Maktoob * (Arabic: مكتوب, “predestined”)
The idea that sooner or later our world will cease to exist has accompanied humanity since ancient times. Chronicles, religious texts, theorems, scientific researches and philosophical reflections tried to describe this event, to draw up a scale of phenomena-proofs of the irreversibility of the process. The result of this work was a prediction of possible ways in which the situation may develop in time, in order to survive. It is believed that if you take a number of certain actions, the catastrophe will not happen or not happen to us. But no one knows the exact date of the world’s end. According to hypotheses about multidimensionality of time, it can be nonlinear and unpredictable. I have been living in Saudi Arabia for quite some time. At first glance, it seems that the desert is just emptiness. But in fact, it has everything. For me, it is an isthmus between existence and absolute freedom, between life and death, which communicates with us. People of the desert, who were born here, breathing its air, have long known about the idea of the end of the world, waiting for signs and talking about them. In their lives, minor and major signs of the end are intertwined in one long transcendental journey: the desert turns green, becomes covered with gardens, prayers are raised upon it yet at the same time garbage is thrown into it, skyscrapers appear, rivers form, snow falls, and locust infestations occur. Being next to a different culture, I consider myself a casual observer in an unknown territory with a different substance of life. Relying on a close to me Copernican principle **, I think that humanity is not at the beginning stage nor the end of the process, but rather in the middle. In the Laboratory of Time diary, I record observations that are subjectively important to me, in order to then create a symbolic “measuring device” for reference and establishing a chain of connections.
* Maktoob (Arabic: مكتوب, “predestined”) is an Islamic fatalistic concept, literally translated as the saying “so ordained” by Allah. ** The Copernican Principle is that neither the Earth nor the Sun occupy any special position in the Universe. It originates from a paradigm shift in the transition from the geocentric system of the world to a heliocentric one. Named after a famous astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus.