Two pieces: 1. 'Self Devouring Armageddon Machine' (swirling black cube of death and suffering) 2. 'Quantum Query' (animatic, floating projection exploring the extremes of scale) As part of group show - 'We Can Understand the Meaning Better Without'.
Wednesday, 28 January 2009
Friday, 23 January 2009
Wednesday, 21 January 2009
Tuesday, 20 January 2009
Here's some writing we did.
It's long, but worth a read.
There’s no denying that things are a bit icky right now. What, with the economy and the environment both seemingly on the brink of total collapse; ickyness definitely seems to be the new collective impression.
Since the nuclear threat, we’ve all lived knowing that we might pop off at one moment or another, so it’s unsurprising that we’ve all considered that an apocalypse might happen in our life time. (Yes, yes it’s coming. And don’t worry - you will be Legend, just like Will. You’ll be the last one.) How can you ever plan stuff, or have a baby, or what’s the point in… oh anything, if the end is nigh?
Armageddon is good daydream fodder. Will the end be glamorous, like Kevin Costner in Water World, or nice and cute like Wall E? Maybe your fantasy crush will be there too, and, well, in such stressful circumstances anything can happen. Yeah… last minute sex! Whatever, they’re just piffling details. We’re all fucking doomed and that’s for certain. Any. Decade. Now.
The Large Hadron Collider, our most recent and Hollywood style threat yet, failed to suck everything into a super-dense nugget of matter, (it was close but, no cigar. We broke it instead actually, our Armageddon machine. Shame.) So now it’s time to start worrying about what’s next on the list…
And that friends, is 20.12.2012. The Mayans predicted the end of the world would occur on 20.12. 2012; The suggestion seems reasonable. Sounds about right doesn’t it? 20.12. 2012. Wipeout. Just after the Olympics but before Christmas. Rough deal. I don’t know what I’d choose if we were aloud to swap them over… Christmas or Olympics? God, this is so hard.
Anyway, who, you might ask, is currently perpetrating this prediction? Most people want the assurance of more than one belligerent internet nutjob, or roving conspiracy theorist that the end of days (another great film… Arni this time… Arni or Will Smith? Oh God!) will be in less than 4 years. Well unfortunately most of the chatter on this is found on the internet, so you have to wade though a lot of old rubbish to get much sense out. But to give a potted account; there is a belief that the end of the Mayan Long Count Baktun Calendar, which comes to its conclusion on 20.12. 2012, will result in the destruction of civilisation. The calendar is a well-documented thing, as are the Mayan predictions.
However it’s the translations of said predictions that is causing the contention. Subtly of language is an amazing thing; one mans ‘end’ is another’s ‘change’. Conveniently for the linguistically dexterous doom-mongerers, changes in society could be construed as death knells, and bloggers can write that our current convergence of occurrences could all conceivably wind themselves up in 2012!
Relax though, in reality things could come to a messy end at any given moment, but since everyone’s feeling all extra especially angsty right now it seems sensible to pin it all to the Mayan prediction, you know, to give it some credence and grounding.
There’s loads of other stuff that ties into all this Mayan bad joo-joo, but it’s really, really boring and the links are mighty tenuous. Google it for yourself if you have some spare time to put to good use. But believe, loads of people are really digging the 2012 prediction, and are dead-set that the end is, again nigh…
So how else might our collective demise be brought about? Top theories include, (once repaired) an LHC-spawned black hole that WILL EAT US ALL! Apparently even Nostradamus foresaw this and wrote about it, and drew a little picture (which is actually a bit creepy- see below), the wrath of miscellaneous environmental disasters re-booting the world (a la Earth Song), the planets magnetic field flipping and pinging us off into space, a comet colliding with us, ‘something weird’ happening as a result of Barack Obama’s second term as president (he’s THE ANTI CHRIST, apparently). Golly, now you mention it, things don’t look good do they?
Convinced? No? Well neither am I (although I do find that Nostradamus thing a bit odd). Luckily, us doubters/deniers can take comfort in the fact that literally thousands of other days were earmarked as the end, but passed, obviously, without consequence.
(Since 2800BC, there have been 407 well documented dates of TOTAL ANNIHILATION, (I counted) which includes 37 in the year 2000 alone.
So why are we as humans so keen on predicting the end of life as we know it? Put it this way- have you ever felt small? Insignificant? Like your life means literally nothing? Good. You were correct to do so (ever seen ‘Powers of 10’?). Everything: who you are- your whole life… think of it as just a tiny molecule of an infinitely huge organism (the universe in a marble- like Men in Black. Another point to Big Willy). Woah… Humans are riddled by self-consciousness, and feeling tiny and irrelevant and wormlike understandably makes the most cognisant being to walk the earth a touch uncomfortable. We’re important, arn’t we? That’s why we invented god.
One way to counter these unhelpful feelings is to mentally place our contemporaries and ourselves in a ‘significant time’- namely at the end of history. Not floating about in some anonymous ‘middle time’, like plebs. But BOOM! Just before the apocalypse. To help maintain this illusion, we distract ourselves with Tescos, share prices, cheese, family and feelings of love. But come on, you and I both know these are just tricksy perceptions. At some level everyone is aware that we are eating and shitting machines. Living though a ‘significant time’ for the universe helps to make us feel special, but depressingly, from afar, to some superior alien race you probably just look like, yeah, a shit machine. We wake up, consume, sometimes thrust about in response to an irrational urge to procreate, poo and sleep again.
There must be more to it. We are spe-ci-al. We can be creative too! But having the nous to invent things, like the a-bomb, has resulted in a society piqued by a pervading sense of anxiety. The Bomb, the Collider, Nano-technology and our melting ice, all spawn fear of man-made total destruction. We have done away with the four horsemen- today the list of doomsday exiting strategies contains mostly explicable natural events (comets and magnetism) or the fruit of our own labour. It’s as if we like scaring ourselves in the dark.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some awful oil-sponsored Bellamy as I believe that we do have problems as a society, and it seems like there will be some ‘challenging’ times ahead, but this apocalypse tradition is LONG. And by the very fact that I have written this and that you’re reading it, shows that time and again predictions have been proven false.
So lets just leave it. The need to ‘place’ ourselves and to assure ourselves of the importance of our existence is understandable, but the reality is likely to be much more grim and boring. We are likely to fuck ourselves over in various ways, but I don’t fear black holes or Mayan predictions of an abrupt end. And if a comet swings by our way then there’s very little to be done about it other than suck it up.
If, by chance, one does hit in 2012, then I promise to die in some ridiculous get up, like a baby-grow, swinging a football rattle, blowing a whistle, all carnival, just to crack a smile on your otherwise tear tracked and stricken faces. Promise. I promise, because I’ll be so happy. Boom. Over. Fine.
So don’t think about the apocalypse. It’s just self-indulgent bullshit. Dream instead of social breakdown, centuries of desecration, squalor and disease, cos they are all very grisly, and much more likely. We’ll probably just carry on in reduced circumstances for millennia eating our dogfood, worshiping stacks of tellies adorned with smeary pictures of our favourite dead celebrities, and washing our rags in whatever muddy brook to mark our territory out. The future Earth will be different I’m sure you’ll agree, but don’t anticipate a boom-boom end. We’re living in interesting times, but don’t fool yourselves. They’re not that interesting.
THE END (in 4,500,000,000 AD btw, the sun’s gonna explode.)