THE BEACH IS A GREAT WHITE LITMUS
Walking along costal landscape of South-East England, I encountered organic and manmade material in blurred states of hybridity and decay, brought together by human activity, air and ocean.
The view of ourselves as a separate species distinct from nature and holding superiority to non-human perspectives creates and maintains a delusion of a possible non-participation in wider ecologies, that of being akin to an autonomous island. Such denial directly (yet often unconsciously) assures the abuse of the many other worlds we actually live embedded within.
Philip K. Dick’s notion of kipple challenges this normalised hierarchical gulf between humans and non-humans/objects/matter, and instead presents a reality, where, given a chance, that which we discard takes on an agency and reproducibility of its own:
“Kipple is useless objects, like junk mail or match folders after you use the last match or gum wrappers…. When nobody's around, kipple reproduces itself… It's a universal principle operating throughout the universe; the entire universe is moving toward a final state of total, absolute kippleization.” - Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, 1968
Aware of the unique early indicators of environmental change that islands, edgelands and coastal ecologies provide, the scenes I encountered demonstrated a strange hybridity, bridging human and non-human activity, evidencing kipple in humanity’s washed up remains. Such gestures not only nod towards the potential vitality of matter, but also attempt to approach questions as to the role of human/non-human dialogue within future ecological methodologies.
7 x C-Type prints, 20 x 20 inches, Edition of 5.
South-East England, UK, 2011.