Nuisance whims – Philippe Mouillon

They are simple stories, buried, entangled stories, made up of uncertain, fragile, fuzzy, disconcerting data, but which allow us to glimpse something like a texture of the hustle and bustle of the first mornings of the world.

Here, fulfillment and distress are intertwined. The light sought is fossil, and would come from the cosmogonic diffuse background. It contains in particular the characteristics of the episode of inflation which would have taken place around 10–20 seconds after the big bang. The sounds would be fossil, because they are emitted by a handful of crickets already present on earth 200 million years ago and whose song is one of the rare sounds of the origins of terrestrial life of which we can be certain. Mushrooms, mosses, lichens, ferns, or horsetails, the plant species also come from distant living places, without notable modifications. These plants arrive from the world before it is inhabited. They imbue us with their archaic forms of organization by transforming water and sunlight into what will be a viable environment, welcoming for animal and human life. Because they produce our atmosphere by charging it with this oxygen which we breathe in and out, and which penetrates every moment of our body. Our world only exists through this atmosphere. We do not inhabit the earth, we inhabit the air through the atmosphere, writes Emanuele Coccia.

These panchronic indices, which have come down from the origins of darkness to the present day, seem to be of useful use in helping us to discern the toxic components of our future. They are united on this plan of consistencies stretched between the sumptuous indigenous know-how of the granite floor of the Notre-Dame du Guelhouit chapel and the naive illustration of celestial life painted on the ceiling.

New viable compositions may emerge tomorrow, and transform, gain or lose consistency, disappear. The living is always open, without promise of stability, polyphonic, made up of multiple temporal rhythms and tangled trajectories which do not yield to human interests and projects. And because this diversity of indifferent dynamics never ceases to surprise us, and resists simplification, we usually name it and classify it under the term of whims of nature. Cécile Beau has the delicate art of observing and figuring out these untimely whims, that is to say, those amoral stories of which humans are not the center.

1. Emanuele Coccia, La vie des plantes, Rivages 2016