Big fan of Evariste Richer’s work “Fulgurite” (2008), seen at the Musée des arts et métiers in Paris this weekend. When lighting—very hot lightening—strikes silica or other common (semi-)conductive minerals or substrates, it creates a fulgurite (<Lat. fulgur = lightening), strangely shaped rock-like objects. But here, the fulgurite is crossed through by a beautifully industrial blue neon tube. The museum notice sees in all this an emblem of Latour’s nature/culture problem…
USB-JFK took too long, but allowed for some reading and thinking about talking with animals, via (a) a re-viewing of Herzog's fabulous Grizzly Man about Timothy Treadwell and (b) discovery of the Interactive Fiction Lost Pig (playable here), in which the player becomes an orc (i.e. a humanoid akin to a goblin) who searches for a pig that has escaped from a pig farm. I won't elaborate here, especially as I haven't got far into Lost Pig, but there are many interesting questions that the two works raise about the question of, and limits to, talking with non-human animals, imagining the non-human animal, etc:: Treadwell's longing for communion vs. Herzog's "that bear's blank stare expresses only hunger" vs. chasing an escaped pig vs. the estrangement of being an "orc" (not-quite human), etc. Leading the way in thinking about human-non-human connections in the context of French early modern is Louisa Mackenzie (Washington U. eg. this on Guillaume Rondelet and Bruno Latour). For further reflection.
Project THE HUMANIST anthropocene
is a thought archive and workspace of Phillip John Usher (NYU) at the crossroads of early modern humanism and the problems and insights of the Anthropocene. Main Research Page.
ASLE (Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment)
Environmental Humanities (journal)
Resilience (A Journal of the Environmental Humanities)
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