[-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.

B

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 *

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www.empyre.library.cornell.edu/ <http://empyre.library.cornell.edu/>

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