B Side 1 Self


In 1677 in Delft, lens maker Antoine van Leeuwenhoek ejaculated onto a piece of glass. He then placed this glistening glass under a complex set of handmade lenses, and observed the viscous fluid. Examining his jizz under a magnification of 275 times, van Leeuwenhoek saw something that no one else had seen before: Sperm.


In 1694, van Leeuwenhoek’s pupil Nicolaas Hartsoeker ejaculated again. While observing his semen under a slightly more magnified microscope he believed he saw tiny men crouched inside the sperm heads. Hartsoeker referred to these proto-men as homunculi and the theory as preformationism. Preformationism - the suggestion that little us’s exist inside sperm-head universes waiting for the chance to escape - would become the dominant theory of generation and reproduction during much of the 18th century.


"All manner of great and small vessels, so various and so numerous that I do not doubt that they be nerves, arteries and veins... I felt convinced that, in no full grown body, are there any vessels which may not be found likewise in semen."


Two months ago I was struck by a photograph circulating in the news. I kept a copy of it and will describe it to you now. The photo is taken in or near a desert: gravely, dusty, yellow. The gravel gets chunkier, resembling pebbles along the diagonal axis of the image: a rocky boundary line, a roadside.


Two subjects occupy this swirling dusty image.


The first is a soldier decorated in green and black digi-camo, a semi-automatic rifle is slung over his left shoulder. His right hand clumsily grasps several oblong greenish shapes.


These shapes form the second subject of the image: cucumbers. Grosses of cucumbers are scattered in sandy piles around the soldier’s feet and throughout the entire lower half of the photograph. So many cucumbers!


But why so many cucumbers? And why the urgency? Why the semi-automatic machine gun? What has this ubiquitous produce – the humble cucumber - done to deserve such a treatment? As it turned out, the image depicts a raid on an infamous Mexican cartel. The things that appear to be cucumbers are actually hollow plastic cucumber-formed vessels stuffed with cocaine!


What can a thing be filled with, besides itself?


It can be filled with cocaine. It can be filled with tiny humans. The stuff that a thing can be filled with is open to suggestion.


What’s inside a thing is sometimes only up for that thing to know. 

And you to never find out. 


like a thought.