In studying the endolithic communities of the McMurdo Dry Valleys, a reframing of scale has characterised our research. The varying timescales of the beings and their geological habitats have revealed a new temporal understanding of climate oscillations, and the position of the human within them. The world cannot be understood as the living and nonliving, but of an inconceivably complex system of material flows. Every actor mediates these movements. Over millennia, the biotic and abiotic have engaged in co-evolution, and as life emerged and increased in complexity, they, in turn, increased mineral abundance. Two out of three minerals we see today arise as a result of biological processes. Abiotic material creeps, explodes, crystallises and intrudes into the biotic sphere where it spits, leeches, burrows and breeds.
Our new claim of territory blurs distinctions. A commons, not only as a sharing of resources but as a place of multispecies negotiation, integration, relation, contention and confrontation. Encountering an Epochal consciousness is being thrown into the realisation that the earth is not just here for our human habitation. We are part of a system of material and energetic flows that move both before and beyond us. If we are able to remove the borders of space and time from our understanding of the ecological crisis and our position within these flows, we can begin to move towards a multispecies commons that can sustain the unforeseeable future of Earth’s flux.