Although the Time traveller is an inquisitive type his journey through the crumbling museum offers him little insight. The relics are from his future: the arché has all but snapped off from archeology. As he leaves the Time Traveller ponders how best to crush a Morlock’s skull.
The Neanderthal is the most futuristic thing I can think of. Riddled with mythic charm, and soon to have its genes sequenced in the laboratory. Darwin wrote about the fittest surviving, but as a causal chain ‘natural’ biology has all but ceased to sow its paradigm.
We live in a world of parasitoid wasps injecting their host with a virus that re-writes DNA…
…of skyscrapers designed in the 1960s coming to symbolise the turmoil of a new millennium.
…of a North Korean leader accused of using plastic surgery to counterfeit his doppelganger.
…of seedless grapes upgraded with information encrypted and compressed onto DVD Rom.
…of Kings, cargo cults and cannibals.
I am interested in the liminal phase between these states: the threshold betwixt when a Neanderthal is both lumbering Caliban and scientific curio. I am interested in the one genetically modified grape vine in every thousand that still harbours a bitter tasting seed. There is no room for representation here, and nor will there ever be in a world of non-privileged data packets interspersing culture at the speed of light.
Nature has never copied, never aimed to represent. These two are constructs of the human sphere, of art and computer code willing their paradigms onto perception. All around us are hybrids and shape-shifters: relations becoming related through noise and mistranslation. From Deleuze and Guattari:
“…it is a matter of something altogether different: no longer an imitation at all, but the capture of a code, the code’s surplus value, an increase in valence, a genuine becoming – the becoming-orchid of the wasp, the becoming-wasp of the orchid.”
Without categories the archive submits to entropy, but that doesn’t mean that the laws of creation will cease to tick and tock. Like the Time Traveller, leafing through the textbooks of his future in an ancient museum, we can help old paradigms become new past-futures. But first, we must smash a few Morlock skulls.