Lossy Ecology [book]
Lossy Ecology [book]
A book for outliers.
Lossy Ecology asks: what concept of the body can accommodate the ever-changing sense of self, the atypical experiences of statistical outliers, and the impact of the imaginary?
Drawing on a range of disparate ideas from neuroscience of embodiment, to autistic perception to Derek Jarman’s garden, LE presents a new interpretation of John Latham’s flat-time and Alfred Jarry’s ’pataphysics.
A ’pataphysics for the invisible body: body as imaginative manifesting zones for new kinds of knowledge, that could account for experiences of self that fall beyond the parameters of normal, real and visible.
Lossy Ecology instrumentalises science to point to the limitations of any thought discipline, including science, in which a self might be identified; that all systems of thought, all bodily and sensory ‘systems’, all interpretation of reality that necessarily include loss of detail, compress out ‘irrelevant’ information - are ‘lossy’, and consequently result in a loss of bodies. How to find and sustain a ‘self’ in a lossy world…?
Escape into the floating world of untethered experience that might offer new ways to draw out a self into existence.
Image works and a glossary of re-purposed terms are distributed among a series of commissioned texts and interviews drawing on a range of subjects including John Latham’s Flat Time, ’pataphysics, autistic perception, cognitive disability, the politics of visibility, and the neuroscience of embodiment, by Ralph Dorey, Sabel Gavaldon, Victoria Gray, Gareth Bell-Jones, John Latham, Anna Remington and Manos Tsakiris.
The texts collectively indicate a new approach to notions of ‘self’ or ‘body’ which might begin to account for bodies and embodied experiences that are not articulated in existing, standardised representational systems; a 'pataphysical body which transforms perceptual and representational voids into new possibilities, including freedom of movement.
“Louisa Martin draws a door to enter into the invisible: other knowledges, other affects, a different language. Inspiring and necessary!” - PAUL B. PRECIADO, Philosopher
"What fascinates me about Louisa Martin’s poetry is the way she lifts terms from science and engineering and twists them in ways that make us question the nature of selfhood and the self-making technologies that constitute the world today." - MURRAY SHANAHAN, Professor of Cognitive Robotics at Imperial College London, and Senior Research Scientist at DeepMind.
Paperback. Limited Print of 500.
Publication © 2017 Louisa Martin
All texts © the authors
Design & typeface © Fraser Muggeridge studio
Images: ‘Leaves’ © 2017 Louisa Martin
All rights reserved. ISBN: 978-0-9957231-0-8
‘the door to the invisible [bodies] must be visible’ - René Daumal, Mount Analogue
Lossy Ecology represent the final leg of a project by Louisa Martin, supported by a Wellcome Trust Arts Award, exploring atypical experinces of embodiment, with a focus on autism, which enabled residencies at the Lab of Action and Body, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway, University of London, and at CRAE (Centre for Research into Autism and Education), UCL, London as well as time to speak to a range of people who identify as autistic or neurodiverse about their experiences.
The book shares Louisa’s attempt to work up a new framework for conceiving the body/self that is not static, restrictive, or dependent on fixed identity, or abilities to perform identity, set of social or economic values, particular notions of desirability, appearance, neurological type…
A central question was: how to create a representation of ‘body’ that doesn’t limit what it might mean to be a body, asking: is it possible to speak to something without representing it in a fixed way, and therefore limiting it’s potential. That the dominant frameworks for understanding ‘reality’ ‘world’ ‘self’ ‘body’ that are regarded as sovereign leave omit certain ways of being, experiencing and understanding, and are therefore are limiting for EVERYONE.
Conceived and edited by Louisa Martin
Design and typeface by Fraser Muggeridge studio
Production by Emily Hadwen
Additional editing by Cecilia Wee
Published by Flat Time House
Thanks to Liz Pellicano and Anna Remington at the Centre for Research into Autism and Education, University College London, and Manos Tsakiris, Ruben Azevedo, and Maria Laura Filippetti at the Lab of Action and Body, Department of Psychology, Royal Holloway University of London, Christopher Campbell-Mhlope, Kitty Fedorec, Katie Gaudion, Mary Hurrell, Sue Jones, Mark Leckey, Tito Mukhopadhyay, Kate Phillimore, Morgan Quaintance, Shervin Shaeri, Flat Time House, and all the contributors.