Did you know that your structure is perfect, like water (variation iii) by Chi Tran

Roukaya drinking water from an ibrik.

A lyrical photo essay thinking of oceanic feeling as a response to pain as well as being a source of joy. Water is a structure within which memory can endure. Referencing the work of Jackie Wang, Harun Farocki, and Wong Kar-wai. This is an ongoing work in progress.

‘In trauma studies, many scholars have noted that people who have experienced trauma do not experience themselves as “selves” at all. As Judith Herman notes, “survivors routinely describe themselves as outside the compact of ordinary human relations, as supernatural creatures or non-human life forms.” The linking of trauma to oceanic feeling might support the idea that oceanic feeling is kind of a manic defense against pain. In the end, the oceanic may at once be an experience rooted in pain, and a source of ecstatic joy, a kind of terrible gift.’

— Jackie Wang, Oceanic Feeling and Communist Affect, 2020

Figure 1. Roukaya drinking water from an ibrik. (Chi Tran, 2020)

The framework of a cell is what matters, the details are interchangeable.   

A cell capable of replication or death or benignity is capable of memory.

The memory of an event that you did not experience can affect your genetic expression.

Memory can show itself in many different ways. And instinct is just one of them.

Figures 2 and 3. Stills from Inextinguishable Fire, of a person demonstrating the effects of napalm. The person says: “First, you’ll close your eyes to the pictures. Then you’ll close your eyes to the memory.” (Harun Farocki, 1969)

All experience is true.

Events suggest that we are capable of retaining some kind of ‘environmental memory’.

“We don’t know exactly why this happens, but it might be a form of biological forward-planning.”

Sometimes the cell is just a form for us to feel.

We are made up mostly of feeling and response. These things do not stop moving. And we are always in motion with them.

Did you know that your structure is perfect? Like water.

Forces and energy are complex and abstract topics but they are important for your safety.

One form of energy can be transformed into another.

What is not a form of energy? Did you know that potential is a form of energy?

Having an in-depth understanding of the particulate nature of matter also allows you to develop a good understanding of processes such as evaporation, conduction, melting and dissolving.

Figure 4. Still from Happy Together, of Iguazu Falls in Argentina. (Wong Kar-wai, 1997)

There are two kinds of objects: luminous and non-luminous.

Luminous objects produce and emit their own light, while non-luminous objects absorb and reflect light.

Light from luminous objects will travel indefinitely, until it collides with matter in its path to be partially absorbed and reflected.

An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an external force.

Applying heat to a system causes an increase in the kinetic energy of the particles.

A moving object will keep moving in the same direction, at the same speed, unless a large enough force (for example, a push or a pull) causes it to change speed or direction.

Sound travels better through you.

Figure 5. A blurred image of Roukaya facing away, and moving away from the camera. The light catches her jewellery. Her wings are indistinguishable. (Chi Tran, 2020)

Always be gentle to all beings.

Sharks are a species of fish.

All planets have seasons because they are tilted.

If there was no tilt to the Earth, each place on Earth would experience one season.

The way the Earth receives light from the sun is dependent on the tilt of its axis. This changes over time, by a cycle of 41,000 years.

It is difficult to imagine time on a geologic scale because it is difficult to imagine the self within it. Though the light does not cease, my persistence of vision cannot last for so long.

Figure 6. Roukaya’s hair and wings up close. (Chi Tran, 2020)