“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

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Subject to Change Liveblog 10

Joao Paulo Guimaraes (SUNY Buffalo)

“Malleable Bodies and Unreadable Beings: Eduardo Kac and Leslie Scalapino’s Poetics of Unnaming,”

Kac is a pure relationist
Scalapino is a Buddhist relationist
bioart: genes have no intrinsic meaning

Harman: this is reductionism (overmining): beings expended by their relations

It seems as if Scalapino is also saying this: dependent origination
malleability of animals and humans
use of Nagarjuna: he does not intend to imply that reality is nothing at all
lack of existence just means lack of essence or boundaries

Scalapino’s view is not that things are expended in their relations
similar to Buddhism’s investigation of the mind
hidden potentials of the body
everything carries within it a childlike self-destructive potential
while writing she felt she had to be in conflict with herself
humor: panting like a dog (Guimaraes is researching how before modernity, Nature could be funny)

bioartists: plant-animals fantasies etc. 
bodies as utterly plastic and contingent
vs Scalapino’s bodies, too close or too far away to be totally fungible

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