The higher the entropy, the higher the disorder. Any being persevering through time must keep its entropy as low as possible in order to extend its existence. In order to keep its entropy low, the being needs to consume energy, producing more disorder as a result. A system may destroy another system to keep its own entropy low, but may then also accelerate the pace of entropy as a whole. And in the case of some of the more ‘advanced’ animals, they may even sacrifice a larger system which they themselves depend upon. This may not seem like a very smart strategy, but in order to understand itself as its own system, it will often to a large degree ignore, or even be completely oblivious of the many other possible systems and dimensions.

It is impossible for any system to get a full grip on the constantly changing web of interconnections between each subsystem. What we might understand as the whole are just our models of understanding posing as a whole. As this can never incorporate all that we are not aware of we always end up with just another part. The sum of everything does not have any unifying characteristics in the way that our understanding does. To even call it a whole is misleading: it is ordered by the chaos. The ‘whole’ is nothing but the sum of all beings capable of unpredictable moves.

To experience yourself as a dissolving part of larger and smaller unknowns is not a matter of understanding and control but an act of the imagination. It is to have trust in all those feelings, desires and visions that came from beyond your self control and knowledge. It is to have a spiritual vision that can mediate between what you think you are and what you can’t think yet. While this may sound unpractical and esoteric, in our everyday lives we are very capable of navigating a world full of unknowns, often hardly being bothered by what we do in fact think we know. Maybe it is not our being that feels this existential need for a fixed identity, but our society: just one possible system, subjected to entropy itself.

Systems as they are understood in a scientific and logical sense are always closed enough so as to be controlled. An entropic system is always open ended. It is only in a reasonably stable system that we can imagine ourselves to be equally defined and unchanging. In a changing system however, this fixed view of things, and the resulting wish to seek conservation may not at all help to keep the overall entropy low. We may be burning away our world at an alarming speed simply by refusing to imagine ourselves, our identities, desires and visions as being capable of transformation.

We are much more open ended than our own idea of identity permits. Once we find ourselves in different or in shifting circumstances we discover ourselves to be very capable of experiences beyond what we thought we were. We may not even notice that we are not quite the same any longer. The part that will help us persevere, is the part that has no need to confirm to our laws and beliefs about this persevering self. Does this mean we should give up our control alltogether?

It means we should give up the idea of the possibility of complete control in advance. But it does not mean we should give up our self-determination altogether. Our actions do influence and change, it is just that we cannot ever quite predict what those changes will be and what we will feel like beyond the temporary image we understand as ourselves. I belief a well-formed entropic economy will favor reaction over prediction and influence over control.

This state of things has a very exciting consequence: prediction won’t help a system beyond what it defines itself to be. And so it is not the truth of a system that matters, but our trust that there is an existence beyond our temporary understanding and a trust in our imagination to see something there. Not facts or status quo, but imagination, experimentation, dreams and visions will help us to navigate time while constantly falling apart and reassembling. We are always changing course or changing to remain on course.

We could imagine ourselves, or any system moving through the world, as boats that are simultaneously being built while falling apart, all the while seeking to navigating the waters of time and trying not to sink. The best images of this process are those that express dynamics rather than characteristics. As successful entropic beings, we should not seek to control our future shape through prediction, but instead seek to open ourselves up to experience the life of a being that is never exactly itself.

Welcome In The Entropocene!

On the fine art of navigating time, or: how to micro-manage your entropy and let the Universals take care of themselves.

The Entropocene is a collection of experimental explorations and meditations on the concept of entropy. It will investigate the practical and artistic implications of entropy in life by looking at contemporary phenomena and concepts such as augmented reality, climate change, late-capitalism, (post-)identity, sexuality & re-wilding. The aim of this growing collection of meditations is to develop a practical approach to understanding oneself as a continuously adapting vehicle navigating time seeking a slower demise. Eventually, I hope these explorations will become a practical DIY guide on going back to nature without going back in time. Welcome in the Entropocene!

Broken AR / Music: Farmer In The City by Scott Walker