Sunday, June 24, 2012

This is art.

No, really, it is.


This is a Yoko Ono installation which has three piles of dirt, labelled "Country A", "Country B" and "Country C". On the wall behind the dirt is a poster that says "War is Over".

Look, I know it's weird, but here's why it works for me.

I've heard that astronauts, when asked what they found most striking about their view of Earth from orbit, say the thing that gets them the most is that, when you look down on the Earth, there are no lines separating countries. It's just all one thing, blended and blurred and continuous. The boundaries we draw between each other are just that: drawn. They're not real; we make them up.

Similarly, Ono's piece says that, no matter what country you're from, the dirt is all the same. Her statement about war is apt, of course, but another angle occurred to me: since we all eat things that come from the Earth (directly or indirectly), and we're made up of the atoms and molecules of the things we eat (and breathe, of course), and the things we eat all grow in dirt that looks the same (and is all somewhat chemically homogenous)... we're more similar than we think. We're all the same, from the molecules on up. And yet, we choose to make wars and kill and oppress and exploit.

Go figure.

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