Weekend Special

A Young Woman Falls In Love With Everything

You start with difference, with mystery. Some things spiral, some become spheres, some branch, some don't. We know that inert atoms quicken, become bees, goats, clouds, then dissolve back into randomness. We look at these things, all these very, very different things, and we wonder, are they really different, or is every thing we see one thing, expressed differently? Does the universe have rules? How many? Could there be a single generating principle, a oneness?

Xiangjun Shi stares at a fish.
Xiangjun Shi/Vimeo

Xiangjun Shi is a freelance animator, a filmmaker in New York. She likes to draw. And, as she says here, she likes physics. Why does she like physics? Because what physics teaches her about the world literally knocks her off her cartoon chair and sends her sprawling. She is a young woman enchanted, delighted, haunted — by a logic she can barely glimpse, but that she suspects is very beautiful:

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