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Volumetrics

Focusing upon depths, atmospheres, flows and muddying, we present a series of texts that act as vessels
of volumetrics. These texts interrogate ecologic, geologic, and cartographic space; while internalizing and
unravelling intimate, affective, and traumatic currents. Following fluvial linkages between these texts, we
read through the framework of Ecological Gyre Theory, our ongoing research practice. EGT investigates
the renewal and recontextualization of all things as texts, encompassed within endless constellations of
assemblages in our rapidly changing world. Theoretically, EGT speaks to descension, acceleration, and
reworlding; a methodology to investigate, examine, and consider that which whorls, eddies, and flows in
our current context.

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Compiled by Chantelle Mitchell & Jaxon Waterhouse
9 Essays

Even though Love is the Message offers an amazing account of generative ambivalence and creative survival, even while it also gives rise to encompassing hopefulness in collective moments of love, solidarity, ethical conviction, and collective justice-seeking, it simultaneously obliterates any consideration of extending or sustaining its world of horror, one of beyond-grotesque inequality, impoverishment, and violence that renders Black life and lives matterless by the state and its human apparatuses. Unlike The Breakthrough Institute, which proffers art and leisure as rewards, Jafa’s sci-fi reaches the realm of cosmopolitical magnitude without losing sight of vernacular instances of in/justice, of situated expressions that are future-oriented but historically informed, and which are dedicated to the reinvention of everyday life, art, culture, politics, mourning.

Just because it’s fake doesn’t mean I don’t feel it. —Girls, Season 3, Episode 3 Fredric Jameson once noted that superficiality was the “supreme formal feature” of late twentieth century culture. 1 Whether it was in the philosophy of Foucault or historicist architecture, in the photography of Warhol or the nostalgia film, he suggested, an “exhilaration of … surfaces” had cut short the “hermeneutic gesture,” the reading of a physical or dramatic expression as a “clue or a...
Weather is the key paradox of our time. Weather that is nice is often weather that is wrong. The nice is occurring in the immediate and individual, and the wrong is occurring systemwide. —Roni Horn in 2007 1 The sublime of the nineteenth century was described by Kant as the feeling of watching an avalanche from a distance. A glacier crumbles, a frozen world breaks down, creating awe and shock and awe again, pleasure and horror at the same time—but always at a remove. Today the...
The octopus is the only animal that has a portion of its brain (three quarters, to be exact) located in its (eight) arms. Without a central nervous system, every arm “thinks” as well as “senses” the surrounding world with total autonomy, and yet, each arm is part of the animal. For us, art is what allows us to imagine this form of decentralized perception. It enables us to sense the world in ways beyond language. Art is the octopus in love. It transforms of our way of conceiving the social...
When R.L. Stevenson undertook his first transatlantic voyage at the age of 25, journeying to reunite with his future wife in California, he wrote the essay “The Amateur Emigrant.” This writing became the first chapter of his collected works, Essays of Travel , published in 1905. On board the Devonia from London to New York in August of 1879, he opens with scenes from “The Second Cabin”: A few Scandinavians, who had already grown acquainted on the North Sea, were friendly and...

During normotic peaks of approval phases of settler-colony mining booms, “artist impressions” of mega-mine proposals are photoshopped up at unprecedented rates and scales. Weaponized images of dignified-looking but no longer collectively-bargaining laborers, exaggerated job figures, fetishized New Machines, and particularly pernicious laminations of corporate-sponsored settler household reproduction placehold new industry forms of extraction. The perversions of prospective accounting given for “environmental assets”—for example, soil and water—force a rereading of finance through colonial legacies that limit the imagination of mattering. Between the slave ship and the container ship, the story of Australia’s particular mercantile-era contribution to the arsenal of global capital, in making the concept of land fully fungible, generates extra-aesthetic analytics by being retold.

Can a waste product marketed as a valuable fuel be treated proactively as both a clear and present danger and as a public monument? Such an approach is suggested by current philosophy and cultural critique. The materialist turn toward the “agency of things, “vibrant matter,” and “speculative realism” is driven by a need to come to grips with the suicidal overproduction that structures contemporary society. The handful of petcoke that you can pick up along the side of the river becomes the withdrawn index or impossible clue to the vast interlocking system of energy production and its consequences, on the scale of the planet earth and in the dimension of geological time.

The Shell In The Mountain The theories of natural science that were nascent in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries may be re-excavated through the figure of the marine shell—encountered as a form of stone, and lodged mysteriously in the highest mountains of Lower Saxony. These stone shells (as well as eels), Voltaire said, “made new systems blossom.” A cacophony of eminent philosophical and scientific voices entered to contest the origins of these aberrational geotic forms,...
Well, Prince, so Genoa and Lucca are now just family estates of the Buonapartes. But I warn you, if you don’t tell me that this means war, if you still try to defend the infamies and horrors perpetrated by that Antichrist—I really believe he is Antichrist—I will have nothing more to do with you and you are no longer my friend, no longer my “faithful slave,” as you call yourself! —Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace 1 Both the history of the present and psychoanalysis teach us that at...
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