Mira Hirtz: On urgency: taking time to be productive
It seems like things might already be too late, at least they are very urgent ones: climate change is not waiting for us. It calls for productivity and action, yet blind efficiency seems to be one of the things that lead us here.
In “Down to Earth” Bruno Latour distinguishes between production and engendering. In a historical sense of the word production denoted a system in which nature was taken “as a mere ‘factor in production’, a resource that was precisely external, indifferent to our actions […].” Earth was no agent to be part of the system, it was to be calculated for efficient, fast production of goods. But, as I quoted Latour already in #5, “there are not organisms on one side and an environment on the other, but a coproduction by both” (“Down to Earth”). These dependencies could, according to Latour, be better described and analysed in a system of engendering.
To reflect on dependencies and coproduction, to change from one system to another, we need to remain curious and imaginative. How to, though, as curiosity and imagination take time? They demand testing, failing, pausing, reacting.
We can practice to wait. Even though there seems to be no time, we can practice to take time to be productive. If we do take time in order to perceive, witness, play, to be attentive, may we end up discovering – engendering?