Desert Humanities: Attunement to the Desert

This event last occurred Sept. 23, 2019

What does the desert ask of us and how might it change how we dwell?

Join us for this double-header: an immersive, experiential lecture by international art and design team Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney of FoAM followed by a speculative futures lecture by cultural theorist Timothy Morton.

As the opening event for the Dust and Shadow: An Acoustic Ecology Salon, they will discuss what it means to attune to the desert landscape.

This event will be followed by the opening reception for Dust and Shadow: An Acoustic Ecology Salon.


Maja Kuzmanovic and Nik Gaffney

"Dust & Shadow | Redux": An ambient lecture-performance

A distillation of atmospheres, questions and conversations from FoAM's intermittent journeys into dust and shadow. Through the Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin deserts. Surrounded by the dust of matter, of displacement, of action and neglect. In the shadow of experimentation, realpolitik and the 6th mass extinction. A humbling, discordant experience of animate surroundings, dusty imperatives and shadowy potentials. Attuning to time and matter beyond human scales. Echoing signals from those who are gone. Boneyards, ghost towns, zombie utopias. Myths and counter-myths. Guns and God. Tricksters and Shamans. Fictocritics and interspecies hermeneuts. A reflection on hope in the dark, and the brightness of despair during a time of global weirding. Returning, only to depart again. A pause within a nomadic continuum, open to review. Revisit. Revival. Redux.

Timothy Morton

“Self-Explanatory Planetary Information”

We all use the word rhythm, but it takes some effort to figure out what it actually might mean. The word derives from two Greek words, one of which means measurement. Rhythm is not just about counting — what exactly is being counted? The other Greek word means body fluids. What is meant by regularity, counting, measurement when it comes to these fluids?

The current interlocking ecological crises can be described in terms of different rhythms overlapping, appropriating and imposing themselves one another. In other words, different fluids of, as or from different bodies influence one another to produce events that are beyond the normal senses of “world historical.” They are planet historical.

The feminist Carla Lonzi observed that the women’s movement is not simply international, but also planetary. Patriarchy, a key component in the deep structure of global warming, requires a planetary, not simply an international response. But this doesn’t mean “getting back in touch with the rhythms of nature.” Far from it.

In this sense, an expanded version of acoustic ecology is at the heart of ecological thought and action. 


The closest parking garage is the Apache Blvd Structure. Visit ASU's Transportation web page for information about parking options and fees.

Memorial Union Pima Room