Plant to Plant to Plant or Some Modes of Chemo-Capital Succession: A talk by Nick Shapiro
Plant to Plant to Plant or Some Modes of Chemo-Capital Succession
Abstract: In this talk I attempt to track the simultaneous composition and decomposition of life through industrial chemistry and late industrial capitalism with a particular focus on how our chemical ecologies, infrastructures, atmospheres, and techniques of capital accumulation shift over time: a bundle of linked processes and materials I am tenuously calling “chemo-capital succession.” Stemming from ethnographic work on formaldehyde and its precursor, methane (a potent green house gas), I will query the political implications of remediation, speculative finance as environmental regulator, civic technosciene/consumerist irony, and artist led-‘alter-engineering’ projects
Nicholas Shapiro is a Matter, Materials and Culture Fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation and an Open Air Fellow at Public Lab. He is a critic and practitioner of environmental monitoring and mitigation, collaborating across the social science, the natural sciences and the arts. His fieldsites span the American airspace from the industrialization of the rural atmosphere at sites of hydrocarbon extraction to chemically conditioned indoor air in manufactured housing to co-developing alternative means of stratospheric balloon travel. He received his doctorate from Oxford in anthropology in 2014, followed by a post-doc at Goldsmiths, University of London.