a generalization of how, at the end of a lifecycle, things die and get naturally recycled: organisms decompose; buildings crumble, get overrun with vegetation, sink into the ground; orphaned arf evaporates; knowledge decontextualizes, rots, eventually composts (residue). The words meanings span from a hardly notable technical term to an inspiration, “almost a fetish”: disappear but leave a trace — fertilize the substrate, enrich the fabric, add to the livedness of the world.  ■    During the early Cleanup, archeology enthusiasts used ingenious conservation techniques to freeze legacy valuables — but, at their level of technology, deflected or destabilized the arrow of time more often than stopped it, esp. in large stationaries (buildings, roads); there was a growing opposition to anything beyond reversible conservation of certifiedly unique artifacts in their contemporary state. For the endless rows of vacated mass construction, even conservation appeared pointless — worse, it rendered the echo-filled streets ghastlier; after sparsening, some dwellings were kept alive as personal or family sanctums, early distributed museums, art projects, fairs, guesthouses — but eventually a collective would much rather grow its own arf castle than squat a modernity property. The summary burden of the abandoned materiality felt too heavy to bear — yet few favored outright demolition; in the end, the remaining non-unique constructionry was simply left, or weakly assisted, to dissolve (“live the remainder of their lives in dignity” — now cited as an example of an “oversized” “lazy” consensus legalizing the do-nothing and passively blocking any alternatives). After a painful initiation into dissolving (the ugliness of a “first stain on a clean sheet”), the cyclopean un-human-scale buildings began to soften, naturalize, diverge, appreciably moved towards a balance with nature and with humankind. ■    Which wasnt new: picturesque ruins, rusts had charmed generations past (wind and sea weathering more so than organic rot) — but now, for the first time ever, dissolving was happening at such a scale and becoming “consciously core” to so many people. Ruin art boomed as the enchanted recruits of “new Romanticism” learned to act adverbially — to cultivate dilapidation, degradation, “bloom of decay” like a garden, to “distill the higher fractions of forlorn,” to help things age gracefully by controlling the rate of retirement in each bit. Opposition — disgusted by “the planet of ruins” which “emanate gloom” — carves out vast nature-only preserves where any superficial signs of human history are eliminated; many of the “clean slaters” have left or plan to leave Earth “to push the bubble” in search of pristine worlds unsoiled by man. ■    “Dont bite off more than you can chew” was one lesson of the age: however much of the historic properties you can sweep, mend, upkeep — manually or with your natural agencies, in your daily gardening and museuming chores that take a minimal toll on the mind — is exactly how much of Earths artificia you have the moral right to hold back from their natural exit.

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