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Bioturbation; Or, The Humiliation Of HuMan By WRMS

Jon K Shaw

In this episode we welcome Jon K Shaw to discuss his work Bioturbation; Or, The Humiliation of Human by WRMS, a 13 minute sound work. Digging through layers of jazz, poetry, news reports and Jon’s own voice, worms are the central character, an essential creature in the process of making soil, and sustaining life on earth. Together we explore how to become more worm-like, both as a necessary force in ecology, and as a metaphor for how we, as humans, metabolise life; how process and product, eating and excreting, could exist within other beings. Through the bodily movements of the worms, moving the strata of soil and remaking nutritional gradients, their acts of world building become a tangible perspective from which to speculate new narratives on waste, extraction and being with the planet.

Jon K Shaw is a writer, editor, educator and irregular farmhand based in Orkney. He teaches in a number of universities and colleges including the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London; and in postgraduate Fine Arts at West Dean College of Arts and Conservation - though none of these institutions support his research. With Tom Robinson he founded and edited Rattle: A Journal at the Convergence of Art and Writing, and with Theo Reeves-Evison edited and introduced the book Fiction as Method (Sternberg, 2017). He is commissioning editor of the new Zer0 Books series Zer0 Agri, which aims to reconnect real agricultural practice and progressive politics. The imprint will launch its first books in 2023. Amongst other writing projects, Jon is currently finishing a book on Antonin Artaud's ecological thought, called Lucid Materialism. His "annotated photo-essay" on the film-philosophy of Pierre Creton and the seaweed-eating sheep of North Ronaldsay will be published by SHIMA journal in early 2023.

You can read the full transcript of this episode here.

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