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INITIUM

Volume I

Spring 2021


Editors Dear Reader,

At the heart of the human condit

the environment, one and anoth

marked by separation: be it long

the disintegration of the earth un

cede to an existence separate fr

How can we recognize separatio

you to examine the fissures aroun

question their inceptions and une

this volume, we hope to share wit the artist’ s eye; the passage of tim


s’

tion lies connection: between one and

her, one and oneself. Yet, this season is

gitudinal distance, human centrism or

nder your soles. What happens when we

rom ourselves, each other and nature?

on as an escalating reality? Initium invites

nd you — to measure their significance,

earth their consequences. As you unfold

th you distance and dissonance through

me and its product: Discidium. - Initium Magazine

Note


01

Megafloral Musings by Jared Stilwell

04

Give Thanks for Another Day of Loving by AnnMarie Young

05

Arctic Atlantification by Patrick Heimbach, Ulrike Heine, An Nguyen, Greg Foss, Briana Bradshaw

07

Wanderers by Fred Zhu Qualatative Observations by Thomas Jennings

08

Isolated Citizen by Jessica Wetherly

Tabl C 09

Towards a Technology of Spit by Megan Jeanne Gette

12

After getting a flat tire on my bike and ‘s wondering if that the answer by Thomas Jennings

13

// Laboratory { by Jessica Wetherly

16

Topologies of ‘The Cloud’: Im(materialized) by Jerónimo Reyes-Retana


le of Contents 17

Deconstruction by Diego Carlson

18

21

The End by Azelia Lau

25

A Stellar Romance by Darin Peacock

Cascade Pass by Gregory Knapp

19

Cosmos by Michelle Sanchir

Spirals by Aishi Guha

20

Indulgent Mother Earth and the Wayward Child by Swadesh Mitter Mahajan

26

Credits and Special Thanks


Megafloral Musings

by Jared Stilwell

The Mold is growing in the corner of my bedroom again. I suppose my last crusade against the fungus was just as foolhardy as every one that came before. It was always Teddy’s purview to deal with keeping our little temple in top shape. But now the mold flourishes. I think I’ll leave it this time, if it can sustain itself on my walls then power to it. There are certainly worse roommates to have and it’s not as if I’m not much longer to live in this apartment made for two. For today I was chosen to die and become fertilizer. I should make The Mold a little treat. After doing my sorry best to impede its existence perhaps I owe it a little apology. It’s a shame I have no earthly idea on what molds like to eat, or consume rather. They would need mouths to eat. I may as well just empty the contents of my fridge to the mold. Deliver it a feast like no other as my final act in the world. I’ll bring out all the food I have so it may pick and envelop whatever spongy junk or synthetic meat it can dream of. Or perhaps The Mold would prefer to consume less edible accoutrement, in that case I should probably bring some books over to it. The true finality of one’s rapidly approaching death really does some topsy turvy things to one’s mind. After months of scraping and washing my walls to eliminate any trace of non-me life, here I am in my final minute aiding and abetting this little grim stowaway. It’s certainly the future of being plant food awaiting me that has fueled this little act of attachment to The Mold. Aggravating that it took my own death to contemplate protecting anything but myself, but I suppose people are just selfish creatures. No. That’s unfair, I am just an especially selfish one. Leave it for a forced sacrifice to have me turn over a new leaf. I told myself when Teddy volunteered that I was going to stay around and fight for a change. There had to be a better world and I was going to fight for it. If we have the technology to make revenants, we certainly have a way to sustain the gardens without this system. At the very least the technology to make life for those of us suffering in this system more bearable. I told Teddy that I was going to follow soon after, just a few loose ends and we’ll be together again, nutrients for the megaflora. It turns out I was just as good at lying to him as I was to myself. There were people fighting for a world better than the one given to them. I was


1 simply not one of them. My boyfriend became a supplement for some giant plant, and I couldn’t even do my part to seek any better for others or myself. I have just been waiting. Waiting for other people to win, while people with the money and means to buy themselves out of these dregs continue to prevent any meaningful change. I have been waiting for nothing. Doing nothing. And after all this time it seems my waiting has finally paid out exactly what I deserve. But at the very least I will find some use in death. A revenant is soon to come and all I have left to do is decide precisely what I intend to fertilize in my endless sleep. I may as well get a head start. I pop two sleeping pills, hoping to soon enter a realm of dreams. It’s only right to get to experience something nice as the end approaches, even if it’s not real. Maybe I’ll stumble into some nice oak or lichen while I’m out. It’d be nice to have some kind of grand revelation on the matter, Teddy always knew what he was going to give himself to in the end. He just loved lilies of the valley; I never had any such attachment to greenery. I could never get over the macabre foundations of the gardens to properly enjoy them. They served their practical purpose of protecting and cleaning the ever-fragile atmosphere, but it is hard for me to simply accept that they need our bodies to thrive. Suddenly I was no longer conscious, two pills was a tad excessive but the deed is done now. My dream seems to have taken me some place dark and damp. The layout seems to be that of my apartment, even in a drug induced stupor the mind works with what it has. Every surface seems to be entirely covered by my spongy mycelium companion. Glad to see that at least in this dreamscape that The Mold has claimed the kingdom I aimed to leave him. As I began to examine my mold encrusted surroundings, Teddy appeared in the spore filled room and I fell over myself bounding over to embrace him.


We kissed in that fungi infested den that was once our bedroom. It had been so long and real or not I refused to let the chance pass by. It left a bitter grassy aftertaste as I gave him a closer inspection. He was far greener than any person had the right to be, chlorophyll apparently replacing the blood that once ran through his veins. Small petals were strewn about his wild and leafy hair and proper rosy bulbs dangled from his ears like jewelry. He began laughing as I took his dirt stained hands in my own. “You really shouldn’t have kissed me y’know. Lilies of the valley are so very poisonous my dear.” I promptly kissed him again, who was I to let a fatal reality stand in the way of a dreamed reunion’s physicality. He grinned and continued, his breath dewy and fragrant, “for all your worries about death you never had a terribly strong survival instinct. And at last fate has come to your door. I had hoped that my sacrifice would buy you longer, but it seems a random chance cannot exactly be swayed.” Surprised at this I inquired about him knowing that I was not going to sacrifice myself soon after him. He smirked as he explained “you’re not exactly a closed book my love.” His chlorophyll tinged eyes shifted to the floor as he continued, “I had hoped we would make the world better. My noble sacrifice would inspire others and you would go on afterwards making waves for a better life. It was too late when I realized that my ‘sacrifice’ was certainly not as revolutionary as the term usually entails. A sacrifice to this world is only one in name alone, it’s but self-slaughter to maintain a quo that is good for no one who deserves good, and ideal for those who deserve the worst.” He put his head on my shoulder and reunited his gaze with mine grinning once again with tears in his chloroplast stained eyes. “and being a lily is not nearly as whimsi-


cal as you hope it’d be.” At this his mossy green hair begins to turn leafy as sprouts begin to appear on his upper body. Seemingly aware of this he readies himself to depart as I continue to grasp his increasingly rootlike hands. Teddy offers a final peck on my forehead as he ushers himself out the door, leaving a trail of marbled rosy petals in his wake. Suddenly The Mold followed suit and retreated to its scarred corner as I was thrust back to the blissless waking world. It seems the pills did the trick to pass the time as there is knocking at the door. “Hello! I’m here for one Mr. Maurice Kaplan! Sorry to say it’s on less than pleasant business but you are most likely aware of that,” the tinny voice began as I made for the door. Opening it I saw the revenant sent to collect me for my end, he was a newer model. The young face on his wide screen of a head offered some vague sense of sympathy as he awkwardly tapped his mechanical foot. I would have invited him inside but I wasn’t sure he would be so ready to protect my budding ward. He seemed reluctant to enter also, it probably makes the job easier not to have really spent time with his quarries. I was not going to let that stand in the way of my manners as I asked for his name. He seemed a tad surprised at this, “My name is officially R-1121-NE. But when I was alive, I went by Remy. Er, well I am still alive, but you know what I mean. Before I was picked to well, do this.” He was pleasant to listen to, robotic but still warm. I’d never really talk with revenants before. I’m not good with death. But Remy seemed kind enough. Not much later we began discussing the nitty gritty of my becoming fertilizer. He balked when I told him that I wasn’t sure what plant to choose. I asked him what he would have become if he weren’t selected to be a revenant. “I think about that a lot actually. What with most of my life shepherding people to their own ends. It’s only natural really for me to wonder what I would’ve done if I could die, die for the gardens at least.” He stifles out a sad synthetic chuckle, “I think I would’ve liked to be a nice pomegranate shrub. But none of that now, functionally immortal and nutritionally impotent.” I’ve never been great at offering condolences, but I think he appreciated my meagre attempt. Trying to change the subject I asked him about his life before he became a revenant. Then swiftly apologized for prying. He shook his bulky head, “No you’re fine Mr. Kaplan, it’s just been awhile since I’ve been asked about well being Remy.” He quickly glanced down the hallway, as if even speaking his name was something wrong. He continued on though, some kind of tragic acceptance reflected off his screen. “It wasn’t a choice I made. I was just a normal student really, a little bright I guess. Scared of death like everyone else. I ran the Eco-Activist club at school and then one day some guys in suits showed up. They said I could make the world a better place. That I wouldn’t have to join the gardens.” He pauses as a look of defeat crosses his polished screen.


“To this day I’m not sure why they chose me. Because I lead an activism club? I didn’t have any kind of rebellious spirit or anything, I just wanted to help people.” He gave a gloomy look in my direction and did his best, in vain, to perk up. The fluorescent lights above gave the appearance of tear streaks down his spotless visage. I took his robotic hand and gave it a squeeze with all the heart I could muster. Remy’s face contorted and I was forced to reckon with the fact that revenants had no way to cry. Being walking movements of death must make existence dreadfully lonely. Apparent immortality doesn’t seem to make struggling against futility any more bearable. We stood in the hallway for quite some time as he gathered himself to perform his mandated professional revenant image once more. I told him we could wait as long as he needed. After a few minutes Remy regained his composure. “I should really be the one comforting you Mr. Kaplan. It is your last day after all. Thank you though. It’s nice to feel human again.” I asked him if there was anything more I could do for him which elicited a kind dreamy smile as he shook his monitor. “No I’m alright, good enough, but is there anything that you’d wish to do before the end? I promise to do anything within my power to make it happen.” I figured I should go see Teddy’s plant one last time and told Remy as much. On the way to the gardens we talked a bit more about his life as a revenant. It turns out that they didn’t even have each other. They were typically kept separated for no good reason either of us could surmise. Remy seemed wholly resigned to this never-ending existence and I felt a deep pit in my stomach as I began to well with a quiet rage. Perhaps it was some remnant of Teddy in my head that made me speak up and tell him that there is always a possibility of change. There is always a possibility of changing the world for the better. Certainly not alone, one man cannot stand up to timeless propaganda and unfathomable wealth and capital. But those struggling against people in power rarely do so alone. The lot given to any and all suffering for this system is not a fair one, and the megaflora solutions devised to improve it only benefits the very same people who caused the environmental woes to begin with. As I went on in my rage against the world, I began to sense a rage at myself for not speaking out sooner. I truly failed by not picking up the torch, but I can take solace that it may have found a new bearer. Conversation simmered down after my grandiose proclamations. I hope I didn’t scare Remy, I’m better at provoking than inspiring. But I do see some shimmer of hope in his glassy eyes. Soon after we reached the temperate section of the garden. Walking past massive body-fed poplar trees and labyrinthine rose bushes as we made our way to the center of the forest. Passing educational signs on how scientists are able to sustain the gardens and why our bodies are needed as we go. I never stopped to read them. The science


behind this system never interested me; I was preoccupied more with dread than curiosity. Finally we reached the center of the temperate section. Dotted with directional signs and fun facts on the nearby flora. From there I knew precisely where to go to find Teddy’s Lily of the Valley. It was brighter than I remembered; whether that’s due to the darkness I was in when I last visited or the hope that I seem to have found at my end is for anyone to say. Teddy’s pink and white petals hung over my head swaying as an artificial wind blew by. There isn’t a spot in the garden that I would rather end up. The question of what I would be however remained. I posed the question to the plant which sprinkled pollen down as it listed in the breeze. Not a mold or moss certainly, I need something stationary. Perhaps a mushroom. I asked Remy what he thought of the matter and he suggested a penny bun mushroom. I would be near Teddy’s flowers and would even be edible for any foragers that seek survival in the gardens. That sounded rather idyllic to me. I whispered a final farewell to Teddy under his blossoms. My friend The Mold was not to live long after my end, but I believe, or hope rather, that I inspired Remy. If not for a better world than for a better life. I let Remy know that I was ready. He gave a knowing nod and began walking me through the process. There is great work to be done, well too late for me to start it. But it is nice to have been of some use in my end.


AnnMarie Young

Give Thanks for Another Day of Loving Acrylic on Canvas

4


Arctic Atlantification

Patrick Heimbach, Ulrike Heine, An Nguyen, Greg Foss, Briana Bradshaw (2018) In their efforts to visualize their research, oceanographers An T. Nguyen and Patrick Heimbach produced a video animation in collaboration with visualization specialist Greg Foss from the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). The animation is a sequence of graphic renderings of a computer simulation, which shows the water temperatures of the Arctic Ocean at a given time. The color of each pixel reflects a temperature value defined in a legend. By putting the images into a time sequence, the evolution of temperatures over time becomes visible. The animation shows the circulation in the Arctic Ocean and its surrounding seas. The warm water of subtropical North Atlantic origin flows through the Nordic and Barents Seas into the Arctic. Salty, and thus heavy, this water subducts beneath the fresh surface. Earth’s rotation, wind, and the steep slopes of

Image 1

the ocean bottom steer the flow of the warm water toward the Western Arctic, where some of it exits through the Fram Strait, a passage between Greenland and Svalbard. On the western side of the basin, warm and fresh water from the Pacific Ocean enters through the Bering Strait in the summer. This water, lighter than water of Atlantic origin, remains near the surface and eventually exits the Arctic through the Canadian Archipelago or the Fram Strait. In the animation, this influx of warm water from the Atlantic into the Arctic is highlighted by color-coding. Its observed recent increase and spread to near the surface of the Arctic Ocean is a phenomenon scientists call “Arctic Atlantification.” In their research, Nguyen and Heimbach seek relationships between this phenomenon, the mass loss of the Greenland ice sheet, and the decline in the summer Arctic sea ice cover. The depth dimension of the grid for the computer simulation is based on the International Bathymetric Chart of the Arctic Ocean (IBCAO). Produced by an international research consortium, the Chart provides the depth of the ocean floor. To orientate the viewer, the first frame of the visualization (Image 1) shows a bathymetric map based on IBCAO, which highlights the major topographical features of the Arctic Ocean. The shallow seas in the margin of the Arctic Ocean enclose the deep interior, which comprises two basins, the Eastern and Western Arctic Basins. The two basins are separated by the Lomonosov Ridge, which extends from northern Greenland to the Laptev Sea.

****The illustrations in this article are still images from the video animation


The visualization traces the evolution of the temperature of water in the Arctic Ocean, at depths between 50 and 400 m below the surface. It focuses on th e inflow of Atlantic Water through the Fram Strait, as well as the inflow of summer water from the Pacific Ocean, which enters the Arctic Ocean through the Bering Strait. Using a distinct color code—from dark blue to green, yellow and red—the flowing and mixing of colder and warmer water, with temperatures ranging from - 2 to + 2 degrees Celsius, becomes visible. Warm Atlantic Water originating from the Gulf Stream is carried by the North Atlantic Current into the Norwegian and Barents Seas, and then further north into the Arctic interior. The North Atlantic Current may be viewed as the northernmost part of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). The AMOC is a succinct description of the circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, by which warm, light waters are carried northward from the tropics, overturn vertically in the subpolar North Atlantic, and return southward at depth as cold, dense waters.

Image 2

The warmest portion of the Atlantic Water flows eastward along the steep slope of the boundary of the Eastern Arctic Basin (image 2). The mixing of this warm water into the colder interior of the basin can be seen in the color transition from yellow to dark green. In the visualization, transparency is used for certain temperature ranges to make specific features visible. Among these features are individual mesoscale eddies—the ocean’s analogue of atmospheric storm systems—that are generated as a result of the turbulent flow of the ocean. Once generated, these eddies spin off from the main current and carry the warm core temperature away from its source. The Fram Strait is one of the two major gateways through which Atlantic Water enters the Arctic Ocean. South of the Strait, Atlantic Water enters very close to the surface on the eastern side. North of the Strait,

5


due to the presence of sea ice and “fresher” water (water with lower salt content) in the Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Water sinks below the fresher layer and occupies the Eastern Arctic at depths below 50 meters. The flow continues as a so-called boundary current circulating counterclockwise towards Siberia and into the Western Arctic (image 3), hugging the steep slope of the ocean floor between the continental shelf and the deep Arctic interior. Mesoscale eddies, seen here as red bumps with yellow edges, yellow bumps with green edges, or spirals of various shades of blue, fill the ocean interior. They extract heat from the main current and spread it into the Arctic Image 3

Image 6

Ocean interior at depths of 50 to 700 m below the surface. In this sequence of the visualization, the view shifts slowly from the Eastern to the Western Arctic, first showing the proliferation of eddies in the Arctic Ocean before moving towards the Bering Strait to highlight the influx of water from the Pacific Ocean—another important source of water flowing into the Arctic Ocean. Throughout the year, water from the Pacific Ocean enters the Arctic through the Bering Strait (image 4). This water is less dense than its Atlantic counterpart and resides at depths down to 250 m below the surface, which is above the Atlantic Water layer in the Western Arctic. During the summer months,

Image 4


the water influx from the Pacific can have temperatures as high as 10 degrees Celsius. In order to highlight the warmer water inflow, this segment of the visualization shows an extended temperature range, going up to 3.25ºC. In the Beaufort Sea, in the Western Arctic Basin, there are two distinct circulation regimes. In the interior, the winds drive a clockwise circulation of Pacific-sourced water mixed with river-runoff and sea. The frames below shows how the view shifted again from the Western Arctic back to the Fram Strait: on the western side of the Strait (image 5), cold and fresh water—a combination of Pacific-source water, river runoff, and ice melt— exits near the surface as the East Greenland Current (image 6). At depth, modified Atlantic Water exits also on the Western side of the strait. The contrast between the strong northward inflow of the Atlantic Water on the west and the southward outflow of the East Greenland Current generates a large number of mesoscale eddies. ice

melt in the upper 200 m. Around the basin rim, Atlantic-sourced water circulates clockwise between 200 and 700 m depth. The last sequence of the visualization shows the oceanic heat transport toward the Greenland ice sheet’s marine margin, and its penetration into the Kangerdlugssuaq Fjord in Eastern Greenland (image 8). The Atlantic Ocean and the Greenland Ice Sheet interact in narrow, deep fjords, such as this one. Here, warm subsurface Atlantic water can penetrate to the base of outlet glaciers and enhance glacial melting and calving. Since the late 1990s, the upward trend in the subsurface Atlantic Water temperature in this region has contributed to an accelerated mass loss of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

Image 7

*** Scan to watch full video Image 8


Wanderers by Fred Zhu My ship anchored on the tranquil sea, days out from the nearest quay. What men dreamed of since time afar, to float ‘neath this dome of stars. In the vastness of time and space, I ask, “are we worth our place?” Humbled in my mortal roam, I gaze up, and look to home.

7


Qualitative Observations Thomas Jennings “50 degrees”—pen’s ink slips into hawk solar-flaring three miles miniscule away in granite clouds, beyond this puddle’s dissolved oxygen: tested to be unknowable parts per millions of millipedes, sketching their pebbly cretaceous mesas in scribbly legs— en-raptor’d, my notebook and my watches gone: the yellow helices and turquoise ashrams round hawk’s ashy pupils: black icebergs melting and reflecting canopy’s conifers: jutted xylems blossoming in hawk’s teal nectar-eye, talons serrating wind’s muscles— threads of its stone breeze in my pores: wind sheens its skin over green cypress-knee mudras, and the hawk flows forth the shore of this cell-flooding tide’s fountain: our nucleus: red-tailed, twined no-mind pilgrimage: spores of innate awakening— words plucked into puddle’s vapor: my ink disjointed.


Jessica Wetherly

Isolated Citizen Mixed Media

8


Toward a Technology of Spit by Megan Jeanne Gette

The artist-swiftlet places the gift on the counter, wraps the nest with her beak in Saran wrap, over and over, fits it with a price sticker; On the inside, a series of dreams about placing gifts on countertops — with two hands — compete for attention with a mood, brought on by the weather; On the outside, rain where there had only been heat, for months, so the clothes on the line do not get dry; Some doubts cling to memories like a flea onto a single strand of fur, or a feather; They itch, news is unbearable so the mood is flat, it washes everything in a kind of stony something; A technicolor highway, in the dream; crumbles; On the outside, anticipation hangs in a house where a roommate has slammed the door, late for work, and a playlist, on shuffle, of music without words nor melody, any song with melody is too much right now, the melody carries out the force of the social, music is a homing device and melody points to what’s unbearable right now, no, it’s much better to listen to sounds as they are being

composed and decomposing; That’s what I’m writing, I think, a process of listening or echolocating, and I wonder if I’m evoking the habits of writers who engendered the concept of a “stream-ofconsciousness,” or the habits of philosophers who want to articulate what’s beyond the body, its phenomenology that is its own genre, which I don’t understand, because genre, the en-gendered thing, would be particular to the experience of the body and its habits in the world, A spatiotemporal bubble? Or a nest. I think I’m writing the filmy spit-nest between inside and out, fact and fiction; The now, as I articulate the music or non-music I listen to, the suspension of the rain outside that indicates its refrain in the gloominess of an afternoon riddled with holes; The artist-swiflet spits, and the spit makes her nest, it is a “stream-ofspit”; A process of leakage, of slippage, of traces, of thought that never quite coheres, despite the stability of the


9 Crisp, G. (2012, June 3). Bird’s nest with primrose [Digital image]. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:George_Crisp_-_Bird%27s_nest_with_primrose.jpg

environment; The artist-swiftlet tucks her nest away in some 300m deep cave in Myanmar among others who likewise build their homes with spit, who would go on making homes from spit, despite exploitation by harvesters who sell the nests of spit for thousands on the Chinese market — to make soup; to characterize this impulse as of mystic origin and/or affliction is preferable to calling it work; What I mean is that in order to discuss art-process, I have to note the conditions under which art-birth might be possible; Max Weber called it a “calling,” the labor-turned-ethic, the work-turnedvirtue, the must of it, its mustiness in the walls of our inherited ideological

piety; I am thinking of bodies instrumentalized for labor which is for them natural and to some degree necessary; Wondering if I think I can collaborate my way out of alienation; From my work, my love, my poems, from paranoia of the fact of bodies who cannot be singly unbaptized, where I’m still bathing; Or if alienation — or willful asceticism — is a virtuous thing to do, and if I am virtuous I will retrieve the blood of gods; I am a parasite drinking tears from a moth’s eye with my proboscis, I am making a house from my spit; Though it could be the rain; It’s been raining for weeks, and it’s unusual, so the mood invokes a voice


Morris, F. O. (2010, December 4). Regulus regulus [Illustration of a Goldcrests’ nest.]. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https://commons. wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_Natural_History_of_ the_Nests_and_Eggs_of_British_Birds_-Goldcrest_plate_132-cropped.jpg

that is a little heavier, a little gloomier, than the voice that typifies my habits of intimacies with others, living or dead, text or not-text, virtual or irl, those who are likewise making homes from spit; Rent is high and we are lonely, out here, Collaboration is key, the machine tells us, but we’d do it anyway, because we love each other, to make work for each other is what we’d do anyway, despite or in spite of them; All my love-writing, all my spit, my nest-making probably stems from a series of emails or bibliomantic relationships I’m conducting, simultaneously, with my dreams and some body of literature from which I inherit a grammar and the doubt that what comes out of me is legible or even enjoyable enough to read; It all happens at once;

I text someone a hello and it comes back to me in a theater of oversignification, where each of us is a breathing, eating, shitting person and also an archetype, a virtual stand-in designed to assure you of your place in the world, the why are you doing this, the intuition that will make you a great artist and not just a hack who will fade away into obscurity upon the reveal of a soothsayer, who might expose the flimsy contraptions you are using to weave your bramble; Spit is cheap, you say, I’m an artist, I can’t really afford glue, or powerful electromagnets, or your unchecked attachment issues; So that relationships for the artistswiftlet are forms of salvation and salivation, and costly; In a 300m deep cave, or a gloomy house where it is raining outside all the time, a little light from a wound might make the nesting worthwhile; We text each other heart emojis; I only want to write reviews; Above my nest I hang a print made by Nicole, with whom I am currently collaborating, which says All Gods / No Masters / All Matter Hums With Life; The nest is a place of anticipation, where matter and memory are synonymous with the signs each of us uses to describe a form emerging from our relationship; The soup of critique makes the poemnest tasty, for those who believe it is medicinal, if tasteless, by itself; A stream-of-consciousness is a bodily process;


Gould, J. (2013, April 22). Saxicola maurus indicus [Digital image]. Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Saxicola_maurus_indicus_on_Juniperus_formosana_-_ Gould.jpg

Yum yum; I am thinking of when I started to think about swiflets, the other ideas, experiences and research I had to conduct to arrive at them as a fraught and delicate metaphor, a locus of relation among technologies of spit; About work and time and the too much or not enough of it that organizes a life struggling against the social in terms of need and the refusal of that need;

The nest made from one’s own spit so as not to bother someone else for lumber, or concrete, or a compliance with building codes; That, if spit, then surely no one will want it & thus never bother you, never want the gross teacup of regurgitated body-stuff, the idiolect built out of intimate rejection of diagnosis and doctors that make no sense, cosmologically; Why this syntax;


& is this what they mean by “clarity”? To need food is to convince someone that what you are shitting out is actually Very Valuable; My little nest of spit is actually Very Delicious; it has medicinal properties; it is an aphrodisiac; it is a delicacy; it goes for thousands on the market; the nest is spiced with things you will enjoy; I think, during a song called “Unveiled” by Hildur Guðnadóttir, from the album titled Without Singing, to when I attended a talk given by the anthropologist Steven Feld, who is the “originator of the anthropology of sound”; He described a collaborative process of listening as acoustemology — the study of sound as a way of knowing (Feld 2012; 2015; 2018); It is an inquiry into what is knowable, and how it becomes known…as a knowing-in-action, a knowing-with and knowing-through the audible; He talked about the bunching of different species of cicada, and the way human collaborators in Papua New Guinea sounded or sang to mime this cicada-language in their own voices. I kept wondering okay but what is it that I know, through this acoustemology? Surely a poet cannot be standing here in this office legitimating this knowledge of cicada-bunching and polyphony.

Bird on Branch [Digital image]. (2019, December www.metmuseum.org/art/collection/search/514

All week I’ve been thinking about the word acoustemology and what I am to do if I don’t know how to bifurcate my body shed a cicada shell and come up from where I may be buried in the ground to write something knowable to speak clearly to give a word to my disease to draw a line between sincerity and performance, human / imal, hum / animal, hum-animal hum hum hum


r 20). Retrieved February 18, 2021, from https:// 406

I echolocate hum hum hum hum hum hum hum Feld laments, But there are real linguistic limitations here, and neither Nii Otoo nor I understand the other’s language with the degree of precision necessary to get into the deeper dimensions of listening. I consider my epistem-oetry, the way it is hard to feel alive unless I’m writing, hard to connect, hard to speak, hard to respond to people’s speaking, hum hum

hum I can’t remember which poet said you can write a poem about birds so long as you take out all the birds from it I can critique, I think, if I delete all the I’s the body that hums Swiflets echolocate, which is how I became interested in them to learn the boundaries of noise and speech, feeling and thought, to find examples in “nature,” / the retrievable-possible in “nature,” because I knew my own testimony, in my own language, might be repackaged to fit the afflictions already verified by scientific illustrations verified by law procedure / procedural drawing That the terms of their embodiment might exceed the terms of rationality determined by the Greek polis so that a philosophy of opacity, layers and prisms might emerge beyond its lineage. To whom do I owe access to the speech I created to insulate myself from this? This is how I begin writing — I echolocate — I don’t have a machine for this I put the thread on my tongue and pull through the holes this way of knowing through this way of knotting nesting spitting hum hum yum yum yum


`

After getting a flat tire on my bike and wondering if that’s the answer Thomas Jennings


Heaving a metal skeleton, two grounded misshapen wings with rubber feathers, I only skim the weepy azalea sunset smearing itself over every caterpillar and liver in the world, and look head-down at steamy pores licked by the licey sight of too-familiar houses, trucks and carburetors parked guilty in their overgrown rust. And the tire of this bike has a hole that seems the mouth of a minnow, somewhere in a grotto’s violet unseen cataracts, known only to a fish that lost its eyes a million years ago: a mind uncarved—still warbling a mute starling artery: a simple moonbeam planted across all evolution’s damp lighted fingers. Passing a garage, I see some shiny shambled bouquet of cans of rotted bug spray… and I stand myth-less and my desires fully rooted— maybe I would rather let the mosquitos meditate, mince on my hemoglobin: red unknown globes pocketed like stolen flowers— I steal my own flowers, ones given to me by the heaped cans of alleys and sidewalks, and recycle all my skinless barefoot songs— reuses clot the sea anyways, soon no room to wash these old bones away:

12 I admit these thousand worries, but each is a seed of diamond-cutters and starry seaweed of life-drenched love: stepping on the sweaty sands of a veiny wheelless stillness, throwing off the comforts and corroded blankets of exploitation: nervous carbon prophets: hidden in each platelet of vernal thought— one polluted moth larvae still droops over moss, towards quiet pollination: petioles and carpels of all actions: predestining electric loves of prehistoric lotuses someday swallowed by feathered crabs, unchanged by our own sovereign plastics.


// Labora by Jessica Wetherly

A fictional laboratory - an imagined, rendered experiment where strangely coloured amphibian and reptilian creatures are hung, contained and presented on open frames. I raise questions of how to sustain life and reactivate it in a future world whilst presenting notions of extraction, mutilation and syphoning of biological information reflecting current scientific research

practises. The clinical setting explores the idea of a search for an active technology which possesses its own life force and the underlying inadequacy of a scientific perspective to achieve such animation: the synthetic skins remain dormant retaining an artificial toylike quality. I see a sack of skin as a remnant of a collection of consciousness - an


atory { 13 exterior, shedding, a rebirth, a body without organs, a form of unformed and formed body. The inflation and deflation of these forms evokes a sense of life that once was, hinting at a possible reanimation. The works are activated by mechanised electronics, which have been programmed to create an almost hypnotic motion: a subtle flickering, slow oscillation or revolution - we become mesmerized

by a coded logic. The instruments and tools represent a futile measuring or monitoring. The individual parts of a weather station are spread across the installation, a prism and compass are placed on the table referencing distortion of reality and our orientation somewhere within


the multiverse. The current rate of acceleration of climate change, has caused weather predictions to become unreliable. The destabilising effect of no longer having foresight is synonymous with the loss of the future. Reaching into the unknown, the world unfolds before us at a dizzying rate. The disorientation of the array of possibilities is formidable. The cold-blooded creatures speak of deep time, hibernation and adaptation - reflecting the beginning of life, when animals emerged from the ocean. Like the past, the future is built from fragments which are obscured and unclear, veiled in a mystery, an alternative universe. We grasp at aspects of the possible outcomes. These slippery holograms

whose glistening and ghostly forms hover all around us, morph, mutate and hybridise, intersecting knowledge within collective consciousness. As the new generation are hypnotised by LCD screens, social media platforms and game spaces, our minds have been opened up to the matrix of the network, which is reigniting the minds of many of us with ideas of magic, mythology and folklore. It seems poignant to investigate how we re-describe and re-inscribe ourselves through an amalgamation of technology and biology in this new hyper reality. Whilst, at the same time, there also seems to be a certain agency to return to something local, immediate


and intimate – a need for a connection with the tangible. Within the project there is an intentional sense of naivety, nodding to the simplicity of a child’s science project. Oil and water, create two tone coloured liquid, a simple circuit probe lights up a small bulb and the screen flashes red, green, yellow and blue screen of a DNA coding sequence. The practise of making by hand has become critical. Returning to a form of subconscious language as a means of deciphering the world around us. Fascinated by pictorial language, I make symbols that piece together fragments of information, considering it as a means of fossilising the present into imagined narratives presenting the ordinary as weird and obscure, as a fictional cave of forgotten dreams.

“Using a playful range of everyday materials I build worlds that investigate the blindness of anthropocentric society, confronting the indeterminable future, not only for ourselves but for all living things.”


// LABORATORY { // an imagined, rendered experiment constant = 0 DNA sequence ( red = T, green = A, yellow = G and blue = C ) // syphon code // Variables will change: int on = HIGH; long previousMillis = 0;

// how to sustain life // will store time & reactivate

long interval = 86400;

// interval at which to blink;

search (4) an active technology ; possess life force // inadequacy void setup() { Serial.begin(3600); pinMode(Pin, OUTPUT); } void loop() { oil + water = split level // artificial unsigned long sack of skin = collection of consciousness(); if (shedding = rebirth > interval) { // body without organs // save the last time you blinked // if off turn it on and vice-versa: // this is futile

}

rate of acceleration if (on == LOW) { on = HIGH; } else { on = LOW; }

if (on) // weather prediction failed = loss of the future { flicker(); // past = future } else { digitalWrite(Pin, LOW); // fragments obscured; }

Unknown = // dizzy Disorientation level formidable;


} void flicker() { // wait for a second digitalWrite(Pin, LOW); // turn off; cold-blood delay(3155760000); // deep time, hibernation digitalWrite(Pin, HIGH); // turn on (adaptation HIGH - beginning of life) delay(100); // rising from liquid Serial.println(“Flicker”); // past = future ; amphibious mutation } //hybrid the ordinary = weird + obscure // fossilise into imagined narrative // a cave of forgotten dreams. void () {


Topologies of ‘The Cloud’: Im(m


materialized) by Jerónimo Reyes-Retana mixed media

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17

DECON

“Deconstruction: Lion Fish; Deconstruction: Shark; D


NSTRUCTION

Deconstruction Giraffe;”

DIEGO CARLSON

Prismacolor and Graphite


A Stellar Romance by Darin Peacock I began life as a Protostar with my star siblings in the great Mountains of Creation My star mate was born here as well We grew up together

There Ther e had to to be a way To save save my luminous par partner tner Her salvation salvation depended on me There Ther ew wer ere e whispers whispers of of a hermit hermit He was a wise, old sage

She and I fell in love When we were young, bright protostars Then we became full-fledged massive stars We made a binary system Our wedded love blossomed

I went went tto o a rregion egion On the edge of of the galaxy A dark and remot remote e rregion egion o off space space I searched searched the rregion egion thoroughly thoroughly At long last I found him

My lovely bride and I Spent millions of years together We gazed at beautiful nebulae We fed each other asteroids We shined for each other

He gazed deep into into space space He looked looked at distant galaxies I told told him about my dilemma And asked asked him for a solution He gave gave me a sad look

We bestowed light and life Upon our planets and our moons We sent solar winds to each other These blown winds were our blown kisses We were stellar lovers

He told told me of of his year yearss With his star bride and star siblings He told told o off their eventual eventual deaths He was the last surviving sur viving star Of his great great nebula

My shining bride and I Shared blissful years together then She became a Red Supergiant I feared the thought of losing her I had to do something

He told told me something else He told told me the great great univer universe se Is ancient and holds many secrets secrets He rev revealed ealed one o off them tto o me A power powerful ful secr secret et

I bade my mate farewell And promised to come back to her I searched the Milky Way Galaxy I traveled for many lightyears I searched both far and wide

The White White Dwarf Dwar f Star Star ttold old me The Secret Secret o off the Neutron Neutron Star Star And how these stars stars could be cr creat eated ed I told told the sage the masses of of Both my par partner tner and me

I spoke with many stars None knew how to save massive stars From the abyss awaiting them The darkness seemed to be their fate I would not accept it

He offer offered ed tto o take take mass From Fr om my star mate mate tto o save save her life I said the process process would would end his life He said he lived lived for a long time His mate mate p passed assed year yearss ago


The rest of his family Passed into the Beyond as well He wanted to be reunited With his luminescent partner He wanted to give time

To cheat grim, dreadful death When my wife ran out of fuel, An immense explosion engulfed her It faded and she was still there Her form was different now

Time for my wife and I We traveled back many lightyears To reach the Mountains of Creation The sage met my radiant wife He spoke with me alone

Her size decreased again And shined a most beautiful blue She now had a strong magnetic field And hotter than she was before A glorious rebirth

He imparted to me All his knowledge and his wisdom He told me all the secrets he learned From his numerous years of life We spoke for many days

I gazed in great wonder For she was the first Neutron Star In the great Mountains of Creation She was like a stellar sapphire I was proud of my wife

The talking was finished The great sage star then told my wife The transfer process to save her life She mulled over the idea then finally agreed

Her full-fledged massive form And past red form were beautiful Her new blue form was magnificent I told her she was beautiful I adored her blushing

The white star and my wife Went multiple lightyears away I gazed upon the great, selfless act The ancient star spun rapidly, Spinning with greater speed

We gazed into deep space We saw comets and nebulae As we gazed, we beheld a strange sight Two specters appeared before us A pair of ghostly stars

The old star siphoned mass He wrapped himself in brilliant fire The blazing inferno grew and grew More mass passed between the two stars Finally, the blast came

It was the wise, old sage And a beautiful sight, his wife The four of us beamed at each other There is truly life beyond death We will be forever

A great, powerful blast Engulfed the archaic, white star The explosion gave off brilliant light It faded and the sage was gone My mate was smaller now The white star saved my wife He rescued her from the black hole He made the ultimate sacrifice We both mourned this great, noble star The star gave us a way

18


Aishi Guha

S p i ra l S Acrylic on Canvas

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Indulgent Mother Earth and Swadesh Mitter Mahajan

Do not ignore my screams of agony I am suffocating, my wayward child The best fruit of my womb so lush unremitting toil, striving, willing it took Long, indeed, was the gestation Profound, indeed, were changes to make a transformation so awesome, so full From a dead rock to a life-brimming lake I did not exactly bear you in my womb But I dreamed of you and crafted you Gave you abundance, the gift to grow Gave you sentience, the power to feel Gave you curiosity and power to create Held your hand and blessed your creed You were, indeed, a perfect child This is, really, what I thought You loved me and called me mother Worshipped me as a giver of plenty husbanded wisely my vast lush domains took some and gave some who could imagine earth without man! You were special but not the only one the plants, the animals, big and small were just as precious, my ornaments the father sun’s radiant blessings gave me beauty, my bounty, my wealth my love and generosity sustained you all Then one day, the wise amongst you declared man’s dominion over me not just the plants, the animals few but over the rocks and the oceans blue your learned sages spread the lore that a divine power has willed it so It took a while but the idea spread earth is to be exploited to enrich the man his needs, wastefulness, luxuries unbound greed and arrogance the

dominant theme unlimited perpetual growth rose in ranks of divinities that fully control the clan you dug deep into my body, my womb burnt the wealth that took aeons to make polluted my surroundings my breathing space that I am suffocating wwfever rose the rest dug deeper driven by lust and


the Wayward Child

“Mother Earth”, Sadhvi Darisipudi; Cardboard

greed the creativity the drive that made you special the shining jewel that I could boast An object did I become in your hands To use to control to exploit with limitless haste the goose that once laid the golden eggs is heading to turn into fevered

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waste I am loving and I am generous I could forgive the transgressions the violent incursions into my body and soul I could and would indulge the crimes that you may inadvertently commit but my fever I cannot control I will always be there despite fever Perhaps cold and frigid in parts storms and hurricanes may pummel my body my swelling breasts may get dry But it is your fate, my precious child that fills me with fear, makes me cry Only you and only you by an overt act of will and courage abandoning covetous, destructive quests heal me back to health, to beauty, to balance, to equanimity, the power to make you bloom reaching the heights transcending a dream Wake up then, I beg of you Stop ignoring my screams of agony I am suffocating, my wayward child


The End Nowadays, the news seems to be inundated with the latest environmental catastrophe, the newest animal that has made the endangered list, and the debated governmental sanctions towards climate change commitments. Although a plethora of evidence shows the Earth is headed in the wrong direction, the public doesn’t seem to have a sense of urgency towards the topic of environmentalism. “The End of Eating Everything” is an attempt by Kenyan contemporary artist Wangechi Mutu to expose human nature.1 Her eight-minute short film begins with a zoomed in focus on a young African American woman facing a flurry of birds. The piece builds in tension as the woman appears to be sizing up the birds by sniffing the air, her excitement marked by the ever-increasing inky movement of her hair. She turns from a beautiful face into a monstrous creature as the film slowly pans out to show her foul landmass of a body coupled with a more and more turbulent demeanor.

by Azelia Lau

clouds. Eventually, the viewers see her in her entirety; she is a bulbous, rotting mass with an opening that spews out smoke until the entire screen is blocked out. Finally, the film ends when

the smoke fades away into a cloudy blue sky filled with talking, but soundless, floating heads. Although Mutu’s works span many mediums and a variety of topics such as the femininity, self-image, and cultural identity, this particular piece concentrates on environmental destruction through selfish consumerism. Sadly, this piece perfectly

“Sadly, this piece perfectly describes the trends of humankind because historically, it has forged ahead without much regard to the environment.” As the viewers struggle to comprehend the new grotesque information, the woman begins to feast on the birds, the blood of her prey falling down in dark

describes the trends of humankind because historically, it has forged ahead without much regard to the environment. Mutu’s creature symbolizes humankind’s


selfish consumption for the earth’s resources. Historical trends, increasing global temperatures, and psychological barriers has and will continue to predict our future actions until it is too late to reverse our destruction. One of the earliest records of human resource consumption comes from the Eemian period when North European Neanderthals created the first fires, and therefore the first pollutants, to cook meat and to keep warm during the winter 2 seasons. They hunted large animals indiscriminately by killing them in hordes but were highly selective in the carcasses they decided to bring home. Since these early population densities were low, the rate of carbon emission and death of local species did not cause cause a large enough rift to result in an ecosystem imbalance3. However, as humans evolved from hunter-gatherer groups into complex civilizations this

“Historical trends, increasing global temperatures, and psychological barriers has and will continue to predict our future actions until it is too late to reverse our destruction.” trend of overdrawing resources was eventually detrimental to the environment to the point of their own demise. The unsustainable practices

of the Pueblo people in Chaco Canyon during the Bonito Phase of New Mexico is a famous example. The Pueblo was a

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massive society that built a complex infrastructure system. Great houses were the center of community and religious practice and each would take an enormous amount of wood resources to build. Hundreds of smaller buildings erected around the great houses as homes for family units, farming and food production, and other businesses such as trade processing. As timber in immediate range grew scarce, the Pueblo would have to travel some eighty kilometers away to obtain enough wood to continue expanding. The deforestation experienced by this region caused soil to erode and lower agricultural yield. Ultimately the Chaco Canyon civilization collapsed because not enough food was produced to feed the many mouths of their population due to overexhaustion of finite resources.4 The


tragic flaw of the Pueblo of the Chaco and goods but the spread of innovation Canyon was their insatiable need for from coast to coast, and assembly lines growth, much like the creature in The and the invention of the light bulb End of Eating Everything. The creature exponentially increased the industry’s floating in a polluted sky with no anchor potential for production output.5 Never to the ground below it mirrors how the before were the needs of the consumer Pueblo literally had no roots in food met so quickly and effectively by the production to support their precarious power of mass production. Unlike society. the Chaco “The tragic flaw of the Pueblo of the Chaco The Canyon Canyon was their insatiable need for people of people who growth, much like the creature in The End the Chaco only had of Eating Everything.” Canyon as much is a precautionary tale of what access to resource as their legs could happens when humans overdraw walk, the United States was able to from their environment, but what if draw resources from every part of the consequences do not result in the nation. It became the creature immediate shutdown of civilization? of Mutu’s imaginings by engulfing Such has been the case since the First the black birds of iron, coal, and the Industrial Revolution. There have been forests that were easily accessible and signs linking environmental destruction seemingly limitless. This mindset has to human mortality such as increased mostly stayed the same until modern risk for disease and lower fertility rates, day, except the only difference is that but no discrete line has been drawn carbon emission, depletion of fossil fuels and the benefits of further advancement and a bursting world population has outweigh these risks too much to stop. yielded quantifiable effects of climate Humankind has been hurtling forward in change, loss of biodiversity, and ocean non-stop acceleration without rationale acidification, just to list a few. The speed that this will harm more than help in at which humankind is developing is the long run. Before the Industrial only viable in the short run. Slowing Revolution, humans were limited by their down is more economically beneficial range of communication and system “The speed at which of transport by pack animals. But once humankind is developing the Industrial Revolution hit, America’s is only viable in the short economy exploded. Telegraphs opened run” up lines of communication across the nation and even to other countries, Ford’s Model T and the in the long run because it gives time to transcontinental railroad enabled not evaluate the effects of our innovations, only the physical movement of people learn from them, and investigate


other methods of production. Nonstop acceleration often leads to problems because warning signs such as exhaustion of resources and buildup of greenhouse gases are overlooked until a line is crossed and it forces a hard stop.6 All we can see right now is the initial zoomed in focus of the beautiful woman. To overlook the grotesque reality of the chaos we wreck in pursuit for the fleeting beauty of economic growth is easy, indeed. This leads to the question, what exactly is the point of no return? Scientists have determined that the threshold of global warming is at 2 degrees celsius and once past that point, there is little hope for humanity’s survival. If temperatures reach that point, global warming will melt the Arctic ice which contain hundreds of years of carbon build-up in the soil. Once this permafrost layer melts, the carbon stored within will be released into the atmosphere and expedite climate change exponentially.7 The Paris Agreement,

signed by 195 nations, set targets to limit the global warming increase to 1.5 degrees celsius, well below the 2 degree threshold.7 However, evidence shows that the 1.5 goal is impossible, especially with the record high carbon emissions that were recently achieved. There hasn’t been nearly enough effort to cut back on many countries’ parts, the most prevalent example being the United States. Although the United States is the world’s 2nd largest polluter, Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Agreement in June of 2017 and implemented policies in stark opposition to it instead.8 Not only does the United States pulling out drastically lower the chances of successfully reaching the 2 degree goal as one of the largest polluters, the other countries that remain either have to make up for it by reducing their emissions two-fold. This already difficult situation is made almost impossible when the U.S. is setting up the opposite example as one of the world’s


most influential superpowers. solar power alternatives aren’t even James Lovelock, a renowned close to sufficient for the energy environmental scientist who came consumed by societies today and up with the Gaia Theory, believes “green consumption” is nothing but that we have already surpassed the a marketing tactic that keeps the point of no return. Our point of no public content with themselves.11 return is near; like Mutu’s creature, As unbelievable and pessimistic as we will be engulfed by the smoke Lovelock’s views seem to be, he has of our own making before we take been setting off warning flares since enough notice to slow our relentless the 1960s when he created a machine consumption. He writes that “before that would measure “minute traces this century is over, billions of us of pesticides in the environment will die, and the few breeding and pollutants”.12 His ideas, initially pairs of people that survive will rejected by his peer groups, are now be in the Arctic where the climate gaining more support as his 9 remains tolerable”. In his book, predictions The Revenge of Gaia, he projects have that extreme weather will become commonplace by 2020, and by 2040 much of Europe will be desert been while other parts of the world will proved 10 be underwater. According to him, accurate the only solution is nuclear power. over the Planting trees to offset carbon is years. But an unrealistic notion. It is highly whatever 5 unlikely to plant enough trees to Lovelock’s the scale where it would make a predictions about Earth’s significant difference. Recycling survival may be, it is only one of waste does more harm than good many. Like the soundless as it releases carbon emissions talking heads at into the air “This data gives rise to speculation to turn a that the vast majority of people will the end of Mutu’s temporary only significantly change when the short film, there product environment around them is polluted are thousands into yet enough to negatively affect them. By of unknown another then it may be too late.” temporary possibilities of product humanity’s future. for eternity or until it eventually One argument challenges ends up in a landfill. Wind and Lovelock’s pessimism: there is an


increasing consensus from the public to change. This is true to a point: those who say that they are more aware of their decisions in regard to the environment lean towards “green consumerism” and buy products that were produced with the environment in mind. However, green consumerism is the only major way that the public is changing and studies show that it is largely ineffective in reducing the carbon footprint. The United States is the 2nd largest polluter with 21% of the world’s greenhouse emissions and 80% of that originating from household emissions.13 Consumers that practice green

consumerism do very little to change their energy consumption behavior and their emissions don’t vary much when compared to those who don’t practice green consumerism.13 Instead of reducing the volume of consumption, these consumers simply switch over to greener products that still contribute to greenhouse emissions because it takes resources to make and transport them.13 Many who participate in green consumption may do it for societal approval rather than a genuine

concern for the environment and their motivation to take other, more effective actions for the environment will lessen. Studies have found that those willing to take more “green” steps have already suffered the repercussions of a damaged environment. This data gives rise to speculation that the vast majority of people will only significantly change when the environment around them is polluted enough to negatively affect them. By then it may be too late. At this point in time, our consumption breed consequences whether it be a presidential decree to pull out of a global agreement or individual failings. Each action irrevocably damages the environment until all that remains is the dark, cloudy soot that falls from the mouth of Mutu’s creature. What are the reasons, then, behind stagnancy when a problem is clearly defined in front of the public? Most people think that environmentalism is an important issue today, but psychological barriers prevent them from taking productive measures. Environmental numbness, one already briefly described, is when the individual is aware of the problem but since it is not immediately affecting them, it is outside of their scope of attention. There are many more: habituation decreases the potency of the message and the urgency of the situation, judgemental discounting lessens motivation to take action because there is a false sense


“At this junction, only if humankind is able obstacl

of security derived from comparisons made against countries that are worse off, and the collective action problem tragic flaws all contribute to the monster makes people unable to collaborate with of consumerism. Without a direct plan of each other to resolve an issue due to the action, individuals tend to skew towards widespread belief that one individual habits that benefit themselves rather alone has too weak of an influence to than the environment. 14 change anything. Finally, denial is Whether one is optimistic or one of the largest components of the pessimistic about the future of the world human psyche that prevents action from is largely dependent on their own faith in being taken towards environmentalism7. humanity. There is a plethora of evidence Three important that bets Finally, denial is one of the largest against human factors make up components of the human psyche survival. Our denial: mistrust, that prevents action from being taken long history uncertainty, and towards environmentalism. the sunk-cost of selffallacy. Mistrust betterment of the government or other public at the expense of the environment and organizations to give the consumers the the psychological barriers that prevent right information breeds resistance to us from accepting the full reality of our change. Lovelock is one such cause of actions are both strong indicators of mistrust as his unorthodox theories are future trends. The lack of action now often badly received by the public. Lack when it is most needed at this crucial of knowledge about the complex issue turning point is not reassuring. At this of climate change induces uncertainty. junction, only time alone will tell if Finally, we fall victim to the sunk-cost humankind is able to overcome these fallacy when we continue our doomed obstacles. Perhaps we will be swallowed way of life simply because there has up by the consequences of our greed been too much invested already.14 Each like Mutu’s creature. Or perhaps we will psychological barrier is a black arm get a chance at rebirth and see another that extends off the creature’s body. Our blue sky. collective lack of action due to these


y time alone will tell to overcome these les.” 1. Mutu, W. (2015). Wangechi Mutu on The End of Eating Everything. Retrieved 2018, from http://www.channel.louisiana. dk/video/wangechi-mutu-end-eatingeverything 2. Sorenson, B. (2009). Energy Use by Eem Neanderthals. Journal of Archaeological Science, 36(10), 2201-2205. doi:DOI:10.1016/j.jas.2009.06.003. 3. White, M. (2016). Shoot First, Ask Questions Later: Interpretative Narratives of Neanderthal Hunting. Quaternary Science Reviews, 140, 1-120. doi:doi:10.1016/j. quascirev.2016.03.004 4. Wills, W., Drake, B. L., & Dorshow, W. B. (2014). Prehistoric deforestation at Chaco Canyon? PNAS, 111(32). doi:DOI: 10.1073/ pnas.1409646111 5. Grada, C. O. (2016). Did Science Cause the Industrial Revolution? American Economic Association Web, 54(1), 224-239. doi:doi:10.1257/jel.54.1.224. 6. Held, M., & Nutzinger, H. G. (1998). Nonstop Acceleration. Time and Society, 7(2), 209-221. doi:DOI:10.1177%2F0961463X98007002003 7. Aengenheyster, M. (2018). The Point of No Return for Climate Action: Effects of Climate Uncertainty and Risk Tolerance. Earth System Dynamics, 9(3). doi:10.5194/esd-91085-2018 8. Shear, M. D. (2017, June 1). Trump Abandoning Global Climate Accord. The

New York Times. Retrieved October 20, 2018, from www.nytimes.com/2017/06/01/climate/ trump-paris-climate-agreement.html 9. The Point of No Return the Environment. (2006). The Canberra Times. 10. Nuclear Option is Our Only Hope Says Professor Who Found Gaia [Interview by 1187672403 888461228 M. Wade]. (2008, March 29). The Times (London). 11. Aitkenhead, D. (2018, March 1). “James Lovelock: ‘Enjoy Life While You Can: In 20 Years Global Warming Will Hit the Fan. Retrieved October 20, 2018, from www. theguardian.com/theguardian/2008/mar/01/ scienceofclimatechange.climatechange 12. Carey J. (February 22, 2009). Preaching fire and brimstone; Forty years after proposing his ground-breaking theory of Gaia, James Lovelock continues to be uniquely provocative, his latest book and a biography reveal. The Sunday Times (London). https:// advance-lexis com.ezproxy.lib.utexas.edu/ api/document?collection=news&id=urn:c ontentItem:7V2V-FBP1-2R76-W20T-0000000&context=1516831. 13. Chen, X. (2016). Sympathy for the Environment Predicts Green Consumerism but Not More Important Environmental Behaviours Related to Domestic Energy Use. Environmental Conservation, 43(2). doi:DOI:10.1017/S0376892915000351 14. Gifford, R. (2011). The Dragons of Inaction: Psychological Barriers That Limit Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation. American Psychologist, 66(4), 290-302. Retrieved October 21, 2018.


Cascade Pass Gregory Knapp

Ptarmigans run alongside me Hillside wildflowers bloom Even in September on Sahale arm If there are sacred places This is one No trail traffic today; heavy rain last night It will rain this night too. Cold wind, mist All around the thousand mountains Perfectly alone, I remember Of all the persons in our world Only the voice of the poet Who climbed this pass so long ago I once thought my generation would change all things In the streets I put my body before the clubs and gas In my room I studied science and the economy We failed. We were not the first. Half smiling, I write these lines In imitation of… Will anyone learn to see of who?


A star knows no fear for it can only fall to give life, to be reborn. It yearns to be found in the darkness and dust and hopes to be remembered, to tell a story of light, of hope, of spirit.

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We peer into space, searching, discovering, finding and losing ourselves. We face the cosmos. It stares relentlessly into the cores of our souls, reminding us that we are all explorers.

Cosmos Michelle Sanchir


(In order of appearance) Jared Stilwell; @JumbledJared; College of Liberal Arts AnnMarie Young; @annmyoung.arts; College of Fine Arts Patrick Heimbach; Department of Geological Sciences Ulrike Heine; The University of Texas at Austin An Nguyen; Oden Institute Greg Foss; Texas Advanced Computing Center Briana Bradshaw; Texas Advanced Computing Center, Fred Zhu; Cockrell School of Engineering alumnus Thomas Jennings; College of Natural Sciences, College of Liberal Arts; @nottomjennings Jessica Wetherly; MFA Studio Art Program Exchange Fellow alumna; @jessicawetherly Megan Jeanne Gette; UT Austin, Department of Anthropology; @808omega Diego Carlson; College of Fine Arts; @burnedtreasures_art Darin Peacock; College of Natural Sciences, College of Liberal Arts alumnus Aishi Guha; College of Natural Sciences; @danceraishi Swadesh Mitter Mahajan; Institute for Fusion Studies, Department of Physics Sadhvi Darisipudi; College of Natural Sciences Azelia Lau; College of Natural Sciences; @azzyart Gregory Knapp; Department of Geography and the Environment Michelle Sanchir; College of Natural Sciences

**** All handles mentioned are for Instagram


Cover Art by: Vaani Vedula; School of Architecture; @gogh4vaani Azelia Lau; College of Natural Sciences; @azzyart

Volume Illustrations by: Kendall Dunn; College of Natural Sciences Azelia Lau; College of Natural Sciences; @azzyart

Volume Design by: Vaani Vedula; School of Architecture; @gogh4vaani

Special Thanks Apricity Magazine: co-founder, mentor UT Austin College of Natural Sciences, College Honors Programs: Sponsor

Credits

Profile for initium.magazine

Discidium  

Official literary magazine of CNS Honors at The University of Texas at Austin

Discidium  

Official literary magazine of CNS Honors at The University of Texas at Austin

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