WEBINAR: Zoo-futurism: A philosophical and artistic exploration of ego-ecologies
How may we grasp meaning beyond the boundaries of biological species? In this talk Dominique Lestel, will explore ‘zoo-futurism’ as setting up the basis of an ego-ecology – to incarnate and to feel biodiversity not from the point of view of the first person, but from the point of view of a first person; to feel its richness and importance from a personal point of view.
Zoo-futurism is a philosophical and artistic perspective that opens the path of a kind of “species anarchism”. It finds its legitimacy partly in the fact that the notion of species is conceptually not so clear in biology and that it is not so simple to rigorously draw convincing frontiers between species. Therefore: why stay in one’s own species? Yearning to go and explore other species (a recurring yearning in the History of Humanity that is anchored within a phylogenetic tendency that is already mobilized by many nonhuman species) is not only a legitimate desire but one that many emerging technologies could allow us to satisfy more and more (Lestel, 2020). To go and explore the giraffe or to go and visit the sea crab has to be thought not as a sterile fantasy but as an existential program that has to be taken (almost) literally. Such a program is of great complexity and has many stakes. In my short talk, I’ll restrain myself to the ecological dimension of such a program. Indeed, Zoo-futurism sets up the basis of an ego-ecology – to incarnate and to feel biodiversity not from the point of view of the first person, but from the point of view of a first person; to feel its richness and importance from a personal point of view.
Dominique Lestel teaches contemporary philosophy at Ecole normale supérieure de Paris. In 2017, he was awarded a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Fellowship, and in 2018-2019 he was a Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Studies in the Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University. He has published many papers in international journals and his last two books are: Nous sommes les autres animaux (2019, Fayard) and Machines Insurrectionnelles. Une théorie postbiologique du vivant (2021, Fayard).