Panorama of Our
P #5


McElvaney, Kevin


Discarded CRT monitors arranged into a makeshift bridge. Photo taken from the article:
The Guardian: Agbogbloshie-worlds-largest-e-waste-dump-in-pictures.


Court, David


Screen grab of Samsung's webpage for LED 7000 television monitors. 


    "Only a philosophy of nature
    can save us from the impoverished
    conceptions of subject and object"

    First, what appears to be outside is only so from an epidermal point-of-view. Thinking as contiguous selection of milieu. A prosopagnosia of figure and ground. A formatting of earth as multiplex. A spray of pale blue--of reddish brown to blue black.

    Inside, a sensation of total immersion. A drop shadow of subject and world. A figure wandering in apophenia. A body double blemishing the surface of the screen. Reeds obscuring a panorama of externalities. Drone view of selective resolution. A mirage of renewal. A baroque anaesthesia.

    The history of media is a history of rubble. A geology of upgrades. The screen, like the body, comes from the earth. For every disembodied eye, a chthonic mouth whispering. There is no really-looks-like, no “foreign reality” to be penetrated, no subject to complete. Only the real, of which we are a part.


    A former wetland and suburb of Accra, Ghana known as a center for the environmental dumping of electronic waste. E-waste contains toxic chemicals that are emitted into the ground, water, and atmosphere when the electronics are broken down, burned, and processed. Poisons such as lead, mercury, arsenic, dioxins, furans, and brominated flame retardants seep into the surrounding soil and water, thereby seriously polluting the landscape. Exposure to these fumes is especially hazardous to children, as these toxins are known to inhibit the development of the reproductive system , the nervous system , and the brain in particular. Children often spend every evening and weekend processing waste searching for metals.


    The experience of seeing meaningful patterns or connections in random or meaningless data. The term was coined by neurologist Klaus Conrad.


    An impairment in the recognition of faces. It is often accompanied by other types of limited recognition (place recognition, car recognition, readings of emotion, etc.) Prosopagnosics often have difficulty recognizing family members, close friends, and even themselves.


    For the philosopher Gilbert Simondon, individuation precedes the individual--ontology, the study of being, is replaced with ontogenesis, which sees individuals in terms of the metastable processes and common materialities through which they are constituted. "It is not relation to self that comes first and makes the collective possible, but relation to what, in the self, surpasses the individual, communicating without mediation with a non-individual share in the other." For Simondon, an individual always partakes of a share that is more-than-one, which is what constitutes the potential for an individual to go beyond itself--the positive incompleteness of the individual. "The elaboration of psychic individuality is transindividual… individual cannot psychically consist in itself." Accordingly, the technical relation is a transindividual one, involving both humans and tools--the biological and the technical exist in a relation of co-evolution, under the sign of nature. Simondon asserts the necessity to engineer this relation on the terms of equality, where it is understood that the machine shapes the human as much as the human shapes the machine.

    [Quotations from Muriel Combes’ Gilbert Simondon and the Philosophy of the Transindividual (2012)]