On the precarious edge infrastructures sparkle unexpected.

On the leading edge the sea is already rising, the low land drowned.

On the island edge you can see who you are in this with.

On the bleeding edge communities move fast but are not broken.

On the ethnographic edge a consultant works inside out, and cannot find the line between.

On the tidal edge you watch a monumental marine energy machine.

On the monolithic edge the Sun is cut five thousand years ago and five thousand years hence.

On the futures edge we are what we have made and can become.

On the energy edge nothing ends or begins only transforms.

On the cable edge splice the fibre ends together and let the light on.

On the digital edge the signal is just the sum of its analog and human parts.

On the horizon edge sail yearning but never reach the end.

On the peripheral edge centre the map.

On the data edge look down and see the energy edge beneath.

On the electric edge count what the electrons do for you but not how many there are.

On the poetic edge journal articles breathe whitespace and grammatical joy.

On the embodied edge feel your creative toes go over and build your best work.

On the cutting edge people are in pain, can you hear?

On the silent edge give voice.

On the troubled edge stay.


[Footnote] This poem of twenty edges is based on nine years of ethnographic research around marine renewable energy whilst part of TiP. For more on this research see Watts 2019 and Watts & Winthereik 2018.

Author: Laura Watts, May 2021



Watts, Laura and Winthereik, Brit Ross (2018) Ocean Energy at the Edge, in Wright G, Kerr S, and Johnson K (eds) Ocean Energy: Governance Challenges for Wave and Tidal Stream Technologies. London: Routledge.

Watts, Laura (2019) Energy at the End of the World: An Orkney Islands Saga. Cambridge MA/London: MIT Press.

Posted in TiP Lexicon.