Horizon as Object

Hyperobjects can be partially mapped or traced out as networks of effects—as transformational spaces. The relationship between horizons and the transformational space of hyperobjects is neatly articulated by Gregory Bateson, who gives the example of a blind man making prosthetic use of a cane:

“Where do I start? Is my mental system bounded at the handle of the stick? Is it bounded by my skin? Does it start halfway up the stick? But these are nonsense questions. The stick is a pathway along which the transforms of difference are being transmitted. The way to delineate the system is to draw the limiting line in such a way that you do not leave things inexplicable. If what you are trying to explain is a given piece of behaviour, such as the locomotion of the blind man, then, for this purpose, you will need the street, the stick, the man; the street, the stick, and so on, round and round. But when the blind man sits down to eat his lunch, his stick and its messages will no longer be relevant — if it is his eating that you want to understand.” (Bateson, 2000: 465)

The network of transformations is continuous, and the drawing of a horizon, a “limiting line” is necessarily a severing of some connections. Horizons are provisional, belonging to a particular encounter with a network of transformations. There is no ultimate horizon, because there is no end to the effects and transformations that could be included in the network.


Carl Douglas, Ring A (Haast), 2011

Carl Douglas, Ring B (Route Burn), 2011

Carl Douglas, Ring C (Lake Harris), 2011



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