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

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Swiss timing

I'll be in Geneva on Friday doing a talk at the University of Geneva, called “Ecology as Text, Text as Ecology.” I'm going to talk about how Darwinism and deconstruction are intimately intertwined.

Can you believe that chimps have a sense of the uncanny? And that it manifests precisely in a space between obvious cartoons and “normal” alive members of the species? So if you portray them too accurately, they freak out? (See the post below.)

This is precisely what is meant by “strange stranger” in my new project. What is most intimate about our existence as life forms is also what is most uncanny. Any ecological cultural project that has a tin ear for this uncanny quality is not genuinely ecological. He said, provocatively.


Niamh said...

Hi Tim
uncanny monkeying about - that's great. Looking forward to hearing more about strange strangers in your new book - when will that be out?

I heard you last year on a video-link at Tremough (Cornwall), and have just started my PhD (huzzah)with Alex Murray and Nick Groom, looking at revisions of Romantic ecology in Alice Oswald, John Burnside, Iain Sinclair and Kathleen Jamie.

Currently working on a paper that looks at your idea of "hanging out in the distance" as a possible critical perspective to adopt, in relation to Iain Sinclair's writing. Thinking about distance/proximity in Benjamin (you mention aura/distraction), Heidegger of course, Agamben's the Open, and maybe Nietzsche's hierarchical "pathos of distance" (although Deleuze seems to like it). Any other suggestions to think through...?


Kip said...

I really am interested in how the Oct. 24 post poses as a call against shooting oneself in the foot with "postmodern poetics" and a disregard for science, while the entire oeuvre of this blog is just that.

Science to the postmodern Zizekian sophist is just an opportunity to postructuralize, to rigorously pretend to theorize.

I mean, you must be joking with this language. Strange stranger. Dark ecology. How very hip. Sad that the ideas are opportunistic manipulations of ecology that land one a lot of gigs with a lot of "high intellectual level" that really just feed the academic machine of name-dropping, nature-faking exploitation. More of that "ecology without nature" bunk.

I am sometimes amused, in a sad and disgusted way, by a strafe of the blog and a further look at the work that it grandstands. It keeps me in tune to terrible arguments. A bit like listening to Rush Limbaugh. Just one paragraph of pornographic crazy speak after another.

Congratulations on making such a killing on this shell game. I'm sure that chimps (which are not monkeys) will really benefit from the tremendous import of these patently ridiculous "ideas."

Or maybe there will just be more conferences. One's nest must be feathered.

Kate said...


Why are you so hostile? If you can't stand this blog, why do you keep following it? I for one wish that you would keep your negativity to yourself. It is not helpful here or anywhere else. Why don't you engage Timothy in an intellectual discussion instead of resorting to name calling. Grow up.