A 21st Century Showdown ! Materialist (Dysonian) Fundamentalism vs. Sacred ( Browery ) Seductions

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Postponed: CiTiZEN KINO #59 : A Modest Alien Proposal … has been postponed to some future date. A difficult subject which will require more time, more collaborators, sponsors and a supporting host venue. Please feel free to contact us, if you wish to help make it happen !

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Note: While this article is meant to primarily spread the deep perspectives shared by Kenneth Brower in The Atlantic in 2010 ( link below).  This serves well as our possible mini-Epilogue to Transmediale 2017 - and 30 years of the arts and digital culture festival in Berlin, which we’ve been attending and analyzing the last month [ More reports here - V.1 + v. 2].  Also as a commentary on our immersions and failures in the cybernetic experiments ( and digital exodus ) of the last decades.

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A 21st Century Showdown ! Materialist (Dysonian) Fundamentalism vs. Sacred ( Browery ) Seductions

If you’re not a hardcore geek you may not have heard of one of the stupidest projects ever conceived by the “geniuses” who get employed by the military industrial complex ! Back in 1958, Project Orion was busy obsessing over space travel by studying nuclear pulse propulsion ( read: consecutive nuclear explosions to shoot a few humans to Mars ) … which would have logistically been at the expense of earth’s fragile environment.

While quickly scanning through that 50s territory, we came across the Plumbbob Operation(s)…  experiments… i.e. the Big Science boys blowing stuff up with all the latest atomic tools in the Nevada + New Mexico deserts.  They used to fly drone-blimps to measure stuff in the skies… The one in the picture above got a little too close to the radioactive shockwaves. A lot of People got too close too.  It’s  cancerous, but hey, that’s not their department !

Recently at the Chaos Congress in Hamburg, we learned that geologists have voted in favor of that lovely era of the nuclear heydays as the marker which designates The Beginning of the Anthropocene. A highly politicized decision (by we may suspect a high ratio of  institutional academic puppets ) which leaves the fossil fuels industry, industrial agriculture and all that dubious + unsustainable krapitalist ideology off the hook.  But still warranted, as a significant environmental fuck-up lies with those tinkering 1950s physicists, aka The Geniuses of Guineapigdom.

As we were preparing our CiTiZEN KiNO #60: Strategies For Turtle Islands, an XLT Guide to Indigenous Resistance For All ( more on that later )  … Christian De Lutz, the co-founder of Art Laboratory Berlin sent us an extraordinary article from The Atlantic from 2010  :

THE DANGER OF COSMIC GENIUS by Kenneth Brower

( the son of David Brower, the prolific environmentalist who founded many environmental orgs like John Muir Institute for Environmental Studies, Friends of the Earth (1969), the League of Conservation Voters, Earth Island Institute (1982), North Cascades Conservation Council, and Fate of the Earth Conferences. and served as the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club, etc. )

Beginning with his encounters with Freeman Dyson, a still-living braniac, now in his 80s,  on the levels of Einstein, BUT who has also become a strange case of climate change denialism. A strange but frequent specimen of DISCONNECTED SCIENTISTS. One of the material fundamentalists ! ( a juicy term coined by Robert Anton Wilson in the 80s ).

Where this eloquent piece really gets compelling is when it mediates between the full-on mad professor and his hippie rebellious son George Dyson ( who befriended the Browers ), and therein opens up a whole epic can of worms…  between The Treknotopians and The Environmentalists,  the epicentric clash of TWO FAITHS !

key extract:

The notion that science will save us is the chimera that allows the present generation to consume all the resources it wants, as if no generations will follow. It is the sedative that allows civilization to march so steadfastly toward environmental catastrophe. It forestalls the real solution, which will be in the hard, nontechnical work of changing human behavior.

… imperative of environmentalism… . The tenets go something like this: this living planet is the greatest of miracles. We Homo sapiens, for all the exceptionalism of our species, are part of a terrestrial web of life and are utterly dependent upon it. Nature runs the biosphere much better than we do, as we demonstrate with our ham-handedness each time we try. The arc of human history is unsustainable. We cannot go on destroying natural systems and expect to survive.

A MUST READ ! … It captures the essence of almost everything XLterrestrials have been unravelling , decoding and provoking as a situational analysis for our imperiled 21st century !

We even started playing with our own in-a-nutshell titles, as we relay this piece here for our intra-planetary blog / podopolog, like:

A 21st Century Showdown ! Materialist (Dysonian) Fundamentalism vs. Sacred ( Browery ) Seductions

The Ongoing Terror Of Disconnected Science + Cosmic Male Stupidity

Kiss Your Ass Goodbye in the Era of Eschatological Geekdom, or Will We Wake Up In The Nick of Time !?

And Orion is NOT just vintage retro horror sci-fi, it epitomizes the scientific, ne0-liberal , futurist trajectory… still in operation today, headed for anthropocentric calamity … unless, we change our ways… Many already claim we are too late !

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{ the Orionists, still trying in 2014 }

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{ Note the endorsement from Arthur C. Clarke, no surprise there, until you read Brower’s take on the matter }


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{ the guinea pig elites, getting their own dose of radiation }

we’ll have to elaborate, please standby…

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#TM17

THE MINI-XLt EPILOGUE

< March, TBA > CiTiZEN KiNO #59 : A Modest Alien Proposal

Brower’s quintessential article incidentally makes a very worthwhile epilogue or nachspiel angle for our TRANSMEDIALE #TM17 analysis.

Of course we could never have enough time to fully appreciate and give a sufficient analysis / overview to an event that had X-millions-€ of cultural funds to assemble, and an impressive team with a broad range of expertise.

For the XLterrestrials, what would be most useful in spending time to consider its wealth of perspectives would be to see its platform and content through the contexts of this Dysonianism vs. Brower-esque friction….and in light of the ticking timebomb of the anthropocentric vortex + the ensuing humanitarian crises.

We are gathering our prescriptions for the artworld + beyond for some immediate biopolitical or bio-tactical remediation – suggestions for how arts + tech sectors can upgrade their game, to be fully engaged in a global context in which the technological ( and techn0-colonialist ) shit stream has already hit the fan !

And as the latest The Laboratory Planet’s ( newspaper from Bureau d’etudes’ ) headline reads:  ” Hope is not needed to Act ! ” ( issue #5 not yet online ).


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