Leon Lukas Plum

The Word For World

The Anthropocene is haunted. While forms of life are being eradicated from this planet at a vertiginous speed, nothing vanishes without leaving a trace. Some of these traces exist as material remnants, others persist as language, as words that outlive the realities they once referred to. Vestiges and signs are to be found in every nook and cranny of the landscapes that came to embody histories of extinction. In a world where nothing is left unscathed, there is no such thing as innocence.

One way of navigating through the ruins of our present would be to try and attune oneself to those long-gone landscapes. Listening with care to the murmur of the spectres haunting our epoch requires active involvement with the perpetual making and remaking of the world. Building echo chambers for these landscapes can be seen as acts of mundane maintenance and repair, allowing for greater degrees of synchronicity.

Perhaps, what comes closest to this sentiment is the labour of a gardener: caring for what cares for us, being touched by what we touch. “There was a word inside a stone…”