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An engraved invitation to consider human - earth relations: Thinking non-dualism through the mining-based art practice of Lee Harrop
journal contributionposted on 2023-04-19, 06:41 authored by J Norman
The scale and ubiquity of global industrialized mining and its proportionately negative impact on human rights and the environment is well documented. These costly externalities, taken in the context of increasing demand for mined materials in technical applications such as mobile phones and other devices seen as essential to contemporary commerce and communication, focalize a range of contentious issues and complexities. This article argues that mining, as an instance of instrumentalism in the human - earth relationship and in many human - human relations, exposes the reason/nature dualism underlying western ontological assumptions. Key features of dualism are described and implicated for their role in the oppression and exploitation of both human and non-human Others. A map drawn from critical ecological feminism outlining an escape route out of dualism is unfolded and brought together with the onto-ethico-epistemology of agential realism in an effort to discover possibilities for a new western social imaginary of non-dualism. The art of Lee Harrop featuring engraved core samples from mining exploration is deployed as a productive site for thinking through non-dualising implications arising from science and new materialisms.