[-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 3]

John Jordan artactivism at gn.apc.org
Wed Jun 20 19:24:39 AEST 2018

 “The new picture of reality that the arts and sciences promise is one of a deeply sentient and meaningful universe. It is poetic – productive of new life forms and ever-new embodied experiences. It is expressive of all the subjective experiences that individuals make. It is a universe where human subjects are no longer separated from other organisms but rather form a meshwork of existential relationships – a quite real ‘web of life’. “Andreas Weber , Enlivenment: Towards a fundamental shift in the concepts of nature, <https://www.boell.de/en/2013/02/01/enlivenment-towards-fundamental-shift-concepts-nature-culture-and-politics> culture and politics, 2013 Heinrich Böll Foundation. 

The key is that we begin to think like a forest which means become sensitive to its sensitivity, to the sense of  every being in it, from the mycelial hyphe that spread through the ground building soil and feeding the forest, to the ants that farm and  harvest mushrooms, the woodpecker that profits from the fungi that rot wood to build her nest. The forest is a a wave of life, ever moving, ever adapting, ever weaving spaces that enable forms of life to flower, ever changing and diversifying. But the key lesson it gives us 21st century humans is inhabiting,  how do we  really inhabit worlds, which means giving up the hyper mobility of the cultural class and learning to become the territory rather than floating over it with our virtual networks and airplanes. 

We must see the forest and its life as our teachers, sometimes teaching us things that are totally counterintuitive to our cultural frames, such as the fact that the spores of Arbuscural Mycorrhizae (non mushroom forming mycelium that connects 95 % of the plant roots on the planet) have more than one nuclei, in fact many of them have between 800 and 35, 000 DIFFERENT nuclei and not all the same DNA but the Genetic material of other fungi AND other species !! These warehouses of genetic information defy the biological species concept !!!! 

Like lovers carve their names on trees, the earliest books were engraved on beech bark, hence the origins of the word “book” - “boc” meaning “beech tree”.
Under the canopy of an ancient Athenian olive grove, home to Plato’s academy, Phaedrus asked Socrates why he never ventured beyond the city walls into the countryside. “I'm a lover of learning” Socrates answered “trees and open country won't teach me anything, whereas men in the town will.” The grove was later chopped down to make siege machines.
The soundtrack of western “civilisation” is the noise of the book of ‘nature' being slammed shut and the rumble of war machines approaching. We are told that Nature is mute, it has nothing to teach us, except that it is a battlefield of all against all. But as the war against our climate and ecosystems tips the physiology of the planet into chaos, the myth that Nature is just ‘red in tooth and claw’, is unravelling.
The more we study the living world the more we come to realise that the tendency is actually to associate, build relationships, and cooperate. From trees that work with fungi to share sugars and information between themselves to bees pollinating flowers, nature abounds with reciprocity. The fittest are in fact those that relate the best. Perhaps it’s no surprise that a culture that rewards greed and domination would rather we forget the true lessons of the natural world. Perhaps its no surprise that capitalism wants us to be mobile and rootless, because then we cannot fall in love with a place and if your not in love with a place then you can never defend it from being destroyed and turned into another machine of profit and growth for the gods of the economy.
Susan simards work on the relationships between trees in forests is gorgeous….she calls it the WOOD WIDE WEB. 

PETER MACOY’s BOOK - RADICAL MYCOLOGY is a gem of art, activism and science merging together in  practice and philosophy - 
THE RADICAL MYCOLOGY WEB SITE HAS SOME GREAT WEBINARS and resources for those of us who want to become fungi and forests...


here is to the mysteries of mycelium, the bridges between life and death...
yours JJ
AKA my new drag performance MISS CELIUM

> On 20 Jun 2018, at 03:58, Aviva Rahmani <ghostnets at ghostnets.com> wrote:
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Just a quick comment on trees and hierarchies, vertical space doesn’t necessarily imply hierarchy. A tree’s canopy, for example is at least as important to its survival as its roots and all the interconnected mycellae of its underground networks. I would suggest a more realistic conceptualization of these spatial relationships would be to consider permaculture- in which each spatial layer is equally important and all are interconnected. Further more, it might be considered that any trees’ role is grounded in watershed dynamics, the atmosphere, soil, food webs, etc. Even a sentinel tree is only an artifact of these much larger relationships. Re: rehearsals for a network and other systems, it might be interesting to consider about the sentinel tree, that what is obvious may not be what’s important to pay attention to. The corollary in present politics is that the strong man may not be the real danger. It is the followers of the strong man and why they follow.
> Aviva Rahmani, PhD
> www.ghostnets at ghostnets.com <http://www.ghostnets@ghostnets.com/>
> Watch ³Blued Trees²:  https://vimeo.com/135290635 <https://vimeo.com/135290635> 
> www.gulftogulf.org <http://www.gulftogulf.org/> 
> From: <empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre-bounces at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>> on behalf of "Vanouse, Paul" <vanouse at buffalo.edu <mailto:vanouse at buffalo.edu>>
> Reply-To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>>
> Date: Tuesday, June 19, 2018 at 3:18 PM
> To: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au <mailto:empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au>>
> Subject: Re: [-empyre-] rehearsal of a network - [week 3]
> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
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