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LaBare - The Ecosexuality of Everyday Life - Talk Transcript

LaBare - The Ecosexuality of Everyday Life - Talk Transcript

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Published by Sha LaBare
Transcript of a talk I delivered 18 June 2011 at the
Ecosex Symposium II (http://www.sexecology.org/)
Transcript of a talk I delivered 18 June 2011 at the
Ecosex Symposium II (http://www.sexecology.org/)

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Categories:Types, Speeches
Published by: Sha LaBare on Aug 21, 2011
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05/12/2014

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The Ecosexuality of Everyday Life
Transcript of a talk delivered by Joshua (Sha) LaBare via Skype, 18 June 2011Ecosex Symposium II (http://www.sexecology.org/)
So you got the introduction: my current project is loosely called the ecology of everyday life, soI'll be thinking through some of what coming out as an ecosexual means for my specific project. Irecently completed a dissertation and I work on science fiction as a way of thinking about and being inthe world, and specifically I've been very interested in the connection with ecological ethics, with
radical 
ecological ethics, with thinking really really differently about ecologies in general and about the place of humans and the rest of us on this Earth. So, science fiction really brings a lot of interestingthings to thinking about ecology. Science fiction now has a long tradition of thinking about strangetime frames, of thinking far into the future and far into the past, of thinking about the invisibleconnections and the evolutions that could happen, and as well science fiction is used to thinking aboutother creatures and the way they might act, the way agents who are different from humans might behave or the way they might organize socially.Specifically for this talk today, I would like to talk about first contact. Science fiction tells a lotof tales of first contact. Typically these are aliens, they're out there in space, we've been looking for them with our radio astronomy and our enormous telescopes et cetera et cetera, and we hope to makefirst contact with them. They're-- they're like us so presumably they can talk and maybe they havemathematics or something cool like that, and they have technologies obviously, so that we cancommunicate with them and make first contact with them. But the ecology of everyday life or theecosexuality of everyday life involves a kind of first contact that I call
invisitation
. A visitation is whenthe aliens come down or the angels come down, right, and they visit you, whereas an invisitation is...when they were already here, when they're all around us already, the aliens are already here but they'reinvisible to us and suddenly they occur, they appear.So I'm going to start by relating the epiphany that set me on this path. This happened about tenyears ago in Santa Cruz, I'd just started my disseration work, and I was living with a bunch of peopleand I was sitting on the couch - not unlike this one - and I had been cat-sitting for a week for myhousemates. Now this cat Mildred was very old and ornery and really just didn't have that much usefor me, except that because I was a cat-person I was the person who took care of Mildred. So for anentire week - they're coming back on Sunday, it's Sunday evening - but for the entire week I've beenfeeding Mildred, I've been giving Mildred water, I let Mildred in, I let Mildred out, I wake up at 6 a.m. because Mildred is crying at my door because something needs to be done, but Mildred will not let metouch her, or pet her. She will not cuddle with me, she will not sit on my lap. And about an hour  before my housemates' return, at which point I know she will return to completely ignoring me,Mildred comes on the couch and gives me that lovey face, and starts purring and slobbering and I start petting Mildred, and I'm like Mildred, you are a
bitch.
[
 Laughter.
] You ignore me - you ignore me allweek, I wanted nothing but to cuddle you, and now I know, you know, it's a countdown, they're comingand you are going to start ignoring me again, but it was in that moment that I realized that Mildred wasa bitch that I realized that Mildred was a
 person
. And I actually recognized Mildred, I recognized a catfor the first time as a person. I had lived with cats - and dogs - my entire life. I had always loved them.But I had never really thought of Mildred as a person before.As soon as I realized that I obviously applied science-fictional thinking to it and I was like,well, if Mildred is a person - wait, actually I was reading a book about fascism, so this connects to whatJennifer was saying just a moment ago - if Mildred's a person and we humans have been holding up aflag of just
human, human, human,
you gotta look like
this
to be a person, if Mildred is a person wehave an
anthropocentric
or 
human exceptionalist, fascistic
kind of organization such that Mildred

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