#06   47°N 7°E: Floating Bodies and Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres

Myra Van Ameringe

29 juni, 2013

Is there any one so senseless as to believe that there are men whose footsteps are higher than their heads? ... that the crops and trees grow downward? ... that the rains and snow and hail fall upward toward the earth? ... I am at a loss what to say of those who, when they have once erred, steadily persevere in their folly and defend one vain thing by another.
—Lactantius (250–325 AD)

Responding to the dislocation of the time and space between Stone Soup and my position here in San Francisco, I found it useful to think of our ancient relatives.

Looking at Honoré δ’O's people, their curious bodies pressing into the street- I ask: What have they awakened from? Did they land there? Has the speed of the spinning planet changed — a new gravity? Were they having a neo-pagan celebration? Have they assumed the position of crawling beasts?

Together, in a moment, they are examining the flora making its way through the cracks- Are they receiving messages from their antipodes? What is the urge to get closer to this flora — some seem to be harvesting, some admiring, some dissecting, others have simply lost their heads...

47°N 7°E takes the night sky from the Antipode of Gent (on the evening of 9 March 1497,when Copernicus proposes that Earth is NOT the center of the universe) and superimposes a still from Russian filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein's, The Old and the New (1927). These two images mark revolutionary moments in human history. In the shadow of the October revolution, a scene of a curious child floats between the pantomime of a pagan religious procession (the old) and the seductive rationality of mechanized farm equipment (the new). In a dream, curiosity lifts a small child's feet off the ground to peer over a fence between the rationality of the new and the "irrationality" of the old.

δ’O's people and Eisenstein's child come together in this moment between something that happened and something to come. We as onlookers can imagine together what they will do or think of settled dust after an uprising that has turned things upside down or a proposal of a universe where we are no longer the center — a new cosmological image. Floating together, they share the gravity of this rapidly moving body, spinning on an axis every 24 hours — daily revolutions.

In our dislocation (SF/Ghent) we share this state of being, of the daily revolutions around the fire in the sky, the distant sun.