[-empyre-] Beginning Week 1: Radical Aesthetics, EcoAesthetic Systems and Entanglements

margaretha haughwout margaretha.anne.haughwout at gmail.com
Mon Oct 9 10:46:06 AEDT 2017

Hi Randall,

Firstly thank you so much for taking on each aspect of this week's title
and thinking it through! I agree with you about the weakness of
nodes/networks/connections -- and systems language generally  -- to
describe the relationships at play in ecoaesthetics/ across difference and
the power of terms like entanglement and enlivenment... I also wonder if
these terms are ever at odds though (more on this as a separate post).

What I love about your terms terroirism and ecoaesthetic systems is that
they are not mere metaphors for arts practice; they are requirements for
social practice to extend into a space of, as you say, resiliency and
regeneration. I also love that you start with soil. In fact, it is so
appropriate that all of our discussants have focused on it in one way or
another; it all starts (and ends) with soil. As everyone has pointed out,
healthy soil food webs are critical for healthy ecologies/ nutritious food.
You point to a (downward) direction for artists to begin to actually root
and regenerate natureculture.

My last question is since most art practices end up serving and/or
mirroring capital, and I wonder (I am wondering this often -- it will be
revisted in week 3) if you see ways that this might be true for
ecoaesthetic systems, or if there is something fundamentally different and
resistive about these sets of practices that make them immune to

In kindness and gratitiude,


On Sat, Oct 7, 2017 at 10:18 AM, Randall Szott <placekraft at yahoo.com> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> I want to thank William and Norie for their thoughts and my fellow
> conversants for theirs as well. William - I read the article you suggested
> and it does resonate for me in many ways. One thing I will point out
> though, is that "sustainability" is not enough. The model of "sustainable"
> has been increasingly displaced in agricultural circles by "regenerative."
> Given the amount of damage being done in various domains (including the
> linguistic - thank you!), we need to do more than sustain, we must
> regenerate (heal, repair, improve).
> A last thought for the last part of the week's title. I find entanglement
> a powerful descriptive metaphor in describing systemic relationships, much
> more so than network/connection/node metaphors. However, I want to throw
> another term into the mix, one of a slightly larger descriptive frame -
> ENLIVENMENT. This concept comes from a feeling percolating for years that I
> couldn't quite name, it hovered near readings on pantheism, ecopsychology,
> and Kathleen Dean Moore's "Holdfast" or  David Abram's "Spell of the
> Sensuous" among others. Finally, I stumbled across  Andreas Weber's
> "Enlivenment" and the feeling had finally manifest in words, words which
> then coalesced into a framework that has shifted my thinking/feeling
> substantially. The essay is full of magic incantations - worldmaking,
> householding, poetic objectivity, empirical subjectivity, and the call to
> shift from the values of the Enlightenment (which Weber describes as an
> ideology of death) to Enlivenment. Briefly, he characterizes it this way:
> "...a new stage of cultural evolution that can safeguard our scientific
> (and democratic) ideals of common access to knowledge and the powers
> connected with it – while at the same time validating personal experience
> that is felt and subjective: the defining essence of embodied
> experience. The Enlivenment that I envision includes other animate beings,
> which, after all, share the same capacities for embodied experiences and
> «worldmaking.»
> Enlivenment therefore is not just another naturalist account to
> describe ourselves and our world that can then automatically dictate
> specific policies or economic solutions...[it is] a naturalism that is
> based on the idea of nature as an unfolding process of ever-growing freedom
> and creativity paradoxically linked to material and embodied processes. The
> biosphere is alive in the sense that it does not only obey the rules of
> deterministic or stochastic interactions of particles, molecules, atoms,
> fields and waves. The biosphere is also very much about producing agency,
> expression, and meaning."
> Onward, then in enlivened entanglements with each other and our nonhuman
> poetic collaborators!
> -r
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu
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