Alien Phenomenology & Performance

“What distinguishes trans-human from religious practice in the end is the same principle that distinguishes pedagogy from ritual behaviour. The aim is not to re-establish the (lost) relationship but to change, grow and develop, to reach out towards the unknown. Unlike the modernist agenda, the path of this transformation is not built on increasing skills, knowledge and possessions, but on dismantling, disarming, deconstructing and simplifying. The trans-human states are not superior or inferior to our (all-too-) human states of mind, but they are certainly something simpler, lesser than or minor compared with our experience of ourselves as autonomous and self-same subjects. Therefore, entering trans-human areas always requires a certain courage and decidedness, just like any serious ethical action. Unlike Greco-Jewish-Christian ethics, however, it does not require heroism or sacrifice, which always goes back to dialectical self-affirmation at the expense of others. As Jacques Derrida argues, the name given to this sacrificed other has traditionally been “animal”.[19] What we may not be able to do as humans while encountering other species, we can accomplish as trans-humans. We can, for example, interview ourselves, and each other, and listen to our testimonies of “what it is like to be a bat”,[20] an earthworm, a gastropod or a reindeer. The becoming possible of the impossible is dependent on our acquiescence. This, in turn, is an answer to the claim of transformation that planetary crises, both on humanitarian and non-human scales, impose on our lives today. Nothing links the climate crisis to ongoing mass immigration except our political choices. In order to make those choices we need courage. The trans-human ethics we have been approaching here together with gastropods is about overcoming restraining age-old fears.”

rest @ thanks to Tim Morton for the link.

Frankly this sounds more than a bit goofy but I wonder if we leave aside the overblown claims and imagine this along more playful lines if we could start to sketch ways out of stretching our habituations/possibilities?

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s