notes : S. Løchlann Jain

excerpts from Notes : S. Løchlann Jain

[1] EDITORS’ NOTE: The hyperactive integration of technology with environment—and the blurring of distinction between natural and technological—has enmired what is posited as human technological progress in massive environmental and social exploitation. Trauma—a depth of memory, irrepressible and subliminal. Grief as material corpses of tainted metals—excavated bones, plastic cartilage. Rubble skeleton.

“The effect of any cosmology derived from constellations like The Market or The Climate is first of all an anticipation and a sublimation of spacetime probabilities which are not containable by these metaphors themselves. There are spacetime monopolies, in other words, with a claim for universality that lie in the ability to transform anything into oceanic effect, and with a conception of regularity that is profoundly totalitarian.” Søren Andreason. “Mass and OrderDiakron Issues: Infrastructure.

To what extent is the attempt to unify a notion of the technosphere not itself another such enabling system, that is based upon the priorities of institutions that created—or enabled—the destructive agencies of colonial and industrial exploitation, and those legacies of human trauma that we are now answering for? “If our challenge is to be met, it will not be met by considering artifacts as things. They deserve better. They deserve to be housed in our intellectual culture as full-fledged social actors. They mediate our actions? No, they are us.” Bruno Latour. “On Technological Mediation Common Knowledge 3, no. 2 (1994): 29-64.

[2] See also Mushon Zer-Aviv on addressing inequality, interfaces and trauma [footnote  5].

[3] EDITORS’ NOTE: With regard to articulating knowledge of place, and systems of power within academic discourse:

“In order to be legible, Indigenous geographic knowledge must adhere to recognized forms of representation. Representational strategies and their materialization through law, policy and the daily actions of people and institutions, have long been of concern to critical scholars across a range of disciplines investigating the construction of western hegemonic discourse. Represented through western categorizations, Indigenous geographies have remained peripheral to broader geographic theory”. Sarah Hunt. “Ontologies of Indigeneity: The Politics of Embodying a ConceptCultural Geographies 21, no. 1 (2014): 27–32.

[4] EDITORS’ NOTE: Speaking in the context of academic funding and focus on anthropocene: “Exploitative patterns, when they manifest, in turn concentrate the voice of Indigenous issues in white hands. It is precisely these power dynamics that must be questioned and challenged. […] And, all of us involved in the business of art and academia need to question existing relationships in intellectual and/or art contexts that privilege white voices speaking Indigenous stories. In order to engage in global conversations about the state of the world, such as the current discourse of the anthropocene, there must be a concomitant examination of where such discourses are situated, who is defining the problems, and who decides the players involved.” Zoe Todd. “Indigenizing the Anthropocene.” In Art in the Anthropocene: Encounters among Aesthetics, Politics, Environment and Epistemology. (London: Open Humanities Press, 2015), 241-254.

[5] Løchlann Jain, S. Injury: The Politics of Product Design and Safety Law in the United States. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2006).

[6] EDITORS’ NOTE: During the discussions, interviewees were asked to pick from a set of somewhat random images. This collection of different phenomena served as a prompt for thought on the forms of appearance and the visuality of the technosphere. You can view the set here The discussion here refers to

[7] EDITORS’ NOTE: In the fetishist seduction of new rebel modes, the gleaming democratisation of production, the #Additivist addiction is subsumed by the petrochemical industry. Production is plastic death. Borrowing from Reza Negarestani, “hydrocarbon corpse juice / devil’s excrement / holy water” for printer extraction—enabling systems of petropunk replication. Reza Negarastani. “Paleopetrology: From Gog-Magog Axis to Petropunkism.” In Cyclonopedia: Complicity with Anonymous Materials. (Melbourne:, 2008): 27–28. Elsewhere, Lucy Suchman reads human exceptionalism into the 3D printed skull—an ongoing question in our exploration of the Technosphere. Facsimile death artifact: a true complicity with IRL toxic suffocation and pollution.

“Derived from petrochemicals boiled into being from the black oil of a trillion ancient bacterioles, the plastic used in 3D Additive manufacturing is a metaphor before it has even been layered into shape. Its potential belies the complications of its history: that matter is the sum and prolongation of our ancestry; that creativity is brutal, sensual, rude, coarse, and cruel.” Morehshin Allahyari & Daniel Rourke. #Additivism Manifesto. 2015.

[8] EDITORS’ NOTE: See also: Unknown Fields Division’s transformation of polluted clay from Baotou’s toxic lake (Inner Mongolia) into radioactive ceramics. Tim Maughan. “The Dystopian Lake Filled by the World’s Tech Lust.” BBC April 2, 2015. We are reminded of Smithson, “Technological ideology has no sense of time other than its immediate ‘supply and demand’, and its laboratories function as blinders to the rest of the world.” Robert Smithson. “A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects.” In Robert Smithson, the Collected Writings. Edited by Jack Flam. (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1996), 106.