Category: BlogStuff


The seven boxes above this post (below the “immanence” header at the top of the page) — plus three others that open up when you scroll over them — organize blog entries into topical “Categories.” (There are eleven, but “Other” doesn’t contain any posts; it’s just a place-holder.)

Recent entries on this blog have been dominated by the “GeoPhilosophy” category, but this and the other nine ebb and flow in rhythm with the stars (what’s happening in the world) and the moon (my interests). To give you an idea of what’s buried in the archives of the blog, here is a list of the categories accompanied by the total number of posts in each. Some posts fall into two, and sometimes more, categories. If the titles aren’t self-explanatory, you can explore within them to see what they mean.

Incidentally, I’m surprised there’ve been only twelve posts on music and sound-related topics; expect more in the future. Expect poetry, too. And maybe a reorganization of the categories to be a little more compact. (The film-related posts, for instance, seem to be divided between “MediaSpace,” which covers media- and communication-related topics, and “ImageNation,” which focuses more on visual culture and the imagination of the world; needless to say, the two can often get difficult to distinguish from each other.)

immanence seeks poetry editor

With its migration and re-emergence on a new (and improved) server, it’s a good time for this blog to diversify and transubstantiate, like water into a good Mediterranean wine.

To that end, Immanence seeks a poetry editor, someone to collect and/or produce textual and visual poetry as an accompaniment and countercurrent to what appears on the blog already. Contributors in general are also welcome: writers, textual poachers, and creative artists interested in the interfaces between ecology, culture, philosophy, and media. (See the Categories up above for a more complete list of the content areas. “Poetry” can and should be added to it. The blog’s mission statement is here, but it can evolve, as all good things do.)

I’ll be taking some release time from the blog in the near future, and I’d be thrilled to have guest contributors and/or co-editors. If you’ve liked what you’ve read here and would like to join the conversation, as a contributor and not just a commenter, please write me to let me know.

As for what’s in it for you… A new audience? Joy? The irrepressible lightness of being immanent?

welcome to immanence 2.0

This is the new, improved version of Immanence. If you came here from the old one and had been a feed subscriber, blogroll linker, or just a regular reader of that one, I would love it if you’d do the same here. I’ll still be tweaking things here and there for a while as I get accustomed to the possibilities of WordPress. Let me know your thoughts about the new design and format.

The design, by the way, combines 85ideas’s Motion theme (see bottom of this page) with an image worked over by the magicianly hands of Ines Berrizbeitia, from a photo I took many years ago on Graham Island, Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlotte Islands, off the northwest coast of British Columbia). Ines’s creativity and craft, along with her patience (working with a finicky art director looking over her shoulder), are immensely appreciated. You can visit her web design page here.


Once this blog migrates to the new site — which should happen as soon as the UVM blogmasters press the right buttons and set the transition into motion — I plan to start a regular (weekly or so) feature directing readers to interesting developments in ecoculture and geophilosophy. (And sometimes “mediapolitics,” where it converges with the other two.) It won’t be a comprehensive report, but more a briefing in the style of Harper’s Findings, with a nod and a wink, and footnotes added. (I love Popdose’s attempts to set those findings to music.)

In that spirit… Over the last little while, Robert Graves and Didier Madoc-Jones sent fourteen postcards from the future in which climate change has already taken place, essentially as geophysicists were warning. Greenland warmed to the idea, setting its own glaciers to break their own speed limits. Chinese Daoists opened a temple atop Mount Yi, adding to the growing rebirth of the philosophical and religious tradition most clearly aimed at keeping those glaciers intact. Nature artists meeting in South Korea continued to craft objects of beauty in blissful ignorance of the conflagration brewing up around them. Bats beat out six other contenders for the title of Animal with the Weirdest Genitalia on Earth. Elsewhere, Sarah Palin was caught fishing too close to bears, the state movie of both Missouri and North Dakota became Jesus Camp, and the state word of Nevada became “debauchery.” Scientists found that dark matter pulls things together and dark energy pushes them apart. Between the pushing and the pulling they expect we’ll be able to catch our breath for a while longer.

(Hat tip to Tim for the postcards.)

a new Immanence dawning…

This may be one of the final posts on the Movable Type version of this blog. Immanence will be migrating soon to WordPress. A new blog design is currently being finalized. The new address (a trial attempt, already noticed by a few followers of this blog, was put up here this past summer). That will be the new address, so if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss any posts, you can go subscribe to it now.

That means that this design, with its “foggy forest” theme, will be “put down,” as they say about four-legged loved ones. This one has served me well, and I appreciate those of you who’ve commented kindly on the appearance of this site. I know it looks very different on different browsers, and some have found it too dark and difficult to read. In testing the new one so far, I’ve found it to be best with Safari, but my hope is that it will work fine on all browsers. (And I expect you to let me know if it doesn’t.)

I’m off to the IAEP (Environmental Philosophy) and SPEP meetings in Montreal soon. But before I go, I will upload one last post of substance, a primer in process-relational theory. Momentarily.

heat & light

Not having followed the Derrida debates too closely (and doing it mostly from the comfort of my Google blog reader when I have), I’ve been missing the fascinating debates going on in the comments sections of Levi’s posts. Like this one on realism (72 comments) or this one on dialogue (93 comments). Larval Subjects deserves some kind of award for generating such prolific and thoughtful discussion (not just heat, as they say, but light, too).

I’ve also been thinking that I should divide this blog into separate Philosophy and Eco/Media/Culture sections, if only because the GeoPhilosophy subheading has gotten so much more usage recently than most of the others. I’ve been toying with a new format (as Kvond prematurely announced a little while ago – I appreciated the mention, but wasn’t quite ready to go public yet), and I may reorganize it along those lines if and when I make the jump to WordPress. Here’s a working version of the new format from a little while ago. I haven’t touched it since then, and that version requires some fairly obvious tweaking (to say the least). If anyone has thoughts about it, i.e., whether it’s better or worse than the current Immanence, let me know.


… but only momentarily, from my writing (mainly Ecologies of the Moving Image, which continues to proceed apace, but also the Praxis Forum I’m editing on the Ken Burns National Parks series for Environmental Communication, the paper I’ve been invited to give on green pilgrimage at the Fourth Compostela Colloquium, and the piece I’m writing for Bryant’s and Bogost’s collection, which is shaping up to be quite the anthology, now featuring Jane Bennett, Karen Barad, Katherine Hayles, and Tim Morton alongside the previously announced names — OOO continues to widen its sphere of influence, now moving into science studies and feminist theory).

I’ve recently transitioned from a PC (a Dell Latitude that I had really come to like, despite its PC-ish flaws) to a new MacBook Pro, which initially threw me for some loops — the display, for one thing, was so much smaller and less detailed. (It’s a smaller machine.) But I’ve come to like it a lot over the last two weeks.

Elsewhere in the blogosphere: There’ve been some very interesting discussions over at Larval Subjects, Aberrant Monism, Speculum Criticum Traditionis, and elsewhere (about Isabelle Stengers, Latour, and Owen Barfield, among others), which you can catch in the Shared Items on my Shadow Blog (scroll down on the right; and note that they aren’t in chronological order, because my following of them has not been very systematic recently). And Grist has continued being the best go-to place for environmental news; see, for instance, Joe Romm’s lament about the Obama admin’s increasingly disappointing record. And see Cog Pol Works on right-wing conspiracy theories around the BP disaster, and Mediaology and Wired on the (hilarious!) dangers of ambient music.

A couple of important conference announcements: Staging Sustainability and the Fourth Whitehead Research Project conference, which features an all-star lineup (and which I, unfortunately, will not be able to attend).

Heading back down (like the loons on the lake here, suddenly disappearing to look for some fish, and reappearing a while later somewhere else)…


other matters

It’s very nice to see that philosopher and Deleuzian/Spinozist Jeffrey Bell has joined the blogosphere, with a set of very interesting posts up already. Graham Harman has been providing more useful writing tips, here and here. William Connolly has been posting to the impressive group blog The Contemporary Condition. Levi has been posting about flat ontology and flat ethics and about Whitehead’s relation to Levi’s onticology (with a bit of an exchange between myself and him in the comments). Andrew Ray has been posting some wonderful stuff on film/art and placescapes. Tim Morton and Ben Woodard are launching a very promising new journal called Thinking Nature.

Most of these things I’ve shared on my shared items page, visible here as the running list of items you see on the right-hand column of this blog’s main web page. You can subscribe to that from GoogleReader (or just choose to “follow me” there, which I suspect includes my occasional comments and “likes”).

I’ve been working on a new WordPress version of this blog, but haven’t quite gotten it ready. When it’s all set, I’ll give readers a chance to vote on whether to keep this one or opt for the new one (though you can sneak a glance at it here, and feel free to let me know if you think it’s worth the change or not).

In the meantime, I’ll be blogging less as I’m working hard on the last three chapters of Ecologies of the Moving Image, which I suspect will be one of the first books that could legitimately call itself “an ecophilosophy of the cinema.” The proximity of Caspian Lake in Greensboro, Vermont (longtime summer home of Wallace Stegner), is helping with the writing. Perhaps I’ll post a photo at some point.


The previously announced ‘Vibrant Matter’ reading group will take place across five blogs over five weeks, beginning May 23 and ending June 26. Vibrant Matter: A Political Ecology of Things is the latest book by Johns Hopkins University political theorist Jane Bennett. Philosophy in a Time of Error has posted a very useful overview of the book, along with an interview with its author. Anyone interested in participating is invited to read these, and to order your copy of the book in time for the first session. (I’ve asked Duke University Press about a possible discount for participants, but not heard back from them. Here in the States, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and offer the best deals at the moment.)

The reading schedule will be as follows:

May 23-29

Host blog: Philosophy in a Time of Error (Peter Gratton)

Under discussion: Preface & Chapter 1, “The Force of Things” (and overview/interview).

May 30-June 5

Host blog: Critical Animal (James Stanescu)

Under discussion: Chapters 2 and 3, “The Agency of Assemblages” and “Edible Matter.”

June 6-12

Host blog: Naught Thought (Ben Woodard)

Under discussion: Chapters 4 and 5, “A Life of Matter” and “Neither Vitalism nor Mechanism.”

June 13-19

Host blog: An und für sich (Anthony Paul Smith)

Under discussion: Chapters 6 and 7, “Stem Cells and the Culture of Life” and “Political Ecologies”

June 20-26

Host blog: Immanence (Adrian Ivakhiv)

Under discussion: Chapter 8, “Vitality and Self-interest,” and the book as a whole (final overview).

All welcome!

I’m on the road, and haven’t been able to keep up with the continuing exchange that’s now drawn in Steven Shaviro and Chris Vitale in addition to Levi and Graham, with side comments from Peter Gratton and others. That despite Graham’s call for a “cease fire,” which elicited some spirited responses from Levi, Steven, and Chris.

For me, some of Levi’s most beautiful writing comes when he gets personal. The first few paragraphs in his reply to the cease fire call are among the peak of the whole discussion, because they get at why he and probably all of us, to some extent, engage in this form of public debate:

“Where Harman is of the sentiment that arguments should take place in written text, I find that I only come to know what I think in my interaction with others. In certain ways this has been the plague of my academic career. Where the ordinary order of things is to treat the published text as what as important and the exchange as derivative, I often experience an acute suffering when it comes to the written text. The written text, to me, feels like excrement, like a remainder, like a waste or a frozen petrification of a living object: Dialogue. [. . .]

“I conceive the written text as a missive, a letter, rather than a statue. And since dialogues or discussions are distinct objects, it follows that I am not the author of these posts and texts. And this for the very simple reason that in a dialogue one can never know what comes from where. If there is an author named “Levi”, then the name Levi can only name a space of entanglements, of discussions, of dialogues where it is impossible to determine what idea or concept might have originated from me and what ideas, concepts or arguments might have originated with my various interlocutors. [. . .]

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