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

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Underground Ecocriticism Liveblog 21

Andrew Reszitnyk, “Posthuman Vision--Witnessing Photographic Representations of Nonhuman Suffering.”
How can we approach animals non-anthropocentrically? 
Problematic of animal witnessing
animal testimony not as inferior nor as internal to human consciousness
>> Laruelle: critique of philosophical decision and the principal of sufficient philosophy
>> go beyond Derrida
gaze of animal not as infinite alterity, but as already existing immanent identity between nonhumans and us
>> identity in the last instance
>> think differently about thought itself
Animal studies <> alterity; response to mortal existence that resists human categories
Witness nonhumans << Derrida's dilemma, can animals suffer?
recognize that status of these creatures is unsolvable
This creature (from Deepwater) is deeply unsettling: a void within the visual
To bear witness is to attest to existence of animal suffering
Animals rendered as passive victims
How animals gaze back at us
"the point of view of the absolute other" (Derrida)
Riedel: bird is separated by oil, time, miles, but appears to hold us in its sight
Single glazed eye
"the gaze of a seer...or extralucid blind one" (Derrida)
punctum (Barthes)
bottomless thoughtless gaze of quotidian (Derrida): "the abyssal limit of the human"
no satisfaction of success
How can we identify with alterity? what is the mechanism that allows us to be affected at all?
Laruelle: the philosophical decision: a formal idealization that defines philosophy as such
"believes in a naive and hallucinatory way in a unitary discourse on reality": empirical and transcendental are separated then joined together
the syntax or unconditional (alterity) + the empirical (the photo)
Brassier: decision << presumption of identity in difference between these two things, physis and logos correlated
 
1. Doesn't engage with nonhuman animals on their own terms. As hard as it is to imagine what this could mean.  
2. Instrumentalizes them, they serve function as emblem and experience of otherness.
3. Conceit that the problem of nonhumans is given to the human. 
 
[what is this chap saying and doing right now, if not positing and deciding and doing philosophy? and isn't that what Laruelle is doing?]
 
To think according to nonhumans not about them
As an occasion to imagine an identity, "in the last instance"
"deeper than deep ecology" (Morton)
 
we are all parts of the radically immanent real (the one in one, Laruelle)
this can be compared with objects of OOO
 

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