I read a newspaper article a while ago, about an archaeological site: this is how the video begins. That story... Read More
I read a newspaper article a while ago, about an archaeological site: this is how the video begins. That story made me think about time, about the immeasurable amount of time that the topic of the article concerns: thirty-thousand years. A quantity of time that is undoubtedly presented, together with a few data on the nutrition of Neanderthalians who lived in a certain cave for thirty thousand years, in fact. These data regards some kind of food which is now part of our everyday life: but what was that food at the time? And how it changed over the span of thirty-thousand years? Can we name, for instance, the word "lettuce" and say that we have eaten lettuce for thirty-thousand years? Today we have an idea of lettuce, but what was "lettuce" thirty-thousand years ago? Probably nothing different from "forest", or from simple "grass", from "countryside" - even these specifications are probably too precise, too "contemporary".
The definition of an object, the identification of its contours and its leap from the rest of the flowing world, is a story made up of thousands of years of grasping, attempts, refusals, experiments, poisonings, which then led humanity to agree on what can be considered, for example, "lettuce" and detach it from the rest of the world. A simple and obvious thing like lettuce hasn't always existed the way we think about it. And I am not referring to its equally obvious biological evolution. I am referring to the idea of going to collect herbs and precisely indicate that herb, to distinguish it from other herbs in general, from the countryside in general. The action "going to collect lettuce" for tens of thousands of years coincided with "going to collect food", probably, or, more likely still, with the action "eating". "Lettuce" was food, just food, indistinguishable from the rest of the collection. So lettuce did not exist, it was not an object, it was not a figure, but a background, to the eye of the collector.
In this video I want to tackle this path, the thousands of graspings and attempts that have led humanity to define with a precise name what for thousands of years was only an unnamed piece of the world. And that have led us today to have the possibility of such a clear definition and representation idea. An idea that we put into category and category that becomes a “picture”, the semantic distance between a piece of the world and the rest of the world. Clear, precise, scientific idea, but by no means absolute, and completely questionable. In this possible discussion, I believe, lies the metaphorical and mythopoeic essence of the world in which we live, without which we would live in a very poor world.