Astrid Köppe

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GERMANY, 1974

When we see, we see subjectively. That means that how we see cannot be decoupled from our other senses: we see selectively, we let moods and experiences decide what we see, and how we place what we see where in our lives.
A tree makes noises, exudes scents; you can feel the tree, it can feel and has a story, including in the context of other stories. It can become a board, a bird can live in it, worms can eat it, it communicates with other trees, it turns light into sugar. It turns bad air into good air. Thus, it does not offer an image of a tree; a tree is not neutral, it is benevolent but partisan, it interprets because we interpret it. And even as a nest or board or table, it is still and in another way alive; everything diffuses into everything, into a huge cosmological context in which glances flow like waves that never arrive. Does a tree make a noise when it falls over but no one is around to hear it?
In contrast, our lives are barely perceptible blinks of the eye of an infinitesimal diatom.