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Fiona Gannon: Mysterious Ground

Timothy Morton uses the term “Agrilogistics” in a recent essay to refer to the logistics that resulted in the agricultural and industrial revolutions. These technological revolutions, which involved in making sure you will have food or turf for your fire on a regular basis, stem from the anxiety of uncertainty. Freezing your arse off near a cold wet bog, would quicken a person’s thinking process past “I have no idea what this stuff is, or if it is ‘alive’ or what ‘alive’ is” towards “if I burn it I could probably reclaim the use of my swollen inept fingers.” This logic, which skips basic questions sharply in order to make-do, attempts to delineate a purely functional space based on usefulness. Morton differentiates between functional lifeforms inside agrilogistical space, such as sheep (wool-makers), potatoes (yum) and peat (cosy); and those that are outside, such as wild sheep (too much personality, not enough wool), ‘weeds,’ etc.

Morton references cats, mentioning their confident stride between domesticity and wildness as an example of why the agrilogistical boundary does not exist, cats are an example of “the ground from which and against which agrilogistics tries to define and defend itself.” “The ground from which and against which,” the ground is both assisting and resisting. The ground that you cultivate, but which can dry up; that you build your home upon, but can suddenly quake; that you walk upon and then stub your toe. The ground is mysterious and foundational.

Scohaboy-Bog-Tipperary-Ireland

 

Keep off the ground.

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