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Joined 2 years, 10 months ago

I arrange things into artworks, including paint, wood, plastic, raspberry pi, people, words, dialogues, arduino, sensors, web tech, light and code.

I use words other people have written to help guide these projects, so I read as often as I can. Most of what I read is literature (fiction) or nonfiction on philosophy, art theory, ethics and technology.

Also on Mastodon.

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Fionnáin's books

Currently Reading (View all 9)

Brian Massumi: What animals teach us about politics (2014, Duke University Press Books) 4 stars

Thinking through animal play

4 stars

Brian Massumi presents a theory on how play works as language and as a substitute for violent action in animal and human actions. It's a fun treatise, well presented in a longer first section before three other supplements that look at praxis of the ideas presented. The first of these is a pure joy to read.

This book is very dense philosophy, and at times it feels preposterously filled with jargon even if Massumi felt that language was necessary for accuracy. Yet it is also full of wonderful moments and deep thoughts that challenge human exceptionalism and create ways to consider other-than-human engagement from a nonhuman frame. It draws heavily from Deleuze and Guattari and often the writing feels like their more playful style, pushing the boundaries of what language can do. This is best illustrated in the supplementary chapter 'To Write Like a Rat Flicks Its Tail', which thinks …

Brian Massumi: What animals teach us about politics (2014, Duke University Press Books) 4 stars

A politics that reestablishes ties with our animality, in its immanent movement of naturally supernormal self-surpassing, cannot be based on a normative ethics of any kind. Animal politics recognizes no categorical im- [->]perative. It lives the imperatives of the given situation, and it lives in paradox. Such a politics does not recognize the wisdom of utility as the criterion of good conduct. Rather, it affirms ludic excess. It does not cleave to the golden mean. It excessively lives out the in-between.

What animals teach us about politics by  (Page 38 - 39)

A good summary of the first chapter's main arguments.

Page breaks at the [->]

Jay Griffiths: Why Rebel (2021, Penguin Books, Limited) 4 stars

Passionate Rebellion

4 stars

Jay Griffiths is a unique voice in climate activism. They easily move through essay and fiction, keeping a creative and passionate voice in either. This collection of essays is the former, about how and why Griffiths became involved with Extincion Rebellion.

The second half of the book focuses on this move into rebellion, but the first half is the one that caught my attention more. I love how Griffiths describes metaphor, and the role(s) of artists as shamanic guides. How the essays present the contrast between rationalism, literalism and libertarianism with environmental and social movements is beautiful and captivating. The personal stories are also perfectly pitched.

Clarice Lispector: The Besieged City (Paperback, 2019, Penguin Random House) 3 stars

To see is to change

3 stars

I adore Clarice Lispector, whose prose and presentation is unlike any other author I have read. This novel, like all of her work, is brilliantly written, unique, and uncanny.

The story of Lucrétia Neves living in the township of Sao Geraldo is one of passing time. As she watches the horses and the city, it transforms in front of her eyes, in transforms because of her watching it. Her life changes and moves away, but she drags herself and her new life back into that world. The book is amazing for how it presents the changing world, the evolution of a city through the eyes of a person, and the growth of a self through the eyes of themselves and others.

Unfortunately, it suffers from its strengths, particularly in the early sections where the weirdness is too much, too repetitive, even though this is partly the point. But as an …