I agree with you, one of the first move in order to look away from the
narcissistic anthropocentrism is to develop 'cultural studies' of different
species and genus of the nature kingdom. And we could start including the
human obsession for primates as part of the cultural narcissism problematic.
Indeed the contribution of Peter Singer with *'The Great Ape Project -
Equality Beyond Humanity' (1993*) is very relevant, this project aims to
extend the Human Rights to non-human great apes, this idea gave a
substantial aid to every discussion on the end of the anthropocentrism and
on every ideas on Humankind Cultural Narcissism.
The Humankind Cultural Narcissism new concept is rooted in the work of
Richard D. Ryder idea of 'Specism' and in Peter Singer work.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_D._Ryder Beyond all influence of loving
nature what is very interesting are the political fall on of all this ideas.
>From this point of view Peter Singer it could be seen as one of the most
interesting exponent of new political concepts.
In fact the practice of privileging humans over other animals, is same as in
the XV century western humankind had the practice of privileging christian
over Indians in central America. The exploitation of natives in the just
discovered countries of central America was justified by a substantial
difference, this difference was advocated in the name of God: because they
weren't christian so they weren't kind of humans. Strongly Narcissistic
Monotheistic God could be seen as the center of Human Cultural Narcissism,
and because the Narcissism is the neurosis that impede to love the
otherness, if god is an expression of Cultural Human Narcissism, therefore a
monotheistic God is not able to develop love.
But there is another genus and phylum and family the one of the plants, that
is far way from our comprehension of the otherness. And is for this radical
distance the reason I use plants instead animals in my artworks. The idea we
should look at plants and their functioning as a useful way of re-thinking
on us, looks like the proposal of Roberto Marchesini's Zooanthropology,
http://www.robertomarchesini.com/zoo_fr.htm (unfortunately is in
Italian/Spanish) that bring back on the stage the animal kingdom.
The central topic is the idea to find from different way to be a useful way
to be and to see the world. It seems an opennes of the book you quote by
Karl J. Niklas : Plant Allometry (1994) 'it would be useful to pay more
theoretical, artistic, and scientific attention to the way otherness (algae,
fungus, plants, animals..) grow and reproduce, use resources and dispose of
waste over space, time and scale.' Many aspects of our social behaviour are
closer to plant strategies, as animals, as all living beings, but In my
artwork I'm enhancing the topic to all things: as today we are facing a very
sophisticated technology, we are facing the theory of the Singularity, so
may we have to extend this new vision from plants/animals to technologies,
in a very open eco-logic approach.
In this direction there are interesting topic and term in the Shintoist
culture that could be defined as "politeistic naturalism" and taht consider
stones as living beings. Very radical.
2010/4/21 roger malina <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Your example about Toxoplasma Gondii is about the importance of parasitic
> protozoa and I think is one good place to re think about
> anthropocentrism as most
> of the life forms on this planet are not primates or in close systems
> with primates. Yet we are obsessed by primates as part of the cultural
> you describe.
> Ramon Guardans, in his essay " On Plant Physics: the silent power of
> argues that we should look at plants and their functioning as a useful
> way of re-thinking
> This paper is based on a remarkable book by Karl J. Niklas : Plant
> The Scaling of Form and Process (U Chicago Press 1994)
> and introduces some of it to the reader. This paper argues that it
> would be useful to pay
> more theoretical, artistic, and scientific
> attention to the way plants grow and reproduce, use resources and
> dispose of waste over space,
> time and scale. We shal
> l argue that many aspects of our social behaviour are closer to plant
> strategies over
> the long range rather than shaped by
> urgencies of ambitious predators , these exist but are just a part of
> how change
> in living lineages come about. Other forms
> of interaction are relevant too.
> Summarising and commenting on Niklas's work, we draw attention to some
> aspects of the physics and biology
> of plants, regretting implicitly that not more of this work is in
> progress and accessible
> when considering long - term life processes
> The consideration of these issues is also applied to comment on the praise
> Charles Darwin deserves and how the poor man
> has been abused.
> Ramon, are you following this discussion ? maybe you would like to comment
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