Toxic Bodies and Alien Agencies – Ecocritical perspectives on ecological others (2017) Serpil Oppermann. A text imagining and exploring “[…] how ecological otherness results from the forces of global capitalism that create trajectories of environmental pollution extending into every metabolic system […]”, among other things. Oppermann notes authors Latife Tekin and Richard Powers as artists who have explored the transformative qualities of toxicity.
In the current social (and environmental) moment, the body is a local text of global contexts, becoming an ecological other through the forces of global capitalism that create trajectories of environmental contamination extended into every metabolic system. The body, then, is an embodiment of toxification of biomes and ecosystems, and thus enacts the ecology of the world, which is, as geographer David Demeritt puts it, “inseparable from the world-shaping network of social practices.”
Nonhuman bodies, too, incontestably suffer, perhaps even more intensely, the effects of unpredictable material agencies, and of human exploitative practices, emissions, and climate change. It is well known that within the regulatory practices many nonhuman bodies are “tailored to fit . . . market slots.” […] Hence, becoming maps of contamination, human and nonhuman bodies increasingly reflect this dynamic process in illness, toxicity, and hybridity, and need to be examined from a perspective that acknowledges the complicity of toxic forces and practices in perpetuating ecological otherness.