Semiotics, thing-power and extreme weather

2022-04-13 08:49

"Just dumping data on ourselves - is actually inhibiting a more genuine way of handling ecological knowledge" - Timothy Morton, [[Being ecological]]

We are doing something to the environment but we are part of the environment. Being ecological is acknowledging entanglement. Note to self - this is a clear link between [[Neighbours]] and the climate crisis.

How we frame things affects how we see them and this is what artists do. For example, Haim Steinbach.


"Signs may not be divorced from the concrete forms of social intercourse...and cannot exist, as such, without it" - Volosinov V.N.

Material semiotics argues that symbols only gain meaning through their relationship with other symbols. Actor Network Theory is a Material semiotics approach.

Latour argues that the 'missing masses' from social theory are the objects around us, in 'Where are the missing masses?'. In it he talks at length about those devices on doors that allow them to close slowly, which in french have a word that is similar to 'butler.' The human action has been delegated to the non-human object. [[Give Me a Gun and I Will Make All Buildings Move]] is related.


Thing-power argues that inanimate things can animate, and they should be considered equal to animate things. This links to ecological literacy (see [[Being ecological]]).

Thing-power becomes obvious when it manifests as an extreme weather event. In Three Ecologies, Felix Guattari argues there is an ecology of kinship, an ecology of civic life and an environmental ecology and they exist in balance.

In 1896 the Cloud Committee established a taxonomy of clouds. How well you can read clouds affects whether you rely on indexical signs or symbolic signs.