Once upon the Cephalopodocene

Just to go back to the article by Donna Haraway mentioned in the previous post—it’s pretty good in the way she describes the incredible complexity of the biosphere as a whole, single system. When we look at it like that it’s obviously impossible that we could harm it in any permanent way. I also like Haraway because she is trying to reverse the usual understanding of the anthropocene, or using the discourse of the anthropocene opportunistically to turn attention away from the human economy to the larger biophysical economy.

The main question has to do with diversity, and I bring this up partly in response to the recent post on the same topic on miami bourbaki. As Stephen Jay Gould pointed out, each extinction produced a narrower range of options for life, but within that range diversity remains great. Some readers might have encountered a recent internet meme that octopi are aliens. Their DNA is apparently very rich, with a greater than normal range of options. That just suggests that they are a very old species. How can we connect this to art? If we look at the art world as a system, diversity is decreasing. If we look at the past of art, or of abstraction, unrealized possibilities are many. Yuge in fact.



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