On July 14, at 12 ET / 18 CEST The New Centre aired the sixth episode of their public program Sheltering Places, titled,
Sensing Nature: Intimacy Without Proximity with Eben Kirksey* and their Board Member Julieta Aranda**, moderated by myself. The topic of discussion was human/non-human relationships (more info about the topic and guests below).
Humans’ relationship with non-humans and Nature is becoming increasingly mediated by digital apparatuses. From their use in farming and weather forecasting, to recognising plants or summits via apps, we shield ourselves and develop
intimacy without proximity (Jake Metcalf, Environmental Philosophy 5, no 2, 2008). While avoiding proximity with humans is often safer for non-humans, this growing mediation nonetheless changes the relationship between the two actors. These technologies come with clear political consequences, and so far, they only seem to drive us towards worse techno-capitalist horizons. This conversation tackles the possibility of intervening in these processes from the fields of art and humanities. Can these technologies help to recreate refuge and develop a more egalitarian relationship between non-humans and Nature? Or will the electronic wasteland and their inherent biases only leave us doomed?