Here’s a thing:
This image is from an exhibition called The Eighth Day, a collaborative exhibition by Colby Vincent Edwards, William Franevsky, and Jarrett Scherff. They make use of some terrific images, creating “a dark childhood fantasy and makes it real” which tests “all your urges and curiosities about your own capabilities and makes you want to be self-sufficient and find your way by the stars.”
This something I dream about quite often, what to do when it’s all over. When I wake, though, I know it’s not for real, that the world goes on, that matter and energy never end, that even when (and if) people end the world will go on. The universe doesn’t end when there are no more astronomers and that the apocalypse is about imagination not about physics. I love it when the world ends, sometimes I’ll watch a movie or TV show just for the pleasure of watching it all explode, or erupt, or disintegrate, or whatever.
When I watch disaster movies I want to see the world end. I want to see the buildings crumble and SUV’s be crunched between pylons; I need to see money burning, merchandise windblown and dirty, marketing cut down to nothing more than detritus and landfill. I love it when the sky turns dark and the silence falls like a curtain. When the little people turn and run and stumble as the stocking fillers whirl around their ankles. I love it. The towers tumble and the roads whips like a ribbon, the windows puff and burst, doors bang and fall upon single hinges. And children keen and cry as the maelstrom envelops them.
What I don’t love is the comeback. When the little people gather themselves and overcome. I don’t like it, the comeback is always just but the end of the world never is. The redemption is due but the hurt is not. I hate it when the sun rises, bringing new life to the process of salvation. I can’t bear that. The careful steps, hand in hand, through wet grass in yellow dawn sunshafts toward safety. When the small child takes the hand of a previously untrustworthy adult and faces the new world, growing and taking root in the new blessed world.
I’m not sure who said it (maybe Jameson, maybe Zizek) but the cliché that it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism rings true, if only because we purchase imaginings of the end of the world all the time and then get coke and popcorn. Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi nails this moment: “The future now seems imaginable only as the intersection of catastrophic tendencies. Paradoxically, only from the interference between the various planes of catastrophe does it seem possible to imagine a salvation.”
In other words, we can only fix broken things.