Alive:ness. We are caught with the strange responsibility of assessing ALIVE:NESS. These people that claim to be all alive/dead/we cannot tell, to what degree do they have real alive:ness in our own lives? Their picture, staring out at us from the annals of the internet, just as alive or just as dead? That one—I know for a fact that she committed suicide. I hadn’t spoken to her in years, in any case. Has her alive-ness actually changed at all since her death? Her aliveness in my life? A strange way of putting it. And my mother’s aliveness: has it grown stronger? My father’s aliveness: has it grown weaker, since his physical death? I am not sure.
Those people over there—whom we claim to be disconnected from—we kill them with drones. We can push a button to engage in warfare. And, even, with such seeming ease, we ask another to do it in our name. To what extent are those people alive in our lives? If they occupied a space of alive-ness, would we be able to do it?
How are we beginning to mourn differently, now that we can still keep the endless records of communication, watch a video that seems just as real as yesterday. That we can read a long line of emails, simply print them out, as though they are part of the same book, juxtaposed as though they occurred from day to day, as though they occurred at each hour. This record of email was actually a record of our communication over the last ten years, but hardly with regularity. Time has evaporated between our words. Time’s passing has been masked by the electronic anonymity of a chosen Font. Text messages—we pour over them—as we mourn the real or temporary loss of a person. A death, a breakup, a breakup as real as a death. Our phones containing a precise record of intent, of a love, of rejection, of fear, of anguish. All within the simplified lines. We read them over the course of five minutes, an entire relationship described within the minutia of a text message scroll.
the year 2011 – Berlin.