Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 15

NOTE:

THIS MASTER THESIS IS


FOR ONLINE CONSUMPTION
ONLY

In Danger of Extinction

Anni Katrin Elmer, CSM MA Photography, 2017


Problem - Question

Problem - Challenge
Prologue - Experience

Table of Contents

Becoming (Blank)
Possibility(ies) Future(s)

Process - Experience

High Time Rethink - Conclude


In Danger of Extinction

Prologue - Experience

Its 06:03. I wake up to the humming of the ship`s engine. I have no sense of
time or place. There is no window, nothing familiar. I crawl out of the bunk bed
and get dressed. I need coffee. I hardly slept the previous nights and Im in
desperate need of a stimulant.
The ship is still asleep, I pass along the long corridor, one cabin after another.
Artificial light. The sound of my steps is absorbed by a brownish carpet.
The busy pleasure ground of the previous night is gone. Dividing walls are
blocking my view of promising window displays, resting gambling machines
without punters and worn-out velvet chairs frame my way.
There is no noise, no echo, no passengers.
How on earth did I end up here?
I have spent a night on a ferry from Zeebrugge (Belgium) to Hull (UK) to bring
my Miniature Dachshund back from Switzerland. I have travelled roughly 1700
kilometers, passed through five countries until I arrive at King Cross Station
in London. No further comment on our The World is your Oyster society,
which acts according to rules and laws that have become far too complex and
obscure to be reasonably explained. Fact is: Only a small percentage of the
worlds population actually lives in `freedom`.1
So, what times do we live in? It seems as were have reached our limit. `Man`2
is framed, is trapped in his own construct (image) of a life, of a world. Fear
and agony, helplessness and dead faint make us sick. Terror attacks, natural
disasters, wars, flows of refugees, human trafficking, tyranny, misogyny, envi-
ronmental pollution, automation, homophobia, racism, cruelty to animals... the
list of constant threats and horror seems endless. The pressure to change for
the better and to do something for a brighter, more sustainable future has never
seemed more urgent and essential.3
At the beginning of the third millennium, we all sense the inevitable need for
change. It is no coincidence that Hollywood produces one apocalyptic block-
buster after the other and television series like Black Mirror (Brooker, 2011),
where fictional near futures show us the possible consequences of technolo-
gy and society, or The OA (Zal Batmanglij, 2016), where spirituality and body
movement overcome human limits, have never seem more popular and terrify-
ing news articles perpetually flood social media.
Floating in the dark without having any sense of orientation, I experience 6am
for two hours. In these two hours, I feel surreal, detached from space and time.
It feels as if I have ceased to exist. There is no future.
I merge with the infinite, unknown dark matter. I become nothing. It`s black.

1 money = power =freedom


2 Man of reason
3 Where does this urge come from? Social media (today`s news)? Or are we lit-
erally touched by the imminence of a possible extinction (precisely the moment where
we start to realize that it is high time to start acting)?
Problem - Question

`How is it that the human species, seemingly so hungry for life and dominance,
has conveniently forgotten its own self-extinguishing tendencies?` (Colebrook,
2014, p. 11)
How can it be that with all our knowledge and with all the horror we`re confront-
ed with on a daily basis, that we still deny our own inadequacy and our own
mortality?
Is a world without human beings unthinkable? I imagine a world without hu-
mans and it brings me to the question:
Is there a future? And how is there a future for human beings on this planet?
Do we just keep on destroying (consuming) nature, other species and finally
ourselves? Do we continue a lifestyle moving towards (a final) human extinc-
tion?
Or are we on the cusp of a new era? At the beginning of an existence lived in
accordance with all living and non-living matter on this planet?
Claire Colebrook states that `there was a time, and there will be a time, without
humans.` (Colebrook, 2014, p. 32) In her opinion, humans will cease to exist on
earth at some point. In her book, The Death of the PostHuman (2014), she sets
her extinction theory. For Colebrook:
There are three senses of extinction: the now widely discussed sixth
great extinction event which we have begun to imagine and witness, even if
in anticipation); extinction by humans of other species (with the endangered
species of the `red list` evidencing our destructive power); and self-extinction,
or the capacity for us to destroy what makes us human.
(Colebrook, 2014, p. 9)
This paper will not investigate all three senses. At this stage I am mainly in-
terested in the third sense of extinction: We annihilate our own being or what
made us human4 in the first place. The following will chapters look at the post-
human condition and the possible future(s).

Problem Challenge

Before investigating this matter further, I need to point out that I can work only
with theories, scientific facts, my own mindset and personal observations. I am
well aware of the fact that all assumptions are created/constructed by a rational
thinking human being in the first place. There is no higher state that would allow
me/us to see other dimensions (yet). The outcome will be limited due to the fact
that I know only what I have learned, what I was taught, and I can only work
with what is accessible: Science, theory, history, (a foreign) language, words
and numbers. The `library` is an anthropogenic one. The conclusion (if there is
one) might bring me back to the point from which I started: theory/ies.
I will try to explore chaos.
Due to the complexity of a topic that doesn`t allow a linear thinking, I will start
this research with my personal journey of observations. How do I/we live? What
affects me/us? And how do I/we deal with it? What am I/we willing to change,
to sacrifice? Where do I/we succeed? Where do I/we fail?
Imagine me floating in a sea of analogies, possibilities, assumptions, theories
and quotes. I will try to seek insights, grasp at straws (`islands` really) by exam-
ining experienced philosophers and thinkers investigating in the post-human
4 Here: Everything that distinguishes us from other living beings on this planet.
topic. Do they see a future for human kind? And what might a future look like?
Furthermore, I need to clarify, as far as possible, and accept the terms I use.
I will set these out in the following section and develop them from there on as
given, since there is not enough `time` in six-thousand words to challenge and
question them all. The brackets, inverted commas and quotations marks em-
phasize the elusive character of the topic. And let`s see what else will emerge
during this research into possible human extinction.

Position - Chaos

`Nothing human makes it out of the near-future. (Land, 2016)


This quote is my starting point. As I mentioned earlier, I can imagine a world
without humans, due to their recent and ongoing actions.
Nick Lands quote means in my opinion (at least) two things:
1.Extinction of the human species. Death to our incarnated bodies: Becoming
corpses.5
2.Extinction of what makes us human. Human virtue6 or human rationality.
Note: Death doesn`t have to be interpreted negatively, at least not in my opin-
ion. In point one, death opens up the field of the unknown, transforms matter
into energy and sets it free. In point two death could also mean that we evolve
to a `higher` being more in line with nature, and thirdly, we all know that we are
all `have-beens` (Braidotti, 2016) from day one on, that death is part of our ex-
istence. In Rosi Braidotti`s words, death is behind us. `Death is the event that
has always already taken place at the level of consciousness. (Braidotti, 2016,
p. 133)
During this research, I reason the post-human from the Anthropocene, `the time
from the 18th century until now, in which it is possible to see the effect that peo-
ple have had on the environment and climate.` (Cambridge Dictionary, 2017)
The term `Man`7 corresponds to the classical ideal of `Man`, the Vitruvian Man
(Vinci, 1490), Mens sana in corpore sano. (Dr-P, 2013)
`The other` is everyone and everything that does not fit into the Vitruvian `frame`.
When I use the word `human` I will refer to the species. The human being from
the family of the great apes. A being with skin, muscles, bones, blood, organs,
head and heart. A body.
So, let me return to where I started from. Are we at a critical turning point to
a new human era, (the Post-Anthropocene?) or are the rats8 abandoning the
sinking ship?

5 Actual death caused by nuclear warfare, natural disaster, genocide, pandem-


ia, climate change or global war, for example.
6 emotion and reason
7 Note: I`m aware that it is usual to avoid gender specific language, but I
believe that today`s world would be different if Leonardo da Vinci had simultaneously
drawn a Vitruvian Woman and a Vitruvian Animal.
8 Here: Figurative analogy for humankind, I will come back to it later.
Becoming - (Blank)

I`m still on the ship.


06:30: Starbucks is still closed. I wonder, it should be open by now. No recep-
tion on my phone. I`m frustrated, due to the fact that I need coffee and Wi-Fi
to feel alive. I should know better. The addictive nature of the human species.
Always demanding more. Drugs, sugar, information, affection. We get high and
instantly ask for more. Colebrook makes this point clearly:
If we are suffering from hyper-affective disorder this is because a po-
tentiality of the body for undergoing stimulus but without conceptuality and
attention is now no longer a background condition but accounts for the desiring
structures of contemporary culture tout court. The social and political organi-
zation of bodies does not occur by way of ideas or beliefsthe imposition of
semantic content or structurebut by way of affective addiction, either to the
diverting stimuli of personal screens and headphones, or to the bodily stimu-
lants of caffeine, sugar, tobacco or other widely ingested and publicly legitimat-
ed substances.
(Colebrook, 2014, p. 84)
I wonder what this constant demand for stimulus means for us? What is the
outcome? What happens to our brain, for example? Is there a direct link be-
tween the constant flow, the overconsumption of information and mental
health? Do we numb our brain cells? Or, do we even alter, change or deaden
them for good?
For Stiegler, the loss of deep attention is also an atrophy of trans-in-
dividual networks: the script technologies that had always supplemented the
brains power and had also always threatened to weaken that power through
externalization and alienation reach new levels of risk. Without extended circuits
connecting the reading-writing brain to logics not its own we face the perils of
a new infantilism (Stiegler 2009). Techne, for Stiegler, no longer opens the brain
onto broader circuits but produces short-circuits. Flickering screens now leave
the eye-brain within itself.
(Colebrook, 2014, p. 74)
Ultimately, we might end up with a brain that is no longer capable of processing
the information it receives. The brain asks constantly for more empty informa-
tion and, bit by bit, loses its main function. This brings me back to the Nick
Lands quote above, to the decay/death of our brain, the organ that made us
measure all things, that made us rational animal, that made us `Man` in the first
place.
In addition, I recently learned, when I watched (consumed) Luc Besson`s Lucy
(Lucy, 2014) that we only use 10% of our brain capacity (as I point out above,
the percentage of this capacity is shrinking). As a matter of fact, dolphins use
20% of their brain capacity, and hence have developed some kind of super-
power, the sonar system.
I wonder. And what about the 90% that are not in use? What if we could get ac-
cess to, and take advantage of, the inoperative matter? Lucy (2014), although
I am not a big fan of the movie, made me hypothesize the huge potential in the
evolution of the human brain and thinking.
I keep exploring, I follow wires, pass CCTV cameras and kentia palms and end
up on deck. I stare into deep black sea and listen to the continuous droning of
the engine.
No horizon, no land, no man.
Process Experience

If there is a ray of hope of passing into a life-affirming future for us human be-
ings, where do we need to change and/or rethink? What have I noticed lately?
Let me observe my close environment and later what I (subject to change)9
actually contribute to a better future.
We10 praise a holistic lifestyle. We are concerned about our health. Our body
is our temple. We realize that treating symptoms is myopic. Before there is a
symptom, mostly pain, like back issues and migraine, there must be a trigger
that causes the condition. It, takes little `rethinking to solve the problem, so, in-
stead of consulting traditional western medicine, we might find help in Chinese
Medicine or with a psychotherapist. We acknowledge that the mind is attached
to a body. There cant be a healthy mind without a healthy body. Almost every-
one goes to Yoga these days. Being able to feel or even lift your toe can be a
notable experience. We find space to calm down minds. Fruit and vegetables,
even paint and cleaning agents are organic. Everyone is vegan or at least a
proper vegetarian. Meat is murder. Having a dog or a cat from an animal shel-
ter will add positive karma points to your rsum. Art is the new black. We are
searching for a non-rational, non-coded, unbiased understanding of the world.
We express ourselves through feelings and emotions, `Sapere Aude` (Kant,
1784) dare to know, dare to have an opinion. We are political. Tolerance is
the key. We share our thoughts and concerns on social media, `The Accursed
Share` (Bataille, 1988) we sign petitions11, we rethink our lifestyle. We change
our career path. We leave our nine-to-five job to start all over again, as a car-
penter, as craftsman or we go back to University to engage in the humanities.12
Claire Colebrook makes these observations:
There has been a return to life, bodies, animals, ecology and the in-
human in general, as though we are once again liberated from the prison of
our humanity, no longer distanced from the world and now able to find a truly
post-theory, posthuman world of life. We turn back to history, contexts, things,
bodies, life and nature.
(Colebrook, 2014, p. 161)
Furthermore, she emphasizes the reason for our mindful movement.
Precisely at the moment of its own loss the human animal becomes
aware of what makes it humanmeaning, empathy, art, moralitybut can only
recognize those capacities that distinguish humanity at the moment that they
are threatened with extinction.
(Colebrook, 2014, p. 14)
Just let me add a thought here. Do `We`13 start caring about the other humans,
other species and matter because they affect us directly? I wonder if it`s not
some kind of hypocritical alliance because we are afraid of dying alone?
In my opinion `Man` shouldn`t merge with `the other` without acknowledging

9 Let me add that I`m aware that I`m not a fixed entity in the first place. Life is
change, or process. `Nothing endures but change.` (Heraclitus, 2017)
10 We: Hipsters and Artists, as described by Stephen Pritchard in `Hipsters and
artists are the gentrifying foot soldiers of capitalism.` (Pritchard, 2016)
11 Such as 38degrees There`s never been a greater need for people power!
(38degrees, 2016)
12 `I think the Humanities need to find the inspirational courage to move beyond
an exclusive concern for the human, be it humanistic or anthropocentric Man, and to
embrace more planetary intellectual challenges.` (Braidotti, 2016, p. 153)
13 Citizens in Western civilization
his arrogance and culpability in the first place. Figuratively speaking. `We`14 are
not in the same boat. And it is not fair or genuine to generalize this disparity in
contemplation of death.
Again, it seems pretty dark out here.

Self - Evolution

By now I realize that `we` is a complex and a multi-faced subject.


Time to zoom in. Where do I contribute to a better future? Where do I rethink
the world we live in?
My thoughts pretty much coincide with the examples in the previous chapter.
I believe that a healthy mind needs a healthy body and I try to be aware of what
I consume. I try to help people as much as I can (altruistic motives) and I reflect
upon my actions and thoughts profoundly. Also, did I decided to go back to
University after many years of working as a freelance photographer.
In my practice as an artist I have simultaneously developed some ideas during
this research into possible human future(s).
My first idea was triggered by Claire Colebrook`s quote that we tend to for-
get our own self-extinguishing tendencies. My aim is to create awareness of a
possible human extinction. Thus, if you are short sighted, I make the possibility
visible. You wear In Danger of Extinction on your chest.15
Does this make me any better than the `we` I depicted in the previous chapter?
Unfortunately, not, I am one of them. Despite my good intentions, I create a
product. In order to make you aware of what is ignored, I make you buy/con-
sume an allegedly `good cause`. Clearly, I have been taught by a system that
is exploitative and is entirely profit orientated, by a society where only value
creates value.
Now I apply this capitalist thinking to the bigger picture. Even if we try to be
mindful and live in attunement with nature, we end up in the same `old` patterns.
We subscribe* to a gym membership, we buy* scented candles and handmade
greeting cards, the organic veggies are delivered* right to your doorstep and
your dog gets his own walker*. You have this wonderful idea to make this earth
a better place. you found* a non-profit organization. People start working for
the cause and you, you have to pay* them. You decide to dedicate your life to
the arts, make people see and feel. How do you support* yourself?
*money involved
Eventually you end up `buying` the mindful lifestyle. `They (hipsters and artists),
like the original pioneers, are explorers and artists and they are capitalists.`
(Pritchard, 2016)
At this point, I will share my second idea with you. The video Christmas Greet-
ings16 is motivated by the fact that `Man`17 tends to forget `the other` utterly due
to his self-involved nature. In my case I let my pet dog18 speak up.

14 all residents on Earth


15 T-Shirt on demand: https://idoe.teemill.co.uk/product/in-danger-of-extinc-
tion-3679/
16 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ubIJaXL-wQM
17 Eurocentric humanist
18 `In this respect, we need to rethink dogs, cats and other sofa-based compan-
ions today as cutting across species partitions not only affectively, but also organically,
so to speak. As nature-cultural compounds, these animals qualify as cyborgs, that ist
o say as creatures of mixity or vectors of posthuman relationality.` (Braidotti, 2016, p.
73)
Interestingly, the way of sharing (the digital space19: location- and time-inde-
pendent) opens up new possibilities20. The Internet allows me to send my mes-
sage for free.21
Digital media enables new chances. In PostCapitalism, A Guide to Our Future
(Mason, 2016) Mason argues that Capitalism has reached its limits and can no
longer adapt to technological change. Furthermore, he argues that Capitalism
will shortly be replaced by a new form of production: Post-capitalism, a form of
networked socialism. Digital goods, (media, literature, music, and much of the
visual arts), once designed and out in the public domain, can be reproduced
and shared in no time for no cost. At the moment, the majority of the political
class in the developed world are committed to preserving, and, if possible,
extending capitalism. But an adaption to a new zero-priced form seems in-
evitable. The prestigious Harvard University, for instance, is already putting its
Photography classes online for free22. No need to sign up or pay enrolment
fees, you can follow the course without charge.
So maybe I don`t need to discard my t-shirt idea after all. I just need to modify
it. The message is the key. With a simple photograph (ideally with an attractive
or popular model) and hashtag, the subtext can be distributed over the World
Wide Web in no time, free of charge. Buying it might be secondary. The benefit
of digital goods is that They can go viral. The internet is fast and it lets us over-
come time, space and, to a certain extent, authority control.
On the other hand, as I point out earlier, we overconsume digital information
and lose the ability to properly `digest` it. Our attention span in 2016 stands at
8 seconds (12 seconds in 2000). `We now have a shorter attention span than
goldfish.` (Egan, 2016)
So, you better be quick if you want to share a thought, concern or idea.

Possibility(ies) - Future(s)

As much I agree with Paul Masons view, there seems to be much more to be
evaluated. Peter Frase subscribes to Mason`s post-capitalism theory.
Frase offers us four futures for humanity, two bright and two gloomy ones:
communism, socialism, rentism and exterminism. His main focus is technology
and its automation. Automation is the constant. He simply changes the political
and ecological context. Frase summarises his arguments thus:
The chapter on communism dwells on the way we construct meaning
when life is not cantered around wage and labour and what kind of hierarchies
and conflicts arise in a world no longer structured by the master narrative of
capitalism. The depiction of rentism is largely a reflection on intellectual prop-
erty and what happens when the private property form is applied to more and
more of the immaterial patterns and concepts that guide our culture and econ-
omy. The story of socialism is a story about climate crisis and our need to adapt

19 Work In Progress: Currently, I am exploring Google Earth, or `Google West`, in


order to get some insights and information about specific areas of the world. I collect
void information that only works as a stimulus for our eye-brain. Captivated by these
artificial landscapes, I try to show that `global` information is denied, manipulated,
or just not available. I also highlight the possibility of a world without bodies. https://
www.youtube.com/watch?v=nTm1OPs6FiY&t=414s, https://www.youtube.com/
watch?v=xvRHgd5d4_k
20 maybe a new `world`?
21 Assuming a recording and sharing device is available.
22 http://www.konbini.com/us/inspiration/alison-photography-classes-on-
line-for-free/
to it, but also about Nature and the Market impede us from seeing how neither
the fetishization of the natural world nor the hatred of the market is necessarily
sufficient, or even relevant, to the attempt to construct an ecologically sta-
ble world beyond capitalism. Finally, the tale of exterminism is the story of the
militarization of the world, a phenomenon that encompasses everything from
endless war in the Middle East to black teenagers being shot down by police
on the streets of American cities.
(Frase, 2016, p. 32)
Frase then concludes that all the possible futures are already here and that it is
up to us to build the collective power to fight for the futures we want. This future
is neither bright nor gloomy; it is what we make out of it.
On one hand, I strongly agree with Masons and Frases views of the dead-end
of today`s Capitalism. On the other, I wonder if we can truly change the current
system by using only the `tools` we already know and possess. Of course, it is
important to look back in history (or back into the future) in order to learn, apply
and move on; my mistrust lies rather in human nature. `Man` is more concerned
about having than being. `Man` is parasitic, consumption is the only way to
support life. Again, if I think this idea through: As long as we have a body, we
have needs and we have to consume and digest energies that are not our own.
(Colebrook, 2014)
Colebrook`s possible future arises from a post-human point of view. She argues
that there can`t be a post-human future if our myopia and our anthropocentric
perspective endure and that we need to find an exit and manage to incorporate
ecology and life.
If we have a future, so it is argued, it cannot be one of calculation,
instrumental reason and the mere continuance or ourselves in isolation. Our
future could occur only if we remind ourselves of embodiment, if we recall what
we really are and once again live our attunement to our milieu not as accidental
but as intrinsic to our very being.
(Colebrook, 2014, p. 135)
Her approach is a more holistic one. She believes that the human being is not
determined, `Man` has the ability to change, to alter himself by examining care-
fully his own history. Therefore, `Man` needs to be more attuned, more sympa-
thetic and less instrumental to reconcile with the Earth. De- and reconstruction
(rethinking) of what we claim to be human is the key.
Interestingly, she points out that the focus is on `how we might survive, rather
than whether we ought to survive` (Colebrook, 2014, p. 190)
We assume that we will continue to live, at least some of us, if not on earth then
on another planet or in another form23 (self-centred human characteristic)24.
If you look at yourself as the causer, the parasite, the virus, the disease (the
consuming body), you could conclude that the planet itself might want to get
rid of you. At least this is what the Gaia Hypothesis, formulated by James
Lovelock in the 1970`s (Lovelock, 2007), claims. According to the theory, the
Earth and its biosphere can be considered as a living entity, that regulates itself;
similar to our own body. If there is a toxic intruder the earth/body starts fighting
and possibly destroying it.
Another approach to our possible future is provided by McKenzie Wark, has
23 This could be a future of a viral life. Humans becoming virus. A virus has no
body, is not life. It needs another organism or system to survive. It is a parasite.
24 Note here the problem with Humanism: individualism breeds egotism and
self-centeredness; self- determination can turn to arrogance and domination; (Brai-
dotti, 2016, p. 30)
developed a critical theory for the Anthropocene `or whatever else you might
want to call this unprecedented situation in world history` (Wark, 2015, p. 4).
Talking of today`s human beings he highlights their specialisation in skills and
labour, that leaves `a person with narrow one-sided experience, routine meth-
ods, and a complete lack of understanding of nature and life as a whole` (Wark,
2015, p. 14).
This specialisation is or was useful for continuous improvement, but is bringing
us now to the edge of a collapse. In his opinion, recovery involves deconstruc-
tion of boundaries between specialities. He calls for a combined pragmatic and
philosophical thinking and he argues for a non-hierarchical approach to think-
ing about the future. In art, he sees the potential to imagine and explore new
possibilities, as art has values other than economic ones.
He believes that for a new way of thinking one has to work with the basics that
already exist. Eventually, he ends up where he started from. `Sometimes to take
three steps forward one has to take two steps back, back into the archive, to
find the materials for going on, but in a new way.` (Wark, 2015, p. 4)
This new way means re-establishing the interconnectedness between `Man`
and nature. Essentially, we need to base this new understanding on common-
ality. Fields formerly distant from each other will assemble and create some-
thing new.
The following quote highlights the visualization of this commonality or same-
ness between `Man` and nature even more: Still more striking is the similarity of
the structure of the eye of cephalopod molluscsoctopuses, cuttlefish, etc.
to the eye of the higher vertebrates.` (Wark, 2015, p. 24)
The fact of having the same structure must be read as sameness. Everything
is connected and we need to acknowledge this. I would even go a step further
and add a faraway galaxy.25
Finally, let us compare the realm of life with the realm of so-called inor-
ganic or inert nature. Exactly the same modelthe rhythm of wavesis end-
lessly repeated in both realms in the most heterogeneous processes. We find it
in the movement of the sea, in the phenomenon of sound, in the radiant energy
of light and electricity, andin astronomyin the change of relationships of
planets to their central sun. But it is also found in the fluctuation of the pulse,
the breathing of animals, even in psychical changes of attention. The same
model also governs well-organised work and artistic creativity, such as rhythm
in music and poetry, and so on without end.
(Wark, 2015, pp. 24 - 25)

25 octopus human galaxy


High Time Rethink Conclude

First of all, in my overall awareness, something has to change and it is our turn
to amend. It is high time that we not only start rethinking but also start reacting.
We `feel` that we are on the wrong pathway26, stuck, hence the changes and
`trends` in everyday life I observed.
The dead ends I encountered in theory can be summarized simply as follows:
Capitalism brings us to the edge of collapse.
Specialization brings us to the edge of collapse.
Anthropocentrism brings us to the edge of collapse.
To be a consuming body brings us to the edge of collapse.
However, I noticed that it was impossible to argue from a global point of view.
For one thing. We (the human civilization on the planet) are born under different
circumstances, into different social systems with their own set of rules and be-
liefs. These systems narrow our point of view and tolerance and understanding
are needed to overcome the resulting differences, without prejudice and arro-
gance, in order to think about a future as one population. There is no universal
alliance, and if there is one now, then it is for the wrong reasons. To argue from
the point of view of Western civilisation is not possible, at least not for me27,
hence, the focus on my environment and finally myself. Did it help? Not really,
as I was brought up by this system. This leaves me and us with a set of limits
and limitations that do not allow for a universal approach to the topic of a pos-
sible human extinction. We all have one thing in common: A blind spot, the fact
that there`s always an outside and another (the other) that creates identity but
also detachment.
Maybe it`s exactly this blind spot that makes us tend to forget that our species
might be doomed to extinction (here I agree with Claire Colebrook). We guess
dissonance in life. We recognize, theoretically, the linearity (limitation) that leads
us to dead ends, but we never seem to have the ultimate death of humankind
in our minds eye. We still look for new solutions, theories and worlds. In a way,
we are again treating the symptoms and not the cause.
In my opinion, we end up missing the bigger picture, as we `frame` the world.
We limit our perception of life itself (think about the camera, photography, tele-
vision, laptop, every object really) in the first place.
Hence, we need a new approach to life. A new science, merging theory and
practice, that is based on sameness and similarities. `Man` is animal, is child, is
universe, is matter, is everything and nothing. At this moment in time we are still
moving in one direction and end up trapped in a vicious circle28.
It is not a coincidence that I chose a popular approach to the topic, I observed
my environment (including myself), I created the shirt idea, produced YouTube
videos, conducted researched on social media to emphasize the necessity of
a non-theoretical approach to the topic. We need to establish a `language` that
is comprehensible for everyone29. Philosophers and thinkers have great models
26 I chose the word pathway for a reason, as it depicts our way of living: Linear.
Time is linear, life is linear, thoughts are linear. Linear is reasonable, linear is science,
linear is truth. Unfortunately, the linear method leads us eventually to a dead end
(collapse).
27 I had to distance myself for the fact that I reject the notion of us being the
measure of all things. We are still arrogant, exploitative, inhuman and we are probably
the lost ones.
28 also linear
29 Here another problem, as we still use a language that is not comprehensible
by everyone and everything.
for the future, but these models must find a way into human life and behaviour.
The artist might know how to deal with the future. In art, we can explore new
possibilities as it has other values than economic and `rules` don`t apply30. As
Claire Colebrook points out `allowing the artist in turn to be something like a
creator giving form to the formless.` (Colebrook, 2014, p. 213)
Furthermore, it`s technology that made me see a way of overcoming our limita-
tions. That is precisely why I decided on the form and use of media for this re-
search paper. The whole paper is intended to be read online, or on your screen,
to make the most out of it.
This form also allowed me to bring in the notion of the rhizome, as I established
in the first place: Floating in the sea, looking out for islands, getting stuck and
finding new approaches, multiple ideas, multiple theories; all part of the big-
ger plan, in accordance with Deleuze and Guattari`s (Deleuze - Guattari, 1987)
perception of the rhizome. They believe in this structure as model for a `better`
culture. The concept is the following. Unlike a tree, the rhizome has no begin-
ning and no end, it is a multiplicity. The tree in contrast represents the distinc-
tion between subject and object. The tree stands for dualistic logic and is also
genealogical. Everything is passed from the root to the branch. The rhizome
instead has no structure of domination, it is heterogeneous and you cannot
break it. New offspring can flourish from any point.
The previous equation between the human and parasite (consuming body)
brought a further intuition. I depicted the human being earlier among others
as rats: `The rats are abandoning the sinking ship. Rats are also a rhizome. An
indestructible mesh that will find a way to live on.
Therefore, I will finish my research with the apprehension that humans will find a
way to prolong their existence in one way or another. The future is multiple and
unpredictable. On one hand, we have chaos, on the other, system. In between,
we have space for transformation, space for a new way of thinking. A thinking
that is not merely reflection or representation, rather performance or process.
(Serres, 2007) I believe that we have the capacity31 to do so, but first we need
to overcome humanity (humanism) and become truly `human` or `the other`32 in
the first place.
Still no coffee, no barista. I check the time. 06:09. Again.
Once I figured out time difference, the ship is vibrant and alive. Again.
Beyond the horizon another possible future33 for human mankind.

30 to a certain extent
31 Remember: we only use 10% of our brains capacity.
32 to close a circle: https://idoe.teemill.co.uk/product/the-other-3679/
33 https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/11/shopping-i-can-t-really-remem-
ber-what-that-is/
Bibliography
38degrees, 2016. 38degrees.org.uk. [Online]
Available at: https://home.38degrees.org.uk
[Accessed 23 December 2016].
Bataille, G., 1988. dm.ncl.ac.uk. [Online]
Available at: http://dm.ncl.ac.uk/courseblog/files/2011/03/Accurs-
ed-Share-Volume-I-The-Meaning-of-General-Economy-Bataille.pdf
[Accessed 1 February 2017].
Braidotti, R., 2016. The Posthuman. 3. Edition ed. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Brooker, C., 2011. IMDb. [Online]
Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2085059/
[Accessed 1 February 2017].
Cambridge Dictionary, 2017. dictionary.cambridge.org. [Online]
Available at: http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/anthropocene
[Accessed 1 February 2017].
Colebrook, C., 2014. Death of the PostHuman, Essays on Extinction, Vol. 1.
1. edition ed. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities Press.
Deleuze - Guattari, G. F., 1987. itp.nyu.edu. [Online]
Available at: https://itp.nyu.edu/classes/fungus/txts/DeleuzeGuattarirhizome.
pdf
[Accessed 1 February 2017].
Dr-P, 2013. 98.6 Dr. Pribut`s Blog, Clarifying The Unusual. [Online]
Available at: http://www.drpribut.com/wordpress/2013/01/a-healthy-mind-in-
a-healthy-body-mens-sana-in-corpore-sano/
[Accessed 2 February 2017].
Egan, T., 2016. nytimes.com. [Online]
Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/22/opinion/the-eight-second-
attention-span.html?_r=0
[Accessed 15 January 2017].
Frase, P., 2016. Four Futures, Life after Capitalism. 1. Edition ed. Brooklyn:
Verso Books.
Heraclitus, 2017. quotationspage. [Online]
Available at: http://www.quotationspage.com/quote/24075.html
[Accessed 1 February 2017].
Kant, I., 1784. What Is Enlightenment. [Online]
Available at: http://www.columbia.edu/acis/ets/CCREAD/etscc/kant.html
[Accessed 1 February 2017].
Land, N., 2016. cnqzu.com. [Online]
Available at: http://cnqzu.com/library/Philosophy/neoreaction/Nick%20Land/
(2003)%20LAND%20--%20Meltdown.pdf
[Accessed 23 December 2016].
Lovelock, J., 2007. The Revenge of Gaia. UK: Penguin Books.
Lucy. 2014. [Film] Directed by Luc Besson. France: s.n.
Mason, P., 2016. PostCapitalism. 2. Edition ed. London: Penguin.
Pritchard, S., 2016. theguardian.com. [Online]
Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/sep/13/hip-
sters-artists-gentrifying-capitalism?CMP=share_btn_tw
[Accessed 23 December 2016].
Serres, M., 2007. The Parasite. 1. Edition ed. Minneapolis: University of Min-
nesota Press.
Vinci, L. d., 1490. Vitruvian Man, Italy: s.n.
Wark, M., 2015. Molecular Red. London: Verso Books.
Zal Batmanglij, B. M., 2016. IMBd. [Online]
Available at: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt4635282/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1
[Accessed 1 February 2017].