You know the idea that the earth has entered a new geological age, one created by humans? For sure, humans have messed the earth up, big time. This is called a tide zone now.
Abandoned capitalized petrochemical killing nets.
But let’s just step aside from this macabre human interest in death and human greatness. It’s vanity. For instance, this islet …
… has more than one face. Seen from the north, it looks like this:
Yes, it’s a giant walking through the sea, neck deep. Is it just a rock? Of course it is a rock, but that’s not the point. The point is words. Here’s one: island. Like all words bound with the earth, it is a word that narrates perspective. Is it a rock jutting out of the sea?
Or is it one with the sea?
One leads to the anthropocene, one leads away from it. That’s a human capacity, a kind of generalness that irons out specificity. Like all words, island doesn’t just come from nowhere. It comes from deep observation of the world by indigenous, ancestral humans. It’s a point in the sea that is a thickening, a point of observation. You can see it from a distance and guide yourself by it, or you can stand on it and be within the sea and see the sea as part of yourself. Either way, it is a space of seeing, that looks out and looks in. Here are two:
Joseph of the Nimíipuu
The spheres hanging from his ears make 2 into 4 and all the world.
Ancestrally, to the people who made English (and Old Norse) out of their lives in the world, an island was a space of power that could take two forms, depending on your position. It is not a space of rock in the sea, but an eye. That’s not to say that it is modelled on human or animal eyes, but that the eye, the clot, the point of interchange precedes them both. Here it is:
That’s right, a yolk, the eye in the egg, the island in the shell. This is the word, the y, the ey, the eye, the egg, and so on. It’s not rock, a human sight organ, or a part of an egg. It’s this:
Please, let’s not diminish it by saying it is a human recognition of human bodies written in the world. Of course, it’s that, but it’s also a point of energy interface. Human bodies and human intentions, as our ancestors saw them, were one with the world. You have to deviate from that to create the anthropocene, which means deviating from indigenous peoples, including your ancestors, and a form of energy reliant on a perspective based upon the earth, for one based upon a different eye, the I, which is based on that abstracting principle. So, please, if you care about this planet, if you want to heal her, start from this one principle:
humans today have been trained not to interact with the energy transfer systems of the earth except through technology, including art.
If you don’t see the eye in the islet and the islet in the eye, that’s all the proof you need. Talking about the anthropocene, when humans have the capacity to fix this with every spoken word, is just vain and obscene. Don’t leave your art lying around on the shore.
And please don’t relativize this message.