“How we know nothing and the sea eats away the ground we stand on” - Virginia Woolf, To The Lighthouse
The Biosphere is a sustainable and organic world, powered by the sun. Land, Air, and Earth are central elements in Biospheric systems. Most importantly though, in the Biosphere, Time is Art. There is no spectacle, only existence, and no one is on the clock. The Techno-systems and spectacle of the Technosphere give way to the need to define and know, but in the Biosphere, nothing is claimed to be know and everything is known to be felt.
The Technosphere is a finite and corrosive world made up of not just technology, but of all the professional and social systems by which we interact with technology - factories, schools, universities, banks, political parties, and the internet. These systems are contrived by humans and are a deffered existence, existence via something else. In the Technosphere there is only spectacle and everyone is always on the clock. Crucially, in the Technosphere, Time is Money. Things are always claimed to be known, but no attention is paid to that which can be felt. Words, numbers, and images are disseminated as propaganda, as distractions - they are descriptions of a world that is apart from us.
Longshore Drift is the movement of sand and sediment down the beach by the longshore current. In 1984 an entire beach was washed away from Achill Island during a storm, in 2017 the beach reappeared overnight.
Newgrange has been the subject of much archaeological debate since Professor Michael O’Kelly made the first observation of the mid-winter “solstice phenomenon” at Newgrange in 1967. Mr. Gibbon says the “roof box” which was central to capturing the winter light has “not a shred of authenticity”, and was “fabricated” during reconstruction in the 1960’s.
In the eternal drift of the Biosphere, the ever tumbling nature of everything is embraced, never is a single meaning ascribed to anything, the need to make deductions and come to conclusions is not felt, and what Roland Barthes calls “the tyranny of correct meaning” is avoided entirely. In the Technosphere though, we are confronted with a never ending list of precise evaluations and diagnoses. We can avoid a Technosphere mentality by thinking of things as “can be”, rather than as “is”.
“The body brings existence into being and actualise it” - Maurice Merleau Ponty
The body is our biosphere form, a faithful link to the natural world and human-kind, our ever-changing presence in an ever-changing world. Through our bodies we connect with humanity’s collective experience and through our bodies we find a source of feeling, free from Technosphere thinking and knowing. When we let go of the mind’s need to quantify, to comprehend, and to limit through language, we can embrace a kind of chaos that the body revels in, that the body is.
We can think of the body as existing outside of consciousness, outside of language, and outside of interpellation. We should learn to put more faith in the feelings and understandings, however short lived, that have come about through activation of the body. These feelings don’t lead us to draw conclusions, but encourage us to feel more. We should forget the prejudices of intellectualism that cast the body as a reduntant utensil. The body and where it can take us, its endless potentials, are our source of experience, the source that can be our portal to the Biosphere; a portal to a place where time is art, and the beautiful chaos of the world is felt first hand.
Affect Theory presents the idea of an Affect as something prior to intentions, something autonomic, presubjective, and visceral. Affects are immediate effects of something in the world on the body, incomprehensible by language and outside of consciousness.
The Situationists offered the Dérive (Drift) as an antidote to the spectacle (spectacle being the term they gave to describe life through the growing capitalist prism) - the idea of the drift was to walk aimlessly with a purpose, and that this physical engagement with the land-scape would be a way of finding something real and new among the ruins of the world.
The hope of this (book?) was to look into a kind of learning or experience that exists outside of the world created and limited by language, images, data - outside of the vocabulary of the Technosphere - and engage with a kind of experience or feeling that is entirely sovereign, something filled with its own potentials, something that can only be felt through physical interaction with the physical world: swimming, walking, dancing, whatever it may be. We can come out of the Technosphere and into the Biosphere, it takes only a step.
‘The Body: Your Portal to the Biosphere’ originally took form as a book of which 30 copies were printed. It owes a huge amount to the friendship and guidance of Amanda Hickey-Hedberg, Anna Heisterkamp, Gav Fahy, and Jennifer Moore.