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NATURA NATURANS – IN THE WOODS
2016 - current
The second axis of the 'MULTINATURALISM' topic
Which ingredients are necessary to transform Nature into ‘Natura naturans’–a place wherein bodies strive to enhance their power of activity by forging alliances with other bodies in their vicinity? (Bennett, J. on Spinoza, 2004)
Presumably, the notion of matter has to change: instead of postulating inanimate matter which does nothing more than composing the world out of long concatenations of cause and effect where nothing is supposed to happen (Latour, B. 2010), a “new materialism” installs freedom, movement, creativity in the very heart of things. What tools might be appropriate to realise this conceptual change from passive to active matter, to transport various kinds of ingredients into the motley arena of things? Transport and transportation need mediators that import and export and thus traverse. Metaphor, in facts, means “transport“. And this is a (research)question: Can metaphors act as mediators for transportation? Like Gaia, mediators can be human and non-human things that invent but also can betray, that nourish, but also can be mistaken. Transportation (metaphors) can be the craziest and the most certain – metaphors as messenger create contradiction and foreignness/otherness that may be the route to invention. (Serres, M., 1995)
This module explores the transdisciplinary conditions for transportations and their consequences for invention. We meet in the woods, this proud and humble emblem of nature. And there is a method: “Research in the wild” aims at exploring actors and active entities that populate this emblematic site. Point of departure of Research in the Wild: the wood as a polluted, impure, composite reality, and, secluded research in laboratories that risks paralysis if it refuses to cooperate with research in the wild. (Callon, M., Rabeharisoa, V., 2003)
And there is a caveat: when “first” Nature (and the hegemony of scientific knowledge that claims to define that “first” nature for its own part) starts to lose its monopoly (see e.g. “multinaturalism”), it seems to be fair to distrust a “second” Nature: Economy as the universal dialect of a globalised world, and, to avoid believing that the Economy would supply “the unsurpassable horizon” of investigation and nevertheless respect what informants say about the troubles with subsistence.
There is an aim: to explore and chart a site-specific transdisciplinary trajectory of metaphors: a model of the fictional existence of a forest area. A time-based chart that encompasses the multiplication of goods and bads, the production and following organisational scripts, the exploration of the links between ends and means, the risks of reproduction. A chart that “animates”.
“Research in the wild” (Callon et al 2003), “The essential facts of life” (H.D. Thoreau), “Biophilia” effect (Wilson, 1995,) Green pedagogy, Animism (e-flux #36), studying a “matter of concern” depending on the location (tba), site specific and problem oriented practical field work, location: tba,
literature, lectures, blocked field work, beginning at the end of summer semester
– Concept: Bernd Kräftner