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a time for fear
 
Monday, June 02, 2003  
Alain Bombard...produced two glass tanks, one filled with polluted water - of the sort one might draw from the port of Marseille - containing a healthy, thriving, almost dancing octopus. The other tank contained pure, unpolluted seawater. Bombard caught the octopus and immersed it in the 'normal' water; after a few seconds the animal curled up, sank to the bottom and died...Now more than ever nature cannot be seperated from culture...
Felix Guattari

Many synthetics are now pervasive in trace quantities and many have half-lives that are measured in hundreds of years, so for centuries to come, living things themselves will be a resevoir of contamination.
'State of the World 2003'

Forget post-human bodies, this is not theory: our bodies are post-organic, have been for decades, centuries, a couple of millenia. Now that every aspect of our environment, at every level, strata, and sphere is polluted, or adjusted, our bodies crossed, recrossed, invaded (willfully, or secretly), our air a constant flux of gases, toxic imbalance and renewed purity, new waves (electricity, radiation) tapped and exploited and pumped through our bodies - because of all this there will never be a clear, preindustrial, pretechnological, pre-GM idealised state that we can return to, cleansing our bodies of all toxins and traces of artificial contamination, no ecological utopia (dreaded biosphere!) in which we could survive for very long at all. Imagine us in the Jurassic era, we'd probably shrivel up like Bombard's octopus (even if we weren't eaten or sucked into a tar pit or flattened by a volcanic eruption (note: uncover prehistoric pollutants)).

In terms of nonorganic (and organic) pollutants, applications and all that, it's all relevant, the molecular and molar, make-up and fossil fuel emmisions. With all our little contaminations, cures and extensions, the ones we choose, the ones we can do nothing about, the ones we never learn about, our bodies and minds have been totally reconfigured: silicon implants, suntans and fake tans, jewelry, hair extensions, vitamin complexes, fitness routines, dietry regimes, genetic modification, biotech crops, carbon emissions, petrochemicals, heavy metals, fertilizer nitrates, aquiler pollution, plastics, pesticides, lubricants, solvents, food colouring, preservatives, reprocessed meat, flouride, vaccinations, microwaves, electrical signals, radio waves, laser beams, carcinogens, aerosols, shampoo, gels, prosphetic limbs, metal plates, tattoos, narcotics, smoke and soot particles, radon gas...

The post-organic body is strong, and we survive for longer because of it, we evolve along with and into our environment, and it takes a disaster like asbestos or Chenobyl to really disrupt our biological coping mechanisms. Our continents are awash with post-organic bodies, and generation gaps, all learning to exist somewhere between surfeit and survival.

The post-organic archetype/exemplar: Don Simpson. A carnival of narcotic and stimulant abuse, and a cosmetic surgery doll, nipped and tucked and rattling with pills.

6:23 PM

 
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