03. 05 Fields of interest/ artistic positions
10. 05 Strategies of involvement
17. 05 Three Ideas/Alternative strategies
24. 05 Experiment
31. 05 Project followup
07. 06 Project followup
14. 06 Positioning
21. 06 Project followup
05. 07 Pre-presentation
12. 07 Presentation
May 24, 2022
1. how to collect seeds
1.1. creating a wind bags
The most pressing task since the last roundtable has been to collect poplar seeds. From that time on, I have observed that poplar trees bear catkins and a hard shell containing downy seeds begins to slowly open. From May 15th, the seeds began to fly around in the air. The 'summer snow' is coming down!
As the harvest period is limited, I'm starting to get nervous. The catkins can be picked straight from the tree for gathering less polluting and clean seeds, but I decided to collect as many falling and fallen seeds as possible. Using fruit protection nets as a material, a koinobori-like structure was designed for (hopefully) easier harvesting. The process is shown in the following photos:
1.2. gathering directly from the tree
2. taking a closer look at the seeds
2.1. teasing them
2.1.1. distributing the hair and the core
2.1.2. putting together
3. research of some transparent materials
May 17, 2022
Three Ideas/Alternative strategies
1. Alternative strategies: Anti-Zoom by Bruno Latour, On Nonscalability by Anna Tsing, String Figures by Donna Haraway
1.1. matter of scalability eroded in Anthropocene
"How to find our space among phenomena, which are at once immensely vaster than we are, and yet subject to our affects? (Bruno Latour, 2014)"
In the sense of spatial, for example, cartography, different pieces of information and narratives between different scales of the map, from the local to the globe, zoom-effect(figments through a different point of view of looking devices), hierarchy, distribution between disciplines.
In the sense of temporal, for example, a history, completely different narratives between an event and a period of time.
1.2. Strategy: Connectivity
"First identify the data sets, then locate the connections, then recosntruct the pathway and figure out a projection, and, finally, select the maps and/or narratives. (Bruno Laour, 2014)"
anti-zoom, non-scaleability, and connectivity between spatial or temporal points and make a new narrative.
Perhaps, the reality is what is anti-distributed. It's like the wind and water ever transitive or glass globes' transitive animation on the surfaces.
Virtual simulation of the degree of transition between different points of view.
2. Three Ideas
2.1. Connectivity between Beijing and Berlin, intercut of two wind data sets
2.2. from an hourglass to Summersnowglobe, intercut of sand and poplar seeds
Historical time is flowing distributing past, present, and the future. looking at the hourglass, a certain amount of time in the first stage falls into the next stage. But when we change the point of view from the side to the top of the sandglass, time is oscillating between shrinking and growing.
2.3. Summersnow string or paper, intercut of the structure of the local and the globe
and unsorted ideas: resin globes, growing a poplar from seeds, archive, documentary film, etc.
I feel the need of changing views and storytelling for each element — Summersnow(from a metaphor of man-made climate to that of a 'hybrid' climate), Snowglobe(from a notion of distorted image of reality to a strategy of 'anti-zoom'), and Globe of Globalism (cartography and 'zoom-effect')
May 10, 2022
Strategies of involvement
Scientific research—Summersnowglobalism— and design work—Summersnowglobe— exert a lasting influence each other, reconfiguring, and determining their respective context and bodies.
1. Publication of research and theory thesis
1.1. summersnowglobalism.net was created to highlight research materials and process of practice.
Installation view in the exhibition 'Time to Time' at SUB TEI Berlin and thumbnail images of summersnowlgobalism.net.
1.2. Application for JAR Open Call 29 (First issue of 2023)
2. Design method
2.1. Material inquiry of glass or transparent globes and poplar seeds
- Glass or transparent globes are visually open to observe light transmission, reflection, and distortion, but the inside and outside of the globe are physically separated.
The viscosity of the water can allows to control the level of fluidity of the floating matter in it.
A combination of water and glass can amplify the light source or distort the image – the principle of the snowglobe.
- Poplar seeds are easily dispersed by the wind relying on a hollow structure surrounded by soft white downy hairs – hence dubbed 'summer snow'.
It is well aggregated by physical stimuli and well entangled in the architectural structure.
They are easily flamed.
Poplars are fast-growing and can be tall up to 50 m or more, so they are effective in blocking wind. The contrasting nature that opposes the wind but follows is also interesting.
Materials mentioned above can be considerd in relation to visualizing the existence or circularity of water or wind .
2.2. An analogy between a conceptual object and a conceptual organism.
Two approaches can be considered to the current stage. Either or both method can be conducted. The first will be in the domain of "conceptual objects" and the second will be in the domain of "conceptual organizations". The notion of conceptual object follows the common Subjective-objective dichotomy. For example, the snow globe for Bejamin, Ardono, and his successors has been viewd as an object, a still life, to be observed or animated by a subject, an operator.
"The snow globe meddles somehow with the edge between life and lifelessness, ... The snow globe is animated for a moment by an external action, brought from lifelessness into life. (Leslie, 2013)"
“Symmetrically, the two positions, the one as unnatural as the other, of object and subject. ... To prepare a still life, the artist first has to kill it, as it were, or at least interrupt its movement – hence the lines that trace the trajectory of an object of which the manipulator seizes only a moment, through what is quite appropriately called a “freeze frame.” (Latour, 2017)”
Such a conceptual object obviously stresses the ontological division between creators and their creations.
On the other hand, the concept of a 'conceptual organism' focuses on the emerging process from a designed global structure and integrated network. A set of rules governing society and micro-interactions emerge as a constantly updated context and a cycle of action. This has to do with ‘emergence theory’. Below is Jelena Djuric's interpretation of it:
“Various distinctions that describe the characteristics of emergence theory are still developing. They are principally used for explaining new properties that emerge when things link or are linked together. Separately, and without interactions between them, synergies which are followed by new level of organization, won't emerge. That is why emergent phenomena are not reducible to their parts and they require new concepts. Such concepts are a synergy that refer to the constructive activity of parts in the process of an emergent whole.(Jelena Djuric, 2018)”
I will try to adapt the notion of 'purification' and the notion of 'translation' addressed in 'We have never been a modern' by Latour to the practice. My point is modern tendencies 'purify' the definitions and concepts of all objects surrounding us, if we have never been a modern, then I shall 'translate' their ontological hybridness. I think the term 'Globe' is already quite modern, a cartographic image of the planet earth can be scaled or zoon in and out. Can I somehow transform the globe into something living, a global system, but at the same time a gradually integrating micro-network?
4. Questions and speculation
Does the approach of a 'conceptual object' have any connection with the discourse concerning the non-human representation of facts fabricated in the laboratory, as mentioned by Latour? Does this have anything to do with the separation of science and politics? Does observing snowglobes by the subject can be a corresponding activity with scientific measurements? Is the snowglobe an appropriate object to deal with global and local discourse? Can the new materialist practice related to ‘emergence theory' be seen as a method that attempts to integrate politics and science by creating a designed society? Can this practice overcome the dichotomous notions of the Globe and the Local and Subjectivity-Objectivity?
Fields of interest/ artistic positions
May 3, 2022
1. Proposal of title: Summersnowglobalism and Summersnowglobe
Summersnowglobalism I would propose is a compound noun made of 'snowglobe'—a kitsch ornamental object with glass globe filled with water, snowflakes and miniaturised objects—, 'summer snow'—the storm of poplar seeds in the locals, a ‘hybrid’ climate phnomenon in Latour's sense,— and 'globalism'—an alternative society from a view of the Earth as an ambitious project. Summersnoglobe, a design work, will be grounded on the context of the theory thesis of Summersnowglobalism.
globalism, colonialism, the Globe-the Local, globe(cartography), snow globe, seeing or seen through glass(interposing technology), geopolitic, climate change
3. Introductive description of Summersnowglobalism
"Summersnowglobalism" will be a scientific work that analyzes the dominant perception of modern society on nature, which has become a physically manipulated object, and raises discourses related to the destruction of the ecosystem and climate change. Furthermore, a multimedia installation work called "Summersnowglobe", closely related to the contents of this study will be performed. In order to deal with this subject more practically, I would like to move from smaller worlds to the larger subject of analysis of modern society. “Smaller worlds” are represented as follows:
First, for me, the snow globe is representative of a kitsch ornament and a popular cheap souvenir as a legacy of capitalist globalism, and at the same time, it is an object that makes me think about the discourse on the perception of local and global space of the modern subject. Here, local space means the inner world including the miniature model as the content in the glass globe filled with water. The global space represents a distorted image of the local space mirrored on the surface of the glass globe and the image of the globe surface itself. At the same time, it is the imaged and reified form of local space. The global space itself is an actual physical space where fantastic values of locality exist, whether it is a utopia or a dystopia. The physical spatiality of the snow globe allows those who play with it to exert a subtle influence on the local space. The local space enclosed in the glass globe is exposed visibly to the subject, but physical access for the subject to this space is forbidden. The curious animation that appears on the globe's surface leads the subject to perform a specific action. The gesture of holding the globe and waving it causes climate change in the local space. There is an avalanche of the inner world. However, for the subject in the outside world, the climate change inside is observed as a snowy landscape to behold. It makes me think about today's globalized world in terms of a snow globe. To the subject of the global world, local space can be 'toured', but cannot be 'experienced'. Lack of information and intermittent experience of locality prevents the subject from truly contemplating locality. For the subject, a global citizen born in the modern world, the cruelty of damage to locality caused by his external influence seems extremely neutralized.
Second, in my research, the seed of the poplar tree represents the airpocalypse of a hybrid form of nature and culture, artificially created by humans, as well as a natural element that has been physically manipulated for justification of the socialist ideology. Several media and institutions have published new research and articles on Beijing's poplar seed, explaining why they are so prevalent there every year. In the 1960s, Beijing was considered "a city on the edge of desertification". At that time, planting more trees to prevent sandstorms was the most pressing task. According to Mao Zedong’s insistence that “man must conquer nature,” the strategy for taming the wildness of nature and conquering its threatening force appears to be artificially mobilizing other natural forces that can counter it. Due to their growing time, dense canopy, and low cost, large numbers of poplar and willow trees have been planted and played a pivotal role in combating sandstorms in Beijing decades ago. The so-called 'hero tree', which overcame the climate catastrophe of sandstorms, partially justified the realization of Mao's socialist utopia. However, the Liaowang Institute notes a female poplar tree can produce about a kilogram of catkins during the spring breeding season. Millions of female poplar trees release poplar seeds weighing tens of millions of kilograms. The poplar tree, once an object to counter oppression by the desert, paradoxically oppresses the heroic man who once claimed to be his master. Humans are revealed as both the perpetrators and victims of the destroyed ecosystem. The spatial occupation of poplar seeds transcends the tension between human and non-human
The snow globe goes beyond the curious material commodity itself born from the enthusiasm of globalized tourism. It tells a discursive story about the modern subject's fantasy about clonialism and globalism and the lack of awareness of locality and climate change. In addition, the story of Beijing's poplar trees suggests that the modern subject's heroic and dominant actions in the natural world and manipulation of space have led to the destruction of ecosystems and a 'hybrid' climate change. It has to be understood that local space in the process of globalism has not been cared for or has even been abused indiscriminately. It leads to increasing spatial tensions between human and nonhuman beings and a conundrum of ethical and social agreements between human beings, as all of them are part of a destroyed ecosystem.
In the last semesters, I was invited to think about some interesting topics—micro/macro, cartography, and time. In the context of micro/macro, i've learned macro patterns at the global level e.g. globalism, pandemics, climate change, etc., and micro phenomena at the local level e.g. Brexit, virus, carbon dioxide, etc., continuously put up and reconstruct each other. Also, during the research on the subject of time, my interest progressively shifted to that of space. I also pondered the relations between cartography—a holistic constellation of the locals depicted with the aid of imaging technology— and the planet Earth, the real world. On the other words, my themes have been reduced to a long for globalism for many decades and recent backlash, and its relation to geopolitical and ecological issues in the locals.
4.1. The expansion of the locality
In many critical analyzes of modernism, Western imagination and adventure are symbolized by the narrative of ships and voyages. This is related to the desire for the expansion of space. The 1900 Paris Exposition is regarded as an event that officially announced that the West stood as the master of the world beyond oceans. The contents of the entertainment attractions and the staging of architectural elements portray the procedure and achievements of colonization in a form that the audience can enjoy and experience.
"Spectators boarded a boat that lurched and swayed, and the air smelling of sea spray was wafted past. As the 'voyage' proceeded, the audience could view a revolving series of painted panoramas depicting an approaching Algerian coastline, which grew more detailed as the ship seemingly neared its destination. On 'arrival', passengers disembarked near an Algerian cafe, where they were entertained by musicians and belly dancers.(Maxell, 1999)"
“In civilizations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure and the police take the place of pirates. (Foucalt, 1967)”
A souvenir from the 1889 Paris Exposition is credited as one of the first snowglobes similar to its today's form including a miniature model of the Eiffel Tower built in the same year. The locality of the Eiffel Tower was extended worldwide with the reproduction and distribution of snow globes.
Not too long after Columbus discovered the New World, Galileo observed the moon revolving around the Earth with a simple telescope. Earth was elevated to an equal status with other celestial bodies in its former sublunary status. It was not surprising to see the moon as the 8th continent of mankind. Foucault pointed out Galileo's discovery was scandalous because that allowed the locality of space to expand into an infinitely open space.
"This space of emplacement was opened up by Galileo. For the real scandal of Galileo's work lay not so much in his discovery, or rediscovery, that the earth revolved around the sun, but in his constitution of an infinite, and infinitely open space. In such a space the place of the Middle Ages turned out to be dissolved. as it were; a thing's place was no longer anything but a point in its movement, just as the stability of a thing was only its movement indefinitely slowed down. In other words, starting with Galileo and the seventeenth century, extension was substituted for localization.(Foucalt, 1967)"
In fact, before humans even reached the moon, numerous artistic narratives attempted to experiment with imagining possible ways to travel to the moon and potential situations that could occur on the moon. And these imaginary experiments became the inspiration for actual scientific ideas and the basis for actual inventions. The greatness of the two worlds divided during the Cold War seemed to be determined by who went to the moon first. It is said that only 12 people walked on the moon and only 24 humans saw the earth the size of a coin from space. What we found in space is Earth.
Earth as seen by the crew of Apollo 17 on a lunar journey in 1972
“The vast loneliness up here of the Moon is awe-inspiring, and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth. The Earth from here is a grand oasis to the big vastness of space. (Jim Lovell, 2012)”
4.2. Seeing or seen through the intermediate technology
But the cartographc definition, that is a Globe, comes first rather to mind for most of us. Globalism consists of the adjective form of ‘globe’ and a suffix forming a noun meaning ‘ideological movement or pathological state’. Therefore, globalism can be said to be an oriented state or pursuit away from concern about the actual atmosphere and land in which individual beings live—where geoscientists call a critical zone. The Globe is a conceptual object of an alternative society and an ideal object as such. Modernity, the fuel of globalization, has constantly crossed between development and stagnation, seeking the power to do everything possible for growth. The Globe is an ambitious project, a view of the geographical layout of the world. Imagine looking at the Globe, we are sort of floating in a space-like vacuum that is nowhere. The image of the planet observed from the perspective 'of other space' is a description of a non-existent utopian space and an alternative society. In a Foucaultian sense, the globe is a heterotopian manifestation of a utopian society.
"First there are the utopias. Utopias are sites with no real place. They are sites that have a general relation of direct or inverted analogy with the real space of Society. They present society itself in a perfected form, or else society turned upside down, but in any case these utopias are fundamentally unreal spaces. (Michel Foucault, 1986)"
A globe on Google Earth in 2022.
Benjamin is known as one of the famous snowglobe collectors. It seems that in his day Snowglobe still possessed the 'sublime' of man-made artifacts. The panoramic image of an inner world spreads out on the surface of a glass globe, repeating the implosion and contraction, hence distorted. The inner world can be visually toured through glass, but cannot be experienced because it is rejected by the physical properties of glass. For him, observing a natural world from a distance through an intermediate technique like a camera lens was considered a scientific contribution. Scientific objectification excludes and reduces the real world by re-routing our perception through interposing techniques. Thus to me, globes and snow globes are discursive objects.
4.3. The backlash of globalism
Has it developed in the direction of pursuing an alternative society while well considering the needs of real society? Latour's symptomatic diagnosis of globalization turned out to be the scene of growing inequality and a migration crisis. For those untied by land, immigration is the logical outcome of the solution to the problem of finding a place to live where they can still thrive. Between utopias and dystopias, the assessment of globalization becomes increasingly difficult and the understanding of the benefits of globalization becomes obscure. In that sense, Foucault's position that 'In any case, I believe that the anxiety of our era has to do fundamentally with space, no doubt a great deal more than with time.' still seems insightful.
The resulting geosocial issues are clearly recognized by some people, and they try to retreat in a reactionary way, turning towards a common horizon. Latour cited Brexit, the election of Trump, and the US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement on Climate Change in 2018 as the most impressive examples. In other words, it is the view that global inequality and denial of the climate situation are correlated. The economist points out that political liberalization, another hopeful benefit of globalization, is also being shaken, noting the financial crisis of 2007-09, the impact of the recent pandemic, and Russia's invasion of Ukraine as a burden on globalization. We are somewhat dormant, neither advancing nor retreating.
For Latour, the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 was not only a failure of socialism. It also means the collapse of capitalism itself in the context of inventing environmental destruction as well as massive inequalities against ourselves. For him, the end of infinite nature is a cataclysm that will change the habits of our intellectual culture. If we acknowledge and take lessons in the simultaneous failure of two different clever techniques that were in each other's best intentions, that is we can see our modern culture in a slightly different light.
4.4. Relation between space, climate, and technology
The lesson I've learned from Jared Diamond's 'Guns, Germs, and Steel' is that the cultural and technological differences of mankind that differ greatly at the regional level are the product of geographic and environmental differences - of course, there are also unique cultural points that occur regardless of the environment. The geographic landscape - where and how much latitude and longitude the land occupies - can determine the area of the same climatic zone. The spread of agriculture is easy on the Eurasian continent, where the same climatic zone is horizontally long. Advances in agricultural technology, including domestication and techniques for selecting and growing only specific flora and fauna, and viruses transmitted from living with them determine the degree of resistance to disease. On the other hand, the long vertical African and American continents remain rather hunter-gatherer societies and are relatively vulnerable to viruses tolerated by those who have adapted to an agricultural society. The point I would like to note from this point of view is that the space is delicately related to climate and this has created technological differences that determine the geopolitical and the cultural predominance at the international level.
Furthermore, one speculation comes to mind. We have the techniques to manipulate space. Based on the fact that the artificially manipulated space has expanded beyond the local scale to the regional scale, can we not raise a reasonable doubt that we have actually manipulated the climate?
4.5. A hybrid climate phenomenon
What does it mean to be a 'hybrid'? Modernity, ironically, has too often sought to continuously develop and materialize the definitions and categories of objects and concepts around us—'purification' in Latour's terminology. This is pointed out as the cause of an increasingly distant cohesive understanding of the real world. The term that describes the result of the way in which social and natural elements—once determined by modern constitution ontologically different realm, but actually not, thus it need 'translation'— are mixed in modern society. Thus, hybrids are neither social nor natural, neither human nor non-human.
“The hypothesis of this essay is that the word ‘modern’ designates two sets of entirely different practices which must remain distinct if they are to remain effective, but have recently begun to be confused. The first set of practices, by ‘translation’, creates mixtures between entirely new types of beings, hybrids of nature and culture. The second, by ‘purification’, creates two entirely distinct ontological zones: that of human beings on one hand; that of nonhumans on the other. Without the first set, the practices of purification would be fruitless or pointless. Without thesecond, the work of translation would be slowed down, limited, or evenruled out. The first set corresponds to what I have called networks; the second to what I shall call the modern critical stance. (Latour, 1991)”
I found this blog. Its summary was beyond helpful for better understanding. https://anthropolojamz.wordpress.com/2015/08/12/we-have-never-been-modern/
At this point, I may mention facts related to the poplar trees in Moscow and Beijing. and the book.. (to be added)