanic domes in the west-south slope of the boiling mountain. There the sea erosion, unshielded aggressively by the lava, had shaped it in a lunar landscape where the pallor of shellfish fossils blended the nuances of sea moss growing on the basalt stones.

Indeed the sea tide, often worked up by the submerged lava paths, crashed on the coast under the shape of a boiling foam, carrying with it many unfortunate fishes and molluscs and made it likely to find sea inhabitants nested within lavic rocks.

Ewa enjoyed to stroll in that improbable space during full moon nights and invoke the ghosts of many generations of fishes, those which feast in the deepest of the ocean, where the great absences from the human understanding are.

It smells of life and rotten and slime, and salt, and seaweeds and the voices of the whales, please use it with caution, she saysThey didn’t reply in words, but wore static gloves and meticulously organized in front of her a basic laboratory.

All excited, they had forgotten they had a customer in a hurry in front of them. And before Ewa could react against this lack of attention, Hyacinth couldn’t wait anymore and reached for the dried sponge and placed it on a ceramic bowl, supported by a glass structure, which bottom was shaped in a funnel ending on a round mirror. Simon extracted from the drawer behind their shoulder a tiny pearl-handled lime. He minutely started to file the edge of its upper corner, the dried sponge didn’t resist the friction and mutated in fine colorless dust, landing, through the funnel of the bowl, on the round mirror. Ewa witnessing the procedure, was fascinated by the morphology of the matter, the same sea sponge materializing its essence in different properties: wet softness first, dried up hardness, and finally friability challenged by the lime.

Hyacinth took the tiniest spoon Ewa had ever seen and collected the sponge filings in a sifter. In the meanwhile Simon had unpacked from its paper bag a fragrant loaf of bread, cut three slices from it and coated it with generous margarine. They flavored it with the sponge filings and offered to Ewa the third oval piece of bakery.

She hesitated, Ewa didn’t expect them to employ the sponge for edible reasons, but she trusted their confidence and she took it.

They toasted with their slices, causing a small storm of flour, and bit away a portion. It took them several minutes of mandibular movements before they swallowed the gulp. She didn’t say anything, minutes grains grasping her tongue, rocky feeling inside her mouth. It was not pleasant at all, but in any case her sense of the taste was weaker due to the nasal occlusion. Relying on their finer buds, she looked at them as a kid waiting for the opinion of her idols, but she didn’t swallow the sandy-spongy snack. She really couldn’t and gently spit it in a piece of the paper bag she had managed to reach without being seen.

I believe that a pinch of grated nutmeg could emphasize its acidity by contrast, said Simon, finally breaking the silence interrupted only by munching. Hyacinth nodded, Yess, the spicy and sweet and round flavour of it, that sticks in the nose, would blend the strong notes of the saline crystallizations.

Simon handled a silver spice rack and generously sprinkled the half left slice of bread.

Ewa oral cavity still felt a sandy cave, Are you sure is it edible? My tongue feels a dusty carpet and my teeth are still grinding dried sponge particles and I am wondering which would be the consequences on my digestive system.

Oh no no, don’t get us wrong darling, we are going to sell it as an edible product just for fine palates and visionary stomachs. We have a group of powders collectors who always get intrigued by rare condiments and taste challenges. In any case this merchandise, unique and limited, is going to be sold with a specific package insert. We have no intention to pollute anybody, but we can’t either control what people are going to do with it. They concluded snickering.

Ewa involuntarily moved her hand on her belly, trying to sense any changes in her digestive organs. She imagined her intestine becoming a coral reef, and suddenly took from her bag the ginger extract left unconsumed before. Let’s clean up this sensation she thought between herself and chugged the liquid. What was supposed to be a bomb of spice ran up and down her stomach reaching her nose, and though she couldn’t feel anything, the muscles of her face involuntarily contracted. Hyacinth and Simon laughed pointing at her, look at your face, you look like a baby approaching for the first time a sour lemon.

All their concern about her health had vanished, probably caused by the sea sponge powder, whose effects were stomach psychedelic.

She understood that she needed to hold back and reformulate her request.

Sirs please can you compose yourselves, can I have my melissa and card powder any time soon? She asked now a bit annoyed from this hilarity around her.

They kept chuckling and told her that in 30 minutes her mixture would be ready. I hope in 30 minutes they are going to sober up, she thought, but recalling her purpose of gentleness she agreed with them and said goodbye, All right, see you in half an hour then.

LEVANT

She kept browsing stand after stand, but not pausing on them, sometimes waving the hand to the people behind the counters. Her mind was all absorbed now by her olfactory disease. Suddenly the notification on her phone chimed: a video message by an encrypted number of one of her nerdy colleagues popped on the screen. The moving image of the half bust of Kadil starts to interact, Hey Ewa, ¿dónde estás? We are perceiving some alien atmosphere hovering in our region. Can you believe it? It’s difficult to track its provenance and even more to define its chemical composition, but it’s going to affect our environment for sure. Don’t want to alarm you, it can also be beneficial, but please get in touch as soon as you can.

Ok Kadil, she thought, but with no intention to rush in a work meeting there in the market and especially with him, the most apocalyptic of the team.

She decided to take a break in order to wait for her powder and thinking about Kadil’s message lazily sat on her favourite bench close to the wind commemorative composition, one of the most solemn sites of the market. The site was outside the circle of the stands, in the western corner of the square, where a tiny street which connected it to the sea was supposed to be the conduit of the wind. It was a fine assemblage of aerostatic kites of various shapes, floating untethered in memory of the breeze of the Levant, the East Wind. Ewa used to go there in search of silence and inspiration since she belonged to that wind in terms of destiny: she was an EW.

In ancient times in the city of N every baby born had a special bond with a natural phenomenon, indeed each human was named via a root-syllable after a different seasonal factor. This decision was taken in order to scale human determinism to a wider gratitude for what couldn’t be controlled but shapes the concert of life: change.

Indeed during their growth, they could develop their names, adding a suffix or a prefix to their primary syllable, following a specific intention of attunement to life.

Many of Ewa’s great relatives such as her great-grandmother and her godmother were born when the East Wind, with all its smells and seeds, was blowing, establishing their extraordinary possible commitment to the future. Indeed traditionally humans born with East Wind, influenced by its connection with fertility and refreshing rain, particularly beneficial to agriculture were gifted by the sensitivity of enabling the underlying connections between human needs and other realms of existence, taking care of reunifying all the worlds involved in it.

Although that tradition was obsolete, especially because the climatic phenomenon of the wind having disappeared, Ewa carried her syllable proudly. Being an EW was a metropolitan myth, but for the generations prior to hers, being related to the Levant, was a real life mission in order to contrast the extractive stronghold imposed on the land by the FIAM.

Drawing on those memories Ewa had almost forgotten the time passing by. She stood up from the bench and walked back to PowderSpeculation. A big neon label signaled that Hyacinth and Simon were not there temporarily, but she could scout a box labeled with her name. They hadn’t forgotten. She opened it and wrapped in tissue paper there was her lilac powder.

Great! She exclaimed, strengthened by the kept promise, then she checked the time.

It was 10.45 am, she still had 1 hour before the ATI cycle to start, and soon the heat would have made it impossible to be outside. So she decided to hydratate herself with a hand-pressed pomegranate juice and to find refreshment in the world of flowers. The Boundforever stand looked like a glasshouse from which wall structures were hung upside down, different types of dried flowers in a bizarre revert meadow, while its floor was made of tender soil, from which many bulbs, bushes and plants were growing.

Nobody was running it, if not the shy teenager gardener in charge of refilling the stock of seeds when all was gone, picked by the hand of the market walkers.

It’s much better for plants to stay together and not be separated in different vessels. Only in connection they can communicate between each other via their root systems and grow faster and better. Indeed here at Boundforever we are trying to avoid the loneliness of the plants for human’s decorative sakes, had explained to her the boy, the first time she had approached the entrance of the glasshouse. When he saw Ewa that morning, closed the comic he was reading and said hi, while handing to her, before she could even ask, a scissor and a basket, where to place her collection of branches and flowers. This morning it has been already quite busy, be sensitive to not take too many blossoms, so that the next customers can benefit from some flowers as well, he added and while saying so, directing his eyes back on the images of the magazine. Thank you boy, I will respect the next ones and the generosity of this glasshouse.

Then she walked inside the structure where the temperature was lower than that shedded by the sunlight, she kneeled down in the middle of the fresh flowers and observed them from a closer perspective. She regretted not having implanted yet the hand sensor, she could have detected it if her presence was agitating them too much. It was a biogadget categorized under the label of cohabiting human services, activated by a nanosensor implanted on the fingertips of the hand which connected its tendons to a stack of hacked nerves responsible for the visual memory. The finger sensor gave back a layer of sensual depth to the memory through the stimula activated by touch: texture, temperature.

The hands indeed as multi functioning tools, employable for grabbing, holding, digging, sensing, measuring could also serve as atmospheric thermometers, and in such a heated climates, perceiving over warmed spots could have been life saving. But for many the handscreen was a poetical meaning for disposing of a new set of complexer memories through a fine process of sensorial archiving, adding a layer of mnemonic depth and sensorial understanding of occurrences.

She wanted to compose a simple bouquet with wild flowers, nothing too baroque or crafted, which could fit the summer atmosphere. She pointed to a bush of medium size daisies and weeds and caressed their stems. Ewa felt them making a small resistance but then whispering to her touch, surrendered to the scissor blades, gently falling in the basket. She noticed that one of them was entangled by a spider web to the petals of a neighbor asphodelus. She decided to keep this flower-insect sodality and picked up both, careful to don’t destroy the iridescent knotting of the spider.

The asphodelus is going to enliven the composition, she thought, observing the flower, held in a much-branched florescence that slightly resembled a wonky candelabra, soaring on the delicate whiteness of the daisy. She wrapped the discrete bouquet in a piece of waxed linen textile she found in her bag, and happy of her picks left in the basket, to the boy guardian of the flowers, a few coins, few violets seeds and a well made print illustrating the evolutive phases of a caterpillar. Goodbye and many thanks, he said, taking the basket from her hand, but still absorbed by his readings.

SABF

She was satisfied with her bounty and was about time to leave for the ATI cycles when her phone started to ring. It was Kadil again.

Yess Kadil, I received your video message 30 mins ago… I am not undervaluing the situation, but today my nose is not working and I can’t really sense anything, she frantically said to the speaker.

Right Ewa, but how many times should I tell you to give signs when you receive our communications? Sometimes I have the feeling you are not interested in team working, or at least in working with me, and you proceed on your own path.

She didn’t know why he wanted to initiate a complaint, he was the last to have landed at the SABF and since the beginning he was very welcomed and treated as the relevant person and friend he was. Working in a team, for the SABF crew, meant to take on board people first, place their weakness in the light of strength and then acknowledge them as professionals. Kadil was a diamond in cultivation devices, but awkward in terms of human understanding. He was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, which made it much more difficult to read other’s moods, nonetheless he was always very wary of everyone’s needs and organized tasty communal lunches in order to mutually learn how to deal with incomprension. Since he was part of the team there was a lot more cohesion and attentiveness in communication, a goal they were trying to achieve as a group and as a small community.

Indeed she felt a bit bad, she didn’t want to cause him any stress, keeping in mind how sensitive he was.

C’mon Kadil, I am very sorry, don’t be so worried, next time I will reply to you immediately. But please notice that today is my day off, and I am fully entitled to not pick up any working calls. Anyways I can be at the SABF in the early evening and we can figure out what is going on together. Would you mind gathering all the others, so we can write down a report? Maybe the thermic death of the universe is finally happening and we need to be the first witnesses. She replied, trying to be assuring, while funnily playing it down.

Do you want me to send a circular message to the others with the data I have been collecting since yesterday evening? he asked.

Do as you feel, you know that your analytics are pretty cryptic for the most of us, but I will try to have a look before being there. Thank you so much for your precision, she added, now moved by a sense of proudness for the professionality of his colleague.

The voice at the other side of the phone, become calmer, Allright, see you in a few hours, and enjoy the free time you have left.

Ewa and her peers Kadil, Angela, Idrani and Aodh, had initiated the Soil Air Botanical Forests as a sophisticated ecosystem, during their university years and kept it as a service for the community after its end. The SABF were a pilot project developed in order to serve a threefold purpose: a purifying system for the air from the residual green gas emissions of the FIAM, draining and balancing technology for the portion of the coastal land still flooded by the tsunami, and a botanical experiment in order to grow better on that traumatized land. The team had built it employing the upcycled materials dismantled from the ruins of the FIAM center and the data storage facilities scattered around the coastal countryside, while adopting biological agrotechnologies of nutrient management.

The group of agro-systemic practitioners had articulated in the SABF a three strata engine, trying to break down the interdependence between elements in cultivation chains. They teamed up for skills, attitude and interests, and placed themself as guardians of each layer.

Due to the absence of the wind the biological community of interacting organisms, exposed to the process of salinization given by the sea water, becoming hydro repellent kept all the water, soaking the soil in a swamp. The liquid molecules, inversely proportional to the air, had filled the soil pores blocking the repopulation of microorganisms vital to the release of nutrients for the plants to grow.

Angela and Idrani, the two soil scientists and the more material ones, were in charge of taking care of the first layer, the soil. Angela was specialized in Edaphology, which studied the influence of soils on living things, while Idrani in Pedology, the analysis of the formation, description, and classification of soils in their natural environment.

The two women, taking distance from the traditional empirical scientific method, spent hours listening to its memory and needs, detecting any vibrations or absorption via sound trackers, while their isolating suits protected their body from the traumatic humidity and the mud bacterias that were intoxicating the land.

We are the mermaids of the terrain, they said, lazily caressing the particulated ground and dirtying up their face with it. Weee neeeed timeee tooo reeest, weee neeeed timeee tooo compouuuund up, one day weee will layeeer uuup on the bedrock of Maaaars, they sang dragging the vocals of the words, while generously spreading, along the altered and soaked field lavic ashes, droplets of mushroom spores, and limestone dust. The mycorrhizal symbiosis with fungus, disrupted by the volcanic flood, was beneficial and contributed to the growth of the plants by allowing the absorption of basic mineral nutrients such as phosphorus and nitrogen. Limestones, on the other hand, were a praxis for potential carbon dioxide removal, largely employed in procedures of Enhanced Rock Weathering, a natural technology that enabled the dissolution of silicate minerals such as basalt through the spreading of finely crushed rocks on fields.

While the soil was cared for by Angela and Idrani in collaboration with rocks and spores, Kadil and Aodh, named Plant Practitioners, experimented in cultivation systems in the upper and third layer. They had engineered aeroponic architectures, a technique that isolated plants from the soil and placed them several meters from it, in order to facilitate the soil ventilation via networks of interconnected soil pores. Aeroponic was a nutrient-laden mist process, where botanical forms of life, seeded in organic foams, with their roots dangling in the air, could be nourished without any soil mediation. The organic carbon held in the healing soil, released in the atmosphere through the process of respiration carried out by heterotrophic organisms, gave the right amount of oxygenation needed to the plant roots without a massive intervention of human hands.

Kadil and Aodh were conducting experiments with edible plants, in order to create another effective connection with the cultivation. Can you imagine the taste of something growing up from the clouds? Sometimes they speculate, while constantly walking with their heads up, carefully avoiding to step on Angela and Idrani. Holding sophisticated vaporizers containing PH neutral water enriched with salts and minerals, they tickle the root systems of the plants with the fingers, intersecting their limbs with the vegetal knotting.

Many times the irrigating procedure turned into water battles, where everyone, not only the plants, was enjoying the skin hydration given by the vaporized water.

Indeed among this experimental playful fashion, the air-based cultivated ears of wheat were growing healthy and golden, and their grains were employed by many local bakers for the traditional coastal wheat bread.

Ewa, as mediator between those states, took care of the median layer, the cocooned atmosphere between the intricate web of roots and the ground, resulting in the intertwining of the cerulean color of the air and the nuances of the grades of purple shadows. That second-nature strata was where she tested through her sense of the smell, familiarizing with soily and vegetal fragrances, the efficacy of the SABF structure in air filtering and atmospheric impurities removing. She benefited from the principle of wellbeing diffused by nature on the ventral vagal nervous system which raised feelings of connection and safety. Indeed sometimes she liked to organize their collective meditative sessions since the fresh humidity made bodily connection desirable, or more-than-human choirs enriching with a rainbow of voices an already dense soundscape of the buzz of insects, small mammals and the silent growth of the plants. Her function was indeed in perception.

IMPRESSION

Ewa hung up the call and moved forward to the station in order to catch the bus for the ATI cycle. She e-payed her tickets and found a place where she could lean the bounty from the market, giving special attention to the flower bouquet. After just a few stops of her ride she received a mail from Kadil, which was a cordial invitation to join the group meeting of the evening and an elaborated set of graphics and codes. She recognized that many parameters connected to CO2 saturation, which used to be under control since the volcano explosion, now were waving on lowest picks.

Curious, she thought, nothing relevant has changed in our lifestyles, nor in the ecosystem of our geographical neighborhood, but it’s also unlikely that Kadil is mistaking a study. He is right, something is shifting.

Just shortly after, the answers of the others started to land in her mailbox. Yess Yess, Yess, Yess, Yess, see you later, they all agreed.

She arrived at the center where the ATI was held, just in time to avoid the midday sun. The workshop consisted of active traditions inheritance, where people were sharing tools and knowledges, building ways to keep them updated, while leaving the individual room for interpretation and personalization. She pensively stepped inside the room where many people were already sitting sparsely on the carpeted floor and placed herself close to Miss Fernanda, who was committed to educating the group in lucid dreaming.

In the room, Ewa got distracted from the numbing nose symptom, the comfortable space was infusing in her a sense of relaxation that facilitated the power of her mind to strongly affect her body. Ewa was a regular of the workshop, everyone knew her, indeed she felt surprised by noticing the unfamiliar face of a new participant. She felt immediately caught up by an unusual belonging toward the stranger. They looked very bright and posed, ethereally dressed in many layers of mesh and their hairs were fully white although they looked still young. Ewa’s first impulse was to intensely smell them, but the voice of the first tradition teller impeded her to make a move. She was so distracted by this sensation of familiarity and comfortability that she couldn’t listen to any of the stories shared by the gentle group of people there present. The person she was intensely staring at, feeling her gaze on their shoulders, turned in her direction and made a nod with the head, she nodded back. Glad to have catched their attention, she felt like a reptile, an ectotherm unable to regulate her bodily heat, she shivered and sensed her body releasing warm feelings, heating up the room.

She wished they could have perceived them.

When it was their turn, the person introduced themself. Dear windless people of N, I am Dew, their voice was velvety, and I am going to ask you, rather than tell you, about the soil, they said, showing a glass vessel filled with a dark granulous material.

Can you all come closer to me? I need you to engage in an exercise. And their request felt just very natural, the space inside the room was dense of their flamboyant presence. Ewa jumped from her seat and moved first toward them, she felt like she needed to make a good impression.

Hi I am Ewa, what about that soil? She asked before any other gathered around, trying to institute a sort of bold intimacy.

You will see, but let’s wait for everyone to get closer. They said firmly, while unpacking around them a dozen soil vases.

When everyone gathered around, they said my request is a request of perceptions, a collection of impressions, a chain of grain. May I ask you, to stick a part of your body in the soils and allow yourself to feel a soil related sensation, maybe to think of yourself as an inhabitant or part of it.

What do you sense? Which colours, consistency, taste. Which seed would you be?

Ewa was perplexed, she recalled a short story her mom once read to her, Anne Richter’s The sleep of the plant, where the main character, a girl in the age of marriage, willing to become a vegetable, started to shelter her body under layers of soil, until she became a plant eventually. She remembered that the story of metamorphosis was for her at the edge of horror, because of the grey note of marriage imposition, not resilience. The lasting feeling emerging from the narrative was the uncomfortable perception of humidity the young protagonist would have felt on the naked body buried in the soily matter and the pain coming from her toes stretching in roots, all in order to escape from the patriarchal social institution.

She felt uncomfortable with the idea to cover a part of herself with soil, but she relied on her atmospheric heritage, in order to perceive something. She was curious to ask Dew why the soil was so important to them, but they anticipated her question.

I ask you this, Dew continued, because I would like you to think of the soil through the mind of a seed. I would be curious to understand how you would nest and grow inside this fundamental ground, especially under the light of your effort to restore a relationship of attunement with this land.

How much time do we have?, a dark eyed man named Benjamin, expert in timelapses, asked.

Take your time, you can also choose another soil, maybe a soil you are in love with, not necessarily this one I brought to you. If some of you want to stretch this exercise until the next ATI, you’re welcome to. But please enjoy the feeling. You can send me the materials via beaming or you can come directly to me.

The group of people nodded and a light chatter among the participants signed the consensus to start the exercise. Few left the room, chasing different soils, few others took the one Dew had provided to them, others decided to take more time for that unusual seed inheritance, picking up their stuff and moving outside the room, greeting the other participants.

The meeting of the day was all devoted to experiencing the excitement for something unthought. And also Ewa started to think about what she wanted to do, but acting faster than her, some people were already coming back from their moment of soil impressions.

Jurgis and Kim had chosen the potted soils and had headed around or outside the room. When they came back, smiling to each other, they gave Dew pieces of notes where they had transcribed their sensations.

Kim had thought about it while eating her snack, indeed her list was very much food related: dry and fair; Slightly hard, not crushed easily; The smell was covered by the savoury scent flowing from my lunchbox; Rice balls and Christmas cookies that came a bit early mixed with late autumn breeze; If I was a newborn critter passing by this soil for the first time, I would have thought this is how the soil is supposed to smell. After all, how can soil have its own scent unless it is trapped in a lab container? “Brown is a slow colour. It takes its time.”; Bunch of rice balls / underwater land where lazy seaweeds wave their long hair, busy creatures dance around and the waves of whales are not disturbed.

Jurgis instead, mirroring his pragmatic poetic precision had expressed himself with concise wording: Fluffy, crispy; Dens fragrant soap smell; Deep pink blue; Indescribably tasty!; Soft rocky seashore; invisible Ant; Deep Pacific ocean floor soil; Moisture.

Both Kim and Jurgis, had connected the terrestrial soil to the seabed and fondly passionate about music had embedded in their descriptions links to melodies:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6w5i-4R0C9A – https://soundcloud.com/djesports/disconnect. Ewa looking at the scene, already knew that the two of them were made one for the other, but had decided to don’t say a word during the previous ATI, and leave feelings coalesce in time.

Dew seemed glad to have received already a vast spectrum of impressions. Also their phone started to be reached via beaming by multimedia contributions, that they immediately started to categorize and organize in the folder SIC on the ultra slim notebook they had hidden in a medium size hip bag.

Ewa, fascinated by how the ATI participants were responding to the request of the newcomer, had waited for the right moment to approach Dew, but when she thought the right time had arrived, she lingered because the nostril pain had come back. A dullness took over her right eyelid, causing a small paralysis of the right side of her face, she felt faint, her bone structure failing its mission of solidity, her gaze becoming opaque and darker. Luckily close to her collapsing body there was a chair that she reached just in time. Dew assisting at the scene, left the soil collection, and disappeared in the kitchen, shortly coming back with a big glass of water.

In my bag there should be a powder of melissa and cardus, can you help me to dilute it in the water?, she asked, feeling too weak to focus on them.

Yes, sure, are you fainting often? Dew asked, mixing the liquid, which colour had become indigo. She was confused and sipped from the glass, while finding herself repeating the mantra of the day, Not really, but it’s since this morning that I am dealing with unusual symptoms, which are causing the fading of the sense of the smell, and now this partial loss of consciousness. I think I need to go home and rest for a while, my day is still long.

Shall I come with you? They asked.

Their presence was already beneficial to her physical condition, and she believed the connection she had felt for Dew was mutual. Yes sure, I would feel a bit more secure to have someone guarding for me this time.

Alright let’s go, one, two, three and stand up. She managed to stand on her feet and hooked to Dew’s arm they walked out the building.

BOND

Where is your bike? they asked.

She looked at them. No, I am not at ease biking. I am sorry we will need to go by bus.

Ah ok, sorry I thought here everyone is biking, cycling lanes are very well planned. Well hold on, I will need to pick my bike up from around the corner where I had locked it, and carry it with me, where is the bus station?

It’s just over there, Ewa pointed across the street, where few people were waiting sitting on a bench. The next one will be in 10 minutes, she said gazing at the screen of her phone. If you don’t mind, I will wait for you there.

They didn’t, and disappeared on the left side of the building, while she found a seated next to a braided hair girl, who moved her feet to the invisible rhythm of a melody pumped by her tiny headphones. The vibrations of the loud volume were reaching her, she closed her eyelids, still feeling weakened by the sudden low energy.

The sky is always bright here, the voice of Dew reached her. They were carrying a white folding bicycle.

Yes it is. Now it’s also already crazy warm, I am sorry you need to carry it.

No worries, it’s very light.

They placed the bicycle, sized down in order to be handled easily, in front of Ewa. Try to lift it. He encouraged her. It was unbelievably light.

Oh wow, what is it made of? Is it solid enough to carry you around?She asked.

It’s structure is nano-graphene based, you know this material between graphite and diamond, super resistant, super elastic and super sustainable. Why don’t you bike?

Everyone was expecting her to bike.

Sometimes I like to be transported, as public transporters give me the chance to observe people in movement while steady. I like to stay with unknown bodies that head in my same direction, I like the idea of unintentional togetherness. But this is the poetic reason, bluntly and intrinsically I am lazy. Here in N, the hilly configuration doesn’t encourage me to bike, especially because public transports are very well functioning since propelled by solar energy.

So who are you? She finally asked, switching the conversation on a topic that was intriguing her much more than biking.

Dew looked surprised by this explicit and quite uncontextualized question. They adjusted the bike on the ground and laughing responded, I am a person, I mean, I already introduced myself to the group. Don’t you think it’s a bit awkward to ask in such a linguistic way to define identity? I am Dew now, but I am already different from who I was before meeting you, and will be different then. I am an adaptive being which resonates with my surroundings. I will answer your question saying that I am a with-person. And now I am with you, and I should ask the same, who you are?

They made a break, opened up a thermic pocket binded to the bike’s structure and took from it an ice cube. They offered Ewa one, it’s for refreshment and hydratation they say, while putting it in their mouth and melting it with their tongue.

They were right, she had taken for granted that the stranger between them was Dew, but she was new for them as much as they were for her. Ewa took one and surprisingly discovered that it was soft and not freezing at all. Weird thing.

I am Ewa Bakis, not very good at presenting myself either, I am a volatile being such as a fragrance, I think I am the product of sensual perception, the lovely atmosphere of the city and its inhabitants. I am the daughter of my mum and my mum is the universe. Ah and I am one of the finest noses in town. She dropped the most consistent things about herself while hesitated taking a big breath, Or at least I was.

Interesting. Dew said, and may I ask you which tradition inheritance are you trying to activate at the ATI?

I would like people to remember the smell of the winds. I would like them to get ready to sense it when the breeze will come back. One can read time through it, indeed it is the vehicle of pollination thereby rewilding, and the prophet for many atmospheric phenomenons happening. Have you ever thought of the wind as the connective odorous envelope of the earth? It bridges places, it embeds people, breathes and carries clouds that carry rain.

You know.. due to the homogeneous overheating of the terrestrial atmosphere this phenomenon has disappeared from our land. For this reason here the sky is always blue, what can be read as a mild climate is our ecological curse.

This is frightening especially since we are subjected to drought although the land is still partially submerged by salty water.

Dew pushed a lock of hairs behind their ear, and stared into space, they didn’t seem surprised.

I remember once when I was in the north, to have witnessed the rare phenomenon of wind currents generated from the clashing of the air with a rocky riverbed. That wind was very young and fresh, I had perceived that no memories were carried by it yet, but soon it would have caressed tree leaves and disturbed birds’ sleep.

I miss the wind although I have never felt it in my hair or messing up my thoughts. I like to cycle because it feels to me the closest experience of the wind I can achieve. Now I am wondering if the greatest thus imperceptible movement, the spinning of the earth itself, is responsible for winds blowing. Is the earth steadier because of us? Dew concluded.

Oh well here for sure, Ewa added, Circulation generates movements that generate stories, the absence of wind is shrinking the circulation of ideas and memories as well, it’s more difficult to trace back stories. And often I feel disconnected in this air steadiness. For this reason I am so in love with smells. Ewa said, standing up from her position and moving toward the bus that had just approached the platform.

Dew walked aside her.

Indeed, how do you feel now, do you feel better? They asked.

She checked her sensory apparatus, deeply inhaling the consumed air inside the bus. And yess, she could pick up something, Dew’s smell was tickling her nostrils. She involuntarily brought close to them her face, the scent of their skin, a bit muffled by the textile of the clothes, was very soily and mossy.

Yes I am better, she said smiling with her closed eyes. She didn’t recognize they were looking at her while withdrawing a bit from her nose. What are you doing? Dew asked. She blushed, sorry didn’t want to creep you out, or invade your space, I just noticed that the sense of the smell is coming back. What a relief, I wasn’t feeling myself without my full sensory apparatus awake. Do you use any perfumes? Your body smell is very peculiarly unhuman.

No I don’t, Dew lifted up their elbow, dislodged a bit the sleeve of the jumper and smelled the bare arm. Oh you mean this smell. I am not even recognizing it anymore.

I need to tell you I am passionate about sedimentation, I spend long periods digging with my body in the terrain. I had built up my identity mostly on soils, and I think my skin had lost its only human smell now.

Ewa laughed, my dear, whether I don’t feel human without my senses you don’t feel human without your elements, I think it’s very legit. Then she connected something in her mind. I think you should come with me to the SABF today, she suddenly said.

I have heard about it, but never been. How are you involved in the project?, Dew asked.

Well I founded it with a group of colleagues.

Ooooooh you are one of those techagro-farmers, the tone of his voice was skeptical now.

What’s wrong with us? Never criticize the SABF to Ewa, I think our mission to give back to the land its fertility, colours, smells, and biodiversity doesn’t need to be contrasted nor judged. I mean without wind and a bloody humid soil, sometimes people of N feel to breath steam. Further under these conditions it’s difficult to achieve cultivations.

I am not judging the intention behind it, I am reasoning on the artificial structuration or de-structuration of the land biodynamics…You have literally isolated all of its components.

She was listening to Dew, but she needed to put the conversation on hold. Sorry, she stopped them with a tiny movement of the hand, don’t want to interrupt you, but it’s our stopwe can continue our conversation inside my house. For all the ride, she hadn’t noticed but they were carrying not only the folded bike, but her bag as well. She grabbed it a bit embarrassed, Thank you for saving my stuff, I had totally forgotten about it. Indeed her morning at the market felt very far away in time.

VERBENA

The metropolitan landscape had mutated in a hilly meadow when they jumped out the bus. It’s nice here, Dew said, gazing around the wilderness englobing the residential area where Ewa’s habitation unit was located.

Oh yess, it’s part of the LFPP, I moved here in the spirit of inhabiting the land again, many of us don’t want to live in only human environments anymore. I acknowledge the historical role of the city, but humanity was younger and weaker and much more insecure back then. She entered a white gravel path unwinding between amaranth bushes.

You know when kids disassemble objects in order to gaze at their inside and name all the parts, and then build them back wrongly or use pieces for other purposes, well we have been like that, but now I think we have all the tools and knowledge for cohabiting with it.

Dew, pensively, followed her through that flamboyant landscape until they arrived at a building whose roof was a couple.

Welcome to our place. She said pushing open the front door.

The habitation unit was a cozy shelter enriched by a big variety of indoor plants. Colorful piles of stones and dried fruits ornate the curved perimeters of the rooms, giving a smooth sensorial perception of the space.

She dropped the bag on the floor of the kitchen, where Matheus, her youngest and a genial flatmate, was feeding the couple of kingfishers which were inhabiting the garret of the building. He believed them to be the more-than-human memory of the house and his task was to give back to the bird goods one.

Can you wait for me here for a second, she asked, and then she addressed the boy, Matheus, can you make a tea for my new friend Dew? Dew, Matheus, Matheus, Dew befriend each other.

Before receiving an answer she left the room, trusting her flatmate’s welcoming attitude and Dew’s spirit of adaptability.

She ran to the bathroom where she gazed at her reflection in the mirror above the sink. She was still concerned about her nose. Her face looked pretty the same, no particular skin tone alteration or puffiness, she pinched her cheek, and with the palm of the hand she gave herself a slow facial massage. Then she opened her beauty product shelves and chose among the essential oils the spiciest one extracted by dragonfruit and liquorice, poured a couple of drops in the vanporizer and inhaled it. Nothing happened, no usual tickle, nor burning, no heart beatings, no sensation of releasing. Weird, with Dew the situation was getting better, she thought.

She tried to soothe her disappointment and gather thoughts moving around some lavic stones. She really believed that those were the embodiment of the archaic and powerful spirit of the massive Volcano, and maybe moving them in a new constellation would have created a connection between the primordial lavic conduit and her nose, giving her some relief.

I should call the doctor. She thought, making a small pile with them, and she really didn’t want to.

She searched for her phone in her pocket and recognized under the touch that some particles of the dried sea sponge had infiltrated in the speaker. She blew on it, in order to remove them and dialed the contact of the Doctor, but nobody picked up the call anyways. The embodied profession of the healer was obsolete, nobody was sick since all the viral diseases carried by atmospheric and seasonal cycles had been eradicated due to the absence of wind. And the carefully engineered chain instituted between human and nature ecosystems had mitigated the insurrection of major pathologies.

Indeed she opened up the tab of health SEO and wrote to the hospitality bot in order to receive counseling from an otolaryngologist e-expert.

You will have an appointment in 30 mins. The bot informed her.

Relieved she opened the door of the bathroom and took the corridor for her room. She gazed inside the kitchen, no sign of Matheus, but the cup of tea still smoking on the counter was evidence of a social contact. Dew was close to the window where a set of tiny transparent vessels, interconnected by many plants straws, was inhabitated by the seeds of her verbena cultivation.

He was staring at the domesticated soil where just the imagination could have wondered which plant was sheltered in it.

It’s going to be verbena, she said, pointing at the vessels while starting to sort out the products she had bought at the market. The bouquet of flowers in a vase, the powder in a linen textile bag, the coulis in the fridge, then she offered to Dew some cranberry mousse.

Yes I know. But it’s not going to grow under these conditions, I already told you. And they got closer to her in order to receive a serving of dessert.

How do you know? Ewa asked, now sitting on a stool and staring at the foamy consistency of the mousse.

Look at the soil, you have used a quality that is too sandy for verbena. The seeds are revolting there inside, maybe you should try to cultivate another kind of shrub, a vines for example.

But I had enriched this soil with many collaborative microorganisms, I guess it should work and I don’t mind to try.

Yeah but why, do you want to force a coalition? Dew took the cup of tea with both hands and sipped from it, but the warm liquid burned their tongue. They took a speech pause.

That’s what I was trying to tell you before in the bus. They continued, Sometimes engineering too much nature it’s not necessary, it speaks to you by signals. If nothing grows there is something wrong between the assemblages of the elements. There is a missing relationality and the only thing we humans can do is enhance it back or wait.

She nodded, I really think you should come to the SABF, I got an appointment with the e-doctor in 15 mins now and then we can head there. I don’t know what to expect though, my colleague Kadil allerted all the crew since something is changing in the atmosphere. Did you know or sense something about it?

No not really, but the atmosphere is always changing. The world is always new, although its root. Maybe you consider your nasal nuisance could be caused by this perturbation?

She hadn’t thought about it at all, and was very surprised by her lack of wit.

At this point it could be, but I have no idea of what is going on. You all other people are fine. Can something on such a big scale influence just one person? She asked, revolting a bit in her body.

Well if your nose is so sensitive, maybe it is responding to something still undetected by the manyness. Therefore, let’s see the bright sides, whereas if this thing is dangerous or not, it is still manageable.

Oh my godmother, now I feel a bit under pressure, I don’t want to be the prophet of another disaster. I don’t want to be a Cassandra, never trusted but always right, but what you say can be valid. Let’s wait for the doctor’s diagnosis as well. It’s time now, can I leave you again for another while?

Yes sure. I will be here close to your vases.

She grabbed a couple of tangerines and went in her room, sat on the bed, took the holographic frame from the drawer of the night table and waited.

The hologram of a blond woman appeared in the square and asked Ewa’s identification and reasons for the consultation.

Ewa Bakis, female, 31, LFPP amaranth district, nostril pain and loss of the sense of the smell.

She told the virtual doctor that the condition was annoying her from the early morning, but she had never suffered from something similar.

Could you please show me your nasal conduits?

Ewa turned on the light of the holographic frame and scanned her nose.

Can you now push with your fingers just underneath your eyes, where your cheekbones get close to your nose, and tell me if it hurts?

It did.

Seems to me a regular sinusitis, but it rarely manifests under the loss of smell, it could be related to some much graver neuronal dysfunction. Do you have any heritable pathology as such in your family?

Not that I am aware of. What can I do?

If it’s sinusitis, not so much, it is cyclical. You can just try to tame the symptoms with the aerosol treatment I will prescribe to you, but in any case I will suggest also the name of a good neurologist. Will send you everything by mail, I need to go now, Miss Bakis, wish you a nice day.

And then she disappeared.

Oh great, I could be subjected to a chronic syndrome or an invalidating disease. Ewa thought among herself, spreading her body on the bed and placing the tangerine on the curvature of her navel belly. The idea of being a sick person had never caressed her mind, and now suddenly this hypothesis crumbling on her, on her bed, was raising a deep feeling of insecurity.

She touched her face with circular movements and she covered her eyes with the sleeping mask she used sometimes in order to experience the full darkness. She slowly caressed the peel of the agrume and clawed with her nails the porous skin, carving from it’s natural wrap a juicy clove.

Dew found her playing with the fruit in this deep commiseration.

Hey Ewa… she jumped from her horizontal position, are you ok?

She had forgotten about Dew. What was happening to her?

Yeah, sorry I was resting and got stuck in a dark corner of my mind. The doctor didn’t give me reassuring news and now I am afraid I won’t have my smell back.

Dew sat at the edge of the bed and Ewa could see something in their hand.

HEALING

What do you have there hidden?

Well look, I have fixed your verbena cultivation, look surprisingly the first sprouts are already visible.

Impossible, that soil was plain since weeks now, but she accepted the pot they were offering to her, and actually a shy, tender first leaf was now emerging.

Ewa widened her eyes, How did you do that, did you plant something else?

I told you, the soil was not the right one from the seed. I just substituted it with a hand of that of the Amaranth land. Incredibly the seed had already germinated, but couldn’t pierce the soil. The outdoor soil is softer and the spurn needed just a few minutes in order to take space. And now here we go, it is extraordinary but a nice little one already smells, try.

I can’t smell yet, and maybe I won’t anymore she whined.

Never mind, try now that I am with you, Dew encouraged her.

She placed the newborn botanical friend just behind her nose and inhaled. The pale ghostly citrus smell of lemon but more grassy like citronella, slightly imperceptible was there.

Incredible she replied.

I told you I am a with-person, maybe I need to stay with you in order for you to feel better, and it’s the same between seed and soil, it is a sodality.

Ewa felt embarrassed, she was never so direct in vocalizing any kind of affection, her behavior spoke for her. She didn’t say a thing, but she moved toward them. And that’s what had happened with Dew. They had met her in a position of weakness, fainting and insecure, but she felt to open up to them her personal sphere. They were sitting on her bed, magically facilitating the blooming of her verbena, when she barely knew something about them. It’s a matter of trust sometimes, and that person had plenty of it.

Stay with me then. She said, lifting herself from the bed. I am sorry if I have been inattentive or spiky, I had invited you here and I didn’t really give attention to you. Not to make excuses here, but I feel an unusual sense of intimacy with you, and my behavior is the consequence of this trust. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I become a horrible uncaring person when I feel confident with someone, I just become less tense and less scared to show vulnerabilities. And this muffledness of senses had absorbed me completely, can the void be such present?

Dew was calm and posed, they really didn’t seem surprised by this revelation once again. And Ewa felt a bit insecure, but their words reassured her.

I think what you are saying is very legitimate, I am already and unintentionally your companion, but there may be something else behind.I think we come from the same waters, or I would say we come from the same winds. Can I play some music? They asked, already moving toward the audio system at the opposite of the bed, they chose as the mood “revelatory” and solemn melody vibrated in the room. Good choice, I really like this piece they said and went ahead, Anyways I belong to EW and I guess you too.

Dew pointed his finger to her, or am I wrong Ewa Bakis?

This is extraordinary. And she had a zest of joy, I do, what a rare circumstance, Nobody believes anymore in it. I thought to be one of the last one, but now thinking about your name it makes sense. When were you born?

In August, soon it’s going to be my 31 birthday. I keep the endemic memory of sirocco.

Ewa was dancing inside her body, a new palette of colours depicting a new inexperienced homely feeling. In a world where everything needed to be combined and negotiated this unexpected falling together of times and spaces and people gave back relieve. Sometimes things just need to find their fluidity again without any plan ahead. Worlds were merging together at that moment, maybe clashing, but in some way she believed in the entropy of events.

A buzz of her phone brought her back to the context of her room, technology always did. SABF, SABF, SABF meeting in 15 mins.

She would have preferred to stay in the conversation with Dew, to add a brick to the worlding they were beginning, deepen the knowledge of each other, to fully benefiting from their terrestrial-spiritual-emotional connection. She couldn’t withdraw from her responsibility either and maybe, she believed, Dew could have been the missing ring of the chain in order to solve the stratosphere change.

Shall we start to move? Now more than ever I think you need to see the SABF, it’s very much representing my world better than my words, I guess.

Yes I am very fond to it, but this time be my guest, I will take you on the bike, I think some fresh air could be beneficial for both of us.

Alright, let’s take the coastal road, we will arrive there faster. She gathered her things and gave her hand to Dew, Let’s go.

They unfolded the bike, that surprisingly was bigger than one of the average size, and showed her how to find a comfortable position behind the bycicle seat, don’t worry I won’t go fast, and you can hold me. One thing, don’t move too much otherwise I will lose balance and we will fall. Let’s share headphones so we can communicate with each other without screaming and also I would like to stay focus on smells.

Try to track them, this will distract you from the ride.

A small constructive distraction was a clever exercise in order to soothe anxiousness. She was quite goofy, but she didn’t fake the contrary, she sat where Dew had told her and tried to stay frozen in that position.

The friction between their bodies and the air was the only perceivable consequence of Dew’s push on the pedals. Felt nice to be transported by a low tech structure through the land.

You can move a bit now that we have taken speed, Dew’s voice conveyed by the headphones reached her ears, how does it feel?

It’s an unusual feeling, a bit scary, but a good scary. I feel so stupid to have never tried it before. Now I can understand what you meant with feeling a wind-like sensation. They had climbed down the hill and taken the coastal roadway which parted the seaside and the flooded land, partially organized in SABF.

That road was a scar between two ecosystems, a spectacular view of human handling and benefiting of the landscape.

On the left the colour of the sea was dominating the view, while the shore was scattered by rosebay bushes sheltering small size seagulls. A pier floating on the water, at which extreme edge closer to the horizon line, was located the Volcanic Observatory manifesting its presence under the shape of a composed structure of cones. Few people, dressed in colorful hats were walking on the beach, challenging the tide and worshipping the lust sun, while slim structures supported solar panels.

Ewa wasn’t sure, but she had the impression to see the branches of the bushes moved by a sort of breeze, and the intense salty oleander smell reached her. She moved a bit and felt the balance of the bicycle pending.

Sorry Dew, but I think I am sensing the wind, she whispered.

For all the ride they had revolted their attention to the flooded land, indeed they didn’t notice anything. Can be, but don’t get impressed, it can be generated by our passage, they said, I guess we are almost at the SABF, I can see now the change in the landscape and the soaring of the boundless plant structure. What are you cultivating there?

Turn on the right, we are almost at the entrance, she suggested, moving her arm as a wing in that direction. We cultivate wealth, have you tried the traditional bread here, the flour it’s from us.

INHERITANCE

They arrived in front of a bridge which connected the main road to the articulated natur-tech ecosystem of the SABF. A transparent elevated platform was allocating their laboratory. Around it a drone port was sheltering hundreds of remote-controlled buoyant aerosoalar drones, employed for the harvest of the floating weath. From the full window, Ewa saw that all the team was already there, nested between walls of soil samples and stills.

Their hairs were messed up and their faces were flushed from the ride, she encouraged Dew to leave the bike unguarded, nobody was there if not them and the four people in the building.

Shall I wait outside Dew asked.

No, I think all they will tell me will be as intelligibile to me as to you. She replied, then they entered the room together. Kadil, Angela, Idrani and Aodh were all sharing and staring at the screen of the computer, where a video recorded by the nocturnal camera was showing something moving. Hello beautiful people, Ewa greeted her colleagues, already gazing at the video footage, today with me there is my doppelgänger Dew. What is going on here?

The four people in the room simultaneously looked at her and then Dew. They weren’t used to welcoming strangers in the SABF, until Aodh, fixing the glasses on her nose took the word. Nice to meet you Dew, I am Aodh, in charge of the roots composition survey. Well hi Ewa, believe it or not, but last night what looked like a breeze was circulating in the intermediate strata, the cameras had detected a horizontal movement that wasn’t connected to the water evaporation. The point is it hasn’t left any enduring or visible trace now, if not a cleaner atmosphere. You should check the videos.

Ewa and Dew got closer to the screen and recognized from the images an imperceptible vibration shaking the dangling roots of the aeroponic plants.

You should enter the forest and see if you can smell something, Kadil said. Soon it’s going to be dark, and if it’s a nocturnal phenomena maybe you can witness it. It can revolutionize our condition of torrid-humid steadiness.

I have lost the smell. Inexplicably just Dew’s presence brings it back, and also for this reason they are here. They think my condition can be connected to this wrinkle in the atmosphere. Actually while we were heading here I got the impression to have perceived the wind. Ewa said.

So you and Dew could spend the night in the forest and foster with your mutual presence a sense of awareness. Kadil affirmed. We need a double strategy, in loco, and this would be on you two and behind the technology, and we can stay here in order to check the barometer and the anemometer, at this point probably all rusted by the humidity.

Alright we can do it, Dew said. In a few hours is going to be dark, maybe it’s better if we find the right spot in between the SABF now.

Good idea, you can come with me and Idrani, we will show you the location where the wind had appeared. It’s on the west side of the forest.

Let me take something from my bicycle, Dew said and went outside the building.

The core team of the SABF, left alone could shortly brief themself, Idrani gave Ewa a hand of spores. Take them, if the wind will blow again maybe they can be spread vastly. Aodh instead asked something more about Dew. Ewa told her about their newborn bond. Ok if you think we can trust this person, I trust you. But what if he is here in order to damage our work? I mean, apparently you don’t know so much about its belonging if not a syllable.

I do trust him, Ewa said. Kadil intervened, actually I think they are cool, and it was very rare that Kadil expressed such confidence in someone. I think Dew has a sort of mystery and wise spirit that makes for them easy to integrate. I perceive they know who they are, or they know which are the best conditions for them in order to flourish.

I don’t know how this can be helpful for us, but for sure won’t damage our cohesion.

Listening to Kadil, Ewa recalled the verbena Dew enhanced a few hours before in her room.

It was true, they knew how to make things work together spontaneously.

Idrani in the meanwhile had picked from the common lockers two jackets and organized a basket with fruits, sandwiches and a thermos of warm tea. I think you are going to need some treats tonight, you know it can be very cold there.

Thank you, Ewa said, and all of them reached Dew outside.

Idrani noticing the total white outfit of Dew suggested borrowing them a working suit.

You will get all stained by the swamp.

No worries at all, I love when the soil leaves traces on me, my whiteness is thoughtly wanted in order to absorb and valorize all the colours. I am curious to see which shade this soil is. Dew replied.

This is soooo nice Idrani and Angela exclaimed, we are always soaking in the mud, but we never thought about it.

Ewa instead fitted her light blue galoshes, and made the first step in the swamp, her feet drowned for 10 cm in the soil and she lost a bit of balance because of its soft consistency. Immediately behind her Kadil, Aodh and Idrani followed her step, while Angela, still suspicious, engaged with Dew in a conversation, which Dew could not really follow since they were absorbed by that new environment.

This place is unbelievable, you achieved to create a perfect machine, so densely populated by different species. I think something has just sneaked through my legs. Are there many grass snakes here around?

Angela explained, No not really, most probably it was a saltwater trout, some of them have fully adapted to this uncommon conditions, I think they find nutrition from the spores we spread around. Also for this reason we are not achieving so much in terms of refertilization I guess.

She blended down and collected something from the thin layer of water. We are employing aerogel technorganism inspired by the feet of the water strider, in order to keep the surface of the water clean. Otherwise it would be covered by fungus that wouldn’t allow its oxygenation and she showed Dew a tiny volatile robot.

They tried to take it, but the matter just became buoyant and floated away.

The four people heading the group had found a spot not so far from the laboratory, where a bigger clod of soil had created a dry island among the muddy land, while a long and intertwined network of roots was surrounding the location as a curtain. I think here is the spot, said Idrani, laying down on the terrain a waterproof carpet, and placed two observatory workstation. Honestly, do you know what we are missing, she said, pinwheels, no matter which technological tool we can think with, a sharp pinwheel will always catch the first wind. Ahahah.

Nobody really laughed, but all of them appreciated her naive sense of humor.

Kadil was eager to come back to the laboratory, and pushed all the others to follow him. You know how to reach us, and don’t worry we are going to monitor every single movement inside and outside the SABF.

Bye guys.

When they disappeared behind the roots curtain, Ewa took place on the workstation and started the laptop connected to it, in order to ask to the searching engine about any news possibly wind related. Then she licked her first finger and pointed it up in the air, no particular sensation was vehicled by its wetness. She inhaled a bit and a strong feeling, never experienced before affected her sensory. Nothing so reinvigorating had ever trespassed her lungs, it was like a positive unfamiliar thought stored in a forgotten corner of her mind. She joyfully searched with the eyes for Dew, but couldn’t see them.

She took off the intricate fabric of roots and found them sitting in the swamp, they were digging with a small scoop deeper in the wet soil.

What are you doing? It’s forbidden to disturb the soil, especially since any directive from the SABF team. We take choices of this sort collectively. She said dry, feeling betrayed by them.

Once again Dew seemed not caught surprised by her reaction.

Wait Ewa, please, before getting angry I need to tell you something. They carefully pulled out the collar of the shirt a small bag attached to a silver chain. Have you ever heard about evolutive populations of seeds, they are very rare, but I have a set of them. And they emptied the small bag, seven dark orangey oval seeds shined on the palm of their hand. They are seeds that gradually change and adapt to different climatic conditions, soils and cultivation techniques. They provide for stable production, control diseases, insects and weeds in a biodynamical way. If the variability of seeds employed in the contemporary agriculture is given by many crosses, those are seeds that find their way through life learning from their surrounding. Each soil with its own seed, each seed with its own soil, this is what I have grasped so far from them. Dew was speaking concisely, and passionately and for the first time Ewa saw in their eyes the emergence of a mission.

If you give me the permission to plant them here and if they develop a symbiotic relationship with this soaked soil, it will mean a renewed relationship of interdependence with the land, less artificial, less controlled, less engineered. We can enter a new era where we can learn from the scratches how to be together with the soil, and the wind, and the water, and the animals, and the volcano.

She didn’t know how to control her thoughts, they were leaking out of her forehead, but the only question she could vocaliz was How did you get them?

By the wind, they said.

There is no wind here, Dew.

What are we here for then, what have your colleagues and your technologies detected?

There is just the supposition of it, Ewa replied.

And what about the smell you are perceiving now, isn’t it surprising you? Confess to me that you had already sensed this scent and I will leave you alone.

She was confused. Well, you are right, I was searching for you because I felt something so lively in the air, a fragrance I could taste. But how do you know… and what is it?

Dew fondly smiled, It is petrichor, the smell of the wind. It consists of geosmin, a volatile, organic compound that is formed especially by soil-dwelling bacteria and aquatic cyanobacteria. It means just one thing my dear: somewhere it is raining. Your well trained nose can sense it, but since you have never experienced the rain, you can’t detect and name it. I guess your nasal numbness was caused by this novelty.

Things were coming together in a weird sense.

Of which kind are you Dew, how do you know these things?

This doesn’t matter, because I belong to the soil, exactly as these seeds. And now I am here, because I have been carried by the wind.

Ewa felt the touch of her grandmother Awera’s hand on her shoulder, as it always happened to her in times of revelation. The woman had devoted her life to volcanic soil geologic studies, and had educated her to the observation of the leftover. The two women from different generations used to narrow the time gap building experiences together, exchanging environmental impressions, exploring the countryside around the city, collecting rocks, insects, carapaces, dried leaves and human traces, in order to enrich their life with the surprising beauty of natural traces. Awera had told her that in order to understand time and evolution one needed to look at nature forms, the products of a cumulative past and predictions of what will likely come to be. Look at me, I am the mirror of who you are going to be. We already are the embodied guess of what the future holds, a vast, future-proliferating ecology of thinking selves. And standing there in the SABF, Ewa overlap Dew presence with the memory of the beloved woman, and vividly remember the time when she had said to her holding a fossilized ear of wheat between her fingers My dear, look at this fragile being which used to grow from the softness of the terrain, it was possible because of a concert of life’s movements within and around the soil. Now because of the traumatized soil it’s not anymore possible, but if we would peel our land as an onion we would be able to read the story of the growth of the seed along our evolution with the volcano.

Ewa felt heart warmed and assured, seated close to them, Can I hold one?

Sure.

She held it in the hollow of her fist, and she felt it turning warmer and pulsating, it was a womb and an embryo at the same time. What does germinate from it?

Most of the time grains, but they are always of different varieties. Can’t tell what will sprout here.

We should try, she said, digging with her hand in the soil and making a space for the seed. Maybe this could seal the end of SABF, and I don’t have the knowledge for trusting you, but I mean it costs nothing.

Behind the roots curtain the live application on the laptop started to buzz.

Behind the screen the faces of Kadil, Angela, Idrani and Aodh, were wetted by tears of what they revealed as commotion. Ewa felt worried, what was going on?

Hey you there, Idrani said, it’s unbelievable, but behind the mountains surrounding N, it is raining. IT IS RAINING. Hold on in the forest, we will reach you soon. And they interrupted the call.

Something had changed in the air, a vibration rippled the thin layer of water covering the soil, while the roots started to imperceptibly dingle.

Ewa, hugged in a spontaneous momentum Dew.

Invading the space, breaking the atmospheric steadiness, leading unknown birds out of their nest, suddenly the Levant was blowing.

I told you my beloved sister, we are with each other, we are EW.

ACKNOWLEDGMENT

Many affectionate and affecting trails had coalesced and conjured in order to support the volatile relationship of belonging to somewhere, to something, to someone, unfolded by this narrative. Therefore if possible I would hold in an hug of immense affection all the winds that have brought my words to condense as such, homage with celebrating feasts all the people that had touched my mind with their intellectual honesty, spirits and practice and provide for new green power cells all the technological devices that have sustained my research.

This story has been possible because thought in alliance with: Isabelle Stengers, Eduardo Viveiros de Castro, Sylvia Wynter, Vandana Shiva, Donna Haraway, Ursula K. Le Guin, Octavia Butler, The Invisible Committee, Audre Lorde, Astrida Neimanis, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Silvia Federici, Marc Strand, Richard Brautigan, Bruno Latour, Aldo Leopold, Judith Butler, Edouard Glissant, M. Jacqui Alexander, Natasha Mayer, Raqs Media Collective, Anicka Yi, Sandra Mujinga, Oscar Santillan, Pedro Neves Marques, Future Farmers, Hiroo Isono, Mary Magic, The Forest Curriculum, Farming the Uncanny Valley, Lyla June, Agnes Varda, Julia Reidy, Eartheater, Drexciya, Heinbach, Jenny Hval, Lyra Pramuk, Oneohtrix Point Never, Fatima al Quadiri, AEP participants, Cristina Ramos, Dietrich Meyer, Kari Rosenfeld, Nadia Croker, Nicklas Egberts, Angeliki Tzortzakaki, Claudia Mazzola, Yoonha Kim, Claire Glanois, MG, literally a lot of random walkers, the Alps, the Mediterranean, my blood and chosen bonds.

Teksto redaktorė: Kari Rosenfeld

Įsipainiojimai

2022 Sausis, Guoda Šulskytė

„Įsipainiojimai“ yra bandymas susitaikyti su vis nesvetingesnėmis sąlygomis. Įsivaizduojant protezinę odą, įgalinančią žmogaus simbiozę su kitais organizmais, projektas komentuoja tarpusavio priklausomybę po ekologinės katastrofos.
Trumpametražis filmas buvo nufilmuotas druskos kasykloje Saline, Ekvadore. Jame naudojama biomedžiaga iš dumblių, leidžianti ekstremaliomis sąlygomis klestintiems organizmams gyventi šalia žmonių.

Citata iš Samuelio Becketto pjesės „Žaidimo pabaiga“ (1957)
Balsas: Polina Cold
Garsas ir vaidyba: Alfredo Ramírez Raymond

Paveldėtos mokyklos padėtis

2022 Sausis, Vilius Vaitiekūnas

Vos vienas kolegės skambutis šią liepą ir drauge prašę paraišką pilnai įsipareigojome Aleknaičių projektui.

Šiuo metu Aleknaičiai virsta plačiu bendruomenės / edukacijos / rezidencijų / meninių tyrimų centro projektu, o svarbiausia jo dalis – buvusi pradinė Aleknaičių kaimo mokykla, jos erdvės ir besiformuojanti bendruomenė. Materialinis ir kultūrinis vietos paveldas, ant kurio mes statome, užleista šiuolaikinė biurokratija ir daiktiniai poreikiai, finansų pritraukimas, maždaug šešių šimtų kvadratinių metrų erdvių priežiūra – čia matysite, kaip su draugais ir šeima bandome suprasti, kas vyko pastaraisiais mėnesiais.

Spalio 19 d. su seneliui vykome patikrinti, kaip veikia beveik 25 metus nebandyta šildymo sistema.

Šildymas yra ypatingai svarbus, norint isaugoti šį pastatą ir viską, kas jį palaiko.

Sūkuriai: III

2022 January, Sholto Dobie

ups, jūs užtildyti

2022 Sausis, plot twist

Jo Kali ir Georgie Sinclair (draugės, bendradarbės ir „plot twist“ įkūrėjos) gyvame performanse „Ups, jūs užtildyti“ dalijose elektroniniais laiškais, kuriuos kelias savaites iki šio susitikimo siuntė viena kitai. Pokalbio metu jos paliečia savo santykio su technologijomis, intymumo, laiko leidimo drauge per atstumą ir iššūkių sudarant nužtikrintų laikų „įrankių rinkinį“ temas. Šie elektroniniai laiškai atspindi jų mokymosi stilių – minčių rankiojimą klaidžiojančių (ir dažnai neišsamių) diskusijų metu. Skaitymas vyksta skaitmeniniuose įrankių rinkinio namuose, kuris laikui bėgant atsiskleis kaip rūpesčio praktikavimo internete archyvas.

Atsidarius langui, kampe pasirodo mažesniuose langeliuose esančios figūros. Viena rudaplaukė, kita šviesiai dažytais plaukais, abi su akiniais. Ekrane raibuliuoja vanduo ir plūduriuoja daiktai: plastikinė gyvatė, obelis, rudas megztas šalikas. Figūros kalba pakaitomis ir spragteli ant ekrane esančių objektų. Tai atveria langelius, kuriuose yra jų elektroninių laiškų fragmentai. Slinkimas, spragtelėjimas, kalbėjimas – ritualas kartojamas tol, kol atrakinami visi objektai.