Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Friday, October 21, 2016

Lecture in Chicago Sunday

It's called “Things Just Got Weird” and it's in support of my friend Ben Rivers's film Urth which he made inspired by Dark Ecology and is showing at the “Ren,” the Renaissance Society (which is a contemporary art space) at the University of Chicago. 3pm Sunday.

With any luck I'll be over this bothering virus by then...

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Justin Guariglia on Hyperobjects

He's doing work with NASA and he's documenting melting ice. He makes gigantic, suitably scaled images that you can't contain in one gulp. They are fascinating from a scalar point of view: how far away are we when we see them? This kind of scale confusion is intrinsic to ecological awareness.

Guariglia is devoted to ecological issues such as global warming--I say devoted because it's certainly a lot more than committed.

This is from the popular US show Science Friday.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Some Words about Me in Korean

Really nice. Good on the uncanniness of the mesh concept.


“If she’s in office, I hope we can start a coup. She should be in prison or shot. That’s how I feel about it,” Dan Bowman, a Trump supporter, told The Boston Globe last week. “We’re going to have a revolution and take them out of office if that’s what it takes. There’s going to be a lot of bloodshed. But that’s what it’s going to take. . . . I would do whatever I can for my country.” --HP

1000 Citations

Just happened today.

So Enjoying This

My intellectual life this last month has taken me literally around the world. Right now I'm in Yale at a very very cool architecture conference called “Aesthetic Activism” and I'm just about to go to a very very interesting panel on the emerging discourse of xenofeminism.

I'm editing my book on solidarity with nonhumans for Verso and it seems to be working! I'm enjoying that too. Lots of work. I'm steaming away. I have precisely two weeks to finish. Say a prayer.

And I taught a class on Wednesday, with the wonderful new graduate students in English at Rice. They were so good and the class was so very enlightening for me on Marx's early writings. It's a privilege to teach because that's how you learn.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Oops, you missed a spot

“Q. What about the risk of driving nuclear waste around and storing it at places like Yucca Mountain?
A. The casks they use to ship nuclear fuel have been very robustly tested. Dropped on spikes. Put underwater. Set on fire. Compare that to many other things that are shipped on trains that are not as well protected. The risk is so small that the benefits far outweigh it.” --Grist

There was one thing you didn't do, when you were dropping things on spikes.

You weren't leaving them alone under a mountain for 20 000 years.

We Are All Mermaids: QSO Lens, The Video (with Tim's words)

I'm so so honored and so deeply proud to have been a small part of this project. Part of it as you'll see is that Škarnulytė transmogrifies herself into a mermaid and interacts with a nuclear sub in deep freezing Arctic water. Just the commitment and the bravery of that blows my mind every time I think about it, which is a lot.

Another part of it is that Škarnulytė opens our ears to entities and dimensions far beyond the human, such as quasars, and links them with massive terrestrial beings such as glaciers and mountains. The result is a deep and complex engagement with our contemporary, globally warming world of mass extinction, where we're all figuring out in different ways how to relate differently with nonhuman beings.

In the end, a lifeform is always a hybrid, a being endowed with some X-power such as being able to breathe for a few seconds out of water. That's how evolution works. Spectrally. We are all mermaids.

So I wrote a text that you'll hear some of, read by a female computer voice. When I make music I often sound better singing as a woman, go figure, so I like to tweak the formant and pitch and suchlike of my recorded voice. Sounds better.

You can hear my lecture about it in Vilnius here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ökologie ohne Natur

Nur scheinbar formuliert Timothy Morton in diesem bahnbrechenden Buch des Ecocriticism ein Paradox: Das Bild, das wir uns von der Natur machen, verhindert, dass wir der Umwelt, in der wir leben, gerecht werden können, dass wir ihre Ökologie begreifen. Stets trachtet das Schreiben über die Natur danach, eine Weltsicht zu vermitteln, die die Natur bewahrt und respektiert. Kein Wunder, dass wir uns angesichts der ökologischen Katastrophe, die wir erleben, nach einer unversehrten, wilden und ›unschuldigen‹ Natur sehnen. Aber die Feier der Natur, oder der Einheit mit ihr, trübt unseren Blick. Rigoros und verstörend stellt Morton unsere ökologischen Grundannahmen auf den Prüfstand und versucht, ein neues Vokabular für das Verständnis von Natur zu entwickeln. In einem Parforceritt durch die Literatur- und Philosophiegeschichte trägt das Buch dazu bei, unseren Blick auf ökologische Zusammenhänge zu weiten und den Umweltgedanken in einen geistesgeschichtlichen Kontext zu stellen, der ihm politisch und intellektuell mehr Schlagkraft verleiht.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Why Latour Litanies Don't Use Adjectives (in case you were wondering)

An adjective, such as “flimsy,” describes someone's access to a thing, such as “argument.”

But that's just that someone's access. It may be accurate. But it's theirs nevertheless.

“Hard stone” is how a squirrel experiences a stone (I bet). But stones are very soft for gamma rays.

In a novel, I can use an adjective such as “offensive” and add it to a noun such as “moron” if I want to qualify what someone's experience of the noun is...

But in a Latour Litany, where I'm trying to show that objects transcend how we appropriate them, I'm not going to be using adjectives. Salt. Blood. Black hole. Fire. Idiot.

So that's why we don't use adjectives.

Not because we're Nazis with pathological sexualities.

Just putting that out there. :)

Tim on Dutch TV

This was an interview on a show called Cultuurbarbaren that I did during the Dark Ecology tour this June. Here's the link here, embed below. You'll also see Alessandro Baricco, the novelist. And my mate Espen Somer Eide, genius composer.  And the amazing Femke Herregraven. 

Friday, October 7, 2016

Thursday, October 6, 2016


By Nik Gaffney, with a foreword by me...

Movement is a deeply strange and paradoxical phenomenon, yet we see it all around us all the time. Many philosophers can’t cope with how paradoxical it is — think about Zeno and his paradoxes — so they try to get rid of it, by arguing that movement is just an illusion.