Life Above Earth: An Introduction
This began as a wondering about wind, how it mattered, how it materialized across lives, and how it seemed to refuse to be represented—only becoming visible through its effects on other beings and other things: branch, bird, cloud, kite, sail, smoke. Wind finds itself with no terrestrial home, no borders to maintain, no ownership to be claimed.1 Its pressured and oscillating gases are the kinetic energy of the sky. Wondering into the wind leads us upward. It is an invitation to lose one’s footing. The curatorial force behind this first Openings and Retrospectives is to release our discipline from the earthly domains it has historically occupied, to float us to new ethnographic spheres and spaces untethered to worldly surfaces. If Eduardo Viveiros de Castro (2014) has called for a “decolonization of thought,” this collection is meant as a deterrestrialization of thought. Life Above Earth is an exploration of vitalities, materials, and movements that are skyward, spacey, and atmospheric.