“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Agriculture from a Deep Archaeological Standpoint

HAL 9000: "I'm sorry Dave, you can't have a non-agricultural world"

HT Karl (). This piece in the UK Guardian by Caroline Wickham-Jones nails it.

Douglas Kahn had a brilliant idea as we stared out at the “landscape” of sheep, the automation that Deleuze and Guattari brilliantly called “the continual whirr of machines,” alias Nature.

Take a leaf from pot growers, he said (ha ha). We don't necessarily have to become nomads. What we need is to grow stuff on the roofs of supermarkets (like that silicon valley entrepreneur has been doing, sorry I forget his name for moment). Or hydroponics.

Imagine Sheep World converted into common land for whomever...now that's an anarchist vision I can get behind...

It's kind of like how porn drive internet innovation. Drugs could drive the big shift we need to make: a shift from four phases of human society (all the way back to slave-owning and forwards to communism). Instead of a single guy overseeing a continual whirr of Nature as far as the eye can see, all kinds of people and nonhumans populating the non-spaces created by the ruminant-human manifold.


Ross Wolfe said...

I don't see how growing food on top of supermarkets wouldn't be "agriculture," though.

sophie said...

I am so pleased you still have mud between your toes from the farm, Tim. What I also want to ask, is there any symbolic role that farms and farm life fulfill for/in us, on top of obvious utilitarian ones?
Ps. Am sending the picture to accompany your opening line of this blog.

Bill Benzon said...

"Take a leaf from pot growers..."

It sticks in my mind, though, that one speculation has it that one root of the domestication of plants is in the cultivation of plants that yield psychoactive substances. There's a reason it's called the Stoned Age. Google 'rock art in darwin's cathedral' to find a review essay of mine that talks about our stoner ancestors.

Yes, despite the lame joke, the comment is a serious one. Also, what's called 'horticulture' preceded 'agriculture' in the unfolding of cultural evolution. Horticulture is smaller scale and more opportunistic with respect to siting.