Tracce di corpi viventi tessuti in una membrana sospesa, moltitudini biotiche e residui di carbonio intrappolati dai suoi fili appiccicosi. Per conoscere la tua futura composizione, scegli una tela a cui chiedere, ma ricorda che non solo i vivi hanno storie da raccontare.
Traces of living bodies woven in a suspended membrane, biotic multitudes and carbon residues trapped by its sticky threads. To know your future assemblage, choose one web to ask, but remember that not only the living have stories to tell.
Nome scientifico: Oecobius navus Blackwall, 1859
Global distribution (WSC 2021): Europe, northern Africa, Turkey, Caucasus. Introduced to South Africa, China, Korea, Japan, New Zealand, Canada, USA, South America
GPS (Neapolis):37.076462, 15.275540 - 37.076501, 15.274376 - 37.076445, 15.274011 - 37.074489, 15.279048
Caratteristiche anatomiche: Ragno di piccole dimensioni, circa 2-3 mm. Ha un corpo molto piatto, con prosoma (cefalotorace) sferico e opistosoma (addome) ovale, le zampe sono in posizione laterigrada (si sviluppano verso l’esterno). Gli 8 occhi sono raggruppati in modo fitto quasi al centro del prosoma. Differenti specie di appartenenti al genere Oecobius sono simili fra loro e solamente un attenta analisi dei caratteri genitali permette una corretta identificazione.
Comportamento: Gli O.navus costruiscono ragnatele a forma di cupola, molto spesse, su pareti rocciose. Osservandone degli esemplari è possibile notare come muovendosi percorrano traiettorie circolari.
Anatomical features: small spider, about 2-3 mm. It has a very flat body, with a spherical prosoma (cephalothorax) and an oval opisthosoma (abdomen), the legs are laterigraded (extending outwards). The 8 eyes are densely grouped almost in the middle of the prosoma. Different species of the genus Oecobius are similar and only a careful analysis of the genital characters allows a correct identification.
Behaviour: Oecobius navus build very thick, dome-shaped webs on rocky walls. Observing specimens it is possible to notice how they move in circular trajectories.
Dust is a ledger of past existence: dead skin cells and plant pollen, hair and paper fibers. Dust is also an ephemeral gathering place for dust mites and fungi. It is at once a random community of what has been and what is yet to be, and a figure of dispersion: a loose assemblage that barely holds together, always ready to catch a ride on the flows of air and relocate elsewhere…or to fall apart. It can be anywhere. Due to its high mobility and its smallness, it can penetrate our bodies. Dust does not limit itself to the surfaces of the things it covers; in fact, it knows no distinction between the inside and the outside.
The equalizing feature of dust is especially obvious if you have ever entered a house that has stayed locked for decades. In such a setting, dust levels down the differences among the things it covers: everything looks pale-gray and the edges of furniture are barely discernable. The uniqueness of whatever comprises this gray stuff is similarly dimmed down, as the divisions between living and dead cells, animal, plant, and human matter, organic and inorganic elements melt away, yet without forming a greater, overpowering whole.
The conjunction of objects that turn into dust is dynamic and unpredictable in how it decomposes and recomposes itself. It neither presupposes deep and essential belonging, nor requires a meticulous and hierarchical categorization of its members into classes. Persisting in memory of what has been, it is not devoid of a future. Compared to the suffocating and exclusionary groups based on ethnicity, race, or nationality, these characteristics are a breath of fresh air—paradoxically so, since what we are talking about here can provoke asthma attacks.
We are ready to embark on a positive revaluation of dust as the symbol of our finitude and of a more egalitarian relation to non-human beings. It awakens us from our millennia-long dreams of grandeur and literally brings us down to earth, as Hamlet suggests, when he mockingly calls the human “the beauty of the world” and “the paragon of animals” right before confessing that, for him, we are merely the “quintessence of dust”. That is a lesson in humility, which lies in the dust.
Michael Marder, "Dust, the Ledger of Past Existence," The Atlantic