"The Metabolic Sublime" by Marina Otero
Metabolic Sublime is an invitation to imagine and practice a different spatial, energetic and material system. That exists in continuity with the environment. That is alive and gives life. A non-Cartesian space shared by all beings and not defined by distinctions and categories, nor driven by the punitive work of the "other". A future that is not forged according to uniquely human referents and that opens spaces of unusual creativity. Where the extraction and consumption of resources, deforestation, and unlimited growth would not be justified for the sake of serving the economic benefit of the 1%.
Fear of the unknown and the forces of nostalgia block this shared future and perpetuate landscapes designed according to functional and logistical models that stimulate modernist ambitions and dreams of mastery of space and time, territory and resources. Enraptured by its hypnotic abstract and datified aesthetics, we forget that this image of the contemporary is not inevitable. We need other referents. Other models.
Metabolic Sublime believes that a common world - post-patriarchal, post-anthropocentric, ecological, plural - is possible. It vindicates practices, ethics and aesthetics that come from feminist, queer, decolonial, indigenous and black movements and studies. It instigates horizontal, scalar and reciprocal relationships with all forms of life; material processes for postextractivist worlds; collaborative practices of care and well-being.
The Metabolic Sublime recognizes the fluid interdependence between bodies and the body of the planet - we are part of something beyond ourselves. All bodies are collective, porous, multi-scaled, heterogeneous bodies that exceed the human. That they are in a continuous process of rupture and fabrication. That they are defined by the way in which they are linked to other bodies, places, environments, technologies, energy and material flows. That they are in continuous fluid exchange with other bodies. Let us think of the pipes that connect bodies with wider territories and that help us to lose sight of what we no longer want to recognize as our own. Or better, in breathing, decomposition, connection with the atmosphere and synchronization with the cosmos.
The Metabolic Sublime thinks and performs bodies that function as ecosystems, networks, environments and ultimately as climate.