Gabrielle Rucker, writer, Sparkle Nation co-founder, and 2020 Researcher for the Collaborative Center contributes a reading guide for Same Page, responding to Perry Chen's Computers in Crisis, 2014, our artist project for January 2020.
Gabrielle Rucker: Scattering as Behavior Towards Risk
(February 17, 2020) (GR)
PDF: Gabrielle Rucker - "Scattering as Behavior Towards Risk"
Scattering as Behavior Towards Risk
A year ago, I ended up in the basement of a decaying two-story house to get a tattoo of a beetle. The beetle, drawn freehand by Shireen, came together quite simply: two horns, two antennae, six slender legs fused to a ringed, almond-shaped body.
In my own insect-like handwriting, I scribbled Y2K between the bugs' back legs. Having fallen into a spiral of information on climate change, my tidy but chaos thrilling personality went into high gear. I began indulging myself in the curiosities and logistics of soft dooms-day planning. I started with the informational, but mostly pleasant, Y2K preparation pamphlet but quickly got bored by the math of it. I started poking around internet archives and suspicious publications for info on weapons, fire starting, time capsules, food storage and more. Clicking from here to there, I sometimes found traces of poetry floating about, hidden within the back-pages of dormant websites or nestled into digitalized anthologies. Where the manuals failed, the poems expanded, each one revealing itself through some thoughtless motion of my own curiosity. In the liminal space between disaster and preparedness, the strange assortment of habits and emotions I found myself desperately trying to subdue—defiance towards an unknowable end, aggressive perceptiveness, reasonable doubt and, most frequently, a solemn but accurate habit of prophecy—were legitimized. Unlike Y2K, the realities of climate change pile higher everyday. Science abounds, overpowering speculation. All around us, global fires rage and ecosystems crumble. Plastic particles swirl above the Pyrenees and militarized insects swarm together in the sky. Surveillance has been twisted into a social norm; indigenous language lost or hidden in the folds of time. Anything is possible and everything should be expected. As prepared as I think I might be, I know nothing: the computers
are always liable to shut down.
*Gabrielle Rucker is a writer, co-founder of Sparkle Nation and 2020 Researcher for the Collaborative Center for Storm, Space & Seismic Research: Doomsday.
Citations in order of appearance
1. Excerpt from The Answer, Bei Doa
3.Kef 12, Henry Dumas
4. Excerpt from After A Long Illness, Robert Duncan
5.Canal Street 33/14, Bernard Heidsieck
6. Excerpt from Scattering as Behavior Toward Risk, Marie Howe
7. Excerpt from The Deathwatch Beetle, Linda Pastan
8. Y2K, Therese Lloyd