Materiality

May 9, 2018

 

The Congo Basin rain forest is a performant and life generating machine. It is, together with the Amazon forest, our main air supplier. Unfortunately, it’s generosity is so grand that it also provides what makes contemporary human beings the most greedy: Wood, oil, diamonds, coltan and gold. Unlike the fairness of air sharing, these ressources lead to exhaustion.

Despite all the pain inflicted, the Congo Basin rain forest finds the way to show some resilience. When the damages are resonable, it reborns stronger and purified after a fire. The death of some species can even bring life to other ones.  This massive lung of ours tried as hard as possible to accomodate that feeling superiority, but is now giving up on us. The flow of air is secondary to the flow of matter. Because of our excessive need for its ressources, we kill this forest bit by bit and spread its dead matter all over the planet, in every possible shape.

Donna Haraway says: «The tentacular are also nets and networks, it critters, in and out of clouds. Tentacularity is about life lived along lines — and such a wealth of lines — not at points, not in spheres. The inhabitants of the world, creatures of all kinds, human and non-human, are wayfarers.»

We can look at our example through the theory of tentacular thinking. However, in the case of the Congo Basin rain forest, the tentacular’ nets and networks are leading dead matter. Tentacularity here is about afterlife lived along lines. These lines are drawn by human beings, who decide everyday to prioritize their need for wood, oil, diamonds, coltan and gold over the necessity of air.

Romane Nanchen

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