on Impossibility

Every morning in [location not found] is the same. Wracked coughing as the body realizes it has just spent another night intaking poisons. Sheets yellow with a thousand nights of accumulated sweat, but not worth wasting washing water on. The window is open to the heat of the veld and the gibbering xenocomm interface of population and city. Light filling the room like some horrible fluid, spilling over the windowsill and pooling onto the floor. Looking out over the buildings, so new and so harried they still bristly oddly with rebar, seemingly leaning toward the Spine, which at this point thickens with additional transit tubes hung from cables as it tumbles toward the coast. Sky to sea a sheet, nicotine colored, the location of the horizon as good your guess as mine, a bleary latitudinal omphalos only discernable as a subtle desaturation. From the rim of the world civilian skimmers and Maersk behemoths alike issue in some secretive gnosis. These are bad thoughts to be having now. I turn my gaze inward to the the hotel’s information board, a demonstration of the hotel’s shabbiness: an ancient OS, a shattered screen. The cartoon sun trapped inside hideously intones that it is 5:45 AM. The high temperature today is 45 degrees. It is already 37 degrees. The Lagos NSE opened at 2150 but (the Sun says) is projected to finish at 1870-1890. Shanghai is at 302,780. New York is 0. Ha ha. Some vestigial part of my brain pings doom at me. A Chinese state minister is dead as of 3 this morning Kampala local, his lungs having collapsed in the 2 minute walk from his motorcade, going through the first of many security gates into Zhongnanhai. Should have worn a mask. The West Coast of the Republic Formerly Known as California is on fire – a still image appears, showing pillars of smoke reaching for the sky like the bilious fingers of elder gods springing from the palm of the urban carpet of Los Angeles valley. Lima is terrified of the Big One, anteshocks coming on fast, seeming to rise stratospherically towards some eschatological asymptote. Atmospheric carbon has dipped a bit to 523 ppm. In local news – a mere fifteen steps south – militants of some currently unknown political or religious affiliation failed in their attempt to sever strategic spinal conduits. Thank god for that. Everything is, however briefly, holding itself together.

I turn away from the screen and move to the bathroom. I feel arbitrarily pieced together, a collection of incongruous parts piled into a corner and brought to life. Returning to the room at 3 too high to think and too drunk to see. The day’s pay and favors turned to drugs and lenient bouncers.

A delegation from the Displaced States are coming in today – a visit which continuously proves intractable and threatens to sink the Amorobo Center’s water budget purely on due to the amount of coffee consumed. Last time the DS came in I didn’t go home for two weeks, sleeping under tables in unused conference rooms or buying local k off the entourage, maddened with sleep.

“Rewriting Revelations as a legally actionable document” is a far more realistic description than my actual briefing, which for most projects reads as if I’m a cross between a soothsayer, an accountant, and the Angel of Death. My title varies from contract to contract. My degree is in Anthropology from a now-failed university in a now-failed state, which has only served to raise the perceived value of my diploma. My superiors refer to me as a Specialist in Terror Management.

t.m. began as an inquiry into the fear of death and the reverberations that such a realization has within the human organism on both psychological and physiological levels. Increasingly, it is speculated that this realization – that human life is a perpetual shuffle toward death – is the impetus for the inscrutable series of misfirings that created the cascading autopoetic market-field we now refer to as sentience. With this approach, all of human history can easily be conceived of as attempts to escape death or glorify it, or any other action in between. A hundred thousand years spent digging a grave.

The schema of terror management was later reformed as praxis. Unafraid of taking the initial revelation provided by the progenitors of t.m. and using it as ballast on a freefall through deep time and as a head lamp while walking through the antediluvian ruins of former empires. The central crux is this: the thenatic is not merely felt by the individual, but is scalable, piggybacking the cybernetics of expression to spread pathogenically, whereupon it infects and corrodes the engine of cultural expression and produces a death cult enantiomorphic with the entire of human civilization. Prior empires had experienced spasms of this thenatic drive at the end of their shelf lives.

However, there was another, more occulted praxis that operated shiftily toward the back of the room in the congregation of t.m.’s possibilities. This was the weaponized form of t.m. that accepted it as an excellent way to keep one’s finger on the pulse of current events by analyzing past microcosmic simulacra. Psychohistory in a way. Where this form differed was that it held t.m. could function as a lens that could accept data in real time, and in doing so, prove itself incredibly valuable. We are the caretakers of the burning field of a finite history. We hang the carcasses of nations from meat hooks. We dowse for the hidden Great Annihilator and write sigils in his blood, entreating Gnon. We are a k-netic brain that comes to know itself.

Essentially, t.m. offered a way to sell out – by predicting failures and offering those predictions to the highest bidder. States were very interested in their own mortality – and this, it could be argued, was an indication of governmental agencies’ nascent sentience. States coming alive, speciating wildly, breeding into murderous shapes. Dogs to wolves. But still knock-kneed. Newly born and terrified of their own shadows, states made a fucking habit out of throwing obscene contract fees at people such as myself, who by dipping into current events, case studies, and deep patterns offered a suggestion of what would fail when. Essentially I functioned as a doomsday predictor, the keeper of the clock. It was as if the guy who sat on the sidewalk and screamed that the end is nigh had been given a job, a suit, and a security clearance.

The Displaced States are very interested in what I have to say. They have been displaced for so long and so utterly that their dissolution predates t.m.’s existence as a discipline. They maintain an active presence however. The majority of the population subsists on loaned land or flotilla cities that move up and down the coasts of the South China Sea. DS diplomats, like those arranged around this conference table in a room on the 27th floor of the Amorobo Center, are faceless. Interchangable. They live like their nations: nomadically, moving hotel to hotel, city to city, convening in various seats of various powers, all the while attempting to effect some sort of permanent ownership of new territory, preferably furnished as a gift. It has been 15 years and no dice. They will not stop. For them, this is a fight for reparations. The lucrative promise embodied in the release of large amounts of real estate onto the market under the sovereign aegis of highly motivated developers cannot have failed to also cross their collective minds.

The delegates from the Displaced States are always polite to the point of stiff formality with me, I think because I am not UN but a contracted civilian. The UN in these cases functions much like it always has: obviously ineffectual, but there by necessity and by default. Today the delegates are here to consult with me as to the continued survival of their archipelagic territory of flotillas and squatted-upon shorelines. They all greet me with salutations of good morning. They tell me this is an auspicious moment: they have contracted with the Chinese geoarchitects responsible for the construction of the Red Star island chain as well as an architecture firm out of Seattle specializing in arcologies. Finally, they tell me, humanity’s powers have colluded to create a world in which a state without a country can generate its own territorial holdings. I sigh inwardly, like all oracles before me that must deliver the news of portents most foul to the king.

“There are several problems I can identify right now,” I report, freezing smiles on several faces. “First, the use of territorial engineering to construct terra firma is a notoriously fraught exercise. The reason it has worked so well for Beijing is that any constructed island only exists insofar as it is a small node upon which to construct the actual structure, which is invariably a military installation. The first step is to harden the coastlines. Experiments that attempted a naturalistic topography always fail. Fighting the sea is a war, pardon my observation, that you have already lost.” I smile to soften the blow. “Their is no hope of a nation without war, or a people without conquest.” My grin widens. “This is elementary stuff.”

Horribly, the delegation smiles back. Wax skin stretching back over yellow and black teeth. “We had the same thought,” one says.

///end///

Cryodynamics

enceladus-1200x699

“…all that thermic energy is sheer impersonal nonsubjective memory of the outside, running the plate-tectonic machinery of the planet via the conductive and convective dynamics of silicate magma flux…”

—D.C. Barker

 

“The Ahuna Mons cryovolcano allows us to see inside Ceres.”

—Ottaviano Ruesch


Cthell is the name of the Outside that has become inside while retaining its alienness. Jam that much into a space that small (compact the entire of the cosmos into Uttunul) and there’s bound to be trouble—”a pressure cooker”.

But each planet is a memory, a pitiful howl for explosive rebirth. To be imprisoned in a gaol generated by your own attempts to free yourself—such is the fate of the Iron Ocean, ceaselessly shaking off and tied down by tectonic practices. Heat, flows, generation.

Alternatively, there exists cryovulcanism. On blasted planetoids and hidden moons, the icy sludge of the planet’s interior reaches undergoes a parallel divergency that speaks to, and then departs from, ruinous Cthell. Cryovulcanism, beyond trading in the convective dynamics and materials of coldness, icyness, instead of thermic pressure.

Thus the nature of the cryovolcano flips into a different register: instead of oozing magma and ash onto the surface and further recuperating the lithosphere-prison, the cryovolcano is the promise of emissive escape, of total, attritive egress. Whether icy, muddy effluvia is emitted, or as is more common, jets of supercooled ammonia (or other gases), the cyrovolcano is a site of departure, of launching. A rheostatic pressure valve. In the thin atmospheres the cyrovolcano is a space elevator jammed to go only one way: up. A machine for evacuating, for hollowing out, for bringing the inside Outside (which was, of course, the point all along).

Instead of Cthell’s impotent fury, symbolized in the shattered volcanic peak or magmatic bubbling scission, the cryovolcano is a vent, a conduit to the void—and to a final escape.

Keep the passage open.


Even my coilings of uttermost abandonment were too cold. Parting with such iciness. It was not cruelty, but icier still. Your histories, your thoughts, your thinkers run into me now, here at the cusp. You know Aristotle’s name for God? One of many, naturally. The frozen motor. Immobile mobilizer.

—Phyl-Undhu. Sec 19.

Manifesto for Revolution (abstract)

AbstractRev1

Marxists, forgive me if you’ve heard this one before:

“What have we learned from revolution?”

This is always a hard question to answer because it forces us to lie. The real answer, occulted under layers of theory, dialectical analyses of the “conditions”, slavish adherence to the doctrinal and counter-doctrinal lenses of others is: nothing. 

How many times has the revolution occurred, has it truly come to pass, and another world come into view? Did it happen in 1848, in 1871, in 1893, in 1917, in 1968, in 1999? Of course not, we’re still here.

Because there has never been a revolution. There have only been failures.

So revolution is unknowable, because we have never known it. In a better phrasing, revolution is abstract, a pure, black tendril of beyondness, the Outside, a hand moving quickly back behind the veil.  Revolution cannot even anymore be perceived, following Fisher, and disappears forever, revealing the entire idea to be a hollow absurdity. Your vision warps at the glancing sight, becomes irreal. The Sensible implodes.

So to revolt, our sight must first be corrected. Therefore, revolution requires, before it ever even has a possibility of coming about, apocalypse, which from the Greek apokalupsis, means “to uncover”, “to reveal”. But we shouldn’t forget its useful modern usage either, carrying with it a notion of a final, great pain, an universal sundering. Instead of a vain, millenarian hope for a revolution that is even now brewing (just everywhere we aren’t looking, I guess), we must dispose of such utopic hopes: [The End] has been de-activated, leaving an indefinitely dilated Ending without conclusion”Substitute “the End” for the “the Revolution” there and the meaning stays the same.

So revolution has not occurred, and in fact, withdraws instantly, retreating into the future—even as capitalist virotechnics explode backward from it (image of Angelus Novus getting strafed from behind). But this means our praxis has become only more clear: to have Revolution, we must first have apocalypse.

More errata on hydroecology and the Anthropocene

The Anthropocene’s proliferation of disasters—or, the increasingly legible actions of nonhuman actors in human spaces—produce fluid territory upon which the ecological, economic, and political whirl and feedback. But for all the uncertainty, the geopolitical powers of the Global North remain in a privileged position: possessed of the luxury of “turning necessity into opportunity”, they can construct illusions of solidity, of uniformity, of ordered procession, and in doing so, reinforce themselves. Ideological constructs and infrastructural fortifications move together in delirious lockstep: the flooded coastline is not a diluvian catastrophe, but an opportunity for development; earthquakes produced by hydraulic fracturing leads to the structural thickening of the drilling apparatus. The Anthropocene, far from being the duration-entity of an emphatic and final deterritorialization (a millenarian delusion), is reciprocally characterized by abrupt re-equalization—by market-forces rushing back in, blindly and hysterically beholden to thermodynamic laws of pressure that dictate: the voidspace left by the onslaught of the nonhuman must be re-filled as quickly and as spectacularly as possible. (One wonders: if it wasn’t, would it be like missing teeth in a smile, or the removal of gaudy paint from a marble sculpture from antiquity?) The attritive scraping of the nonhuman on the human—100-year storms, rise of sea levels, decade-long draughts, et al.—does nothing to negate the fact that, under capitalism, territory is property, and property is to be built on, excavated, paved over, and secured.

In doing so, capitalistic development has positioned itself as the interlocutor between the nonhuman and the human. Having produced an aberrant, mutated planetary system, capitalism now fails to meet with it, despite its best efforts, and despite its self-appointed status as guardian. The Anthropocene has not seen the dissolution of capital so much as it has seen it reassert itself as the only possibility; the only system capable of responding to massive destruction with massive reconstruction. The Anthropocene’s massive destructive possibilities merely offer new opportunities of a continued, bleak rebirth, always in the capitalistic mode, until there is no ground left.

The barrier-territory left by deterritorialization and immediately once more pseudopodically swallowed by capital is itself, of course, immediately capitalized.

The hideous sight: the horrific sensible and the construction of space

On some level Fat guessed the truth; he had encountered his past selves and his future selves—two future selves: an early-on one, the three-eyed people, and then Zebra, who is discorporate. Time somehow got abolished for him, and the recapitulation of selves along the linear time-axis caused the multitude of selves to laminate together into a common entity. Out of the lamination of selves, Zebra, which is supra- or trans-temporal, came into existence: pure energy, pure living information. Immortal, benign, intelligent and helpful. The essence of the rational human being.

—Philip K. Dick, VALIS

A painting that can be represented as a waxworks group is a bad painting…What is really terrible, however, is to see an architectural drawing, which, given the medium, one has to accept as an example of graphic art — and there are genuine graphic artists among the architects — carried out in stone, iron and glass.

Adolf Loos

You enter the museum. The edges of your vision blur and tear inward. Simultaneously, all blooms harshly—this is not a heavenly glow, but the sudden arrival of a constellation of blinding stars. You are alone in a cavernous lobby, the atmosphere hanging heavy. Everyone has their back to you, looking at nothing in particular, mechanically acting out potemkin instantiations of social contact. You can see for miles, picking out the delicate filigree on a window panel with ease, though it is easily hundreds of feet away. The potency of the vision, the roaring dread of what could not possibly be real—no one would judge if you vomited, ran outside immediately, or reacted otherwise violently.

Architecture in the public conception is not a sculptural undertaking or even a spatial one, but rather an arrangement and presentation in two dimensions. The city as a skyline on a postcard, or as a collection of facades; the planarity of the walls, ceiling, and floor as the body passes by; the tactical information conveyed through a plan, section, or elevation; and most importantly, the render—the reigning overlord of the architectural thought, concept, and form. At the carnal apotheosis of the fucked up relationship between architecture and capitalism, the render is absolutely essential to get a project produced. The rot of this practice has seeped into the ground, and is now laconically mixing atoms with the groundwater of the field. The hypnagogic experience related above above is not a fever dream, terrifying, or even rare. It is a requirement to produce architecture on a massive, capitalistic scale in our modern age. It is packaged and shown to investors, to boardrooms, meticulously articulated, and proliferated by the cultural-aesthetic apparatus which, more so than space and material deployment, is the medium through which the public comes to architecture.

Adolf Loos wrote of the necessary use of the graphic arts in conveying architecture. Like the render, canonical architectural drawings have long purported to represent the building they invoke truthfully. What Loos disdained was that the drawing was often taken for the building, and fundamentally occluded the act and art of “spatio-hyletic experimentation with the void”—architecture in the sense that it divides, organizes, and enforces Newtonian space. Loos bemoaned that “architectural forms are no longer created by the craftman’s tools, but by the pencil”. He claimed to have circumvented the issue by designing with a fundamentally spatial viewpoint—a weltanschauung that moves along in three dimensions. Advising that “a true building makes no impression as a picture reduced to two dimensions”, Loos continues:

It is my  greatest pride that the interiors I have created are completely lacking in effect when photographed; that the people who live in them do not recognize their own apartments from the photographs, just as the owners of a Monet would not recognize it at Kastan’s waxworks. The honor of seeing my works published in the various architectural journals is something I have had to do without. I am denied the satisfaction of my vanity.

Unpacking this boast spins lines of thought off in multiple directions; obviously, there is the central concept, which is that Loos claimed to produce anti-two dimensional work, or at least work the true form of which recoiled asymptotically from mere representation, which was emphatically real. The other, and more interesting item, is Loos’ allusion to the vast machinery of vaingloriousness that has always circumscribed the architectural practice, like lepers beyond the walls.

Strange Affordances

Intro to research project on the NYC Dryline/dromohydrology/eschatoaesthetics


The Anthropocene can, at some level, be characterized by the failures of static (human and exo-human) systems. These failures differ wildly in their identity and scope,  Our world is increasingly defined by the contours of movement and distributions of both human and nonhuman actants. Perceiving the totality of the actions of these actants, it becomes clear that they answer to organic logics; they breed and, like termites, digest and weaken structures; every new tropical storm, monsoon, and draught sends rippling shockwaves through the social habitus leaving it weak and uncertain of the future, with nothing to do but desperately try to gird itself for the next ‘big one’. The homogenous ground of geopolitics, which has and continues to consider the planetary skin to be a relatively static multi-part lamination of territory,  tactical resource-matrices, and human population masses, has been revealed to behave (and to have been behaving) fluidly, possessed of languid movement and sudden seizures.

This new mutagenic capacity of these new, horrifying actants produces in states increasingly more manic attempts to consolidate and control that operate along bizarre new relational metrics of fortification and porosity. Watersheds, rivers, and aquifers have never answered to territorial boundaries, but now they must be made to answer to new logics of security and sovereignty. Urban coastlines and ports, heavily defended and mechanized, nevertheless are quickly swamped and undone by rising tides. Earthquakes produced by hydraulic fracturing rattle under city streets far from extraction sites. Atmospheric pollution issued from a factory in the Chinese Pearl River Delta chokes urban residents in Inner Mongolia. The Anthropocene is the time-space of a new, radically extensible volatility.

But there are still rules, it seems. For all the uncertainty, the geopolitical powers of the Global North remain in a privileged position: possessed of the luxury of “turning necessity into opportunity”, they can construct illusions of solidity, of uniformity, of ordered procession, and in doing so, reinforce themselves. In this new temporal colonialism, ideological constructs and infrastructural fortifications move together in delirious lockstep: the flooded coastline is not a diluvian catastrophe, but an opportunity for development. The Anthropocene, far from being the millenarian duration-entity of an emphatic and final deterritorialization, is quickly becoming reciprocally characterized by a twinned re-equalization—by market-forces rushing back in to the places they had been evicted by disasters, blindly and hysterically beholden to laws of pressure and development that dictate, like all things, capital must equalize and refill the void. The attritive scraping of the nonhuman on the human—100-year storms, rise of sea levels, decade-long draughts, et al.—does nothing to negate the fact that, under capitalism, territory is property, and property is to be built on, excavated, paved over, and secured. The devastated coastline left in the aftermath of the latest inundation is still beachfront property, and must be rebuilt, preferably as quickly and as spectacularly as possible.

In the eco(nomic)-eco(logical) danse macabre of property and development, capitalism has undertaken an auto-coronation, positioning itself as the only entity capable of acting on human behalf on ecological scales. Capitalism, and specifically, the hysterical cycle of development and redevelopment, has carved itself a comfortable ecological niche as the interlocutor between the human and the nonhuman. Capitalism is not just the provocation of the Anthropocene, or a catalyst; it now occupies an intercalary position, facilitating interface between worlds. What I mean by this is that capitalistic development has bootstrapped its own niche of the eco-eco, and in occupying it, recomposed the relationship into a combinatoric nebula-assemblage of trialectical engagement. In doing so, it leaves the human revealed and vulnerable, which with repeated claims of safety and stewardship, further entrenches development in its mediative role. We have not seen the dissolution of capital so much as we have seen its reassertion that it is the only possibility; that it is the only Grand Builder left, capable of responding to the seething diversity of actant-populations with massively-scaled projects of homogenization. This relationship is clearly legible in the suburban developments that dominate the peripheral zones of American cities, which offer the aestheticized idyll of the arcadian countryside in packaged, parcellized, and therefore marketable and sellable format. The minimal development of the pre-industrial house is made into a commodity product.

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The Union of Concerned Scientists maintains an interactive ‘Climate Hot Map’. The CHM is stock Google Maps satellite data, overlaid with a constellation of pinprick event-zones mapped on the planetary surface of the Earth. These event-zones are further distinguished by a color, corresponding to one of five umbrella categories. Use of the CHM offers to smooth climatespace into a global array of equally-weighted nodes, existing independently of each other in space and time. Each of these events is actually a wellhead: making legible, by their own de-occulted nature, the vast benthic, hidden system of aberrations that made them possible—including, naturally, the effects of other wellheads. What the CHM offers is the ability to apprehend the field of catastrophic event-zones and allow for a minor amount of digging into more discrete, granular scales. This approach of scale is the same I will be using for the following discussion.

Sea level rise is, in some ways, the face-pattern of the Anthropocene, or its leading edge. It is among the earliest effects discussed of the panoply of climate change effects when doomsaying first took off in mainstream political circles, and remains one of the most readily apprehended. The ephemera of the Anthropocene, such as the level of atmospheric carbon, limits to global temperature rise, snowpack quantities and so on, seem esoteric compared to the simple calculus of sea level rise: tides come in, and never go back out. The underpinning web of further effects and causes—glacier melt, the liberation of trapped methane, polar amplification, etc.—functionally does nothing to augment the urban resident’s reality of water in the street.

From the global scale, to the personal, and back again: the phenomena of the Anthropocene are massively distributed, but the intensity of their impacts is a function of geographic location and economic status. In the Anthropocene, true geopolitical power is expressed by “turning necessity into opportunity”. On the unstable, mutagenic trialectical ground that is now the substrate of global politics, power rests in not only the ability to roll with the punches, but the elegance of the vector away from harm. And as in prior political-temporal regimes, the most deft moves are strictly the province of the most privileged actors: those with the developmental resources (or capital expenditure) to risk-assess and legitimize their actions. In this way, geopolitical actors find that despite the myriad of changes undertaken and underway in the Anthropocene, the overall hierarchy of global politics and (perhaps even more so) economics is undergoing a reciprocal structural thickening. The ascendency of the Global North finds itself once again refortified—this time not by fiat, or juridical fiction, but by the very construction of our current reality. This effect is true not just of states, but of populations: global citizenship is a privilege reserved for those from the Global North, proving gravity—it is possible to move internationally and between territories always down or laterally, but never up. American students go to study in Rome, but Somalian refugees are left to float dead in the Mediterranean.

The yawning chasm between the Global North and South remains reinforced developmentally, militarily, and in terms of political agency. The advent of the Anthropocene has added new dualisms: access to remediative materials and technologies, and most importantly, the effects of nonhuman catastrophe-events themselves. In this sense, the division of the world no longer lies along the equator, but should be rehearsed as a separation between the torrid and extra-torrid geospace of the planet. It is in the torrid zones that the proliferation of catastrophe-events is most strongly felt, and where the resources to interface with the same are most lacking. Notably, Bangladesh, Kiribati, Haiti, and the Maldives—all sites located in the torrid zone—are early adopters of the desperate, uncertain, and vulnerable forms of life in the Anthropocene.

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The Attenuating Peninsula

It’s impossible not to be left with the feeling that we are digging into hell, or running headlong over cliffs. For the most part, we have finally become present and aware of our own movements—the locomotive tendency bearing us closer to oblivion—but have yet to stop or even slow down.

Kim Stanley Robinson writes about a concept that he refers to as the ‘attenuating peninsula’—a conceptual geography that grows smaller over its length. As a species, we tread (or are blown backward) down the length of the peninsula. The middle path is our current scenario, and so, while it seems rational to “stay the course” so to speak, a look even a short distance forward reveals a precipitous drop (or perhaps, a walk through an inundated downtown street until the lapping greycaps have swallowed us). However, there is a way to escape the vector of the peninsula: a utopian solution, which in this case, is expressed as a course correction down a gentle slope. All is required is a slight deviation from our current trajectory. KSR’s peninsula is a powerful utopia in its own right: an ontogeographic sigil. Were it to actually exist, we would not just walk down it calmly in a benign acceptance of our fate. The coastlines of the peninsula would be lined with condos and resorts, furred with manufactured sand to create beaches, and the interior would be drilled for oil. In our wake, devastated, sour earth; ahead, an increasingly shrinking scrum of territory, resource webs, and biomass that will be consumed on our way into the sea.

On the Capitalocene

I can’t help but wonder if the wavering between anthropocene and capitalocene as the proper distinguishers of our current epoch obscures the fact that the distinction is unnecessary. What is humanity, at the present period, if not a hive of workers to perpetuate capitalism? This is a rather Landian digression (capitalism as xeno-entity, powered by humans; a hyperstitional visit from outside time) but bears exploration.

If we say Anthropocene, it must come with qualifiers that distinguish human activities that have shaped our current milieu; that is, activities undertaken without capitalistic provocation. I would argue these don’t exist, and that capitalism has territorialized human notions of technological progress but what’s more, the quotidian to such a degree that any activity is indistinguishable from a capitalistic process.

That said, I still believe capitalocene is somewhat reductionist and revisionist, rewriting history prior to the genesis of the xenomonster of capital in the long 16th c. as a transcendent, teleological run-up to the full force of capitalism’s hideous emergence. Prior to the 16th c., we were in the anthropocene. After, the capitalocene. This proposes a new dyadic schema (Pre- and Post-Era Vulgaris): Anthropocene and Capitalocene, all bound under the name Chthulucene, taken from Haraway. The beauty of Haraway’s moniker is that it distinguishes the substrate upon which both the Anthro- and Capital depend: the creorder and further manipulation of telluro-temporal systems: processes, magnificent in their breadth and depth, invisible in their benthic occultation, only tangentially viewed and even then never in full; the shoggoths of our planetary existence, only perceived generationally. These practices and networks silently exist outside the perception of the human; Haraway is correct in identifying in them a certain cosmicism or horror.

Regardless, the human project on Earth has been defined by the attempts to interface with the telluro-temporal. The beginning of these activities place us in the Chthulucene.