Something Called Spring
Don’t worry if you forget your map, because the terrain is shifting rapidly and old landmarks may already be submerged or in piles of rubble
Vernal Equinox 2023.
We are into spring in the north. It is here with a strangeness and with a heightened pitch of beauty. One foot in the weird snows of winter, one foot in the early warming earth and confusion of the clock.
This uncanniness, home but not at home, is the space of Delisted 2023.
To come into spring in the north or autumn in the south, feel in deeply. Can you encounter those inarticulate, unsurfaced emotions, sensations, vibrations in your body? The vine maple’s fresh leaf buds. A song submerged in infancy because it was too dangerous to sing out loud.
Si me pide la luna es porque la necessita
If someone is asking for the moon, it’s because they need it
Delisted 2023 is about our way into strangeness, unfamiliarity, the destabilization of linear time and loss.
Delisted 2023 is Collaborative Emergence
[O]ur vitality comes partly from stories moving things in the world and within us. If we want to get unstuck we need to put these expired stories to rest.
For those of you new to the project, the heart of Delisted 2023 is 34 species, subspecies and morphs that were once on the U.S.Endangered Species list but that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Fisheries consider to be extinct.
Eleven were “delisted” starting in the late 1980’s through 2018. Then, in 2021, the Fish and Wildlife Service issued a draft rule delisting an additional 23 species, subspecies and morphs. As of March 20, 2023, this draft rule has yet to be finalized.
I’ve asked a core community of artists to attend to a species, or a group of species, systems, communities. Like how the body holds the heart.
The new world is in your mind.
And like a body that is not just the heart, this project also reaches out in other ways, through workshops, including online and in person, and this Substack, and encounters that will emerge throughout 2023. My hope is that by stepping into these spaces in creative community we can caretake the 34 entities, and each other.
Beneath the surface, where digital technology scans for earthly resources, and outside of the conversation of nature into monetary exchange, something else emerges. Namely, the dream of “another world” is not merely a future-oriented utopia but it is already in motion, teeming with the alternatives we desire.
My description of the project is perhaps a bit slippery because the project is relational and emergent rather than transactional and defined, although it takes place within the world we occupy, riddled as it is with transaction, extraction, colonial thinking and white body supremacist structuring.
This knowledge is so old it seems new.
Delisted 2023 is Among a Multiplicity of Emergences
Delisted 2023 is part of the nascent and emergent and new and ancient being with and on the other side of the loss and imagining and stepping into the new world.
This emergence is all over.
Here are a few places I’ve encountered it:
Rooted a Global Village’s We Dream Worlds,
The work of Indigenous law and sovereignty undertaken by the sməlqmíx, the syilx people of the Similkameen Valley,
In the writings and collaborations of Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti
And in the creative practices of the artists in the Delisted 2023 community
This project is not about moral certainty, nor is it about finding comfort. But it is about caretaking. Always I am inquiring, how does this feel? Always I am asking, when the voices of doubt and deliverability and valuation seem to be hijacking me, what are we moving towards? What is moving in among and between us?
Sometimes joy is a choice
Sarah Falkner, 0 The Fool, Madame Lulu’s Book of Fate
Alejandra Pizarnik, Extracting the Stone of Madness: Poems 1962-1972
Vanessa Machado de Oliveira Andreotti, Hospicing Modernity
I use the colonial names of geographies in this post but the are not the names I want to use. I’m still working with how to call places. I welcome suggestions and I’m ok feeling uncomfortable.
Roberto Nutlouis, Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene, March 4, 2023
Macarena Gómez-Barris, The Extractive Zone
Lauren Terbasket, Public Interest Environmental Law Conference, Eugene, March 4, 2023
Janice Lee, Separation Anxiety