No Name, a student group at Haute École des Arts du Rhin (HEAR), in Strasbourg,?is participating in the FAIRE-MONDES research unit. As the students explore issues of globalization and probe the “ecology of narratives,” they move back and forth between the political and the poetic.
At the heart of their investigations in the 2018-19 year are questions related to evolution in the broad sense. How do you recount the dialectic of continuity and change? What do narratives of evolution convey? How do you sequence the different forms of evolution?
Like an alchemical formula or a clapping game, camera silex patates germées (camera flint sprouted spuds) presents a series of interchangable elements, with no hierarchy. Which came first: the camera, the flint or the potato?
When the potato, newly arrived on European shores, was presented to the Pope, a diplomatic issue arose: the Quechua word for the root vegetable is papa. Which is also what popes are called. To avoid confusion, the tuber was renamed patata.
At the same time, the camera obscura was being used as both a viewing machine and a device for projecting images.
Somewhere, on ocean floors, siliceous inclusions were occuring. Flints, freed by erosion, fragmented by freezing, tumbled by currents, washed up on the beach amid a multitude of rounded pebbles. Their rubbing caused sparks.
To evolve is not to progress, to improve. It means to change, continuously, to experience change, to hybridize.
Without flints, would it have been possible to build screens?
Evolutions play out on many different scales: in interstices, along imaginations, in the subtitles of grand histories, deep in interactions.
The strata of our narratives overlap and sometimes tangle together. Will potatoes sprout on the far side of the Moon?