On the dimensions of being: Densities

Video Tutorial #2 by Mira Hirtz

Video Tutorial #2 looks at the »problem of dimension, scale, and lodging« that, according to Bruno Latour in his book »Down to Earth« we are facing in the so-called modern societies: The planet is too small to host all the economic needs that globalisation demand, and it is too complex to ignore the events outside of a narrow local point of view.

We are also facing a problem of scale because the actual size of a country compared to what its current way of existing depends on (resources, labour, or simply land), differs significantly from the size of its national borders. And, most notably, because the Critical Zone confronts us with a zooming richness of beings, a thickness and entanglement of networks and causalities that is to be presented as a huge dense space rather than as a thin layer of the globe. 

What kind of scales does the Terrestrial, the planet we are to land on, exist in? Bruno Latour notes that the Terrestrial»is designed to differentiate itself by opening itself up« and that it is meant to »cherish a maximum number of alternative ways of belonging to the world.« How can we understand such multiplicities, such dimensions and densities? Do we yet have to re-learn how to measure? Which tools do we have?

A comment to the current situation in April 2020: Not only has space dimensions and densities, time has as well. In a moment where political decisions reacting to the pandemic are slowing down economies, where there is a strange sense of standing still (even though a lot is not, rather to the contrary), where our movement is limited and some of us are stuck in precarious waiting, how do we perceive the density of time? What is the relation of the urgency of a pandemic crisis to the urgency of the climate crisis and what are their differences to the speed of production and consumption? And which are our means to reflect, learn and experience about the situation, as some of us are deprived of our usual ways of research? Hopefully the Video Tutorial #2 On the dimensions of being: Densities can offer some ideas, as it examines the various experiences of the dimensions of being that we can gain by shifting our awareness, and as it offers a format that makes such experience available and transportable to wherever we are.