This third volume of Naturally Hypernatural explores contemporary concepts of landscape in the humanities and the arts in relation to the notion that our age is defined by a ‘geology of the human’ and that this reckoning constitutes a new epoch, aptly named the anthropocene.
The thesis of this volume – that there is no homogeneous concept of landscape, just as there is no uniform definition of nature or culture – was developed concurrently at a conference at the University of Graz and at a series of exhibitions centered on film, painting and photography at the Kunsthaus Graz. This thesis has been fortified by registering the simultaneity of land art, the ecological movement and the view of the earth from space.
Art since the modern period reveals how divergent ideas of landscape are intertwined with differently chanted conceptions of subjectivity, perception and space.
The Third Table
In recent years I have been linked with a philosophical movement called speculative realism. But my own variant of speculative realism, known as object-oriented philosophy, actually dates to the late 1990s. The principles of object-oriented philosophy can be summarized in a few sentences. First, philosophy must deal with every type of object rather than reducing all objects to one privileged type: zebras, leprechauns, and armies are just as worthy of philosophical discussion as atoms and brains. Second, objects are deeper than their appearance to the human mind but also deeper than their relations to one another, so that all contact between objects must be indirect o vicarious. Third, objects are polarized in two ways: there is a distinction between objects and their qualities, and a distinction between real objects withdrawn from all access and sensual objects that exist only for some observer, whether human or inhuman. Finally, the basic problems of ontology must be reformulated in terms of the fourfold structure that results from these two polarizations in the core of objects. In a brief article like this one, there is no way to deal adequately with all of these problems. Instead, I will focus on clarifying the nature of what I have called real objects by way of a critical treatment of the famous theme of Eddington’s two tables.
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington was a British astrophysicist best known for his observations of a solar eclipse in 1919, which confirmed...
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