A World of Lively Matter

Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View (1991) – Cornelia Parker

A second advantage hinges on the inflection of matter as vibrant, vital, energetic, lively, quivering, vibratory, evanescent, and efflorescent (to recall some modifiers I have used throughout the book). In a world of lively matter, we see that biochemical and biochemical-social systems can sometimes unexpectedly bifurcate or choose developmental paths that could not have been foreseen, for they are governed by an emergent rather than a linear or deterministic causality. And once we see this, we will need an alternative to the idea of nature as blind mechanism. A vital materialism interrupts both the teleological organisms of some ecologists and the machine image of nature governing many of their opponents.

Jane Bennett
Vibrant Matter

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