@ Mayonez on Friday

 

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I don’t know if the water knows how it will make its way to the sea.

I don’t know if the road knows that I run over it.

I don’t know if the trees know that I breathe their breath.

 

I invite you, for a moment, to imagine yourself positioned outside of anthropocentric humanism. Consider the possibility that thought, while currently the primary mode through which humans access our surroundings, is not innately the highest or most valid access mode in existence. We ourselves have many other access modes, such as imagining, dreaming, tasting, and feeling though we habitually consider these less valid. Similarly, nonhuman entities have access modes that may be inaccessible and foreign-seeming to us, and consequently we overlook them or deem them invalid.

The advent of the geological era of the Anthropocene, with its grudging acknowledgement that human activity has been the driver of this geological epoch change, leads humans into an imaginative crisis of world. It is the end of the Human World; the world effect within which we have been living for the past 10,000 years, in which humans are separate from, and autonomously act upon, the Natural world. The Anthropocene empties out this singular world affect. Now everyone has a world, water, running down the gutter or into my bath has a world. Rocks have a world, a world in which timescales are vastly larger than our own, so huge that we have perceived them as static. The Anthropocene makes us realise that when we look at a rock we are a human looking at rock; the shape of us in there in out looking.

Interestingly we are comfortable to scientifically imagine rocks as moving as liquid over a vast time scale, however we are less comfortable to philosophically imagine a rock as acting within its own world and world time. We accept scientifically that we are, or tellingly, our bodies are made up of an array of received and inherited DNA, that bacteria living in our gut are essential to our ongoing life, yet we feel uncomfortable to think ‘I am a heaving pile of entities cohabiting’. To acknowledge that not only do I have a micro biome, but that I am a biome.

 

immersive video installation that utilises the eye of the camera to capture moments of entities interacting with their world, flowing, fluttering, moving through or being moved over. It invites your human knowing, eye, mind and body, to reflect on other ways of being and knowing.

Rm Conversation Pit

THINKING SPACE

Over the next twelve weeks Rm Archive will host Rm Conversation Pit, a series of habitable installations and amicable talking events. To introduce the conversations: Installation #0.5 Thinking Space/ Mind Picnic. A thinking and reading space and the opportunity book in for a conversation.

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Rm Conversation Pit: installation #0.5. Thinking space/ mind picnic

Conversation #1  

19 – 27 November­­

Sharing in an intimate world: Rethinking human vs nature

sharing in an intimate world acknowledges the impossibility of maintaining an anthropocentric worldview[1] in an era of eco-crisis and invites us to tease out ways to orient ourselves within a biosphere in which we are continuous with the network of entities we previously called nature.

 

Conversation #2

29 – 12 December

The Agency of Things

Water, soil, rock, a tree, a chicken, a cat, some wheat, some excrement, a plastic bottle, a river. Our relationships with these things may be articulated as resources and waste that we need to manage but also as entities with whom our lives are intertwined. Both statements extort us to act responsibly toward these things, however the dynamic at stake in each is significantly different.

 

Conversation #3 

14 – 21 December

Between elsewhere and away: reimagining the suburban/urban home

Urban dwelling emerged from a culture in which we imagined our human selves as cradled between infinite earthly resource and a mythical ‘away’. Home became normalised as a house and garden, a two-part structure demarking an inside for human dwelling and an outside for all other entities.

 

What’s too read? more info on this page

 

Unruly Heritage

Levi Bryant’s thinking-in-progress is hugely relevant to my Conversation Pit project. particularly his articulation of the dynamic process of thinking, the complexities of navigating the thing-structures and thought-structures we inherit. and then a great bit at the end about our ‘disavowed heritage’ of discarded things.

Larval Subjects .

For weeks I’ve struggled with how to compose this post because my thoughts feel all chaotic and jumbled.  However, the name of this blog is “Larval Subjects”.  This blog is a place for the development of half-formed, perhaps ill advised or poorly conceived thoughts.  For no thought can be thought before it is thought, and thinking a thought has a certain element of materiality to it, found within speech and writing.  Contrary to Aristotle’s Peri hermenaias, where speech is a sign of thought and writing is a sign of speech, such that thought is conceived as an origin or spirit that precedes speech and writing, there is always something nachträglich in thought.  One never truly knows what they think until after they have done, said, or written it.  Thought is not what precedes our action, speech, and writing as an arche or origin, but is what will have…

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… if you knew me

Photos from …. if you knew me, curated by me at DEMO 25 October 2018

My thanks to Denise Batchelor, Mark Harvey and Gitanjali Bhatt for contributing their work for this exhibtion

breathe and milk
left; Denise Bachelor, Just Breathe. right; Jill Sorensen Milk Bottle. wall; Gitanjali Bhatt, The Hunt

 

milk and wrestle
left; Mark Harvey Weed Wrestle. far left; Gitanjali Bhatt, The Hunt. front; Jill Sorensen Milk Bottle, wall;

 

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….if you knew me.

I have curated an exhibtion at DEMO, Auckland NZ

invite A4 final

In 21st-century suddenly everyone cares about climate and how it might or might not be changing, the atmosphere is filled not just with CO2, but with information and misinformation, blame, denial and handwringing. Beneath this cloud of discord, hype and anxiety we collectively and individually face a bewildering array of options and responsibilities.

The artists in If You Knew Me variously observe, reflect upon and engage with the increasingly familiar moments of awkwardness and uncertainty that now populate daily life. Small but uncomfortable choices and decisions that prickle us as we struggle to negotiate how we should now live as human-people in the epoch variously named the Anthropocene, the Capitalocene or the less pronounceable Chthulucence[1] proposed by Donna Haraway. Uncomfortable with the ‘Anthropos’ of Anthropocene, Haraway suggests that the current moment is not so much an era in itself but an interlude between the benevolent Holocene and a yet to be definitively named future epoch, a hiatus she terms “The Great Dithering… a time of ineffective and widespread anxiety about environmental destruction”[2]. A stuttering pause in which we know something must be done but are not sure how to do it, who should do it or what should be done. An extended moment of bewilderment as we see the reliable face of Nature, backdrop and resource of our human drama, dissolve into a disinterested biosphere, a cyclic network of entities and agencies in which we are one of many presences. In this version of ‘world’ there is no ‘infinite earthly resource’ and no ‘away’ between which to cradle the machine of human progress. With no valid prop for human exceptionalism other than self-interest and habit we are left to navigate an abrupt transition from a Nature we once stepped-upon, to a teeming biosphere within which we must negotiate a human niche.

The four artists in If You Knew Me engage with digital video, using the medium to acutely observe moments in which we dither in the face of mundane activities once considered inconsequential,  now appear suddenly suspect or even duplicitous.

 

 

 

[1] Donna Jeanne Haraway, Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene, Experimental Futures Technological Lives, Scientific Arts, Anthropological Voices (Durham London: Duke University Press, 2016).

In the term Chthulucence Haraway invokes the Chthonic ones, the ancient, ancestral powers of the earth, who cannot be contained or ignored.

[2] Haraway.