“Critical contact: the climate crises, human/nonhuman thinking, and sensing the possible” presented by Coover, Kluszczynski, Nacher and Pold


Session Title:

  • In-Person Panel Presentations

Presentation Title:

  • Critical contact: the climate crises, human/nonhuman thinking, and sensing the possible




  • The point of contact between human and nonhuman is an imaginary of possibilities and, if one is to follow upon Bruno Latour’s critique on the “tyranny of the globe”, the borders separating the body and nonhuman are even more porous, illusive and multiple than imagined.

    [1] [2] Through interventions at levels of platform, system, code, sentience and nonhuman critical thinking, this panel con-ceptualizes this point of contact as a moment of art and one begging urgent response. Why urgent? Because, although the immediate and terrible crises of global warming maybe be directly caused by the human use of fossil fuel — some-thing straightforward that humans should be able to solve, the overwhelming incapacity of humans to build the will to confront the crisis (and other crises like mass extinction, perpetual wars, starvation, poverty) perhaps lies in the far broader, dystopic paradigms of the Anthropocene that im-prison our imaginaries within a cross-cultural mythos da-ting back at least to the beginnings of the Industrial Revo-lution.

    Simultaneously, technological infrastructures and platforms are designed in ways that hide the material costs and damage behind glossy surfaces and disappearing inter-faces.

    That humans of the industrial era seem incapable of breaking cycles of warfare, economic inequality and global destruction despite indisputable evidence suggests that systems of knowledge and action that seemingly might provoke action are trapped within some larger mythos. Such a mythos is embedded in our technologies, networks, iconographies, languages, disciplines and narrative models.

    Though natural and machine-driven nonhuman and human-nonhuman approaches in the arts the panel looks for possibilities through alternate platforms, perspectives and con-figurations that may help transform the climate debates and discourse around other challenges of our time.