1471 – Radical Botany: Plants and Speculative Fiction by Natania Meeker and Antónia Szabari (book, 2019)

Radical Botany

Radical Botany is an extraordinary contribution to the burgeoning fields of plant studies and the nonhuman turn. The book succeeds beautifully in discovering and entwining an entire tradition of speculative botany that will reshape plant studies and posthumanist theory. I have no doubt this text will be eagerly devoured by readers.– Stacy Alaimo, author of Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times

 

DESCRIPTION

Radical Botany excavates a tradition in which plants participate in the effort to imagine new worlds and envision new futures. Modernity, the book claims, is defined by the idea of all life as vegetal. Meeker and Szabari argue that the recognition of plants’ liveliness and animation, as a result of scientific discoveries from the seventeenth century to today, has mobilized speculative creation in fiction, cinema, and art.

Plants complement and challenge notions of human life. Radical Botany traces the implications of the speculative mobilization of plants for feminism, queer studies, and posthumanist thought. If, as Michael Foucault has argued, the notion of the human was born at a particular historical moment and is now nearing its end, Radical Botany reveals that this origin and endpoint are deeply informed by vegetality as a form of pre- and posthuman subjectivity.

The trajectory of speculative fiction which this book traces offers insights into the human relationship to animate matter and the technological mediations through which we enter into contact with the material world. Plants profoundly shape human experience, from early modern absolutist societies to late capitalism’s manipulations of life and the onset of climate change and attendant mass extinction.

A major intervention in critical plant studies, Radical Botany reveals the centuries-long history by which science and the arts have combined to posit plants as the model for all animate life and thereby envision a different future for the cosmos.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Preface | vii

1. Radical Botany: An Introduction | 1

2. Libertine Botany and Vegetal Modernity | 28

3. Plant Societies and Enlightened Vegetality | 56

4. The Inorganic Plant in the Romantic Garden | 86

5. The End of the World by Other Means | 114

6. Plant Horror: Love Your Own Pod | 144

7. Becoming Plant Nonetheless | 171

Acknowledgments | 203

Notes | 205

1420

«The Romans stole the alphabeta system from the Greeks through war», explains Rammellzee. «Then, in medieval times, monks ornamented letters to hide their meaning from the people. Now, the letter is armored against further manipulation.»

New York graffiti artist and B-boy theoretician Rammellzee (the artist encases himself during gallery performances in Gasholeer, a 148-pound, gadgetry-encrusted exoskeleton inspired by an android he painted on a subway train in 1981. Four years in the making, Rammellzee’s exuberantly low-tech costume bristles with rocket launchers, nozzles that gush gouts of flame, and an all-important sound system.)

«From both wrists, I can shoot seven flames, nine flames from each sneaker’s heel, and colored flames from the throat. Two girl doll heads hanging from my waist and in front of my balls spit fire and vomit smoke… The sound system consists of a Computator, which is a system of screws with wires. These screws can be depressed when the keyboard gun is locked into it. The sound travels through the keyboard and screws, then through the Computator, then the belt, and on up to the four mid-range speakers (with tweeters). This is all balanced by a forward wheel from a jet fighter plane. I also use an echo chamber, Vocoder, and system of strobe lights. A coolant device keeps my head and chest at normal temperature. A 100-watt amp and batteries give me power.»

«slanguage» – a heavily encrypted hip-hop argot – is the linguistic equivalent of graffiti «tags» all over the mother tongue. In an essay on English as the imperial language of the Internet, the cultural critic McKenzie Wark argues for the willful, viral corruption of the lingua franca of global corporate monoculture as a political act.

Black to the Future: Afrofuturism 1.0

Mark Dery


1393

Based on his pioneering work in the recent book High Weirdness: Drugs, Esoterica, and Visionary Experience in the Seventies, author and podcaster Erik Davis will explore the phenomenon of occult revivals, comparing and contrasting some of the factors that made the early 1970s and the late 2010s hotbeds of occultism, witchcraft, and visionary experience. Featuring films by visual artists Dustin Wong and Amanda Siegel.


The Politics of High Weirdness: a Litquake talk with Erik Davis and RU Sirius

For Litquake 2019, Erik Davis spoke with RU Sirius about the politics of high weirdness, then and now.


High Weirdness By Mail  by Ivan Stang

This hysterical hobbyist’s guide belongs in every hip library. Coot cat Reverend Ivan Stang, high holy of the Church of the SubGenius, has compiled a bestiary of American creeps and crazies so that you can write to them and receive mail that is weird, horrible, wonderfully absurd, or a combination of all three.

goodreads   /  wikipedia

280 – A Sound of Thunder (2005)

spacetime coordinates:  Chicago, 2055 > the cretaceous

A Sound of Thunder is a 2005 science fiction thriller film directed by Peter Hyams, and starring Edward BurnsCatherine McCormack and Ben Kingsley. It is a co-production film between the United Kingdom, the United States, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0318081/

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a classic example of “failed return” or “no return” cautionary tales is A Sound of Thunder by Ray Bradbury published in 1952. on a personal level i love both the EC comic book adaptation with artwork by Al Williamson and the 2005 movie adaptation by Peter Hyams that was a box office flop and has receive mostly negative reviews by critics. the original story features one of the first instances of the butterfly effect, in particular as applied to time travel paradoxes and uncontrollable evolutionary/ political outcomes. this was way before it became a meteorologic mainstay of chaos theory after its use by Edward Lorenz to describe stormy ripple-like effects on nonlinear systems, seemingly very sensitive to minute initial conditions.   sound-of-thunder-ec-comics-1the movie A Sound of Thunder features a time travel tourist agency from the year 2055. Time Safari Inc. is a chronocapitalist enterprise that organizes prehistoric retro-hunting expeditions to far-off epochs where dinosaurs roamed the earth. in order to do that, mankind is cheating on the big dinosaur mass extinction. long after humankind has killed most of the big game life on earth it tracks down other, more elusive and ferocious megafauna. the whole ‘hunting’ for the ultimate predator T-Rex (or an Allosaurus in the movie) turns out to be a very complex business. the paleo-poaching is based on hiding your acts under the cover of natural occurrences, trophy hunting pretending to be a mass extimction event. in order to fake the killing shot one must plan ahead every retro-killing move. practically Time Safari Inc. is cheating evolutionary history by trying to synchronize with ‘naturally’ occurring death events and extract entertainment value out of impossible inter-species encounters, normally separated by enormous gulfs of time. (…)

a-sound-of-thunder-illustrated-by-franz-altschuler-565-playboy-june-1956

geohistory becomes a perfect crime scene – where the time traveling expedition has to erase all traces – all influence that might otherwise impact the future with definite catastrophic (especially anthropic future) results. as often, humans are kind of role-playing hide and seek with natural selection. in this bizarre and strange inversion of the anthropocenic stratigraphic proof – masquerades as natural force, where a devious human causality is trying to hide behind a pre-human mass extinction event. it is almost the same principle guiding the climate denialist that pretends to hide behind previous catastrophic climate fluctuations.sound of thunderas one might expect, it’s a chronoclysm waiting to happen. all the clients of  Time Safari Inc. are prone to making mistakes, and not only do they leave marks (the absolute no 1 rule of time travel is non-intervention) but they also bring back something (the 2nd most important rule) basically invariably smuggling the prehuman past into the future. somehow a prehistoric dead butterfly makes it through the biofilter (a great example of what I would call New Wallace Lines) that is scanning every living reentry into the present, every possibility of warping the timelines. the alteration of the past produces a chronoclysm that manifests itself as a rhythmic, rapidly accelerating ‘time waves’ that transform the city and its denizens. more to the point in the Peter Hyams movie, the first divergence is a sudden appearance of teeming swarms of beetles and a gigantic strangler fig-like tree bursting through a Chicago high rise building, while the main characters Ryan and Rand make a narrow escape. it is by no means accidental that swarms and insect swarms in particular are associated with time waves. multiply proliferating and and highly distributed, swarms are chronoclysmic purveyors that help carry and suffer the radical effects of timeline distortion. sound of thunder 3there are reports of global increases in temperature and humidity and plant life seems to prosper, while this time warped climate change suddenly seems to be echoing sweltering hot pre-human conditions of long gone geological epochs and dead jungles. (…)

stefan tiron – Cosm/c Dr/ft & T3mporal D/vergence (2016)- EXIT THE PORTAL: The Strange Comeback to a Weird Earth