so…what? of the five elements, earth is fundamentally the grossest. earth is the most physical. it has mass. it is dense and heavy and tangible. but consider the shape-shift qualities of matter. hard rocks and huge stones face the rain and wind and erode eventually…
for the adventures in the elements assignment i have documented the five elements in the most counterintuitive ways i could think of- because when it comes down to it- sometimes earth isn’t solid and it doesn’t feel real and sometimes air isn’t light. and they all have an affect upon each other.
life feels real for most of us human beings on earth. we exist as bodies-to meet other bodies-to make more bodies (and so on.) we hear, see, touch, taste and smell. we have physical interactions, sensations and experiences from which we have basic instincts for survival. in terms of earth, in terms of matter- we are mostly unremarkable and indivisible from many other living species except that we are self-aware. we own gross mirrors that reflect invisible self-reflections. we are conscious of ourselves, and the space between ourselves and others. though grounded by the gravity on earth, we get dangerously high and mighty. still gross, we become impossibly obsessed with an intangible sense of identity.
it’s slippery and not so gross. it’s hard to hold, it sustains hard things and fills in the spaces between them. it flows, it rains, it can stay still but it’s delicate. it’s pushed in and out by the magnets of a heavy moon. it’s made with air stuff so that it suspends creatures within it. it’s pulled in and out of the gills of fish.
fire eats air. wind gives air a voice that travels.
and when we talk about space we don’t know what we’re actually talking about, do we? we don’t know because it’s not gross. space is just… it’s just… everything we don’t know, right? we can’t eat it, drink it, be burned by it. we can’t hear it’s music. so i took a picture of a stranger on the street and decided that the only evidence we’ll ever have of space is evident in the process of knowing and understanding each other on earth.