Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Animals, humans included, use pollution to appropriate territory through defiling it

Posterized photo: Boston Industrial Sunset by Jean Stimmell ©2011
"Michel Serres, an eccentric French philosopher, has written the first truly philosophical work of the mental environmentalist movement, a radical re-conception of pollution that hones the Adbusters critique. The big idea of his book, Malfeasance: Appropriation Through Pollution?, is that animals, humans included, use pollution to mark, claim, and appropriate territory through defiling it and that over time this appropriative act has evolved away from primitive pollution, urine and feces, to "hard pollution", industrial chemicals, and "soft pollution", the many forms of advertising."*
* See Adbusters: 
http://www.adbusters.org/blogs/blackspot-blog/michel-serres-mental-environmentalist.html
A Tumor on Tradition     Jean Stimmell ©2011
"Let us define two things and clearly distinguish them from one another," Michel Serres writes, "first the hard [pollutants], and second the soft. By the first I mean on the one hand solid residues, liquid gases, emitted throughout the atmosphere by big industrial companies or gigantic garbage dumps, the shameful signature of big cities. By the second, tsunamis of writings, signs, images, and logos flooding rural, civic, public and natural spaces as well as landscapes with their advertising. Even though different in terms of energy, garbage and marks nevertheless result from the same soiling gesture, from the same intention to appropriate, and are of animal origin."
To check out Michel Serres landmark book, click here: Malfeasance: Appropriation Through Pollution?
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