read me here or eat me at home.
Sarah & Marie
Sarah Boyle (character in Pamela Zoline’s short story Heat Death of the Universe) and Marie Kondo (author of the bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up) appear as opposites: one is unhinged and one is contained, loves containers. Marie, our organizing guru. She really wants to grasp her world, she never questions her capacity, and she manages. On the contrary Sarah questions and doubts. She is a housewife in the 1970s, she has trouble keeping up with her chores, keeping her home clean and in order. Because she’s constantly overwhelmed by the concept entropy: the universe’s unstoppable movement toward a state of disorder and death.
I fantasize about a continuation of Zoline’s story, it is taking place the day after Sarah’s breakdown. It takes the form of a series episode where Marie is coming home to Sarah. Marie is bouncing with joy when she peaks into Sarahs living room and the kitchen filled with broken plates. She brings plastic boxes and they are using a showel to move the soil and potato plants into the container. In the before/after images we see the transformation of the rooms, in the kitchen drawers the shards of broken plates are arranged in beautiful patterns, tubers are thriving in a pair of plastic boxes constituting the base of a living room table.
There are more women among them now, but it is with them I begin and with a parasitic fungus.
Is a genus of parasitic fungi that require the body of an insect to propagate. When a spore infects an ant it gets into its brain, manipulating it to search for the appropriate conditions for the parasitic spore to break out of the exoskeleton in the form of a mushroom. When found the ant bites down into the ground and dies. After three weeks it spreads its spores again.
I place a gigantic ceramic ant inside a big semitransparent plastic storage box. I’m going to infects its invulnerable body with moss. I collect some on a hill next to the apartment. Buy sour milk. Mix it together with the blender. Pour and paint the ant with the hopes that moss would grow on it.
I place two orchids in glass jars in a 10 L box hoping they will survive the summer in a closed environment.
The terracotta ant is covered with a with fluffy layer of white mold. I add water.
I reenter my studio after 2 months. The back part of the ant is now covered by a green shiny film. The head still white. Moss has started to sprout from the ceramic figure.
The orchids are alive, I transfer them to a smaller box and fill the bottom with water.
I make a late summer still life (or rather its opposite) with material from the island in a 10 L box: leaves, moss, dirt, some mushrooms, a fallen apple, a plant.
I put some moss with the orchids.
In a new 60 L box, fresh from the store I find a dead ant, so tiny in the spacious box, compared to its moldy neighbor, scales are flipping y yo estoy flipando. Can’t figure out how it got there.
The still life has entered autumn, the decay seems speeded up because of the high level of moist and warm climate inside the box.
Marie (19/9 2010)
What does Marie do when she’s done folding all the socks, I ask myself while putting back the laundered clothes into the wardrobe. (I still stack the folded clothes horizontally, as she teaches me.)
Marie manages total control. The house is a grid and everything has its spot. An organization that allows total overview of the belongings. She’s a savior in this murky world. Brings light and clarity, harmony and order. With her the possibility of perfection is attainable.
I promise to change your life! I promise you joy! her book proclaims.
Marie makes me a believer, for a while... Sometimes I purge too much. After I don’t know how to satisfy my urge for purity, as all the excess has already been cut off.
Here there’s always a yes and a no.
the moldy orange peel sparks with life and death.
The still life has grown white mold, it is so pretty right now. The apple is brown, juicy and rotten, covered with white wart-like mold-bumps.
They are changing the plants in the flower boxes outside of Grand Hotel so I get som cuttings of coleus. I place some in a small box, after lunch I add the peel of the satsuma I ate.
Eve (21/9 7700 BC)
The first woman. First day of fall.
Being human is to fall, that Eve makes sure. We don’t become humans till she eats the apple, and enables eyes to see.
She is curious.
As you bite into the crispy Golden Delicious decay is introduced. Dust appears, and the flesh is filled with molecular machines copying DNA.
Here we’re still falling through the mist. In and out of grounds. Forming and dissolving. We would never be without entropy that comes with Eve.
I've want to fill a box with apples and was thinking this morning on how to get some, I consider the apps that let you pick fruit from other peoples trees. Getting to school I find a big cardboard box filled with apples in the entrance. I pick only the ones that has stared to rott, 8 of them. I put them in one of the smallest boxes. I add an apple I had lying in the studio, and later a half-eaten one I didn't feel like finishing.
I look at the one with satsuma peel and coleus leaves. Banana flies are now living inside, some already dead on the bottom, some condensation on the lid.
Seasons seem short in the boxes and I wonder how many generations of flies will get to live their lives in there.
The white mold in the still life has already changed into brownish glossy goo. It makes me think of my Nurgles Rot Warhammer paint, eternally rotting, at least until it's covered by dust.
I pick up some more apples from the cardboard box in the entrance and add them to the rest.
All the banana flies in the parallel box are dead, the satsuma peel partly green with mold, and the leaves covered by a gray web.
In the still life most is brown, the plant is dead, and the leaves have lost their vibrant colors. In the corner some grass straws continue to live. The surface of the apple has begun to collapse, in the crevices I can see a glossy creamy substance. The surface of the apple is rusty red and to partially covered with spots of green and yellow mold.
Sarah (7/10 1972)
“My days in this house are full of vertigo.”
It could have been Sarah who says it, but it is A.
It is most definitely vertigo that Sarah experiences when she contemplates the coming of the Heat Death of the Universe and entropy, the universe’s unstoppable movement toward a state of disorder.
Time and space looses scale, the ground dissolves. I’m caught in fall towards dissolution. So why clean if everything will dissolve in the end? I’ll try something different. Sarah thinks while paralyzed by the impossibility of perfection. A Dada-order!
- Could be nice with potato plants in the living room.
- Keep some orange peel in a box for a while.
- A bed placed in the middle of the room, way too close to the tv.
- White noise bathing the white sheets in cold light.
- A lover eating capricciosa from the edge of the bed, leaving fat stains on the duvet.
I find miniature wild apples on Marstrand, bring five of them with me and put them in the little box with apples. There is condensation on the lid. Many of the apples are brown from rotting, dotted by stains of white mold. A smell of apples is slipping out and is noticed when close to the box.
I pick some chestnuts on the island and put into a mid sized box together with a transparent 3D printed apple.
The box with apple still smells mainly fresh, but a note of vinegar call also be discerned. About half of the apples are are brown, the rest still maintain their color.
A bunch of fruit flies have appeared among the apples. They get stuck in the water drops that hang from the lid, incapable of getting out of the water some of them die.
I’m looking at them through the microscope, the water drops create visual effects that could have been added in post production. Seeing one particular fly struggle I feel an urge to open the box and help it out, but the risk that the others fly out stops me from intervening.
The box that contained a satsuma peel and coleus leaves is almost completely grey and white from mold, but from the old stems new tiny leaves are sprouting.
Eileen (22/10 1927)
Eileen Gray. Amazing designer. Eating pizza in bed isn’t a problem for Eileen. It’s where she prefers to do it. She creates the perfect table for the occasion, Adjustable Table E 1027.
The boxes are bathing in sunlight this morning. Among the apples the fruit flies are multiplying, larvae cover the surface of the rotting apples that bleed out juicy goey substances.
It is like a paradise for them, an all you can eat buffet and unlimited procreation.
I wonder how many generations will live in there and if they will make it through the winter?
A thought flashes by telling me it’s wrong to keep them locked up in the box, but I realize that they exist because I set up these condition for them to exist, and that the environment is great in there (except from when they get stuck in the water drops and drown). I find it is fascinating to play god, managing my microverses.
I put some bark and a tick fungus in a box from Tyresta national park.
In the apple box the majority of the larvae have become pupas, going through the last phase of their metamorphosis, which will last for about 3,5-4,5 days I learn.
They are so many, the apples are covered. The speed of their reproduction is stunning.
I am disgusted for the fist time. The hatched flies are swarming in the small apple box. Maybe it is the amount of flies, or the brownish empty pupas on the rotten surfaces of the apples. Today I will look at it through the microscope.
The ant, and its slow pace, is so serene and beautiful in comparison to the explosion taking place above in among the apples, where life appears so hungry. I keep on wondering where it will end. It's like a planet with hills made of rotting food where time goes faster.
Now I look through the microscope. In the droplets hanging from the lid flies are struggling, some dead, some fornicating? but I also see eggs. Clusters of white grains with small tails float around in them.
Gudrun (10/11 1996)
Gudrun Jonsson is making mannagrynsgröt and reciting Gud som haver barnen kär as I’m sitting on the kitchen counter.
She isn’t actively religious though, but the fear of the lack of a God and ground made her keep a child’s belief.
Always in a continuous process of cleaning, polishing silver, dusting furniture. A process that lacks a finishing point.
Entropy doesn’t bother her like it bothers Sarah. It just happens.
As dementia progresses in dissolving braincells, the exterior order is affected. New modes of organization are invented. Plastic bags within plastic bags within plastic bags holding the most precious jewelry.
The flies are still many. Pupas pile up on each other on the rotten apples. They react to the the flash light, gather on the lid to get to the light. Dead flies start to dissolve in the moist.
I buy two kilos of apples and put them in a box.
The cherry on the Mon Cheri package falls into rum. Perfectly shaped, brilliant and red. I find that kind of cherry at el Corte Ingles. Bright red like on the chocolate box, but wrinkled and sticky. I’ll buy a package and bring it home.
Inger (1/1 1982)
Inger Christensen, danish poet.
“I think/ therefore I am part/ of the labyrinth” she writes.
She writes about the Baroque, and about Barrocco – the portuguese pearl that goes beyond perfection in order to make visible the idea of perfection as skewed. It shows us how our worldviews are skewed, by thinking them as perfect.
Back in the studio. Flies are still alive. The apples lost their shape, brown and strewn with pupas. In between the lid and the box I see a crushed fly. Connect the microscope to have a closer look, its red eye is crushed, and the color has leaked out staining its flattened beige head. The red is darker here, not like the vibrant vermilion of the flies that are still alive.
I open the jar of Helios Cerezas Confitadas and pour the content into a small container.
I don’t expect the cherries to grow mold, but green islands are floating around in the red sugary liquid.
The store bought apples doesn’t produce any flies, and it’s really taking time for them to decay. A couple of them are brown and moldy.
I notice that a plant has sprouted from the moss next to the poison green apple.
I find berries among the snow, purple, orange and black and white.
I dream about the flies tonight. I’m feeling worried they are going to stop reproducing, that the food is going to run out.
In the dream all of them are stuck on the lid. I try to bang on it to make them fall down. Som do but below there is almost only an ocean of rotten apple juice left, no islands of refuge.
Mosquitos hatch in the box with plastic apple and moss.
A branch sprouts roots and its buds break into an early spring.
The dance of microscopic worms is visible on my computer screen.
The fruit fly colony has definitely already peaked. Their number is decreased. The box looks dirty, dead flies are stuck all over the wall, still a steady bunch keeps on living on the islands that used to be apples.
Mary (25/3 1)
The virgin Mary
It is today and the room rumbles, shamelessly loud, cherubs are crawling out of a brilliant hole. The annunciation is about to take place.
I am feeling a Marie-satisfaction in the Prado restauration studio when the cotton swab removes the obscuring layers of dirt, uncovering the vibrant green and pink of Gabriels gown. Eve is in the background, ashamed and is being escorted out of paradise. Through the golden rays a dove is being transported towards Mary, embarking on a mission to reverse the fall.
I’ve been taking photos of the boxes.