The Museum of Vestigial Desire

Civilisation

If there is to be a conspiracy theory, let it be about how the civilisation was mounted externally into Earth from somewhere out there. This idea was essentially an act of aggression. A simple and sustainable model of survival was disturbed in its infancy and replaced with another. An idea that perpetuates itself through the constant urge to improve, innovate and push further. Nothing is good enough and there is no day like tomorrow. The tomorrow that never comes. Narcotics, business, culture, everything owes its existence to this open, empty and fraudulent promise. Even consciousness is locked into this loop. At least in the form that it is channeled through beings in bodies. Sketching the conspiracy further, the idea was transmitted to our atmosphere by radio and once it was in the air all we had to do was breathe.

The idea is ripe for conspiracy-seeking because it doesn't add up, it doesn't seem stable but has been a part of our fabric for so long. It can't be rationalised by history, experience or biology. It is a purely alien idea that suddenly appeared in our midst and then strangely also became the central idea. Without the idea of civilisation, we wouldn't be restless, paranoid and be so anthropometric. These are defining conditions to forever lock us in the loops of progression and recursion. There has been no reportage about the ascent of this idea. Maybe this happened before the development of culture and language, but that is purely speculative. It could also have happened in the silence of the night and the noise of our dreamworld. We have been confused ever since, not knowing whether we misremember a dream or remember a phenomenon that should be shared and reported.

The idea of civilisation has some more characteristics which might be more obvious. The details can be matched either way. So if the idea is to improve and be more sophisticated, then both the idea of domesticity and colonies on the moon make sense. There is no prescription of choices only a pattern and hinting mechanism for making choices. Potentially infinite things can fit. The myth of the prevalence of autonomy exists but in fact only the tyranny of civilisation prevails.

Cyberspace

The misinformation that we are living in a connected world, where every node is just a hops away from any other node was distributed with ease. It entered our belief systems through our hair. The systemic nature of the world, the repercussions felt, the tremors experienced gained folkloric value. After a point, even air breathed in and out by the pores of the skin came to be understood as a medium. A medium in which we are all suspended. Cyberspace was received as ecology. A bundle of feedback…

Disease

Cities are cesspools of disease. Of many kinds. Those that effect the whole body as well as those that only effect only specific senses. Like there is a disease that effects vision in a way that makes everything seem real. Ghost and physical entities become the same. Eyes make it possible to be adjusted to an entirely synthetic city. There is no need anymore for cities to be an interplay between the natural and synthetic. Everything is synthetic. I do not remember the names of all the diseases…

Urbanity

Reading urbanity into a space, says nothing about it. Urban conditions share nothing in common. So how does an urban entity specify itself? How does it be nothing but make-believe that it means something? Urban landscapes are always in a zone of incompletion. They never feel stable enough to refer to their own condition by a name. Of course history is concurrent. But in writing their own history they exaggerate and they hide their failure by holding up universal ideals at face-value. What…

Nudity

It is a social taboo to expose the nude body publicly. Shrouding everything in clothes is considered the norm. Even statues of dead people, who are literally ghost entities now, wear bronze clothes. At least the dead should be allowed to be depicted in the nude, like they came and like they went. At least after death the scars and distortions of the body should not be a secret anymore. But more than just the nudity of the body, society has a problem dealing with nudity in all forms. Naked…

Animal

The animal is the one pure state of consciousness that we can observe. Revealing the codes of nature if there is such a thing. Animals have the capacity to disbelieve in everything. As a limitation in the transmission of inter-special communication. They can't afford to get distracted from the balance of being an animal. One wrong move and they get damned into timelessness of being human. They really protect their earned grace. Freed of the doubt forever, not being able to question itself…

Confidence

Urban environments have a chronic lack of confidence. They have instincts and sometimes they have insights but they do not have the drive to develop these insights into things that happen, things that become. If anything streets and neighbourhoods have the confidence to become divisive, plain and deadening. As an experiment if a child is brought up only with featureless suburban streets to see and walk amidst, maybe she will not even develop the required emotional and analytic depth to be…

Gender

When cities started calling themselves cities, the first thing they created and spread in the air was the phenomenon of arbitrary risk. Anyone, anywhere could get attacked at any time. The kind of attack, the nature of the aggression was variable but everything else was not. Death was certain. So while the human race was immortal, fearless and immune in their settlements before the dawn of the urban age, cities brought death and decay. Not only were a thousand new ways to die born but also as…

Traffic

The traffic is not out on the streets alone, it is in the pattern and flow of thoughts in the head. If anything, city-dwellers think too much. Partly we are forced to think and partly we do it spontaneously. Nothing is left unthought, raw, unprocessed, undesigned. Carrying forward the logic of progression, the pioneers who will live on the Moon will have to think even more. For thinking is filling-in of sorts, the kind which does not easily become a habit or operating rule. Like the filling-in…

Disappointment

When signals cross in the air, sometimes failures can look like intervals. Endgames can seem like intermissions and hope can seem like a simple default emotion. In most cases road accidents are difficult to predict, preempt and control. Accidents are of course multi-variate situations. It doesn't matter whose fault it is, everyone suffers the damage. Such accidents have the potential to be understood as natural disasters. Unexplainable in terms of causal factors, these accidents seem to be…

Friendship

Friendships in this city are fragile and vacuous. Either my friends are never around me or they are there and they are feeling empty. The city is a special weapon. A weapon of mass destruction, maybe. But not really. It is not really mass, maybe mass-less destruction would be more like it. Bodies are left intact, but everything else is distorted. So we can call cities circuit bending machines. The circuit is intact, but the electricity flowing through it is bent, distorted and maimed. So the…

Law

Law could not have taken birth without lawyers. There was an idea of course, there was a code that had its roots in reportedly ancient rites and customs. But this code needed to be practiced, to be knead into the dough and sweat of everyday life. This practice was put in place more by the lawyers than the police, the police was just hired by the bureaucracy to give a visible face to fear. The police has done its bit, it has put up a face to match the needs of its commissioning agency, but law…

Friction

Friction is breath. We don't mean in the physics-is-fun sense, meaning to celebrate the wonders of nature and the profound meaning in each subtle tangent of how the world operates. Maybe we would, on some other day, in some other exhibit at the museum, it is surely worth doing that. But here we are talking about friction in a different way. In the sense of the social discord, in the sense of the distance, the sync between what is there in our heads and what is there on the screen or in the…

Closure