Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, August 31, 2012

Harry Nankin, ASLEC-ANZ (Liveblog)

“Shadows in the Cave: Insect Imagery as Metaphors for Place.”

1987 book on Australian Alps. Summers 2003, 2006 to 2007, bushfires destroyed much of the region's upland forests. Uncertain relation to global warming.

Collapse of biodiversity. Alpine and subalpine flora, less than 1% of Australian flora--this is disappearing. Unsettling post humanist aesthetic; dark ecology. Tim Morton mentioned again. Who is that?!

Eagleton on tragedy. Evolution is inescapably sad and therefore tragic. But what is unprecedented is a new kind of tragedy. The anthropogenic destruction of the global nonhuman other: ontological tragedy.

Ecomimesis: an evocation of the ecological subject involving collapse of aesthetic distance.

Ecological gaze: the nonhuman other plus tragedy
Replace trite epihanies of landscape with gathering shadows. The diminuitive world of insects as index of reality.

Bogong Moth, Agrotis infusa. They begin life in burrows far from teh alps. Then fly in spring 100s of kilometers to their destination: tops of alps. Then they estivate. Rest in summer. Then return to mate, lay eggs, die. Heat averse species.

Mountain Pygmy Possum depends on Bogong Moths. So they will go extinct.

The moth is an eclogical index and a bioregional icon.

Hundreds of moths collected and stored in tubs. After dark, released into gap between fill holder and flash. No camera was used. A single flash exposed the shadows of the moths. X ray like penetration of light through the bodies! Feeling of depth. Negative images. Inverted and scanned. Full of contradiction and ambiguity.

This brings my inner goth to light, dude.

Invertebrates are abject for most humans.

Flutter, hovering, flight. Vulnerability. Shadow: memory, danger, evil, soul, uncanny.

Plato's Cave and Pliny's Story of the Body and its Shadow (The Invention of Drawing--by tracing shadows).

Shaman inscribes the shadow world on the cave wall, a dimensional bridge to the other world. Finding ecological awareness in abjection and shadows. 


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