“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

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being Ecological (USA) is out with MIT press

What with all the lectures and all, I've hardly had time o mention this simple thing. You can get it from MIT if you're in America. Everyone else can get it from Penguin. Look at the little ad I made on the right!

Monday, October 22, 2018

New Idea about Hyperobjects!

OMG I haven't had a new thought about them for ages and ages. But it turns out that there's a sharp difference between the way logic describes hyperobjects, and the way math does, and I'm with the math, having indicated in several books and essays how vanilla logic fails to describe them anyway.

It turns out that hyperobjects are quantized! There is a minimum hyperobject amplitude. This is very important because it's good to be able to identify these beasties. For example, to take something disturbingly topical, a civil war can easily be described as a hyperobject.

This isn't to do with mathematical hyperobjects, from which I didn't get the word (confusingly!). It's to do with the things I myself call hyperobjects.

Stay tuned, readers, but in short, two's company, three's a crowd---and four is a nascent hyperobject.

Like every energy-matter state in the universe has a specific frequency range. There are no transparent oceans. There are as it were green ones, yellow ones, blue ones...and hyperobjects are just  like that.

In this regard vanilla logic is like classical physics and hyperobject math resembles quantum theory. And as I usually think that the classical world doesn't really exist, and by the way hyperobject logic suffers in exactly the same way as classical physics, I'm with the math. Also, if you know what you're up against, you can do something about it. The logic is useless in an emergency. Say you want to figure out when to leave a country on the edge of civil war. Well...

Stay tuned!

Hyperobjets en Français

...or Hyperobjets I should say! So many things happening, I'd only half realized this came out! I did 17 lectures in the spring as well as teaching my normal full load of classes, PhD advising etc etc, not to mention the Marfa exhibition. So I totally forgot about this! Here's the press's page about it.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Yoko Ono at Mori Art Museum

If you're in Tokyo (lucky you!) and you happen to be in or near Roppongi, do stop by the art museum to witness their very creative and thoughtful exhibition on catastrophe.

If you've read my stuff you'll know I think catastrophe is better than disaster (they're different!) and at the very least we should turn global warming into a catastrophe (there are witnesses) not a disaster (no witnesses).

Anyway, the exhibition closes with a chance to write your thoughts about refugees, asylum seekers, trauma and everything, courtesy of Yoko Ono, then you can obtain a shirt that says WAR IS OVER which is the best t shirt since FRANKIE SAY WAR in 1984...

Yoko Ono in Being Ecological

Have you ever read Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, by Shunryu Suzuki?

If you haven't do so at once lol...it gives you the best best best mediation instruction, no matter what contemplative lineage you're in (or not).

And somewhere in the middle is the most wonderful mysterious thing: two blank pages, with a life-size drawing of a fly on the upper right hand corner of the double-page spread.

That's the moment of mind transmission right there! I'm not spoiling it by telling you. That's the amazing lovely thing about meditation: it proves that you can surprise yourself, aka that the future is possible, and new things can happen.

I read it when I was 17. I was so upset...then I read this book and it totally changed my life.

As we head into global warming space ever further, I can't insist enough on you having some kind of healing centering self-soothing practice that you do, whether it be making yourself a nice sandwich or meditating or donating to your favorite charity or smiling or...

Please, the lifeforms need you! The dolphins are upset because they can't use their flippers to turn off the gas pipelines, and we are all collapsing in a heap of depression or cynicism or denial (yeah even now, unbelievably).

So I had this idea when Penguin asked me to write Being Ecological for them. I thought, wouldn't it be amazing if Yoko Ono agreed to put some of her This Is Not Here artwork in it? Given that this was the very first work of art that truly amazed, scared, pushed me.

John Lennon was assassinated when I was 12, and the “Imagine” video was on the tv all the time, because the song went to #1.

When you watch the video you'll see Yoko and John entering their house, and above the door frame is the phrase “THIS IS NOT HERE,” which is the core of the Fluxus piece I'm talking about.

Thanks to the greatest of good fortune and some lovely friends, Yoko agreed to let me put this in the middle of Being Ecological. I never explain or refer to it, just like Shunryu Suzuki's fly! Don't you think it encapsulates something beautiful about ecological awareness?

And then the genius genius Penguin people sandwiched it between the word “metaphysics” and the phrase “of presence.” Jesus Christ that's total genius. See what I mean?

Opera about Time with Jennifer Walshe

Jenny is a student of Tony Conrad and you should totally start listening to her music, it's genius. About two years ago she wrote the definitive piece on hyperobjects, Everything Is Important, which if you haven't heard, is really...important (haha).

So I'm beyond honored to have been asked by her to write the libretto for an opera about time. I believe the world premiere will be in Berlin in spring 2019...watch this space.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Graham Harman's New Book

I continue to count my OOO blessings! My life started to go so right when Levi Bryant pointed out that my “strange stranger” (the term I use for lifeforms in The Ecological Thought) was identical to what OOO means by “object.” Here's what I wrote on the back of Graham's latest tome:

An essential guide by the foremost philosopher of our age. This book will educate and delight both aficionados and those unfamiliar with the first major philosophical movement of the twenty-first century.

If you haven't yet read a guide or introduction to something by Harman, you're in for a treat. I make my undergrad and grad students smile when I show them how he gives you everything you need to understand Heidegger (super complex weirdness) on page 2 of his Heidegger Explained.

Tokyo This Week

I so had the best time! Thank you thank you to the organizers of the lovely Innovative City Forum. I met amazing people, and thanks to the beautifully organized format, real thinking and relating was possible.

Tristan Garcia's The Life Intense

Do you have a copy yet? It's awesome. Here's what I wrote about it:

Tristan Garcia demonstrates how at the most encompassing level of contemporary social roles lives the Romantic consumerist, forever seeking spiritually heightened experiences: what he like Pater calls intensity. We’re all Baudelaires now. Ecological ethics and politics ignores this at its peril: all that talk of efficiency and anti-consumerism seems to want to bypass this inconvenient truth. An ecological future must voyage through intensity…and for that we need maps. Garcia establishes some key coordinates for such a mission.