The Iron Ring, an Art Project by Cecilia Jonsson (2014)

5 September 2014, dusan

While “green mining” aims for a more ecological approach to mining metals, The Iron Ring explores how contaminated mining grounds may benefit from the mining of metals. For this work, 24kg of iron-tainted grass was removed from contaminated mining grounds and transformed into a ring of 2g metallic iron.

The project elaborates on the possibilities to utilize the cleansing process of the naturalized, wild growing grass: Imperata cylindrica. An invasive vile weed, which overlooked tolerance and ability to hyper accumulate iron inside its roots, stems and leaves are left unutilized. The Iron Ring proposes to harvest the grass for the purpose of extracting the ore that is inside them. The result is a scenario for iron mining that, instead of furthering destruction, could actually contribute to the environmental rehabilitation of abandoned metal mines.

The Iron Ring came about through trials and failures, in a process of close collaboration with smiths, scientists, technicians and farmers met along the way.

This e-book consists of two parts. The first is a visual essay by Cecilia Jonsson that reports on the seven chronological steps that were required to create an iron ring out of 24kg of grass harvested from the acidic river banks of a landscape in Spain severely transformed by opencast mining. In the second part, professor James Jackson Griffith, who participated in Jonsson’s preliminary research on mining restoration in Brazil, discusses The Iron Ring from an environmental-philosophical perspective.

Publisher V2_, Rotterdam, 2014
Open Access

Publisher

PDF (4 MB, EPUB)

Jakob von Uexküll: A Foray Into the Worlds of Animals and Humans: A Picture Book of Invisible Worlds (1934–) [DE, EN, FR]

22 March 2014, dusan

““Is the tick a machine or a machine operator? Is it a mere object or a subject?” With these questions, the pioneering biophilosopher Jakob von Uexküll embarks on a remarkable exploration of the unique social and physical environments that individual animal species, as well as individuals within species, build and inhabit. This concept of the umwelt has become enormously important within posthumanist philosophy, influencing such figures as Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Deleuze and Guattari, and, most recently, Giorgio Agamben, who has called Uexküll “a high point of modern antihumanism.”

A key document in the genealogy of posthumanist thought, A Foray into the Worlds of Animals and Humans advances Uexküll’s revolutionary belief that nonhuman perceptions must be accounted for in any biology worth its name; it also contains his arguments against natural selection as an adequate explanation for the present orientation of a species’ morphology and behavior. A Theory of Meaning extends his thinking on the umwelt, while also identifying an overarching and perceptible unity in nature. Those coming to Uexküll’s work for the first time will find that his concept of the umwelt holds new possibilities for the terms of animality, life, and the framework of biopolitics.”

German edition
With illustrations by George Kriszat
Publisher J. Springer, Berlin, 1934, 102 pages
New edition, with the essay “Bedeutungslehre”, with a Foreword by Adolf Portmann, Rowohlt, Hamburg, 1956, 182 pages

English edition
Translated by Claire H. Schiller
In Instinctive Behavior: The Development of a Modern Concept, pp 5-80
Publisher International Universities Press, New York, 1957
Reprinted in Semiotica 89(4), 1992, pp 319-391

New English edition, with the essay “A Theory of Meaning”
Translated by Joseph D. O’Neil
Introduction by Dorion Sagan
Afterword by Geoffrey Winthrop-Young
Publisher University of Minnesota Press, 2010
Posthumanities series, 12
ISBN 9780816658992
272 pages

Reviews and commentaries: Levi R. Bryant (2010), Robert Geroux (Humanimalia, 2012), Franklin Ginn (Science as Culture, 2013).

Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen (German, 1934)
Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen. Bedeutungslehre (German, 1934/1956)
A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men (English, trans. Claire H. Schiller, 1957)
A Stroll Through the Worlds of Animals and Men (English, trans. Claire H. Schiller, 1957/1992)
Mondes animaux et monde humain suivi de La théorie de la signification (French, trans. Philippe Muller, 1965)
A Foray Into the Worlds of Animals and Humans, with a Theory of Meaning (English, trans. Joseph D. O’Neil, 2010)

See also chapters 10-11 of Agamben’s The Open: Man and Animal: Umwelt; Tick (2002/2004)

Vladimir Vernadsky: The Biosphere (1926–) [RU, ES, EN]

21 March 2014, dusan

“First published in 1926 but long neglected in the West, Vladimir I. Vernadsky’s The Biosphere revolutionized our view of Earth. Vernadsky teaches us that life has been the transforming geological force on our planet. He illuminates the difference between an inanimate, mineralogical view of Earth’s history, and an endlessly dynamic picture of Earth as the domain and product of living matter to a degree still poorly understood.

The 1998 edition, which is the first English translation of the entire text, features contributions by Mark A. S. McMenamin, Professor of Geology at Mount Holyoke College, who has written extensive annotations to explain the structure of Vernadsky’s arguments and their modern relevance, and Jacques Grinevald, an authority on the idea of the biosphere, who penned an introduction that places the book in historical context.”

English edition
Foreword by Lynn Margulis, Mauro Ceruti, Stjepko Golubic, Ricardo Guerrero, Nubuo Ikeda, Natsuki Ikezawa, Wolfgang E. Krumbein, Andrei Lapo, Antonio Lazcano, David Suzuki, Crispin Tickell, Malcolm Walter, Peter Westbroek
Introduction by Jacques Grinevald
Translated by David B. Langmuir
Revised and Annotated by Mark A.S. McMenamin
Publisher Copernicus Books, 1998
A Peter N. Nevraumont book
ISBN 9781461272649
192 pages

Commentary on the concept (Alexej M. Ghilarov, The Quarterly Review of Biology, 1995)
Commentary on the translations (Mercè Piqueras, International Microbiology, 1998)

Publisher (EN)

Biosfera i noosfera (Russian, 1926/1989)
La Biosfera (Spanish, trans. María Victoria López Paño and Luis Gutiérrez Andrés, 1997)
The Biosphere (English, trans. David B. Langmuir, 1998)