This month has been quite hard, the exhaustion is real and I can feel in the air that sadness related to the possibility that this pandemic life is simply our new reality. A strange existence, very mediated by digital technologies of communication, a general sensation of the unreal.
I’m bored of consuming every day this type of content in the news that makes me think that it is too stupid to be true but then I realize that it is true. And I’m barely on the internet, much less on social media. Well, I got that exact desolating feeling when I learned about the problem of crypto-art and its NFTs, an issue that many people tried to address this month, it is basically another abhorrence involving digital technologies, artists/speculators, and capitalist accumulation. Of course all this business has a major ecological impact since this type of crypto-art and its digital register of authenticity are based on blockchain, one of the filthiest computational processes because of its high demand of electric energy. For instance, the carbon footprint of a single crypto-artist with a couple of artworks, equates to the annual energy consumption of an average person living in the first world. From the many texts I read on this subject, I think that this one by Duncan Geere is the best, I really like that he doesn’t introduce the topic in an unnecessarily complex way, but affirms with clarity that NFTs shouldn’t exist, that no decent artist should use them, and that there’s no possible compensation for the perpetrated ecological damage.
Also this month, I saw some updates about the right to repair, I read that the European Union will require that electronic devices should last at least for a decade good news of course, but it still shocks me that we need to demand this type of solution to combat the obscene greed of technology manufacturers. I also read about how the Dutch rail network will not resist the high temperatures of the future (high temperatures which I love, sorry planet), so it is now necessary to make a billionaire investment so the rails resist. I guess infrastructures should be saved, especially the trains, beautiful means of transportation, however I have to admit that I felt so much pleasure when I watched the news of the data center in Strasbourg collapsing in flames. Such hypnotizing images! The day after the fire so many sites were down and I think we were able to witness the insignificance of this problem when confirming that the planet clearly survived without these digital products and its metals. Could we consider this fire a micro-rehearsal of the end of the human species? An ending in which we do not feel panic but some type of calm?
Well, I don’t want to be invaded by this white sadness either, this is a concept that Rosi Braidotti coined in one of her classes, she laughed at this idea of L3t’s aCcePt Dy1nG iN tH1s CoLLap5eD pLaNetT. I rather maintain a fighting stance, that’s the reason why we created gatitoearth isn’t it? In relation to this spirit, I liked this initiative of circular economy started at Waag to learn to repair your old clothes, I also discovered this designer from Rotterdam who uses a miraculous lighting formula to stimulate growth in crops and also to kill the corona virus And my favorite: Future Beyond Shell a project of my colleague Selçuk with the objective of dismantling the power of these oil villains. I think that we should adopt a similar approach regarding tech corporations: accuse them using their names, no more “ethical principles”, no more multistakeholderism, Google must fall, Facebook must fall, Microsoft must fall (even if they hire Björk to make music with the clouds and AI).
Amiga I love you, enjoy Aries season and remember my birthday on the 14th 🙂
*Now I feel like this guy who comments football matches in Chile who is addict to sending condolences in the transmissions, but I want to dedicate this dispatch to Nala, my friend Dennis’ cat who died of corona virus. This is us during our last summer in Amsterdam. Pandemic from hell I hate you but you’re not taking away from me my love, my freshness and my youth!!!!
Danae, my friend, how atrocious is March in a pandemic. It is like a goo, like an aloe vera that doesn’t heal and just sticks to your skin without any reason. Are you ok in Rotterdam? Are you alright in Europe? Hello? Europe doesn’t answer, estamos solas, solas, en America.
When was the last time we saw each other in person? How depressing to think about it. Was it in June 2019, together with Pancho, when we were cultivating the seed of Gato.Earth? Oh, what a sort of life was ahead of us. Are these wasted years? I’m getting a panic attack just to open up to that possibility. It comforts me to think that, despite everything, we raise the flag of this gatito, without social networks, like a testimony in a pre-2010 web, a dimension apart from those speculative crypto-artists. I adore, also, that we coincide in readings.
I laugh to myself because I was just reading Braidotti’s Posthuman Knowledge, I mean, to catch up a little bit with readings, and she gives a hard time to the white men’s tears whining of climate change hahaha. For a while, I felt like telling her, “stop it Rosi, it’s already destroyed, now it’s cruelty.” Something similar happened to me recently reading Poetry of the Future by Srećko Horvat. All about the apocalypse, poor Europe, they have to get our act together. Pucha, Srećko, when you’re reading white European men of the twentieth century only, it is tough to find little desire to live in a century – paraphrasing Rosi – that makes no one feel at home.
Shame on the apocalyptic sentiment, too, if there are people who – long before Europe realized it’s also screwed with climate change – their whole lives have been a survival game. C’mon.
The one book that saved me from so many European males I read-totally my fault-was Futurability: The Age of Impotence and the Horizon of Possibility, by Franco Bifo Berardi. I particularly liked how he unfolds how technology and innovation are paving the way for growth and efficiency in the rotting corpse of capitalism and how workers need to reclaim technology’s fate rather than deny it. This disdain means that today, the elites dominate the technological economy, and technology is replacing workers, impoverishing them, and finding new avenues of exploitation.
Without going further, Bill Gates. He has just released the book How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need, which seems to be a hilarious series of techno-solutions to the climate crisis. Funny, of course, until they are implemented by the power and narcissistic whim of a guy who wants to “solve” everything. This article is super good: it talks precisely about how leaving technology in the hands of the neoliberal capitalist elite means that, in the quest to create answers to climate change, more and more power will end up being concentrated in private hands through the dogma of technology. “These described technologies are used as methods of direct imposition, without any democratic, ethical, social, or ecological assessment. All the while substituting complex, diverse, self-organized, autopoietic systems, creating a new level of illusion that is propelling us faster toward collapse.”
My friend, will the infrastructures melt before you get this email with my reply?
I love you very much and larga vida to cats (those alive and those who accompany us from the underworld). I send you a picture that I don’t know what it is, but today I saw it, and it made me laugh. At this point, that it is already something.