Elsa has grown from a artistic worldbuilding process, a storyworld of a New Reactive Earth.
The motivation behind the fiction story world came out of a longing for a more sutainable life and art practice and was concreticized through the collaboration with Ronald Mallet. It was then further developed through methods of speculation, embodied worldbuilding and rule based frameworks limiting access to energy and resources.
Mallet and I staged and improvised scenarios together, fictional speculations starting from Rons time machine theory. These speculations made the idea real to me in a new way. I could believe that the time machine was now running, because I acted it out with its maker. Now it was possible for me to imagine a continuation of the narrative. It made it possible to imagine a kind of cyborg gaia, a New Reactive Earth, with the storyworld premise:
- Future generations has, thanks to Mallets time technology, hacked the present so that the earth system updated herself into a cyborg gaia. Cyborg gaia monitors and regulate how all inhabitants use resources & life-space.
/notes from NRE 00-00-01
As a way to embody this premise I started to track my climate footprint and submit to limitations of energy and resources in my project. Through the collaboration with Anna Björklund at KTH we carried out life cycle assessments (LCA) on all my artistic activities. As a result of paying attention to the climate footprint of my action grew the longing to reduce that footprint. The result of the LCA became a benchmark from which a real change could be verified. The sense of being assessed and regulated in relation to the environment gave me a sense of living on a New Reactive Earth.
As a way to further embody having my resource use regulated I practiced safe scarcity. Working in periods of different length without Food/electricity/fossil fuels/water/oxygen etc expanded my imaginations around hard stops, juridical and automatically executed justice.
- We are this world with our bodies. We feel it, stronger and stronger, but still only vaguely. We are still calibrating our individual habits with the colony’s logic.
For humans, the system has drastically reduced the possibility to extract resources from the colony, halting practically every activity that previously made up everyday life. When continuing their habits the environment intervene, cancelling them. Lightswitches turn themselves off , cars break down, but start again when more people enters it. Heating only works in very small rooms or very populated rooms. Energy demanding foods loses taste, nutrition and energy. Often we are caught off guard with deaths and chaos as result.
Outsourcing carbon emissions, offsetting carbon, climate compensation is not effective anymore. The amount of life-space you have is tied to each organism/unit. How much your climate footprint is allowed to expand, is balanced between your need as an organism to survive and your contribution to “the whole”. This equation is in constant flux. It requiers an extreme attention to the worlds arrival to be able to balance this.
Aiding structures, for example legal concepts help them to stay within their allotted share, retrench and prioritise the vital needs. Nature’s rights laws is one example of such structure.
/notes from NRE 00-05-20
Knowledge is no longer valued by what information it contains. Its form and immediate effects are premiered instead. Knowledge-forms that in themselves enables or produce a decreased stress on the colony is the only research possible to conduct.
/notes from NRE 05-01-04
- Things have lost their value in relation to human history or culture. Ex objects transform into any forms that the cycle invites their material compound to become.
/notes from NRE 06-01-13
With this technology the powerrelationship between present and future could be shifted. Allowing futures to implement its research in earlier points in time, by sending back subatomic particles that could be transfered to digital code.
When this code was released in the present it spread through all processes on earth, from technology, to biology, to chemistry and meteorology, connecting everything in a NRE. Earth´s agency became more tangible and direct, acting like a social global organism, a cyborg gaia. The purpose was to distribute life resources in a way that keep NRE alive. Balancing the withdraws between different agents in the ecosystem. Especially human's activities became increasingly iterrupted and halted.
In practice this meant something analogous to a new natural law. Redefining the basic conditions of life everywhere on earth.
A perfect starting point for a worldbuilding project.
I'm drawn to worldbuilding as an artform also through my intrest in systems and the “the whole”, the full range of things, from material to structural to epistemological and ontological. I prefer to make interactions on all levels simultaneously in order to trace their effects, how they are connected, how they interact and affect each other. I see life and the world as a collective process, an ongoing narration. I tap into these ongoing narratives, make small contributions, deviate things a bit in order to shift the meanings. I use inner fantasy worlds to push my perspective on what actions are possible. Sometimes I refer to it as fanfiction.