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

Monday, September 25, 2017

I'll be Talking at the Serpentine Marathon

...wow, the title is such perfect timing for Humankind: “Guest, Ghost, Host, Machine”?! They could have been chapter titles!

London, October 7!

The description is ace:

The 2017 Marathon brings together artists, scientists, activists, engineers, poets, sociologists, philosophers, filmmakers, writers, anthropologists, theologians and musicians to consider the advent of ‘artificial intelligence’, consciousness, interspecies cooperation, machines, trans-humanism and non-linear time.




Thursday, September 21, 2017

Next Up

Stockholm next week for a landscape architecture organization.

Week after that, London. I'm talking with Penguin about my stuff (wow they're so professional, they're for real and there's a reason why they're the best), and doing a thing for the band Test Dept. and something for Hans Ulrich Obrist's 2017 marathon at the Serpentine. Those things are on Saturday.

And I'm doing a lecture on global warming and morality and politics and stuff. Details to follow!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tim Answers an Email

Boy oh boy I answered it about nine months late! I'm so busy...

Anyway I thought you might like these brief answers. Questions are as they appear in the email:

1, In relation to OOO what connections do you think there are with the new ideas that we are now in an Anthropocene Epoch?

Well, we are aware of gigantic entities whose data is obviously different from what they are, which is the basic OOO insight. Things don’t coincide with thing data. It’s just that the hyperobjects (such as climate, biosphere…) are big enough for us to be able to know this intuitively.

2, What is your thinking on land fill ? and how in your opinion does that contribute to this environmental change?

Not much! I haven’t yet. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t in future.

3, What is your opinion on humans having  a greater connection with materialistic object around them, than they now have with the earth that supports them?

Unfortunately there are some ecological phenomenological chemicals within consumerism. Ecological thought rejects consumerism at its peril. See Dark Ecology.

4, Is it purely down to capitalism, our materialistic wants and the rate at which this is growing that is causing these changes?

No. Neanderthals would have loved coca cola zero and there are soviet carbon emissions, still in effect as I observed in Arctic Russia.

5, what is your opinion on the Gaia theory ?

It’s a form of mechanism in disguise in which trees, humans and bacteria (and everything) become replaceable components of a whole based on all that’s wrong with religion. See my new book Humankind.

6,  How do you think artists and what they use help with drawing attention to the world around them? Do you know of any that are doing this particularly well?

Art does more than that. Art is (from) the future. Art olds open the possibility that things can be different. Gosh there are so many amazing ones I don’t know where to start! I’m working on two hyperobjects exhibitions this year, one in Texas, one in Barcelona.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Morton on Buddhism (interview)

This was such an honor an really fun to do for Lion's Roar. Take home line: Buddhism is not about suffering at all.

Monday, August 28, 2017

My Reply to Dipesh Chakrabarty

Dipesh wrote yesterday to the anthropologists Cymene Howe and Dominic Boyer, and me, about the Houston events. Dipesh, if you don't know him, is the author of a very very powerful essay called “The Climate of History,” one of the very first texts to deal full on with the Anthropocene from a humanities perspective.

There's a lot of emotion here in Houston, mostly it's a toxic cocktail of boredom and fear. There's a lot to say, so expect more. But I thought this might work well for the blog:

[Dear Dipesh]

For me this situation is a great example of how my ability to understand things massively outstrips my ability to cope with them …

One of the less pleasant aspects is the way the situation engages people’s narcissistic sadism (“look at the stupid fools over there”), magnified by cynical reason (“they are so ideologically deluded compared with me”). It has been spectacularized on the TV as Cymene and Dominic and I were discussing yesterday, in a podcast, and this means people find it hard to see the event as ongoing (some people are asking “how was the hurricane?” as if “it” was over already), and in particular, the more leftish intellectually inclined ones are making sure to press the guilt button rather than the thought button (“now you know what it’s like for non-white non-Texan non-stupid-idiots…”).

We intellectuals are not stupid: we know the phenomenology of guilt is a bad photocopy of the phenomenology of thought, so it’s much cheaper to press that button. Unfortunately of course, guilt is an artifact of agricultural age religion, and is designed specifically to prevent humans from thinking and operating on a collective level.

So that’s pretty unpleasant. On Twitter, a white Norwegian literary theory teacher just Nordsplained things for me (new word!), somewhat forgetful of Statoil’s funding of his job.

But it’s nowhere near as unpleasant as not having a house, which I still have, by virtue of living at high altitude for Houston, aka 1 meter above sea level (joke estimate)!

Friday, August 25, 2017

Humankind: A Dialogue with Federico Campagna of Verso at the Tate Modern

This was so good because Federico is so good. We did it on August 21; the book was published on August 22.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Humankind Is Out! And a Review in the Guardian

Stuart Jeffries does such a lovely job here.

Isn't the cover just so good? Look how it seems like the designer used real bubbles on real cut paper...

The design has to do with maybe the deepest concept in the book, the set-theoretical one.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Dark Ecology Interview (mp3)

This is not embed-able...click instead. Very good interviewer, Leonard Schwartz. We did it in February of this year.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Everything Dark Ecology, on One YouTube Channel

Thanks Sonic Acts! What a great archive of the adventures of the sound artists creating things with Tim's concept in Arctic Russia over three years...

Monday, August 14, 2017

Jesus H Christ:

“Black demonstrators protesting the murder of teen-agers are met with tanks and riot gear; white demonstrators protesting the unpopularity of Nazi and Confederate ideology are met with politesse.” The New Yorker

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Another Juicy Bit of My Penguin Book

“It’s not just true that there is a time for everything, as it says in Ecclesiastes (‘a time to reap and a time to sow . . .’); it’s the case that from grasses to gorillas to gargantuan black holes, everything has its own time, its own temporality.”

Comedy versus Tragedy

When you watch one person on stage trying to surmount their fate only in that very action to embody it, it's called a tragedy.

When you see a lot of people doing it on stage, it's called Fawlty Towers. 

Discuss.

Here's a Tiny Bit of My Penguin Book to Give You the Level

“Kant described beauty as a feeling of ungraspability: this is why the beauty experience is beyond concept. You don’t eat a painting of an apple; you don’t find it morally good; instead, it tells you something strange about apples in them- selves. Beauty doesn’t have to be in accord with prefabricated concepts of ‘pretty’. It’s strange, this feeling. It’s like the feel- ing of having a thought, without actually having one. In food marketing there is a category that developed in the last two decades or so called mouthfeel. It’s a rather disgusting term for the texture of food, how it interacts with your teeth and your palate and your tongue. In a way, Kantian beauty is thinkfeel. It’s the sensation of having an idea…”