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Booked a trail riding session for next Tuesday 1pm!

Making art with plants, is abstract art – It requires an understanding of concepts and approaches derived from cell biology and theories concerning the climate (that there is oxygen etc.). People cannot build relationships to plants because our interdependency is an abstraction. You can respect a plant but the plant will never respect you – Which means that there is no mutual respect in the relationship.

Respect is a relationship, in which the well being of separate entities is rooted on a shared awareness of specific problems and skills an other entity has (face-to-horse-face). This supports the well-being of both entities: A horse needs human guidance for navigating contemporary landscapes (maps, social networks), a human needs the horses skills in moving in complicated terrain (four hooves, sensory awareness).

In this relationship both entities constantly contest each others limits, to set parameters for the collaboration. When entities work together, the work is a social process (the outcome is the surplus of a successful relationship). One entity cannot surrender decision making to the other, both must engage at all times (relaxation is an important form of engagement). This is what Arja Sulin is saying when she shouts: “Absolute focus!!!” to kids learning to ride. Following this logic it seems that people don’t necessary build relationships to each other either: Words develop institutions which make-us-make-sense of each other according to a predefined logic. This would mean that the only respectful relationships we can form are to animals with whom we cannot negotiate with using words. Weird… Lovecraftian?

Post-Capitalist Ecologies: Energy, ‘Value’ and Fetishism in the Anthropocene (2016) Alf Hornborg. The article has a chapter called “The Money Artifact as the Root of All Evil”, how cool is that? He’s citing Andreas Malm (who coined the term Capitalocene).

To most of us, even to Marxists, money is like water is to fish—and yet the intrinsic logic of this human invention is nothing less than capitalism itself. […] The basic conundrum of money is that it is simultaneously an idea, or sign (a unit of account), and a potent material force. Money is represented as a reflection of some underlying and more material level of reality to which it refers, yet in itself it organizes that material reality.

… we need to take a detached, second look at the seemingly self-evident, cultural idea of money, namely the idea that everything is interchangeable on the same market. This idea—this artifact—makes it possible to purchase human time as well as entire ecosystems as market commodities. […] this is the common denominator behind slavery and climate change.

So-called posthumanist attempts to dismantle all distinctions between the social and the natural, humans and non- humans, and even subjects and objects, will not help us. To dissolve such distinctions is not to challenge power hierarchies—on the contrary, it is to abandon our capacity to do so. […] A coherent political-ecological understanding of the Anthropocene can only be built on the analytical distinction between the societal logic of capitalism (i.e., money) on the one hand, and the pre-symbolic and non-human aspects of the biosphere revealed by sciences such as thermodynamics, geochemistry, and ecology on the other.

To what extent does it enhance our analysis to refer to energy as ‘use value’? ‘Value’ is a concept deriving from the market, and the only conceivable metric for measuring it is money. Regardless of whether it is provided by draft animals, human labor, or fossil fuels, energy is not a value. It is measured in Joules, not money. Marxian and ecological economics tend to describe the fundamental problem of capitalism in terms of the “underpayment” of biophysical phenomena such as labor-power, embodied energy, or ecosystem services, but this way of talking about unequal exchange suggests that there is a conceivable “real value” or “correct price” which would make the purchase of labor-power, energy, or ecosystem services fair and morally defensible. […] . Whether we talk about internalizing “environmental costs,” valuing “ecosystem services,” or paying “environmental debts,” we are deluded by the same fundamental incommensurability between ecology and economics. Money cannot compensate for entropy.

Although Marx clearly understood the machines of his time as devices for exploitation, he believed that they too could be extricated from capitalism and made to serve the proletariat. Paradoxically, his point that technologies generate specific forms of social organization—as in his classical observation that “the steam-mill [gives you] society with the industrial capitalist” (Marx 1847)—can be viewed as a precursor to Actor-Network Theory, yet he must have visualized capitalist machines as intrinsically non-social products of engineering, that is, as “productive forces” detachable from their social context.

I have argued that the technological infrastructures developed in wealthier parts of the world are products of accumulation based on global relations of unequal exchange with less affluent areas. Technological progress, in this view, is not so much a matter of ingenious and innocent breakthroughs in engineering as of devising new and profitable systems for displacing work and environmental pressures to other populations and geographical areas.

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