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What will survive into the future? Which State? Which language? Into Eternity follows the spearheads of this discussion, the Finns, who deal with it by avoiding it altogether. The problem of handling nuclear waste responsibly (a statement which proves to be oximoronic) is so pressing that it seems the only way to resolve it is to release it from its problematization and simply take action. A series of interviews with the private company that is undertaking the 100 year process of depositing Finland’s (only Finland’s) nuclear waste in the Onkalo (literally “hiding place”) displays one of the most provocative collection of blank faces. The repository must store and conceal the material from any disturbance for at least 100,000 years (that number, while inconceivable in itself, is smaller by a factor of 10 than the American one). The curiosity of mankind and the inconsistency of civilizations over time prove to be more of a problem than finding a hiding place in the earth. The scale of time above ground is so fast for such an endeavor that there’s a certain increase in assurance in underground deposits.
In a time when architects are just as concerned with information technologies as they are in structures, this film finds its relevance in showing how the project of sustaining a material condition is a lot simpler than sustaining a conceptual one. How to communicate to the future victim/perpetrator of this hiding place that they should not approach it? What is the form of this “marker?” What is a monument to and of the future? A multilingual explanatory stelae? Infographics? An emotion (a la Eisenman meets Lebbeus)? Encrypted or conceited message to deter or mislead visitors? Or is the best communication not to have any at all? Respondents in this film describe how maintaining oblivion is even more taxing than maintaining a memory.

Very few decisions can be made in the space of uncertainty, but countries like Finland have a protocol for operating in this darkness. The logic speak of the general logic under catastrophies, like fires in buildings: retardant. The project provides a series of strategies that would delay human discovery and intervention in the future. That darkness, though, cannot be simply maintained materially (which can easily be made to be self sustaining); it must also be buttressed by an intentional obfuscation of information. Darkness in this way takes more enery than light.

“Something shapeless grafted onto existing tissue, something that needs no vanishing point to justify itself but instead welcomes a quivering existence immersed in a real-time vibratory state, here and now. Tangled, intertwined, it seems to be a city, or rather a fragment of a city. Its inhabitants are immunized because they are both vectors and protectors of this complexity. The multiplicity of its interwoven experiences and forms is matched by the apparent simplicity of its mechanisms. The inhabitants draw sustenance from the present, with no time lag. The form of the territorial structure draws its sustenance directly from the present time. It is a zone of emancipation, produced so that we can keep the origins of its founding act eternally alive, so that we can always live with and re-experience that beginning. The public sphere is everywhere, like a pulsating organism driven by postulates that are mutually contradictory and nonetheless true. It belongs to the many, the multitude. The world is terrifying when it’s intelligible, when it clings to some semblance of predictability, when it seeks to preserve a false coherence. In I’ve heard about,” it is what is not there that defines it, that guarantees its readability, its social and territorial fragility and its indetermination.”

The main character and his wife both have a crippling fear death. The wife willingly and secretly becomes part of a psycho-pharmaceutical drug experiment – a new pill (Dylar) that was developed to remove or suppress a human’s fear of death. She believes the pill isn’t working, but while on the medication she becomes more discouraged and uncommunicative and has memory lapses.
If you no longer have a fear of death, you no longer feel innate thoughts of self-preservation that direct human behavior. So if you no longer feel the instinct to survive (directed by fear and pain), is the result depression, lack of motivation, suicide, dependence on another system/structure?
“It’s not a tablet in the old sense. It’s a drug delivery system. It doesn’t dissolve right away or release its ingredients right away.”
“I would think the controlled dosage is meant to eliminate the hit-or-miss effect of pills and capsules. The drug is delivered at specific rates for extended periods. You avoid the classic pattern of overdosage followed by underdosage… The system is efficient…It self-destructs.”