Sasha Langford: "An Atmosphere of Certain Uncertainty": Knowledge, Embodiment, and Ecology in Thick Time
March 25, 2019
Anthropocene discourse over the past decade has often framed global warming as a form of "certain uncertainty" that demands new empirical and speculative methodologies in order to be properly known. In this talk, I consider the "certain uncertainty" of climate science and ecological theory in relation to postcolonial and psychoanalytic accounts of embodiment that situate the body as an ambivalent site of knowledge. Accepting climate change as a process with roots in colonial history, I ask how concepts such as "weathering," "atmosphere," and "acclimatization" may blur the boundaries between social and meteorological forms of bodily duress. In doing so, I propose that thinking "certain uncertainty" as a mode of resilient embodiment to environmental conditions may serve to further politicize contemporary ecological theory.
Sasha J. Langford is an independent scholar, composer, and musician. Her recent research has considered the visual discourse of the Anthropocene, the placenta as a site of Marxist critique, and the symbolic role of the fee in psychoanalytic practice. Other recent work includes the 2017 essay and hybrid-writing collection Ephemeral Institutions, and performances at the International Noise Conference in Miami, FL; the Ende Tymes Festival of Noise and Experimental Liberation in Brooklyn, NY; and the Lines of Flight Festival of Experimental Music in Dunedin, New Zealand. She currently teaches media history and theory at Columbia College.