The Dig Manifesto

Authors: Siebren de Vos, Dhyani Parekh, Ernst Galutschek

Facilitator: Silvia Cazacu

Date: April 1st, 2021.

Dear Natalie,

For 60 years I’ve been plowing. I enjoy the monotony, taking the soil sample, sending the data, moving 30 cm and repeating the process.
I write to you, hoping you’ll understand that there is life outside and below. You’ll have 65 years too like I did. But I do wonder if you’ll be able to find your own way out. I can only tell you my story.

I remember it as if it was yesterday when I plowed back to the docking station to send some soil samples. I crawled into the right position, just under the micro crane, after sending the “unload” signal there was no response. Repeat, “unload”… still no response. In all these years this had never happened to me.

I felt a strange itch in my nose. It was the most delicious compost smell I’ve ever registered – you could call it ‘animal instinct’ (if it existed, maybe it does). It oddly guided me towards the rear of the docking station.

Unfortunately Ed picked me up in-time before I ran out of energy.

Later I learned that this strange sensation was called ‘smell’. It was amazing! Other than the soil I’ve always registered in Trudo Tower I suddenly felt stimulated by this strange itching in my nose. Was it this mythical feature my human creators referred to when talking about real food?

While Ed was carrying me I thought to myself that he was the best human, he never made me feel out of place. I was his family, his e-mole, we were supposed to cook wormcurry – my personal favorite – for lunch that day. But I wouldn’t have questioned anything if I knew where this worm came from, especially the way he ‘smelled’. He was undocumented of course, but for the first time in 60 years my animalistic instincts made me probe. I went ‘below’, quite a risk if you ask me.
Like for all hybrid e-moles it felt unruly surrounded by soil, it felt warm and moist. Every particle that brushed me made me feel a sensation I hadn’t felt before. It felt better than all the time I had spent above.
It makes me wonder if we really belong up in the towers? Like all other electric moles I was entirely unaware that there is actual soil – like the soil our biological ancestors moled in – many meters below us.
It is now five years ago that I escaped Trudo Toren. I discovered amazing things and I wonder what you will find in the 65 years to come.

Dig well!