released April 7, 2017
Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene
Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene
In the midst of spiraling ecological devastation, multispecies feminist theorist Donna J. Haraway offers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations to the earth and all its inhabitants.
My notes from watching *Donna Haraway video above
“Think we must” Virginia Wolf
It matters what stories tell stories
It matters what thoughts think thoughts
It matters what worlds world worlds
To destabilise our own stories
retell them with other stories
and vice versa – a serious de-normalisation
of that which is held still
to establish worlds of thinking
with other worlds of thinking
to not be parochial
the time to be worldly is NOW!
Ursula le Guin
'Carry Bag Writing'
Re-think the question of evolution on a much smaller vein - shells, molluscs, lichen, coral – sociality that comes from communities making their lives together
Not the 'heroic story' of the privileged signifier moving across matrix space to bring back the prize at the end and die...
the carrier bag theory of fiction – always coming home
an auto-poetic system / system theory
self-making, order/disorder, homeostatic mechanism
'Infection is necessary to complexity”
art activisms – potent alliance with those who are
working out of beauty & fury
a love of place, a love of home
tell my story and live these stories
the singing of bridges as the song of the world
or song to dissolve the world...
The sun writes on the surface of the earth, a certain amount of information on the world.. as if the world knew how to write about itself. Being intelligent, consists, for us, of in recovering the secret of the intelligence of the world….
The more we know how to decipher the messages contained in the winds, snow, light... bridges… and all sorts of waves, the more we are amazed by their wealth and their depth. The world sends messages and organizes itself thanks to their circulation.
(Michel Serres Angels a Modern Myth)
The universe continually feeds sound into each one of its instruments, from atoms and genes to planets and pulsars. Sound gives order and beauty to the world. Every particle takes its characteristics from the pitch and pattern and overtones of its particular frequencies, its singing. All radiation, all information, geological and architectural structures, the human body all are called into being through sound.
(JR Berendt ‘The World is Sound – Nada Brama’)
The sound of the cables reaches deep inside the bridge, and brings to light the vibrations and oscillations that can have lethal effect as they tell of the instability of the structure and the potential for its disintegration. Tuning in to the sound of the bridge, hearing through the cacophony to the stillness and unheard vibrations within.
The idea of the bridge’s voice, draws one to explore the acoustic space across the globe, the bridge a symbol of the extension of one’s ear across oceans and rivers, to hear at certain locations the sound of the earth itself, transmitted through the vibration in the cables, and the voice of the bridge, speaking in tongues foreign and unknown.
Bridges occupy a space in-between, a threshold between worlds, countries and states of mind. Looking fragile and tenuous, resembling a spider-web spun across the void and creating a path where there was previously only air, the bridge hangs suspended improbably by threads.
You imagine these could snap at any moment, but they are engineered strong and resilient. The cables look like harps, waiting to be plucked by angels or by passing giants. How do the cables sound? Could they become strings in an instrument made of bridges stretching around the earth?
The vibrations in the cable may contain some secret language: untranslatable, lying dormant as thousands of people cross the bridge every day, oblivious to the possibility of transformation.
Maybe the cables speak in an inexpressible other tongue, with no recognisable codes or links to the everyday process of communication. As the inaudible vibrations are amplified into an acoustic presence, the gaps in existence can be heard. On the line is the sound of the world, humming through the cables.
Maybe the cables are giant receivers, collecting all kinds of signals. The humming on the lines, the random noise and static that spill over when we communicate - from the overflow of telecommunications wires circling the globe to unidentifiable frequencies from space.
Can the bridge catch the dreams of those who cross it, the sounds of daily life on the lands and waters beneath. Can we tune in to the cables' frequency and hear what they have to say? What if we were to stop and listen to the bridge, to its aches and cries, the songs and stories of the people who have crossed over, slept under its shelter, or jumped from its side, seeking release in the void?
*Donna Haraway is a feminist, a prominent scholar in the field of science and technology, and a science-fiction enthusiast who works to build bridges between science and fiction. She became known in the 1980s through A Cyborg Manifesto, her work on gender, identity, and technology, which broke with the prevailing trends and introduced a new kind of frank, trans-species feminism. In her latest book, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016, Duke University Press), Haraway offers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations with the earth and its inhabitants. She eschews referring to our current epoch as the Anthropocene, preferring to conceptualize it as what she calls the Chthulucene, as it more aptly and fully describes our epoch as one in which the human and nonhuman are inextricably linked.
The Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam and Utrecht University proudly present a theory program consisting of a talk, conversation, and film screening in honor of Distinguished Professor Emeritus Donna Haraway, a prominent scholar of feminist studies and the field of science and technology.
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