Movie created by intern Lily Higgins for Studio Dust, 2015.

“I’m writing these words with dust.

Though intangible in its nature, dust has the unique capability of making other intangible forces visible. Dust tells us the stories of human behavior and natural phenomena otherwise unseen. It allows us to see individual rays of light, as well as other invisible currents in both the air and water. Dust reminds us of both the presence and importance of these elements by quietly giving them a recognizable physical form.

Dust tells invisible stories of behavior such as the passing of time and how often something is used; how much we love or neglect. Dust is evidence, dust tells secrets. If the whole world was covered in a thin layer of dust, we could see every movement, path, breath, and fingerprint; but this isn’t so far off from reality, because if something exists, dust has surely touched it’s surface.

Dust discovered in the early stages of the universe built every star and planet. These humble particles are witness to every happening on earth and deep in the cosmos alike and illustrate movement on a scale from a silent corner in an abandoned attic, to a supernova explosion that outshines an entire distant galaxy.

The dust that is left behind on earth by the human race might be the only evidence of our existence long after we’re gone. When the man-made world disintegrates and the last plastic bag breaks down into tiny particles, our mark on the earth will be summed up in dust. Perhaps we will be studied some distant day, and it will allow another form of intelligence to learn our stories. Dust is writing our biography as we speak. Will dust speak of us fondly? How do we want to be remembered through our dust?

Will it tell of the progress we made and the genius of our technological triumphs? How quickly we evolved as a species with the power of our innovative human spirit? Or will our dust tell a narrative of recklessness, negligence, and greed? The latter would make more sense, seeing as we won’t be there anymore. Dust will tell an unbiased account of the toll we took on the planet, but perhaps there is still time to revise the story; to a tale of a species and the lightness and care with which they tread upon the earth.”