Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club #18: „Genomic Revolution – Is there a Tree of Life?“

In the era of “the postmodern synthesis, organisms are not individuals and Mendelian modes of evolution are moved to the margins 1. We read about the age of bacteria, horizontal gene exchange, complex webs of lives.

“When we realize that plants and animals are deeply embedded in the microbial world, it changes all aspects of plant and animal biology.”2

As biologist Scott Gilbert tells us, “we have never been individuals.” His “we” refers to all life; his “individuals” are autonomous species as well as single organisms. If most of the cells in the human body are microbes, which ‘individual’ are we?”3

Starting 2019, we delve deeper into the ‘Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet‘ anthology put together by Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, and Nils Bubandt: “These essays posit critical and creative tools for survival in a more-than-human Anthropocene.” […] entangled histories, situated narratives, and thick descriptions offer urgent ‘arts of living’”.4

About ‘Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club’

In ‘Between Us and Nature – A Reading Club’ we read texts together related to natural sciences, art, anthropology, postcolonialism, and (post)anthropocene, chosen from a female perspective looking beyond disciplines.

Those who would like to attend the reading session, please rsvp via email to betweenusnature@gmail.com, and you’ll receive a selection of texts.

At this reading group we will read passages together out loud and share our experiences and thoughts about the nature we live in, what it means to us, and will discuss post-natural conditions or challenges of who we are and where we live.

Please note: in terms of sustainability we will not print out the text. Bring your copy on a digital device of your choice or printed out! :-)

Note: Bring your copy of the text as print out or on a digital device
Hosts: Eva-Fiore Kovacovsky, artist, and Sina Ribak, environmental & cultural manager

1  Margaret McFall-Ngai in: Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet – Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, Nils Bubandt (Eds), 2017, University of Minnesota Press.
2 ibid.
3 Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet – Ghosts and Monsters of the Anthropocene, Anna Tsing, Heather Swanson, Elaine Gan, Nils Bubandt (Eds), 2017, University of Minnesota Press.
4  ibid.