Note — Feb 23, 2020

Calling for a More-Than-Human Politics

Anab Jain with the edited transcript of her talk On Critical Activism and Fungal Revolts, presented at the Tentacular Festival in November 2019. Covers a lot of ground from revolution, to complex systems, mycelial arrangements and infinite micro-revolutions, ‘hyperobjects’, a slow form of critical activism, the Divide and Rule strategy, and more-than human-centred design. Ends with Jain’s “first attempt at assembling a Field Guide for the practice of a ‘more-than-human politics’, the start of an A/B styled manifesto that shifts our perspectives from human-centred to more-than-human worlds” which is pretty fantastic. Also be sure to click through to have a look at the video excerpts and the numerous pictures of some of Superflux’s projects mentioned along the piece.

For those of us here in this room who are living in apparently stable ‘democracies’, we realise there isn’t one clear enemy, action, goal, victory. It’s not just data privacy, or algorithmic accountability, or labour rights or ecological crisis. Yes, ‘the enemy’ is so much more tortuous, indiscernible and faceless. […]

Modernism’s methodologies of mapping, designing, planning, for controlling and changing deeply complex systems may not be the answer to the challenges we face. Maybe we need to go underground — working in networked, symbiotic companionships, like mycelial arrangements, to generate infinite micro-revolutions. […]

What I have understood with the idea of staying with the trouble is the opening of possibility space. If you can move beyond quick fixes, we become open to the strange and the unknown, the ambiguous and the uncertain, the weird and the provisional. […]

It is time to acknowledge the limits of anthropocentric capitalism and embrace the burden of a world that is precarious and challenging. To use our deep resourcefulness and imagination to stay with the trouble, and keep the revolt alive.