Transmutation of Decay for After Progress c/o Goldsmith's College of London
video poem collaboration
by Old Room Productions
K. Scarlett Harrington
J. Neil Noah Travis Phillips
We are the children born to the Age of Aquarius, emanating from water and air. The progeny of stagnant fluidity; promised a bankrupt inheritance. Bestowed the estate of a dying earth. And here, on this decaying terrain, us children seemingly born to a new age of enlightenment had to walk between the worlds of what we were told reality was vs the realities we were actually living. Dimension hopping - a survival mechanism. Our progenitors were swept away with and to heavenly lust while we were left to drown in holy water. But like everything in this dilapidated world, salvation came at a cost. Like necromancers, they etched their debts into our bones but ignored our prophecy – believing that conjurers could never be cajoled to act for the conjured.
They were the children of enlightenment, of progress. They knew what was best for us. They orchestrated the music of the spheres to compose a universal authoring of reality which tuned our hymns towards a cosmological harmony of ostensibly objective truth and fiction. The fire in our lungs couldn’t be the curtain call on such a grand production. They turned their children into hauntings made flesh, I guess it was fitting if we were to inherit a terminal terra firma. So, we walked between worlds, learning to eat their sins along the journey. But one gets little nourishment from the scraps of decadent gluttony.
Somatic shadows; trapped between the worlds of the living, living-dead, and annihilation, starved by advancement and stymied by self-righteous arrogance. It’s easy to look for different paths when hunger pains grow into longing. Walking towards different realms; new realities of what could be. We had already been drowned in deliverance. We were able to walk beyond and between. Maybe we had already been transmuted – our atoms reconfigured with the agency to alter. All we needed was the courage to be chaos.
What if we were the hands of fate forced to rewrite the epilogue? What kind of age could we ink with our sanguine sacrament? Psalms of putrescence. Kairotic canticles of pandemonium. A generation born from ashes a lit aflame. All-consuming fires start with little sparks.
I invoke the elemental echoes to bring
In this afterbirth of advancement and the
putrefaction of progress.
I call forth
The tempest terra
Ashes to ashes, dust to stardust.
create, reshape, transmute, annihilate
May I manifest the arcana
to break the wheel
evoke kairotic chaos
move outside and within; beyond and
To transform frozen binaries into raging
Fires of the seas, stars of a decaying earth,
muddied waters, collapsing under air
I conjure the ineffable.
“every rose and every river wild, nothing can stop us now.
lineages and ideas that are laying around
and a dedication to extropy, & & &
entering the forest where it is most difficult
rebirth of everything, a chance for tomorrows (inhale)
the futures are formerly extinct, progress extends, things go feral, continue mutating and hybridizing,
more than human feeling(s)
what’s remembered is everything
generations of wisdom, it has already begun
V1 (J. Neil edit)
demo 3 / demo 2 / demo 1
“Transmutation of Decay” enacts themes surrounding “nature” after progress, including the decay, collapse, and transformation of landscapes and bodies with emphasis on healing and balance in keeping with ideas of transmutation in witchcraft and magic. For our project, transmutation and phantasmagoria act as models for future(s)-thinking and a way of affirming life by emphasizing “rewilding” for the landscapes we inhabit and that inhabit us. According to George Monbiot, “rewilding” is “resisting the urge to control nature and allowing it to find its own way” - Dolly Jørgensen goes further to illustrate that rewilding has become a term and idea with quite a bit of conceptual mobility, used widely, particularly by environmental activists to suggest ferality, or letting the landscape do what it will. Rewilding the landscape acts as a metaphor for rewilding the self; and in this sense, our short film casts a spell (so to speak) through montage and soundtrack, activating decay and entropy as potential for resurgence in death/life cycles. With a focus on phantasmagoria and landscapes, our short film will expose the exploitation inherent in and after late-capitalism while providing space to conceive of flourishing life beyond it.