An unsettlingly symmetrical plant turns itself to the sun as its sap is ritualistically let. A man dries the waxy droplets of resin, which he refers to as “tears.” They are ground to dust, then burned. A heavy book is laid on its spine and opened precisely to the center. On the left the text appears to progress from left to right, on the right,
Somewhere in the desert a large, plain gray stone roughly the size of a human skull is cracked perfectly in half (presumably due to the heat of the sun) to reveal a hollow, glittering crystalline cavity. Now imagine something was inside of it when it opened, two hemispheres of a mammalian brain also cleaving, nestled into their respective halves, making the sound of a ripe citrus fruit being pried apart by its poles. Think of a new butterfly drying its wings nearby, hinging in unison at their point of attachment to the longitudinal body, fluttering congruent wide blind eyes evolved to ward off predation. Now picture a beautifully packaged luxury good.
Maybe a pair of eyes can exist that is not a pair, but one homogenous tubal organ that, when sliced, is revealed to have concentric rings of surrounding white, then iris and pupil, throughout. This long-line eye could conceivably look at itself if it managed to meet end to end, if it could only loop back around. Consider an animal on another planet that evolved as prey with eyes on either side of its head, and the eye is a singular organ transmitting two images that appear to the small creature as one, a tube running hopelessly laterally. The illusory lone dot is actually the suggestive end of a line that projects unfathomably far into the distance rather than being its own finite totality. This implies a sense of time being intrinsic to culmination or plan, the future of the archetypal journey, enlightenment or “end” — a snake with sexual interest in its own tail.
To speed up the dissolution of material Earth into small parts undetectable to the governing human senses: What a great relief to the system! You grind up rocks; you can only barely smell them. If we all set about to really have at it all could be gone in several thousand years. Lines forming to volunteer for the Dust Corps, chewing gravel into sand into mud into dust into the great human achievement. If you had rich parents you’d be outfitted with serrated metal prosthetic teeth. There would be a black market dedicated to repurposing discarded sets of these gnashing dentures for the middle class. The mass of poor would use their natural naked teeth, their enamel mixing with the particulates as they chewed. All would be fed mush. The Generals would only be women and they would sit behind heavy desks on chairs designed to be fixed in a permanent reclining position.
When the project reached culmination, when the nations mutually detonated as agreed upon, the few humans who refused Dust Corps service would be released from their holding areas and all the dust generated by the Corps would be trampled upon by the stampeding multitudes, the population having exponentially increased itself during countless generations of close captivity. Such a mass event would cause the fine particulate to rise into the atmosphere, blocking out the sun, and later when sufficient unrest had occurred as to send the dust to the highest reaches of the stratosphere the end technology will be deployed. At detonation all of the loose dust would fuse into a hard lavalike crust due to its instantaneous high heat. This would preserve the memory of human occupation of Earth forever, an instant fossil — monument, earthwork, ecoarchitecture — or covering or package. A surface made possible only through cooperative mass self-destruction. Again, the great human achievement. Early Dust Corps Artist’s renderings of the event commonly depict a phosphorous ultraviolet blue light flashing into space as the hot dust liquefies and solidifies almost instantaneously in the extreme heat, becoming an impenetrable round planetary mass, plain and gray, with a jagged mineral interior.
Helm of a great strange ship dragging through fine, unseen sand deep underwater, the first indication of a nearing shore. Planet with a molten core. The great stone architecture pulverized into silt, sediment on some ocean floor. Threshold, no door!
Elaine Cameron-Weir (b. 1985, Canada) is an artist living in New York.