Sarah Davidson



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for the trees
Dynamo Arts Association
April 13, 2017




Preservation is a word oft associated with environmental activism. However, its implementation is a distinctly “cultural” phenomenon, not a natural one. Namely, it is one of human beings, and their technologies. Preservation brings along with it a whole host of other activities. The verb implies an external process to occur in order to accomplish its goal. You have pickling, salting, fermenting, cataloguing, copying, categorizing, languaging, embalming. In reality, ruin itself is a much needed process in the activity of sustainment of diverse life. The transfer of heat from one system (biological, ecological, and, I would argue, visual, and ontological) is integral and the multiplicities of systems allows for a birth of organization in the transfer of this heat.
Origin of Species by Darwin, and Kelvin’s laws of thermodynamics were published in the same decade. They both came on the tail end of the industrial revolution. Both theories were argued as paradoxical, and heretical, by the church. Both conceptually resist the possibility of a creative or intelligent design in the world. However, once you consider the closed system of thermodynamics as being one which encompasses you, the earth, the universe, this transfer of heat and its loss in the process – the movement of such energy – can still create a beautiful and complex diversity of ruin.

excerpt from you can’t see the forest, catalogue essay by Brynn McNab published as for the trees