[-empyre-] FW: Welcome Byron Rich to the September discussion

Byron Rich brich at allegheny.edu
Tue Sep 18 10:04:18 AEST 2018

Hi all,

Alex's in-depth and wonderfully articulated response to Paul seems a
perfect transition into our third guest, Paula Burleigh, formerly of the
Whitney and now a colleague at Allegheny College.

Paula, maybe you can help unpack some of Alex's thoughts, especially on the
conservative adoption of "carrying capacity" as a rallying cry for
immigration reform not just in the USA, but also in Greece, Italy, and, as
I experienced last week, Sweden, where the re-emergence (or more
frighteningly more accepted) of anti-zionist/anti-Islamic sentiments that
seem to be less fringe than in my, albeit short, millennial memory. I think
of Moreshin Allahyari's work *She Who Sees the Unknown: HUMA *from 2016
where she pusses back against colonialism with "forgotten goddesses" in an
act of resistance.

Paul, Alex, maybe you can work in some more about your own work.


On Mon, Sep 10, 2018 at 7:10 AM Alex Young <info at worldshaving.info> wrote:

> ----------empyre- soft-skinned space----------------------
> Greetings Byron, Paul, and those reading (and thank you Byron for inviting
> me to participate in this discussion);
> First, I'd like to thank Paul for beginning with that description of
> embodied experience regarding corporeal and spatial relations to the
> boundaries of abstract political entities.
> In response to Byron's prompt, with consideration to Benedict Anderson,
> the modern nation state is nothing if not the product of technological
> mediation (print media).  That said, perhaps what we are perceiving as a
> modification in the form of nationalism in the present is a symptom of how
> it may share less with prior periods of heightened expression of national
> identity such as the 19th C's rampant imaginary identity formation and
> consolidation of power, late 19th/ early 20th C imperial expansion and
> subsummation of territory, and 20th C conflict of geopolitical epistemes
> than its retrogressive appearance might suggest.  The current climate of
> nationalism--and the attendant hatred and discrimination of those
> determined to be 'other'--is more a product of a defense of the idea of the
> nation-state in the form of individual nation states.  In this sense the
> nation-state operates as a successful meme (in the Dawkinsian sense) that
> has mutated into its current form and will continue to struggle to survive
> and replicate itself until another socio-politico-technological system
> forces it to cease.  However, given the proliferation and power of
> non-state organizations that operate platforms that do not exist solely
> within any particular sovereign territory, the nation-state looks more and
> more atavistic... this has almost certainly fueled a degree of fear and
> uncertainty particularly among those indoctrinated in beliefs that are
> pretty much incompatible with (or antagonistically in denial of) current
> realities.
> As for my current research-practice, I have found myself revisiting
> Bateson's 'ecology of bad ideas' paired with Dawkin's conception of the
> 'meme' in an excavation of the development of environmental movements in
> the 19th and 20th C and particularly as they intersect with ideas of
> Neo-Malthusian and anti-human population growth... which, in part, began in
> response to some of Donna Haraway's more recent essays.  While many who
> lived through the 1960-70s will likely recall elements of Hugh Moore's
> Population Bomb and Paul Ehrlich's book of the same name after him or
> perhaps The Limits to Growth... there are seemingly countless lines that
> can be drawn through State, NGO, and activist organizations that
> simultaneously exist on all ends of the conventional political spectrum.
> Of particular interest to this discussion may be the way in which planetary
> concerns of 'carrying capacity' have been muddled (beyond their original
> intent) and outright co-opted by conservative anti-immigration and
> white-nationalist groups in the 70s by figures like John Tanton--a former
> Chair of the Sierra Club Population Committee and President of the Paul
> Ehrlich founded Zero Population Growth who would later found and take on
> lead roles in a veritable who's who of anti-immigration hate to
> hate-adjacent groups including Federation for American Immigration Reform,
> NumbersUSA, and numerous others.  Of course, Tanton is by no means an
> isolated incident in a realm most  associate with left politics but rather
> merely a somewhat easy named example.  I will leave it there for now, but
> there is a whole different spectrum coming from Deep Ecology and far-right
> environmentalism that I have also been excavating through the lens of
> Norwegian Black Metal celebrity Varg Vikernes' activity as an alt-right
> YouTube vlogger... but that is a story for another day...
> -A
> _______________________________________________
> empyre forum
> empyre at lists.artdesign.unsw.edu.au
> http://empyre.library.cornell.edu


*Byron Rich Assistant Professor of Art*
*Director of Art & Technology*
*Affiliated Faculty - **Integrative Informatics *

*Allegheny College*
Doane Hall of Art, A204
Meadville, PA
(o) 814.332.3381

*Interim Chair of **Exhibitions** & Events - New Media **Caucus*

*Editor - Empyre Soft Skinned Space*
www.empyre.library.cornell.edu/ <http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/>

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