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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Anthropologists with Phone Cameras

Cymene Howe, who has organized the panel at AAA that I'm on this afternoon, has sent me some videos made by some of the panelists. Very interesting. In particular, I'm haunted by how the juxtaposition of visuals and sound works almost like an earlier form of musique concrete. I'm thinking in particular of the work of Luc Ferrari, which sometimes I like a lot.

And then there's the utterly silent undulation of trash bags, like a sinisterly motile mountain range.

And the footage of New York City, a walk that reveals some “climate phenomena” as the video puts it. Including products in a shop window--nice...and the detritus of a superstorm.

I think we are in full on Arcades mode here, aren't we?

It's very significant, all this. It's as if we are all trying to dream what is happening. Which is awesome. Anthropocene information delivery has been good at eroding our ability to fantasize, one of the great bonuses (or plagues, if you are Žižek) of modern times. Control society and neoliberalism might lock this fantasizing into an illusory present, preventing it from opening up a more profound future. Anthropocene information delivery mode is quite often a way of reinforcing this specious present--I'm adapting here a phrase from psychology (we perceive events happening within 0.1 of a second of one another as simultaneous).

Or as Cooper puts it in Interstellar, “Now we just look down and worry about our place in the dirt.”

It's going to take fantasies of wormhole proportions to allow us to traverse ecological information space.

I'm interested in the quietness of these videos. It enables dreaming, and somehow indicates the vast looming hyperobject in its absence...

I'm putting all my effort into thinking all this right now. Major, major book project imminent. Will tell you more in good time. But just know it is mega...not because of me...

4pm! Be there! I wonder, is it streaming? It's in Denver...

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