Filed under book | Tags: · anthropocene, botany, forest, nature, science fiction
“Taking its title from Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1972 novella, The Word for World Is Still Forest curates an homage to the forest as a turbulent, interconnected, multinature.
Moving from concepts of the forest as a thinking organism to the linear monocultural plantations that now threaten the life of global forests, the volume includes an interview with anthropologist Eduardo Kohn on perspectival multinatural semiotics based on his observations in Ecuador as well as a piece by Canadian forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, with visualizations by Kevin Beiler, examining how fungi networks uptake nutrients of salmon brought from sea to river to land by grizzlies and wolves. Curator Dan Handel presents an excerpted exhibition on “wood” as a vital element of forest mythology and the driver of industrial resource management. Media designer and data curator Yanni A. Loukissas adds a series of reflections on botanical data from Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum.
An original typography of tree forms from artist Katie Holten’s Tree Alphabet reconnects the paper of the book page to its forest genealogy. Brazilian architect and urbanist Paulo Tavares contributes an annotated visual composition on Amazonian human rights violations and indigenous struggle, highlighting the hybrid literacies required by resistance movements fighting illegal logging and plantations. Shannon Lee Castleman also addresses illegal logging in her photo essay on the incremental harvesting practices in the diminished tropical forests of Indonesia, while the landscape architect Sandra Bartoli offers a little known history of the ancient trees of the urban forest known as the Berlin Tiergarten and Silvan Linden portrays a case study of Berlin’s ever-more controversial urban “wild.” The Nonuya elder and shaman Abel Rodríguez contributes an oral narrative of the Ancestral Tree of Plenty, transcribed in collaboration with the Tropen Bos International Colombia forest conservation group, alongside a series of his drawings of medicinal plants used for botanical conservation efforts. In resonance, the book also contains an essay by Pedro Neves Marques about the particularity of Amerindian images of naturecultures. Finally, the book includes excerpts of Ursula K. Le Guin’s original text, The Word for World Is Forest.”
With contributions by Sandra Bartoli, Shannon Lee Castleman, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Eduardo Kohn, Ursula K. Le Guin, Silvan Linden, Yanni A. Loukissas, Abel Rodríguez, Suzanne Simard & Kevin Beiler, Paulo Tavares, and others.
Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin
Publisher K. Verlag & Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2017
Intercalations series, 4
Filed under journal | Tags: · animal, biology, botany, environment, ethnography, multispecies
“The emerging field of multispecies studies, grounded in passionate immersion in the lives of fungi, microorganisms, animals, plants, and others, is opening up novel ways of engaging with worlds around us. This issue brings together some of the leading scholars in this field to explore what is at stake—epistemologically, politically, ethically—for different forms of life caught up in diverse relationships of knowing and living together. The collection takes us into the worlds of sheep and shepherds; of stones, worms, salmon, and forest-devouring beetles; of viruses and their elephants; of seals, crows, and lava flows in Hawaii; and finally of frogs-as-pregnancy-tests and possible agents of pathogenic fungal spread. Each of the contributors explores what difference curious and careful attention to others might make in our efforts to inhabit and coconstitute flourishing worlds in these difficult times.”
Edited by Thom van Dooren, Ursula Münster, Eben Kirksey, Deborah Bird Rose, Matthew Chrulew, and Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing
Publisher Duke University Press, May 2016
Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0
David Freedberg: The Eye of the Lynx: Galileo, His Friends, and the Beginnings of Modern Natural History (2002)
Filed under book | Tags: · animal, art history, astronomy, botany, data visualisation, empiricism, history of science, image, natural history, nature, plants
“Some years ago, David Freedberg opened a dusty cupboard at Windsor Castle and discovered hundreds of vividly colored, masterfully precise drawings of all sorts of plants and animals from the Old and New Worlds. Coming upon thousands more drawings like them across Europe, Freedberg finally traced them all back to a little-known scientific organization from seventeenth-century Italy called the Academy of Linceans (or Lynxes).
Founded by Prince Federico Cesi in 1603, the Linceans took as their task nothing less than the documentation and classification of all of nature in pictorial form. In this first book-length study of the Linceans to appear in English, Freedberg focuses especially on their unprecedented use of drawings based on microscopic observation and other new techniques of visualization. Where previous thinkers had classified objects based mainly on similarities of external appearance, the Linceans instead turned increasingly to sectioning, dissection, and observation of internal structures. They applied their new research techniques to an incredible variety of subjects, from the objects in the heavens studied by their most famous (and infamous) member Galileo Galilei—whom they supported at the most critical moments of his career—to the flora and fauna of Mexico, bees, fossils, and the reproduction of plants and fungi. But by demonstrating the inadequacy of surface structures for ordering the world, the Linceans unwittingly planted the seeds for the demise of their own favorite method—visual description-as a mode of scientific classification.
Profusely illustrated and engagingly written, Eye of the Lynx uncovers a crucial episode in the development of visual representation and natural history. And perhaps as important, it offers readers a dazzling array of early modern drawings, from magnificently depicted birds and flowers to frogs in amber, monstrously misshapen citrus fruits, and more.”
Publisher University of Chicago Press, 2002
ISBN 0226261476, 9780226261478
Review (Peter Campbell, London Review of Books)
Review (Eileen Reeves, The Art Bulletin)
Review (Pamela O. Long, Technology and Culture)
Review (Steven F. Ostrow, The International History Review)
Review (The New York Review of Books)
Review (PD Smith, The Guardian)
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