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

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Pre-Order Nothing

The Buddhism book I wrote with Marcus Boon and Eric Cazdyn is online and you can order it. Proof reading it, we were struck by how nicely balanced our views are and how genuine and searching a discussion it is.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Vikram the Vampire

I love me some good beats and this has it in spades.


Show Us Your Papers! (PDF)

My MP3 recorder didn't work! So I have taken the unusual step of uploading the actual talk text. Let's see, to give you an idea of the atmosphere. There were about 200 people in the room. There was a long and lively Q&A. People laughed.

One question was about acts--why do I flatten them out so that they are indistinct, allegedly? To which I replied, it's quite the opposite, for me, acts are highly differentiated, and action is intrinsic to what an object is. Another question was about the dreaded narcissism--how to avoid it? I said don't avoid it, it's great! Just read Derrida on narcissism! What is required is that we extend narcissism to include more and more beings. Getting rid of it would destroy the relation to the other in advance. Another question was about the imminence of disaster--to which I responded that the disaster had already occurred, “we are already dead” etc. Another question was about people--are they singular or can they be groups or sets, collectives in other words?

Fantastic group of people on a fantastic day. There were many points of connection between my talk and others'. For instance, to name just a few: Kali Rubaii on dying-with (I invented that phrase in a chat afterwards but it really works to describe what she does); Jonathan Wald on orchids vs. corn (me: flowers vs stems); Emilie Dionne on the ethics of physical vulnerability and susceptibility; Joan Roughgarden on affiliations of humans and nonhumans; Hector Hoyos on individuals vs. people.


Show Us Your Papers! by Timothy Morton

Life

For me life is a flickering instability between two different types of death. Not anti-death but between deaths. A spectral flicker.

On the one side we have dissolution.

On the other we have endless machination.

Discuss.




OOO: The World of Baby Ford




For real. That is the title.

You haven't lived till you've heard "Poem for Wigan," "Wigan," "Chikki Chikki Ahh Ahh" and "The World Is In Love."

New Accelerationist Tactic: Insult Artists

Actual thing heard on Earth this week, taken to its logical conclusion:

"If you aren't doing accelerationist art, you are a zombie. You are a shameful, pathological version of a human. You are not human enough. To be into accelerationism. Wait a minute."




Friday, April 17, 2015

Only in Berkeley

...would your hotel room beside lamp look like a bong:





The Persistence of Beauty

I'm in this book with an essay on My Bloody Valentine.

It is called "Beauty Is Death" hahaha...

Thanks to the editors for getting us roused and ready to do aesthetic battle!



California Light

There's plenty of it. If you haven't been here, you have to sort of visualize a swarm of light, like a swarm of bees. It seems to nest in the branches of trees, as if slightly thick. But not tropical rich. Lemony golden. With a strange blue afterglow.

First thing you see when you drive over the Sierras: these light swarms.



Thursday, April 16, 2015

It's Me! At UC Berkeley!

For those of you who were wondering--it's definitely me talking tomorrow! With queer theory biologist Joan Roughgarden--can't wait!



It's Not a Sport

"The basic point of mindfulness is to be completely, totally in touch with what happens in your body and the environment around you. You are not reduced to an inanimate clod of earth while you are meditating. You may feel your pulse or your heartbeat. You feel your breathing. You hear sounds and see sights. You feel vividly that you are alive." --Trungpa Rinpoche

That's it. I'm afraid, with full respect to David Lynch, I never could get behind transcendental meditation, which when you get over the fanciness of using a mantra, is basically replacing one thought with another. No wonder it's so soothing.

The TM approach implies there's something wrong with (that one) thought. That feeling of wrong just is samsara, precisely.

What's wrong with a thought--any thought? Just let it be naked. That's what I'm talkin about.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Katherine Behar in Atlanta

The magnificent object-oriented feminism panels at the Society for Literature, Science and the Arts conferences are going into their fifth iteration this year thanks to Katherine. Always very good to be on them. Currently she is doing this. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

UC Berkeley Objects and Ecology Schedule

ETHICS, AGENCY, AND AESTHETICS IN THE ANTHROPOCENE
A SYMPOSIUM 17 April 2015




10.00 to 10.15 WELCOME & INTRODUCTION (315 Wheeler)

10.15 to 11.30 ETHICS, AFFECTS, OBJECTS (315 Wheeler)

Stefanie Graeter, UC Davis, “We Want to Work: Exposure as Agency in Peruvian Mining Politics”
Kali Rubaii, UC Santa Cruz, “In the Path of the Witness-Perpetrator: Concrete and Chemicals in Anbar, Iraq”
Respondent: Ashley Dawson, Professor of English, CUNY

11.30 to 12.30 JOAN ROUGHGARDEN (315 Wheeler)
Professor of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii
“Ram-2050: A Ramayana Epic for the Future”

12.30 to 1.30 LUNCH

1.30 to 3.00 THINKING WITH NONHUMANS (300 Wheeler)
Jonathan Wald, UC Berkeley, “Thinking about Morality with Orchids”
Elizabeth Crachiolo, UC Davis – “Sensitive Plants and Natural History in Early Modern England”
Lisa Reade, UC Berkeley – “Sound Bytes: Koda Rohan’s Phantom Linguistics”
Respondent: Ewa Domanska, Professor of Theory and Historiography, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland; and Professor of Anthropology, Stanford University

3.00 to 3.15 BREAK

3.15 to 4.45 AGENTIAL MATTER (300 Wheeler)
Emilie Dionne, UC Santa Cruz – “Dwelling in Corporeal Ambiguity and Vulnerable Ecologies”
Clement Hil Golberg, UC Berkeley – “Animated Extinction”
Susan Eberhard, UC Berkeley – “Marinship’s Wake: Salvage Ethics on the Sausalito Waterfront”
Respondent: Hector Hoyos, Professor of Iberian and Latin American Cultures, Stanford University

4.45 to 5.00 BREAK

5.00 to 6.00 TIMOTHY MORTON (315 Wheeler)
Rita Shea Guffey Chair in English, Rice University
“Show Us Your Papers!”

6.00 to 6.15 CLOSING REMARKS

6.15 COMMUNAL DINNER FOR ALL PARTICIPANTS (330 Wheeler)




Sponsored by UC Berkeley English Department, Stanford Environmental Humanities Project, Townsend Center for the Humanities, Florence Green Bixby Chair, James Joyce Working Group, and Materiality Working Group.

Objects at Berkeley this Week