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

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Sherryl Vint 4: The Mise-en-Scene of Things to Come (Underground Ecocriticism Keynote 2)


Q: The lack of animals? Why?
A: Concern about us, whether we survive. None of them thought through things like other species. Technophilic strain of sci fi. "The human race must continue on forever" etc. Also there is an elegiac imagination. Refugees of environmental damage. Traumatized children and Inuit ice sculptures. Another one, like a fairy tale. Has to do with absence of water. Rabbit in a cage, girl steals her water.

Q: Parallel between political ideology and tech? Liberal?
A: Far less in film on natural world associated with future. The liberal sf imagination overcomes human–human relationships. What it has in common with the conservative strain is the transcendence of nature. "We are too primitive."
Q: Battlestar Galactica. We can't trust tech.
A: I do see this as a concern, especially the conclusion. "Human inventions might turn on us." Going back to Earth and jump start civilization at the end of the series.

Q: How much the technoscience relates to the desire for other planets? What about Dune? Natives defending use of native species?
A: The disappointment of Mars. Early SF was a continuation of colonial fiction. Dune is not anti tech. It foregrounds the idea of an ecosystem. There is a lot of tech around that. Living with limited resources. Consistent with Kim Stanley Robinson. Anarcho-primitivism. Palaeolithic living with tech.

Q: Seed banking in many indigenous communities. Language of indigenous knowledge+technoscience. GMO detection packages.
A: The idea that science is the enemy not right. It's a particular kind of science. Indigenous Futures film project, University of Portland. Imagining a future with indigenous people in it. Afro-Futurism.

Q: Global Corporations and capitalism as hyperobjects. [This is not a question by me!] Do those mega corporations in sci fi. Individual finds a crack where they can hide and refuse or change system. "That was the first sin" going back to before pigs (of course we don't want to do that--Tim wrote slyly). Can the hyperobject resist being broken down by that binary?
A: Life Begins at Rewrirement is positive about corporations. Novel The Wind Up Girl.

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