TEN’s Organism

[the body]


[crossroads archive]

How to get Involved

[fugitive assemblage]


[translocal calendar]

Origin & Legacy Myth

[the body]

An expression of ten’s origins, co-birthed through a palimpsest communal  process during the era of the Dung Beetles in 2022. This is but one possible version of the myth, as The Emergence Network has multiple, slushy origins, legacies and histories.

A myth of unfolding for ten

Scattered throughout the world, several beings wander through the wasteland, quivering and lost. Fear is living within and around them. Alone and slowly, they walk towards the empty horizon, their parched bodies sipping dust. Each one holds a black hole in their bonny hands. A precious weight – very hard to carry, making their feet sink into the ground and slowing each step.

The density of each black hole weighed differently on each bearer: some felt it obstructing their parched throats, and others experienced it as penetrating and gnawing pain pulsing down their nerves, still others as a bottomless exhaustion that bent their knees and curved them towards the dry, cracked earth.

These wandering beings did not know the way, but somehow, they knew not to let go of the heavy blackness held in their bodies. Although feeble, each one of them gently and resolutely tended to this precious, heavy nothingness.

Over and over, they could hear their bodies’ whispered murmurings: “We are unfolding, always in-process; creation and dissolution in endless cycles. I am you; you are me.” This ubiquitous buzz was both nourishing and terrifying, as if it were both a portal and a curse! In their wanderings, questions formed in their thirsty heart-bodies: “What do we need most? Food? Water? Warmth? Kin? A huddle of ancestors gathered around the fire, encircled by old-growth roots?” In fact, they could feel this fire burning within, simultaneously comforting and painfully-tantalizing to their being.

The nothingness also emanated its questions! Thankfully, their bodies had become a listening organ. The skin had begun to hear shortly after the black holes nested in their bodies. From this fragile listening skin, from the feelings, and from wading through the hardship, they kept hearing the unfolding inquiries. But the words were not yet intelligible to them…

Then, one day, one of the tiny black holes started to pulse to a different rhythm: slowly-trembling, gently-morphing. The dark light began shimmering – undulating like a blackness-flavored Aurora Borealis. Soon, all the holes were vibrating and drumming a veritable crescendo of ancient-future rhythms! This drumming movement led the way: like a living compass or a pulsing magnet, the beats and sparks from the black holes slowly, synchronously, symbiotically, and inexorably claimed one another. And the scattered beings began to cluster, pulled by the fierce dark light and the living rhythm. A massive primal organism was assembling itself.

Each being sensed and embodied the pulsing beat differently, but the assembling was happening despite their asynchronous individual expressions. Seeing this queer encounter of a-rhythmic dancers and magnificent beats emerging out of blackness was hilarious at times; and often, awkward and uncomfortable to watch. The beings moaned and laughed at the same time — the fire within burnt and hurt intensely. The fragile hearing skin crackled with the fierce beats. The whispering questions became louder and louder, wailing and howling their persistent inquiries. Fear sparked profusely, attempting to wedge itself between the pulsing rhythms and the slowly-awakening, black-hole-bearing beings. 

Efforts to synchronize their response to the cosmic-chthonic beat kept them separate. Yet, wherever they surrendered to the apparent chaos of the forming organism, it seemed to breathe and find its own organic rhythm, while gentle sparkles twinkled in the space between bodies. Their porous skin wasn’t just listening; it was touching and merging, experiencing direct connection with other bodies.

Where fear persisted, it formed a sinuous membrane, blocking the flow of luminous vitality. Around these thick fear-membranes, a deafening gulf of white noise emerged, the all-consuming monotonous sound of modernity itself. There was a vast, chaotic rumble of machine noise, that morphed into a synthetic wailing of technologically-manifested memories. Even as the porous bodies kept touching and relating, feeding the fierce organismic impulse, the pervasive, pulsing, blackness-flavored swirl held the beings through their aggregation. The porous vulnerability of ancient-new connections in the emerging organism gently loosened the thick fear membranes… and the flow resumed, over, and over, and over. 

The ground became moist, the air crisp! Liquids seemed to regenerate inside this shapeshifting, organismal blackness: seemingly separate bodies leaking into one another. In this semi-solid state, and all at once, the beings looked at the pulsing black holes they had each carried in their now-fleshy bodies. The stories and memories they had once feared took on a new form before their very eyes.

This porous togethering looked like a multi-brain-heart organism: a tentacle-like tethering assemblage with connected black holes playing through cycles of creativity and composting.

Some parts of the organism’s geography braided together for focus and synergy, then merged into a hybrid void, putting aside their identities when needed, in service of the larger endeavor. Fear, anger, sorrow, and numbness had their place within this lively creature, but its capacity to metabolize and break down those forces emerged as one of the organism’s most powerful adaptations. The hungry ghosts were honored and ritual offerings were made to the waters that now engulfed them. This multi-brain-heart organism, born from throbbing black holes, moved through the now-fertile ground, in radical, multi-self response-ability. The blackness-flavored Aurora Borealis infused the multidimensional organism with a new flavor of power that was always in movement, though rooted in gentle empathy. This new-ancient creature reverberated like a multiversal soul, beating from the depths of fertile blackness. Unfolding…

Written by palimpsest Beetles: Sofia Batalha, Penélope Baquero, Gayathri Ramachandran and Aerin Dunford.