Indeed, this is it. As warnings of anthropogenic climate change, planetary temperature ascension, and the depletion of global water sources surge in tandem with cautionary tales of continued financial crises and political stupidity, the Earth has been conflated with a human- centred world, one divided, categorised, and made disparate through all-too-human regimes of representation. In this world, we have become inflexible; we partition off the real into separate and hierarchical categories in the name of human will and desire. In this world we have destroyed and neutralised eco-logical thought; that is, we have quashed the ability to think in terms of relations in the name of common-sense consensus and accord.
The task facing us as we spin into the future is thus not one of producing further agreement and unity, but rather one of dissensus. The world of which we speak does not exist “for us,” but is, instead, an indifferent field of resonant and sympoietic machines of matter, lively and uncontainable in its becomings, connections, and assemblages. The world is not our friend, nor is it our enemy. Human beings are part of the world, yes, but the world is not human, nor is it centred upon any sort of essential “human-ness.” Such a world therefore requires thought that is adequate to the world’s intensities, what we might call, following Félix Guattari (2000), an eco-logics, or here, ECOLOGIX.
ECOLOGIX is an ongoing research-creation platform that operates as a transversal process of dissident re-singularisation. The ECOLOGIX project was catalysed by an artist-in-residence position I held in 2016, which led to the development of a new research trajectory for me that was/is trying to grapple with the ways in which connections are made (or not made) between individuals and groups, theory and practice, concepts and material “reality,” and the operations of mediation that make these connections sensible, perceptible, and thinkable in the first place. The ECOLOGIX platform, as a (w)hole, is difficult to re-present, difficult to re-cognise, as it is, after all, positioned as a platform. Platforms are generic; they uphold things; bring things about; they allow things to happen, and do so modestly without drawing too much attention to themselves. Platforms are launching pads from which ideas may take off, in turn burning the platform to the ground. Thought of in this way, the ECOLOGIX platform is not a representation, or even a series of representations that can be conceptualised as totalised or totalising, but instead as a launch pad to experiment with each partial locus of expression in terms of its potential vectors of subjectification, (re) singularisation, and individuation. It is these dissident vectors of potentiality that might offer a divestment from violent over-determinations—the world made for us, in our all- too-human images of thought—in turn producing a-signifying ruptures wherein repetition itself becomes a process of creative assemblage, “forging new incorporeal objects, abstract machines, and universes of value” (Guattari The Three Ecologies).
Inspired by the conference theme and the question of how communication might occur between heterogeneous systems, this performative presentation will draw from the ECOLOGIX project in order to highlight, affirm, and (and potentially) frustrate the “zones of indeterminacy” created within artistic research in order to produce more adequate, or in Guattari’s words, eco-logical, modes of thinking. In this presentation, I will give a sense of the broader ECOLOGIX research platform, both in its conceptual and material iterations, by sharing some of the theoretical and methodological considerations that influenced the project, which will be interrupted by fragments of the various artistic interventions that “took off” from this platform.
about the author(s)
Jessie Beier is a teacher, artist, and PhD student based in Edmonton, Alberta. Beier’s interests in both visual and sonic ecologies have led to a research-creation practice that works to think pedagogy, in its many forms, as a power for overturning cliché and dismantling common-sense habits of thinking. Beier has exhibited artistic work and presented academic research both locally and nationally, and has written for several publications including the recent (2016) edited books Sonic Thinking: A Media Philosophical Approach (Bloomsbury), What is Art Education? Essays after Deleuze and Guattari (Palgrave Macmillan), and The Precarious Future of Education: Risk and Uncertainty in Ecology, Curriculum, Learning, and Technology (Palgrave Macmillan).
info & contact
University of Alberta, Edmonton, CA
jlbeier [AT] ualberta.ca