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MAKE A DELIBERATE INTENTION TO MEET FORCES THAT COMPOSE A LIMIT OF THE WORLD.
[Take this to be an obligation.]
BEFORE SETTING OUT, INVENT A PRACTICE FOR TURNING AT THE LIMITS OF THE WORLD.
[Once you arrive you will not be able to think abstractly or act directly.]
SET OUT FOR A GEOMORPHOLOGICAL EDGE.
[Do research. Find a geomorphological edge where human and nonhuman forces converge and delimit one another. Define the route, timing, mode, support, and affordances of travel. Each of these will prove to be highly consequential.]
[You will arrive for the first time only once. Feel the forces of this place for your own body/brain/mind (and not as represented in guidebooks, research, others’ photos, habitual assumptions).]
RE-TUNE THE MEDIA. MAKE THEM ABLE TO SIGNAL WHAT THE FORCES OF EDGE-NESS DISCLOSE HERE.
[Choose or reinvent media on the spot—something capable of attuning to forces at play at this particular moment and edge. Use them to signal the “edge-ness” that is being delivered at this place by geomorphological materials and human and nonhuman events right now. Use the media to signal what is being disclosed here.]
LOCATE THE SITE-MOMENT OF GOING NO FURTHER.
[Collaborate with forces that are in the midst of making/remaking the limits of the world here. Sense how these forces indicate when and how they deliver limits here. Use the media and your body/brain/mind to sense when and why you will declare: “just enough” and turn.]
[Co-exist with the zero and the infinity that is your declared turning point, your human+nonhuman limit. Experience a long exposure. Like a photograph, let impressions accumulate via any means you choose.]
PERFORM THE TURN.
[This is not a defeat. Declaring “just enough” and turning at the limit is not (ever) “turning back.” Rather, it is to inflect your own movement in response to addressing and being addressed by limits of this world. It is a heroic act to encounter and take in the limit of the zero—its “full stop.” Your act of turning can be a ritual, it is most definitely a gesture of address to the strange stranger of the limit that is arriving here. Your turning is a highly consequential act. NOT to turn would have significant consequences. To turn has significant consequences. The only thing that you cannot do here is to live in this zero/infinity. The turning point is not liveable. It is an un-liveable state because it is always and only THE TRANSITION itself. The turning point is the trans-siting, the transit, the trans-formation. It is CHANGE ITSELF. You cannot inhabit or know the turning point. You can only pass through it. This passage is the work. It is the practice.]
RETURN A DIFFERENCE.
[It is a heroic act to encounter and take in this fact of the physical universe: to turn is to generate and live a difference. To turn is to acknowledge a limit and live by that limit—but with a generative difference. To turn at the limits is to generate potential and open the future. To turn is to perform the winding up and the letting go into difference and surprise. What is returned by this practice is a difference. A difference is the gift that your turning offers back to the world. It is a bow to the fact that the world is a continuously unfolding configuration and reconfiguration. A bow is a turn, it is a wave form. With this practice, you bow to the difference that the limits of the world make in yourself and in the world. The gesture of turning-bowing returns you to the interlocking material reality that is you+the limits of the world.]
The Turning at the Limits of the World, signaled below, was performed by smudge studio at Öndverðarnes, the westernmost point of the of Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland, on 5.30.14.
image: Google Maps
image: Google Maps
image: Google Maps
This a work-in-process for INHABITING CHANGE | smudge studio May/June 2014
Our field research for Future North will consist of an “inhabitation project” that will span several locations. We will seek out sites and times where forces of change related to the futures of the “North” are unfolding with particular intensity, palpability and exquisiteness. We will inhabit built structures, landscapes, and events at volatile edges of forces of change as “field stations” or “apertures” for observing, sensing, documenting, and creatively responding to “forces of change” in play on a daily basis around us. We imagine making observations about, and creative responses to, global forces of change, and how they are reshaping daily, lived experiences and meanings of “North-ness.”
We will use the immediacy of new digital media to slow down, pay deep attention, move-with, and make-from-within events and forces of change itself. We wager that the lively, alter-world in the midst of emerging right now will catch us and gesture back. Much of what we need for this project will be learned and invented along the way.
We intend that creative works resulting from our inhabitations at such edges will put the projects’ diverse sites into relation to one another. We want to offer dynamic images and stories of how the unprecedented intensities, scales, and speeds of contemporary change are inflecting human daily life, imaginations, and acts of building and making. The inhabitations will allow us to move-with some of these new directions, and make something of the generative potentials they offer to designers, artists, and citizens.
We intend to create dynamic tracings of the arrival of new futures of the North into widespread human + nonhuman cognizance. Works that result from Inhabiting Change may take the form of a series of linked multi-media dispatches. We also intend to compose a collaborative, human + nonhuman voice with multiple, moving points of view—while we live and make in the midst of the forces of change that currently are composing emerging futures north.
*all images this page FOP/smudge studio unless otherwise noted.
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