Erich Hörl, James Burton (eds.): General Ecology: The New Ecological Paradigm (2017)

3 October 2017, dusan

“Ecology has become one of the most urgent and lively fields in both the humanities and sciences. In a dramatic widening of scope beyond its original concern with the coexistence of living organisms within a natural environment, it is now recognized that there are ecologies of mind, information, sensation, perception, power, participation, media, behavior, belonging, values, the social, the political… a thousand ecologies. This proliferation is not simply a metaphorical extension of the figurative potential of natural ecology: rather, it reflects the thoroughgoing imbrication of natural and technological elements in the constitution of the contemporary environments we inhabit, the rise of a cybernetic natural state, with its corresponding mode of power. Hence this ecology of ecologies initiates and demands that we go beyond the specificity of any particular ecology: a general thinking of ecology which may also constitute an ecological transformation of thought itself is required.

In this ambitious and radical new volume of writings, some of the most exciting contemporary thinkers in the field take on the task of revealing and theorizing the extent of the ecologization of existence as the effect of our contemporary sociotechnological condition: together, they bring out the complexity and urgency of the challenge of ecological thought-one we cannot avoid if we want to ask and indeed have a chance of affecting what forms of life, agency, modes of existence, human or otherwise, will participate-and how-in this planet’s future.”

With texts by Erich Hörl, Luciana Parisi, Frédéric Neyrat, Bernard Stiegler, Didier Debaise, Jussi Parikka, Bruce Clarke, Cary Wolfe, David Wills, James Burton, Elena Esposito, Timothy Morton, Matthew Fuller and Olga Goriunova, and Brian Massumi.

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, London/New York, 2017
ISBN 9781350014695, 1350014699
xv+384 pages

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Alex Foti: General Theory of the Precariat: Great Recession, Revolution, Reaction (2017)

26 September 2017, dusan

“From the fast-food industry to the sharing economy, precarious work has become the norm in contemporary capitalism, like the anti-globalization movement predicted it would. This book describes how the precariat came into being under neoliberalism and how it has radicalized in response to crisis and austerity. It investigates the political economy of precarity and the historical sociology of the precariat, and discusses movements of precarious youth against oligopoly and oligarchy in Europe, America, and East Asia. Foti covers the three fundamental dates of recent history: the financial crisis of 2008, the political revolutions of 2011, and the national-populist backlash of 2016, to present his class theory of the precariat and the ideology of left-populist movements. Building a theory of capitalist crisis to understand the aftermath of the Great Recession, he outlines political scenarios where the precariat can successfully fight for emancipation, and reverse inequality and environmental destruction. Written by the activist who put precarity on the map of radical thinking, this is the first work proposing a complete theory of the precariat in its actuality and potentiality.”

Publisher Institute of Network Cultures, Amsterdam, 2017
Theory on Demand series, 25
Creative Commons BY-NC-ND 4.0 International
ISBN 9789492302182
155 pages

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Jennifer Gabrys: Program Earth: Environmental Sensing Technology and the Making of a Computational Planet (2016)

28 July 2017, dusan

“Sensors are everywhere. Small, flexible, economical, and computationally powerful, they operate ubiquitously in environments. They compile massive amounts of data, including information about air, water, and climate. Never before has such a volume of environmental data been so broadly collected or so widely available.

Grappling with the consequences of wiring our world, Program Earth examines how sensor technologies are programming our environments. As Jennifer Gabrys points out, sensors do not merely record information about an environment. Rather, they generate new environments and environmental relations. At the same time, they give a voice to the entities they monitor: to animals, plants, people, and inanimate objects. This book looks at the ways in which sensors converge with environments to map ecological processes, to track the migration of animals, to check pollutants, to facilitate citizen participation, and to program infrastructure. Through discussing particular instances where sensors are deployed for environmental study and citizen engagement across three areas of environmental sensing, from wild sensing to pollution sensing and urban sensing, Program Earth asks how sensor technologies specifically contribute to new environmental conditions. What are the implications for wiring up environments? How do sensor applications not only program environments, but also program the sorts of citizens and collectives we might become?

Program Earth suggests that the sensor-based monitoring of Earth offers the prospect of making new environments not simply as an extension of the human but rather as new “technogeographies” that connect technology, nature, and people.”

Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2016
Electronic Mediations series, 49
ISBN 9780816693122, 0816693129
x+357 pages
via publisher

Reviews: Etienne S. Benson (Am J Sociology, 2017), Matthew W. Wilson (Cultural Geographies, 2017).
Interviews: Rorotoko (2016), Ulrik Ekman (Computational Culture, 2017).

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