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Book ChapterDOI

Speculative Fabulations for Technoculture’s Generations: Taking Care of Unexpected Country

01 May 2011-Vol. 50
TL;DR: For instance, Patricia Piccinini as mentioned in this paper is a co-worker committed to taking naturecultures seriously without the soporific seductions of a return to Eden or the palpitating frisson of a jeremiad warning of the coming technological Apocalypse.
Abstract: When I first saw Patricia Piccinini’s work a few years ago, I recognized a sister in technoculture, a co-worker committed to taking ‘naturecultures’ seriously without the soporific seductions of a return to Eden or the palpitating frisson of a jeremiad warning of the coming technological Apocalypse.2 I experienced her as a compelling storyteller in the radical experimental lineage of feminist science fiction (SF). In a SF sense, Piccinini’s objects are replete with narrative speculative fabulation. Her visual and sculptural art is about worlding; i.e., ‘naturaltechnical’ worlds at stake, worlds needy for care and response, worlds full of unsettling but oddly familiar critters who turn out to be simultaneously near kin and alien colonists. Piccinini’s worlds require curiosity, emotional engagement, and investigation; and they do not yield to clean judgments or bottom lines—especially not about what is living or non-living, organic or technological, promising or threatening. Lindsay Kelley, a graduate student in my 2004 seminar in bioart and critical theory, playing brilliantly with Still Life with Stem Cells and Young Family, awakened my passion for Piccinini’s corporeal practice of ethically inquisitive fabulating in the heterogeneous media of her collaborative work habits. So I set about learning what these worlds might be like and how they invite the risk of response, of becoming someone one was not before encountering her human and non-human critters.
Citations
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Anthropologists have been committed, at least since Franz Boas, to investigating relationships between nature and culture, and this enduring interest was inflected with some new twists as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Anthropologists have been committed, at least since Franz Boas, to investigating relationships between nature and culture. At the dawn of the 21st century, this enduring interest was inflected with some new twists. An emergent cohort of “multispecies ethnographers” began to place a fresh emphasis on the subjectivity and agency of organisms whose lives are entangled with humans. Multispecies ethnography emerged at the intersection of three interdisciplinary strands of inquiry: environmental studies, science and technology studies (STS), and animal studies. Departing from classically ethnobiological subjects, useful plants and charismatic animals, multispecies ethnographers also brought understudied organisms—such as insects, fungi, and microbes—into anthropological conversations. Anthropologists gathered together at the Multispecies Salon, an art exhibit, where the boundaries of an emerging interdiscipline were probed amidst a collection of living organisms, artifacts from the biological sciences, and surprising biopolitical interventions.

1,226 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The authors take the naming of the Anthropocene as a moment of pedagogical opportunity in which we might decentre the human as the sole learning subject and explore the possibilities of interspecies learning.
Abstract: This article takes the naming of the Anthropocene as a moment of pedagogical opportunity in which we might decentre the human as the sole learning subject and explore the possibilities of interspecies learning. Picking up on current Anthropocene debates within the feminist environmental humanities, it considers how educators might pedagogically engage with the issue of intergenerational environmental justice from the earliest years of learning. Drawing on two multispecies ethnographies within the authors’ Common World Childhoods' Research Collective, the article describes some encounters among young children, worms and ants in Australia and Canada. It uses these encounters to illustrate how paying close attention to our mortal entanglements and vulnerabilities with other species, no matter how small, can help us to learn with other species and rethink our place in the world.

221 citations


Cites background from "Speculative Fabulations for Technoc..."

  • ...…pedagogy of mutual vulnerability in the Anthropocene that recognises that learning through encounters with other species is not always harmonious and pleasant, is not always equal, and does not offer us ‘moral certitudes or simple escape routes’ from the mess we are in (Haraway 2011, 115)....

    [...]

  • ...The boundary-blurring ‘natureculture’ bio-philosophies of feminist science studies scholar Donna Haraway (2008, 2011, 2013), that situate multispecies relations with the complex mix of human and non-human, material and semiotic assemblages, have opened our eyes to the ways that humans and other…...

    [...]

  • ...…ethics of vulnerability, we take up the challenge of learning to inherit and respond to this world that we have so fundamentally altered and damaged (Haraway 2011, 2013) by considering how we might address the conjoined issues of interspecies and intergenerational justice within the field of…...

    [...]

  • ...The boundary-blurring ‘natureculture’ bio-philosophies of feminist science studies scholar Donna Haraway (2008, 2011, 2013), that situate multispecies relations with the complex mix of human and non-human, material and semiotic assemblages, have opened our eyes to the ways that humans and other species share entangled, cascading and enmeshed pasts, presents and futures....

    [...]

  • ...…for a carefully considered ethical response to the Anthropocene (Gibson-Graham and Roelvink 2010; Scholars Concerned for Life in the Anthropocene 2010; Colebrook 2012; Rose et al. 2012; Haraway 2011, 2013; Rose 2011, 2013; Somerville 2013; Wolfe and Colebrook 2013; Gibson, Rose, and Fincher 2015)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This framework is deployed to situate Earth Systems Science within the Anthropo-scene, exploring both the status afforded science in discussions of this new epoch, and the various ways in which the other means of engaging with the concept come to shape the conduct, content and politics of this scientific enquiry.
Abstract: The scientific proposal that the Earth has entered a new epoch as a result of human activities - the Anthropocene - has catalysed a flurry of intellectual activity I introduce and review the rich, inchoate and multi-disciplinary diversity of this Anthropo-scene I identify five ways in which the concept of the Anthropocene has been mobilized: scientific question, intellectual zeitgeist, ideological provocation, new ontologies and science fiction This typology offers an analytical framework for parsing this diversity, for understanding the interactions between different ways of thinking in the Anthropo-scene, and thus for comprehending elements of its particular and peculiar sociabilities Here I deploy this framework to situate Earth Systems Science within the Anthropo-scene, exploring both the status afforded science in discussions of this new epoch, and the various ways in which the other means of engaging with the concept come to shape the conduct, content and politics of this scientific enquiry In conclusion the paper reflects on the potential of the Anthropocene for new modes of academic praxis

126 citations


Cites background from "Speculative Fabulations for Technoc..."

  • ...In responding to the Anthropocene proposal, Haraway (2008) has developed her long-standing interests in forms of human-nonhuman companionship and symbiogenesis....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: A notion of care is proposed that combines an intimate knowledge practice with an ethical relationship to more-than-human others and Jacques Derrida’s notion of ‘abyssal intimacy’ is central to such a combination.
Abstract: Prompted by a classroom discussion on knowledge politics in the aftermath of the Chernobyl disaster, this article offers a reading of Hugh Raffles' Insectopedia entry on Chernobyl. In that entry, Raffles describes how Swiss science-artist and environmental activist Cornelia Hesse-Honegger collects, studies, and paints morphologically deformed leaf bugs that she finds in the proximity of nuclear power plants. In exploring how to begin to care about beings, such as leaf bugs, this article proposes a notion of care that combines an intimate knowledge practice with an ethical relationship to more-than-human others. Jacques Derrida's notion of 'abyssal intimacy' is central to such a combination. Hesse-Honegger's research practices enact and her paintings depict an 'abyssal intimacy' that deconstructs the oppositions between concerns about human suffering and compassion for seemingly irrelevant insects and between knowledge politics and ethics. At the heart of such a careful knowledge production is a fundamental passivity, based on a shared vulnerability. An abyssal intimacy is not something we ought to recognize; rather, it issues from particular practices of care that do not identify their subjects of care in advance. Caring or becoming affected thus entails the dissociation of affection not only from the humanist subject, but also from movements in time: from direct helping action and from the assumption that advocacy necessarily means speaking for an other, usually assumed to be inferior.

111 citations


Cites background from "Speculative Fabulations for Technoc..."

  • ...Toward a less anthropocentric notion of care: on the abyss in Heidegger and Derrida Many feminist authors have argued that care requires a re-orientation to time (Adam and Groves, 2011; Bird Rose, 2004; Haraway, 2011; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2015)....

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  • ...Many feminist authors have argued that care requires a re-orientation to time (Adam and Groves, 2011; Bird Rose, 2004; Haraway, 2011; Puig de la Bellacasa, 2015)....

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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors focus on what happens when accountability regimes, represented in calculative planning processes, migrate onto situated, sociomaterial practices, such as social justice practices of locally-based community organizations.
Abstract: This paper focuses on what happens when accountability regimes, represented in calculative planning processes, migrate onto situated, sociomaterial practices. Specifically, the article investigates what happens when the practices of results-based accountability (RBA) are translated into the social justice practices of locally-based community organizations. Based on the tenets of contemporary practice theory and a three-year participatory action research project with community organizations in Australia, the study illustrates that performance measurement and accountability frameworks such as RBA are not technologies that peer and measure innocently and disinterestedly from a distance. Rather, RBA, as a bundle of material-discursive practices, is part of the performance measuring apparatus creating differences that include some things and exclude others. We articulate some of the organizing practices of social justice in a locally-based community organization, follow their translation into RBA planning prac...

101 citations


Cites background from "Speculative Fabulations for Technoc..."

  • ...In this result-oriented view, ‘the present is only a vanishing point of transition’ toward a better future (Haraway, 2007, p. 2), whereas, in the lived experience of Southern Youth, the past, present and future are knotted together....

    [...]

References
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01 Jan 2014
TL;DR: A model of how one group of actors managed this tension between divergent viewpoints was presented, drawing on the work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, during its early years.
Abstract: Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on the work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, during its early years. Extending the Latour-Callon model of interessement, two major activities are central for translating between viewpoints: standardization of methods, and the development of 'boundary objects'. Boundary objects are both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust enough to maintain identity across them. We distinguish four types of boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and standardized forms.

7,800 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a model of how one group of actors managed the tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings in scientific work, and distinguish four types of boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and standardized forms.
Abstract: Scientific work is heterogeneous, requiring many different actors and viewpoints. It also requires cooperation. The two create tension between divergent viewpoints and the need for generalizable findings. We present a model of how one group of actors managed this tension. It draws on the work of amateurs, professionals, administrators and others connected to the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology at the University of California, Berkeley, during its early years. Extending the Latour-Callon model of interessement, two major activities are central for translating between viewpoints: standardization of methods, and the development of `boundary objects'. Boundary objects are both adaptable to different viewpoints and robust enough to maintain identity across them. We distinguish four types of boundary objects: repositories, ideal types, coincident boundaries and standardized forms.

7,634 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
12 May 2000
TL;DR: It is shown how to write arbitrary 2D patterns by using the nonclassical photon-number states method, and a factor of N = 2 can be achieved easily with entangled photon pairs generated from optical parametric down-conversion.
Abstract: Summary form only given. It has been known for some time that entangled photon pairs, such as generated by spontaneous parametric down conversion, have unusual imaging characteristics with sub-shot-noise interferometric phase measurement. In fact, Fonseca, et al., recently demonstrated resolution of a two-slit diffraction patterned at half the Rayleigh limit in a coincidence counting experiment. What we show is that this type of effect is possible not only in coincidence counting experiments, but also in real two-photon absorbing systems, such as those used in classical interferometric lithography. In particular, we will demonstrate that quantum entanglement is the resource that allows sub-diffraction limited lithography.

1,255 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Anthropologists have been committed, at least since Franz Boas, to investigating relationships between nature and culture, and this enduring interest was inflected with some new twists as mentioned in this paper.
Abstract: Anthropologists have been committed, at least since Franz Boas, to investigating relationships between nature and culture. At the dawn of the 21st century, this enduring interest was inflected with some new twists. An emergent cohort of “multispecies ethnographers” began to place a fresh emphasis on the subjectivity and agency of organisms whose lives are entangled with humans. Multispecies ethnography emerged at the intersection of three interdisciplinary strands of inquiry: environmental studies, science and technology studies (STS), and animal studies. Departing from classically ethnobiological subjects, useful plants and charismatic animals, multispecies ethnographers also brought understudied organisms—such as insects, fungi, and microbes—into anthropological conversations. Anthropologists gathered together at the Multispecies Salon, an art exhibit, where the boundaries of an emerging interdiscipline were probed amidst a collection of living organisms, artifacts from the biological sciences, and surprising biopolitical interventions.

1,226 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: The alpha-proteobacterium Wolbachia pipientis is a very common cytoplasmic symbiont of insects, crustaceans, mites, and filarial nematodes that has evolved a large scale of host manipulations: parthenogenesis induction, feminization, and male killing.
Abstract: ■ Abstract The fi-proteobacterium Wolbachia pipientis is a very common cyto- plasmic symbiont of insects, crustaceans, mites, and filarial nematodes. To enhance its transmission, W. pipientis has evolved a large scale of host manipulations: partheno- genesis induction, feminization, and male killing. W. pipientis's most common effect is a crossing incompatibility between infected males and uninfected females. Little is known about the genetics and biochemistry of these symbionts because of their fas- tidious requirements. The affinity of W. pipientis for the microtubules associated with the early divisions in eggs may explain some of their effects. Such inherited microor- ganisms are thought to have been major factors in the evolution of sex determination, eusociality, and speciation. W. pipientis isolates are also of interest as vectors for the modification of wild insect populations, in the improvement of parasitoid wasps in biological pest control, and as a new method for interfering with diseases caused by filarial nematodes.

1,215 citations