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

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Zooetics Roundtable (MP3)

This was really nice.  Featuring me, Gediminas Urbonas, Tracey Warr, Jae Rhim Lee, John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog.




Agrilogistics Rampant

This is what in Greek tragedy, that agrilogistical mode kat' exochēn, is called hubris. Fantastic example of doubling down, alias a positive feedback loop--which is the very problem. Thanks Cliff.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Graham and I in Bergen, mid-January

Thanks to Martin Clark we shall be here. It's a very interesting sounding exhibition. I loved Riddley Walker when I was a kid and Graham is enjoying it right now... I can see exactly why Martin thought it would be just great for this exhibition about objects.

Please come along we would love to see you.

Friday, December 26, 2014

Meanwhile, Tommy...

Poor chimp. The judge is being a bit circular, no, saying that he has no legal standing? Of course he doesn't, because you just determined that he's not legally a person.

I prefer the Argentinian lawyers. They left law and scientism out of it, and went straight to philosophy.

Nonhuman Person

...in the shape of an Argentinian orangutan. Thanks Amanda!

"Lawyers for Argentina's Association of Professional Lawyers for Animal Rights (Afada) said Sandra was ‘a person’ in the philosophical, not biological, sense"

--correct. Nice one lawyers. Gets rid of a whole slew of unnecessary ideology. 

Science can never decide on this stuff. It only proceeds from implicit assumptions that it can't turn around and question. 

If you let science be the arbiter you are actually letting scientism be the arbiter. And since scientism tends to be default Easy Think materialism, you know what's going to happen. The orangutan has no self-concept, because you can't see it or touch it, or because no one has a self-concept at all. So “it” (definitely an it) doesn't have rights. 

Personhood just can't be found using instruments, but you can think it. 

Official Recognition that Some Nonhumans Have Culture

Thank you UN Convention on Migratory Species...

That best of bees thing is getting more and more implausible by the day...

Morton on Zooetics (video)

This is an excellent piece of work. And luckily I was able to string a sentence together about the event...


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Wordsworth Yule

I just got this from the Wordsworth people, in particular, Jeff Cowton. Nice one!


Zooetics Video

Here it is--four hours of Christmas Eve de-anthropocentrism. Love it.

Everything about this conference and the visit to Lithuania were perfect. What a lovely place. I got seriously inspired.

Here's the Zooetics page with abstracts and details. I like Jae Rhim emerging from the Command Module...

The video features me, Jae Rhim Lee (of the mushroom death suit!) and architects John Palmesino and Ann-Sofi Rönnskog). You'll see immediately how the thing worked so synergistically. For instance, it was as if Jae Rhim had been imagining artistically some of the things I think about philosophically.


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Zooetics

Poetics, zoo ethics, zoo aesthetics ...

It's all here and I strongly urge you to get to Kaunas for the free talks on Friday.

Vilnius is breathtakingly charming in the winter air. Lights. Amber. Gediminas Urbonas and company are absolutely wonderful.



Monday, December 15, 2014

Nice Things in Finland (cfp)

I'll be there! 

Call for proposals:
4th Colloquium on Artistic Research in Performing Arts 2015 at the University of the Arts Helsinki, Theatre Academy

                                  11th - 13th of June 2015
 
NON-HUMAN COLLABORATION IN PERFORMING ARTS
- BODIES, ORGANISMS AND OBJECTS AT PLAY

Call for proposals is open until 31st January 2015
Pre-colloquium will be arranged 10th June 2015.
The Performing Arts Research Centre (Tutke) at the Theatre Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki welcomes artistic researchers at doctoral and post-doctoral levels to take part in the fourth biannual colloquium on artistic research in performing arts.
CARPA4 reflects on performing practices from the point of view of their non-human factors. What if performance is not considered a typically human behavior anymore, expressing and reflecting the intentions and needs of human beings, but a point of encounter and a collaborative relation between heterogeneous elements, components or materials, like bodies, organisms and objects?
For this purpose we kindly encourage you to submit a proposal for presentation addressing one or more of the topics below:
1.      How can a human performer find its place within performative arrangements, where the logic does not serve human purposes anymore? What to do with a body or bodies that are not anymore “mine” or “living”?
2.      In which ways can different life forms in their wide diversity enter the scene and deconstruct it?
3.      Beyond “object theatre”: What kind of objects does a performance consist of? How can performance create, liberate or reunite objects?
4.      What have “they” in common? What kind of ethical or political thinking is born out of non-human encounters in performing arts?
The colloquium approaches its topic area collaboratively and performatively trying to make the different viewpoints encounter. It seeks common points of contact, resonating surfaces, and rhythmic interference between its heterogeneous but constituent parts.
The theme of the colloquium is born out of a need and a dream. The need concerns our attempts to make performing arts capable to respond to ongoing planetary crises and changes. The dream concerns the way performing arts might one day serve us a means for reflecting on cosmic processes, and taking part in them.
Invited Keynotes:
Professor Peta Tait FAHA
La Trobe University, Australia

Peta Tait is Professor of Theatre and Drama at La Trobe University, Australia, and was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities in 2013. She publishes on the practice and theory of body based arts and performance and phenomenology, and cultural languages of emotion and affect most recently in relation to species. Her recent books are: Wild and Dangerous Performances: Animals, Emotions, Circus (Palgrave Macmillan 2012); Circus Bodies (Routledge 2005); Performing Emotions (Ashgate 2002). She is also a playwright and recent performances include: Eleanor and Mary Alice at the Heide Museum of Modern Art in 2014, and co-written translated play, ‘Portrait of Augustine’, produced in Brazil, 2010-12. She was a Visiting Professor at the University of Helsinki in 2010 with the Erasmus Mundas masters in International Performance Research and was a panel member on the ARC ERA HCA 2010 and 2012. Her forthcoming book is Fighting Nature
http://www.latrobe.edu.au/humanities/about/staff/profile?uname=PLTait



Professor Timothy Morton
Magdalen College, Oxford

Timothy Morton is the Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English at Rice University. He is the author of Nothing: Three Inquiries in Buddhism and Critical Theory (Chicago, forthcoming),Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the End of the World (Minnesota, 2013), Realist Magic: Objects, Ontology, Causality (Open Humanities, 2013), The Ecological Thought (Harvard UP, 2010), Ecology without Nature (Harvard, 2007), seven other books and one hundred and twenty essays on philosophy, ecology, literature, food and music. He blogs regularly at 
http://www.ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com
Professor Yvonne Hardt
Hochschule für Musik und Theater, Germany
Yvonne Hardt is a professor for dance studies and choreography at the Center for Contemporary Dance at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater in Cologne, where she directs the MA program of dance studies and develops teaching formats combining the practics and theory of dance.
After studying theatre and history in Berlin and Montreal, she did her Ph.D. with the DFG-research group for the political dimensons of Ausdruckstanz. Before coming to Cologne she was an assistant professor at the Department for Theater, Dance and Performance Studies of the University of California Berkeley. Besides her research, she has constantly been working as dancer and choreographer and created various pieces with her company BodyAttacksWord (Jellyfisch and Exuberant Love, 2006, TR_C_NG, 2007). Her research focusses on the methodological development of dance studies as an interdisciplinary science, especially historical methods at the interface of theory and practics as well as body- and gender therory, dance and media and postcolonial theory.
Among other things she is co-editor of Choreographie und Institution – Zeitgenössischer Tanz zwischen Ästhetik, Produktion und Vermittlung (2011) und Choreographie, Medien, Gender (2013).
Professor Boyan Manchev
New Bulgarian University

Boyan Manchev is a philosopher, Professor at the New Bulgarian University and Guest Professor at the Sofia University and at the HZT – UdK Berlin. He is also former Director of Program and Vice-President of the International College of Philosophy in Paris. His actual research, which advances the perspective of a radical mobilism and materialism, is focused on the fields of ontology, philosophy of art and political philosophy. The ontological concept of metamorphosis, the practical concept of disorganisation and the aesthetic concept of alteration are central for his transformationist approach.
Manchev is the author of six books and numerous articles, including Logic of the Political, 2012, Miracolo, 2011, L’altération du monde: Pour une esthétique radicale, 2009,  La Métamorphose et l’Instant – Désorganisation de la vie, 2009. He has edited  Rue Descartes 64: La métamorphose in 2009. His book The Body-Metamorphosis (Sofia: Altera, 2007) deals extensively with contemporary art, performance and dance.
He has participated as theorist, dramaturge and performer in theater and contemporary dance projects, including Tim Etchells and Adrian Heathfield’s The Frequently Asked, Boris Charmatz’s expo zero and Poster session “Mouvement” for the Festival d’Avignon and Ani Vaseva’s Frankenstein, A Dying Play and S.
http://www.weavingpolitics.se/participants/boyan-manchev/
Call for proposals is open until 31st January 2015. All proposals in the form of abstracts (no more than 250 words) should include:
1.      name(s), title(s), position(s), email address(es), short bio (max. length 100 words)
2.      purpose statement
3.      research topic or research questions
4.      any practical requirements (space, equipment and so on)
5.      form of the presentation:
-        lecture
-        lecture-demonstration
-        video
-        poster
-        performance
-        installation
-        discussion
-        experiment
-        other
The spaces available are auditoriums of different sizes, studios with concrete floor and rehearsal spaces with wooden floor. Also, available for use is the large lobby area of the Theatre Academy, which is a public space. We will take into account the type of presentation you have proposed and allocate the limited spaces accordingly, but if you have specific needs please let us know.
We will be able to provide you with necessary technical equipment and help, and while there's a lot we can accommodate, please keep in mind that we cannot provide resources for large, full-blown performances. But feel free to propose and ask! Regarding equipment you need, please let us know also this in advance, even if you just need a video projector for your computer.
The length of any form of presentation is a maximum of 30-45 minutes including discussion.
Submit your proposals no later than 31st January 2015 here  
Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by 20th February 2015. Presenters are asked to confirm their participation and send in the completed paper by 6th March 2015.
Registration for the Conference opens 15th April 2015.  
Conference Fee:
1st April-31th May: 90 € (no lunches) / 120 € (includes lunch on Thursday, Friday and Saturday) 
From 1st June 2015:105 € (no lunches)/ 135 € (lunches included)
Doctoral students at TeaK: 40 € (no lunches) / 52 € (lunch in Suomenlinna)
Further information on the proposals and the conference, please contact:



Poison into Medicine

The environmental art of Liina Klauss. Should've posted these way before this.

Taking plastic flotsam and jetsam and finding the rainbow mandala in it? Oh I think so.

OOO Dream

I dreamt about OOO. Not only dreamt about it, but dreamt about giving a lecture on it. And not just that--the lecture was totally coherent! And accurate!

I was showing that:

A Shakespeare sonnet (sorry don't know which one) was talking about all kinds object.
This talk was recursive to the poem talking about itself as an object.
Thing theory (Bill Brown) says that you glimpse the thing when it malfunctions.
This sonnet malfunctions (in that charming Shakespeare way that is just so brilliant).
Yet for OOO, you don't get to access the thing at all, even when it malfunctions. Something about the poem is withdrawn.

Yeah?!!!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

"We've Got the Best, Most Sophisticated Online Consumers in the World"

...all right BBC, every time this sort of thing happens (heard just now on the Today show), this will now happen:


Morton on the Singularity (interview)

Eight minutes of almost hilarity. It's about twenty minutes in.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Congratulations Bryan Wallis


You got yourself a PhD my man!

Two in a week! Yes!

Bryan has recovered Wendell Berry for ecocriticism and ecological philosophy. In these times when space is supposed to win and we are all supposed to be cosmopolitan, it's fantastic to see someone really powerfully arguing for the ontological primacy of place.

That's a big argument in Dark Ecology by the way.

Bryan is hot to trot, hiring people!


Congratulations Will Elliott

Will submitted his PhD at UC Davis this week. It's about everything Alaska and everything environmental and it's utterly brilliant. Packed with primary texts from sci fi to the Inuit. Bristling with theory. I learned so much being his reader.

Hire him before you won't be able to, somebody!



Radio Interview Today

On the dreaded notion of “the Singularity.” It'll be on KUHF (88.7FM), Houston Matters at noon (central time).

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Red

The beats are just amazing live.




You're an Imperialist!

And other bad things! Because you are interested in nonhuman beings!



Narrative

I'm back into it. It was hard when very depressed. I wonder why. Perhaps it's because the quasi telepathy you get when you read narrative is disturbingly sensitizing. Or perhaps it's because time has collapsed so following the time threads is really onerous. Or perhaps it's because you're not willing to let yourself slide, for no reason.



Monday, December 8, 2014

50 000

Finishing the first draft of Dark Ecology today.

It's exactly the length I wanted it to be without trying.

I'm so happy about it all. Putting it together has been a slowly accelerating process.

It began with being haunted by the idea in 2004. Then disjecta membra awkwardly scuttled together. This melancholy pile was set aflame with passion in January this year.

The flames roared then died dorm a bit. Then yours truly fell through them into a joy sky.

What started with logic has ended with magic. What started with sadness has ended with sexuality.



Friday, December 5, 2014

Blackmail

Wow. The first time I've heard, in four years, the BBC Today show express anything like doubt about the Tories' policies was yesterday morning. I mean that was like one or two voices expressing fear. It was maybe 5% of the sufficient reaction amplitude.

And the Tories promptly threaten to cut their funding.

What a bunch of cowards.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Terror from Within

I Can't Breathe

"When Does Your Humanity Kick In?"

Nicely put Al Sharpton.

Debt Scolds Were Wrong, Are Wrong and Will Be Wrong

Our deficit is 3% of GDP. The UK's is 11%. Why?

Because of massive cuts to “offset” stimuli put in place by the scapegoat, Gordon Brown.

“Offset” hahahahahahaha.

Deficit

George Osbourne, 2:1 (3.2 GPA) in History, why is the deficit in the USA lower relatively than in the UK?

Because we didn't do as much austerity.

Our deficit is way way down. Of course Obama gets no credit. And the deficit scolds are still at it.

“Why, it's almost as if shredding the safety net, not reducing the deficit, was their real goal.” 

BBC, on Sunday's news show your presenter said “Well, of course an increase in funding for health will mean there have to be cuts elsewhere.”

Why.

Over here, that statement is well recognized as a Republican doctrine, and announced as such.

There is more of a war of ideas on NPR than on the BBC at this point.

I never, never thought I'd say that.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

She Is Wearing Roadkill

Is that good?

Emissions: An Interactive History

Thanks World Resources Institute! Use the slider or hit play.

You're Divine

Hey I found one of the tunes the Gandharvas were spinning at that planetary rave I was talking about.


The Heart Sutra Mantra, Ecosexually Translated

GET DOWN GET DOWN GET RIGHT DOWN WITH IT SO FAR INTO IT BINGO

I prefer this to Philip Whalen's beat one (sorry!)

GONE GONE REALLY GONE INTO THE COOL OH MAMA

The actual mantra is

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

The thing is, what are we going beyond? (“Gate” means “gone.”)

We are going beyond concepts.

We are not going beyond trees. Or hands. Or breath.


Ecosexual Buddha

Does this help?

If you read this famous sutra with quotation marks in it, you will understand it better.

Avalokiteshvara isn't saying that nothing exists at all.

He's saying that things don't exist like this:



Things are not solid, constantly present, aggressively “there.”

Objects are more like this:



That includes you. Buddhism isn't saying you don't exist. Just that you don't exist in the way you think a twitter avatar should look.

Once you get over putting the world into boxes, what happens? You don't space out into nothing. You don't find yourself in an undifferentiated goo.

You become intimate with actual things as they are.

You go out of your mind insofar as you get out of your head and back down to earth, right into earth.



See that? Dude is touching the earth. Legend has it that he spent a week thanking the tree under which he was sitting.

Hey I learned a new word this week: ECOSEXUAL. Expect me to use it a lot.

I think thanking a tree for a week falls into the ecosexual range don't you?

Meditation is intimacy.

Ready?

The Prajnaparamita Sutra in twenty-five lines.  (There are various versions.)
Translated into Tibetan by Lotsawa bhikshu Rinchen De with the Indian pandita Vimalamitra.  Translated into English by the Nalanda Translation Committee, with reference to several Sanskrit editions.

The Sutra of the Heart of Transcendent Knowledge.

Thus have I heard.  Once the Blessed One was dwelling in Rajagriha at Vulture Peak mountain, together with a great gathering of the sangha of monks and a great gathering of the sangha of bodhisattvas.  At that time the Blessed One entered the samadhi that expresses the dharma called “profound illumination,”

[basically Siddhartha telepathically transmitted something to a student of his]

and at the same time noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, while practicing the profound prajnaparamita, saw in this way: he saw the five skandhas to be empty of nature.

Then, through the power of the Buddha, venerable Shariputra said to noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, “How should a son or daughter of noble family train, who wishes to practice the profound prajnaparamita?”

Addressed in this way, noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, said to venerable Shariputra, “O Shariputra, a son or daughter of noble family who wishes to practice the profound prajnaparamita should see in this way: seeing the five skandhas to be empty of nature.

“Form” is “emptiness”; “emptiness” also is “form.”  “Emptiness” is no other than “form”; “form” is no other than “emptiness.”

In the same way, “feeling,” “perception,” “formation,” and “consciousness” are emptiness.  Thus, Shariputra, all dharmas [reality according to normative constructs] are emptiness.  There are no “characteristics.”  There is no “birth” and no “cessation.”  There is no “impurity” and no “purity.”  There is no “decrease” and no “increase.”

Therefore, Shariputra, in emptiness, there is no “form,” no “feeling,” no “perception,” no “formation,” no “consciousness”; no “eye,” no “ear,” no “nose,” no “tongue,” no “body,” no “mind”; no “appearance,” no “sound,” no “smell,” no “touch,” no “taste,” no “dharmas”; no “eye dhatu” up to no “mind dhatu,” no “dhatu of dharmas,” no “mind consciousness dhatu”; no “ignorance”, no “end of ignorance” up to no “old age and death,” no “end of old age and death”; no “suffering,” no “origin of suffering,” no “cessation of suffering,” no “path,” no “wisdom,” no “attainment,” and no “non attainment.”

[I cried when I first chanted this in a group. I certainly didn't dissolve into nothing. Cried with relief cos you don't have to hold on to concepts in your head.]

Therefore, Shariputra, since the bodhisattvas have no “attainment,” they abide by means of prajnaparamita. Since there is no obscuration of mind, there is no fear.

[oh boy that is my favorite sentence of all]

They transcend falsity and attain complete nirvana.  All the buddhas of the three times, by means of prajnaparamita, fully awaken to unsurpassable, true, complete enlightenment.

Therefore, the great mantra of prajnaparamita, the mantra of great insight, the unsurpassed mantra, the unequalled mantra, the mantra that calms all suffering, should be known as truth, since there is no deception.

The prajnaparamita mantra is said in this way:

OM GATE GATE PARAGATE PARASAMGATE BODHI SVAHA

[OH GONE GONE GONE BEYOND TOTALLY GONE BEYOND AWAKE SO BE IT]

Thus, Shariputra, the bodhisattva mahasattva should train in the profound prajnaparamita.”

Then the Blessed One arose from that samadhi and praised noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, saying, “Good, good, O son of noble family; thus it is, O son of noble family, thus it is.

[It's awesome how we get a glimpse of what might have been Siddhartha's turn of phrase there; something of a repetition freak. He's into rhythm.]

One should practice the profound prajnaparamita just as you have taught and all the tathagatas will rejoice.”

When the Blessed One had said this, venerable Shariputra and noble Avalokiteshvara, the bodhisattva mahasattva, that whole assembly and the world with its gods, humans, asuras, and gandharvas rejoiced and praised the words of the Blessed One.

[Gandharvas are musicians. Basically there was a gigantic rave.]

I was lucky enough to stumble across the sutra yesterday in something I was reading. Hope this has helped understand it.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Lithuanian Fact 1

Lithuanians were pagan until the fourteenth century. Dope.

Dreaming as Hyperobject

Someone asked whether Aboriginal song lines and so forth constitute a hyperobject. Yes of course and indeed I think I refer to the Dreamtime as a hyperobject in the book. I'll have to check.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

That Dark Ecology Feeling

Every book has a different emotion associated with putting it together. A different phenomenology.

Dark Ecology's one was very very hard to discern, until about a week ago. It has had to do, both in content and in form and in terms of the process, with fitting together all kinds of fragments, painstaking slow, depressively. Years.

And suddenly in the last two weeks, pow. Suddenly all these fragments are a thing and you can put diamonds and cherries on it.

I've never had a book process like that.

Hyperobjects was this really congruent dance between inner and outer. Ecology without Nature was a slow burning passion. The Ecological Thought was cool and contemplative.

This was like ecological awareness. A seemingly never ending path of pain, with a huge leap of joy at the end.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Maureen McLane Gets Meshy

With a poem based on an idea of mine in The New Yorker. I only just found this!

Here is McLane talking about the concept behind it.

Thom van Dooren Is Also On This

What a great show. Thom is just excellent.

Audra Mitchell on Hyperobjects and Exinction

On Australian radio--really nice! It's a very good argument, and a very intuitive use of the concept. I think I had a conversation that went there at UC Davis in Performance Studies last year, so I'm glad it's not just me.

And there's a whole part about anthropocentrism the way I like to see it--that humans are seen as the sole Decider...just excellent.

Ontopolitics! Cary Wolfe and I are looking for things that are “After Biopolitics” right now--do you know about the Rice Seminar next year that we are running?

I hope I can be this eloquent when I'm on air.

That DIS Interview Again

Some people have told me the link wasn't working, so here it is again. I gave it one!

Why Police Officers Can Shoot You with Impunity

...well described here:

For answers, one has to look to the U.S. Supreme Court, which in 1989 ruled “that all claims that law enforcement officers have used excessive force -- deadly or not -- in the course of an arrest" should be "analyzed under the Fourth Amendment and its ‘objective reasonableness’ standard.” The late Chief Justice William Rehnquist wrote, “The question is whether the officers’ actions are ‘objectively reasonable’ in light of the facts and circumstances confronting them, without regard to their underlying intent or motivation.” 
In doing so, the court rejected the prior due process standard which was understood as force that “shocks the conscience” and had allowed for consideration whether the officer “acted in ‘good faith’ or ‘maliciously and sadistically’ for the very purpose of causing harm.”
The objectively reasonable standard leads to what look like callous outcomes -- like that of Crawford -- built on “because we can” not “because we had no choice” rules of engagement.
Today, if an officer says he feared for his life when a suspect dropped his hands to his waistband, even though he was just pulling up his pants, or was holding a toy gun in a discount store, not launching a massacre with an assault rifle, the officer would be justified in shooting someone to death.   (Walter Katz, New York Times)
Chief Justice Rhenquist was very much opposed to civil rights. For instance, he voted against desegregation.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Comments

Hey sorry to those of you who wrote comments recently. I spaced them! Should be published now.

Come on Lithuania!

I know you're looking at me blog. I'll see you soon!

My talk in Kaunas is called

I BELIVE IN CORAL

!!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Queer Green Sex Toys

I've started to write my essay for the talented Whitney Bauman, guest editor of the Journal for the Study of Religion, Nature and Culture.

It is called “Queer Green Sex Toys” and I promise you that every term in that suggestive phrase has a very precise and profound meaning that will be fully explicated. : )

Friday, November 21, 2014

Hedgehog

You hear the catastrophe coming. From that moment on imprinted directly on the trait, come from the heart, the mortal's desire awakens in you the movement ... to guard from oblivion this thing which in the same stroke exposes itself to death and protects itself—in a word, the address, the retreat of the hérisson, like an animal on the autoroute rolled up in a ball. One would like to take it in one's hands, undertake to learn it and understand it, to keep it for oneself, near oneself.

...

You will call a poem from now on a certain passion of the singular mark ... a converted animal, rolled up in a ball, turned toward the other and toward itself, in sum, a thing—modest, discreet, close to the earth, the humility that you surname ... its arrows held at the ready, when this ageless blind thing hears but does not see death coming.

The poem can roll itself up in a ball, but it is still in order to turn its pointed signs toward the outside. To be sure, it can reflect language or speak poetry, but it never relates back to itself, it never moves by itself like those machines, bringers of death. Its event always interrupts or derails absolute knowledge, autotelic being in proximity to itself. This “demon of the heart” never gathers itself together, rather it loses itself and gets off the track (delirium or mania), it exposes itself to chance, it would rather let itself be torn to pieces by what bears down on it.
--Jacques Derrida


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's the Satanic Children's Big Book of Activities! (PDF)

And it's completely real. And it's being handed out in FL schools because of a law that allows religious groups (guess they were only thinking of Christianity) to hand things out at public schools.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Arca: Trauma

Absolutely brilliant, no?

From an OOO point of view, everything is stunted, wounded, broken.


Roadside Kestrel

My mate Cary Wolfe doing this today.


Wisdom of Love

Matthew Cusimano has a very good comment below:

Sometimes I think it was put backward, it's not the love of wisdom, it's the wisdom of love, the difference being that there's no wisdom as such to be loved, but just what people say in love. 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Erotics of Objects

...and that's why the objects are interesting. If you're into the object-orientation, it means you know things can't be totally and utterly exhausted and accessed. You know that knowing is an erotics, not full possession.

Eliassonic

That really is a very very good idea for a title Olafur.

A really good idea.

I'm gonna do it!

If Philo-sophia Were Just Sophia

...we'd be so sunk!

We'd be screwed, actually.

There would be no movement. No shimmering. No physicality.

There is an irreducible erotic component in philosophy. I understand Oddný Eir is working on this like her late mentor Derrida (read the translation! hello Oddný!). Behold.

Without it there would be no possibility of being wrong. Which as Graham Harman just pointed out, via his comment on ignorance and confusion as the ground of wisdom, is part of the possibility of being “right.”

Of course, loads of philosophers and scientistic-ists act as if there were no philo-...


Thursday, November 13, 2014

Confusion Is the Dawn of Wisdom

“The Greek word philosophia, which means love of wisdom rather than wisdom itself, incorporates a basic ignorance into its etymology.”
Right on Graham!
One is always in the truth. Just various kinds of fuzzy. 
Thank goodness it's philo-sophia.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Tantalizing

Spider is black
Sky is blue
How tantalizing this world

Cathy's hair is black
Her complexion is white
Her attention is like a bowstring

Arca

Is this unbelievably good? Why yes. I had the very great pleasure of meeting this chap recently.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

There Is No Away

The nature/culture distinction collapses, once again...look at this chap, he's liberating bags and wrappers like insects. Yet they can't go “away.”


Liberation (2min excerpt) from David O'Brien on Vimeo.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Biophilia Live Review

...by the chaps at the BFI. Well, a chap I guess. The movie arrives in Houston this coming Saturday.

Here is a good paragraph, which is just one excellent reason to see it, well maybe a few reasons. Can I qualify my sentences a bit more? Well, I ...

“There’s no didactic environmentalism – no burning oil platforms or seagulls marinated in Brent crude. It relies instead on convincing the audience of the preciousness of what it depicts. It also avoids crude oppositions of nature and humanity. For Björk, technophilia is clearly a kind of subset within her own personal biophilia. This is audible at the level of the instrumentation, with its buzz-saw synths, pendulums, Tesla coils and invented instruments, but also visible in the ingenious flow of animations and overlays. To adapt a very old quotation, Biophilia Live asserts that nothing human is foreign to nature.”   (my emphasis)

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Global Warming Art

It's hard to imagine how the extended discussion of the dialogue at Northwestern, the day after the papers, could have gone much better! The room was absolutely packed, as the previous one had been. There was good food. And loads of questions.

One of them was about global warming art. I semi brushed it off at first as I'm very reluctant to dictate what sorts of art there should be. And I'm pretty frustrated with how art can be boxed as pr for scientism.

It was pointed out quite accurately I think that Sierra Club-style arresting imagery doesn't quite work, if "work" here only means having a galvanizing impact on a viewer. Or that we could imagine more than that. Since you can't directly point to global warming it can't quite fall into categories such as beauty or disgust or the sublime, even, all that easily.

Its symptoms can. The iceberg on the cover of Hyperobjects is a brilliant example. That's also an image of how the vertiginous rush of human reason can be confronted with its horrific double, the climate it created...

I suggested music, because it's a more drawn out temporal medium, and can talk about processes and fluids and temporality in a very intuitive way. Björk's Biophilia would be a very very powerful example.

I thought of another good answer that wasn't negative, right after the seminar finished. Isn't it always the way?

Weirdness, uncanniness, creepiness. That's the kind of register I'd like to see more of when it comes to global warming. Less 350s on beaches. Less aggression. Gothic mode. I think very few ecological artists in the past exploited this mode, for various reasons to do with the valences of the gothic. That's a shame, because it's perfect, as I've argued over and over again. Happily there's a growing number of them.

Two Scandinavian artists did this video based on dark ecology--I'll find it and try to link to it.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Humanities in an Age of Ecological Catastrophe (MP3)

The seminar yesterday at Northwestern was attended by something between 150 and 200 people. They just kept on pouring in! And the conversation continues today. My talk was called “Hypocrites.”


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

João Florêncio

I'm in a Portuguese sort of a mood and I started noticing that my awesome Ph.D. in performance friend João has a lot of things online. Like this one. It's good isn't it? Or this. Or his O-Zone essay.

Slightly Desynchronized

Olafur Eliasson just sent me an image from this very suggestive work A Slightly Desynchronised But Otherwise Perfect Pair.

A fraction mirror is splitting a spotlight into complementary colors so you're seeing one object...

Also--looping...

He said it reminded him of this thing I wrote:

Objects are always a little bit out of phase with themselves and with one another. . . they are 'internally' out of phase with themselves, and this is what produces time and the possibility that they can interact. 


Olafur Eliasson, A slightly desynchronised but otherwise perfect couple, 2014 from Studio Olafur Eliasson on Vimeo.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Northwestern

I'm here in Evanston and I think the dialogue thing that I'm part of will be at Guild Lounge in Scott Hall, 601 University Place. Tomorrow (Tuesday November 4 at 4:30pm.