Posthuman Landscapes and Urban Conglomerations?

September 24, 2014

post human sprawl

Rosi Braidotti, ‘Introduction’ in The Posthuman, Malden, MA: Polity Press, 2013.


Through this text, Rosi Braidotti describes the question of posthuman. At the same time she explores the concept of the anthropocene, which is linked to this notion. She regards the anthropocene concept as that which places the human above everything else, so producing reductive thought. She wants to go beyond limitations. To be human, means to be able to think, to be adaptable, to communicate and develop a culture.

Braidotti engages with philosophy and uses the idea of the posthuman to make reflections on our contemporary global condition. The main meaning of this topic is strongly linked to globalisation. Nowadays, we ask ourself how we are connected to each other? What is the relationship between people, nature, city, landscape, different cultures and nations?

By the example of scientific meeting, during which the rightness of Humanities have been attacked, underlines the subjectivity question of analyses with the criticism of anthropocentrism and nationalism point of view. Are we able to have an overview of the wolrd ? Are we able to avoid human interest in the way to global meaning? New technology, by the way of complex parametric systems, gives the illusion to be nearly able to consider even more additionnal massive data base, and maybe one day, be able to considerate universe in all his complexity. In light of such ideas what kinds of sensitive reflection are we able to develop?

The posthuman condition seems to be the way to shift the focus of the human point of view and to open the mind to a larger more global consideration of the world. We can extend this idea of too much human landscape to the overall human sprawl, which is focused to give priority to human construction usually without considering the surrounding environment.

Marie Delfau


2 Responses to “Posthuman Landscapes and Urban Conglomerations?”

  1. mariedelfau Says:

    If post-human landscape is supposed to be something we started to criticize for being focus on human selfishness and somewhere life is going to miss also, I think urban sprawl could be a post human landscape. For example the sprawl of globalized cities like Dubaï, Las Vegas or Shanghaï. Cities who have been built totally for human preoccupation : an artefact of a city, could be a specific and concrete spatial matter. Beyond these extreme situations, some small cities for example in France, have doubled their inhabitants during a very fast periode after a boom of activity.
    An emphasis of prospective vision of the city of Cournon d’Auvergne, will be my post human landscape. Located in a volcanic mountainous area, the city of Clermont-Ferrand suburban is past from 3 000 inhabitants to 19 000 between the 60’s to 90’s. Thinking that growth would be a trend what started to grew stick, the sprawl seemed to be a destiny. Nowadays the new generation have left home, leaving an overbuilt desolate area which is still occupied by an aging population. Besides this, people are starting to think about the damage of the hill erosion and other environmental aspects. Some studies are describing this typology as “boomburbs”, which means fast suburban sprawl.

  2. Will an example of urban sprawl be what you use for your ‘posthuman landscape’? Or will you try to sketch out a more hopeful image of posthuman urban existence. The collage above is a very powerful one, will you work with collage throughout your ‘storybook’? Now is the time to bring the questions you are asking into relation with a very specific and concrete spatial problem. Then global concerns can be grasped from the point of view of the local, before zooming back out to the global again, in order to understand the profound matrix that expresses what can be called the ‘glocal’.

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