Home > insect media, Media ecology, Medianatures, visual culture > “We have never been human”

“We have never been human”

“We have never been human: between animality and techne” is the new special issue of Angelaki. It is released just now and features a range of exciting articles – spiderpigthanks to Ron Broglio for his work in getting this edited together.

I wrote a piece with a bizarre title “Insects and canaries” that has a certain sense of hybridity to it. It even started as one word, Insectcanaries (see also, Spiderpig).

More seriously, it is about visual and non-visual cultures of the eco crisis, and aesthetic epistemologies and ontologies of it all. It also elaborates on the term “medianatures” that I have been using recently. An abstract below.

This text focuses on how to think the visual culture of disappearance – more closely, disappearance of animals. It takes as its starting point the Ernst Jünger novel The Glass Bees from 1957 in order to start an excavation into obsolescence, animals and the ecological crisis. The aesthetic themes of visibility/invisibility are entangled with the ecological questions of disappearance and pollution. This sort of media ecological question is unravelled, furthermore, with examples concerning the mass extinction of bees, also discussed in Lenore Malen’s video installation The Animal That I Am (2009–10). In this way, it argues for a media theoretical understanding of the visual culture of ecocrisis as well as the complex question of epistemology of such a visibility/invisibility.

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