Musing

Free Arts Space, Helsinki, 2013
Text

“All those stones that have started to circulate around you”
A growing collection of stones and minerals at home leads into a discussion. Has my interest in new materialist cultural theory gotten new age tendencies?
I answer quoting Jane Bennett, one of the key figures in the field of new materialism: “We know that we are all matter, all the way down: why then shouldn’t there be some resonance between the molecules of me and the molecules of stuff?” (1)

Eija-Riitta Berliner-Mauer has been married to the Berlin Wall for over 30 years now. “I needed a strong support in my life… and I found YOU―my beloved Berlin Wall!,” she declared on their wedding day. Committed to the concrete structure since 1979, Mrs. Berliner-Mauer admits having been drawn to other manufactured objects as well: bridges, fences, railroad tracks, and gates. Did she also have a Pet Rock in the 1970s? A rock branded as a pet that does not need to be fed, walked, bathed, groomed and will not die, become sick, or be disobedient.

Bennett writes: “We can think of what it means to humanize a stone, but let’s push that further and think about the stoniness in the human.” (ibid.)
How did you enter into the part of a stone, or a rock in the school play? Did you speak on behalf of the rock or let rocks speak through you?

“There are only nine billion humans but the smallest stone … has many orders of magnitude, more atoms … or molecules than the largest human society… Because of its small numbers we have a much more intimate knowledge of human societies than we have of other non-human societies viewed from the outside and so to speak in bulk, or statistically.”―Bruno Latour (2)
Jenna Sutela
(1) Jane Bennett with Alexander Livingston: Philosophy in the Wild―Listening to ‘Things’ in Baltimore, Scapegoat Issue 02 MATERIALISM, 2011
(2) Bruno Latour: What Is the Style of Matters of Concern?, Spinoza Lectures, Amsterdam 2005

Venus Revisited,
Performance by Elina Minn