© Dani Zelko, El sueño del sonido.
“The political relevance of any claim about existence emerges”, writes Elizabeth Povinelli, “from the ways colonial power entangled existence, spawning capitalism and its long-standing governmental partner, liberalism, and in the process leaving the earth potted by the materially differentiated force of their toxic activities.”1 Povinelli’s compelling argument does not only contest what she calls “antipolitical diversions” of some of the current conversations about Gaia and the like. It also fundamentally underscores one of our most poignant critical tasks: that of situating the question of temporalities at the moment when we need to inhabit heterogeneous and non-concurrent historicities—those of human-centered worlds, and those of more-than-human worlds, both deeply shaped, although in different ways, by colonial histories. This entanglement and friction among such temporalities define, in crucial ways, the coordinates of a sensorium that is under transformation—especially in Latin America and the Global South—as well as the terrain upon which our struggles take place.
The primacy of the colonial and the racial over the ontological (the interdependence of being, the metamorphosis as mode of existence, etc.), for which Povinelli argues, frames the premise that I would like to explore here. The extent to which what we call “territories” are made of manifold, heterogeneous, non-cohesive histories and temporalities, and that grasping their entanglement implies a radical reorganization of our sensibility. The second premise argues that contemporary aesthetic practices operate as formal laboratories where this reorganization can be grasped and where its conceptual breadth can be explored.
In what follows, I situate three recent aesthetic interventions from Latin America that revolve around one same gesture or action: that of turning territories into temporalities, of revealing the temporal makeup of territories at the instance when these temporalities cannot be reduced nor synthesized by human- or socio-centered narratives. I see these interventions as methodologies in the sense that they mobilize procedures or formal tools that help us create situated responses to the transformed and challenged environment we live and act in. Instead of artworks or artefacts, I want to situate these aesthetic practices as procedures that can be shared and appropriated.
The three methodologies deal with one same insistent gesture: that of turning territories into temporalities. Immersing in the subterranean, counteracting the landscape as a colonial form, or turning into the aural in contraposition to the visual operate as strategies to face one of the most profound challenges of our era: the dispute over the meaning and the uses of geos, precisely when its multiple temporalities come to the surface and reshape our ways of inhabit the world, our political constructions of the common and, certainly, the very notion of life.
When indigenous intellectual and activist Ailton Krenak says “Estamos vivendo num mundo onde somos obrigados a mergulhar profundamente na terra para sermos capazes de recriar mundos possíveis”2, he captures a recurrent gesture of our times: the gesture that turns to the depth of the earth, into the subterranean, in order to recreate alternatives to the current devastation of the world. It is significant that Ailton uses the word “mergulhar” (to dive), as if the subterranean was an ocean, a body of water to dive into, as if this method represents an immersion. But where and into what do we dive? We dive into time. “A terra”, the earth, is a folding of time where we immerse ourselves to find latent, dormant, virtual temporalities that can be activated in order to recreate worlds alternatives to this one. Importantly, when Ailton says “somos obrigados” (we are forced), he uses an inclusive “we”. Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples are positioned in this mergulhar, not necessarily as an identification nor reconciliation but as a strategic alliance in face of the environmental catastrophe.
Turning territories into temporalities: in many ways, the labor of indigenous intellectuality in contemporary public spheres underscores the “hiper-historicity”3 that characterize Amerindian cosmologies, the historicity that percolate modern anthropocentric history with non-human forces and perspectives. Indigenous intellectuals such as Ailton or Davi Kopenawa, among many others, mobilize these procedures beyond indigenous cultures as epistemological and formal tools to reconfigure the ways in which our public spheres articulate collective time, precisely at a moment when “the Indian” does not speak from the past but from a divergent future (what Ailton calls “ancestral future”4).
Ailton argues that this in the context of intensified violence against indigenous territories in Brazil, violence that has been constitutive of the Brazilian nation-state but that achieved paroxystic levels during the Bolsonaro government. It is in this context, when the indigenous territories are under menace (and with them, the Amazonian ecosystem at large), that we are forced to dive into the depths of the earth and to explore deep time to find alternatives to the present. Ailton’s mergulhar is thus a political practice, a cosmopolitical strategy to find a way out from the blockage of the present. Politics, at its best, is the art of finding a way out in a collective impasse with no exit in sight).
This mergulhar does not apply only to humans. Ailton tells the story of the Watu river that has been almost killed by pollution and extractivist overuse of water. He says, “o corpo do Watu está cheio de mercúrio e de uma lista imensa de venenos oriundos da mineração, e o rio, cansado, mergulhou em si.”5 The river “dives into itself”: this is a significant twist to the “mergulhar”, as it figures a “flight” to the subterranean, into hiding, as a way to preserve itself. “Em cima dessa plataforma tem três camadas de solo: o rio mergulhou fundo.”6 The river escapes the destiny that “historical progress” has in reserve for it, opening not just another space for its course but fundamentally finding another temporality as its very possibility of persistence. Mergulhar, here, is precisely this ability to activate latent or hidden temporalities against the blockage of the historical present.
This transcription of images of the ground, of the subterranean, of the enclaves and localities of experience, of habitats, etc., into blocks of time, into latent or manifest, virtual or actual temporalities, is thus an insistent procedure or methodology in contemporary aesthetic and cultural imaginaries. In these translations or transmutations, territories are seen and mapped as entanglements of temporal lines, mixing human and non-human temporalities ranging from the colonial to the geological and showing their inseparability; and simultaneously finding in these entanglements the latencies and the potencies of alternative worlds to the one shaped by the colonial-capitalist machine. As Ailton argued, we are forced to dive into the earth to find there other temporalities where other worlds can be awaken, amplified, recreated.
When it seems that we are running out of time, dive into submerged temporalities: “mergulhar profundamente na terra” is a methodology that invokes deep, geological, planetary time as a force to percolate or fissure historical time, the time designed by capitalism and colonialism that we call “modernity”, and find other temporalities that may lay out the coordinates for other worlds. The recurrent formula for these other temporalities is ancestrality, or what Ailton calls the “ancestral future.” Ancestrality operates less the return to a fixed origin, the uncovering of “pure”, “originally” memories and knowledges, the restoration of a fixed indigenous past, than a way to dislocate, decenter, deviate or re-orientate historical time, the time of the modern as the time of progress subtended by territorial dispossession.7
I will come back to this point; for now, let’s move to our second methodology.
2) Landscape as crime scene
When Colombian writer Juan Cárdenas argues that “todo paisaje funciona como la escena de un crimen,”8 he aims at the fabric of colonial violence that has defined the production of Latin American landscapes since the European conquest. In doing so, Cárdenas invites us to design ways of seeing (that are also, of course, forms of writing, of painting, of narrating territories) that dismantle the landscapes inherited from colonial expansion, inseparable from extractivism and territorial dispossession. His ideas on landscape come from a reflection on the “pinturas de viajes”, the paintings and drawings produced by European travelers in Latin America, that in many ways created the images of Latin American natural abundance and its capacity to be converted into resources. Seeing landscape as a “crime scene” means that behind or through the apparent fixity of the landscape, history keeps developing before our very eyes, the history of land appropriation, of indigenous expulsion, of modeling nature for a productive and extractivist gaze that is producing value through the very act of giving image to nature. The “forensic gaze” Cárdenas proposes to counteract colonial landscape (and landscape as a colonial technology) is thus a practice of what Jens Andermann calls “despaisamiento”, the active undoing or dismounting of the landscape produced by modernity and functional to its colonial and extractive machines.9 The landscape turned into a “storied place” (Haraway), that here emerges as a crime story, the history of colonial crimes.
Turning territories into temporalities, then, in order to show how they are modeled, inherently shaped by colonial violence: this is my second methodology. Landscape here is then seen as a time condensation that needs to be activated, opened, deployed as temporality. And interestingly, it is a condensation that in trying to hide its conditions, to cover up the violence that make it possible, inscribing and preserving it: the crime scene, the forensic gaze, the detective story of the colonial fabric of our reality.
Cardenas’ essay on the “pintura de viajes” and the landscape as crime scene ends with a sensorial instruction: instead of facing the territory, the essay tells us to turn our backs on the landscape in order to listen to it, “dar la espalda para escuchar el espacio, para recuperar el lugar”.10 Displacing the primacy of seeing and the gaze, listening as a way to connect otherwise with the territory; the ear is a key method from where to relate to the place and to find other forms of inhabiting it.
This takes me to my third methodology.
When Mapuche activist and singer Soraya Maicoño found herself thrown into a jail after a struggle with the police in one of the many recuperaciones territoriales (territorial claims) by Mapuche communities in southern Argentina, the first thing she did—as she recounts in Pewma ull. El sueño del canto (The Dream of the Song),11 a poem she co-wrote with artist Dani Zelko—was to start singing. To sing by herself, in jail, very loudly. This singing gave her strength but also, surprisingly, support from two milicas (females cops) who were also of Mapuche origin. The poem she wrote with artist Dani Zelko in 2023 is part of a series of “reuniones” that Dani Zelko creates with different peoples and communities, where they write together a poem that will be later published and circulated in free or non-expensive books.12 This particular “reunión” takes place against the background of intensified anti-indigenous violence in Argentina; in this context, Soraya reflects on the political dimensions of singing and fundamentally, listening.
The song, the very action of singing, is here shaped by dreaming, by the folding of the real into other layers of forces, of memories and temporalities that move through our present and our reality. This dreaming connects ancestral temporalities with the political present: with the dream to finally recuperate the ancestral territories of Mapuche people, expelled by the Argentinian (and Chilean) nation-state in the second half of the 19thcentury. From the other scene, the folding of the real into the dream, and the dream of finally recuperating territories: singing connects both dreams; it moves between them.
Singing as listening:
“Cuando después de esas situaciones de violencia volvés al territorio
. y entrás en contacto con sus sonidos
. ¿cómo te explico?
. en todos lados está nuestro sonido en las hojas de los árboles
. en los troncos que se mueven
. en los arroyos, en los pájaros
. en los nombres de los ríos y las montañas en el aullar de los animales, en las personas,
. el sonido del territorio vuelve a tu cuerpo
. devuelve tu cuerpo al territorio.”13
Territory is fundamentally an assemblage of sounds, and this aural existence returns the body to the territory. That is the power of singing, even (or especially) “after situations of violence.” In El sueño del sonido, singing and violence, the aural and the political are inseparable: all come down to her (and the Mapuche) conception of the territorial. An assemblage of sounds, subtended by dreaming: ancestrality, the territorio ancestral, is here fundamentally a matter of sound, an aural existence, that intersects the present with a temporal shock (a “temporal attack”, in Nancy’s words), a force that ties the present with unseen forces from the past, virtual forces but not for that less real.
“… llegar a esos lugares tan profundos
profundos en la distancia
en los kilómetros
pero también profundos en la historia
y en lo ancestral
y puedo contar
que, como dice la machi Pinda,
en el bosque todo habla…”14
Listening here is not just paying attention, or being receptive to the outside. Listening is a temporal interface: the forces from the past speak in the territory, and they speak in dreams, as the “dream of sounds.”
The three methodologies, as I have insisted, revolve around the same gesture: that of turning territories into blocks of time. They register this epistemological and sensorial shift that so crucially defines our era as aesthetic practices that are inseparable from our political imagination and challenges. In what follows, I will explore three notions that operate as conceptual correlates of the aesthetic methodologies I briefly presented. Concepts that help us understand and expand what is at stake in the gesture of turning territories into temporalities, and how this gesture challenges frames of temporal intelligibility so deeply framed by human-centered epistemologies and colonial grammars. Non-anthropocentric, anti-colonial frames of temporal intelligibility: the reorganization of the sensible that echoes the push of these aesthetic interventions claims reimagining time as one of the most urgent critical tasks.
What questions and consequences do these methodologies open for us?
1) Where territories are transcribed into blocks of time, the notion of strata emerges a key conceptual tool to explore the shift between territoriality and temporality. By articulating the territorial in terms of temporalities, whatever stability, fixity, groundness assigned to the territorial (and therefore, to the sense of place, belonging, rootedness, etc.) is transcribed or transmuted into strata. As studied by Deleuze and Guattari in Mille Plateaux, strata are fundamentally temporal agents: they are the very premise of the notion of becoming.15 Time mineralized, “geologized”, turned into sediments and rocks and substrates, strata are fundamentally figures of time. If the Earth is a principle of deterritorialization it is because it is made of strata whose activity or latency, their actual or virtual forces compose the basic, yet overwhelming, movement that is time. At the very same time, strata move between categories and fields of knowledge: they move between the colonial and the geological, between the history of capital and the history of the Earth, and between the human and the non-human, showing the extent to which temporalities are never the territory of Man but on the contrary, the dimension where the human is de-centered by forces that come with scales and configuration that can never fully coincide nor complement the human experience.
This transcription of the territorial into the temporal is a premise upon which our sensibility—the geological orientation of our senses, of the surfaces we come to perceive—finds its defining contour, and that both artistic and political interventions shape and bring to the fore of our languages, our senses and our actions. We are here in the opposite movement regarding what is called “space reduction”, that is, the increasing capture of space by time due to communication and travel acceleration powered by capitalism, famously condensed by Marx’s formula about the annihilation of space by time.16 The transcriptions of the territorial into the temporal go in the exact opposite direction: instead of reducing space to “abstract time”, it pressures against it with multiple temporalities that refuse their codification by the abstraction of value. Turning territories into temporalities, thus, operates as a guiding concept that shapes our sense of the real.
2) This transcription of the territorial into the temporal is inseparable from another major shift in our sensorium: the switch from the eye—the visual, with its distance, and the type of spatial-temporal dominance it articulates—to the ear: as if sound and listening were the sensible configuration of these temporal entanglements that escape the visual, and that reveal the temporal makeup of the territorial. This shift towards the aural (not just the oral, but the aural, as it decisively involves non-human entanglements) is recurrent in all our methodologies, as if listening subtends the forms of writing, of thinking and of producing images. This is key to think about temporality: as Jean Luc Nancy suggested, listening is situating oneself (or actually, being situated by the force of sound) in relation with rhythm, with the back and forth between the “before” and the “after” of rhythm—and rhythm, he says, is “the time of time”, it folds the present into another time by decentering, dividing, disassembling the present. Rhythm, between scansion and cadence,17 folds time and opens it into another temporality deviated from linearity, sequence and duration. Re-sonance as the vibratory movement that is not only in space (as “spacing”, in Nancy’s terms) but fundamentally in time: as echo, as rhythm, as scansion and cadence, the aural come from the past, from many pasts, des-orientating the historical present and its claims of full presence.18
The ear transcribes territories into time. Moving away from the deceptive dichotomy between “words” and “images”, the aural and the ear brings a vector that subtends our relation with existence fundamentally because they re-articulate the ways we sense time. Turn our back to the landscape, says Cárdenas: listening to the place, the territory as aural experience that can only be achieved by suppressing the visual, is also the possibility of activating temporal layers that are blocked by the very spectacle of landscape.
The aural also offers us another sense of the movement between what we call “real” and the layers of dreaming, of exploring their connection and contiguity as a way of knowing and inhabiting the territory. They open—and listening is crucial here, once again—ways of communicating between the realm of dreams and the quotidian. Ailton speaks of the “institution of dreams” in the Krenak community referring to the practice of sharing the dreams with relatives or close neighbors. Soraya’s poem is titled “the dream of sound”, pointing towards precisely the folding of time, the opening to the other time by the way of dreaming. Cárdenas’ critique of landscape as colonial technology will also produce, in his literary fiction, scenes of trance that reveal hidden forces (at the same time real and hallucinatory) at work in the rural landscape of Colombia. From the “institution of dreams” in indigenous communities to the procedures of literary fiction, what emerges here is that the territory reveals its temporal composition by the way of dreaming, of trance, of visions, that operate on reverse of objectivity as evidence of realness and existence. Territories speak in dreams and in sounds: this is how they are turned into time or how they reveal how they are composed by time. Against the landscape and objectivity—that make what capital can turn into resources—aural agencies that move between layers of the real, and that fundamentally connect the “deep time” of memory—ancestrality—with the more than human potencies that can imagine and create other ways of inhabiting.
3) These gestures that transcribe territories into temporalities involve yet another crucial dimension. Our cultural temporal frames are deeply shaped not only by anthropocentric models—defined by human perceptions, usually at an individual scale—but also by biocentric models that measure time through life reproductive cycles, associated to (human) bodies and populations as well as natural cycles proper to the regenerative force of nature. These biocentric frames of temporal intelligibility are, we can say, the very ground upon which biopolitics operate: since biopolitics aims to manage life in attention to a maximization of health, productivity and social control, it necessarily operates on the premise of a natural order and a life cycle that—this is the very ground of biopolitics—will only remain true to its naturalness with the systematic intervention of political technologies. The “natural order” and the “life cycle”—together with the temporalities it presupposes—are both a premise and an effect of biopolitics.19
This natural order and this life cycle are profoundly disrupted by the new gravitation of the geological that reshapes our sensibility. Povinelli’s intervention about geontopower as the configuration mobilized by late liberalism—which is also the moment of intensified extractivism and inescapable awareness of its environmental consequences—opens the way for a new attention to the temporal model of the life cycle that is challenged by the new pregnancy of geos.20 Between bios and geos we not only face two tactical discursive deployments, as indicated by Povinelli; we also deal with implicit or explicit frames of temporal intelligibility that require different measures, agencies, scales and processes. “Body” and “population”, the two figures that shape modern biopolitical grammars in Foucault’s classical formulation, are temporal scales articulated by life cycles managed by biopower; bodies and population are controlled, incited and modeled fundamentally by the management of its temporal processes, from the quotidian to the larger cycles of reproduction and death. Managing life is managing its temporal layers: productivity, intimacy, consumption, leisure; the life shaped by biopolitical technologies is configured by time frames that not only shape its deployment but also narrate it to validate and make it intelligible.
When we take into account the pregnancy of geos, what we abandon is the very notion of cycle21 that shapes so deeply our temporal models of intelligibility. The cycle is replaced by configurations that are no longer exclusively focused on the biological rhythms of birth, reproduction and death but pays attention to dimensions and forces from “outside” the life cycles (however problematic this “outside” is: this is precisely one of our main questions at stake) that are revealed as an indispensable for the persistence of the living. The non-living, the extinct, the inert: this becomes increasingly relevant when the politics of life can no longer be contained by the biologicization of life and necessarily involves the relation with what was seen as external to its configuration and persistence.22 The “new climate regime” forces thus a new understanding of the relations between the living and the extinct, and between the animate and the inanimate. This between is what our era interrogates so insistently: this is the quandary that shapes our investigations, our dreams and our terrors. Between life and non-life, between the living and the extinct: that threshold situates what we see recurring in our methodologies—the movements between the living and the ancestral. Ancestrality names these realms of existence that are irreducible to bios, and that still remain essential to life. Ancestral life, the ancestral dimension of the living (that opens lines of continuity with the dead and the extinct) is the figure that challenges so radically our understanding of both bios and geos, and that intersects our understanding of time.
Turning territories into temporalities is, therefore, the practice to percolate, fissure, crack historical time with temporalities that are both irreducible to modern understanding of bios and its temporal deployment as modernity. What is at stake, then, is the very notion of life and its temporalities at the inflection when it can no longer be defined by its opposition to biological death.
This is part of the cluster GeoSemantics. Read the other posts here.
- Povinelli, Elizabeth, Between Gaia and Ground (Durham: Duke UP, 2021) p. 2.
- “We are living in a world where we are forced to dive into the depths of the earth in order to re-create worlds”, my translation. Krenak, Ailton, Futuro ancestral (São Paulo: Companhia das Letras, 2020), p. 20.
- Valentim, Marco Antonio, Sobrenatureza e extramundanidade: ensaios de ontologia infundamental (Florianópolis: Cultura e barbárie, 2018).
- See in this regard Pratt, Mary Louise, Planetary Longings (Durham: Duke UP, 2021).
- “The body of Watu is full of mercury and of an immense list of of poisons originated in mining and the river, exhausted, dove into itself” Krenak, Futuro ancestral, p. 13.
- “On top of this platform there are three layers of ground: the river dove to the bottom.”, Krenak, Futuro ancestral, p. 21.
- Moore, Jason, Capitalism in the Web of Life (London: Verso, 2015).
- “Every landscape operates as a crime scene”, Cárdenas, Juan, “Obscenidad del paisaje y pintura de viaje”, unpublished manuscript.
- Andermann, Jens, Tierras en trance. Arte y naturaleza después del paisaje (Santiago de Chile: Metales Pesados, 2018).
- “Turn our backs in order to listen to the territory, to recuperate the place”, Cárdenas, Obscenidad, n/d.
- The digital copy is available here https://reunionreunion.com/El-Sueno-del-Sonido (accessed 06/20/2023).
- For critical bibliography on the “reuniones” by Dani Zelko, see Cámara, Mario, “De la voz a la letra impresa. Dani Zelko y sus Temporadas” , Revista Landa Vol.9 N°2 (2021), p. 314–329; Yelin, Julieta, “Vidas reunidas. Sobre las Ediciones urgentes del proyecto Reunión”, de Dani Zelko (2017–2021), Heterotopías. 5.9, 2022, pp. 1–16; Giorgi, Gabriel, “La respiración de lxs otrxs. Afectos públicos de Reunión, de Dani Zelko”, Revista do Laboratório de Dramaturgia (LADI) da Universidade de Brasília, 18, 2021, pp. 207–228.
- When, after these situations of violence you go back to the territory/ and come back in touch with its sounds/ How can I explain it?/ everywhere is our sound in the trees’ leaves/ in the moving logs/in the creeks, in the birds/in the names of the rivers and the mountains in the howls of animals, in people/the sound of the territory comes back to your body/it returns your body to the territory.” Maicon, Soraya, and Zelko, Dani, Pewma ull. El sueño del canto, REUNION, p. 4.
To arrive to these places so deep/deep in the distance/in the kilometers/but also deep in history/ in the ancestral/ and I can tell/that, as the machi Pinda says/ in the forest everything speaks…” Maicoño. S. and Zelko, D. Pewma ull.El sueño del canto, REUNION, p. 13.
- As analyzed by Deleuze and Guattari in the third chapter of Mille Plateaux, “The Geology of Morals”—somehow anticipating our current “geological turn” and the attention to deep time—the concept of strata brings a geological perspective in which minerals and rocks offer the model for the material composition of existence. Strata, defined by its “double articulation” between matter and expression allows Deleuze and Guattari to formulate the tension between territorialization and deterritorialization—and therefore, the very notion of becoming—without concessions to any teleological idea of evolution, that is, without the emergence of a synthesis or a new formation that subsumes the previous processes and movements. In this sense, the geological modeling of time allows for an analytical frame that gives an account of the emergence of new formations without losing sight of sediments and layers that are notmetabolized by the latest strata. At the same time, by bringing geological time into the account of time the notion of strata dislocates any human-centered or bio-centered model of temporality: neither human culture nor the living body but rocks and minerals are the vantage point to think about time. Strata are thus the index of interrupted temporalities, heterogeneous formations and divergent scales. They interrelate with each other, by articulation or friction, avoiding the models of temporality inspired by organic life. At the same time that they offer the blueprint of how matter is formed—in geological, organic and human formations—, they keep active a threshold of deterritorialization that produces the “aberrant movements” (Lapoujade) that make possible new becomings. Interestingly, the deleuzoguattarian conception of strata revolves around the ideas of resonance and vibration (Buchanan), an aural semiotics that speak of alternative ideas of expression and communication that place materiality at the center of sense instead of mind, language, perspective or even selfhood. Strata articulate, thus, the possibility of different velocities and scales that resist any unified or lineal conception of time, and at the same time inscribe the relation with the non-living and the non-human without subsuming them within bio-centered or human-centered temporalities (differing, in this sense, from the classic historiographic approach to strata by Koselleck (2018), entirely focused in the human social formations.) See Deleuze and Guattari, Mille Plateaux (Paris: Editions des Minuit, 1981).
- See, in this regard, Litvine, Alexis, “The Annihilation of Space: A Bad (Historical) Concept”, The Historical Journal (2022), 65, 871–900.
- Nancy, Jean Luc, A l’écoute (Paris: Galilee, 2002) p. 38.
- Very interestingly, in her inquiry into the ways of inhabiting of birds, Vinciane Despret arrives to a similar conclusion about the nature of territoriality: “El territorio no es entonces una cuestión especial sino una cuestión que se juega en el régimen de las intensidades y de la temporalididad, es decir, en el ritmo.” (Despret, Habitar como un pájaro, Ed Cactus, 2021, 104).
- Elizabeth Freeman convincing argument about what she calls “chronobiopolitics” and “chrononormativity” illuminates the centrality of managing temporality in biopolitics. Freeman, Elizabeth, Time Binds. Queer Temporalities, Queer Histories (Durham: Duke UP, 2009).
- Povinelli, Elizabeth, Geontopologies. A Requiem to Late Neoliberalism (Durham, Duke UP, 2016).
- “Is capitalism today capable of appropriating nature’s free gifts on a scale sufficient to launch a new phase of accumulation, or are we witnessing the exhaustion of the productivity and plunder dialectic that has underwritten capital accumulation since the sixteenth century”, asks Jason Moore in his Capitalism in the Web of Life. The “end of Cheap Nature” argued in the book implies therefore the end of capitalism cycles deployed around extractive frontiers. The cycles of accumulation would face, in front of current environmental devastation, a historical limit. This historical hypothesis deeply resonates, I would like to suggest, with contemporary narrative laboratories that no longer model temporality around the notion of cycle.
- “Biopower (the governance through life and death) has long depended on a subtending geontopower (the difference between the lively and the inert).” Povinelli, Geontologies, p. 5.