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Readings: Feral Atlas - Feral Atlas & Anna Tsing et al., Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet | Organizers: Jasmijn Leeuwenkamp, Chen Zhou, Giulia Bellinetti, Jetske Brouwer, Bo Wang | Contact: Eloe Kingma

Event details of ASCA Theory Seminar: Environment
Date 25 November 2021
Time 15:00 -17:00

Thursday 25 November 3-5 pm. | zoom:

In this session, we will the look at different ways in which entanglements with all kinds of species, past and present, are reflected by certain ‘ghosts’ and ‘monsters’, and how these stories of entanglement might tell us something about how to live on a damaged planet. We will look at particular environments from the perspectives of food entanglements, plant transportations, and practices of rewilding, and discuss the notion of ‘Holobiont’, in order to illustrate how these practices and concepts show signs of ‘ghosts’ and ‘monsters’ that can be meaningful for understanding what it means to live in the Anthropocene. We will also pay attention to the form of the Feral Atlas and the experience it generates, reflecting on the way we as scholars ‘show’ entanglements in a broad sense.


The following texts are selected:

Here is also an overview of the themes each of the presenters will focus on:

Chen Zhou

My presentation is based on a 2-day tour to an ecological farm which puts great emphasis on cultivating multispecies entanglement through agriculture. Inspired by Feral Atlas, I will illustrate a map to indicate how the entanglement my friends and I observed and experienced on the ecological farm spreads across different times, locations and contexts. By following the practices of rebuilding entanglements with food, I try to reveal some nuanced conflicts between entanglement cultivation and capital market/mobile modernity, asking that if there is no boundary of entanglement, then how to keep entangled with elements eroding ecological entanglements.

Jetske Brouwer

By comparing practices of ‘trophic wilding’ or ‘rewilding’ (as described in Tsing et al.) with metaphorical wilding, focusing on practices of care, I will discuss the potential risks of these seemingly subversive and alternative modes of organising and living. I also aim to explore how such risks can be avoided – partly by invoking (the concept of) ‘ghosts’.

Giulia Bellinetti

My presentation will look at Feral Atlas and Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet as forms of conducting and disseminating transdisciplinary research in the Anthropocene. I will focus on the ways these forms aim to construct a “playful, performative apparatus” in which knowledge can be created through disciplinary differences and offer a pluriverse account of planetary and patchy landscapes. I will consider the potential and the challenges of this enterprise, through the reactions it will trigger in the human environment of the ASCA Theory Seminar 2022.

Bo Wang

I will make a presentation based on my 2019 film Many Undulating Things, which, among many other things, examines the role of plants and nature in the spatial configuration of colonial Hong Kong. By focusing on the concept of acclimatization, the film also shows how the glass box structure of Wardian Case, initially invented for global plants transportation, transmutates into modern shopping malls with profound implications in the neoliberalization of global cities today. I will respond to the concepts of "monster" and "ghost" from our reading, which were actually both used in the film too.

Jasmijn Leeuwenkamp

I will focus on the notions of ‘species autonomy’ and ‘individuality’ that are challenged by the concept of the ‘Holobiont’, relating this challenge to philosophical questions on personhood, autonomy and individual rights. How does this insight relate to the theory of posthumanism? I will also discuss the implications that this notion of the Holobiont might have for our methodologies: if our subjects are so complexly entangled then to what extent should our scientific disciplines be entangled as well?