Being Matter from the Inside: A Path into Poetic Space
We humans tend to see ourselves as animated, while moving through a world of things which are made of mere matter. For some, higher animals also belong to the animated category. For others, plants do as well. But matter? Is it not just stuff? Or can it be said to be experiencing as well in some way? In my talk I want to argue that this is far from a merely philosophical question. Indeed we have the key to it in our hands, as in our embodied existences we are at the same time matter (our physical body) and we have an experiencing standpoint. We hence can say something about the joys (and sorrows) of being matter. Discussing this I will try to sketch a picture of perception not as representation of things, but as co-creation in a “poetic space”.
Dr. Andreas Weber (* 1967) is a Berlin based philosopher and nonfiction writer and independent scholar. Andreas holds degrees in Marine Biology (Msc) and Cultural Studies (PhD). He has worked with theoretical biologist Francisco Varela in Paris. Andreas’ philosophical and literary work is focusing on a re-evaluation of our understanding of the living. He understands organisms as subjects and hence the biosphere as a meaning-creating and poetic reality. Accordingly, Andreas holds that an economy inspired by nature should not be designed as a mechanistic optimization machine (as it currently is), but rather as an ecosystem which transforms mutual sharing of matter and energy in a deepened meaning. Andreas puts forth his ideas in several books (translated in a variety of languages). He contributes to major newspapapers and magazines and is regularly lecturing and giving workshops. He is teaching Ecophilosophy at the University of Fine Arts, Berlin and holds an Adjunct Professorship at the Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati and a Visiting Professorship at the Univeristy of Gastronomic Sciences in Pollenzo, Italy.
Books in English language and translated into English
–– Sharing Live. The Ecopolitics of Reciprocity. Alternative Worldviews. Boell Foundation: New Delhi & Berlin, 2020. https://in.boell.org/en/2020/09/10/sharing-life-ecopolitics-reciprocity
–– Enlivenment. Toward a Poetics for the Anthropocene. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2019 (update and rewrite of Enlivenment 2013). https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/enlivenment
–– Matter and Desire. An Erotic Ecology. (translation of Lebendigkeit. Eine Erotische Ökologie, translation by Rory Bradley). White River Junction: Chelsea Green 2017.
–– Biopoetics. Towards an Existential Ecology. New York, Heidelberg et.al.: Springer 2016.
–– The Biology of Wonder. Aliveness, Feeling, and the Metamorphosis of Science. With a foreword by David Abram. New Society Publishers, Gabriola Island, BC, 2016 (rewrite of Alles fühlt, 2007). https://www.newsociety.com/Books/B/The-Biology-of-Wonder
–– Enlivenment. Towards a fundamental shift in the concepts of nature, culture and politics. Berlin: Verlag der Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung 2013. https://www.boell.de/en/2013/02/01/enlivenment-towards-fundamental-shift-concepts-nature-culture-and-politics
Books in German language
–– Essbar sein. Klein Jasedow: thinkOYA, forthcoming.
–– Warum Kompromisse schließen? Berlin: Duden-Verlag 2020.
–– Indigenialität. Berlin: Nicolai-Verlag 2018.
–– Sein und Teilen. Eine Praxis schöpferischer Existenz. Bielefeld: transcript Verlag 2017.
–– Enlivenment. Eine Kultur des Lebens. Versuch einer Poetik für das Anthropozän. Berlin: Matthes & Seitz, 2016 (updated and enlarged german version of Enlivenment, 2013).
–– Schelble, Indra; Weber, Andreas (2016): Transmogrified. Artist’s Book. Bad Herrenalb.
–– Weber, Andreas & Kurt, Hildegard (2015): Lebendigkeit sei! Für eine Politik des Lebens. Ein Manifest für das Anthropozän. Klein Jasedow: thinkOYA.
–– Lebendigkeit. Eine erotische Ökologie. München: Kösel-Verlag 2014 (also published in English language).
–– Das Quatsch-Matsch-Buch. (with Emma und Max Weber). München: Kösel-Verlag 2013 (also published in Czech language).
–– Minima Animalia. Ein Stundenbuch der Natur. Klein Jasedow: thinkOYA 2012.
–– Mehr Matsch. Kinder brauchen Natur. Berlin: Ullstein 2011 (also published in Czech language).
–– Biokapital. Die Versöhnung von Ökonomie, Natur und Menschlichkeit, Berlin: Berlin-Verlag 2008 (also published in Dutch and Korean languages).
–– Alles fühlt. Mensch, Natur und die Revolution der Lebenswissenschaften, Berlin: Berlin-Verlag 2007. New edition with a foreword by Michael Succow: Klein Jasedow: thinkOya 2014 (also published in English, Estonian, Korean, Slovenian, Slovachian languages).
–– Natur als Bedeutung. Versuch einer semiotischen Theorie des Lebendigen. Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann 2003.
Essays on the Web
Weber, Andreas (2021): “Skincentric Ecology”. Minding Nature 14 (1): 22-26, https://www.humansandnature.org/skincentric-ecology
Weber, Andreas (2020): „Family Tree“. https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2020/08/24/family-tree/
Weber, Andreas (2020): „Nourishing community in pandemic times.From protecting ‘nature’ to supporting kin. The animistic turn in sustainability”. https://in.boell.org/en/nourishing-community-pandemic-times
Weber, Andreas (2019): “The Singing Air”. https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2019/06/24/the-singing-air/
Weber, Andreas (2018): “Trees are Breath”. https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2018/04/17/trees-are-breath/
Weber, Andreas (2017): “Time of the Poppies.” https://www.thenatureofcities.com/2017/06/21/time-of-the-poppies/ Weber, Andreas (2017): “Transactions of Light”.