The name of the Nyx series comes from a Greek creation myth. There are many of them and often they begin in darkness. As children of the Mediterranean living in Barcelona, we learned of the story of Nyx through several poems by Orpheus in which Nyx is depicted as the origin from which all creation emerges.
According to this creation myth, in the beginning there was an empty darkness; a formless void of emptiness known as chaos. The only thing to emerge from that darkness was Nyx (night), a bird with black wings. With the wind, she laid a golden egg and sat upon it for a very long time. Finally, life began to stir in the egg and out of it emerged Eros, the god of love. One half of the shell rose into the air and became the sky and the other became the Earth. Eros named the sky Uranus and he named the Earth Gaia.
This creation myth explains how we started from “nothing” and evolved towards the environment in which we exist today. Current cosmological models maintain that 13.8 billion years ago the entire mass of the universe was compressed into a gravitational singularity, the so-called cosmic egg, from which it expanded to its current state following the Big Bang.
Memories are the leitmotif that runs through all our photographic work. They help us to acquire knowledge, and thereby to understand and explain our reality (The Mouth of Krishna); they help us to define our identity (This is You Here); and thinking about the past and the future when organising our memories is how we perceive the passing of time (Kairos). In the Nyx series we ask the question of whether only human beings have memories. Can a planet or even the entire Universe also have them?
As the anthropologist Clifford Geertz suggested, culture is made up of webs of significance which human beings have woven and where we are all suspended. The geographer Edward Relph uses that idea to define places as the locations ‘where these webs touch the earth and connect humans to the world. Each place is a territory of significance, distinguished from adjacent and from larger or smaller areas by its name, by its particular environmental qualities, by the stories and shared memories connected to it, and by the intensity of the meanings people give to it or derive from it. The parts of the world without names are undifferentiated space, and the absence of a name is equivalent to the absence of place.’
By analysing this point of view, we realized that memories are always an interpretation of past events. We humans weave a narrative with the records our planet has been storing over time. The memories of the Earth become possible because we construct them.