Undoing the Human: *Wild* Art and a Poetics of Ecology
journal contributionposted on 14.03.2022, 03:59 by Andrew GoodmanAndrew Goodman
The contemporary turn towards ‘wildness’ and ‘rewilding’ seeks an intimacy and bewilderment of subjecthood. While wildness as a western concept has very problematic histories, in its reclaimed usage, Halberstam and Nyong’o argue that it can also enact an ‘anarrangement’ of normalised boundaries and categories. Gordon Pask’s 1957 chemical computing experiment that spontaneously grew an ear in response to environmental stimulus poses similar questions about the relational volition of matter, confronting not only the artist or scientist’s control of their research, but the fundamentally colonial notion of a world composed of discrete parts. This article engages with a critical reading of Halberstam and Nyong’o’s writing to propose parallels between their conception of the wild and the science of self-organisation, both of which engage in aspects of decolonial critique through a troubling of the colonial mindset that separates in order to maintain mastery. Pask’s experiment suggests the possibility of alternative discourses and practices that emphasise an ethics of relation through techniques of wilding.