The River Lech—a Cyborg

Jens Soentgen

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What is a river? Wikipedia describes a river as “a natural, linear body of water that flows over land surfaces.” This definition, however, is only an external and geometric definition; I would like to present an alternative. My suggestion would be that a river is rather a collective. Initially, it is a collection of water droplets that either fall from the sky or flow through the countryside. What these water droplets wish to achieve, which is namely flowing in the direction of the sea, is best accomplished in a large union with other water droplets. Every water droplet is therefore a magnet for other water droplets. Although they are individuals in the air, these water droplets become streams, brooks, and rivers. Water wants to swiftly move downwards. On the way down, water clings to grains of sand, stems, and pebbles. However, the ground holds the water tight, draws it in, and prevents it from flowing away. The quickest way for water to move downhill is when it glides on, in, and through other waters. In some aspects, water is its own lubricant thus creates its own propulsion: water pushes itself forward. Once these droplets are together, they prosper from a considerable force that is able to shape, tear, and build the landscape into whatever it wants. The river is a self-organized force of nature.


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