recto/verso – issue 03 part III ∙ doomsday is online
All human beings – and the world itself – come to life with a beginning and are destined to end. Most of the time, this originating moment corresponds to a traumatic event, which identifies a new starting point in time and history. For ages, science, myths, religions, philosophies have tried to test and explain how it was possible that from nothing something could come to life, something as complex as the world as we know it. But what if this first and original point in time was already the sign of a catastrophe, and already the beginning of an end?
The fear of the end of the world has accompanied human history since ancient civilizations and could almost be considered an anthropological characteristic of humans, who for years have invented theories trying to predict the possible moment and reason for future catastrophe. Fairly widespread in our day, the doomsday phobia is a collective fear of the end of the world occurring in almost every corner of the globe. Existential risks vary from sudden catastrophes caused by nuclear war and nanotechnology to scenarios in which humanity survives but civilization is irreversibly destroyed, or from undesirable futures mostly caused by super intelligence or repressive totalitarian regime to a gradual decline of human civilization or extraterrestrial invasion.
The catastrophe as a final solution or the end of the world make us aware of our finite nature and raises the question of “what is after?”, which we have been trying to answer since the dawn of human kind. Issue 03 part III ∙ doomsday is the final chapter of recto/verso investigation on ruins, aiming to approach this same question from the point of view of collective excitation and production of discourses on possible final scenarios. Through different perspectives, the presented texts talk about how we activate ourselves trying to prevent, to avoid or to survive the catastrophe, sometimes even in the unknown.