Dark Ecologies – Morton / Kahn

Auckland: Wednesday May 25th, 10.30-12pm, Lecture room WS 114, City Campus AUT University, 34 St Paul Street

How do we sense and make sense of immense phenomena, such as climate change, or radiation, which are real, but real in ways which most of us do not directly experience? As ecotheorist Timothy Morton puts it, “It is very hard to get used to the idea that the catastrophe, far from being imminent, has already taken place”.

Morton, together with media arts historian Douglas Kahn, will discuss ways in which we can think about the challenges to humanity of nonsentient entities, like climate change and radioactivity, phenomena Morton calls ‘hyperobjects’. They ask, how can we productively respond to these challenges with the energies available to us? How do we radically question the ways in which we understand and interact with what used to be known as ‘nature’?

Douglas Kahn is Professor of Media and Innovation at the National Institute of Experimental Arts (NIEA), University of New South Wales. Until recently, he was Professor of Science and Technology Studies at University of California, Davis. He is the editor of Source: Music of the Avant-Garde. and the author of Noise, Water, Meat: A History of Sound in the Arts, which has been highly influential and remains the benchmark text concerning sound-based art. Forthcoming books include Mainframe Experimentalism, a collection on early computing and the arts, and Earth Sound Earth Signal, on the geophysical trade of acoustics and electromagnetism in communications, science and the arts. www.douglaskahn.com

Timothy Morton is Professor of English (Literature and the Environment) at UC Davis. His interests include literature and the environment, ecotheory, philosophy, biology, physical sciences, literary theory, food studies, sound and music, materialism, poetics, Romanticism, Buddhism, and the eighteenth century. His two most recent books, The Ecological Thought (Harvard UP, April 2010) and Ecology Without Nature (Harvard UP, 2007; paperback 2009), have had a wide and transformative impact on how ecology is conceived within the arts and humanities. Tim blogs at www.ecologywithoutnature.blogspot.com

Brought to you by Now Future, in conjunction with Dunedin School of Art, Otago Polytechnic, AUT University, the ADA Network, Dunedin Public Art Gallery and the National Institute of Experimental Arts, UNSW, Sydney.

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