Atmospheric failure

Atmospheric failure is my own contribution to the Allegralab thematic thread When Things don’t Hold: Anthropologies of Failure, Breakdown, and Dysfunction. A pdf is available here. This short text revolves around what was described to me as a “failed” fog capture initiative in Lima, Peru, and it focuses on the way moments of failure may render speculatively conceivable otherwise backgrounded more-than-human relations. When writing it I was heavily influenced by approaches to breakdown in infrastructure studies, as well as Gwyneth Jones’ Science Fiction short-story The Universe of Things, the title of which was adopted by Steven Shaviro’s reading of some of the central figures behind contemporary speculative realisms. I highly recommend both texts, as well as recent work on the partial connections between SF and anthropology. See for instance this issue in NatureCulture, or this series on speculative anthropologies in Cultural Anthropology.

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