James Lovelock and Hans Ulrich Obrist
The eighth edition of the dimunitive isolarii (meaning ‘island texts’) celebrates the life of James Lovelock, evironmentalist, futurist, and originator of the Gaia theory that the Earth functions as a self-regulating system. Lovelock died last year, aged 103. Daisy Hildyard opens the issue with an overview of Lovelock’s life and introduces Gaia, then Hans Ulbrch Obrist recounts a vist and interview with Lovelock from 2015.
isolarii revive an extinct literary genre, the Renaissance "island books" of the same name. Together, they form an archipelago of today's avant-garde movements and figures.
The humanism of the past five hundred years is dead. Believing man was exceptional, it opened the abyss of extinction. A new approach is needed to re-enchant the world and establish the commonality of all life on Earth. This is not just the task of politics and philosophy. It requires the effort of all those who tear down convention in order to preserve what is meaningful. That is, the preservation not just of environments, but myth, irrationality, autonomy, and joy—whether by direct or poetic means. New islands—of thought, literature, art—are already emerging. They are the necessary minimum for this re-beginning. We find these points of orientation, mapping a scattered community that spans continents and disciplines. To represent a world of many worlds, not a globe.