Johanna Bruckner

Atmospheric Escape

Celestial gases are black

and have grey veins that know how to move.

They are never still.

Their waves have radioactive glare,

no matter which atmosphere.


The void of interstellar space

a desert of polar energies and planet winds

faces histories of distinct occupation,

human and artificial settlement.

The violences of political and technological

aspiration and reimagination.

Default politics of militarisation, and pollution.


We turn to the occupied space beyond the Earth,

and reclaim its implicit alien-ness,

to recall the presence of these recent pasts,

the objectification of indigenous knowledge.

The here determined alignment

with the molecular materialization of space

signals a mode of decolonization,

along with the strength, the fragility and the ephemerality

of its macromolecular body formations.

Erasing the unevenness of ecological and orbit violence.


Carbon, xenon, volcanic emissions and mercury of fossil fuels

escape as gaseous toxicity into the exosphere

and form extracorporeal bodies.

As a result of ecological emergency,

a geological marker of human agency and culpability.

As processes that ignite us think of a world more capacious

than the small ones we too often think we only inhabit.

These extracorporeal bodies,

the toxic and nonhuman agents of escaping nuclear cataclysms,

pose ecological questions not without political ones.

Embodied scenarios of the apocalypse,

render visible the exploitable components of orbit mining.

Human-technological encounter and its synthetic waste,

whose magnetopauses of power

de-tract and exclude.

Left by powers of gravity,

geo- and biopolitics reach far into space.


We live in the Aerial,

born of the polymorphous affinities within nonhuman substance,

constituted by the particles of vibrant virtual matter

as transmaterial affections

that surround non/human intention.

Caring for the sum of the social implications

that the technological and ecological transformations,

in a global machine of techno-physical governance and labour,

do on and with our bodies.


I prefer to be of granite minerals

as I am fond of their life cycles

as a means of passing, the passage of time.


Like a gentle black hole,

soft pulling at my insides, slow and steady

I carve the dark as it hides my fear.

Our desire for the more-than-possible.

Feel the breath when I breath

Feel the pain when I push .

So cold and tight the touch.

Like the melted ice frozen.


Comets open our mouth in thirst

Watering our neuro-pathways woven by billions of lives in crisis.

As time-less aggregates,

world making from those in crisis,

against the violent normalizations

of a universal claiming to speak for the particular.

Embodying centuries of screaming on the ways we want to live.

Nourishing these frozen roots for centuries to come.

We are wires for transmission,

wires as metabolisms

of transitional embodiments

made of black affect,

pre-discursive intensities that confront others death.

Hyper coma. More than proxy-gas.

In a bleak post-nuclear landscape of revenge,

and irradiated monsters,

radioactive waste masks the sobering reality of toxic legacies

beyond planetary geographical imagination.


Tearing the cloud line, the sun breaks clear.

The body in front of me is faceless facing the sky.

We are delayed in Minneapolis due to the fog in Philadelphia.


The Sun is slowly brightening

at a current rate of about 10% per billion years,

destined to become a red giant in some 7. billion years.

However, long before the Sun reaches that limit,

hydrogen escape will have dessicated our planet.

Earth will then have been transformed into a desert,

with the Sun be bright enough that all the remaining water evaporates

and the greenhouse effect strong enough to melt rock.


At this point, some 4 billion years from now,

Earth will have turned into a barren and lifeless state.

The ancient Sun rotated faster than present

because the solar wind has removed angular momentum.

The increasingly brightening sun triggers gaseous erosions

and mass fractionations.

But, ultraviolet emission depends on the charge-exchange

- the performativity -

of the Sun’s magnetic field.


To deal with the increasing energy of sunlight

that the planet is faced with,

it responses through atmospheric escape

and atmospheric deposition:

In a process of ultraviolet decomposition,

the gases absorb light.

Through the energy of charged fellow-particles,

gases are carried up by and through the atmosphere

while evaporating and decomposing into atoms,

to overcome gravity in a process called drag.

This form of escape, the planetary wind,

is analogue to the solar storm,

radically charged heat particles blown from the Sun into erosive space.

The atoms interact with the magnetized solar wind and

are dragged into a tail while changing their atomic sex.

Black gas exceeds its means as

finelypowderedcarbon produced by burning natural gas,

a fill material for nanotech driven production on the planet.

As the density of the expanding gas decreases,

the particles continue to move outward as dust.

In these atmospheres of transition the sublimation is not uniform,

and gas velocities are not constant,

responsible for what is called multispecies coma.


Volcaniclastic sand has a high carbonate content

and contributes to the bodies’ elastic substrate.

Rhodolith grains give the bodies the form of corals debris floating

and form fossil sediments and carbon banks.

These materials are colliding in a process of foreign-broadening,

or becoming foreign.

After which they become fluid,

as circum-planetary water clouds.

In transition to the collisionless regime.

Whose new bodies are distributed as frozen volatiles,

organics and refractory materials

released of white dust during sublimation.

The remaining background atmospheres excite trans-aggregational, rotational bonds

which let biosignatures and a/biotic species, emerge.

Multispecies coma.

Through molecular sputtering,

which is equal to diffraction processes,

the body particles are shaken into self-assembling formats.

Once diffracted, these bodies can reenter the atmosphere of the earth.

As multispecies coma,

newly to take form, genom, sex.

These bodies, which are expected to widen the habitable zone,

develop traces for existence in more-than-human worlds.

Extend meanings of caring beyond expected forms of kinship.

While restructure our environment, worlds,

across the bifurcation of consciousness,

and ultimately transform affective perception of things

by involvement in the mattering of aleatory worlds.

To restructure our relationship to the other entities we share this universe with,

of becoming autopoietic systems.


The emerging plasma that is freed upon the collisional heat,

provides the conditions for our bodies as

trans bodies,

physicalities shifting figure and form.

Born from the high-speed oscillation,

quantum fluctuation and fuzziness

of the gas-mineral molecules

we are prosthetic devises.

Between immanence and transcendence,

reality and illusion, reason and its absence, science and fiction.

Cannot occupy discrete positions in space.

Coming into being as we merge and align with,

or destroy each other while rippling against abiotic waves

and the rippled ultraviolet field.

As inhuman intimacies and enemies within and between matter.

Bodies of redistributed sensorium,

with a dizzying sense of vivifying potentiality.

Energies taped by virtual detectors,

accelerated by the convective electric field.

Exceeding escape due to pick-up ion acceleration.

As a more-than-body-time of transition.

To break down and build up and break down once more.

To accept the cycle or the challenge or the promise of beginning again.


We cover each other with soft sheets that keep the draft of vibrant love.

As grey and anthrazit streaks of wisdom.

As parasites of our body.

We struggle moving between two sides.

Black Rhodolith trans girls shining bright,

carry the weight of movements strapped over our shoulders.

Embodied experiences of how we survived terrorism,

lived through dehumanization and planetary starvation.


Given the racialized burden of orbit mining

the extracorporeal trans body is an ongoing zombie,

a subaltern monster threatening colonial order

through its postcolonial positioning at the the edge of alterity.

Get me away from my body, this body, you held.

This body you said you loved, emptied, hollowed, dissolved in the wind.

Pulling the body back through itself in order to feel mending,

to feel the growth of new margins.

Our gaseous embodiments fold and cut through heat.

Split my tongue. Tongue burns on contact.

Xeno sex.

But the way any circle that seems cut is never broken.

Resculpturing the patterns of our sex.

As molecular machines opening up any entity to its provisional vicissitudes,

as shimmering self-variations

that enable them to become more/other than what they are.

We do not transcend gender or sex by jumping out of the body.

But our skin is always intractably post-transexual skin.

Insisting on enlarging the inhuman realm.

Multi Species coma,

constitutive of one another through the spaces of cohabitation.


Our prosthetics mimics a sea horse’s tail

Seahorses are aleatory beings using tails to grasp objects in their environment

while they camouflage to hide from predators.

Our prosthetics is a network of fabric-covered cables and ball joints

that lock the bodies upper torso to a system of handrails,

while tail sections are inflated and exhausted in sequences to create organic movement.

Floating as a weaponized seahorse.


This is a world of another temporality.

Elastic seahorse tail temporality rubbing against the past

displaying continuity between the past and ongoing injustice

and futurities to be mindful of our grammars, vocabularies,

visions emerging from movements

that are grappling with the ongoing apocalypse of particular bodies.

We argue for an expanded time-frame of the present.

A polymorphic time.

That opens to the duration  of the extracorporeal body postures of millions of years.

Where we glimpse the ephemerality of that bodies

as a micro politics of particular matter.


Interstellar non/human performance tells us that

a politics of care cannot unfold in an ubiquitous web of entanglement;

when everything and everyone is entangled

and universally serves one another.

How can aleatory agencies of the present unfold

when the excluded ones are not accounted for;

those relations for which the inclusiveness of planetary entanglement

doesn’t have signals, codes and languages for?

The ultraviolet light of the Sun intensifies matter in particularities.


Polymorphic care is to be and act from in-between,

and requires more than a concept of betweens.

To care can be directionless and formless,

as long as it takes the respons-ability to care for many others.

And as long as it installs support systems that hyperbolically respond,

while providing the conditions to re-entangle

within the particular immersive.


These situations conceive of

the cared-for/caring-bodies,

the cared-for/caring-situations,

the cared-for/caring-void and virtual,

as a complex web of toxic gaseous vibrant matter,

as particular assemblages and textures of poss-ability.

It remains to be seen

how a particular form of polymorphous care,

that intensifies particular relations,

in macromolecular formations,

can un-fold, under-fold, de-fold, re-fold and poly-fold.

As oscillators of sub-sensory experiences

reorganizing present politics as orbitary agency

of queer human and more-than human-ness.