“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

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Time Time Time

...so I wrote the libretto for Jennifer Walshe's amazing opera Time Time Time, and we had the world premiere this weekend at the Muzikegebouw in Amsterdam, as part of the incredible Sonic Acts festival, which over the years has been like family to me, starting with their fearless exploration of my concept of dark ecology, when I'd hardly written a thing about it (at least, not the book itself): three years of exploration in Arctic Russia, conferences, concerts, symposia, you name it.

We are doing more performances in Bergen (next week--Borealis festival), Berlin (Maerzmusik festival), London and other places this year. I'm on stage. We decided that it would be better than having me as a kind of verbal puppet master behind the scenes. It's like, there's no such thing as a naked thought in the void according to OOO, every thought has as it were a kind of thoughtfeel. So there I was, playing the thought instrument, as it were.

Jennifer is also the composer of Everything Is Important, a piece about hyperobjects that she wrote for the Arditti String Quartet in 2016.

Time Time Time has extinction, global warming, black holes, dinosaurs, neoliberalism, grief and Monet...fun for all the apocalyptic family...

Here are some photos. I'm never going to forget the 700 people cheering and I've just made friends with the kindest most creative people--it's so nice to be in a music team again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Hyperobjects in the New York Times

I thought the author had read it, because of how he sounded on the radio. He said we've been framing global warming as rising sea levels and of course, it's everywhere because we are inside of it. Then my friend Jeremy Braddock of Cornell told me about this editorial:

We build our view of the universe outward from our own experience, a reflexive tendency that surely shapes our ability to comprehend genuinely existential threats to the species. We have a tendency to wait for others to act, rather than acting ourselves; a preference for the present situation; a disinclination to change things; and an excess of confidence that we can change things easily, should we need to, no matter the scale. We can’t see anything but through cataracts of self-deception.

The sum total of these biases is what makes climate change something the ecological theorist Timothy Morton calls a “hyperobject” — a conceptual fact so large and complex that it can never be properly comprehended.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

For What It's Worth

7000+ citations now. 52 texts have at least 10 citations and 26 have 26. 80% of my citations are from my books.