In an editorial opening the recent “animals” issue of The Ecological Citizen, Eileen Crist underscores the heavy price we pay when we obscure our animal selves, and abuse our animal kin. We cannot address climate emergency without confronting the dominant ethos of human supremacism, and its dense understory of “petty mind-games.” Excerpts below, with images added by DP.
We are grateful to a vigilant DP reader for bringing a recently published book to our attention: Less Is More, by economic anthropologist Jason Hickel.
Excerpts from a recent interview about the book below, interwoven with images from a Guggenheim Bilbao exhibition titled The Body that Carries Me, from the abundant imagination of Ernesto Neto.
From the Guggenheim Bilbao page about Neto’s exhibition:
The artist began working with crochet in 1994 in order to create seamless fabrics and has hand-crocheted circular cells—filled with plastic balls—since then. Neto prefers materials and techniques traditionally linked to women. The artist explains “I love the idea of continuity between man and woman, both in the moral sense and the psychotopological sense. Female and male are just negative and positive. It’s like a sculpture cast—you have the model and the cast. I’m pretty interested in this ambiguity.”
According to Neto, he has wanted to move through the space, hover above the floor or trace a line to climb and float in the air for many years. Life is a Body We are Part of−A vida é um corpo do qual fazemos parte, through which Neto aims to give visitors a slight sense of vertigo, encourages us to think about balance, something which we sometimes take for granted, and to reconsider “the way we move, desire, and fear.”
We a grateful to a DP correspondent for reminding us of an essay by scientist, writer and citizen of the Potawatomi Nation Robin Kimmerer. First published by Orion in 2017, the essay becomes ever more relevant with each passing day. Excerpts below, interwoven with images of braided sweetgrass relayed from Whispering Wind.
Now comes artist Maya Lin with an NYC Madison Square installation created from forty-nine white cedar trees transplanted from the New Jersey Pine Barrens. The project raises numerous questions, both exposing and embracing an ethos of human dominion over nature.
Image and text relayed from the project’s website, followed by a link to a documentary video.
Now comes animal rights activist and writer Laura Bridgeton with a cogent summary critique of ever-expanding factory farms, on land and sea. Her entire report is worth close consideration. Excerpts below, with images from the fecund imagination of “outsider” artist, James Castle.
Now comes the well-named environmental philosopher Melanie Challenger with an important new exploration of how human supremacism came to be the entrenched self-identity for “civilized” mammals within the less well-named species, Homo Sapiens.
An excerpt below, as relayed from the publisher’s website. Images from installations by Alisa Baremboym, relayed from her website, well worth a visit.
Now comes novelist Hari Kunzru, author of White Tears, Red Pill and Transmission, with a few illuminating thoughts regarding the social psychology of Q. The entire “Easy Chair” essay, titled Complexity, can be found in the January 2021 issue of Harper’s.
Excerpts below, with images from the artist Mike Jackson’s Birdsong series of Luminograms, relayed from the website of the Foley Gallery in NYC, where they were recently on view.
We note that Kunzru also hosts a podcast titled Into the Zone. We jackknifed briefly into Dead Or Alive, the blurb for which states:
Life’s final border might not be so final after all. From tardigrades to viruses, some things are both dead and alive. Or neither. How do we draw the line between the living and the dead? And how does that line blur in places like in a time capsule buried in ice, or a library on the moon?
Fear not, dear DP reader: we guarantee you that there will never be a DP podcast. That ship sailed over a thousand years ago!
One of the key tidal observations throughout our DP voyages has been, simply put, that we cannot change what we do not truthfully understand.
For example: reconciliation regarding the historical experience of American slavery is impossible without coming to grips with how that history lives on in the present through densely interwoven manifestations of white supremacy, with the carceral state at its center.
Now comes the ever-lucid Eileen Crist, with thoughts on a different though related variant of subjugation, not within a single species but rather between one particularly invasive species (homo sapiens) and the rest of life on Mother Earth.
Excerpts from a recent interview below, with images relayed from the website of Joseph Wheelwright.
Note: The entire excellent interview from within the pages of The Sun Magazine (not the tabloid, mind!) is worthy of close consideration. The magazine has generously dropped its pay wall during Covidzeit, yet relies entirely on reader support. We highly recommend trial perusal, and then subscription.
Now comes David Farrier, author of Footprints: In Search of Future Fossils, with an essay in the venerable and indispensable Orion magazine; it is not too late to purchase a gift subscription!
An ungloved handful of excerpted paragraphs below, with images collected from the tidal wash of the digital ocean.
This week, reeling from relentlessly alarming data such as temperature change in the deep ocean, quadrillions of plastic fibers in the single state of California, and reports of the “dying sea ice” in the Arctic, we simply relay a voice of Amazonian indigenous leader Nemonte Nenquimo (pictured below) as she addresses the ignorant “leaders” of her region and the world in a recently published letter, excerpted below.