Posts Tagged ‘ Human ’

These Funeral Directors Are Dissolving Dead Bodies in Water to Help Save the Earth – VICE

Source: These Funeral Directors Are Dissolving Dead Bodies in Water to Help Save the Earth – VICE

Bela Bela – What Keeps Mankind Alive | IDFA

Marjoleine Boonstra – 2001 – Under the toughest of living conditions, four poets have had to employ their imaginations in order to survive. All four were incarcerated for a long period of time by a dictatorial regime. At the age of eighteen, Nizametdin Achmetov went to jail a virgin, and twenty years later he emerged, still a virgin. The Cuban Maria Elena Cruz Varela was all by herself in a prison environment where anybody could betray her, while the Russian Irina Ratoesjinkaja found that her fellow prisoners could be indispensable allies. Marcea Dinescu gives his view of the disintegration of Communism in Romania. In these stories, shot against the background of mainly desolate landscapes, sensual perception plays an important role. They tell of the smells and sounds in the cells, and one of the poets recalls that, during the first days after her release, her eyes could not stand the vivid colours of freedom.

Source: Bela Bela – What Keeps Mankind Alive | IDFA

What Our Contagion Fables Are Really About | The New Yorker

In the literature of pestilence, the greatest threat isn’t the loss of human life but the loss of what makes us human.

Source: What Our Contagion Fables Are Really About | The New Yorker

Burning Down the House | by Alan Weisman | The New York Review of Books

 

©Richard Misrach/Fraenkel Gallery, San Francisco

Richard Misrach: Untitled, 2007

Even McKibben struggles for an adequate vocabulary to describe the duplicity of oil companies: “There should be a word for when you commit treason against an entire planet.”

I’m not the only writer to wonder whether books are still an appropriate medium to convey the frightening speed of environmental upheaval. But the environment is infinitely intricate, and mere articles—much less daily newsfeeds or Twitter—can barely scratch the surface of environmental issues, let alone explore the extent of their consequences. Ecology, after all, is about how everything connects to everything else. Something so complex and crucial still requires books to attempt to explain it.

Source: Burning Down the House | by Alan Weisman | The New York Review of Books

Joyce Pensato – 1941-2019 – Vitro Nasu » Blog Archive » RIP

(Elgawimmer)
1999, charcoal and pastel on paper
10 feet x 14 feet

Source: Vitro Nasu » Blog Archive » RIP Joyce Pensato – 1941-2019

Staff Picks: Broccoli Puzzles, Bot Poetry, and Banana Pudding

By

THIS WEEK’S READING

 

FRANNY CHOI.

 

To pass a Turing test, a robot must trick an examiner into believing it is human. It must perform or passwhich sometimes involves performing errors to appear more humanlike. But even the errors are part of a design to make the robot work, in the sense of function: achieve what they were designed to achieve. There is something disturbingly teleological about the test—that robots should and will arrive at humanness. Like capitalism, the test is (or at least has become) competitive. It demands that everything and everyone be productive. Franny Choi’s forthcoming poetry collection Soft Science adopts the Turing test as a structural frame with six “TURING TEST” poems spaced throughout the book. The reader might understand Choi as the cyborg taking the test. But if so, she’s a cyborg in revolt, not allowing the examiner to let her pass. What’s more, the examiner is a cyborg, too, as is the reader: “remember / all humans / are cyborgs / all cyborgs / are sharp shards of sky / wrapped in meat.” Choi tells us what we need to hear: that we possess the radical potential of the glitch and the possibility of unbecoming productive machines of capitalism. Do humans “work,” or are we already broken? Do we want to work? Is unchecked production our ambition? Should we design robots to act like humans, when humans can be so despicable? My favorite poem from the collection describes the life of Chi, from the manga Chobits, a broken android whom the protagonist rescues from a trash pile. Choi writes from the android’s perspective, remembering the trash, lamenting, “as if I could rot / as if they didn’t make us / to last & last.” I think Choi wishes we could be allowed to rot and return to the soil. She reminds us elsewhere that it’s okay to wither, to “commune with miles of darkness,” to reach into our circuit boards and pull ourselves apart. The beginnings of our way out of capitalism will involve such pulling both delicate and violent—tiny hands wrenching, striving for clarity, honest and ruthlessly specific language like what Choi offers up. —Spencer Quong

Soft Science may be purchased directly from the publisher at Alice James Books

Source: Staff Picks: Broccoli Puzzles, Bot Poetry, and Banana Pudding

 

 

Roland Barthes: Things not words? | Times Literary Supplement

Roland Barthes
© Louis Monier/Rue des Archives/Writer Pictures

Towards the end of Mythologies (1957), Roland Barthes’s study of contemporary myths, he claimed: “I have tried to define things, not words” – surprising perhaps, given the philosopher’s popular association with language, communication and meaning. It is not that words are not also things; but the comment suggests an important corrective to the understanding of his work. Barthes was not (simply) an aesthete interested in forms, but a theorist who tried to understand how these forms constructed our imagination.…

Source: Footnotes to Plato | Roland Barthes: Things not words?

SUNRISE: Ariana Reines’s January column – artforum.com / slant

Nobody who comes to this planet in a human body can escape the task of becoming human. That is the goal. We are here to become human. Becoming human is a task. Birth alone does not confer this gift. Birth is the beginning of the possibility of this gift being recognized, received, put into action. – Ariana Reines

Source: SUNRISE: Ariana Reines’s January column – artforum.com / slant

ECOLOGY WITHOUT NATURE: You Can Pre-Order Humankind

You Can Pre-Order Humankind

If you’re in the USA, the UK or elsewhere I think you can do it on Amazon. I haven’t looked at other places yet.

Look at the nice blurb (that’s what the description is in fact called; an endorsement is in fact traditionally a puff!):

A radical call for solidarity between humans and non-humans

What is it that makes humans human? As science and technology challenge the boundaries between life and non-life, between organic and inorganic, this ancient question is more timely than ever. Acclaimed Object-Oriented philosopher Timothy Morton invites us to consider this philosophical issue as eminently political. It is in our relationship with non-humans that we decided the fate of our humanity. Becoming human, claims Morton, actually means creating a network of kindness and solidarity with non-human beings, in the name of a broader understanding of reality that both includes and overcomes the notion of species. Negotiating the politics of humanity is the first and crucial step to reclaim the upper scales of ecological coexistence, not to let Monsanto and cryogenically suspended billionaires to define them and own them.

Source: ECOLOGY WITHOUT NATURE: You Can Pre-Order Humankind

a.rawlings: Ecopoetic intersubjectivity | Jacket2

a.rawlings at Swartifoss, Iceland.

a.rawlings: Ecopoetic intersubjectivity | Jacket2.