A collaboration between the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research into the Anthropocene (IIRA): https://iiraorg.com/
and Alienocene: Journal of the First Outernational: https://alienocene.com/
So: it is done. After every report, conference, scientific explanation, mass demonstration, and heartfelt appeal, we are left in the same situation.
Midnight is upon us.
There is nothing else to say. No action seems to be able to make a difference, no plea, or use of reason or argument to change the course of humanity. No mitigating project able to make a dent in the inevitable course on which we tread.
The fossil fuel empire remains intact and more powerful than ever. We are heading over the edge into an unimaginable abyss of our own making. Nothing can save us.
Yet into this hopeless abyss, we invite you to create, for one last time, something tangible to grasp in the Anthropocene. This is no cyberpunk vision of a dysfunctional future. This is no SF recreation of a utopia gone wrong. This is here, now. This is immanent to anything that can be thought. This is the last viable expression of the human drives before extinction. The last chance for the utterance of the impossible. For what could save that which cannot be saved. For the revolutionary requirement – (mentioned in passing, did you see the dawn this morning?)
When Thought Divorces Feeling
Reason for Hope in Desperate Times
When thought divorces feeling
Self divorces neighbourhood
Mind divorces matter
Matter divorces space
Light divorces darkness
Fear divorces love
Anger rules the roost
No reason makes a difference
No care can heal the split
Each goes its own way
Without giving a damn
Hell-bent on the same fixed course
To who knows where it will all end
Thought returns to feeling
Self returns to neighbourhood
Mind returns to matter
Matter returns to space
Light returns to darkness
Fear returns to love
Anger subsides to patience
All in good time
Reason makes a difference
Care heals the split
Each lives in close companionship
With the other in its heart
Abiding in natural communion
Within a depth that’s made to last
A well-spring into future
No abyss that drains to past.
The above is a response to the dismay felt by many of us human beings as an attitude of mind that severs self-interest from neighbourhood looks set to bring about its own demise, regardless of common sense and sensibility.
A reason to hope for a better outcome than might be imagined is offered by way of a reunion between thought and feeling, which recognises the natural mutual inclusion of space and energy as receptive and responsive primary presences in the evolution and diversification of all material form, including our own human bodies.
For more explanation and references, please visit: http://www.spanglefish.com/exploringnaturalinclusion.
Anastasios Karnazes firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyanotype video. Centrifugal force pushing against the figure-ground distinction. An agglomeration of abstract light-shadow play, set in motion to evoke the transcendental, sublime experience created through a fusion of traditional, analogue in-camera photographic techniques with digital animation and compositing.
This movie was created primarily with in-camera techniques, supplemented with minimal digital compositing to join the various shots together. Drawing on the tradition of Lumia, it transposes traditional optical approaches to digital imaging.
Michael Betancourt, Ph.D
A great wisdom bearer once said – his times were darker than the unilluminated sky of an abandoned desert, his people suffering under the weight of malice, demagoguery and a deep sense of loss, of bondness that makes miracles – that life resists infinite evolution for the same reason humans reject a world devoid of meanings.
In an unbridled evolution, wonder, most of all, love is impossible to take wings, which alone can arrest the impersonal movement of time imposing itself as necessity. Not only we ought to reject a world without joy, love, compassion, but even of sadness, despair – that dreaded severance from time and its testing spiritual crisis from whence nihilism grows like a pestilence, from which the human spirit may no longer recover.
This wisdom bearer yeaned for the antinomies that test our souls, that arrest the infinity of time, for only in the face of extreme trials and an arrested cosmos with no hope of redemption, that a human is born, the great unprethinkability and the scandal of Being. Christ was in many ways that scandal we lost, a spirit among others in his time who welcomed the crucible of the world if only to provoke it to give us its abiding test, a mystery to burn the approved legacies of an old world that refused to die on its own. Nowadays we lack that mettle to test the world, that courage to abandon the islands of truth to test the seas of its unfathomed barbarity which despite itself is the true source of greatness and beauty.
We do not long for a Christ anymore, which has certain undeniable merits, but its also a perfect sign we have lost our literal bondness with the mystery of scandal. We shun the waters and protect our landed truths if only to keep us from the dangers of the looming waves of an apocalypse. But its time we welcome a new event, a feast of thinking, an incipient field of liquid metaphors that make up who we are, children of scandal, born of geologic depths. This isnt to welcome a second coming, but to embrace a real extinction that delivers its promise – to destroy the world we don’t deserve.
Another world is possible.
A Dark Poem
μέσαι δέ νύκτες, πάρα δ‘ ἔρχετ‘ ὤρα
Recasting the Human
Hijikata-Mishima addresses his army of guards from the terrace:
Youths of Japan, football players, do not waste your mettle in aimless activities
keep your legs safe
I have unbound the babies’ legs to make of them football players
I must unsling the toy-weapons from the flanks of today’s youth, so as to recast it as an army of bare warriors, as bare culture.
Lethal weapons that dream.
Recasting the human being will be possible only if the mould receives the lethal weapon that dream.
I am a bare soldier.
You, my little boy-criminals, you and I will burn down the cities and create new bodies, new bodies for the decaying human race.
I, Hijikata Tatsumi,
I, Mishima Yukio,
I, Artaud le Momo address the people today.
I release my infant warriors. I will not perform seppuku, but I will cut off one hundred thousand heads.
No, I will not cut off one hundred thousand heads, but I will assemble one hundred thousand new bodies. An army of excess. New bodies, a new raw titanic race, a race of football players unmarked by an X-spot, a new anatomy, new organs, a new gender, a new star.
My infant football players, my mud-spattered criminals, we will glue together new bodies with mud and slime and loose veins. We will use the loose tongues of the veins to connect the knee joints, while the heels will pass through the ear canals, we will flow into our own veins in reverse, and the violent wind of the North will ventilate the brain folds in our lungs. This is how bodies dance upside down. This is how the small suns of the atom scatter like new constellations, galaxies, universes in our placenta, in our protein soup, in our boneless cosmos.
Beauty will save the World because it is the Beginning of Terror
I crawl amongst hybrid bodies my perfect kingdom
the kingdom of boundless light
light inhabits the bodies
inhabits them outworldly beauty
The new bodies are as hard as flint
They are a beam
The Revolt of the Body
The revolution never ends
It lifts up the bodies like Northern Lights and volcanic dust
It wrings them out
It claims art as sacrifice
The revolution is not coup
It is not terror
The revolution is a claim to live upside down
On May 18, 1936, Sada Abe cut off the organ of her lover Kichizō Ishida.
In 1968, Hijikata danced the dance of the phallus, Elagabalus. In 1969, Hijikata posed for a photo with Sada Abe.
On November 25, 1970, Mishima‘s head fell.
Sada cut off the head
What a sharp sword, “what a sharp sword!”
Sada cut off the head
Beheaded the organ
Mishima’s head falls and rolls northward
The head rolls northward
Sucked in by an unknown, brainless force, by the powerful and evil magnet of the North
from the mud food
famine itself the emptiness pulling in
from the empty movements of phantom organs
It is rolling on pavements and arable lands, in dark streets, neglected backyards, city outskirts, the wind is blowing, it is raining hard, it is rolling over rails and lake verdures, through barbed wire, through factories, farms, slaughterhouses, ware- houses, through camps and industrial graveyards, through fortified enclosures of nuclear power plants, across rivers, marshes and ravines, across the landscapes of Mount Fuji, ruffled, scarred, torn up, like a rag ball, kicked spitefully by teenager footballers, thus reaching the North, the raw and gray lands of Tohoku, the wind, the rice fields, the barren mud, the frozen dry soil.
An eye emerges from the mud.
A baby’s eye opens its eyelids in the diluted freezing silt.
Yukio’s head, like a baby’s head, has rolled it way to Tohoku, emerging from the mud of Akita, looking around, seeing, landing a sudden bite on Tatsumi’s calf. Tatsumi is screaming. He is small, he is cold, his brothers have gone overseas, his mother has bound his legs together, no one to protect him from stray heads.
Lonely organs swarm in the mud, cling to the body of little Tatsumi and mince his organs, the Wind Daruma binds them together the wrong end first with the thin mud, the body is the swarm that throbs in reverse. Blood flows in reverse, hair and nails grow in reverse, a head pops up from the heels, into the ankle, biting in, biting, biting on the crotch. The body grows upside down, against nature.
It grows, it grows in the abdomen.
A dark thing unlike any other, a swelling cavity, not a demon, but an empty substance, an empty tissue, an emptiness.
I grow new organs
Organs in the bud
To experience life outside of us
To experience life within us
I have always been drawn to the dark substance
The dark matter
The dark side of the world
The black market
The black dance
They eat the darkness, the most precious food my body has. They are plucking the darkness and eating it.
- This text reworks parts from Dark Poem, published in the frame of the theatre collective Metheor‘s work in progress Hijikata and his Double (2019).
Text: Boyan Manchev
Photography: Boryana Pandova
The italicized paragraphs in “The Recasting the Human” rephrase two sentences from Tatsumi Hijikata’s essay In Prison ( «Keimusho e» [刑務所へ], published in January 1961 in Mita Bungaku [三田文学]), while those of “Sister“, recast a phrase from Hijikata’s essay The Wind Daruma («Kaze Daruma» [風だ るま], published in May 1985 in Gendaishi Techō).