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  • gaia Archives - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    Home gaia The Age of Consequences by David Abram Gaia in turmoil January 13 2012 The Vanishing Face of Gaia by Alexander Zaitchik Are we prepared for whatever s coming March 17 2010 Pachamama by Chris Wood Ecuador provides the world with a bold new legal framework for protecting the biosphere March 2 2009 Based in Vancouver British Columbia Canada Adbusters is a not for profit magazine fighting back against

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/tag/gaia/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Peak Nature - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    new era of academic work where the point will not be to one up each other by appealing to the trace of the givenness of the openness of the clearing of the lighting of the being of the pencil Thinking past meta mode will at least bring us up to speed with the weirdness of things a weirdness that evolution ecology relativity and quantum theory all speak about This weirdness resides on the side of objects themselves not our interpretation of them When we flush the toilet we imagine that the U bend takes the waste away into some ontologically alien realm Ecology is now beginning to tell us of something very different a flattened world without ontological U bends A world in which there is no away Marx was partly wrong then when in The Communist Manifesto he claimed that in capitalism all that is solid melts into air He didn t see how a kind of hypersolidity oozes back into the emptied out space of capitalism a hypersolidity I call here hyperobjects This oozing real comes back and can no longer be ignored so that even when the spill is supposedly gone and forgotten there look There it is mile upon mile of strands of oil just below the surface square mile upon square mile of ooze floating at the bottom of the ocean The cosmic U bend is no more It can t be gone and forgotten even ABC News knows that now When I hear the word sustainability I reach for my sunscreen The End of the World When Neo touches a mirror in The Matrix it adheres to his hand instantly changing from reflective surface to viscous substance The very thing that we use to reflect becomes an object in its own right liquid and dark like oil in the dim light of the room in which Neo has taken the red pill The usual reading of this scene is that Neo s reality is dissolving If we stay on the level of the sticky oily mirror however we obtain an equally powerful reading It s not reality that dissolves but the subject the very capacity to mirror things to be separate from the world like someone looking at a reflection in a mirror removed from it by an ontological sheet of reflective glass The sticky mirror demonstrates the truth of what phenomenology calls ingenuousness or sincerity I m thinking here of the work of Ortega y Gasset Levinas and Graham Harman Objects are what they are in the sense that no matter what we are aware of or how there it is impossible to shake off In the midst of irony there you are being ironic Even mirrors are what they are no matter what they reflect In its ingenuous sincerity reality envelops us like a film of oil The mirror becomes a substance an object Hyperobjects push the reset button on sincerity just as Neo discovers that the mirror no longer distances his image from him in a nice aesthetically manageable way but sticks to him The beautiful reversibility of the oily melting mirror speaks to something that is happening in a global warming age precisely because of hyperobjects the simultaneous dissolution of reality and the overwhelming presence of hyperobjects which stick to us which are us The Greeks called it miasma the way blood guilt sticks to you Why objects why now The philosopher Graham Harman writes that because they withdraw irreducibly you can t even get closer to objects This becomes clearer as we enter the ecological crisis How far in are we This anxiety is a symptom of the emergence of hyperobjects When you approach them more and more objects emerge It s like being in a dream written by Zeno This strange paradox becomes clearer as we enter the age of ecological crisis Has it started yet How far in are we is the question on all our lips precisely because we are in it precisely because it has started It s November 2010 You are waiting at a bus stop Someone else ambles up Nice weather isn t it she asks You pause for a moment You wonder whether she is only saying that to distract you from the latest news about global warming You decide she isn t Yes you say But your reply holds something back the awareness that for you it s not a particularly nice day because you re concerned that the heat and the moisture have to do with global warming This holding back may or may not be reflected in your tone Mind you she says Oh here it comes you think Funny weather last week wasn t it I blame global warming We all have conversations that are more or less like that now Just as after 9 11 objects to which we may have paid attention an X Acto knife some white powder suddenly gained a terrible significance so in an age of global warming the weather that nice neutral backdrop that you can talk about with a stranger in that nice neutral backdrop y way we might call phatic after Roman Jakobson has taken on a menacing air In any weather conversation one of you is going to mention global warming at some point Or you both decide not to mention it but it looms over the conversation like a dark cloud brooding off the edge of an ellipsis This failure of the normal rhetorical routine these remnants of shattered conversation lying around like broken hammers they must take place everywhere is a symptom of a much larger and deeper ontological shift in human awareness Which in turn is a symptom of a profound upgrade of our ontological tools As anyone who has waited while the little rainbow circle goes around and around on a Mac knows these upgrades are not necessarily pleasant It is very much the job of humanists such as ourselves to attune ourselves to the upgrading process and to help explain it What is the upgrading process In a word the notion that we are living in a world one that for instance we can call Nature no longer exists in any meaningful sense except as nostalgia or in the temporarily useful local language of pleas and petitions We don t want a certain species to be farmed to extinction so we use the language of Nature to convince a legislative body We have a general feeling of ennui and malaise and create nostalgic visions of Hobbit like worlds to inhabit These syndromes have been going on now since as long as the Industrial Revolution began to take effect As a consequence of that revolution however something far bigger and more threatening is now looming on our horizon looming so as to abolish our horizon or any horizon in fact Global warming the consequence of runaway fossil fuel burning as we all know ad nauseam has performed a radical shift in the status of the weather Why Because the world as such not just a certain idea of world but world in its entirety has evaporated Or rather we are realizing that we never had it in the first place We could explain this in terms of the good old fashioned Aristotelian view of substance and accident I m sure you are familiar with the idea that for Aristotle a realist there are substances that happen to have various qualities or accidents that are not intrinsic to their substantiality In section Epsilon 2 of the Metaphysics Aristotle outlines the differences between substances and accidents What climate change has done is shift the weather from accidental to substantial Here s Aristotle Suppose for instance that in the season of the Cynosure the dog days of summer arctic cold were to prevail this we would regard as an accident whereas if there were a sweltering heatwave we would not And this is because the latter unlike the former is always or for the most part the case But these sorts of violent changes are exactly what global warming predicts So every accident of the weather becomes a potential symptom of a substance global warming So all of a sudden this wet stuff falling on my head is a mere feature of some much more sinister phenomenon that I can t see with my naked human eyes I need terabytes of RAM and extreme processing speed to model it in real time they were just able to do this in spring 2008 There is an even spookier problem with Aristotle s arctic summer If those arctic summers continue in any way and if we can model them as symptoms of global warming it is the case that there never was a genuine meaningful for us humans sweltering summer just a long period of sweltering that seemed real because it kept on repeating for say two or three millennia Global warming in other words plays a very mean trick It reveals that what we took to be a reliable world was actually just a habitual pattern a collusion between forces such as sunshine and moisture and us humans expecting such things at certain regular intervals and giving them names such as dog days We took weather to be real But in an age of global warming we see it as an accident a simulation of something darker more withdrawn climate As Harman argues world is always presence at hand a mere caricature of some real object What Ben Franklin and others in the Romantic period discovered was not really weather but rather a toy version of this real object a toy that ironically started to unlock the door to the real thing Strange weather patterns and carbon emissions caused scientists to start monitoring things that at first only appeared locally significant That s the old school definition of climate there s the climate in Peru the climate on Long Island but climate in general climate as the totality of derivatives of weather events in much the same way as inertia is a derivative of velocity climate as such is a beast newly recognized via the collaboration of weather scientists satellites government agencies and so on This beast includes the sun since it s infrared heat from the sun that is trapped by the greenhouse effect of gases such as CO2 So global warming is a colossal entity that includes entities that exist way beyond Earth s atmosphere and yet it affects us intimately right here and now Global warming is a prime example of what I am calling a hyperobject an object that is massively distributed in space time and that radically transforms our ideas of what an object is It covers the entire surface of Earth and most of the effects extend up to 500 years into the future Remember what life was like in 1510 You are walking on top of lifeforms Your car drove here on lifeforms The iron in Earth s crust is distributed bacterial excrement The oxygen in our lungs is bacterial out gassing Oil is the result of some dark secret collusion between rocks and algae and plankton millions and millions of years in the past When you look at oil you re looking at the past Hyperobjects are time stretched to such a vast extent that they become almost impossible to hold in mind And they are intricately bound up with lifeforms The spooky thing is we discover global warming precisely when it s already here It is like realizing that for some time you had been conducting your business in the expanding sphere of a slow motion nuclear bomb You have a few seconds for amazement as the fantasy that you inhabited a neat seamless little world melts away All those apocalyptic narratives of doom about the end of the world are from this point of view part of the problem not part of the solution By postponing doom into some hypothetical future these narratives inoculate us against the very real object that has intruded into ecological social and psychic space If there is no background no neutral peripheral stage set of weather but a very visible highly monitored publicly debated climate then there is no foreground Foregrounds need backgrounds to exist So the strange effect of dragging weather phenomena into the foreground as part of our awareness of global warming has been the gradual realization that there is no foreground The idea that we are embedded in a phenomenological lifeworld for instance tucked up like little hobbits in the safety of our burrow has been exposed as a fiction The specialness we granted ourselves as unravelers of cosmic meaning Heideggerian Dasein for instance falls apart since there is no meaningfulness possible in a world without a foreground background distinction Worlds need horizons and horizons need backgrounds which need foregrounds When we can see everywhere when I can Google Earth the fish in my mom s pond in her garden in London the world as a significant bounded horizoning entity disappears We have no world because the objects that functioned as invisible scenery for us as backdrops have dissolved World turns out to be an aesthetic effect based on a kind of blurriness and aesthetic distance This blurriness derives from an entity s ignorance concerning objects Only in ignorance can objects act like blank screens for the projection of meaning Red sky at night shepherd s delight is a charming old saw that evokes days when shepherds lived in worlds worlds bounded by horizons on which things occurred such as red sunsets The sun goes down the sun comes up of course now we know it doesn t so Galileo and Copernicus tore big holes in that particular notion of world Likewise as soon as humans know about climate weather becomes a flimsy superficial appearance that is a mere local representation of some much larger phenomenon that is strictly invisible You can t see or smell climate Given our brains processing power we can t even really think about it all that concretely You could say then that we still live in a world only massively upgraded True but now world means significantly less than it used to it doesn t mean significant for humans or even significant for conscious entities A simple experiment demonstrates plainly that world is an aesthetic phenomenon I call it The Lord of the Rings vs The Ball Popper test For this experiment you will need a copy of the second part of Peter Jackson s The Lord of the Rings trilogy You will also require a Playskool Busy Ball Popper made by Hasbro Now play the scene that I consider to be the absolute nadir of horror when Frodo captured by Faramir is staggering around the bombed out city Osgiliath when a Nazgul a Ringwraith attacks on a fell beast a terrifying winged dragon like creature Switch on the ball popper You will notice the inane tunes that the popper plays instantly undermine the coherence of Peter Jackson s narrative world The idea of world depends upon all kinds of mood lighting and mood music aesthetic effects that by definition contain a kernel of sheer ridiculous meaninglessness It s the job of serious Wagnerian worlding to erase the trace of this meaninglessness Jackson s trilogy surely is Wagnerian a total work of art or Gesamkunstwerk in which elves dwarves and men have their own languages their own tools their own architecture this is done to fascist excess as if they were different sports teams But it s easy to recover the trace of meaninglessness from this seamless world absurdly easy as the toy experiment proves Stupid Kids Toy 5 Wagnerian Tolkien Movie Nil What can we learn from this World a key concept in ecophenomenology is an illusion And objects for sure have a hidden weirdness In effect the Stupid Kids Toy translated the movie clashing with it and altering it in its own limited and unique way In Lakewood Colorado residents objected to the building of a solar array in a park in 2008 because it didn t look natural Objections to wind farms are similar not because of the risk to birds but because they spoil the view A 2008 plan to put a wind farm near a remote Scottish island was well scotched because residents of the island complained that their view would be destroyed This is truly a case of the aesthetics of Nature impeding ecology and a good argument for why ecology must be without Nature How come a wind turbine is less beautiful than an oil pipeline How come it spoils the view any more than pipes and roads You could see turbines as environmental art Wind chimes play in the wind some environmental sculptures sway and rock in the breeze Wind farms have a slightly frightening size and magnificence One could easily read them as embodying the aesthetics of the sublime rather than the beautiful But it s an ethical sublime that says We humans choose not to use carbon a choice visible in gigantic turbines Perhaps it s this very visibility of choice that makes wind farms disturbing visible choice rather than secret pipes running under an apparently undisturbed landscape a word for a painting not actual trees and water And now of course there are wind spires which do reproduce a kind of aesthetic distance common in landscape painting As a poster in the office of Mulder in The X Files used to say the truth is out there Ideology is not just in your head It s in the shape of a Coke bottle It s in the way some things appear natural rolling hills and greenery as if the Industrial Revolution had never occurred These fake landscapes are the original greenwashing What the Scots are saying in objecting to wind farms is not Save the environment but Leave our dreams undisturbed World is an

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/peak-nature/ (2016-02-09)
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  • The planet vs our Egos - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    decisions we make in this moment are what effectively create our tomorrow so what is it that decides what we do now Is the ego that we all hold so dear the single most dangerous elixir a blinding charm of identity that we cannot live without My name is Callum I am a Scorpio I am British I am slightly annoying I am compassionate I want to be understood I want to love well the great I that IS This ego is not visible or malleable but undeniably powerful We have all felt huffy petulance Who is it that feels offence and of what use is offence really if not a reaction of the illusory I Do we have an awareness beyond this mind and ego that thinks that ticks that solves that tocks Callum Golding Narrabundah Australia FROM Adbusters 120 Manifesto for World Revolution Part 3 Order this issue Subscribe to Adbusters Facebook Twitter Google Pinterest We are being trained IS Also In This Magazine They could have warned us Thanks to their choices we may be powerless to mitigate the worst effects of man made climate change December 30 2015 Witness the madness Attacks on scientists and policymakers

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/the-planet-vs-our-egos/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Absolut Archives - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    Ads Culture Shop Subscribe Donate Close Home Absolut Absolut Advertising by adbusters teaser teaser teaser February 1 2012 Based in Vancouver British Columbia Canada Adbusters is a not for profit magazine fighting back against the hostile takeover of our psychological

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/tag/absolut/ (2016-02-09)
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  • spoof ads Archives - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    Wall Street Buy Nothing Day Buy Nothing Xmas Spoof Ads Culture Shop Subscribe Donate Close Home spoof ads Meme Wars by adbusters teaser teaser teaser February 2 2012 Absolut Advertising by adbusters teaser teaser teaser February 1 2012 Based in Vancouver British Columbia Canada Adbusters is a not for profit magazine fighting back against the hostile takeover of our psychological physical and cultural environments by commercial forces About Submissions Reprints

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/tag/spoof-ads/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Future of Western Imagination - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    for example You have no confidence in yourself You are weak and inadequate was broadcast continuously for 15 hours a day 7 days a week for up to 2 months Not surprisingly psychic driving quickly became a torturous ordeal for the subjects Indeed Cameron s depatterning work suggested the mind control experiments being carried out in North Korea where Communist soldiers were allegedly turning captured POWs into robotically programmed acolytes The CIA eager to know more about brainwashing and to develop countervailing techniques of its own funded Cameron s work for three years under a project code named MKULTRA To break down their resistance to the incoming messages Cameron tranquilized his subjects with electroshocks LSD hypnosis or sleeping pills that kept them in unconscious suspension for up to 22 hours a day as the driving message played on If you don t recall Ewan Cameron s famous brainwashing experiments don t feel too bad neither do any of his patients Upon their release most had no memory of receiving treatment In some cases patients who had listened to hundreds of thousands of repetitions of their driving message could not repeat that message back even once Rip Van Winkle like these people were simply missing a chunk of their lives But something profound had clearly happened to them Immediately following the deprogramming trials they appeared stunned and disorganized Many could not remember their own names or how to eat or in fact much of anything that had gone on in their lives Even today Cameron s former patients report such symptoms as violent mood swings and the inability to concentrate enough to read In the broader sense though Ewan Cameron s work never really stopped Under new stewards and another guise the virtual lobotomies continued apace The subject pool expanded from

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/future-of-western-imagination/ (2016-02-09)
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  • pop Archives - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    Ads Culture Shop Subscribe Donate Close Home pop Post Cool by Ted Gioia Carving up the new frontier of style December 15 2011 Pop Nihilism Advertising Eats Itself by Douglas Haddow Mass media s codependent relationship with advertising has destined both industries to failure June 5 2009 Based in Vancouver British Columbia Canada Adbusters is a not for profit magazine fighting back against the hostile takeover of our psychological physical

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/tag/pop/ (2016-02-09)
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  • Sacré bleu! - Adbusters | Journal of the mental environment
    this mood that they pioneered abstraction In 1948 Clement Greenberg the most influential art critic at the time declared the end of Parisian prestige and the birth of a new cultural capital New York City Suddenly the entire lineage of l art français from Renoir to Latour from Monet and Rodin to Duchamp and Yves Klein was trumped by three machismo New Yorkers DeKooning Rothko and especially Pollock Abstract expressionism was born it shook the world and it was distinctly American And if you don t believe that Pollock had the power to single handedly steal modern art from Paris then you will surely agree that Warhol did The next blow came when Wittgenstein Heidegger and the booming of the Frankfurt school brought philosophy back into German hands Although this point is debatable the following events are not Burgundy Bordeaux and Montpellier lost out to Napa Valley in California Baguettes cheese and olives lost popularity to McDonalds other American food trends Parisian coffee and cigarettes were taken over by a corporate team comprised of Camel Marlboro and Starbucks In film though Godard was the real artist Hithchock Kubrick and Coppola raised the bar higher in America launching Hollywood into the stratosphere The world applauded when Marc Jacobs was nominated the artistic director of Louis Vuitton but to me this was the coup de grâce for French haute couture Jacobs deliberately dowdy self consciously ironic style became more trendy than chic ever was Unsure of who they are anymore the French are grasped in the clutches of a crise existentielle one that shows no signs of letting up amidst globalization America s cultural hegemony and the rise of China No one speaks their language anymore they lost the franc and they can no longer afford to give their citizens the high

    Original URL path: https://www.adbusters.org/article/sacre-bleu/ (2016-02-09)
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