Transience is one of the topics that occupies me.
I wonder if by observing transience, one can attempt to approach the answers to fundamental questions for me: What are we? Why are we? Where are we heading?
Unlike these questions, transience is tangible. We age and die, our cars break down, the structures we build degrade. But new people and other animals are constantly being born, new buildings and different objects are created that can bring us joy. Disintegration and reintegration are tangible processes in which we are the recipients, participants, and creators every day.
The last century has seen rapid developments in ecology, archaeology, anthropology, physics, and chemistry, which provide us with a lot of information about these processes. Mass education and the internet disseminate this knowledge. Paradoxically, however, the world is mainly driven by ideologies that were created thousands of years ago.
According to modern physics, the atoms that make up us have existed for billions of years. And they will continue to exist for billions more after our death. Atoms are tiny bricks in eternal motion. They sometimes form organic matter and other times are part of inorganic matter. The atom that is in my heart could have once been part of a rock, someone's fingernail, the tip of a leaf sprouting in spring, the ocean, bird droppings, or rain. Quite literally, we are stardust, creating various shapes for unknown reasons, some of which seem to have micro agency and the ability to be aware of their own existence.
Some people, including myself, have a need to somehow preserve this fleeting collection of atoms that forms them, to leave its trace, leave a stamp, influence the software - culture. In other words, to have a short-term, local, and micro-scale impact on other figures created by atoms. For what purpose?
Driven by instinct, I will leave behind clay masks that, if not intentionally destroyed, twice fired at a temperature of about 1,000 degrees, will likely survive for about 5,000 years. Stone heads with carved facial features will probably survive for about 10,000 years before the features become worn due to natural erosion of the stones. My hypothetical ancestors, captured in masks and stone heads, will gaze upon reality much longer than I myself will. According to estimates, the complete decomposition of my body under traditional conditions takes about 1,000 years. Can a trace of a seal smile upon the memory of the seal?
These melancholic, nostalgic thoughts and desires, full of naivety, like the delusions of a drunkard, which, by the way, may be an advantage for hominids and from the perspective of a future where a more deliberate, orderly rotation of atoms would take place, may seem like an interesting and savory song, but in the face of today's facts proclaimed by physicists, they don't matter much.
We are eternal. Humans, cats, tables, sofas, toilets, socks, airplanes, the food we are currently digesting, the bottle that shattered and the spilled water, and everything else. It also happens that we are in heaven. Because everything that exists is an infinite Cosmos. And conversely, it turns out that ancient software contains a lot of truth. The difference is that there is no need to do anything. Whether we want it or not, we will live forever.
How will this awareness, which today is the subject of theoretical considerations by physics students and scientists, change the rotation of atoms? Will it affect the software, and if so, how?
And can atoms remember anything? Can atoms feel anything?
Adaobi Sosnowska is the author of several masks. Ndidi Sosnowska is the author of one mask. Anastazja Sosnowska is the author of one stone head.
PREPARATIONS FOR THE EXHIBITION
PHOTO REPORT FROM THE VERNISSAGE
I thank and congratulate my co-authors, my daughters, Adaobi Sosnowska and Ndidi Sosnowska, and my mother Anastazja Sosnowska.
Special thanks to the panelists: Andrzej Strycharczuk - physicist, Magda Olszowska - conservator of monuments, Mariusz Cichon - archaeologist.
Big thanks to Jakub Biegaj - exhibition curator.
Thanks to Alex Stępień for the film production and Controlled Randomness for the musical illustration.
I thank Stefan Paruch for the humorous photo reportage.
Thank you to the Kamień team - the Educational Pavilion.
Heartfelt thanks to my family for their support: Alfred Sosnowski and Anastazja Sosnowska, Kamdi Sosnowska and Nnenne Sosnowska ♥️
Eternity certificates have been prepared for all participants of the vernissage. Unfortunately, I was so absorbed in the whole event that I only handed them out at the very end, and only to a few people.
They are printed and waiting. If you want to receive one, let me know! 🤗