I am reading After the Deluge by Chris Carlsson. The book is of hybrid category: sci-fi, social commentary, drama set in post-economic, post-earth quake, post-deluge San Francisco. The scene’s include feats of bio-engineering fit for futures in SF. Organic, genetic mastery has yeilded new forms of nature/culture communities. The human dramas are still familiar so one wonders about what a book would look like that could (W)right the subjectivity of the future. It is incredibly provocative. I am provoked. I have been in need of encouragement, a bit of prodding and I believe this work is doing it.
The institutions of the future out number our ability to dream them. Those infinite spaces of leeway are the corner stones of our children’s inheritance. We are made and unmade by our power to commune with the future. If a subject was made for the future, whose name would it call? Where would it call home? With what kind of interconnected affiliations would it commune? Would it be born?
Navels are weird. Like the image within the Matrix and with all the force Heidegger can muster, we are thrown into our experience moment by moment, and we are bound by the cords of our past, the life-lines of our lineages. The institutions of the future traverse this ground without cause. They betray our comings and goings. Our futures, predicted, expected, forthright will fade. Our experience will die. Our trust borne of kinship will give way to roads of infinite grace – strange grace.
Deluge means a heavy down pore or to be over run by some force or flood. Navel means, umbilicus or (and this I really like) the central point or middle of any thing or place. I think these words are super fresh, SF Mode ching. The vision After the Deluge presents is a San Francisco after global warming, after the predicted rise of planetary sea levels and the expected crushing earthquake. San Francisco is more organic, more farmed, more horticultured and greened and localized than ever. San Francisco is boated and biked. It is walked. Vehicles are no more. San Francisco is celebrated circus culture, everything that makes San Francisco culture unique and cool in the present, its arts, its neo-hippy liberation, its biotech, its music, its post-economic leanings, all is exponentially developed. It is a beautiful vision but a vision that lacks a people, a subjectivity and interiority that matches its environment.
San Francisco is the center institution of the future. It is a navel and a passage way. It is not “smart” it is clarified nature. It is spiritual. Only after the deluge can its potential rise to meet the future. It takes change. And change is coming. It is called the institution of the future.