Mira Hirtz: On the perspective of beings: Folding

Video Tutorial #3

Video Tutorial #3
Video Tutorial #3
Work of Art

Video Tutorial #3 On the perspective of beings: Folding introduces the idea of turning the perception of ourselves and our environing world inside out. Instead of gazing down at the Earth, we look out as a part of the Earth into a folded space. Bruno Latour outlines the assumption that “to know it so know from the outside” (“Down to Earth”) and declares against this mechanistic worldview to undo the “bifurcation between the real – external, objective, and knowable – and the inside – unreal, subjective and unknowable”.

This turning inside out of former believes may make us, being ourselves folded bodies within a folded space of flesh and material, aware of new neighborhoods of parts which before seemed to be far apart. To situate ourselves within may mean to turn centre and periphery inside out: What is at the centre of attention, who is in relation to it? The Video Tutorial #3 acts in correspondence with the Soil Map, a scientific as well as artistic visualisation by Alexandra Arènes recently published on the Critical Zones online platform. In this visualisation of the material features, the dwelling living beings as well as scientific research of the Critical Zone Observatory Strengbach, we can detect a curious turn-around of orientation, so that the atmosphere is in the middle, and the layers of deeper earth on the outside of the circular map. The effect is a highlighting of the dynamic movement of beings and material. Thus, to situate ourselves as folds within folds may even mean to turn the very importance of centre and periphery inside out, towards the importance of the dynamic circular processes themselves. Latour introduces this possibility in dealing with anthropocentrism: “What makes the idea of a choice for or against anthropocentrism quite implausible is the assumption that there is a center, or rather two, man and nature, between one supposedly has to choose. And even more bizarre is the idea that this circle has such well-defined boundaries that they would leave everything else outside. As if there were an outside” (“Down to Earth”).

What if centre and periphery are both everywhere? You are invited to follow this tutorial and let yourself tumble, your perspective fold, and your feeling of the world be surprised.

With special thanks to the temporary collective Láu for the experimental sound collage.