Articles with tag: nonhuman

04/15/2023 _Perspective

Extended Minds and Instrumentality

On the Role of the Nonhuman in Human Cognition

The Mobilization of Matter Date 05/02/0021; Origin Time 00:42:00; Location E (321.551|223.009); Depth < 0.1km; Magnitude 2ML; Locality: Sector 5; There were 10 events of earthquakes recorded by the PGS seismic monitoring network during the early days of the second period, with nine having magnitudes of 1.75 ML and one having a magnitude of 2 ML. Only the event on the fifth day of the second period was reported felt; accumulating a total of five felt earthquakes at said location. The event of the fifth day was recorded by the local network of seismic sensors (LSN) and occurred during the period from 00:42 until 00:56 hours. I was still drowsy from a dizzying mix of sleep and caffeine induced heartbeats. Slowly, I stepped into the room where my two colleagues had already taken their seats. I reached for a chair, sat down and placed my steaming cup of coffee on the table beside me, exchanging it for the notebook and pen. The seismographs in our middle gave off nothing but a continuous noise, metal needles scraping over a rolling drum of paper. The three devices were similar in type but three different material composites in the needles produced three distinct tones. Together they filled a spectrum of indecipherable noise akin to an untuned radio. A rustling that in its continuity receded into the background of attention. The monotonous noise denoted nothing other than the actively listening sensors and the silence on the other end. The room itself was empty. Four blank walls, no windows. Only ourselves on chairs, enclosing the instruments in a triangular formation. Behind me was a single black painted door, the only opening of this space. This one was one of many containers hauled out to Sector 5. Outside, gusts of wind were breaking on the corners of our observation rooms and gave off a series of forlorn cries. The rush of air that brushed over this flat and desolate land was disrupted only by the white containers posing as observation rooms. One behind another, they were lined up in rows as if beats on a string. By following the natural shape of the shore line, the white containers formed a network of ravines through which air hustled itself at high speeds. From the moment of my arrival, I encountered this place contemptuously. The silence here presented a stark contrast to the environments I was used to.…

11/30/2016 _Perspective

Aesthetic Experience

Visual Culture as the Masterpiece of Nonhumanity

This essay proposes a reflection on aesthetic experiences and their implications on the nonhuman for the study of culture. It focuses on visual culture as one of the representative means for a life of coexistence. In the present day, images search for an agreement with innovation as the new reality of culture. However, the life experiences offered by the digital world are being realized through the new senses offered by the media. Therefore, can today’s realities of visual culture be considered nonhuman?

11/30/2016 _Perspective

Non-Human Actors and Identity Performance Online

In 2014, Bruno Latour began his keynote speech at the Digital Humanities Conference in Lausanne by describing several fallacies typical of the discourse in the digital domain.[1] He started with the cloud effect fallacy, a tendency to construct the digital as a non-substantial, ephemeral field, whereas in reality, it has a strong material component. As an example, he stated the vast electricity consumption of Google’s data centers: according to the reports of the New York Times, they continually consume as much electricity as a city with 200,000 households. [2]
The discussion around two anti-terrorist laws that were recently passed in Russia became a further illustration of this fallacy. Named after their creator Irina Yarovaya, the so-called “Yarovaya package” featured, among other things, a change in the law “On Communication,” which made it obligatory for mobile operators to store on Russian territory information on the exchange of messages and calls between users for three years, and the contents of the exchanges for a period up to six months beginning in July 2018.

Affective Bodies

Nonhuman and Human Agencies in Djuna Barnes's Fiction

Reading fiction makes us face all kinds of situations, characters and phenomena that we might consider strange and uncanny, yet enchanting and immersive. This way, it also puts us face to face with the nonhuman in its various forms. Some fictional encounters with the nonhuman may become accentuated and even disturbing, especially ones in which the nonhuman presents itself as profoundly entangled with what we consider as human, which entails elements such as agency based on individual subjectivity, psychologically motivated actions, […]

Pot and Power

The Role of the Nonhuman in a Very Human Business

The significance of material objects (which we define as the ‘nonhuman’ in this paper) in the formation of culture and cultures is unchallenged, not just since the term “material turn” was coined some decades ago. [1], [2] In our following deliberations, we explore the constitutive role of the nonhuman in historical and contemporary socio-cultural formations in a context which is said to be ‘human-centered’: the daily care of people of various ages with disabilities or illnesses. Accordingly, we define material objects which are produced for and/or used […]