POLLEN Magazine #001
"The Idea of Natural History"
Edited by L. Gell, H. Glass, E. Morgan
The aim of POLLEN magazine is to take an important and many-sided concept from the critical theoretical tradition, and to unpack from it a constellation of thoughts, problems and images that relate back to the original concept in all of its meaning-elements. Each edition is organised around an introductory essay whose purpose is to provide a theoretical examination of the concept in question, which is then explored through a collision of photography, fiction, essay, poetry, translation and more.
The texts in Issue #001 go in search of what is meant by the enigmatic ‘idea of natural history’. The introduction of the idea of ‘natural history’ into the tradition of critical theory can be traced to a lecture delivered by Theodor Adorno in 1932 to the Frankfurt Kant Society. Briefly put; Adorno proposed to abolish the customary antithesis of nature and history. His goal was to overcome, on the one hand, a scientistic understanding of nature as pure facticity, and on the other, a broadly idealistic conception which takes history to be a process of ceaseless innovation. In this sense, ‘natural historical’ thinking takes up Adorno’s call to radically criticise the categorical definition of these two oppositional concepts. This does not mean simply a reactionary return to ‘pre-modern’ thinking, but rather it means re-reading the paradox of natural history as an imperative; to comprehend an object as natural when it appears at its most historical, and as historical when it appears as natural.
the allegorical interplay of ‘nature’ and ‘history’ in the site of the ruin
the critical project of recovering historical memory
society’s relationship to nature and nature’s relationship to society
nature as a source of ethical instruction
the ever-present threat of human and ecological catastrophe
Yves Marchand and Romain Meffre, Jan Kempaneurs, Chris Wild, Tito Mouraz, Ron Fricke and Mark Magidson, Stephen Mitchelmore, Jacinta Mulders , Leon Batchelor , Esther Leslie, Amelia Groom, Timothy Chandler, Steve Kelsen.
9,84 x 6,92 / 128 pp.
release date: 07 November '14