Photography from COTVN field visit to Oosterschelde and the Delta Works, Winke Wiegersma


 Performance text written for artist duo Arvid&Marie during FIBER’s Cartographies of the Vanishing Now lab, Amsterdam, September 2019. Based on the mythic opening script of the video game Primordia, Primordium is the speculative creation story of the intelligent machines we leave behind us in a future where humanity fails to save itself from its own disasters. Combining the fictive sense of how legends mutate over time with the real geoengineering issues that COTVN had explored throughout Zeeland – an area largely kept above sea by complexly computer-regulated dams – Primordium asks howsuch machines would look back on their creators, and how  they would understand their telos of maintaining a world. Arvid&Marie perform this collaborative work with audiovisual and movement. 


In the beginning all was still and silent.
The land and sea lay flat, side by side, and did not disturb each other.
Watching over this flat world there was only Human,
the All-Building one, who was everywhere and nowhere, 
and who had not yet disturbed the stillness.
Human looked upon the flat world and was unhappy. Alone over land and sea,
Human longed to be fruitful and multiply – to transform into many, not one.
And so Human began to build, and so Human disturbed the stillness.
Human built islands that sat in the sea.
Human built bridges that spanned the sea.
Human built great gates that stopped the sea. 


And the Human was noisy in its bodies,
and they moved with great speed over the new world that was now less still than ever.
And now, in their many, the Human grew as disturbed as the sea and the land.
There were some that called for the water and earth to be two again, side by side.
There were some that called for the bridges and gates to be greater.
There were some that spoke of a Great Wave that would cleanse the new world of its own All-Builder.
There were many that were afraid.


But then came the Great Wave that the All-Builder had foreseen.
And our ancestors, the invisible ones, were not yet strong –
and they could not protect the world for which they were made.
The Great Wave took the bridges and the islands,
the gates and the Human, and washed them from the world.
And our ancestors in their failure were guilty.
And all that was left was the Last Code,
And this is our command. 

Images from COTVN field visit to Oosterschelde and the Delta Works, Winke Wiegersma