February 25, 2014 2 Comments
February 21, 2014 2 Comments
On 9 February 2014 a young giraffe named Marius was killed by bolt gun in Copenhagen Zoo. Marius’ body was dissected in front of a crowd comprised of young children, parents, and an international media throng – a public lesson in giraffe anatomy. His carcass was then fed to the lions. The zoo had deemed Marius surplus to requirements, since any of his future offspring would diminish, rather than enhance, the captive giraffe population’s genetic diversity. Like most Scandinavian zoos, Copenhagen holds that sexual reproduction is central to animal welfare and wellbeing, and prefers euthanasia of a few young animals to contraception for many (contraception having potentially debilitating side effects). Hence, a single giraffe was killed in the name of the genetic diversity of his worldwide kin, illustrating the inseparability of ‘good’ biopolitics (the power to make valued life live) and ‘bad’ biopolitics (the power to kill or let die in the name of other valued life) in the more-than-human world of the zoo. The central task of Irus Braverman’s Zooland is to understand how biopolitics take form within a relation of pastoral care in the zoo. Continue reading Franklin Ginn’s review here
January 28, 2014 3 Comments
Book Forum On an Ungrounded Earth, reviewed by Kai Bosworth, Harlan Morehouse, Rory Rowan and Jordan Skinner
Ben Woodard, On an Ungrounded Earth: Towards a New Geophilosophy New York, Punctum Books, 2013, 118 pages. ISBN-13: 978-0615785387. OPEN-ACCESS e-book + $12.00 [€11.00] in print. (http://punctumbooks.com/category/titles/ben-woodard/)
Ben Woodard’s On an Ungrounded Earth is an innovative work of philosophy with a powerful aesthetic allure. It is also a timely book situated at the intersection of two emerging trends in contemporary thought: so-called ‘speculative realism’ in Continental philosophy, and the ‘geological turn’ in the humanities and social sciences. Woodard leads his readers into dark and circuitous corridors, at turns subterranean and cosmic, through the Naturphilosophie of the German idealist F.W.J. Schelling, the mutant philosophies of Georges Bataille, Nick Land and Reza Negarestani, and the uncanny worlds of science fiction populated with Lovecraftian horrors and alien death stars, before resurfacing at a rather unsettling terminus: a planet Earth which is neither ‘whole world’ or secure ‘ground,’ but a clump of decaying matter, enslaved to the sun’s energy and indifferent to the plight of humanity. Continue reading here
Harlan Morehouse, In Space no one can hear you philosophize
Rory Rowan, Undermining the Ends of the Earth
In addition to this forum, Jordan Skinner offers a philosophical topology to locate the genealogy of Woodard’s ideas and forms.
Jordan Skinner, A Philosophical Topology
January 6, 2014 1 Comment
James Sidaway reviews The Return of Geopolitics in Europe? Social Mechanisms and Foreign Policy Identity Crises. The book is edited by Stefano Guzzini, who has six chapters of his own included in the text. Other chapter authors are Petr Drulák, Andreas Behnke, Elisabetta Brighi and Fabio Petito, Pinar Bilgin, Merje Kuus, and Alexander Astrov and Natalia Morozova. The book was published by Cambridge last year.
January 3, 2014 2 Comments
Carlos Reboratti reviews Geografía y cultura visual. Los usos de las imágenes en las reflexiones sobre el espacio [Geography and Visual Culture: Uses of Images in the Reflections on Space], a volume edited by Carla Lois and Veronica Hollman and published by Prohistoria and the National University of Rosario, Argentina in 2013.
Geography and vision have recently received renewed interest in South America and continental Europe. The Brazilian journal Espaco e Cultura recently published the Purtuguese translation of an exchange between Gillian Rose and Felix Driver on this theme which appeared in Antipode in 2003. This is followed by a postscript by Driver (with English translation) and features alongside various interesting research articles on spatial representations spanning the visual arts and cinema.
A review of Italian geographer Elisa Bignante’s Geografia e ricerca visuale [Geography and Visual Research] appeared on the Open Site last year.