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18 June, 2013

Two Heads Are Better Than One

OK, maybe those don't look like heads to you, but to an archaeologist, they look like profiles of hominid skulls (I just cannot haul myself into this century and say "hominin"), even if neither was intended as such. One looks left, one looks right. One was the result of something being added, one was what remained after something was removed. One is ephemeral, one lasted for decades if not centuries.

The bottom one is not too far from the US Atlantic coast. It is the remaining bit of stucco on a partially-restored column of one of the Founding Fathers' famed plantations. Maybe it looks like Africa, home of humans who were kidnapped and sold into slavery to build and then serve in the mansion.

The top one is in the tidal zone of the US Pacific Coast, very close to Canada. It is either gull poop or herring sperm, deposited on sand deep in the intertidal zone. Maybe it will last a long time on the internet, but the actual thing is long gone by now, a stain washed away by the tide, dissolved in the ocean.

The symmetry of these two heads, the balance they achieve without having ever met, is an artifact of my own odd head working solo, recognizing a mirror image in photos taken 3,000 miles a a few months apart. Heads are like that, craving company so they can take turns using their jaws and their ears, coming up with ideas that are better than either one could invent by itself (like the idea of posting about Australopithicene-ish skull images formed from marine creature excreta and plaster palimpsests, holding a mute conversation).

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